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Another Golden Age of Gaming? 150

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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Another Golden Age of Gaming?

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  • Steam (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Pharmboy ( 216950 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @10:00AM (#16137423) Journal
    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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by edremy ( 36408 )
      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: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Pharmboy ( 216950 )
        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 F
        • Remember, THECAKEISALIE [].
          • Thanks. I just wasted an hour working and searching all the details out for that ;) I won't spoil it for everyone else tho. Very, very weird stuff.

            Saw on a forum how 'maybe' this is the organization that G-man belongs to, and the portal guns are not necessary, thus how he gets around. ie: the organization that was 'storing' Gordon for 20 years. Odd. We might find out by Episode 3. Maybe.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by LMN8R ( 979699 )
        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 th
        • 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.
          • by LMN8R ( 979699 )
            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.
          • 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 th
        • by Ant P. ( 974313 )
          Until Steam works as well as Unreal Engine/Doom3 engine games do on Mac/Linux (i.e. natively), it's irrelevant for most slashdotters.
          • 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.
        • 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 rea
        • Steam wouldn't be so bad if it didn't do the whole 'not let you play the game you fucking paid for if it hasn't been able to phone home for the past few days' thing. Until Valve fixes that little thing, Steam will continue to fail.
          • Will "continue to fail"? I must have missed the part where Steam was failing, what with all these new non-Valve games flocking to the platform.

            And why isn't your computer connected to the Internet? It's not that hard. I mean, you're connected right now, right?
            • Apologies, I mean "fail" as a synonym for "suck", or that it fails in my eyes.

              And yes, I am usually connected to the internet, however, I purchased episode 1 retail with the intent of having something to play when I was dragged off at some godforsaken place where there were no internets for a week under the pretense of a 'vacation' (thinking that I had heard somewhere that it only demands to phone home once a week.) I played through it in a couple of days, and then when wanting to play it some again a co
      • "I have to agree here. I bought The Ship the other day. This is a game that would *never* make it into stores" /Product.html

  • by neonprimetime ( 528653 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @10:01AM (#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!
  • 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).
  • Golden Age? Hah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DarkFencer ( 260473 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @10:03AM (#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.
    • 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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rabbot ( 740825 )
      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: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bigman2003 ( 671309 )
        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
        • Re:Golden Age? Hah (Score:4, Insightful)

          by rabbot ( 740825 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @02:27PM (#16139478)
          You made some very good points. I agree that online gaming has opened up a lot of doors and introduced things we never dreamed of as kids. You can really immerse yourself in some of today's games.

          I play just as many new games as I did 20 years ago. I appreciate the advances that have been made over the years. You have to realize that even though I obviously don't consider this the best time in gaming, it's certainly not the worst either. From your response it seems that you think I have to love one or the other, but not both.

          I just don't feel that the games of today live up to the peak that was hit in the early to mid 90's. Maybe it's nostalgia, but maybe it's because I think games back then had more character.

          I'd hardly classify the 80s and 90s and "pushing colored blocks around while sub-midi quality music played repetitively through your speakers".
          Maybe I have a greater appreciation for art style than I do for 3D modeling and texturing.

          Anyways, I completely respect your views and I'm glad you responded.

        • I agree this is a golden age.... for real time strategy and (maybe) first person shooters.
          The reason I say maybe on the first person shooters is..can you really compare anything released in the last 3 years to the impact of, first, DOOM, then DukeNukem 3d?
          But aside from that...I am SO sick of RTS games.
          I know it is because the developers are developing for twitch gamers, and the suckers who buy every console that comes out, as soon as it comes out. (son, looking over my shoulder, says "why did you call me
    • by BenjyD ( 316700 )
      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).
      • 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: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by teflaime ( 738532 )
      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
      • 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 w
    • This age is Golden:
      • 3 different consoles to choose from: Sega - Nintendo - Sony which is now Microsoft - Nintendo - Sony.
      • 2 portable handhelds to play with while traveling: PSP and Nintendo DS
      • 3 Next generation consoles you can buy: Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Sony PS3
      • Large library of very good Indie games to choose from
      • The largest MMORPG in the world is also getting an expansion pack: World of Warcraft
      • The rise of other MMORPGs: Eve Online
      • Innovative gameplay development: Nintendo and Valve just to name a f
      • # 3 different consoles to choose from: Sega - Nintendo - Sony which is now Microsoft - Nintendo - Sony.

        If 3 consoles at war makes a golden age, then that one cancels itself out since there's been three since the SNES/Megadrive/PCE matchup.

        3 Next generation consoles you can buy: Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Sony PS3

        See above. A new generation does not a "golden age" make.

        Large library of very good Indie games to choose from

        Where? I've got all 3 last-gen systems, a GBA, and a DS. Where can I find these games and p
        • Where? I've got all 3 last-gen systems, a GBA, and a DS. Where can I find these games and play them without voiding my warranties or convoluted exploits? (A sincere question.)

          Are you aware games exist on computers?

          But what has Valve done that's innovative?

          Portal(Portals) / Half Life 2(Zero Point Gravity Gun)

          n expansion pack to a GUI to a mediocre MUD is a sign of a golden age? I think your standards may be a bit low.

          This is the sign that games that are well known are continuing to be "well k
          • Are you aware games exist on computers?

            Depends on your OS.

            Ah, yet new technology, new innovation and over 7 venues for entertainment does: Computers, Xbox, Xbox 360, PS2, PS3, GameCube, DS, PSP, Gameboy Advanced, Cell Phone, PDA Phone, PDAs, Palms.

            I think you give them far too much credit. That's 3 venues, tops. Computer, Console, Handheld. Same as we've had for 15 years.
    • Golden Age might be a bit much, but we can't dismiss that we're currently experiencing something big. In the context of the article, I'd call it more of a renaissance.

