The Video James Corner: The experiment with gaming culture.

Prior to its release this past November, the entire world collectively knew very little about the game Death Stranding (yes, with an r). The game had always been speculated as something special well before it hit the shelves, but this was mainly because of its beloved developer, Hideo Kojima, and not because the game was any good in the first place. Kojima was set to pull off an incredible feat: develop a story that would set a new standard for video games. Unsurprisingly, this vague goal raised expectations so high that people are still trying to redefine what a “good” game is in order to prove this game hit its mark- and considering how confusing all of these popular games can be, that’s a good thing.

 

I don’t want to bore you by babbling about games you’ve never heard of, but I think it’s important to note how Death Stranding and other game released this year challenge the idea of what games should be. These games have been incredibly inventive with their genre and more games should travel the same path when delivering a story experience. The passive and linear elements of Death Stranding allow you to spend more time admiring the aesthetics and reflect on the message of the game: uniting a post-apocalyptic world (sounds simple enough). It could be argued that playing the game isn’t the focus at all, but is rather the only way to compare the world of Death Stranding to the current state of our lives.

 

 

 

Games like Death Stranding are a great way to open the conversation about the purpose of gaming as a form of entertainment. We already know that esports is growing and that reason is clear, but the wider games industry still has some questions left unanswered. Games like Fortnite and Apex Legends hold the spotlight on the esports side of things, focusing on high adrenaline violence and strategic possibilities of the game (most of the time), but games are so much more than that for the most part, and sometimes even so much less.

 

2019 has been a great year for detailed, challenging and competitive games, and while the majority of the most popular games released this year will fit under one of these descriptions, the ironically titled Untitled Goose Game released this past September is a stark contrast to all of these. Despite all of this, Goose Game still finds a place on the top shelf. In this world, you play as a Goose whose only goal is to be annoying. Armed with a small list of objectives, a “dedicated honk button” and some time to kill, this game is anything but competitive and is designed for people to be chaotic without consequence – so much that it was feared to give geese a bad name.

 

 

While it’s becoming harder for casual players to related to the games industry as it currently stands, today’s games are becoming more attractive to those same casual players. Not everyone is going to personally try esports, in fact, esports viewership has grown over 10% since last year. People would rather watch it then try to learn the mechanics of all these games themselves and who can blame them? But this means that games that focus on mindless honking or philosophical world views are more accessible to those who want to give gaming a go without being intimidated by the thought of being surrounded by cheaters, obsessive fans and thousands of keys that all do different actions.

 

I always get excited thinking about the future possibilities of gaming. With streaming becoming more popular every day, new players shaking up major competitions and genre-defining games being released every year, there truly is no wrong choice when it comes to picking a new game to play these days. Whether you want to rekindle an old video game passion or look cool in front of the kids, the world is almost literally at your fingertips.

 

Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.

 

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