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Another Golden Age of Gaming?

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the not-golden-until-mass-effect dept.


An anonymous reader writes "Julian Murdoch over at Gamers With Jobs thinks that this is the best time ever to be a gamer. In his conversation with a (one suspects hypothetical) kid in a library, he engages in a bit of a rant on the topic: 'He's me when I was 16. Everything sucked. But I'm glad I talked to him, because it turns out I needed to hear myself say it all. For all of my daily kvetching, this is the best time ever to be a gamer, because the games are good. We can bitch all we want about console wars, prices, fanboyitis, and those games which do, in fact, suck. But at the end of the day, there are more different games out there than ever before, from the oh-so-pretty Oblivion to Guitar Hero to Dwarf Fortress. From Magic: the Gathering to Pokemon (laugh all you want, it's a good game). From Heroscape to Warhammer 40k.' So what do you think? In the midst of all the negative campaigning in the console wars, is this another golden age of gaming?"

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Steam (5, Interesting)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137423)

Although there are plenty of people who hate Steam, I think what Valve has done ever since Half Life originally came out has contributed. By making a good game that is easy to mod, they have opened the door for thousands of future game makers. Not only do mods create a platform to create lots of games, some good, some not, but their method of distribution allows the good mods to be further developed into viable commercial products. And I can just download them and they run in a few minutes.

Not everything I have bought I really liked (Sin Episodes, for example...) but for less money, hassle and installation concerns than traditional games, they have made trying new games out much easier, and increased the total number of good games on the market.

Re:Steam (2, Interesting)

edremy (36408) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137486)

I have to agree here. I bought The Ship the other day. This is a game that would *never* make it into stores, yet is one of the most innovative FP(S/B/S/P)*es I've seen. Hopefully others out there will have fun innovating- although i don't own a console stuff like XBox live gives great little games a chance to actually make it in the marketplace.


Re:Steam (2, Interesting)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137605)

I am salivating after seeing the trailers for TF2 and Portal, which will be bundled with HL2/Episode 2. I didn't even care about Portal until I saw the trailer. Looks very different than other games, and appears to be a total mind screw, forcing you to forget what you know about physics and learning to think extra dimensionally. They said pricing for Ep2 will be between normal Episode prices and full game prices ($20 and $60) but I don't think even full price will slow down the purchases, just for Team Fortress 2.

Re:Steam (3, Informative)

LMN8R (979699) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137896)

The Ship and soon-to-be DEFCON are perfect examples. Best $15 I ever spent on a game for The Ship, and $10 for an innovative game like DEFCON seems like a steal.

People who bitch about Steam suck. It's by far one of the best things to happen to the gaming industry. Just read hear for more:
Interview with Troika Games []

"Why Steam... the reason Steam is so fantastic, is because the game can be developed and distributed without any publisher involvement. Laidback will get to keep the IP, which means that the idea and world the game takes place in will still be ours. Laidback can make a great title, put it up there and people can download it for less than they'd pay in the stores. On top of that, Laid Back will only need to sell a very small number of copies to recoup its cost and keep the company going.

To help everyone better understand, I will explain Publisher funding vs. Developer return process. I'm going to simplify it a lot, but this is more or less how it works.... and it's really quite amazing...

After they agree to fund your game for 6 million, you begin production. They give you 500k a month upon receiving, reviewing, and approving your milestone. They are basically checking every month to make sure the game is actually being made and going in a good direction Fair enough. To keep things easy, let's say the game ships on time and they've given you a clean 6 million bucks.

Ready?.... You get 10% of the royalties of the game! So like if the game sells 1 million units at Electronics Boutique for 50 bucks a piece, you get 5 million dollars coming back at you right?!??!


EB bought the game for 40 dollars and sells it for 50. Now the publisher takes away their expenses of producing the full color manual and the pretty box and such which we'll say is 10 bucks (usually more like 7, but let's keep the math easy). So now we are down to 30 bucks, and you get 10% of that... 3 bucks.... but WAIT!!! Your 3 dollars doesn't go into your pocket, your 3 bucks goes to pay back the publisher what you borrowed to make the game. They did give you 6 million dollars. So before the developer see's a check in the mail, you would have to sell 2 million units!!!!! So the developer before the developer gets a check, the publisher gets 30 million dollars coming in.

Crazy huh?

So why choose Steam? I have chosen Steam because if you buy Valves engine to make your game with, you get to keep 100% of what you sell on Steam. That's right 100%. So using our math from above, if I can sell the game on Steam for 30 bucks and cost 6 million to make, I'll be seeing a check after the game sells 200k units instead of 2 million. AND the check I get for the units I sell will be 10 times more than it would be from a publisher AND after all this wonderfulness, you guys all get the game for 30 bucks instead of 50....

It's an all around winner.

If Troika was able to sell the games they made through Steam and sold only a 1/4 of the units they did, they'd be thriving today and everyone would have really cool RPG's to play. The more people who download, install, and actively use Steam the better. It's really small developers only hope to get their games out to people.

As far as the game being in a boxed version, it's possible... but I would wait until the game is close to completion before I entertained the idea of a publisher putting it on the shelf. If the game is done and there is a lot of buzz around it, then the developer holds all the cards could get a better deal out of it. Valve would also have their concerns as well and I would want to make sure the wonderful world of Steam would take TOP priority.

Re:Steam (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#16138354)

I know you didn't write this, but out of curiosity. Does anyone know how these independant developers fund themselves. I mean the advantage of a publisher is they give you money to make the game upfront.

Re:Steam (1)

LMN8R (979699) | more than 7 years ago | (#16138492)

No idea, but there are always people willing to invest in a good product if there's a good idea and smart people behind it. It's just that pretty much, the current game development world is so messed up with such horrible gouging by publishers that *any* alternative is better. Steam is allowing that to change, slowly but surely, and will hopefully become more widespread so that any independent game developer with a good idea can make it.

Re:Steam (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 7 years ago | (#16138925)

If you read below, Valve will sometimes support developers if they already have a decent prototype. DoD started out as a completely independent mod to HL1, and valve basically bought them out. Also, developing a game for steam, if it used the Source engine or not, is less expensive because the return is so much higher for the game maker. You don't have to sell a million copies to break even. Nothing to print, no stores to stock (which is always on consignment...), no disks to press.

The real beauty of this is that Valve demostrated that as a platform/publisher/creator of games, their 'open' method is profitable. I remember reading somewhere that over 80% of online PC gamers are playing a Steam/Valve game. Where everyone else wants to sue people for modding their games, Valve gives away the SDK and tools for free. And is laughing all the way to the bank.

Re:Steam (1)

Ant P. (974313) | more than 7 years ago | (#16138712)

Until Steam works as well as Unreal Engine/Doom3 engine games do on Mac/Linux (i.e. natively), it's irrelevant for most slashdotters.

Re:Steam (1)

LMN8R (979699) | more than 7 years ago | (#16138798)

And luckily Slashdotters don't make up even a remote portion of all the gamers out there, so developers can focus valuable time on developing for one extremely popular platform instead of three platforms, two of which would give the developers next to nothing in terms of revenue back.

Re:Steam (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 7 years ago | (#16139253)

Until Steam works as well as Unreal Engine/Doom3 engine games do on Mac/Linux (i.e. natively), it's irrelevant for most slashdotters.

according to the sites stats most of us are on win32 machines at least when we log onto slashdot. So it's relavant for most fo use, at elast for the time we can access slashdot.

