In the early days, gamers were all pretty much the same age, primarily because the industry was born beneath our very eyes and catered to a select demographic. But now, three decades later, we're witnessing a generational clash that will most certainly have a profound impact on the hobby we've all come to know and love. Younger gamers and older gamers appear to be a very different breed…

Take, for example, this SlapStik article . First of all, let me support the sentiment stated within: the economy is bad, games aren't cheap, and it may not seem logical to purchase something for $60 that only provides one with several hours of entertainment. In many ways, this is where the downloadable argument comes into play, as many of the younger gamers simply don't care much about expensive discs and would rather have comparatively cheaper digital downloads. And because multiplayer has become a massive phenomenon in recent years, it's a feature that many consider absolutely essential; this also dictates a purchase decision. However, there is something inherently flawed in this train of logic, and to the real gamers, it's an obvious flaw that causes teeth to grind and jaws to clench.

One can easily make the argument that not every game is worth $60, but then again, that same argument can be made for any set of entertainment products. Not every DVD is worth $20, either. We should also remind all the young'uns that video games routinely cost $50 and $60 twenty years ago, and if you factor in the obvious advancements and inflation, I would suggest you get down on your knees and be thankful that games today don't cost $100. But that's not the point. The point is this- the younger generation absolutely doesn't understand the value of certain things. A game is worth $60 for the exact same reason a goddamn text message doesn't compare to actually speaking to someone. With your noses buried in your phones, you've lost the ability to look someone in the eye and speak in a clear, intelligible voice. With nothing but a rental or a digital download, the fleeting experience of playing a game means a great deal less; you have nothing tangible to look upon in the years to come.

No, a crappy game isn't worth $60, but if a game like God of War III comes out and is "only" 10-12 hours long and you don't have it in your collection, that's a colossal waste. Should we even remind everyone that games of yesteryear were really only a few hours long, and the only reason they seemed longer is because it took a very long time to master…? No, why bother? Longevity isn't reliant upon multiplayer. It isn't reliant upon length (and neither is quality, for that matter). We indulge in this hobby because it's fun; because it's a singular form of entertainment that we identify with; because it's something from our past that we value. Anybody who builds a collection of anything is a true hobbyist, one who is passionate about his chosen leisure activity. I don't care if it's collecting bugs; that guy is not going to get the same entertainment out of going to a museum to view specimens as he is looking at his own specimens. We pay $60 for quality video games and keep them because they're a tangible representation of our enjoyment.

I realize this is difficult to understand for those who weren't around during the golden age of gaming. I'm aware that multiplayer is huge, and without it, many gamers (all tending to be of a younger age) lose interest rapidly. I also know that a certain age group seems to lose interest a hell of a lot faster in everything . The bottom line is that, ten years after it came out, I still wanted to play Final Fantasy VII . 15 years after it came out, I still wanted to pop in Super Mario Kart . SMK cost more than FFVII, by the way, but both have paid for themselves ten times over. I didn't need multiplayer; I didn't care that I only played one race the very first time I put in SMK, and I sure as hell don't regret paying the price of admission. In fact, I was very glad I was there at the start, and it all comes flooding back to me when I take a gander at my collection. There are many reasons not to spend $60 on a game, but one had best not lecture others by saying that unless the game is "long" or the person is rich, they'd be stupid to spend the money.

This obscene level of egoism that stands in the face of thirty years of gaming is causing a generational rift. Value, sentiment, tangible, perspective…why are all these words lost on a younger generation? …can I blame it on the texting again?

Subscribe
Notify of
100 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

OMG Ben, holy crap I don't believe it, I JUST posted my own article on Generational conflicts in the forums!!!


Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 3/24/2009 6:50:10 PM

King James
King James
11 years ago

gonna go read it now.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

LOL Yeah, I saw.

dillonthebunny
dillonthebunny
11 years ago

spooky…

mind you.. Ive never seen Ben and you in the same room at the same time… I wonder if… hmmmm

anyway, as a gamer since the birth of gaming I think younger gamers dont know what its like to play through a game such as manic miner and wonder what the hell things could be like 20 years on, or simply play SpyHunter at home (wtf.. AT HOME)… OMG, arcade gaming in your bedroom.. IT DOES NOT GET BETTER THAN THIS!

