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Ketchaval

Video games have a limited audience.

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http://www.pointlesswasteoftime.com/games/crash.html This article says it all. Particularly page 2 http://www.pointlesswasteoftime.com/games/crash2.html Which explains that after 30 gamers migrate to DVDs/ family / work. So maybe we are destined to be the medium of kids?

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Literally. I'll pop in a DVD because a movie only requires two hours from my busy schedule of work and home repairs and chasing kids off my lawn. Getting to the end of a video game, however, requires hours upon hours of play. Not because the story is hours long, mind you, but because getting through each scene requires practice and repetition and repetition and repetition, all in the hopes of seeing that exploding Death Star cutscene at the end.

Sounds like the ranting of a bitter person who's been playing far too much EA shovelware and FPSs.

I love it when people decry the lack of innovation. In reality they're just looking at the (few!) big name games that get all the publicity. Gaming has never been better, people just need to expand their horizons more. :)

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I shouldn't even even credit this thread with a response, but I have to say this:

It will be really amusing when the game industry is still around in 10 years and prospering. David Wong obviously has not fully analyzed the psychology of what attracts gamers to games, let alone the innovations that have and can still be made in the industry. It's also funny that he mentions that games will ultimately be left to younger audiences since the average age of a gamer has actually increased to the early 30's (I don't remember the exact mean age at this time but I'll post it if I find the report). If early fans of video games weren't still playing games the average age of a gamer would be much lower. Anyway, the entire article reminds me of this famous quote:

"Everything that can be invented has been invented."
- Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899

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It's PWOT article, I don't think you're supposed to take it completely seriously.

He does make some fairly good points, but they don't exactly spell doom for the industry. More likely, the industry will adapt to fulfil new niches as the audience widens, and the gaming community starts to get older.

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Ketcheval, I think the opposite is true. In time, we will be living video games. I like the thought of that career opportunity. I admit to blatant optimism.

Adventuredesign

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lets see...I'm 35...and at the end of a long hard day at work...first thing on my mind is getting food and a beer...second is haveing sex with the girlfriend...baring those two...I'd prolly throw in a movie before playing a video game...but if no flicks seem appealing I'd fire up a game of old classics like Dig Dug or Robotron...honestly I realy have to be in the right mood to play most newer games...the classics are easy to start, easy to put down, and the rewards come nice and quick, and they don't require tons of brain power to memorize locations of things, complex controls, plot twists, and all that crap...and when the kids are over (ages 3 and 1.5) forget about playing video games at all or watching TV

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Examples of the current state of the game industry related to demographics:

I currently work for a multimedia company that employs about 25 people; animators, graphic artists, web designers, programmers, and engineers. The average age at my office is probably somewhere between 28 and 32. About half of the employees have kids, and all but two of the employees are married. Five of the employees have four kids or more. Somehow we all manage to get together and play LAN games after work almost every single day. Sometimes we get together on weekends. Two of the employees who have five kids each play probably about 2-4 hours a week. The rest of us play about 4-6 hours a week that I know of. This doesn't count time that my co-workers play at home since I obviously don't track their personal time. Typically we play FPS games like Unreal, Desert Combat, or Battlefield Vietnam, but we also occasionally play classics like StarCraft and a few of us play WarCraft III.

So considering that the majority of us are married and most have children we still manage to play a decent amount during the week. This same after-work activity also occured at the architectural firm I previously worked at as well where the average age was actually higher. This also applies to the startup game studio I worked for, but that example should be omitted as it's obviously going to have a hard-core game following among the employees.

The point is, there is still a market for a broad demographic of game players. Granted the older players probably won't have time to sit down and play a traditional RPG, an adventure game, or log ridiculous hours on an MMORPG, but there is still time for games that offer a quick gameplay fix. I belive that if developers want to retain older audiences that they simply need to make games that can be played in small segments where memorizing your previous activities and next objectives isn't required. I think there will always be a market for epic story-driven games, but these will likely serve the demographic that they have always had; teenagers and twenty-something year olds. No matter what though, you won't see a decline in the industry. Perhaps, we will witness a shift in the types of games that are created, but these will likely be additions to the genres and game-types that already exist, not replacements.

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I don't have any neat statistics, but just chatting with my company's network administrator the other day, he was asking me about any new, hot games coming out soon. He's probably about 35, maybe even 40, has a 7 year old son... Anyway, he told me he had been playing WoW (world of warcraft you all know, im sure) and had a level 50, and previously in dark age of camelot he had 3 max level characters. So, there are definitely at least a few older gamers seriously putting the grind in on mmorpgs.

Edit: how the hell did I edit in a double-post?? Sorry.

[Edited by - Optus on May 25, 2005 2:37:05 PM]

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My guitar teacher is 29, and I have a talk about the latest games out pretty much every time I run into him.

My dad is 53, and he's currently playing through Baldur's Gate: Throne of Bhaal, and is hoping to finish it soon so he can try out Command and Conquer Generals. If there's been any change in his gaming habits, it's that he's gaming more and more as he get's more free time, hence why he's been playing through some slightly older titles. One of my best mates has a dad about the same age who is always up for a shot at Halo2 with us on the XBox, and can usually be found on thier computer trying out the latest game he's bought when noone else is using it.

Also, I'm a member of a Neverwinter Nights guild, although I rarely play these days. Excepting myself and a couple of other members, most of the guild could be considered "middle aged" or even old (we have a ~70yo), leading some of the other groups we play with to dub us "the old fart's guild".

In short, I think it's total crap that "middle aged people don't play video games."


While he does raise some interesting points in regaurds to the small incremental improvements currently being made, I don't think this in any way will lead to the downfall of the industry. If anything, the halt of major graphical improvements will force people to focus more on other features, and we'll likely begin to see some more interesting and varied gameplay (yes, it is already out there if you look) with awesome graphics to boot. We're already starting to see it, with the major success of games such as Rez and Katamari Damacy, and the increased focus on physics and AI in FPS games.

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These stories were very entertaining and I think that is their only true goal. There is a measurable difference between new consoles and old, but even with existing consoles video games continue to innovate and get better.

People will always want something new in video games as they play old ones and move on to new ones, and we are all learning more and more new ways to make them fun.

The industry grows each year and many of the best selling games are not innovative at all. People want to buy Madden each year because of the new statistics and tiny gameplay advancements.

Fun links though. Thanks.

Edit: I started skimming the 2nd article just now and read two bad facts.

The writer states that the XBox and Gamecube failed. Actually, both were wildly successful and made their parent companies a ton of cash.

Also, the GPU (graphics card) for the PS3 is being designed by Nvidia. . . not ATI.



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