Opinion: Gaming is Great

I have realised that when writing an opinion piece I’m too keen to pick out a problem with games or gaming in general. There’s certainly a lot of things I have issues with and things that I perceive as needing “fixing”.

However, something that perhaps doesn’t come across is that there’s plenty of things I love in gaming, things that should be praised and held up for the world to see. So today I’d like to take a little time to highlight a few elements of games and gaming culture that I love, things that make me smile. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it seems there’s a few things worth saying.

I love how games can bring people together and make them do the most ridiculous things. If you need to ask what kind of ridiculous things you clearly missed these videos, but I suspect most of you are familiar with me dancing. I know a lot of people aren’t too keen on motion gaming but I wonder if you’d tried dancing like a loon with your friends? Or have you played Rock Band and realised you were rocking out? Hell, even leaning side to side when playing a racing a game is quite clearly ridiculous.

[drop2]I could perhaps boil this down to games are fun, but that’s a little too obvious. It’s the ridiculous element that I simply love, and one of the things that I think motion gaming has really got right. It’s just plain silly, and counter balances an era of gaming that seems to have become overly serious. Silliness should still be celebrated, it’s not all about gritty realism as you shoot a drug baron between the eyes.

I touched on this in the ridiculous section, but I love the way that gaming brings people together. Yes, online gaming is great (and I’ve had brilliant moments with the TSA community at times) but nothing beats the way that gaming can really bind together a group in the same room. Playing an informal FIFA tournament for a few hours with a group of mates and pizza is simply brilliant, but equally brilliant is playing Wii bowling with your family on Boxing Day. It’s a very different experience for sure but the core is still the same, the game is tying you all together for that period of time.

More controversially perhaps I love DLC. I’m not saying I love DLC in all of its forms but I love developers being able to go back and add new features to a game, to include things that didn’t quite make the cut before the game had to go gold. Not only do they allow for developers to add their own ideas to games but, in some cases, it allows the ideas of fans to be brought into a game. There are certainly developers and publishers who are using it in ways that can seem greedy, but just think of this: they added vampires to Skyrim – how is that not brilliant?

Finally, and in spite of what I talked about last Sunday, I love downloadable stores and what they’ve done for gaming. They’re not perfect by any means, even Steam has problems at times, but I love the way they’ve brought smaller, more unique titles back to the forefront of gaming. AAA games will likely always be the industry’s big guns, but smaller titles open up new avenues and present ideas that probably wouldn’t appear when huge sums of money are on the line.

Downloadable stores also cut the other way, giving an outlet and exposure to developers who might find it difficult without them. They’re allowing a new generation of talent to flourish and that’s absolutely changed gaming for the better.

As I noted this isn’t an exhaustive list, it would simply be impractical to list everything I love, but sometimes it’s nice to be positive about this medium we all love. Hopefully I’ll remember that more in the future.



  1. I fully agree with you on Downloadable Stores and what it means for smaller games. I originally got my Vita with the anticipating of being able to play Uncharted on the bus or maybe being able to kill a few enemies in CoD whist having a pony. Since i got it though, I’ve really been enjoying the smaller downloadable titles like Sound Shapes, Mutant Blobs Attack, some Minis and PS1 games etc. Its made me appreciate these smaller games more and I think this is probably the future for the Vita.

    • the vision of someone having a crap while playin cod has put me off my dinner

      • Haha, i do appologise. It was the mobillity of the system which was what i was pointing towards

    • thats cool lol

  2. Yeah, gaming’s pretty good.

  3. DLC is indeed a great thing in this generation of consoles :)

  4. The true list would go on and on, I don’t doubt, but what’s wonderful about the online world is that there is now a collective (and immediate) voice for consumers. Sure, we still need developers and publishers to sit up and take notice but I can’t help feel at least some sort of revolution when it comes to the consumer voicing an opinion and actually being heard.

    For me, the second best thing about this generation has been PSN, XBLA, Steam and iTunes. The wonderment that is Flower, Journey, Limbo, Plants Vs Zombies and a scores of lovely little time-sinks on the iPhone (and other mobile devices). Long may it continue.

    First place goes to co-op gaming. It’s out of this world. Sod multiplayer (it’s just not for me). Barring having people on the sofa with you, grabbing some friends online and reducing them to a bloody pulp (in the likes of Left 4 Dead 2) is nothing short of gaming heaven.

    Lovely article, Kris, although I have to ask. Who told you that you were a miserable git (or words to that affect)? As it’s clearly prompted this article. :-p

  5. Gaming has evolved to a level I honestly never thought I’d see. I’m old, so I remember when multiplayer ment putting your quarter on top of the cabinet, (meaning you had next game) just to try to beat the high score. Then the day came when you could actually compete against another player standing side by side… the winner stayed to play the next challenger and the loser left to get more quarters to try again. The thing was though, multiplayer ment leaving the house. If you wanted to be connected you whent to the place everyone else whent to… the arcade or closest pizza joint that usually had a dark back room lit by the glows of Pac-Man and Mario Bros, mind you not the Super kind, just plain ol’ Mario Bros. So I really enjoy the connectivity we have today as gamers, I believe that being connected to millions of other gamers is the best thing about this gen. Next week I’ll be playing boarderlands 2 online with 3 friends that each live 1000s of miles away from me. CO-OP has come along way since Double Dragon

  6. Shorter games, online passes, expensive DLC, huge patches, hackers, DRM, lack of originality.
    There are so many things I hate about the games industry these days but then the likes of Uncharted, Portal or The Witcher are released and I shut up ;D

  7. I’m happiest with the complicated and involving narratives of the intelligently produced adventure games, and also racing games. I agree with Mike about coop, its way more enjoyable than competetive multiplayer, I guess that makes me a team player who likes his escapism.

    • Co-op is so much fun that I catch myself missing out on great one player games. Then again, I’m listening to my heart which is always good.

  8. I barely play competitive MP games. Killzone 2 was both, as is FIFA Pro Clubs. Teams vs teams. The one vs one aspect ( or indeed groups of randoms vs randoms) just doesnt float my boat.

    Coop is my online passion. Resistance 2, Dead Nation, Borderlands and those mentioned above are my special memories with gaming online.

    • this was supposed to be in reply to Mcphatty and mike :S

  9. Competitive Multiplayer only works for me with Sport based games or Racing. Most other games are perfect as a single player campaign or played in online/offline co-op.
    A perfect compromise for me with anything other than a sport or racing based online game would be a title like Sniper Elite V2 which had great single player and equally good online co-op modes with no competitive multiplayer in sight.
    There are a few exceptions to this rule for me but on the whole it applies.

  10. I can only use internet at college, and like well over half the world, so I don’t have internetat all, so DLC is a no no, plus these idots who say and bring out games that are not single player at all like World of Warcraft 3 and online play only, stupid!

    We are being treated like fools! It’s like saying you need two people to play cards or kick a ball, or do a shit! it’s all anti human rights, we have the right to play and do what we want to do, not what some fool says so. Who is more fool, the fool or the fool who follows the fool!

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