I woke up this morning (03:15) and I started to realise what I had been missing (no, not a gorgeous woman, but yes, that too). I have been a gamer for the longest of times and I have been active going back to the Commodore Vic-20 (1982). Over the span of 40 years I have seen a huge collection of games spanning the Vic-20, CBM-64, AtariST, CBM Amiga, Megadrive, Playstation, Dreamcast, Playstation 2, Xbox-360, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox One and Playstation 5. I am not counting the PC and Mac Games but yes I had them too. My mind suddenly wandered on certain titles and the one that woke me up was an old PS1 game, Kula World.
I suddenly realised what I missed. Game makers are all about the achievements, the progress and the hardship. Yet, when was the last time you set down relaxed and just played to have fun? I reckon that most of you had with Minecraft, but with what other game? Do not get me wrong, Skyrim is heaps fun, but it is a game with missions, a game with targets and I do not oppose them. Sometimes we just want to have fun, either alone or with friends. I reckon that is why Mario Party is such a success. Gaming just for fun. When was that?
It is almost a setting that gaming is now intended to push artsy people into a business degree. It is OK for some and ok for some all of the time, but not for all people all of the time. The new games (even the ones I designed) are about targets, populations and getting to a point, but what if there is no real point? Kula World was a game with a target in the distance, but oddly enough, when you were playing it was about the fun and I actually miss that.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love hours and hours of Elite Dangerous, I still enjoy my Skyrim time and at times even Watchdogs: Legion. Yet the stage of focussing on fun is dwindling down in gaming and I think that is a shame and it is a loss for all gamers. I get it, some want to get contracts done in Grand Theft Auto, some what to get their team to the cup (NHL) and some want to survive (Last of Us) and there is nothing wrong with that. Yet at times it merely needs about the fun of playing and that is gone in too many places. And even I am guilty of that, all the designs I created, my mind created was about going somewhere, and for moments I forgot the feeling I had in Oblivion to just look at the scenery. Why is that, what did the game makers forget? What were we made to forget?
I do not know how it happened. Perhaps people (game makers) were too intent on staring at Ubisoft and their one AC a year, perhaps they all forgot what the fun of playing was or perhaps the makers hired Business degree people to get them a money making game. Yet I feel that something is being lost and I hope that some will rectify this sooner rather than later. I reckon that if I looked back to the last 3 years, playing Minecraft and losing time and the sense of time there is the most fun I have been having playing a game, which is a shame. I had that feeling a lot in the Amiga and CBM64 time and I miss that feeling, I suddenly realised that I missed feeling that way. There is no way in hell that I am the only gamer feeling that way, but there it is. The gap I am missing and it makes sense, after all that school, who took a gap year? Where is our console gap year? Even now as we marvel on the sanctity of new titles, new challenges and new horizons, where is the gap that allows us to sit and just have fun?
Think back, when was the last time you had actual fun playing?