The gaming world has changed: videogames come on small, shiny things called CD's. A small child thousands of miles away in Korea can whip your ass at Starcraft II. Resident Evil is now considered to have bad voice acting. HD graphics have rendered the outside world obsolete. Hardcore gamers love EA and hate Activision. Yes, sir, the world has changed, and you can either nobly roll with the punches and embrace the future or sit in your favourite comfy, moth-bitten chair and bitch, bitch, bitch. These are some of the topics in gaming today that make old people feel cold and frightened.
New-Fangled Watchamajig: Paid-For-Perks
Old Gamer Says: 'Back in my day, we only had two choices: Pitfall or Pitfall. And if you didn't like it, it was off to the mines with you!'
Optimist Says: Premium content that unlocks, say all of Skate 3's features immediately (the "˜Time is Money' pack) or gives us "“ wow! "“ golden guns "“ may be laughable attempts by publishers to supplement their product (at best) and tasteless grabs for our cash (at worst), but we sure wouldn't like to live in a society where choice is discouraged. Premium perks that give online gamers an edge may seem unfair, favouring the man with the most money, but hey, isn't that what life is about anyway?
New-Fangled Watchamajig: Dark or desaturated visuals
Old Gamer Says: 'I demand all mature shooters, survival horror and post-apocalyptic games cease using dark or oppressive colour schemes because it makes me feel sad'.
Optimist Says: Just as they do with sound design and voice acting, developers take into account a game's art direction in order to evoke the appropriate emotion. Yes, a lot of recent games have tended towards grimy, gritty and grey colour palettes, but only because they are grimy, gritty and grey experiences themselves. Would Fallout 3 have been effective if it looked like Viva Pinata?
New-Fangled Watchamajig: Gamestop/Gamestation Pre-Order Bonuses
Old Gamer Says: 'You can't buy me with your dirty offers, Mr. Retailer. It's my choice if I want to dedicate the spare change I have after buying computer games on liquorice and trouser braces'.
Optimist Says: In a competitive market, rival companies compete for consumer's money by offering incentives. This is true for supermarkets, music and film companies and phone tariffs. Why do we feel threatened when game retailers start following the same practices? The increased competition between games retailers benefits the consumer.
New-Fangled Watchamajig: DLC
Old Gamer Says: 'Used to be, games ended when they ended. And you were GRATEFUL, no matter how long it was. Now I'm expected to spend my pension on post-release content that the developers started on before the game was even finished. No, sir!'
Optimist Says: God forbid the people behind games have a strategy in mind for ensuring a long-lasting and successful product. Would it be better if the extra content was an afterthought, appearing as a sudden brainwave in the game director's head as he sends the game out to retailers? Well then, enjoy your DLC a year after you've finished with the game.
New-Fangled Watchamajig: Online Gamers younger than you.
Old Gamer Says: 'Children should be neither seen nor heard, and they certainly shouldn't enjoy the games they paid for. Like, for instance, on Xbox Live or PSN, where even though I can't see or hear them (when I use the mute function) the very thought of their youthful laughter makes me cross'.
Optimist Says: Hey, old people. Remember when you were young? Probably not, but we doubt he or she would like the person they've grown into "“ presumptuous and bitter. Contrary to what is written in tabloids, not all children run on a diet of fizzy drinks and griefing, and for those you run into online that do, there are three things courses of action: mute, report, find a new match.
New-Fangled Watchamajig: First person shooters
Old Gamer Says: 'Have I ever played an FPS? Of course: Wolfenstein 3D - horrendous! Where is the ingenuity and creativity in shooters? Bioshock you say? Well...' splutters into handerkerchief
Optimist Says: It's natural "“ and paradoxical "“ for people to hate what's most popular. In gaming it's the FPS genre so, appropriately, it comes under fire by folks who deem it puerile and trivial. After all, how can the unwashed masses possibly have good taste? Well, Grandpa, there's a reason Halo 3 and Modern Warfare 2 are popular "“ because they're good games. How about putting down that walking stick and giving them a go?
New-Fangled Watchamajig: Motion Controls
Old Says: 'I'm too tired to stand and wave my arms around while I play. What's wrong with the humble thumbstick?'
Optimist Says: While we agree that a massive appeal of gaming lies in lounging on the couch, your most strenuous exertion prodding buttons with your fingers, there is definitely a place for new methods of videogame interaction (provided they're accurate). Couch potato gaming has its place, but, as anyone who has played Socom 4 with the Playstation Move will tell you, knock-over-the-lamp gaming can be a riot. And how else are you going to get Grandma to play Gran Turismo?
Want to have a moan yourself? Do so in the comments!