I say this not to diminish anyone else's experience with these games. I don't even say this as some kind of objective indictment of quality. I say this as an old man standing on the lawn glowering at them damn kids with their motorized scooters and cell phone holsters. I say this as a guy who got too comfortable in time, pulled up a lawn chair and fell asleep as the world marched on and away.
In terms of games and gaming, sometimes I sit down and wonder why it's not 1991 anymore.
Fortunately I'm not alone, and as I launch my 2009 gaming experience, I do so in a whole new way. I am engaged in the enthusiastic pursuits of games like World of Goo, Mount and Blade and even some deep and convoluted wargames. I have the Witcher Enhanced Edition waiting to be fired up and paid proper attention. I have S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky to follow that. These are the kinds of games that will build the foundation of my new gaming year.
This doesn't mean that I intend to abandon the popular releases, or that I won't find myself from time to time kicking up my heels and consuming a console game. I recognize that the platform has value, that it is beloved by millions and that it can produce a kind and quality of experience that my PC never can. I will try to come to the sofa with an open mind and a fresh perspective, but I will not base my impression of the year on the mass market again. It's a terrible disservice to those thousands of smaller, often forgotten developers that are producing exactly the innovation and creative endeavors that I claim to want so badly.
What 2008 has taught me, hopefully for the last time, is that there is nothing sillier than clamoring for that which already exists. Sitting on the couch complaining endlessly about the experience of too many console games, while thousands of games that are exactly the kind of thing I like to play wait just under surface, is stupid in a magnificent way.
My days of being "that guy" are, I hope, at an end.
Sean Sands is a freelance gaming writer, the co-founder of gamerswithjobs.com and a consummate PC connoisseur. You kids with your fancy bump mapping and anti-aliasing; why in my day you were a square on the screen, and you loved it!