There comes a day in everyone's life when they look back and ask themselves: Everything was better back in the day, right? Quite the widespread assumption that usually does not go beyond getting sentimental about old times. Nostalgia, we call it, and in gaming it is usually triggered when the once glorious series of games is apparently driven to its doom. But is that really all there is to it...?
The world of gaming has changed incredibly in recent years, as technology got better and better. Today, innovations such as VR goggles enable us to play in dimensions that people had not even thought about when I was a child. To be honest, I've only played VR once in my life – namely Skyrim VR. What is actually quite cool is that, after more than 15 minutes, your stomach gradually turns over, as your sense of balance is more than subtly overridden. With every swing of the controller I wasn't just beating up monsters – I was beating up myself...
But I digress... VR should not be the topic here. Was everything better back in the day? Well, sometimes we should remember how we played games 15 years ago, before tearing apart the next game for the most minuscule details.
If you read some of today's criticism, you find things like 'Actually a good game, but the little finger of the spectator in block F ,row 4, seat 52 looks quite pixelated.' or 'The leaf textures of the yukka palms on map XY at sunset from a 27° angle look a little muddy.' Bring out the torches and pitchforks, people, we're going to pay visits to some developers. AND FOR GOOD REASON!!!
Jokes aside. The point is that we are more than spoiled by the new technology these days. It is difficult to satisfy our senses, so used to perfection, with which I want to basically say one thing: Gamers today have (almost) only first world problems!
I mean, at 24 years of age I am certainly not a gamer of the old guard. I am, however, someone who started out with FIFA 2000 and a controller that could knock down brick walls, so I know what used to be and understand where we are now. Back in the day, it wasn't uncommon for me to confuse Carsten Jancker's bald head with the ball (yes, Rekordmeister for life. Don't judge me... ).
But hey, the game was fun and I can justifiably say that I have not invested more time in any other FIFA title. After all, in those days you could immediately nail the goalkeeper for a red card and after 7 minutes the game was stopped because I racked up too many of the bad boys.
Good times, back when gamer problems were much more well-founded! Back when the new illuminated display of a GameBoy Advance SP was a sensation (anyone who ever tried to play Pokemon at night in a car with the old GameBoy feels me on this one). Back when you blew into the cartridges of games when they didn't work. Back when games could only be saved at checkpoints and you had to buy memory cards to not run out of saving space. Old school gamers will also remember the level codes that you had to write down within 5 seconds after successfully completing one level to get to the next. So much for autosave...
Now, I'm not saying that nothing should be criticized these days. Feedback is important and gives the developers valuable insight on where a game can and should be improved. But sometimes we should remember how far technology has taken us, before we write the next furious Amazon review.
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