I'm tired. So many people pushing to change gaming away from what it had always been. Rights being removed in the interest of profit...and people support them. Discussions becoming hateful over differences of opinion where a fit is thrown and I'm removed from a group of people I thought I could consider friends that I could go and talk over ideas openly with. Or maybe it's a sign of an issue that resides with me.
I've been working on computers since I was 4 years old on the original Macintosh back in the early 80's and have been pushing to do more and more in the world of electronics ever since. Gaming caught my attention shortly after the discovery of computers with a simple little game that I can't even remember the name of now on that old green and black screen. The point was simple...you chose a difficulty then a maze would be generated that you had to make your way from A to B. Simple, but it opened me up to such an amazing amount of possibility.
Jump forward a few years and my next big gaming milestone was the Christmas I received my original Nintendo Entertainment System. With Mario jumping to and fro while ducks were being slaughtered with a smile on my face, gaming had just become even further than I had even imagined it. Worlds were shown to me that I could learn about and grow through exploration and skill. This in turn fueled many of my adventures as I explored the new and different area of Florida we had just moved to from my original home back in Virginia. This place became another "world" for me to explore. And then time continued.
As we move ahead, my interest in computers had not lessened at all but my access had. I looked everywhere I could to get my hands onto a keyboard and mouse be it at someone else's house, at school, or even trips back home to Virginia where I could get access to that same old Macintosh. Anything would do...I would find a way to learn something from it. Even one computer my Dad brought home from his work that was already old and outdated by those current standards gave me something to learn. Gaming was non existent, at least in a traditional fashion. I ended up using it to try and speed up my typing making a game out of that. I would time myself to get better and faster at either typing what I wanted as I went or by reading a book and typing it without looking at the keyboard.
While these basic PC interactions were going on, I was exploring the world of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System at friends' houses as I was still using my trusty NES to play the later games like Mega Man 6 or the copy of Kirby's Adventure that proved a bit difficult for my little brother but ended up being a new world to explore that I hadn't seen coming.
Games like Mario Paint introduced me to early ways that digital art and music were created which lead to Photoshop and other such programs today. It helped me practice with using a mouse as I didn't have a computer at home to do that with most of the time. As I said before, I would look everywhere to try and learn something.
Now let us skip a few generations and come to now. I can build computers and do some IT work for my job, but I don't really prefer them to playing on a console for the simple fact I enjoy just putting a game in and having it work. I like the way a controller can, well, give you control over a game in such a way that you don't have to think about it much for most titles. This thought has come up a few times where people strongly disagreed with me becoming as some would describe a "PC Elitist" to point out that their PC can run the game five frames a second faster, or in such a resolution the human eye can no longer tell much of a difference one way or the other for most people alive today. I understand the "hot rod enthusiast" mentality at play here, but what is becoming worse and worse is people focus so much on graphics, power, money, etc that so many of us have completely forgotten about what a game really is.
I am guilty of this from time to time myself. I have a seething discomfort with this move towards digital downloads for games because I keep seeing the one side that is using it as a means to control what you play and how you can play it. I keep forgetting there is a whole other side that is using this new means to get their smaller games out for more people to do just what I want so many to do...just play.
I am a collector, I have been for a number of years as something I enjoy to do, but I honestly started doing it for a more base reason...I wanted friends. People wouldn't show much interest in the nerdy guy, but if he had the new thing...maybe we can put up with him. Find he has a bunch of the games you wish you could play again..maybe you will decide to actually visit. I've moved beyond that main reason for why I collect as I treat my games like a library to help preserve the culture of gaming and to show how we grew from the basic PC games I started with all the way to these super complicated graphical and story power houses we see today.
Yet while my collecting isn't that way, I still find myself having trouble connecting with people. My ideas seem too old, or out of place, or just weird. I have dreams of making this site even just a small beacon where gamers and geeks can get together and discuss the news of our culture or maybe just enjoy hearing a few of us on the site sitting down together and hatching out an hour or two where you can see what makes us tick and then talk to us. And I understand these things are not easy. You don't just make a show and have people flock to you. You don't write and article or editorial and think people will comment. Most of the time they won't. Even the show, as much as I love it and will keep pushing it, just doesn't seem to be getting traction.
All of this makes me wonder if maybe the issue isn't the site, or the people, or the community...maybe it's just me. I make people uncomfortable when I can't get an idea accross properly, or they can't understand my want for gaming to be taken as a true community with a history and a future beyond just playing the next game from so and so developer for such and such system from the blah and blah series. Innovation has become a joke for people to complain about because it isn't the same as what they have now while we used to look at every new system or controller or whatever not as something to hate, but as a potential new world for us to enjoy.
New things will come and time will move on. Old ideas do sometimes have to be pushed aside a little to make room for the new and that is why I wonder if I should let my gaming die out. To really look at my place in this community and figure out if I have made any change in it for even a single person that makes this all worthwhile beyond my own hubris.
Or do I see what happened today where a misunderstand during what I thought was a heated but amicable discussion has had me removed from a number of my friends and once again on the outside looking in. Where one minute we are talking about getting together to play some games and looking forward to releases coming out and talking about why we each want this new experience and then all of a sudden it's gone.
**Editors Note** - I won't give up my gaming or stop working on this site...it's just who I am. But I felt these things, as jumbled as they may seem, needed to be said and I hope somehow it makes you think.