…but it does, and I dont think or see how younger gamers can possibly appreciate it, its not their fault. they may say they understand it, but there is no way on earth they can.

the best a lot of these guys can come up with is "hey.. I remember when Sonic first came out"… er, yeh ok.

being at the birth of a sonic game is cool.. and yeh, landmark! its not the same, but at the end of the day we all start our gaming from somewhere.. whether it be Cybernoid, Sonic or GT5.

we should pull together as gamers, but this stupid console war is what is pulling people apart.

I was reading some reviews on silent hill 1… there were no fanboys back then, the reviews were honest and factual.. zip forward 10 years to the latest Silent Hill game and there is so much hate, its terrible… I shed tears of blood.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

The Bunny is Funny 🙂

tlpn99
tlpn99
11 years ago

I agree with you Dillon. I too grew up on Manic Miner and Spy Hunter in the arcades. Yes I had Spy Hunter still got it I think somewhere with my Commodore 64 etc.

For me as a kid going on holiday to Pontins or Butlins (its a holiday camp for those friends in the states and other countries, those in UK will know what im on about lol, they were cheap holidays for familys) anyway the first thing I remember doing as my cousin did as well he's as mad about games near enough as I am cept now he has a baby to look after so finds time to game harder. Anyhow first thing we did was check out the arcade see what new stuff was out and we spent most of our money in the arcade during that holiday.

There was a bit of war between the Spectrum owners and the C64 owners but it was friendly. I went to my mates house and played on his speccy and we played on the C64 when at mine. We coded on each others machines copied games out of magazines by writing them in ourselfs

The my machine is better than yours was a joke between us as friends now its all over by strangers. It is ridiculous. You should like what you have and not bash others or flame others about what they like or dont have. At the end of the day you make your choice.

So many memories coming back now thinking of the good days. One of my friends who I used to work with said "Were now in the Golden Age of gaming" and looking back at the time you always think they cant get any better than this surely and lo and behold someone comes up with another brilliant game. 🙂

Kangasfwa
Kangasfwa
11 years ago

Amen to that Ben.

King James
King James
11 years ago

AMEN, Ben. I look at my FF, God of War, MGS, GTA, and Tekken collection with love and great memories of countless hours lost.

I been down with gaming since I developed hand-eye coordination. Born in 86, been gaming since 88.

And who said multiplayer had to be required? I can't stand when ppl (regular gamers and critics) knock a game for not having some type of game mode like online multiplayer (competitive and co-op), or even offline co-op multi-player. They did it with Killzone 2 and they are gonna do it with Infamous, Heavy Rain, Alan Wake, Max Payne 3, Uncharted 2, etc.

And that texting reference is hilarious, Ben. Good read.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

double Amen, if a game shoudn't have multiplayer to begin with, how could it be counted against them that it doesn't have one?

Sir Shak
Sir Shak
11 years ago

single player > multiplayer . That is all .

Alienange
Alienange
11 years ago

You know King James, you just brought me down memory lane there… I remember when reviewers started doing that. Bashing games because there was no online. I still remember the anger that swelled up inside me. Today it's seems to be the norm, but that anger still lingers.

thepill
thepill
11 years ago

Bravo!!! Ben, Bravo!!! I just read about some product that was shown at GDC, I think it's called On Demand Live or something like that. It is basically a download game service/player(all digital). Give me PHYSICAL MEDIA any day. I have a collection of over 2000 games spanning several generations of console gaming, and I wouldn't trade it for all the digital CRAP in the world. I can't imagine having people visit my house and show off my collection of HARD-DRIVES.


Last edited by thepill on 3/24/2009 7:08:34 PM

King James
King James
11 years ago

I just say the video for that thing on G4tv.com. I like the idea, but I don't think I like not having the physical media.

What if I don't have internet…I can't play my single player games???!!! Thats BS!

Alienange
Alienange
11 years ago

OnLive will be an epic fail.

Vivi_Gamer
Vivi_Gamer
11 years ago

I blame first person shooters

King James
King James
11 years ago

lol. u always blame shooters.

I personally blame the parents.


Last edited by King James on 3/24/2009 7:10:56 PM

coverton341
coverton341
11 years ago

I blame the sex and violence on television, oh and bunnies. Bunnies are always the culprit.

