Tag Archives: Video Games

The sorry state of video games

Triple-A games today are terrible.

Triple-A games are mainstream and high-budget games made by the largest development companies in the business. Game franchises like Call of Duty, NBA 2K, Grand Theft Auto, and more. Form and function, the companies, and by reflection, their games have suffered. Between the companies overworking and mistreating their employees while functionally destroying themselves from the inside. These game developers also injured their reputation with broken promises and game leaks. Companies have built a horrible reputation with gamers between criticism, scummy sales tactics, rushed quality, and lousy rapport with fans because of recent letdowns over heavily anticipated games. It is important to say that this is not the case for every AAA developer, but the frequency of these issues in recent times warrants being addressed. 

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On December 10, 2020, CyberPunk 2077 was released. This game was under development for nine years under CD Projekt RED. This game was anticipated to be the game of the decade, but has since fallen into obscurity. This game is an example of one of the recent trends of “Release now, fix later.” The gaming industry has long development processes and “due dates” that usually last between 3 and 5 years. These games don’t see the light of day until at least a year before release via trailers. Projekt RED made a terrible business decision and relied on customer patience. By expecting customers to wait even longer for a game that was already in development for 7 years by that point, they had given themselves a time limit. The game eventually could not stop the deadlines and was released as a buggy mess, an incomplete story with a considerable lack of promised features, and no improvement in sight.

In 2013, 2K games continued their profitable series of NBA 2K in which they added a new element of progression through micro-transactions. Fast forward to 2017, when its players started to notice the trend. The game comes out with a premium edition that costs upwards of $100. The people with the money to spend (or otherwise) will start the game with a steep advantage. Those who do not purchase the core game for $50 or $60 are forced into a vicious cycle of working for a few in-game rewards in VC (virtual currency). The use of VC becomes a problem as everything in the game costs VC. The more people complain about the micro-transactions, the more the games get abused by YouTubers and content creators, and all this happens in 9 months. 

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As big an issue as micro-transactions and unfinished game releases are, they are not the only issues. As presented on crappygames.org, and in my own personal experience, DLC (downloadable content) has been one of the worst gaming issues. The most recent example I can think of is Destiny. The second installment in the series, based around fighting using the power of good and evil to destroy your foes in space, has amassed $200 million since 2017. Destiny was initially released as a complete game with a full-length story and set of endgame content achievable after completion. In 2018 the game released a significant expansion called Forsaken. This content was a completely new storyline, with entirely new content. They repeated this process twice with Beyond Light and Witch Queen expansions, with another expansion on the way in early 2023.

The problem isn’t inherently with the expansions but with everything around them. For perspective, if someone were to purchase the deluxe packaging for all these DLCs, they are expected to pay around $350 alone, outside the minor content. This game does not force you into paywalls for aesthetic equipment or progression, but asks for extreme amounts of time to be equipped with satisfactory equipment. They also decided to change their game model halfway through its life cycle. The game was released at $60 and progressed into a free-to-play model. What does this mean for people who have already bought the game? Nothing. No reimbursements, just more content to spend more money on.

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When it is all said and done, the tactics, micro-transactions, etc., could change if it weren’t for the players. I understand this is a hobby for a major population of people, but I also know that we, as players hold immense power in our wallets. All we do is feed the greed in these companies when we continue to consume what is displayed in front of us. We could make gaming a much better place if we all express our criticisms and say goodbye to complacency.

Caleb Smith-Sims, Senior

Caleb Smith-Sims is a senior member of the Multimedia Journalism Class.

Finding value in video games

Have you ever found something so interesting that you decide to hold on to it for a very long time? This could be a sport that you love, a show that you frequently rewatch, or maybe even a toy you’ve had since you were a baby. These sentimental things can hold many different forms, but one form that stands out is video games.

Video games have been around since 1958, which was the year when Pong was released. It was a simple two-player game inspired by sports like tennis and ping pong. This simple game inspired people around the world to create similar games and show the world that technology could not only be used for work, but also for entertainment.

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Nowadays, video games have drastically improved since the late 50s. There are realistic graphics, virtual reality games, three-dimensional games, and so much more. Millions of people around the world get excited for new games to release. For instance, this year, Elden Ring was released, and it has already sold over 12 million copies since its release in February 2022.

Most games that are several decades old have died off and have incredibly small player bases; however, there are some games that seem to just never die. Games like Tetris, Minecraft, Super Smash Brothers Melee, and many more have withstood the test of time. These games still have massive fanbases despite being over a decade old. How did these games manage to stay relevant for so long?

