Growing up in a pivotal era of technology gave me a swathe of knowledge and experiences that most kids now likely won’t get. While technology is still advancing each and every year, there’s not quite such a shift as the 90s saw into the 2000s and even then into the 2010s. One of those huge changes in technology that made a big impact on my life is video games.
Gaming used to be all about the experience of going to the store, picking out a new game for your console, and bringing it home in excitement with zero expectations as to what you were going to get. It was all a mystery that was sitting there waiting for you to explore it. You didn’t typically read through game reviews online (as there weren’t many back then), ask your friends for their opinions, and then go get it. No, instead you would go in blind and just enjoy unlocking things with no help and really just being amazed at the experience of it all.
It seems that’s shifted big time since then, though. Now, you know exactly what games you want to buy before they even release, because they’ve been hyped up by big gaming expos and the game in question is likely part of a series that you already know you enjoy. Rarely do people decide to try a new game on a whim. They may try new games, sure, but it’s always calculated and researched before hand.
The other big difference is in the packaging, or lack thereof. Digital downloads and mobile gaming are taking the world by force, and while physical copies of games are still quite prevalent, it’s looking more and more like they may be on the way out in just a decade’s time.
The only thing I can really think of regarding this huge shift in the culture of video games is how different the experience must be for kids being introduced to games. I’m sure it’s just as fun and exciting as my experience was growing up, but I can’t help but feel it’s just a lot different and maybe not as “magical”.
So, something I’ve considered now that I’m old enough to be thinking about kids soon is how I’ll introduce gaming to them. It’s undoubtedly a part of my life with my significant other currently, so I know it’ll be a part of my children’s lives too.
Part of me, though, thinks we’ll dig out the old cardboard boxes full of cartridges and CDs and let our kids just play through older games. Because really, how would they know what a new game versus and older one is while still at a young age? Eventually they’d “graduate” into newer and newer games with better and better graphics, but they’d still learn to appreciate the more subtle things in games, such as story and dialogue that a lot of kids don’t see in their games today (because games such as Fortnite and Clash of Clans lack story, dialogue, and other common aspects in adventure games).
So, that gives me all the reason in the world to hold onto those old cardboard boxes full of games I never threw away, and I have no plans on getting rid of them anytime soon.