People who bitch about Steam suck. (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 7 years ago | (#16139183)

Your comment pisses me off, there. I own the original Half-Life, and I bought the Bronze (6 CD) edition of HL2. I get on steam, Steam changes my Half Life 1 and does it's 'upgrades' then tells me my CD key is in use, registered to another user. Same with my HL2. I can't play either game I paid for, and while it was far too late for a refund for the original HL, they refused to take my HL2 back and give me a refund or even attempt to remey a god-damned thing. I just lost money, FOR NOTHING. So I've got a reason to bitch about Steam, fuck you very much.

Re:People who bitch about Steam suck. (1)

LMN8R (979699) | more than 7 years ago | (#16139234)

You think that Steam games are the only ones to have stolen CD keys that prevent other people from playing?

With absolutely any game out there, if you want to update to the latest version you are 100% screwed if someone took your CD key. It sucks, but it's not Steam's fault either. In fact, I don't even have a CD Key for any of my Steam games because I bought them online - making it impossible to steal my CD key.

Solution? Install the game off your original CDs, and get the latest offline patch from before Steam was released. Simple as that. It won't fix your stolen CD key, but you can't do any better with any other game that someone stole a CD key from either.

Your problem isn't Steam's fault, it's the fault of the dickwad with the keygen who stole your CD key. Steam, if it has anything to do with this, prevents the problem from happening in the first place.

Kids are Growing Up To Fast (3, Funny)

neonprimetime (528653) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137435)

"Halo 2 was cool. You like First Person Shooters?"

"I guess. It's getting boring though. I used to play on Xbox live, but there are all these 8-year-olds in Kansas and sh*t that spend all day practicing and they just kick everyone's ass."

How is it that we allow these damn 8 years olds to whoop up on us? We need to quite our jobs now and take back our titles!

Re:Kids are Growing Up To Fast (1)

DarkLox (621089) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137447)

You KNOW we are getting bad when not only do we have 8 year old kids schooling us on Xbox Live, but when there are 8 year olds TEACHING adults how to play halo for $25/hr (article link escapes me though..fairly recent)

Re:Kids are Growing Up To Fast (1)

repruhsent (672799) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137481)

Kids are growing up so fast that they don't know when to use "too" instead of "to."

Re:Kids are Growing Up To Fast (1)

Psmylie (169236) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137878)

I won't need to quit if I keep goofing round on Slashdot...

not quite at the top yet (1)

aleksiel (678251) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137438)

i think we still have a little while left to climb before we really hit a golden age.

we might be around the same height as the last golden age, but there's great potential to go even higher in the next few months. ps3, wii, wow expansion, all of them have the the ability to raise the bar (or drop it, whichever).

Whatever (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16137443)

With the Tokyo Game Show this week, the PS3 pre-order mania hitting the US, more and more PS3 launch games being show...

With the Wii hype going away like a balloon making fart sounds while deflating...

And the Xbox 360 still dead in the market...

We get worthless crap like this article. No wonder Slashdot is being abandoned by geeks for newer and better sites.

Golden Age? Hah (5, Insightful)

DarkFencer (260473) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137448)

What Golden age? The huge amount of sequals of previous games, and games based on crappy movie, cartoon, book, etc. licenses? Having 25 different '2007' editions of various sports games with very little additions to them does not mean quality.

The problem is now the cost of making mass market games is so prohibitively expensive that few companies are willing to take a risk and do something different.

Don't get me wrong. There are some good games out now but calling it a Golden Age is a bit much in my opinion.

Re:Golden Age? Hah (1)

Tickenest (544722) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137543)

What Golden age? The huge amount of sequals of previous games, and games based on crappy movie, cartoon, book, etc. licenses? Having 25 different '2007' editions of various sports games with very little additions to them does not mean quality. Yes, because there were not crappy movie, cartoon, or book licenses ever at any other time ever ever ever. Oh, and sequels were not invented until 2004, right?

Re:Golden Age? Hah (3, Insightful)

AcidLacedPenguiN (835552) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137993)

Sure sequels have been around for awhile but now the game industry is DRIVEN by these, not by new ideas.

Re:Golden Age? Hah (2, Insightful)

rabbot (740825) | more than 7 years ago | (#16138010)

Mod parent up.

This is exactly the problem with games today. Everyone is playing it safe's Hollywood. Nobody wants to take risks or just make fun and challenging games anymore. There are FAR fewer good games these days. Don't let pretty graphics and sound fool you.

I can't honestly believe that anyone that has been gaming since the 80s can say that this is another golden age and keep a straight face...

Re:Golden Age? Hah (2, Insightful)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 7 years ago | (#16138616)

I've been gaming since the 70's- and I think this is the golden age.

I can go out and buy a game that has better mini-games than anything that was made in the 80's. An easy, if over-used example would be Geometry Wars, which was just a small part of Project Gotham Racing 2.

The on-line gaming space is absolutely fantastic now. Not only are there millions of opportunities for you to get a game going, but the games actually WORK. Just last night I was playing Call of Duty 2 on my Xbox 360. Rooms would fill up with 8 people in just about 1 minute. The lag was imperceptible, the automatic matchmaking meant that the competition was good- AND we could all chat while playing!

In the 1980's I couldn't even dream that I would be able to TALK to a player who was thousands of miles away, as we planned our attack on 4 opposing human players in a fairly realistic 3d world. And while I was crouched, protecting our radio (headquarters) I could tell where the enemy was using my surround sound system. And when the enemy finally made it to the door, my team-mate sniper could tell me "move to the left, I have a clear shot".

Maybe this isn't for you. Maybe you would rather play a game by yourself, pushing colored blocks around while sub-midi quality music played repetitively through your speakers.

I do remember multi-player in the 80's it was a lot of fun. My friends and I would sit around a computer and take turns playing a game. (Whoever lost the last city in Missle Command would get pummeled by the rest of us.) It was great fun. Now I have the option of Internet gaming, OR we can still gather around one box and play. (I do both)

As someone who has been gaming consistently for 30 years (sadly...yes, for 30 years consistently and nearly constantly) it is my opinion that games have never been better.

Re:Golden Age? Hah (1)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 7 years ago | (#16138148)

Come on, I bet if you split the past two decades up into two or three year 'ages', the fraction of great, good, mediocre and crap games would be fairly constant.

I wouldn't call this a golden age, but things certainly aren't as bad as some people make out. Apart from anything else, sequels aren't always a bad thing (Pikmin 2, for example).

Re:Golden Age? Hah (1)

DarkFencer (260473) | more than 7 years ago | (#16138596)

I'm not saying things are the bottom of the barrel, I'm just saying its far from a 'Golden Age' as the article supposes. There are few companies taking risks now due to the extreme cost of games, whereas it was much easier in the 80s, 90s, or even earlier in this decade to do so.

To another poster - yes there have ALWAYS been games tied to licenses (movies, books, etc.) it just seems the percentage of games which are not licensed off of previous content or a sequal to a previous game is EXTREMELY small.

Re:Golden Age? Hah (2, Insightful)

teflaime (738532) | more than 7 years ago | (#16138636)

The huge amount of sequals of previous games, and games based on crappy movie, cartoon, book, etc. licenses? Having 25 different '2007' editions of various sports games with very little additions to them does not mean quality.

The game publishing industry is driven mostly by the same people who drive the rest of the entertainment industry (after all, most game publishers are owned by mega-media corporations). This means that the game publishing industry will be stodgily uncomfortable with risk. Risk to these people is anything that hasn't made money before; ergo, you will see lots of sequels (most crappy, the rare one occasionally good), lots of games based on other properties that have made money. That's just the way media corporations function.

