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The Age of Entitlement: Do We Expect Too Much From Video Games?

Technology. It’s not always brilliant or perfect but it’s a very fast-moving industry. A new invention or a faster machine is always around the corner. Somehow, that just isn’t good enough for us though. We always want it now and we want it to be perfect.

We’ve become spoiled, and this is definitely true of video games and consoles. Browse any social networking site and you’ll see people complaining about games. “This game isn’t long enough”, or  “My console takes too long to update” and “OMG! Day one patch!” are some of the most common complaints you’ll see. As a fellow gamer I can obviously sympathize – when you get a new game you want to play it immediately, but is waiting five minutes for an update really that bad? Isn’t it better to play a game that’s fixed rather than broken? The obvious argument is a game shouldn’t need a day one patch, it should be perfect on release. It’s hard not to agree,but technology isn’t perfect and games developers have deadlines. If there are really severe problems with the game, it’s usually delayed (which gamers also complain about) but no modern day game is without it’s small problems or glitches.

People often point out that back in the good old days, you didn’t have patches or online play getting in your way. You could simply play the game from the cartridge or disc straight away. Go back to playing on your PS1 or Megadrive if you will, but if you want to play Skyrim, you’re going to have to wait for it to install. Unfortunately as technology moves on, it becomes more complicated, meaning you’re more likely to come across glitches. Back in the days of retro gaming, games weren’t long, they often didn’t have complex storylines and you certainly didn’t get many open-world games. Don’t forget we all take things like auto-save for granted.

Sorry Internet. No one cares if you liked the ending to Mass Effect 3 or not.

The PlayStation 4 promises to make waiting for patches to download a thing of the past, as Sony say you’ll be able to download them in the background and even begin to play a game while the rest of it downloads. It’s clever technology and I hope it works as well as they say it will, but will this be enough for gamers? There will no doubt be plenty to complain about, especially as the PS4 promises to be so focused on its social capabilities. Users will get  a Facebook-esque PSN profile and they can share their gameplay videos with others. Some gamers don’t want this, they just want to play a game, alone, with no social interaction. The PS4 can be used offline so hopefully this will cater for those who just want no nonsense gaming.

There will be complaints though and they’ll be teething problems, and gamers won’t stand for it. We live in a world of instant gratification and we’re simply not used to waiting. We’ve all sat in front of our computers shouting “Load faster damnit!” We live in a fast-paced world, we haven’t got time to sit around and we might only have an hour free to play games. I get that, but wouldn’t it be nice to go on a games site without seeing people complaining? The only time you should complain is when a game is actually broken or incredibly poor. But please, a six hour long campaign is not short and patches are there to help fix the game, not waste your time. So Mass Effect 3 didn’t end how you wanted it to? Tough. We shouldn’t be forcing developers to change things for us just because we believe we’re entitled to make that decision. We’re not.

Alas, in an age where ten year old children expect an iPhone for Christmas, the complaints aren’t going to stop any time soon. But maybe next time you go to rant on the Internet just think first. Wouldn’t it be nice to see a gaming community that’s much less aggressive? I think so.



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