I have been gaming for almost my entire life. I have own multiple consoles, played on a PC, and even spent some time at the arcade. I have played all by myself, with friends in the same room, with friends online, with strangers online, and most recently with my six year old nephew. My nephew has a Nintendo Wii that his parents bought him when he was three. He had no idea how to play, but of course like most children, he learned.
Now we play together all the time, we even play on the PlayStation 3 occasionally. As we play, I can’t help but think back to how gaming was when I was a little kid. I just always stop there and think about how much has changed and how different our early console gaming experiences were, and the type of things young gamers take for granted.
4. Wireless Controllers
I grew up with the Nintendo 64 and later the PlayStation 2. I rather enjoyed the controllers for the most part, except that the N64 controller looks like it is alien technology for an advanced species with three arms. The main difference between what I grew up with and what kids today are playing with are the fact that controllers are now wireless. Up until recently the controller had to be connected to the gaming console and that wire was always there; so if someone had to walk right in front of you during a gaming session, better make sure that they don’t step on the cord. The last thing anyone wants is to have the controller disconnect in the middle of playing or worst, having the force pull your console off the table and onto the floor. Young gamers today never experienced significant time when the controller was connected to the PS3 or the Xbox 360. Sure, you still play wired if you like, but for the most part, people have left the cable behind.
Patches are something that is expected from day one of a game’s announcement. Its great that patches exist, it helps game developers to fix and enhance their game post launch. But before the days of patches, the game had to be 100% complete once it shipped to stores. Any bugs, glitches, server issues were for the most part there to stay. Imagine Battlefield 4 coming out the same condition it did in 2013 back in 2003. How pissed off would people have been if that was it, no chance to have the game improved in anyway. That bad decision would have really hurt EA back in the day, more so than it does now. This era of broken games and patches that exist today is something that many older gamers are grateful of and many young people take it for granted. If the game was completely broken, well too bad.
2. Downloadable games
My nephew currently has about five games that were downloaded onto his Nintendo Wii. This was not an option back when I started playing video games. There were cartridges and that was it, no Blue Ray, and definitely no getting games from PSN or Xbox Live. Having the ability to just buy something from my own home without leaving the house was not possible. I had to go to a retail store to get these games. Now, gamers can just get games by pressing a few buttons.
Yea, this was not around when I was young. I had a tube TV that weighed about 100 pounds. They were a bitch to carry since the weight was so unevenly distributed. Now the LED and LCD TV’s don’t weight a damn thing, so easy to pick up and move whenever you wanted. The quality was not great, if I use my old TV in my basement right now, I would probably get 480i instead of a 720p or 1080p. The clarity and the quality now makes me appreciate how much progress have been made, yet my nephew complains about the game looking pixelated at times (eyeroll).
These are just the four I recently though about, I’m sure I missed a lot more, but gaming really has progressed so much that many young gamers take things for granted that were not always there, but hey, I’m sure my nephew will realize when he gets older how much gaming has changed from his childhood to his own child’s childhood that he may write a short article about things that young gamers take for granted.