Originality in video games


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Variety in modern computer games has decreased a lot compared to old-school arcades

Vishnu Challa, Site Manager

The video game industry has been on a steady incline for the past two decades. Companies have been consistently pushing out games with breakthrough graphics for the time they are released in, but like many forms of art, there are only so many variations that can happen before products become stale.

In their current state, there is a large catalog of games that vary from genre to genre. One end of the spectrum is the common battle royales and first person shooters while the other end is populated with more single-player, story-driven games.

The content put out on both ends is so jarringly different that most gamers will not try games on the opposite end. Rather, they are more willing to play within the same genre with very little variation from game to game.

Senior Nathan Romans explained his interest in video games and why he prefers to play single player games. “Single player games are pretty easy to start up and usually have an engaging story. The only time I really play anything else is if another friend recommends it or its multiplayer and I can play it with them,” he said.

Even among game critics, newly released games are described by pulling features from older games.

Although this type of description helps a friend understand a new game recommended to them, comparisons to previous titles in professional journalism either shows a lack of proper research for the game described or that games really have gotten to a point where comparisons are more effective due to similarities. The latter seems to be the case.

Ethan Olderog shared what would convince him to switch to a different genre. “There are a few YouTubers that I really trust their opinion on as game reviewers. If those reviewers and the gaming community agree on how good a game is, I’ll consider playing it. Many triple A games cost a lot of money and the community is often split on which games are good so I rarely consider it,” he said.

Innovation has become stifled in the big-budget games, but smaller developers have been able to dedicate their time into making much more revolutionary games. The gaming community has gained hope because of their efforts and is expecting that larger studios will realize the value of developing a well-thought-out game compared to a rushed money grab.