Re:Golden Age? Hah (1)

andy_fish (557104) | more than 7 years ago | (#16138795)

What Golden age? The huge amount of sequals of previous games, and games based on crappy movie, cartoon, book, etc. licenses? Having 25 different '2007' editions of various sports games with very little additions to them does not mean quality.

You're judging the current state of gaming by looking at the worst examples. Yes there's a lot of crap out there right now, but I think there's always going to be crap. Don't focus on the crap.

If you sift through the crap and instead focus on the best examples of gaming, I think the author is right, there's an amazing variety of innovative games out there right now.

Re:Golden Age? Hah (1)

twistedsymphony (956982) | more than 7 years ago | (#16138936)

  • 1. Those are all trademarks of last generation, now we Steam on the PC, XNA express/Xbox Live Market place on the Xbox 360, and the Virtual Console on the Wii to bring back Indy innovation with viable distribution models... Releasing us of our dependence on publisher cranking up the sequel machine. With Indy players taking a piece of the pie it will encourage the big industry players to start innovating to compete...
  • 2. That's not even taking into account all the ideas surely buzzing through their heads with how to leverage things like the Wii-mote and newly available download distribution models available across the board.
  • 3. From a Technological stand point we're hitting the next plateau graphically. Games evolved in 2D for quite some time, Atari 2600, then they improved during the time of 8bit consoles and they hit their peak during the 16bit console era (SNES, Genesis), they've only improved marginally since then. Then we had early 3D stuff the PS1 and Saturn had fairly basic graphics, PS2 and Xbox dramatically improved on that but they still weren't perfect and now with the latest crop of consoles we're reaching a graphical plateau where a lot of the graphical shortcomings are more Dependant on developer effort then system performance. Whenever you reach a graphical plateau the effort pushes more towards other areas, like solid gameplay, good level design and a better story.
Through all of that of course the PC was evolving with the consoles, typically a half step ahead. I didn't RTFA but that's my impression of the coming generation (Xbox360, Wii, PS3, and the latest PC tech)... IMO we wont start seeing the fruits of the golden age until sometime next year with but a teaser this holiday.

What's So Bad About Sequals? (1)

ricree (969643) | more than 7 years ago | (#16139148)

I don't see how having a lot of sequals are bad things. Many of the best games I've ever played are sequals, such as Baldur's Gate 2, Galactic Civilizations 2, both Medieval and Rome Total War, Caesar 3, ect. This isn't like movies where sequals are very often blatant cash grabs. In many cases, game sequals are honest attempts to improve upon their predecessors, and in many cases they are successful.

Golden Age? (1)

techpawn (969834) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137451)

I'm not sure we'll ever reach the craze of the old NES but if anyone can really bring a golden age back to consoles it's the big N. As for TTG/CCG, I think the smaller companys are making more great games.

I'll take what he's smoking (5, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137462)

From Wikipedia [] :
The term Golden age stems from Greek mythology and Roman poets. It refers to a time in the beginnings of Humanity which was perceived as an ideal state, or utopia, when mankind was pure and immortal.

By definition, we can't have a Golden Age of Gaming again, any more than we can have a Golden Age of movies. The early days of when gaming hit its stride are long gone. Yes, we fondly remember when the Wizards and Gurus sat down at their keyboards and worked their black magic to do the impossible. It seemed like the sky was the limit, and new concepts for games were coming out every other day. There were pushes into story-driven games, first person perspective games, simulation games, action games, puzzle games, etc. Each magazine or software catalog that came in the mail delivered new surprises and wonders. It was all very new and VERY exciting!

Where we're at today is not a Golden Age. All the basic, conceptual groundwork has been laid. So we instead focus on providing the most immersive experience possible. Many of these games can be fun in their own right, but they simply don't compare to the excitement of seeing Duke Nukem' for the first time, or coaxing Wing Commander to run on your PC. It's nothing like the awe at playing Tetris on a portable system for the first time, or making Mario fly through the clouds on a cape. Those were totally, completely, and unabashingly wonderous things for a wonderous time.

I think Nintendo manages to capture some of that with the Nintendo DS. However, gaming will never be virgin territory again. That's just the way it is. :)

Re:I'll take what he's smoking (3, Insightful)

mustafap (452510) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137507)

>All the basic, conceptual groundwork has been laid.

That was said in the 70's about computer science,
and in the 60's about artifical intelligence,
and in the 19th century about physics.

In other words, I doubt it.

Re:I'll take what he's smoking (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137554)

That was said in the 70's about computer science,

Which is true. 90% of CompSci today was developed before they had computers capable of using it. Everything from Data Structures to Computational Theory to 3D Algorithms to Audio Synthesis were all developed starting in the 60's and tapering off in the 80's. Most of today's research builds on those findings.

and in the 60's about artifical intelligence,

That doesn't make any sense. Why would Artificial Intelligence be developed before CompSci was? I think you meen AI in the 80's, which was a big period for AI Systems. Especially those developed in LISP environments.

and in the 19th century about physics.

Late 19th to early 20th, actually. Everything from Relativity to Quantum Physics was developed in an incredibly short period of time. All the secrets of the Universe were unfolding at an incredible rate as the long years of research finally began to bare fruit. We can only WISH that physics progressed that fast today.

Re:I'll take what he's smoking (-1, Troll)

mustafap (452510) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137580)

>Why would Artificial Intelligence be developed before CompSci was? I think you meen AI in the 80's,

You obviously don't know much about AI.

Re:I'll take what he's smoking (3, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137677)

You obviously don't know much about AI.

Oh yes, very snappy comeback. (*rolls eyes*)

Artificial Intelligence was one of the defining goals of Computer Science. It's been on the table since computers were first developed. Yes, most of the concepts developed alongside CompSci in the 60's and 70's. But to call the 60's the "Golden Age of AI" shows a distinct lack of understanding to what "Golden Age" means in a modern context.

The "Golden Age" is the period of discovery proceding the invention. It's usually offset by a period of time while the concept of the invention is assessed. Using the example of the Telegraph, the invention was the Optical Telegraph in the 18th century, but the "Golden Age" (sometimes referred to as the "Victorian Internet") didn't occur until the electric telegraph caught on in the 19th century. The "Golden Age" ended when the telegraph system became highly automated, thus disbanding the large network of operators. (The telegraph operators were a lot like the BBS users of the 80's and 90's.)

Similarly, videogames as we know them were invented in the early 1970's, but didn't experience their "Golden Age" until the 80's when the concept truly took off.

The second and latter golden ages... (1)

Rhys (96510) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137563)

Just require more great people to initiate. I think it is 3 for the second, 4 four the third, and so on. Not that I ever use great people for that, but I hear you could.

(Oblig Civ4 ref.)

Re:I'll take what he's smoking (1)

Dinny (16499) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137571)

I agree with you that this is not currently a Golden Age by the defination. But by that defination there never was a Golden Age of gaming. Golden Age is a loaded term that only works if you think things where better then they are now. The Greeks and Romans looked back and thought that there was some historic time when gods and men walked the earth and everything was sweetness and light. Much like Eden. Then Man's nature caused us to fall and everything has been shit since then.

If you look at historical evidence. Life in all regards has gotten nothing but better for all of human history (minus short local minimas).

Now I think that the reviewer was using the term Golden Age in a different sense. I think that they believe this is the best time to be a gamer there has ever been. Which I heartily agree with.