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One reason is that these games have a lot of replayability. For an example of this point, I will use Minecraft. Minecraft has been around for a decade, and has managed to stay relevant for a long time. This is primarily thanks to the abundant amount of things you can do in the game. You can play survival mode with your friends, create enormous Redstone machines, build magnificent structures and houses, and so much more.

The insane amount of things you can do in Minecraft gives it a lot of replay value. People have made careers off of this game, and millions still play it and find new things to do. A game’s replay value is probably the most important part of a game’s survivability over a long time.

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Another reason is because of the competitiveness of some games. Super Smash Bros. Melee (or Melee for short) and have been around for over two decades because of the insane amount of competition it has. Thousands of people enter Melee tournaments to see if they have the skill to win it all.

Even though there have been newer installments in the Super Smash Bros. franchise, the Melee community is still one of the largest fighting game communities in the world. The competitiveness of video games plays a significant role in their popularity and motivates people to improve and keep playing.

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Tetris is a game that has been around for almost 40 years, and that reason is because of its replayability and competitiveness. All games must have a decent amount of replayability to stay relevant for multiple years, but Tetris is on a different level. The design of Tetris was basically made to be played anywhere at any time, and its gameplay is extremely addicting.

There are also many Tetris tournaments; there are online ones with people playing on more modern versions of the game, and there are tournaments that are played in person with the classic NES version. These tournaments gather hundreds to thousands of viewers, and many people enter them too.

The finals of the Classic Tetris World Championship, a tournament that uses the 1989 NES version of Tetris and has been running for 12 years.

There are many video games that have stuck with me for multiple years. Games like Tetris, Super Smash Bros, and Minecraft have played a large part in my life, and have brought thousands of hours of entertainment to me. These games have been around for so long because of the replay value and competitiveness, and both of those factors have kept millions of people engaged in decades-old games.

Logan Gorospe is a freshman member of The Quill.

Video games are not a waste of time

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This is to give a visual representation of playing video games

Throughout my time being a video game lover, I’ve heard many instances of people either making fun of, mocking, or negatively criticizing video games. I have been told by several people that video games are a waste of time or that video games have no point to them. However, playing video games are not only a good use of your time, but is also a good way to socialize with others, learn team work skills, and learn puzzle solving skills.

A video game being a “waste of time” is actually a rare term in the gaming community. A game being a waste of time is only used for video games that are either not very enjoyable to play or not popular among the community. But a game being referred to as a “waste of time“ outside the gaming community is more commonly heard than in it. So why do people say it’s a waste of time? From what I’ve heard from others, playing video games will never get you anywhere in life and has no personal benefits.

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This image shows the enjoyment people experience when playing video games

Depending on what time of game you are playing, you have the chance to interact with others who are playing the same game. Multiplayer games can either have a chat section where you can type messages to other players, usually on a computer, or in some cases, you can use a microphone to talk to other players. Using either of these methods of communication could be used to develop a strategy among your teammates and win the game, thus forming a certain bond with your teammates. If it’s not a competitive game, playing with someone else makes the game twice as fun and you could grow closer as friends doing something you both enjoy doing.

If you’re playing a single player game and there is no human interaction, you could play a game for the sake of completing it. These are the types of games with a story or campaign mode in it. Classic game franchises like Super Mario Bros. or the Legend of Zelda have developed games that involve putting days and sometimes weeks into playing it in order to complete them. So playing through/finishing these types of games are made for those who want to feel like they accomplished something while playing it.

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Saying that playing video games will never get you anywhere in life is also completely wrong. In July 2019, Epic Games, the creators of Fortnite, hosted a World Cup tournament with a $30 million prize pool. Bugha, the winner of the World Cup, won $3 million just by himself. That is a life changing amount of money for one person. Plus, Fortnite isn’t the only game that hosts tournaments with cash prizes. Other games such as League of Legends, Player Unknown Battle Grounds (PUBG), and Overwatch have all hosted tournaments with prize pools all over $5 million. Of course the player would have to invest so much time into practicing these games in order to play in a highly competitive tournament like these.

Maybe you’re not playing video games to spend time with your friends or to win money. Maybe playing video games is just a hobby and you enjoy playing them just for pure enjoyment. I play video games because it’s something I love doing and I find very enjoyable. Playing video games is not just for competitive people who want to win money or finish a game just for the sake of completing it. Much like playing with your friends, some people just find enjoyment in playing them. That’s the one thing I don’t think everybody understands about gamers.

Andrew Gonder is a senior member of the Multimedia Journalism class