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The Golden Age Fallacy

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Oh come on, if you're gonna be a cynical pessimist, take it all the way.


They will all be dead from nuclear holocaust and then washed away by rising tides caused by polar ice cap melting before it becomes an issue.


Or MAYBE some of the best loved stuff, owned by well managed companies, will live on in some form. Like how I can play crusty old Yars' Revenge on my Xbox One.


Nah, that's impossible, only old things are good and the future just sucks. Kids these days. (Adjusts sweater, hikes up trousers)

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How far back do you want to go?

About 10 years. The last two generations were the point when I had to admit that things were, objectively, worse. For a while, I was trying to convince myself it was personal preference.


Edit: I mean, that's how far back you would need to go in order to hit a point where your slump might be someone else's "Golden Age". Now, if you want to know how far back I,personally, want to go... very different question

Edited by godslabrat
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Gartner's hype cycle suggests they were more interesting times.


For what, video games? Maybe for investors, if not players.


I think it's more of a function of age and experience than anything else. One can only go through stuff like this so many times before catching on.



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Then it's subjective, not objective, no?

It's subjectively objective. ;-). The point I was trying to get at was, the trends that brought he industry down had been at play for a while (objective) but that was the point where I could no longer ignore them (subjective).

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It might be, or it might not be. Just because a concept is misused in the past doesn't mean it can't be factual under some other context. An important (in a negative way) fallacy going around is the idea that anyone who says that 'z was better when' is automatically wrong because people have said the same (and likely been wrong) before.


I'm not saying you're saying this, just something I've heard floating around the internet. Again, it may be, or it may not be. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't.


Specifically video games, though? Eh, largely taste I guess. With consoles, I like 8-16 bitters best.

Edited by Zookeeper
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There are different things about each era I like and dislike


I loved the Atari era, that was a golden age for me, but then I felt like NES ruined games.


Then 16-bit games and early-mid 90s PC gaming was another golden era. That was wrecked by too many grey/brown gritty FPSes.


Now I am enjoying the PS4, having more fun than I've had in awhile. But what I don't like is people expect every game to deliver a 30 or more hour storyline. We could use more short games with high-replay value.

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A lot of the trends took gaming away from what I enjoyed.


I hear ya- in my case, it's the damn FPS-es. I'm not a fan of first person shooters. I'm not really a fan of first person anything. So the sheer abundance of FPS has greatly turned me off a lot of modern AAA games. However- it doesn't mean it was better 'back then', just more to my tastes. It also doesn't mean I can't find great things to play now. I like pre-crash shooters. I like 8 & 16 bit sidescrolling platformers. The early CD systems brought me many awesome JRPGs. These days? I tend to keep tabs on the indie stuff. Even though my preference for consoles and physical releases makes a lot of them less than accessible, I still have plenty of artsy-fartsy games to play through. (Especially with Limited Run Games keeping my PS4 overstocked.)

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First there was pong games

then these newfangled space games like Galaxian and Space Invaders came along

then platforms. What happened to my space games?

then home games. it was clear they would eventually kill arcades

then all the arcades were filled with run-to-the-right-and-punch-all-the-guys games

then multbutton gamepads. waaah i liked joysticks better

then super nintendo. but i just built up my nes collection!

then cd games. but i still liked cartridges!

what's up with all these fighting games?

japan is definitely taking over the home game and arcade space

so many driving games

finally, windows 95 = plug and play

and 3d accelerators

they make all the console games look like poop

new console again! at least it plays the old playstation games

same thing with the handhelds, long live game boy advance

hey look, nintendo finally did optical discs

ha ha, horse armor

valve wants you to play digital games. waaah servers are down

what do you mean there's no manual

why is my game in a plastic-saving eco-pack?

camera games? waggle games? we didn't ask for those

multiplayer only? but i hate multiplayer games

here come the casuals

here comes mobile gaming

here comes free to play

what do you mean xbone is for watching tv

what do you mean i can't trade my games in

what do you mean "installing"

what is this season pass crap

what is this delisting crap

always online? but i don't want to be always online


long story short, there's always something new to complain about!

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I miss owning the physical media. Boxed games are pretty much nonexistent outside of consoles. With regards to music, I always thought that CD's were neat in that they were more convenient but I missed the album experience of the large artwork, easy to read liner notes etc. Digital music downloads have erased all of that experience and I miss it.

Edited by polyex
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When I first purchased a Nintendo DS for my young daughter a few years ago, I started playing with the three or four carts she had and really enjoyed it. Then I picked up a multicart flash thing for the DS where I could play any game I cared to pirate and copy to a flash card. I actually lost interest in the DS when I had all those choices. There were suddenly dozens upon dozens of games available to me and I just got bored. I think the easy accessibility to media, whether its movie downloads, music downloads or games can be a bit of a curse.

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Perhaps naively, I always thought it went without saying that treatises on the glory of retro games are by nature rooted in personal perspective and are therefore subjective. Comments are usually structured along the lines of "I realize this-and-that is more powerful and advanced in newer games but in spite of that I prefer to play old games because blah blah blah."


There is no golden age fallacy in the context of personal tastes; my preference for games like Donkey Kong over games like Uncharted is clear cut and legitimate. Indeed, for me, the notion that "they don't make 'em like they used to" is as real as real can be.


Anecdotally, when it comes to comparing then vs. now, I feel that modern gaming advocates are more likely to put forth fallacy-ridden arguments. I can't even count the number of attempts I've seen from modern gaming fans to break down why modern games are objectively superior to games from the 80s -- shading effects! Online play! 3D! Surround sound! -- but in doing so they miss the point entirely. Evidently, they can't see the lawn because the individually-rendered blades of grass are in the way.

Edited by Cynicaster
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