Re:I'll take what he's smoking (2, Interesting)

EMeta (860558) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137939)

I've been waiting for my entire gaming existance for there to be good controls on which I can swing something and a sword swings on a screen somewhere. I certainly think immersion is a wonderful goal that we are on the verge of achieving. That games haven't had accelerometers in their controllers already puzzles me, but I think a new age of gaming can now begin.

Re:I'll take what he's smoking (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 7 years ago | (#16138399)

FanBoy much?

But seriously its a new idea, but I don't know many who have been waiting all this time for it :)

Re:I'll take what he's smoking (1)

ifrag (984323) | more than 7 years ago | (#16138591)

I played this Star Wars game in a demo kiosk one time. The guy pretty much was swinging the lightsabre the way I was using the right thumstick. With a bit of finetunage that's really good enough for me. I think it's nice to see nintendo attempting it, but I have this feeling like it's not always going to feel right in actual useage. Assuming the device itself is accurate and responsive enough it'll really be up to the programmers to make it a good alternative to traditional control types.

You're emphasizing on the etymology of the word (1)

Programmer_In_Traini (566499) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137963)

I think you're just emphasizing on the basics of the expression (Golden Age) but like anything, the expression "Golden Age" has various meanings. in this example i would say it means more an era, a state where everything is just simpler, broad, easy and trouble-free. (like the 70s was the golden age of pot and steamy windshields!!)

In the case of the article, I believe golden age is right. With the current state of the market, every type of gamer can find their fair share of games. young, teen, adult, seniors, they can all play and from various source like consoles, cell phones, PCs, portable console and each source offers a pletora of styles and each styles has a truckload of titles.

Sure you can refer to the 70s-80s as the golden age if you like but it was not as golden as it is now. Back then, ok so we had pacman, defender, pong and they ARE classics but they only appealed to a small portion of people - compared to what gaming is today we might want to call it the jurassic age (which came WAY before greeks and their golden age of mythology). then things evolved so much that right now, its a free for all - you wanna game, sure ok, choose your style, choose your game and play!

Re:You're emphasizing on the etymology of the word (2, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16138136)

In the case of the article, I believe golden age is right. With the current state of the market, every type of gamer can find their fair share of games. young, teen, adult, seniors, they can all play and from various source like consoles, cell phones, PCs, portable console and each source offers a pletora of styles and each styles has a truckload of titles.

Your interpretation of "Golden Age" leaves something to be desired. Again from Wikipedia [] :
A golden age is often ascribed to the years immediately following some technological innovation. It is during this time that writers and artists ply their skills to this new medium. Therefore, there are Golden Ages of both radio and television. During this nascent phase the technology allows new ideas to be expressed, as new art forms flower quickly into new areas.

It goes on to give several examples that are consistent with this definition, including a Golden Age of Videogames.

This is backed by Princeton's WordNet [] :
golden age (a time period when some activity or skill was at its peak) "it was the golden age of cinema"

The problem with your definition is that any period with an abundance of a technology or art would be the "Golden Age" of that subject. Which would mean that the "Golden Age" of Science Fiction was the 80's and 90's, with a new "Golden Age" appearing today. This is blatently incorrect. The Golden Age of Science Fiction [] was a period between the 40's and 50's when the concepts regularly used in today's SciFi were developed.

The term you're looking for is probably "Renaissance". As in, we are experiencing a rebirth of fun Videogames in abundance. Thus, a "Videogame Renaissance".

Re:You're emphasizing on the etymology of the word (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 7 years ago | (#16138649)

You're playing word games to claim that the well-known definition of "Golden Age" isn't actually the definition of "Golden Age." A Golden Age is simply a period with an abundance of top-quality work. You can put it in the title of a Slashdot article, and every single person will know what is meant - including you, I'm sure, when you're not busy making up things to be pedantic about.

How the term supposedly originated, or the qualities of the period it is "often ascribed" to, is not the same as an actual definition.

Re:You're emphasizing on the etymology of the word (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#16139010)

How the term supposedly originated, or the qualities of the period it is "often ascribed" to, is not the same as an actual definition.

So your point is that we should continue to beg questions rather than raise them, make light of topics that should have light shed on them, and get in cues (for movies?) rather than lining up for a queue.

Words and phrases mean what they mean. There is nothing wrong with attempting to be precise rather than accepting colloquial definitions at face value.

In the case of this article, I believe that the author is referring to *now* as the "Golden Age" of gaming. However, I have pointed out that the Golden Age has already come and gone. It may be a great time for gaming (arguable in of itself), but it certainly is not THE Golden Age or even A Golden Age, no matter your definition.

Re:You're emphasizing on the etymology of the word (1)

zoomzit (860737) | more than 7 years ago | (#16138921)

In the case of the article, I believe golden age is right. With the current state of the market, every type of gamer can find their fair share of games.

You are absolutely right! I can play adventure games to my heart's content!

No? Oh right, that was that other "golden age" when LucasArts actually made interesting games rather than repeatedly dropping Star Wars turds.

Re:I'll take what he's smoking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16139111)

I disagree. Gaming will always be virgin territory - until we get "plug - and - play" attachments to go with "Bunny Ranch '31".

bit generations (3, Interesting)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137468)

At the suggestion of a friend, I decided to check out some of Nintendo's "bit Generation" series of games for the GBA (Japanese only at the moment, but there's no text in the games anyways). The games are designed to be pseudo-retro in terms of graphics and gameplay (read: simplistic), but man are they fun! I highly recommend everyone try out Orbital. For a game that only uses two buttons (more gravity, less gravity), it certainly is engaging (and frustrating). As long as there are companies out there that are willing to keep things simple for those of us who like games they can just pick up, then the golden age will continue for a long time.

Re:bit generations (1)

Scoth (879800) | more than 7 years ago | (#16138989)

This is one reason why I bought and spend a good portion of my down-time gaming on a GB Micro with a flash card and a few dozen NES games. They're quick, easy, and with save states I can save and quit anytime. So many games these days require large investments of time to make even minor progress takes a good long while. Both my fiancee and I took forever to get through SMA 3: Yoshi's Island because the levels are so dang long and don't have any kind of in-level save.

That said, I do love the occasional marathon gaming session with HL2 and similar. It's just most of my gaming time comes in short bursts.

The Golden Age or the Revolution? (5, Insightful)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137469)

When it comes to media, I'll take a revolution over a golden age any day.

What I mean by that is there are no new genre defining games coming out anymore. Maybe it's because we've reached hardware & software limitations or maybe it's because no one is willing to risk it with so many popularized genres out there to make a buck off of.

But at the end of the day, there are more different games out there than ever before, from the oh-so-pretty Oblivion to Guitar Hero to Dwarf Fortress.
This is true and I applaud games like Guitar Hero or even Um Jammer Lammy ... although I've never played Dwarf Fortress or Oblivion, Oblivion seems like a new twist on a way too common engine. Unfortunately, the makers of Guitar Hero are already making a Guitar Hero 2. How many before they channel their resources and creativity on another concept? I think franchises stifle creativity -- yes, even our beloved franchises like Final Fantasy & Legend of Zelda.

One would think (or hope) that with internet connections for consoles and the MMORPG world conquered by World of Warcraft that we would be seeing a lot of innovation. Unfortunately, I'm beginning to see less and less innovation and a whole lot more 'safety' games. Indeed, this is a golden age ... but if I visit IGN and search for Madden [] , it returns 115 results. Yes, I know it's been on every console and PC since the dawn of games ... but, for Christ's sake, when will it die? There is a proper time to lay a game to rest. I'm very much convinced that EA relies mainly on disposable games and sequels for 95% of their profits. Golden age indeed!

