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HeatherM – Video Games


Heather McDonald

Art85

Paper 5

 

Moving through the ages of the digital arts and how it has progressed through history, the one thing that I’d want to focus on as a career would be the art and design of video games. It’s become one of the most demanding, and disruptive parts of the internet and society to the point that it has brought itself from card games all the way to mass multiplayer and educational titles. With what I know I’ll explain how this will not only effect my progression in education but what I think will happen in the future years based off of current generation changes.

 

In the beginning of games, some of the most impacting and entertaining titles were created that people still play today in new remade versions. It was only until the 1970’s that gaming would become a mainstream and popular lifestyle where the general public could interact in new ways inside of the digital realm. Early titles were based off of military strategy and basic card games of the times. As it branched out and new technology was able to come into play, it brought itself into early arcades and consoles such as Pong from Atari, Pac-Man and Frogger. Although I hadn’t grown up in the times of these games creation, it still was a huge impact on my basic knowledge of how a game works and even influenced me to look deeper into the mechanics. From the 1980’s on there started to have genre based video games and consoles that were built not only for home entertainment but the start of hand held portable devices that you could bring with you wherever you go. Also, games began to shift from disc based to digital. With these designs and technologies that was built then, newer and more innovative devices and games could be made that we have a play today; such as mobile ios, Playstation 4 and Steam OS.

 

Thinking about how the industry has evolved over the decades since it’s release to the public, you can start to understand more about the positive and negative aspects that both create and take away opportunities for students wanting to advance into the career. Most of what we see today is games pushing into the digital sphere where you can buy and download titles directly to your computer or mobile device without needing a physical disc to play it. This diminishes the need to have massive amounts of things to bring with you from place to place and everything you need for your gaming experiences would then be put onto one device. However this then disrupts not only the producers of disc based games, but the jobs of print designers, as well as console companies and their employees. I’ve also seen the transition of game reviews and even the act of playing expanding into social media such as YouTube. The need for Quality Assurance is partially ruined by the fact that new indie developers, which most of the gaming industry is focusing on now, are putting out their games and getting feedback through YouTube as well as other social media to update and fix issues within it. YouTube and other online companies like Machinima are a source of income for the YouTubers that do Let’s Plays. For a certain amount of views they get on a video, the content creator would get income to fund the future purchases they make to expand their channel. Overall just these few current additions can diminish the availability of jobs into high end companies like Nintendo or Ubisoft, and make it only possible for older, more experienced developers to get a job in their companies. Most opportunities for those aspiring to be in the industry is being dumb down and even forced to create your own indie game company or work with companies like Apple, Valve or Microsoft to get their games onto their digital online stores. Just to add one thing about the evolution of reviews and how video games on next generation consoles have the opportunity to review each mission or level separately. I believe that this is a good thing for AAA companies because with indie and some mobile games there is the ability for gamers to give feedback on specific parts so the developer can send out patches to update and fix glitches in the game, however with console that is more general to the overall success of the game. Although it’s disruptive to the playability of the game itself, I believe its a good starting point for developers to be able to improve what they have created so in the future there won’t be a decline like there was in the 1980’s and what seems to be happening slowly now. Companies like EA and Capcom are struggling to get enough revenue back to fund future development which is causing the canceling of many of the games players are asking for and stopping excessive outsourcing.

 

I believe that in the future, games will branch out more into the educational system despite the negative decline of jobs it will cause for people. It will inevitably be mostly digital, most likely on Steam and mobile devices and also built almost entirely by indie companies. Also, next generation titles, if companies work hard enough, will be able to put quality back into their work and be able to expand to all age groups and interests instead of sticking to more violent genres that caused many negative outbursts from society and the media. If more games that were more educational and puzzle based existed then I think that society will begin to forget the idea that video games cause violence and start to believe that video games can be a creative and instructive way to teach students easier and more effectively. What I would need to do then is to either take my knowledge to companies such as Hasbro and LeapFrog, or to find a more entry level motion graphics job to expand my experience so I can create games that will start to aid in pushing these types of games to the market.

 

“History of Video Games.” 14, December 2013. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_video_games

“Capcom Blames OutSourcing For Decline in Quality.” 19, April 2013. http://www.game-debate.com/news/?news=4864&title=Capcom%20Blames%20Outsourcing%20For%20Decline%20In%20Quality

“Capcom Halves Profit Forecast, Cancels Internal & External Titles, Less Outsourcing.” http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=542418

“YouTube – SeaNanners” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6ggbKiB_bU

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