Video Games Are Over

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Modern video games are an industrialised product that satisfies checklists at the cost of a unique identity and product. They are deceptively marketed and maliciously monetized.

Occasionally a video game will come out that is just trying to be a fun video game. These are few and far between.

This is not a nostalgia post, modern video games are genuinely terrible.

Why do they suck?

The simple answer and the correct one is: money. Video games have been watered down and industrialised into a checklist of what sells and what gets social media reactions. Many businesses have been led to believe that social media exposure is free advertising. Anyone with a basic understanding of social media algorithms can tell you why this isn’t true.

Additionally the rise of games as a service has effectively made every video game the same with some aesthetic differences. On top of that these service games are psychologically engineered to encourage you to spend as much time as possible playing their game over the competitor’s game as well as spending as much money as possible in their in-game store.

The “indie” title has become increasingly meaningless as industrial gaming corporations have co-opted it.

While there is clearly a desire for video games that are made “the old way”, games made this way are few and far between and as soon as a developer gets a reputation for making games like this they get acquired by a larger corporation and these types of video game disappear with that acquisition.

Industrialised video games are produced with the budget of hollywood movies, with checklists (the developers cannot diverge from) of what marketing execs think will sell the product and they would rather divert resources to fighting criticism than taking it on board. All of this results in video games being designed for an “average gamer” that doesn’t exist.

Additionally and most obviously, video games are no longer being developed by the same type of people. Designers, writes, artists, etc all have agenda’s and they intend to use their product to groom you to that agenda. You already knew this.

Muh nostalgia!

Older games were designed differently, no one can dispute this. The way that they were designed respected the player’s intelligence and their time.

Additionally the technology to rinse your customers didn’t exist yet (at least at scale) so even if the idea did cross someone’s mind it wasn’t implementable in a meaningful or functional way. This led to video games being designed to be challenging, fun and replayable since they wanted you to come back and buy the sequel.

Gamers devised their own ways of competing with one another (the origin of speedruns) but most importantly gamers owned their games, they could loan them to friends, they could sell what they didn’t like, they could rent to try, some developers even made demos so you didn’t need to rent.

That’s not to say that every old game was great, of course not. A lot of them probably sucked. In fact, most of them did. But the ones that didn’t suck are still talked about decades later, they are still played decades later, there are entire communities online dedicated to them that have been around almost as long as the games themselves. You won’t see this kind of community building effort for most modern games as they are replaced annually and are designed to be played by people that don’t exist.


Put simply there are three solutions to the problem of modern games:

  1. Get a better hobby. This doesn’t mean you can’t go back and play your video games occasionally but being realistic any “hobby” that isn’t productive isn’t healthy.
  2. Just sit back, relax, enjoy your older video games and wait for this accursed industry to collapse in on itself.
  3. Only support developers that respect you as a customer, you can also download an emulator or get some classics from GOG.

The important part is that you recognise that modern games are not designed to be fun, but to be addictive and profitable at your expense.