The End of “Gamers”

22 07 2008

Ian Bogost has an article up on the newly relaunched EDGE Online (replacement for Next-Gen), talking about ideas of who gamers and what games are. He’s particularly cogent near the end:

When we acknowledge videogames as a medium, the notion of a monolithic games industry, which creates a few kinds of games for a few kinds of players, stops making any sense. As does the idea of a demographic category called “gamers” who are the ones who play these games.

It’s taking some people a very long time to comprehend just how much the industry is fragmenting and expanding; I suppose old memes die hard, and we’re going to need a lot of speech like that above before a lot of people get it. I speak to some very progressive developers nowadays who are convinced that the AAA, boxed product, two week sales window is the road to extinction, and there’s a good chance they’re right. Of course, the people who play those games will still want that kind of content, but it seems like new forms of production and distribution will eventually trump all of the old school studios.

I got stuck into the comments there, and commenters over there seem okay so far too. Here’s hoping the standards stay up 🙂

(CC image by Steve Rhodes)

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