Re:The Golden Age or the Revolution? (2, Interesting)

ExPacis (973499) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137511)

I definitely agree. The entire article was about choices, which do not reflect a Golden Age, just choices and opinions on games.

Most games now are based on an equation -- how little money can I put into it and still retain enough of a profit to do it again next game? I've yet to find a game that is truly ground-breaking as of late.

MMOs all follow the same pattern - grind, grind, grind.
FPS' all follow the same pattern - shoot, upgrade, shoot.
RPGs all follow the same pattern - predictable plot twist, romantic interest, revealing dialogue.

It's been a long time since I've sat down after a game and just gone "...Whoa."

Golden Age? Hardly. But there is quite a selection.

Re:The Golden Age or the Revolution? (2, Informative)

Swift(void) (655825) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137970)

MMOs all follow the same pattern - grind, grind, grind. FPS' all follow the same pattern - shoot, upgrade, shoot.
Uhh, honestly, what do you expect? It might be a bit anal here, but:

1) For MMOs, when it comes down to it, subscribers will consume content far far far quicker than you can make, test and deploy it, so MMOs need something repeatable that offers rewards after x repeats to keep people playing. No matter how much innovation you do, youll eventually hit this wall. If you cant keep your players playing, it doesnt matter how many awesome advancements you have made, your players will leave. The real trick is making the grind enjoyable. WoW has dismally failed in some cases (Cenarion Circle) and succeeded in others (IMO Argent Dawn rep succeeds, since there are 2 zones to earn it off normal mobs while levelling, 2 5 mans and a 40 man instance that gives rep)

2) Well...duh. Pure FPS games have always been shoot shoot shoot upgrade and shoot some more. Its what a pure FPS is. Its when you start mixing genres that the formula changes, but then, your not talking straight FPS games anymore.

Re:The Golden Age or the Revolution? (1)

ExPacis (973499) | more than 7 years ago | (#16138144)

Granted, sure, but it seems all games seem to skip what (IMO) the original intent of a game is -- to tell a story.

You have MMOs that tell stories, sure, but who reads them? Who cares about them? Not the normal subscriber, no way.

The same goes for FPS. Most players just want things to shoot, not storyline, not plot, not character progression.

Sure, the earliest games told barely any story and were equations (save the Princess comes to mind as the most popular). Just sayin'. Back in the day and all.

Re:The Golden Age or the Revolution? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16137595)

Indeed, this is a golden age ... but if I visit IGN and search for Madden, it returns 115 results. Yes, I know it's been on every console and PC since the dawn of games ... but, for Christ's sake, when will it die?

IIRC it's a launch title on the Wii. I almost cried when I read that...

Re:The Golden Age or the Revolution? (1)

chrismcdirty (677039) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137648)

While I do agree with you for the most part, I will slightly disagree (although still agree slightly) about your example franchises.

Final Fantasy did stagnate for a long time, but now, it seems, every game SE puts out tries some radically different change to the way it plays. It has no recurring characters, aside from moogles, chocobos, and a character named Cid. It just has an epic story in a JRPG format. And FFXII even changes the JRPG format from turn-based to active battles.

Legend of Zelda, while it uses the same basic characters and formats, usually incorporates a new feature that changes how the game is played. Sure, it's still a franchise, but it does have creativity within it.

I think each of them could be great games on their own, without the familiar names/characters. But when the people see Final Fantasy or Legend of Zelda, they know they have a good chance to not be disappointed when they play it. It's the way for the company to (1) ensure sales, and (2) ensure fans that they're in for a good gaming experience.

Explain that Logic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16137688)

It's the way for the company to (1) ensure sales, and (2) ensure fans that they're in for a good gaming experience.
Oh, you don't have to explain your first point ... but how in the hell does it ensure fans that they're in for a good gaming experience? If anything, the company knows the fans will buy it and the fans do. To me, that sounds like a dangerous path down "you will consume what we produce and you will like it because we tell you to like it" road. Not very progressive for the gaming industry.

Sure, Zelda's always had great gameplay and graphics ... but let me speculate on the plot of the next Zelda: Ganon stole the princess and only you can bring her back ... *falls asleep*


Re:Explain that Logic (1)

chrismcdirty (677039) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137906)

What I meant to say by that was that these franchises have become synonymous with a quality gaming experience. Sure, it's possible that the companies can start throwing trash out with the Zelda or Final Fantasy names, but all that does is dilute the brand and makes people less likely to relate that name to a good game.

Re:Explain that Logic (1)

GundamFan (848341) | more than 7 years ago | (#16138412)

Zelda's always had great gameplay and graphics

I have three letters for you: C D I

Re:The Golden Age or the Revolution? (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137720)

"I think franchises stifle creativity"

I have to disagree with this. Some people only -have- 1 idea. And it may be great. But that's all they had to give.

Those that have more ideas and the company won't listen... Those people will find or start a new company.

In the mean time, those franchises keep fun games on the market when most 'innovative' games are garbage. We only see the ideas worth spending the mega-$ to make a console game out of them. Without the major series, we'd see fewer big titles and smaller titles would be able to get their feet in the door. That doesn't suddenly make them good games, it just makes them more noticeable.

Also notice that some series (Elder Scrolls, Final Fantasy) evolve and the latest games are nothing like the first ones. If you (for the first time) played ES1 and then ES4, you'd never guess they were related. The same with FF1 and FF10. Nothing alike.

I think there are just as many innovative and fun new titles as ever, but they are harder to see because of the huge games with their massive media presence.

There's been quite a few games just recently that prove innovation is alive and well. Katamari Damacy, Loco Roco, Shadow of the Colossus. These were small-company games that made it big time. (SotC had Ico for a fan-base, but Ico is another example.)

Re:The Golden Age or the Revolution? (1)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 7 years ago | (#16138044)

but, for Christ's sake, when will it die?

Madden will die when American Football dies. People clearly want football games: EA only releases every year because people keep buying it. Should EA refuse that profit so that they can make games that don't sell as well?

Re:The Golden Age or the Revolution? (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 7 years ago | (#16138284)

Uh, no, give me Guitar Hero 2...and 3, and 4. Guitar hero is a great game...even if they do everything the same and just release new songs people would buy it. But they are adding new depth to it (e.g. allowing a second player to play the bass line). You have the same misconception that a lot of Slashdotters have...that is, you think innovation means great games. If this were true, there would be a lot less risk to innovate and everyone would be doing it. The problem is that a lot of innovative games are no fun and they don't get played. Guitar Hero was innovative and good. They have earned the right to make more of them because that is what people want. You are assuming that they could come up with something new if they weren't working on Guitar Hero 2. Maybe...but probably not. If your favorite sci fi writer decided to write another sci fi don't complain that they aren't writing a romance novel. Let them do what they are good and passionate about...and that is the best chance we have at getting more good games in the future.

There will never ever be a time again where games are as innovative as they were in the time of atari and the 8-bit Nintendo. That's because there was nothing to do but innovate. Now a lot of space has been explored. People are going to make the game people want (the standard genres). And every year we will get a few innovative games that will define new genres. The only difference is how we interact with this game. The Wii is the first step. If they succeed, I predict a lot of companies will look at how to redefine how we interact with games. They will still be the same genres, but how we play these games will evolve.

As far as Madden goes...EA makes games that people want. If they weren't making these games, someone else would. It is stupid to complain about them. Just because you don't see why someone wants to buy a new version of the same old thing doesn't mean there aren't millions of people out there who can't wait.

