Opinion: Can we stop pretending that mobile, console and handheld gamers can't all play in the same sandbox?
There's plenty of room for all
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Darren Williams | 02:56 - 21 September 2013
It's not an especially original idea I'll admit and of course there are resolute arguments about how gaming is especially unique, but the segmentation of gaming platforms and genres is increasingly mimicking the segmentation seen within those other primarily visual entertainment media - TV and Movies.
We as consumers of both TV and Cinema accept the inherent differences between Tv and Cinema.
Comparing The Big Bang Project to the Transformers movies is futile, ridiculous and a waste of time because we are so familiar with the "rules" of those media and so subconsciously judge the experience in a contextual way. Both of these franchises exist perfectly happily alongside each other with neither the creators nor the distributors feeling the need to invite a false comparison with each other. Or to suggest that one media is dying. Or that people are stupid or out of touch for enjoying "rival" media or suggesting that daring to cater to the audiences that enjoy those styles of entertainment is a fools errand.
Yet the games industry, being still so relatively young and turbulent, possesses a somewhat teenage level of insecurity that fuels a need to mock dissenters.
Physical media based gaming, as a means of distribution, is becoming outdated. Yet to assess the content, scale and creative choices of that type of game purely because it comes on a silver disc and that someone - gasp - had to go outside to buy it - is a little silly. And ultimately that kind of commentary is disrespectful to those gamers who enjoy a full on AAA TV / monitor based gaming experience. You'll never gain agreement by telling somebody they are wrong.
The next step for the industry is to shed the idea that this is a zero sum game. There are more people than ever playing, enjoying and paying for game content. Let's not think that the future of gaming demands a Stalinist purge of rogue platforms and ideas.
Fraser Ross MacInnes | 15:43 - 20 September 2013
I don't know - you can play a piano concerto on a much more portable nose flute, but I'm not convinced that means we always should.
I have nothing against the idea but I think it's clear that some types of experience just don't work well on certain platforms. Products that transcend platforms with tailored inter-connected experiences are cool, but they are one of those things that get pundits and technologists excited, but have no market proof as mass market propositions.
The concept and the tech has been around long enough now for a meaningful number of good products to emerge that share virtual worlds but which offer different kinds of window through which to explore them - and yet, I can't think any really great examples.
Nicolas Godement-Berline | 15:14 - 20 September 2013
GTAV is an outlier, even more so than the likes of Clash of Clans, Candy Crush Saga or Puzzle & Dragons.
I really don't want big screen TV gaming to die (and don't think it will), but you can't ignore the fact that units shipments are decreasing.
See this article: http://www.asymco.com/2013/09/09/game-over/
Console games arent going to die overnight, but they're certainly losing popularity to mobile games.
Wild prediction: big screen gaming will pick up once again outside of consoles on multi-functionnal consumer devices that happen to play games too, such as smart boxes.
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