Gamer ADD: The epidemic

Have you ever waited in extreme anticipation to play a game only to be swayed by another upcoming release? Have you ever started a game, and despite its excellence, start playing a newer release seemingly forgetting the previous title? I’d be surprised if a gamer told me they had not experienced these symptoms. It’s not your fault; developers are forced by their publishers to quickly get games on the market, regardless of polish, just to make that quick buck our society yearns for.

I’m not saying every publisher/developer does this but all you have to do is look at the release schedules for videogames and you’re going to notice quite the oversaturation. I noticed this myself just this week. I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of Persona 4 Arena for quite some time now. I haven’t even yet received the game and already I’ve switched gears and started to wish that Darksiders II would just hurry up and release.

We already live in a faced paced society where the phrase, “I want it now”, reigns supreme. With impatience already a fact of life, it’s fed by the very aspects that created it. Most gamers can run through a new release in a day or two. The reason for this is shrouded in several aspects, one of which I really don’t want to get into. If you look at recent titles you’ll notice that the game length is, on average, short. Games these days can last five or six hours; on rare occasions you can come across a game that will take about thirty hours. Developers know their audience; they know that attention spans are at an all-time low. That’s why we get such short games and the next title in the series a mere year after the last.

Every once in a while, we get to see the phrase; “It’s done when it’s done!” The gamer in me hates this phrase but the person who appreciates the stories, the visuals, and the sounds in a game loves it! I will clarify once more that I’m not saying that all yearly game franchises or titles that have less development time than others are bad. All I’m trying to convey is that I appreciate when a title shows that the developer has given their all in bringing that world to life. I am saying that if there is anyone at fault, it’s we gamers who run through games in a day and/or the publishers who push the developers to release a product that was rushed.

The videogame market is obviously over saturated. Chances are you’ve heard a gamer use the term “backlog”. First off, it doesn’t mean what you think it means. Secondly, this term will be used most by gamers who do not have the time needed to finish game after game and keep up with current releases. I can easily say that I have about twenty games backed up on both my PlayStation 3 and Xbox360. I also have about fifty percent of my DS collection to run through and even some PS2 games I have yet to crack open. A few years ago, I had a much bigger untouched collection. I finally realized that there was no chance I was going to get through them all and decided to sell them.

Now I’m going to ask you, the reader, to take a step back and look at these occurrences. Has there ever been a game that you thought could have been superb if just given a bit more time? Perhaps you’ve heard someone say that all gamers get is the same crap over and over again. I’m going to throw out an idea here so bear with me. Maybe, just maybe, gamers wouldn’t complain as often and spend more money on games if they took a bit more time to make them. Sounds good right? Unfortunately this’ll never happen because we gamers refuse to wait just as everyone else in society doesn’t want to wait. That’s okay; it’s not your fault. I highly doubt that our society will ever be patient and thus we are trapped in this endless circle.