Sunday, June 26, 2016

Has a game aged well?

I recently read a bit on Reddit that talked about "video games becoming outdated". It said that it didn't understand the concept, since technology can go out of date, while art cannot. Today, I want to talk about the same general concept. However, I'll call it "aging well" and "not aging well".

So, the idea is that some games have aged well. What does that mean? It means that though it was made in a different time, it still holds up to the changed standards. It means that it feels like it could have been made more recently. It means that when playing it you aren't bothered by the signs that the game is old. It means that it doesn't feel like it was limited because of restrictions that are no longer there.

Other games have not aged well. The controls may feel wrong and even with some tweaking you aren't getting to what you're used to today. The story might not hold up to standards that are set these days. It may be that it simply looks really bad to someone used to more newfangled graphics. The pacing might not be what we've come to expect. Perhaps it's simply the learning curve that couldn't pass today.

It should definitely be said that this is a very personal and opinion-based thing. It's better possible to discuss why you feel that a game has or has not aged well than to debate whether red is more beautiful than green or not, but in the end it is still about an opinion. It's like how we can discuss why we like a game and whether it is a good game, but at the end of the day we're still going to have our own opinions (hopefully).

Of course, this whole concept is not limited to games only. The same terminology is often used when talking about film. Both tv shows (as well as their individual episodes) can age well or poorly. It''s all about whether or not it holds up today. Whether or not it feels antiquated. Both these media are rather young and still actively evolving. Music is also going through a lot of changes, so it could probably apply there as well, even if I don't see it. I don't know if it can apply to more traditional forms of art, such as sculpting or painting. I don't know so much about them, but at the surface it doesn't seem to be the same there.

That's my views on aging of games and a couple of other media as well. I'm not sure if I can really put a conclusion on it and if I try to summarize it, I just end up paraphrasing something from the second or third paragraph, so I'll just leave it at this: not all games have aged equally well.

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