Wage SLAVES
Wage SLAVES
11 years ago

@Ultima Dream

You got a point. I play COD4 like an addict but Im a bit in the middle agers among gamers (23 years old). My Dad was a street fighter nut and we, as a family, used to settle our scores on Mortal Kombat (3 was our fave).

That being said kids, nowadays at least, just don't appreciate the blood sweat n tears of these devs. We could've only wished for online multiplayer of GT or even MK. That however would NEVER be the buy point just the "Cherry on top".

Shooter addicts just want that twitch adrenaline inducing game. The pleasure of destroying another person rather than sitting through a story like MGS4. Sad days. I know a guy that has NEVER even played the awesome campaign of COD4!!!

Scarecrow
Scarecrow
11 years ago

That's all that needs to be said

Jed
Jed
11 years ago

The text messaging is destroying the country.

thepill
thepill
11 years ago

You're right it's just making them illiterate. I think the actual fall of our society started with VELCRO shoes, and Digital Watches.

Wage SLAVES
Wage SLAVES
11 years ago

Its like 1984 and the way they wrote in "Newspeak"

Qubex
Qubex
11 years ago

The very way people spell words will change due to the short hand employed when text messaging… to save the odd character or 2 🙂

Q!

"i am home"

Orvisman
Orvisman
11 years ago

Yep. That and cellphone usage. I mean, it used to be that people would turn off their cells in a theater, especially when prompted to do so by the trailer theaters run.

These days, I'm constantly distracted by people texting during movies, chatting on their cells, or just plain old shooting the horse puckey [edit to avoid filter] with their buddies like they're hanging out on the corner pounding 40s.

End of rant!

As an editor and writer, it pains me to see the rise of illiteracy among the young of this country. All these young-uns do these days is play videogames, text, surf the net, and watch TV/movies. In my opinion … Sorry… IMO … kids do not read enough and that, as well as texting, is leading to a rising illiteracy among the youth of the U.S.


Last edited by Orvisman on 3/25/2009 9:29:22 AM

jaybiv
jaybiv
11 years ago

Calmate Big Ben! Looks like they got your racing car in the red there man, lol. But you hit the nail right on the head with this one. I was thinking about this last night as I witnessed a near race riot on COD5 last night.

It's not just with video games though. These youngsters today live in a world of instant gratification. They can't fathom a world where you had to get up and change the channel on the tv. Or use a hanger to improve the tv reception. Or no call waiting and a dial up phone. Where being told "no" by your parents hardly ever changed to a "yes".

Remember taping songs off the radio and going crazy when the DJ spoke over either the beginning or the end of the song? How about when MTV was nothing but videos?

Kids nowadays are three mouse clicks away from the lastest music/movies/games, their BFFs and anything else in this world. Video games to them are temporary distractions in an already chaotic life.

If only they knew what we had to go through to get to this point, maybe their attitudes would be different.

King James
King James
11 years ago

Man,…………….I remember ALL of dat.

Thanks for inducing the nostalgia, Jaybiv.


Last edited by King James on 3/24/2009 7:21:23 PM

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

Yeah, well said. I remember all that, too. 🙂

thepill
thepill
11 years ago

Bro, it's so funny sometimes I think about the stuff we had back in the day that my kids have NO CLUE how to work, ie the ROTARY PHONE. It's hilarious, sometimes I just mess with their friends when the come over and ask to use the phone, and I pull out the BEAST and say "sure, go ahead", and look at the expression of ABSOLUTE confusion on their faces.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
11 years ago

LMAO

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
11 years ago

If I ever have kids I can't wait to tell them when I grew up we didn't even have cell phones.

jaybiv
jaybiv
11 years ago

How did we ever survive back then.

Alienange
Alienange
11 years ago

jaybiv just described my life.

King James
King James
11 years ago

@thepill

LOL! Thats is so comical. I literally laughed out loud. LMAO…the "beast"…Where can you get rotary phone anyway?

infekt
infekt
11 years ago

Dude! I still got that "brick" of a cell phone my dad used back in the day. It was like it was from the future. hhhhhmmm.. I miss my crappy beige gameboy too.. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.. Okay wait! Does anyone remember the Nintendo Game and Watch handhelds?!

Qubex
Qubex
11 years ago

My goodness ThePill, is it that bad!!!

Q!

