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Just realised why games are dumbing down...

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  • GTwanderGTwander San Diego, CAPosts: 6,035Member
    Originally posted by Quirhid

    OPs claim is so absurd and self-congratulatory I would have never imagined it got this kind of response. Unbelievable.

    ~and I see someone that can't survive without a warp whistle.

    Others have chosen to agree or disagree, then explain why. You, on the other hand, immediately chose to get offended. That tells me what side of the fence you consider yourself to be on.

    Writer / Musician / Game Designer

    Now Playing: Skyrim, Wurm Online, Tropico 4
    Waiting On: GW2, TSW, Archeage, The Rapture

  • QuicklyScottQuicklyScott BristolPosts: 433Member

    It's becauase they never went to arcades.  Games moved into your home.  Back in the day you went to an arcade and the objective of the game company was to get you to keep putting those coins in the machine, so games were very hard.  The industry was revolved around this style of play(or i assume so, I'm not too old).  Thats all dead now, comapnies want to please and comfort people, there is an apparent forulae to this, that's why they're dumbing down.

    image

  • dave6660dave6660 New York, NYPosts: 2,543Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Saerain
    Originally posted by MMOarQQ

    Mainstream appeal for the mainstream IQ. 

     

    Considering how we have to keep renormalizing IQ ratings because the average keeps rising, then once we've reached maximum saturation, we should see the ‘dumbing-down’ reverse if it's really about how intelligent the players are.

    The Flynn effect is rather controversial.  It has ended in the US a decade ago.  It also assumes IQ is an accurate method of determining intelligence.

    “There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke, though the wit thereof he but dimly discerns, and more than suspects that the joke is at nobody's expense but his own.”
    -- Herman Melville

  • GTwanderGTwander San Diego, CAPosts: 6,035Member
    Originally posted by dave6660
    Originally posted by Saerain
    Originally posted by MMOarQQ

    Mainstream appeal for the mainstream IQ. 

     

    Considering how we have to keep renormalizing IQ ratings because the average keeps rising, then once we've reached maximum saturation, we should see the ‘dumbing-down’ reverse if it's really about how intelligent the players are.

    The Flynn effect is rather controversial.  It has ended in the US a decade ago.  It also assumes IQ is an accurate method of determining intelligence.

    Back in grade school they handed out tests that were made to determine if someone was eligible for 'gate' and 'seminar' classes (basically, the classes for smart kids), but the test was nothing more than a book of visual-pattern puzzles with multiple-choice answers lined out.

    I considered myself smart enough, way back in 4th grade, to know how much bullshit was involved in all that.

    ~Plus, I played enough tetris at the time to basically have had a primer for it.

    Writer / Musician / Game Designer

    Now Playing: Skyrim, Wurm Online, Tropico 4
    Waiting On: GW2, TSW, Archeage, The Rapture

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member
    Originally posted by spikers14
    Not everybody is a competitve gamer? It just means more people are playing video games.

    And the components of what constitutes "skill, exactly?" become a little more subjective with every additional game.

    You can make those big, meaningless, open-ended value judgements like "all games are getting dumbed down" and rarely get challenged on it (we've stopped even trying). 

    Repeat often enough, and people are positively eager to substitute shortcut message board memes for actual original thought.

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • ZippyZippy NY, NYPosts: 1,412Member

    I don't think its entirely the type of game that people were brought up on but more the age of the player.  Those who have grown up in the internet generation (under 35) simply do not  have the patience or maturity to play MMOs.  They need to be constantly entertained, pampered and hand held.  They do not have the ability to think on their own, handle situations where there is actual time for thought and in many cases they simply do not have the social skills to interact with adults.

  • AxehiltAxehilt San Francisco, CAPosts: 8,747Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Cuathon

    The reason that simple games are more popular is not because they are "better". Every feature you add to a game could be a deal breaker for a lot of people. For instance in MMOs some deal breakers are FFA PvP, extensive crafting, settings.

    Now some settings are more popular. Does that mean they are better? No.

    Further, simplicity was a hall mark of early games because they can't manage complexity. And because people were less educated. If the majority of the population cannot do math or read, how are they going to manage complex games? What about free time? We can e quite sure that limited free time is a factor in what games you like.