This IS a golden age for gaming. More people are playing than ever before. There are more types of games with new ones coming out every year. We have three consoles and a PC to choose from. We have one console that is redefining how we interact with games. I think the problem is most people here are adults now. Games don't hold the same magic as when we were a kid. This is not a problem with the games, this is a problem with us. Do you get as excited now about seeing an airplane as you did when you were young? Of course not. Are you complaining that there just isn't any innovation in the aviation industry?

Re:The Golden Age or the Revolution? (1)

7Prime (871679) | more than 7 years ago | (#16138654)

How many before they channel their resources and creativity on another concept? I think franchises stifle creativity

Sure, they can stifle creativity, but one can also make an arguement that they also focus creativity as well. It lays the groundwork, and means the designers can spend less time on the very basic aspects of a game (what the genre is, what the basic style will be, etc.), and focus on the more detailed aspects of the game, and subtler things, where I think the real meat of gaming is at. When I think back on my favorite games, there's a disproportionate minority that are from the first game of their series, or were a standalone game, very few truly great games are the first in their series, most game series only get better. There's only one major series where I thought the first game was the best, and most will disagree with me: Sonic the Hedgehog. I thought they had something special with that game, and while I love the following ones, the spin-dash really ruined it for me, making the game, instead of being about "getting fast", it made it about "being fast", but that's another debate. With Zelda, the series seems to get more and more sophisticated with age, experimentation in overall style, puzzle elements, even the stories have gotten much more non-linear and less cliche. Final Fantasy's continue to be incredibly inspired, even if I wasn't a huge fan of X, I'll admit it had just as much vitality as many first-run games, and my only problems with it had nothing to do with it's age. Sure, there are some series that just have run their course, and should probably be laid to rest (Sonic, MegaMan), but I think a franchise can be a great creative venture... allowing the dsigners to explore new ideas without re-inventing the wheel every time.

Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16137475)

It may be

I would tend to agree... (1)

VorpalEdge (967279) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137477)

It's certainly not a bad age to be a gamer at the very least. There's so many good games you can pick up for pretty much any system.

Golden Ages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16137478)

Sorry, I know my Civ rules. You only get one golden age per game.

No Clue

I disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16137532)

Before approximately the mid 1990s computer games were mostly produced by either individuals or small groups of people. They had fun and did it because they enjoyed it. They often either did it with the hopes of a company publishing it (like book authors), or the group of said people actually owned the small games company which they produced under.

This relatively relaxed and personally intimate working environment came through in the games. They were generally fun and had the kind of depth a reluctant or rushing working couldn't put into something.

When the mid 1990s came along the expodentially growing technical complexity and increased size of the market meant these small bands were superceded by large corporations. Employees in these companys are overworked, directed, stressed factory workers. A kind of blandness and sameness in games today can be seen because of this creatively-draining production process. Some people keep buying games, but for alot of people who did play games in the 80s and early 90s they hold no appeal for it isn't about 'fun' anymore, but flashy graphics, the 'scene' of boasting about your big Radeon card, and some kind of macho adolesent pak mentality which inhabits online games.

The old days are over.

Re:I disagree (1)

timster (32400) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137668)

I concur with the importance that you place on small groups when it comes to artistic endeavors, but that age is far from over -- it's just moved to the portable market. Pick up a DS and something like Trauma Center -- the game's technical complexity is about a tenth that of notepad.exe. Forget 3D as it doesn't even have moving backgrounds.

The DS is full of games like this, as was the GBA (the WarioWare games are a great example). The inherent hardware limitations along with the strong portable market preference for "fun" games is going to keep this creative streak going for a long time yet.

For boardgaming, maybe (2, Informative)

Bohnanza (523456) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137547)

This IS as close to a "Golden Age" of boardgaming as there has ever been. Check out Boardgamegeek [] to see why. For electronic gaming, I believe that time will come when the focus shifts back from "AWESUM GRAFIX!!!" to making fun games.

Re:For boardgaming, maybe (2, Insightful)

cowscows (103644) | more than 7 years ago | (#16138328)

A couple things will happen in the near future to help video game development out of its general rut.

First is digital distribution will become the prominent way of getting games out. Everyone will get used to it, it'll cut out a lot of the middlemen producers, it's a win/win.

Second, as graphics begin to plateau, the selection of available toolsets and engines will start to catch up and mature, they'll become easier to use, the cost of those tools will drop.

Things have always functioned like this on a small scale in the PC world with shareware and the like, but as the size and complexity of games increased so quickly, it was hard for smaller developers to keep up, not to mention that bandwidth restrictions made it hard for gamers to download large games. But the bandwidth issue is less of a problem now, and the modding scene has provided people with low cost tools for making games for the PC. Console manufacturers are starting to take notice of this, and Microsoft has already begun to work the community of smaller developers into Xbox Live. Nintendo has mentioned similar things for the Wii. I'd expect it to become a bigger part of console gaming with the next next-gen.

Re:For boardgaming, maybe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16139266)

"Second, as graphics begin to plateau, the selection of available toolsets and engines will start to catch up and mature, they'll become easier to use, the cost of those tools will drop."

What makes you think this will happen? Graphics quality can always be improved by throwing more pixel shader pipelines on a graphics card, so there's no technical limit. Even when we get to photorealism (which is not a near future thing, though in a decade we might be at some "good enough" point where you have to pay attention to notice the difference), realistic animation and physics are as far away again as photorealism is. There aren't any convincing close-up renderings of trees yet, let alone the more difficult scene that happens when you shoot one with a minigun. And beyond that, there are other art styles that will always demand more processing power.

The last generation of home consoles was representationally adequate, where you can render a fairly complex scene and people can interpret it without prompting (i.e. your Mom can tell you're controlling a sniper on the Arc de Triomphe, whereas she couldn't tell you what the falling blobs in space invaders are). But there are vast improvements in fidelity to come.

I disagree (1)

tont0r (868535) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137581)

I feel this is FAR from a Golden Age. There hasnt been that 'feeling of excitement' in a game in a very long time. I feel the PS1 was the last time I was truely 'Wowed'. Genres were created. Games were fun. Games were scary. Stories were epic. With the exception of the MMO worlds, what genres have been created? All we have been introduced to lately has been prettier graphics and better physics. Unfortunately the cost of games have sky rocketed (see $600 ps3, $70 games) so high that getting a new company with a fresh idea started up is extremely difficult.

This is the age of redundancy in my eyes. Madden 200(x), Quake 4, Half life 2(episodes 1, 2), , zelda after zelda, mario after mario, a suck it for all its worth star wars game, suck it for all its worth cartoon based game, tekken 9,000,000, street fighter 2 9,000,000 edition.

Of course, there is the DS and the upcoming wii that will hopefully rattler some heads into the land of innovation. Until then, everyone is just going to keep playing WoW.

Doubt it (2, Insightful)

drsquare (530038) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137600)

When most people are playing rehashed sequels or sitting playing cookie-cutter MMORPGs 12 hours a day, drooling at the screen grinding on monsters over and over again like zombies, I don't think this is can be considered a golden age.

The wii and ds may provide a mini-renaissance, but that's about it.

Sorry, gaming is all but dead to real gamers. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16137613)

The only thing keeping gaming alive right now is the rest of society that recently discovered gaming and think everything gaming was invented in the late 90s. For old hardcore gamers, today's games are basically poor copies of old games with flashy graphics.

I haven't been interested in a new game for quite some time, because it's all the same garbage. I'd rather go back and play old NES or DOS games, back when gaming was actually fresh and exciting. What's worse is that the so-called "gamers" today turn their noses up at the old games because the graphics "suck".

