Last week, Tim gave us a list of three things the video game industry can do without. And while he is definitely spot on, the reality is that it will be very hard to get rid of those things as it is what makes me dislike the game industry and the hobby I love sometimes.
But it did get me thinking, we live in a world of contrasts, and for everything bad about the video game industry, there has to be something to counter it, something that shows that everything is not as bad as we think, and something that we need more of to fight against the ugly side of things.
Here are four such things, we can definitely have some more of.
Video games should be for everyone
There are still those who believe that video games are still a sort of boys club, where all the games should only be made for white, heterosexual males, since it is obviously the only people who play the games. They argue that there are no women, or gay people who play the games, so why should developers cater to those peoples’ needs?
Well, there’s might still be some merit to the argument that most of the people who play games are white, straight males, but statistics have consistently shown that the margin is shrinking and that more and more women and people who identify as non-binary are playing and enjoying games. So why should all the games be made for you? If somebody makes a that is not aimed at your demographic, why should you care? Be happy for those who do love it and move on. The more love, compassion and inclusion we have towards one another, the less toxicity and anger we will experience in this world.
Publishers and developers who actually care
Some developers have cultivated an image as heroes who truly make wonderful games, and really care about the experience they give us. Developers like CD Projekt RED and Santa Monica Studio, and even one of my own favourites, From Software springs to mind. They simply set out to make good games, and we fall in love with the games they make not because of all the monetisation and lootcrates, but rather the fulfilling experiences they give us. Hell, even The Witcher III: The Wild Hunt released with some technical issues, but because of the overall effort, a ton of after-release support and some free stuff that the likes of EA, 2K or Ubisoft would have charged for, it became one of the most loved games of the generation. We need more of this in our lives, it is these types of game companies we need to support, because they don’t try and nickle and dime at every step, and maybe if they reach some sort of success the other greedy publishers might come around.
Special mention to Nintendo and Sony, who are platform holders, and have done some stupid things in the past, but they do make some pretty impressive, complete games without too much bullshit.
More catering to special needs
There is no doubt that developers have started bringing in more and more options when it comes to accessibility of their video games. A lot of games have things like colourblind settings, the ability to remap controllers and it is almost unheard of for games to not include subtitles. Microsoft also released the adaptive controller last year and from what we’ve seen of it, it has changed many lives.
But is enough being done to make the medium we love and have a privilege to enjoy as welcoming to everyone? I am not an expert, or have a solution for what needs to be done, and I’m not criticising anybody for the work that needs to be done. What I am saying is that it should never stop, and that we should keep encouraging and supporting those who do make video games that everyone can enjoy.
Charity is something there can never be enough of, since there are always people in the world that require some kind of assistance due to circumstances they cannot control. Many communities have come together to assist those in need and the video gaming communities out there are no different. Video games are sometimes seen as a negative thing with it being associated with mass shootings, and it not being good for kids since mainstream media always needs an excuse. So showing the world that those cases are the extreme outliers does make sense to people who sometimes feel attacked for liking something with a false and negative perception.
But charity should never be done to improve your image, but rather to really help those who need it most even if nobody ever see you do it. That is what true charity is. One the other side of the coin however, the more people know about your event or charity, the more impact you can potentially have on the lives of those you are trying to assist. There are some incredibly gaming charities like Games Done Quick and even Humble Bundle (which we sometimes forget is a charity) that do some incredible things and have raised a lot of money through generous donations from the gaming community. It shows that we are a bunch of compassionate people that will always try and help where we can and we can always do with more such initiatives.
WHEW that was quite a ramble, and I am finally done. But I am sure there’s a lot more that can be done to make the video game industry a better place for all and some more things that we can do with more of. So let us know what you think in comments.