So there I was watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s when it occurred to me I was watching a film nearly 50 years old.
I think it can be a useful exercise to compare gaming to other forms of entertainment. You can look at a wide range of aspects and find similarities and differences. In fact I would love to read a detailed article exactly about that.
Anyway, the one aspect I want to concentrate on is longevity. Some forms of entertainment have been around a lot longer than others; music, stage and written stories have all been with us for many hundreds of years, so we will come back to them a little later.
Perhaps closer to gaming are television, movies and radio. The basic mechanics of making a movie haven’t changed all that much in the last 80 years. Sure, CGI is a huge change but it hasn’t replaced actors or real life movies. If you remade Breakfast at Tiffany’s today the quality of the image might be better, but it would essentially be the same film.
Is gaming too linked to the technical aspects to allow games to be enjoyed for more than a few years? Some players still play Half-Life, that’s over ten years after it was released but is that more to do with nostalgia than the quality of the game? Games look dated much faster than films or television.
Are some forms of entertainment simply timeless compared to gaming? Let’s talk about music, stage and written stories for a moment. I, like most people, believe I have a wide range of musical tastes. I can happily listen to John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme, followed by Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Little” Fugue in G minor and finish with Eminem’s Beautiful. They vary in age but that doesn’t affect my enjoyment.
Thousands of people every day listen to classical music written and first performed hundreds of years ago. It’s hard to believe that people would still be playing Half-life in 2209. The same goes for stage plays. Shakespeare’s work continues to be perform regularly.
We have all read books! Some from 20 years agao, some 100, some even more. Does that age spoil your enjoyment or in fact enhance it? With all forms of entertainment we have a window into the culture of where and when it was produced.
As much as I enjoy listening to the artists mentioned above, there is a special place in my heart for Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb simply because it was thee song of my formative years. In fact, I am listening to it as I type this.
We are so impressionable at that age that whatever experiences we have become very important to us. Is this the same with gaming? probably. Will whatever you were playing at that time be more important than anything after?
Perhaps we will simply be Remaking Games. Of course, your first reaction is Black Mesa Source and that’s valid, but that can’t continue. No team is going to commit to remaking the exact same game in each new engine. What we need is a
Back to the basic question. Will We Be Playing Half-Life in 20 Years Time?
I say probably, even in the original engine, simply because of that nostaliga feeling.
What do you think?