The Mainstream is Coming!

The Mainstream is Coming!

Every gamer knows the moments when he or she realized their hobby had opened up to the mainstream. Tycho Brahe reveals his moment, and the emergence of what he calls 'Gamer Mark II'.

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Tycho... On the Escapist....
I can only hope there will be more in the future. I myself am indubitably Mark II, but mainstream isn't always a bad thing. It means gaming will be accepted more quickly, and there's more money in the industry to make good games. No matter how you look at it, the more games made, the better. Well, maybe not, but that's my opinion.

If anyone else wrote this article I'd be linking to the Penny Arcade comic where Gabe and Tycho go and buy Halo 2. Now I feel kind of small and sad for considering it.

Anyhow, I've been watching the gaming industry swell over into the mainstream and feel a sense of satisfaction out of being a part of it for some 21 years of my 25 years of life. The fact that it's a multibillion dollar industry now, that gaming tournaments are now being taken somewhat seriously and growing in popularity every year: these things don't surprise me exactly, but I'm pleased by it. I like videogames and the more mainstream recognition they receive the better. The fact that there's so much media coverage over the desire to implement an R18+ classification for videogames in Australia to keep so many games being banned by default after they were refused classification by the OFLC kind of blows my mind. Of course being federal/state government policy it needs to be discussed seriously by serious men in expensive suits, but the fact that it's such a big issue is kind of insane. It's as though the mainstream media is taking it seriously and almost in a positive way, though some do have a tendency to jump to the FOX News style alarmist reporting that has people believing that R-Rated games would either consist entirely of porn, or ultraviolent games that teach us how to viciously murder like Manhunt 2. As if allowing this evil into the country would suddenly corrupt children, like they have no faith in our ratings system and the regulations for sales of these items. Yes, some children get ahold of alcohol, tobacco, and porn. But then, some manage to get their hands on narcotics and firearms. Clearly it's not a point-of-sale ID check system that's failing us.
Me, I just want to play Dark Sector - hopefully I'll be able to sometime soon.

Granted, with the advent of the Mark II gamer as you put it there's been a plethora of drawbacks - I feel that if the gaming community were still made up primarily of the core audience we'd be having more fun in online multiplayer, but without developments that led to the expansion of the gaming community I guess we wouldn't have such well developed online multiplayer. I guess being subject to unsportsmanlike conduct in Halo 3 (more commonly referred to by me in my living room as "an assraping") is something I can tolerate given how much more I've gained.

i personal hate gamers markII. the commercialization of something you love is always painful

I cannot deny that this is so, but then what? Are you saying it's a good or bad thing? Or is it just different? It's not like we didn't see it coming at any rate. And i can't exactly say that i think there has been some sort of drastic crash in quality games because of casual games. The only notable effect so far is that there has been a huge influx of crap games beside the good ones that we still want to play. I guess that drags down the percentage of good games but at the moment i can't see my little "hard core" corner of the gaming industry to be in any sense diminished.

Hah! First issue!

I guess in some ways, Tycho was right.

Tycho on the Escapist. The moons have aligned, the power of Castle Greyskull is upon us.

This is a topic we've all been talking around but not about for some time. The mainstreaming of gaming, for better or worse. On the one hand it means one can make a true living out of gaming (wether developing or playing), it means greater production values, it means glitzier graphics and advertisements and more money for more AWESOME. But it also means... the wussification of our past time to make it more palatable. Sharp edges are ground away and capped with rubber so no one from the mainstream punctures their soft heads. The medium is somewhat dumbed down and made less edgy and dangerous as it goes for the big bucks. More is possible, but more becomes unlikly/unprofitable/unadvisable for developers.

Look ye at Nascar- WAIT, WHAT? How can you draw a link between gaming, nerdyest of the nerdy nerd habits ye foolish marsupial, and Nascar- red neckiest of the red necky red neck past times? Simple- in the old days, Nascar was effectivly a bunch of guys with souped up hot rods they used to run moonshine whipping around a circular track at unsafe speeds whilst people watched, hooted, and got lit up. As it became mainstream, safety measures were added (which were good), but also the original soul of the sport was replaced for something more palatable and profitable. Instead of rude, crude, confident cavaliers and gladiators duking it out in their hot rods, we now have clean shaven and sober metrosexual rocket scientists running stock equipment thats allowed to have very little variation. Oh, and people still get lit up. The point is, the mainstreaming of Nascar CHANGED it irrevocably- not necessarily for the better, for anyone who finds it boring as watching paint dry.

This doesn't necessarily mean the future of gaming is full of doom, failure, and wailing and gnashing of teeth. So long as the industry is driven by passionate, creative gamers (your Valve's, your Bioware's, your Stardock's etc) and not slick corporate a-holes right out of an 80's movie (EA, EA, and uh... EA?) then there will always be a place for the true gaming nerd, as well as a place for the casual gamer.

So, in summation- Destroy EA before it destroys us. Vote for me.

My name is Tsunami Wombat and I approved this message.

the fifth:
i personal hate gamers markII. the commercialization of something you love is always painful

Gaaaaaaaah! Video games were always commercial! They have always been produced and sold for money: at no point during their existence were they ever an exclusively 'not for profit' medium. If you're talking about the fact that things are being run a lot harder and profit margins are being widened with metaphorical spreaders, I'll give you a point. But video games have always been commercial.

Anyways, sidetracked rant over: I think it's awesome to have Tycho Brae writing for the Escapist. One of the most powerful men in the gaming industry as a whole (due in no small part to owning PAX, and the fact that an insulting Penny Arcade writeup means thousands of lost sales) is writing for one of the most reputable and open gaming sites, now gone to print.

Awesome.

I like how pretty much the same issues are still being discussed today, new types of gamers are entering the culture and everyone already involved is worried or annoyed. Good bit of nostalgia read there but still perfectly relevent

TsunamiWombat:
So long as the industry is driven by passionate, creative gamers (your Valve's, your Bioware's, your Stardock's etc) and not slick corporate a-holes right out of an 80's movie (EA, EA, and uh... EA?) then there will always be a place for the true gaming nerd, as well as a place for the casual gamer.

So, in summation- Destroy EA before it destroys us. Vote for me.

My name is Tsunami Wombat and I approved this message.

Yes, I'm quoting what you wrote three years ago but you deserve props. Not only did you call EA for what they would be, but now they have their grubby hands on Bioware. People should have listened to you.

 

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