     A lot of text based browser games have time settings. In games that don't the forums are full of arguments about which time span is the best. Each group argues that their time span is ideal. They don't want a 24 second turn because its too fast for them and gives active players too much time. Yet they claim that an hour is too slow a time span, they want 30 minutes. The hour group says 30 minutes is too fast but 2 hours or 3 hours is too slow.

    Its all totally relative to how much free time you have.

    I could go on and on about the assumptions you make but I suspect you aren't capable of making a large change in belief. 

    The point is that you don't even attempt to interrogate the context in which that quote was made. There are actually some mechanics in chess that we could take out to make it simpler and imo more interesting.

    Popularity isn't being discussed here.  Game depth without overcomplexity is what's being discussed.

    As for early games "lacking the tech", that's nonsense and I guess you never played early adventure, strategy, or simulation games?  The lackluster success of early simulation games is a direct result of these games tending to have a poor "game depth per complexity" quotient, as a result of their systems being implemented specifically to mimick reality (rather than being implemented because they made the game deeper, or more fun.)

    Complexity doesn't improve games.  It's not the goal.  Depth is the goal.  So any complexity which fails to make a game deeper actually makes the game worse overall.

    Not sure why you feel your time settings tangent relates to the conversation at hand.  We're talking about game depth and complexity, neither of which relates to session length. 

    "Joe stated his case logically and passionately, but his perceived effeminate voice only drew big gales of stupid laughter..." -Idiocracy
    "There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance." -Socrates

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common
    Originally posted by GTwander
    Originally posted by Quirhid

    OPs claim is so absurd and self-congratulatory I would have never imagined it got this kind of response. Unbelievable.

    ~and I see someone that can't survive without a warp whistle.

    Others have chosen to agree or disagree, then explain why. You, on the other hand, immediately chose to get offended. That tells me what side of the fence you consider yourself to be on.

    I am not offended, I am amazed how many people agree. Ofcourse I disagree, your argument is absolutely ridiculous! Others (Venge, Axehilt...) have tried to explain why. I don't know how I can help.

    1. Your perception is wrong. Games are not dumbing down.
    2. There's hardly ever a simple reason for anything.
    3. You think your generation is something special. You are not - no one is special.

     

    I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  • CalerxesCalerxes LondonPosts: 1,630Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by GTwander

    Generation clash.

    I, for one, was born in 83' and had my hands on an NES by the time I was two. I still have memories of playing Metroid and having absolutely no clue as to what to do with it, but eventually kicking the shit out of that game at a *very* early age. Regardless of the age you were when you played the incredibly difficult games of the first generation of home consoles, you likely have a skillset I would consider 'superior' to modern gamers, that is, unless you were never able to get over the peripheral challenge that came with PS2-era controllers.

    Gamers indoctrinated at any point around say, the N64, have no clue how difficult games used to be, and if confronted with one, they would pull hairs out. I've actually seen this in many of my younger friends that had an older brother's NES and never got into it, but jumped right into the first Xbox easily. Likely because it looked better, and not much else... but I would definitely argue that simplicity/ease is the hallmark of the later generations of gamers, while those around at the inception of the industry will constantly search for something more challenging.

     

    I was born in 1970 and I played on Cabinets (god you're old) Pong, Space Invaders, Galaxians, Defender, Scramble, Pac Man et al and I new exactly what to do from the get go at age 6-12 so I have an inferior skill set because those games were easy and just required patience to grind screen after screen after screen after screen after screen. But I also played ZX spectrum games, text adventure, graphical adventures, side scrollers, platform games, shooters and then progressed to Atari, Amstrad, Super Nintendo, N64, PC and still play games today. Old games were not harder you were just younger with an underdeveloped sense of co-ordination and a naive mind. You are not superior to modern gamers.

    This doom and gloom thread was brought to you by Chin Up™ the new ultra high caffeine soft drink for gamers who just need that boost of happiness after a long forum session.

  • Often when someone claims something is "dumbed down" it usually doesn't mean it's less complex, but that the person doesn't like it because it's not what he expected.

