341/366 – Gamer Longevity
Some people ask me how I’ve been able to play games for so long or sustain an interest in them. It mostly comes from people I know who used to be gamers or really hardcore into playing them but who’ve since dropped off of the hobby, have become a bit busier, or have otherwise found other things to occupy their spare time. Sure, there’s a sort of thing that happens called adult life that has taken up a significant portion of my time, but for the most part, I’ve been able to sustain my ability to keep feeling invested in games.
Part of the secret to that I think is just a natural interest in the evolution of gaming. Remembering back in the day when we used floppies and codes written in instruction books to install PC games or when Mario was just a set of 8-bit pixels makes the pretty badass stuff that games can do these days all the more impressive to me. I’ve watched games become more than just simple programming tools and exercises and become something like interactive media that holds a candle story-wise and from a looks perspective to many live action shows or presentations. As the ability to display and program more complex elements has advanced, so too has gaming, and being around to see that happening on a regular basis is fun and exciting.
But I also think that games remain interesting because of the fact that they’ve diversified from their humble arcade-and-pixelly days. They’re no longer just one type of game that repeats over and over again, or even one type of genre. Games have evolved over the years to the point that even the genres that have become very specific (such as action or strategy) have even further branching to sub-genres that try to appeal to a specific niche of players interested in a certain type of game. The industry itself has also become more varied by virtue of the fact that to make games doesn’t require you to be a part of a big developer any longer – that you have the ability to independently create games with the right work ethic, resources, and skills – and that you can be successful doing so. So just as the games themselves have become a bit more different from one another, so too have the developers.
Ultimately, though, I think it just comes down to following something that always has something new on the horizon and isn’t an industry that wants to remain stagnant and the same. You see this in most hobbies across the board, where the people who are most enthusiastic about a hobby are the ones who follow and observe the latest advancements and techniques and gaming is no different in this regard. You combine this with the fact that new game experiences can be uniquely created with the right level of inventiveness and work and you have a hobby and a pasttime that a lot of people, moreso than myself, stick with long after they might have outgrown the hobby and moved onto something else. And that’s not particularly changing anytime soon. It’s fun to be a part of.