I was having a conversation with a friend the other day, and as always, the discussion shifted towards video games. We started discussing games we were eager to play, and I noticed something that made me a little sad. Most of the games we were talking about were shooters. Either first person of third person cover based, we were primarily discussing shooters with the occasional RPG thrown in. This prompted me to ask this friend how many shooters he owns currently, and after some though, he told me a number: 16. Bear in mind this only factors in the ones he currently owns, and does not the ones he bought then traded in. This leads me to the point of this article, which I have discussed before, the stale state of video games.
Copycats cash in games are not a new thing, as long as video games have existed they have. Folks tend to just take the big game at the time and copy it. There were Pong clones, Space Invader clones, Pac Man clones, Mario Bros, Mega Man, GTA, Street Fighter...they have all had clone games floating around. Lawsuits don't help, as Capcom's attempt to Sue Data East for their game "Fighter's History" suggests. The current crop of look alike, play alike first person shooters bring nothing new to the table save for a few new maps or guns, but folks continue to buy them only to trade them in 3 weeks later for another game that does the exact same thing.
We as gamers constantly complain about how there's nothing new to play yet when something different is released, we ignore it for the next retread that is just like the other stuff in our collections. Hell, I'm guilty of it too, but we can all correct this problem. When games that put new ideas to good use are released, we should support them. At the same time, we shouldn't rush out to buy shovelware just because the publisher says it's new and innovative. Our need for things to stay familiar has placed video games in a strange quandary, but the ship can be righted and new ideas are still welcome in the marketplace, whether the majority will play them or not. In defense of the friend who owns 16 shooters, he also owns a variety of other game types, and he can consider himself a true gamer..he just really likes shooting stuff.