In today’s age computer gaming has become a sub-culture. It has actually been like that for years, since the days of Kings Quest 1, Zorg, Dig Dug and Pac-Man.
Over the past two decades there has been much advance in the computer gaming industry which is one of the most profitable industries in the world. In the old days all you needed was a good idea and a good programmer, some sound a bit of art and you had a masterpiece. Today computer game companies use scores of programmers, musicians, artists and games testers to produce their products.
As a result we have moved forward at a rapid pace in aspects such as graphics rendering, AI (artificial intelligence) and the general atmosphere or beauty of the game. It seems that every three months or even less the industry improves substantially. It is almost a digital assembly line. In fact, one could argue that it is exactly that. Mass production. In Hollywood the adage goes that if a formula works reuse it, it seems that the computer game industry has adopted the same view.
How many shooters followed Wolfenstien? How many strategy games followed War Craft? How many role-playing games followed Ultima? What were the differences? Graphics, sound and ease of play. No quantum leap forward – no new game genres. Sadly on top of this we have seen the exit of the adventure game genre, most probably because it requires much thought.
As a result a counter-culture of the gaming sub-culture has arisen – Retro Gaming – where gamers are returning to the simplicity and originality of abandon-ware or old games. This is obviously a niche market but allows some chance for aspiring games programmers who do not have a team of developers and a budget of millions to work with.
Like all areas of life there will always be the die-hard, and in the gaming culture its the retro gamer who can download most old games legally and for free off of the internet. Play on you hard-core enthusiasts.