Kids today. Get off my lawn with your Halo crapfest. DOOM is far superior than that graphically overblown, poor excuse for a FPS.

Oooh, trollish! Anonymous powers: activate!

Pointless (3, Insightful)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137642)

I think trying to classify something as large as the games industry into "sucks" and "doesn't suck", or to trying to define a "golden age" just isn't possible.

Looking back, things always seem better because you tend to remember the good bits more than the mediocre. There are some really great games out there. Sure, there are lots of sequels and generic FPSs, but you don't have to play them.

Pointless-Golden age of imagination. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16138842)

"Looking back, things always seem better because you tend to remember the good bits more than the mediocre."

That's part of it. The other half is that as games have become more realistic, the imagination has had less opportunity to fill in the blanks as it were. People are remembering not only what was in front of them, but the aftertaste that their imaginations left behind.

Civ (4, Funny)

steveo777 (183629) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137660)

It's okay, he was just playing Civ IV. We're in a golden age right now, but don't worry about that because it's going to end in 20 years or so. So, if you think building all these cultural advancements is going to help, you've got another thing coming. I just know that everyone thinks they're safe. But you just wait, because Genghis Khan is gonna come rollin' in here a couple turns later with his Keshiks and roll right over our modern armor. I know this, because it ALWAYS happens to me.

Pop-Culture and Gaming (1)

Draracle (977916) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137693)

Think that gaming is coming into its own as a "respectable" entertainment medium. No longer the toy of children and teenage boys, gaming is an entertainment source for an ever widening demographic. TV and Movie production companies are taking notice -- even trying to bait the gamer audience with motion pictures based on games. Advertisers are trying to figure out ways to market products in a media without commercial breaks. This means more money for games, larger development teams, and more avenues to publish games... this also means that the new investors are looking for a safe/profitable (you think they never when to business school) investment. So while more games will be hitting the market, look for more of the same. Hollywood's formual is to churn out mindless drizzle in hopes of repeating past successes. Lets all pray (or whatever you do) that gaming doesn't mimic film and TV -- where all the most polished and professional productions are, for the most part, crap; and where the indie-market becomes the driving force of innovation and quality products.

Unparalled Ridiculous Power=Golden. (4, Funny)

Locution Commando (1001166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137696)

(Off-topic fer just two shakes of a Parots' Tail....Sept 19 -ITLAPD!!
Arrr! I must get me plug in fer the day o' days before me comments. I hope no scallawag keel-hauls (-1 Mod) me fer me ferver -Yar Har!)

Ye' must be three sheets to the wind, if ye' were to tell me 'twer not an age ye' call "GOLDEN" (Yarrr! GOLD!)

Aye, I can recall back to day I was but a gamin' lubber - Me Atari and me spent many a countless watch ravenging the .00001-bit seas! Sailin on, who can ferget (yarrr! who can remember?) the death dealin Captain... errr... Commander Keeeeeeeeen?

Let me take ye' forward a stormy watch or two, and remind ye' of where the ship lies -
Weee've got us photorealism, Multiiii-thread Cooores,
Swashbucklin and Adventurin
An' Lo' Killin. Aye, Killin Galoooore!
An' Now in 5.1 audio, needn't bother with letter's yer Eyes

Have ye seen ye Oblivion?
Have ye seen ye F.E.A.R. - W.O.W. - Ye Console P-Cube-X?
Even now yer belov'd Dungeon-o-Dragons?
Ye scurvey dog, could ye live now without PCI-Express?

Yarr - I fear thar be some dissen't among the ranks,
the ol' buccaneers tend much t' thar ways
Those dogs who worship thar good ol' days, aye, they should walk the plank!

Aye! 'ts ne'r been be'er
te see games as a treasure
Ye'd have te be plum-gone rum insane,
              te think the past be'er 'an than a world with
Massive Multiplayer Online Raidin' Pirate Games! YARRR HARRR!!! []

Re:Unparalled Ridiculous Power=Golden. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16137800)


Re:Unparalled Ridiculous Power=Golden. (1)

normal_guy (676813) | more than 7 years ago | (#16138898)

Says the AC on TLAP day.

Not yet, but we're due. (1)

PFI_Optix (936301) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137724)

I don't remember the first one, but I'm told it ended in 1983 with the infamous "crash".

Some time in the late 80s another boom started and ran into the early 90s. This is the rise of PC gaming and the debut of games like Wolfenstein, Doom, X-Wing, X-COM, Command & Conquer, and Warcraft. This golden age stagnated when all the new games seemed to just be clones of what came in the years before.

1998 and 1999 saw some impressive game releases with Half-Life probably being the most notable in the PC world, but I'm not sure I'd call it a golden age.

I wouldn't say the games on the market are the most diverse ever. The early 90s had a lot of independent developers turning out some really incredible--and plenty of really horrible--games. But we do have some really great games in the pipline right now and the new consoles with yet more PC-like features are sure to trigger some innovation in that market.

I'd say our true golden age will be 2008-2009. That will give developers the time to learn all the quirks of the new consoles and refine their games. It will put Windows Vista at middle age, with probably much-improved graphics capabilities (DX11?), as well as new hardware that will blow us away.

The golden age.. (3, Insightful)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137739)

..was when ye olde 8-bit and 16-bit games became easily emulatable on me desktop!

And surely 'twas made all the sweeter when it became easy to find ye massive torrents with all of each system's entire calalogue o' ROMs in a single RARrrr, matey!

Re:The golden age.. (1)

Locution Commando (1001166) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137766)

Yarrr! Ye be speekin like a true Pirate!

MMORPG's definitely not (2, Insightful)

SQLServerBen (987193) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137791)

The new console wars are encouraging, and I'm looking forward to seeing what comes out of it. But MMORPG's are entering a dark age, not a golden age. WoW's success means few companies are willing to gamble, because they don't think they can beat it. (And they're right -- without spending $50 million on content, they can't.) There's not a decent PvP game on the market, and the selection for future pvp games is very slim. Compare this to five years ago when we had Daoc, Shadowbane, and the promise of WoW on the horizon.

Re:MMORPG's definitely not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16137948)

I have to disagree. Look at Warhammer Online, from the creators of DAOC even. The game is to be entirely geared around the RvR scene. Read up on it - it basically sounds like Battlefield 2 and DAOC had offspring.

Zork (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16137890)

games have just not been the same since ...
West of House
You are standing in an open field west of a white house, with a boarded front
door. There is a small mailbox here.

Re:Zork (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16138022)

Zork was retarded, even then.

Except this is the pit. (1, Informative)

kinglink (195330) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137891)

I've thought this generation is the golden age of gaming. And it is.

For nintendo fans. They are getting EXACTLY what they want and deserve a great console, great games, great controller. But let's look at the other two.

Sony has now forced the market into blu-ray and is now beating the consumer with the price. They have failed in every way possible and the only one who suffers is the consumer. No rumble, a weak and late motion controller, they might have more power but it's significantly harder to program for.

On the other hand Microsoft now is owning the business. That's fine but they have touted online and graphics way too much. There are unique games coming but for the most part the 360 doesn't have a great first year line up, it'll get better though.

This isn't the glory days of great games, this is the hell of big budget titles forced advertising, and if you don't sell over a million copies of a game you don't make a profit. The gamers assume glitches are everywhere and they accept them no matter how big. You're paying out your butt for anything related to the console (even Wii, 60 bucks for a controller, and then you need more for Virtual console controllers), and the gamer gets hurt.