      Whenever some era in history is cited as a Golden Age, it's usually associated with (relatively) very high prosperity. Even if we expand the definition to very high achievement, I don't know what era I would label as a Golden Age, but might be inclined to believe the present day it. Such a label though... very subjective, each era has it's
  • by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) * <akaimbatman&gmail,com> on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @10:04AM (#16137462) Homepage Journal
    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. :)
    • by mustafap ( 452510 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @10:13AM (#16137507) Homepage
      >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.
      • 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 m

    • 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.)
    • by Dinny ( 16499 )
      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
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by EMeta ( 860558 )
      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.
      • FanBoy much?

        But seriously its a new idea, but I don't know many who have been waiting all this time for it :)
    • 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, senior
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) *

        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 followin

        • 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 d

          • 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 art

        • I guess that if we apply "golden age" to the moment where the new medium was born (electronic gaming) then yes, golden age was back in the 70-80s.

          but i still believe we are in a golden age of gaming - probably more on the end of it.

          maybe this decade hasnt seen the birth of gaming but lots of new faces of gaming were born. if golden age simply means the moment of artistic evolution where people just go and let their mind be creative with a medium then we have to talk about all the various faces of gaming. :
  • bit generations (Score:4, Interesting)

    by gEvil (beta) ( 945888 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @10:06AM (#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.
    • by Scoth ( 879800 )
      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 marat
  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <> on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @10:06AM (#16137469) Journal
    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: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by ExPacis ( 973499 )
      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
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Swift(void) ( 655825 )

        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

    • 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 use
    • by Aladrin ( 926209 )
      "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 sm
    • by BenjyD ( 316700 )
      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?
    • by brkello ( 642429 )
      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 a
    • by 7Prime ( 871679 )

      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

  • 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.
  • by Bohnanza ( 523456 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @10:20AM (#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: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cowscows ( 103644 )
      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
  • 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 wit
    • by NBarnes ( 586109 )
      That someone would pick out the era of the PS1 as their 'Golden Age' shows how meaningless the entire attempt to define any sort of objective idea of what gaming's golden age was. For some of us, who remember getting NESes under our Christmas trees as children, the PS1 is a Johnny-come-lately at best. Saying that sequelitis (*coughMaddencough*) and increasing game costs is a 'recent' problem, where 'recent' is equal to 'after the PS1' is absurd. The previous poster is welcome to feel that the PS1 was the ap
  • Doubt it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by drsquare ( 530038 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @10:30AM (#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.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    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
  • Pointless (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BenjyD ( 316700 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @10:36AM (#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.
  • Civ (Score:5, Funny)

    by steveo777 ( 183629 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @10:39AM (#16137660) Homepage Journal
    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.
  • 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 publi
  • by Locution Commando ( 1001166 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @10:43AM (#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!!! []
  • 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, b
  • The golden age.. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rob T Firefly ( 844560 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @10:50AM (#16137739) Homepage Journal
    ..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!
  • 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
  • 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 progr
    • 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?
      • 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 thr
  • by petrus4 ( 213815 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @11:16AM (#16137893) Homepage Journal
    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.
    • "That very informative comment brought to you in part by Talk Like a Pirate Day!!!! Arrrrrrrrr!"
  • My Definitnion (Score:2, Interesting)

    by uberjoe ( 726765 )
    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 so

  • 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
  • How insightful.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 4D6963 ( 933028 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @12:34PM (#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.

  • 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.
  • by El_Smack ( 267329 ) on Tuesday September 19, 2006 @02:11PM (#16139332)
    For us (25+ y.o. gamers, I'm 36), the "Golden Age" is over, because we grew out of it. Things can't ever be "new and exciting" again, because we have been looking at it for the last 10 or 25+ years. Maybe when we can plug in to a neural net or something.

    For my kids, though, holy cow! For $50 I got a flash cart that can play almost 30 years worth of console games on my son's GBA. He has a library of over a hundred games, and they are all fun for him, no "Yo' Noid" crap. In less than 2 months, my daughter will be waving a contol around like a tennis raquett, or turning like a steering wheel, just like I did with my Atari 2600 joysticks and paddles. But hers will actually control the game! Would you just kill for that back in our "Golden Age" of the 70's and 80's and early 90's?

    And yesterday, my youngest asked my daughter a question about ninja's. Her response: "Let's ask the computer." In 2 or 3 minutes, he had color pictures printed and hanging on his door and his question was answered. I remember when Scotty asked the computer questions, now my kids do it

    So I think that todays kid's "Golden Age" kicks ass, just like ours did.
  • no good team fortress mod out(best multiplayer fps of all time). sourceforts is ok.

    good new rts? maybe CoH, but it's too easy and too short. nothing like C&C, populous, starcraft, civilization or other RTS classics have come out in a long time. civ4= civ3 clone with 3d. it's not a "new game."

    sports games are no different than the last few years except with new team/stats/player database

    recent FPS games: fear, prey. both pretty "been there, done that." maybe portal will be cool. hl2 was a good engine a c
  • I think the last generation of consoles were so far ahead of the previous generations that they truly inspired a "golden" age, if that's what you want to call it. The PS2 and the XBox have given us some remarkable and truly creative games -- just think of GTA, unbelievable platformers like Jak, perfection in FPSs and multiplayer games with Halo and Half Life. We've had offbeat games like Psychonauts, Dance Dance, Katamari and the return of the adventure game in games like Fallout. Sports games made insane d
  • between the ages of 13 and the player's age when he has his first, long-term relationship.


To do two things at once is to do neither. -- Publilius Syrus