    There's also still plenty of complex games. Complexity doesn't necesarily mean depth, though. But we have deep games, too.

  • QuirhidQuirhid TamperePosts: 5,969Member Common
    Originally posted by Axxar

    Often when someone claims something is "dumbed down" it usually doesn't mean it's less complex, but that the person doesn't like it because it's not what he expected.

    There's also still plenty of complex games. Complexity doesn't necesarily mean depth, though. But we have deep games, too.

    The problem is that some believe complexity guarantees depth or that those two, complexity and depth, mean the same thing.

    I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  • HerXHerX CPGPosts: 22Member

    In my opinion it's to many crybabies trolling the forums begging for nerfing the game down. Have you encountered any game lately that wasn't plagued by them?

  • Pratt2112Pratt2112 Posts: 1,537Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by GTwander
    Originally posted by Goll25

     Gaming is not for a fringe group and children anymore, it is the most viable form of entertainment.

    ~but when I was a child, I was playing games meant for said "fringe group".

    Perhaps because that was the choice at-hand back then, but there were still plenty of kids games that simply didn't interest me. I wanted what the adults were playing, and I think that's a sentiment that still exists today - even when those games meant for adults are aimed at a broader audience, as you say.

    Again, a game that aims at a "broader" base of players doesn't make it good, it makes it a potential seller. We could argue all day about the Transfomer's movie franchise, which made more than it deserved to, vs Donnie Darko, which absolutely flubbed in theaters and didn't make the money back until it hit DvD.

     We've entered what I've started to think of as the "Idiot Box Generation", or "Couch Potato Generation" if the word "idiot" isn't "PC" enough for some :).

    The times you speak of GT, which I also came up through (the first game console I remember ever touching was an Atari 2600, and played Coleco, Intellivision, Nintendo after, etc), were when gamers actually welcomed challenge. They expected to be challenged, and the more challening something was, the more they enjoyed it. Generally speaking.

    I remember a game called "Tombs and Treasure" for the NES that was freaking difficult. The puzzles in that game were just diabolical at times. But it was awesome when it "clicked" and you were able to solve them.

    Over time, as gaming became more mainstream and more appealing to companies, they - as they always do - started to simplify and streamline everything to appeal to a "wider audience". That "least common denominator" so often mentioned. The result is the games became simpler.

    The same thing happened in TV. In order to capture a larger audience, television became more and more dumbed down so as to appeal to more people. People, it seemed, didn't want to think. They just wanted to be entertained. They wanted to shut their brains off and enjoy the ride. And TV provided that.

    I'm a believer that if the brain isn't constantly challenged with new things, or things that at least require someone to really use their minds, that it becomes lazy and spoiled. As a result, people stop taking on new and challenging things and only gravitate toward the easier, "mindless" stuff that's easier and requires less effort to consume. I've witnessed that very transition happen in two people in particular (though I'm sure I'd see it in more if circumstances allowed it). One person is my sister, another is a good friend of mine.

    For my sister, she used to love more complex games. I remember she checked out Anarchy Online some years back and had very little trouble picking it up and getting into it. She also played more involved PC games all around. Over time, though, she got sucked into games with less complexity such as WoW and various facebook type games. It literally made her brain-lazy. She tried to pick up Anarchy Online again one day not too long ago and found it was too complex for her. She couldn't wrap her mind around it. Lineage 2 frustrated her in that she couldn't figure out what to do. The issue basically is that she'd become so used to and dependent on all the hand-holding she'd gotten for several years that her mind became lazy.  Where the idea of having to actively figure things out would have excited her before, now it was a complete frustration and a turn-off. Her remarks upon quitting Anarchy Online were, "They need to add more helpers in this game. It's too confusing. They need to show you where to go and what to do".

    The second example with my friend actually shows a rebound. My friend was a huge table-top AD&D player for a long time. Loved complex rule and character development systems and could rattle off the statistics of just about anything in the older MMOs from his memory like he was reading it from a book. The guy loved a challenge. Loved having to figure things out and "put things together".

    Then he, too, got into WoW, which he played for several years, along with some other games that were similarly "streamlined".