If that doesn't make you see a less then rosy outlook, add in the fact that now we have the both over powered horses are getting into the dvd wars. The PSX over headed, the Ps2 has had major hardware failure particularly in the laser, and now the PS3 will have a even newer laser system. Microsoft 360s are dropping like flies from the early shipments. And this is the golden age?

This isn't the golden age, This is the dung heap that people are telling us it's the golden age. The golden age was when games were good consoles were solid, and games sold like hot cakes. Super Mario Brothers 3 sold 40 million, because it was a great game on a system that everyone had, not because it broke systems, required you to pay 50 bucks for a second controller and then had glitches after all that.

The next generation could be a golden age, when everyone takes a step back from the power race and focuses on the gamer, not beating their opponents bloody.

Re:Except this is the pit. (1)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 7 years ago | (#16139048)

re:"but it's significantly harder to program for"

Unless he's a developer - RIGHT NOW - how the fuck is this informative? Or is this more of the Slashdot-Digg devo shit again?

Re:Except this is the pit. (1)

kinglink (195330) | more than 7 years ago | (#16139153)

Actually I am a programmer with a game company that's working with the Ps3. The Cell processor has some interesting features, but it also has stuff that will just annoy programmers. It definatly has power, and I was happy about that but the difficulty with programming just isn't worth the extra power. The guys who get hurt the most by this is teams trying to bring programs over from other multiprocessor systems, especially the 360. The 360 gives a lot of raw power, the Cell makes the programmer jump through hoops. However both require multi processor programming.

Re:Except this is the pit. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16139288)

Well ...

What I think is probably the biggest strength for Nintendo is they seem to be making the statement that "Graphics are good enough" which is a very bold statement given that, for the past 20 years, every generation has been driven by graphical enhancements. This (should) put the Wii in a very different position than either the PS3 or XBox 360 in that you could produce 2 to 4 Wii games for every PS3 or XBox 360 game you make; to a larger publisher like EA and Ubisoft this means that you can take a chance on producing new games or genres and the (overall) risk is still smaller than if you were to focus on a conventional game on the PS3 or 360.

In other news... (2, Funny)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137893)

Julian Murdoch over at Gamers With Jobs thinks that this is the best time ever to be a gamer.

In other news, dairy farmers throughout the world wish to remind the public of the miraculous health properties of milk and cheese, and potato farmers, noting the potato's abundance of Vitamin C, have also made an announcement that a diet rich in potatoes is a great way to avoid any possibility of scurvy.

Re:In other news... (1)

smithbp (1002301) | more than 7 years ago | (#16138237)

"That very informative comment brought to you in part by Talk Like a Pirate Day!!!! Arrrrrrrrr!"

no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16137930)

yeah this is the age of super expensive consoles and games (ps3 xbox360) and old consoles repackaged in a new case with a new controller (gamecube -> wii). all the games are the same old crap but cost more. golden age my hairy ass

My Definitnion (2, Interesting)

uberjoe (726765) | more than 7 years ago | (#16137978)

The Golden Age of Gaming is whenever you are old enough to understand the game and can be really good at it, but still young enough to have the loads of free time to actually play the damn thing. In my case (I'm 25) that was anywhere between five and fifteen years ago.

The Golden Age can't be now (not for me anyway) because I have a job, a spouse, kids and a house to attend to. Oh there are plenty of great games I would love to play and really immerse my self in, but I can't really get the time.

Now my son OTOH is five. He plays SMS and Zelda on Game Cube, and various Mario and Wario titles on his Game Boy. He doesn't quite get some of them yet, but he'll get better. His Golden Age is rapidly approaching. More games than ever to play, and a whole childhood to play them in.

Sadly my time is over, until I retire that is.

Golden age of choice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16138061)

Well if this is a "golden age" then which is better? C&C: Generals or Rome: Total War?

He's right (1)

MuNansen (833037) | more than 7 years ago | (#16138358)

If you're only watching the big headlines and TV commercials, of course you'll wonder how all these sequels and the joke of PS3 is a "golden age." There is an awful lot of crap out there, probably more than before.

But if you keep your eye on the good stuff, it has never been equalled. HL2 (and its episodes), the upcoming Portal and TF2, Oblivion, all the DS's great games, the upcoming Wii, Shadow of Colossus, that painted dog game on PS2 (forget name sorry), Xbox Live, upcoming Mass Effect, MMOGs like EVE and WoW. The list just goes on and on of games that are at the height of design.

It's like television. If you look at all the crap, there's sure a whole lotta crap. The best of today's television is the best television there's ever been, though. Battlestar Galactica, Adult Swim, Six Feet Under, Sopranos, The Wire; as well as shows that were on only a year ago like Everybody Loves Raymond and Band of Brothers (guess that's a little older). I even think some of the reality shows are really good. Shows like Project Runway show you into an industry you'd probably never be able to enter, without it having to be a sitcom "about an eclectic bunch of friends living in Manhattan" that happen to work in fashion. Yes it's tuned for entertainment, but there's a helluva lot more reality in a reality show than there is in a sitcom.

Maybe if you did a mathematical breakdown averaging the quality of shows, this decade might not win because of all the total crap. That's obviously not fair since there used to only be a dozen channels. If you look at the best of time, though, I'd put the stuff we have now up against anything. All-time greats like The Cosby Show or MASH or Homicide: Life in the Streets alone can't beat the number of quality shows we have today.

But of course since this is the internet this opinion makes me very uncool. Oh well. That'd be a problem if I had any respect whatsoever for the "Everything Sucks, Everything Else is Better" attitude of the internet.

How insightful.. (2, Insightful)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 7 years ago | (#16138559)

Julian Murdoch thinks that this is the best time ever to be a gamer

Well of course it is, as time goes by, more and more games are created, more and more consoles are created, more and more emulators are developped, and nothing disappears.

Being a gamer in 2020 > being a gamer in 2010 > being a gamer in 2005 > being a gamer in 2000 > being a gamer in 1995 > being a gamer in 1985 > being a gamer in 1975 > being a gamer in 1930.

Cat got my tongue. (1)

mikkelm (1000451) | more than 7 years ago | (#16138825)

I don't think it's the games getting worse. CS:S was a worthy second to CS, WoW and Guild Wars satisfy MMO needs on both sides of the camp, and there have been some solid RTS releases in the past few years aswell. I think people are getting tired of the interface. For how many years have we been sitting with mice and keyboards? The games may be different, wrapped in prettier colours every year, but the interface is the same. Gaming is fighting a downhill struggle in that it not only has to deal with exhausted genres where it has no option but to repeat the fundamentals of the past three big releases, but it also has to deal with the inevitable fact that people will get bored of physically doing the same thing over and over. I think that's another reason why PC is losing ground to the console. Each iteration brings a host of new peripherals, and while they may just be new takes on old fundamentals (Wii excluded), it's still something new, and new is the only reason why we buy games in the first place. Alternatively, it could just be me being too eager for VR gaming.

My Golden Age (1)

killermookie (708026) | more than 7 years ago | (#16138877)

I don't know about the article, but my "Golden Age of Gaming" was roughly 15 years ago with my Atari 2600 and Nintendo.

I love my current gaming just as much, but the days of playing the original Final Fantasy till 4am is still fresh in my mind.

Golden Age is subjective.

Re:My Golden Age (1)

necronom426 (755113) | more than 7 years ago | (#16138957)

My Golden Age is from about '83 to '93. The best of the C64 and Amiga years. Totally fantastic!

Games these days are still very good at times, but in those days things were new and amazing things were happening in games. Now we aren't as impressed by things.
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