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Why Gaming Should Stay Niche

We aren’t  necessarily miraculous people as a whole are we? We are stereotyped to be losers who live in their basements and cultivate harmful character influences from the scary monstrosity that is video games. Biases aside we aren’t spectacular to rest of the world. People don’t gasp in amazement when you say you are a gamer. The love of the medium doesn’t necessarily grant any particular perks. If anything, being a gamer should be something negative for you. But to you, to me, to every other gamer out there it isn’t. From the inside looking out you see an elegant forest with new discoveries waiting at every turn, from the outside it is a charred and desolate field, a foreboding warning to what happens to all who enter it’s blackened reach. It is the knowledge, the emotions we have from being gamers, that prove to us why it is worth it. We know why we are gamers because we are gamers. Gaming used to often be a very niche thing. To an extent it still is. But like all other arts in history, it has been utilized for business purposes, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but businesses have very different objectives when compared to the creative teams behind mediums like interactive entertainment.

If visionaries like Warren Spector become the minority, the industry is in trouble.

Businesses are very much about bringing a product to everyone who will pay for it. Slowly, they can turn something familiar to the dedicated into something foreign to make it appeal to the masses. This is the first issue present with trying to expand gaming. It is party games that can appeal to many people, it’s the family friendly pet simulators and cooking games that cautious parents will buy. The product is changed because the whole point the product is made in the first place is drastically altered. We are also a community because we have something in common, something that runs through us all, a single thread that solely makes up a durable and everlasting quilt. We go to gaming because it is that unexplainable appeal of interactive entertainment, the invisible beauty only we can see. While I am happy to see newcomers to the medium, it dismays me, because I can see so clearly that they don’t get from gaming what we do. Gaming is ours (not to sound overly possessive) because we are so dedicated to loving what gaming brings to the world. It is not to say people who are experience gaming at to a lesser degree are less part of the community, but I can’t help feeling like the more of them that enter, the further from that original tight community we get. It is ripping the original quilt simply for the purpose of resewing bigger.

This is a big a part of Gaming as the games themselves.

PAX, E3, Tokyo Game Show. Gaming is a culture. The more people that get into it that are in no way interested in that culture, the more meaningless the culture becomes in the gaming world. I’ve always considered games to be much more niche than other mediums; movies, books, art, so I feel like we are still relativity secured in our tight community, but companies such as EA, and Activision have thrown the core values of games out the window. It is the sales that matters to them, no longer the quality. Games are just becoming another product on the market. But that is just it, games are so much more than just a product on the market. It is billions of unique experiences, it is a community of like minded individuals who can almost instantly connect with one another, it is values and emotions, and feelings that go beyond sales numbers and advertising campaigns. People who get into it as a minor source of enjoyment are no problem, but games should be designed for the people who understand the medium at such a deeper tier as well. Expansion is not a bad thing, but if games are no longer about gaming, and for gamers, then who, and what is it for?