"i am home"

karneli lll
karneli lll
11 years ago

"Remember taping songs off the radio and going crazy when the DJ spoke over either the beginning or the end of the song?"

Cant… stop… laughing.rewinding and fowarding tapes when you want to listen to a song again,haha

Orvisman
Orvisman
11 years ago

Yep!

We're all starting to sound like our dads and grandads.

"You know, when I was your age I had to walk 20 miles to school… uphill… in the snow… barefoot."

"You know, when I was your age we didn't have these newfangled game systems and game carts. No siree, we had a cardboard box to play with… and we were lucky to have that!"

ps92117
ps92117
11 years ago

This for some reason reminds me of ff7, hmm.

ThugNificent101
ThugNificent101
11 years ago

BLAME IT ON TEXTING!!!

thepill
thepill
11 years ago

rotfl!!! lol!!! PLZ stp it hrtz…

Tommmm0858
Tommmm0858
11 years ago

What age group is to be considered the younger generation of gamers? I hope at 16 that I'm not part of it, because in Ben's words, I do enjoy having my tangible representation of enjoyment. I take pride in my relatively large and expensive collection of games. I've only ever rented one game in my life, Haze… But maybe this article is aimed at my age group, and I'm just a minority. Either way, I do agree to some degree. Kids these days seem to be all about the multiplayer for sure. And mostly seem to only be interested in the mainstreem generic popular titles such as COD4/5, and halo. But, I don't think that gamers should pull together, that's where I dissagree, at least for this generation. Competition is what fuels the market. It's my belief that the reason many developers have tried so hard with the ps3, where evidently they have not with the 360, (I'm talking Killzone 2, Uncharted 1/2, God of war etc.) is because of all the negative attention the ps3 has gathered being the underdog. I remember shortly after Killzone 2 footage was first shown, and gears of war 2 was first announced, Microsoft stated that gears of war 2 would raise the bar for graphics, and they infered that they would be better than killzone 2. And it's that kind of competition that pushes the developers to do great things. Anyways, my rant is over, thanks for reading 🙂

coverton341
coverton341
11 years ago

Well I think that you can never pigeon hole everyone in a certain demographic but I for one would say that 16 is in the younger generation of gamers, but like I said not everyone is going to fit the mold. I am sure there is a 32 year old gamer out there chomping at the bit for digital download and texting away to all his "peeps" while sucking down a latte and jamming out the door to go catch the latest Ben Aflick film.

Sir Shak
Sir Shak
11 years ago

I think what Ben is implying does not only concern the chronological diference in age , but also the vast difference in attitude of gamers that can be seen in the recent years .

Gamers have become increasingly online oriented and there is a general feeling among older gamers that good single player experiences may not be appreciated as much as they used to .

I am 20 by the way , so I am not that aware of the birth of gaming but I have been gaming for 16 years . Ben on the other hand is 30 , in the gaming world that is like being a grandfather . 😉


Last edited by Sir Shak on 3/24/2009 8:15:12 PM

Alienange
Alienange
11 years ago

Tom has given us hope.

jaybiv
jaybiv
11 years ago

Hey Little Dude, you are part of this generation that we are talking about, however, you seem to be one who comes into it with respect for the history, which is very honorable.

We all can go back and play the older systems. That's not the focus of Ben's commentary. It's the shared evolution of gamers and systems that separate the old school from the new school.

I guess it's hard to appreciate what you have when that is all you know. I commend you for being part of the new crowd that vibes more with us older veterans. At the end of the day, we play to have fun and that what it's all about.

N a S a H
N a S a H
11 years ago

If all games become digital content we might as well all become PC gamers TBH.


Last edited by N a S a H on 3/24/2009 7:37:18 PM

Sir Shak
Sir Shak
11 years ago

I hate the whole text message revolution . I only text someone when I have something real to say and not crap like 'lol wassup' . And I only message someone if I can't talk at the time .

And fu** facebook too .

Qubex
Qubex
11 years ago

Yhea, I feel the same!

Q!

"i am home"

Douchebaguette
Douchebaguette
11 years ago

Right on.

LegioN
LegioN
11 years ago

Ben, i get the feeling you looked at the OnLive thing and then wrote this lol.

But i do agree with you. I'll cry the day i can't look under my tv and see my pile of games. Just looking at them gives me memories of good times. And those memories alone are worth $60.