    He went to check out FFXI at one point and showed almost immediate frustration. "Where do you get quests from?", he asked. I said "from NPCs you see around town". "Well, they don't have anything over their head indicating they have a quest". I said "Nope. This is a more old-school RPG in that sense. You have to talk to them and see what they have to say, and actually pay attention to what they say". "That's horrible", he said, "They need to add some kind of marker over their head so people know who to talk to". I reminded him that he'd played games for years that didn't provide that andhe not only did fine, but he loved it. He stopped and said "Yeah, that's true. I guess WoW's made me lazy". His words, not mine lol.

    A little while later he pointed out frustration at figuring out where to go to complete a quest. "They don't show you on the map", he complained. I said, "you have to read the info the NPC gives you. They tell you where to go. Once you get there you'll figure out what to do. Just like the old-school games". He laughed and said "WoW strikes again. I didn't realize how much that game spoiled me".

    Funny thing happened after that. I think that experience sorta flipped a switch in his brain, or simply irritated him, because soon after, he dropped WoW altogether and started seeking out more complex games again, things that challenged him. And he found he loved them again.

    For myself, I never went down that road. When I started to feel that a given game was becoming too streamlined for my taste, and was taking me out of the equation too much by showing me everything and handing me everything, I stopped playing them. I can't enjoy myself when I feel like the game is holding my hand every second. I keep thinking, "good grief, back the hell off and let me play".

    So there's a few examples I can give off-hand of how the simplification of games over time has spoiled, or at least can spoil, people to the point where they actually feel they need it to be that way in order to enjoy it. They want that same "turn your brain off and enjoy the ride" experience. In fact, I've seen people come right out and say they don't play games to be challenged. They play them to be entertained. So that's right out of the horse's mouth. I could never understand that attitude as, to me, the two aren't mutually exclusive. I find challenges to be very entertaining. I mean, why do people do crossword puzzles or play Sudoku? I don't think it's because they really enjoy writing letters and numbers on a piece of paper. They play them because it's challenging, and they find the challenge enjoyable.

    The "addiction" to challenge and community in games has steadily been replaced with the addiction to loot drops and achievements.  Gaming has gone the same route as Television, I think. It's steadily transitioned into a generation of "idiot box gaming". Turn off your brain and enjoy the ride.

     

     

  • Ashen_XAshen_X PLEASANT HILL, CAPosts: 363Member

    I don't think its generation clash, or anything of the sort.

     

    I believe that computer gaming has become much more mainstream and that game compainies are aiming for the lowest common denominator in order to sell more boxes.

     

    If only 10% of a company's target customer base will be able to play and enjoy your product due to difficulty, the company will ,"dumb," it down to try reaching more.

     

    Unfortunately this phenomenon is almost completely unavoidable.

    When all has been said and done, more will have been said than done.

  • zymurgeistzymurgeist Pittsville, VAPosts: 5,212Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Axehilt

    Games are simpler because the pinnacle of game design isn't complexity.  It's simplicity.

    Chess is not a complex game.  It's deep-yet-simple.  The rules can fit on one piece of paper.  That's good game design.

    It's good to strive for simplicity, but you have to also implement deep systems.  WOW accomplished that (despite naysayers seeing the skin-deep simplicity and assuming it was a shallow game, when it wasn't,) and that was a big part of the game's success.

     That's a superlative mission statement. I wish developers would truly embrace it and when they achieve it I wish they would quit mucking with it. 

    "Strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause" ~Victor Hugo

  • @TangentPoint: I don't even want to know how many players your story can be transferred to almost on a 1 to 1 basis. Myself included at one point.

    My cure at the time was to complete

    - Ultima 7: The Black Gate

    - Ultima 7: Serpent Isle

    These games really make you appreciate problem solving, exploration and independence. It does wonders for your patience, too! A power cocktail for the mind.

  • GrixxittGrixxitt New Orleans, LAPosts: 543Member

    This post makes me seriously wonder if the test based Zork series I cut my teeth on would even be recognized as "games" by a modern 10 year old.

