This will be a short blog.

I worry about the children. Look at the age of the average gamer. One might think it's a good thing that it is like 30 or whatever by now. That just tells me that our generation who started on games have continued to buy games and gotten older. We need new people to get into games and we need entry level titles. I'm looking around and wondering what my nephews or future kids will play, what great games will they get to experience when most of the AAA games these days are mature rated content.

I want them to have the same great experience with games that I grew up with. There's also a problem with long running inpenatrable franchises. It's something I feel with certain series and it will only be worse for younger users. The more introverted, focused on itself within itself, referencing past games/stories mechanics - the deeper things get is just raising the entry barrier higher and higher.

At the moment I see casual titles on mobile and tablets as their entry and I'm not cool with that. I bemoan the death of the mascot character, sure there is mario and sonic but what else? I hope Rare revives it's litany of....... wait it wont matter because it will be on Xbone and I will never buy it. :(

Posted by gamingeek Mon, 10 Jun 2013 12:29:14 (comments: 6)
 
Mon, 10 Jun 2013 12:45:33

From what I gather by talking to students (generally around 14-18 yo) at the school where I work is that most of them "love games".  They love to play the throwaway iOS/android games like fruit ninja or whatever else is cool amongst their circle of friends.  The ones who play at home only play COD and Fifa and completely ignore everything else.  Most of them are almost completely ignorant of Nintendo (even though they run Super Mario knockoffs or emulations on their phones).

On one occasion I saw a girl with a 3DS (hmmm I thought, maybe there is hope after all).  I asked her to hand it over to check what she was playing and it was Mario and Sonic at the Olympics DS game.

So yeah, GG it's a very bad situation and there is little hope.  It's not so much that there aren't games suitable for children because I think there are (primarily on Nintendo systems but also on the Playstation and even to some extend the 360 (if you dig up XBLA).  It's just that the chances of children coming across them amidst the sea of FPS, sports simulations and mobile trash games are slim to none unless they have proper guidance.  The only hope is children who grow up in homes of properly schooled, lifelong gamers like Robio and Travo's boys and Steel's girls.  

 
Mon, 10 Jun 2013 13:00:33

There's still plenty of gaming going on with the kids, but yeah it's definitely changing and it won't be the way it was 20 to 30 years ago. There are still huge franchises that younger kids love, but a lot of them have moved to iOS because it's easier to reach kids that way. Angry Birds anyone?? It's the biggest fucking franchise for new video games in years. They've got a freaking deal with the Kennedy Space Center for their own exhibit and ride! From an appeal standpoint, it is exactly what Mario was in the late 80's. And there's other huge mobile games like Plants vs. Zombies, Cut the Rope, Fruit Ninja, and Where's My Water that are probably as popular with kids today as Mario, Sonic, Castlevania, and Megaman were when we were kids. And it's not just mobile games. There's still a lot of big things going on console for kids. Skylanders is insanely popular with younger kids, and I have no doubt that Disney Inifinity (or whatever that game is called) will be equally big upon its release.

They're very different experiences than what we all started playing, but I really do think that given time a lot of these games will evolve into something different as their audience gets older, just as a lot of our classic franchises did. The end difference will just be they're not going to have to pay as much as we did to play them...unless of course Microsoft gets their way. Bottom line though is I think the kids will be all right.

 
Mon, 10 Jun 2013 14:21:40
bugsonglass said:

From what I gather by talking to students (generally around 14-18 yo) at the school where I work is that most of them "love games".  They love to play the throwaway iOS/android games like fruit ninja or whatever else is cool amongst their circle of friends.  The ones who play at home only play COD and Fifa and completely ignore everything else.  

Damnit.

I was thinking 8 - 16 years old. I assume most 15 year olds or older will just be playing all the dudebro games everyone else is, in fact I think they are the main dudebro market. Just like all these lads mags that are mostly bought by teenagers.

bugsonglass said:

It's not so much that there aren't games suitable for children because I think there are (primarily on Nintendo systems but also on the Playstation and even to some extend the 360 (if you dig up XBLA).  It's just that the chances of children coming across them amidst the sea of FPS, sports simulations and mobile trash games are slim to none  

It's not that there aren't games but the quality of games for kids and the skills. They seem lower quality and dumbed down outside of mario/sonic. When we were young we had easily accesible games you could pick up in minutes that were great quality and really tested you too - Super Ghouls and Ghosts, Contra etc. So many times kids games are seen as KIDS games and dumbed down or based on trashy shitty licences.

robio said:

There's still plenty of gaming going on with the kids, but yeah it's definitely changing and it won't be the way it was 20 to 30 years ago. There are still huge franchises that younger kids love, but a lot of them have moved to iOS because it's easier to reach kids that way. Angry Birds anyone?? It's the biggest fucking franchise for new video games in years. They've got a freaking deal with the Kennedy Space Center for their own exhibit and ride! From an appeal standpoint, it is exactly what Mario was in the late 80's. And there's other huge mobile games like Plants vs. Zombies, Cut the Rope, Fruit Ninja, and Where's My Water that are probably as popular with kids today as Mario, Sonic, Castlevania, and Megaman were when we were kids. And it's not just mobile games. There's still a lot of big things going on console for kids. Skylanders is insanely popular with younger kids, and I have no doubt that Disney Inifinity (or whatever that game is called) will be equally big upon its release.

They're very different experiences than what we all started playing, but I really do think that given time a lot of these games will evolve into something different as their audience gets older, just as a lot of our classic franchises did. The end difference will just be they're not going to have to pay as much as we did to play them...unless of course Microsoft gets their way. Bottom line though is I think the kids will be all right.

I see my nephews playing the iPad with all these storybook stuff, I kinda want to sit them down with Super Mario World and say: Have at it.

 
Fri, 14 Jun 2013 22:03:18
Gamers need to spawn more.  Gamers beget gamers.

I do think that as younger kids age they will still want to play games, and they will want more sophistication out of their gaming experience.

At least some of them.  Gaming is just not for everyone, I think it will always be niche, just as it always has been.

And I need more caffiene.
 
Sat, 15 Jun 2013 02:22:44
aspro said:
Gaming is just not for everyone, I think it will always be niche, just as it always has been.

I actually disagree, unless we're talking vader's pretentious boys-only-club definition of gaming.  People come together over games, and videogames is a form that has no reason to be exclusive.  Doing things together will always be for everyone, and videogames are one of those things.  It's just a matter of to what degree.

 
Sat, 15 Jun 2013 15:31:21

Gaming can be for everyone but they have to make it as an essential device, like a tv or dvd player. It has to be something which is always there with reasonably priced content which I don't think it is - $60 for a game is too much.

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