    The above is my personal opinion. Anyone displaying a view contrary to my opinion is obviously WRONG and should STHU. (neener neener)

    -The MMO Forum Community

  • GrixxittGrixxitt New Orleans, LAPosts: 543Member
    Originally posted by Quirhid
    Originally posted by GTwander
    Originally posted by Quirhid

    OPs claim is so absurd and self-congratulatory I would have never imagined it got this kind of response. Unbelievable.

    ~and I see someone that can't survive without a warp whistle.

    Others have chosen to agree or disagree, then explain why. You, on the other hand, immediately chose to get offended. That tells me what side of the fence you consider yourself to be on.

    I am not offended, I am amazed how many people agree. Ofcourse I disagree, your argument is absolutely ridiculous! Others (Venge, Axehilt...) have tried to explain why. I don't know how I can help.

    1. Your perception is wrong. Games are not dumbing down.
    2. There's hardly ever a simple reason for anything.
    3. You think your generation is something special. You are not - no one is special.

     

     

    Personally I blame the fact that so many PC games are console ports (lack of buttons and streamlining pretty much everything) for the "dumbing down" effect. The fact that games ARE getting dumbed down can pretty much be proven by looking at dropped/missing features, quests that require some form of thought etc.

    The above is my personal opinion. Anyone displaying a view contrary to my opinion is obviously WRONG and should STHU. (neener neener)

    -The MMO Forum Community

  • AxehiltAxehilt San Francisco, CAPosts: 8,747Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by zymurgeist
    Originally posted by Axehilt

    Games are simpler because the pinnacle of game design isn't complexity.  It's simplicity.

    Chess is not a complex game.  It's deep-yet-simple.  The rules can fit on one piece of paper.  That's good game design.

    It's good to strive for simplicity, but you have to also implement deep systems.  WOW accomplished that (despite naysayers seeing the skin-deep simplicity and assuming it was a shallow game, when it wasn't,) and that was a big part of the game's success.

     That's a superlative mission statement. I wish developers would truly embrace it and when they achieve it I wish they would quit mucking with it. 

    Sort of.  I mean, you're probably not playing the older games which achieved that goal in the past, so to a certain degree you DO want things mucked with.  But yeah, the safer way to "muck" with things is to let the old game stay as it is and create a new game which is also deep.

    Then there's also the issue of just how deep a game can go.  With the right tweaks a game can actually become more and more deep as more strategies become viable (or at least that's definitely the case in RTS games.)

    "Joe stated his case logically and passionately, but his perceived effeminate voice only drew big gales of stupid laughter..." -Idiocracy
    "There is only one good, knowledge, and one evil, ignorance." -Socrates

  • TruthXHurtsTruthXHurts El Do, KSPosts: 1,555Member

    How many NES games did you beat in 4-6 hours? That's the average playability of a single player campaign these days. Games are a million times larger than they were, but the playtimes are 1/10 of what they used to be.

    "I am not in a server with Gankers...THEY ARE IN A SERVER WITH ME!!!"

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member

    You must complain about how the games just aren't smart or tough enough for you; else other gamers might not be awed by how very amazing you are. 

    Adolescent /pose and /flex, the game or forums is your only outlet for cheap braggadocio.

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • BeansnBreadBeansnBread PshPosts: 5,501Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Icewhite

    You must complain about how the games just aren't smart or tough enough for you; else other gamers might not be awed by how very amazing you are. 

    Adolescent /pose and /flex, the game or forums is your only outlet for cheap braggadocio.

    I still love you no matter what, you know.

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member
    Originally posted by colddog04
    I still love you no matter what, you know.

    I need an adult!  Bad touch, bad touch!

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  • FredomSekerZFredomSekerZ Long Beach, CAPosts: 1,156Member
    Originally posted by Icewhite
    Originally posted by colddog04
    I still love you no matter what, you know.

    I need an adult!  Bad touch, bad touch!

    I'm a man.

    Proof- I play Hello Kitty Online

  • IcewhiteIcewhite Elmhurst, ILPosts: 6,403Member
    Originally posted by FredomSekerZ

    I'm a man.

    Er, okay, but you're almost 70 years late for that protest.

    Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

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