The Future of Video Games


http://www.alteredconfusion.com/
These guys are great. I met them at ConNooga this weekend (a fantasy/sci-fi convention).

What they mainly do is review Indie video games. They also gave a great talk about how the current Video Game Industry is essentially dead, at least as far as innovation is concerned. So their mission is essentially to point people toward great Indie games, since that is where any new type of game is going to come from. Here is their talk.

I would even like to take what they said a step further. While consoles are dead now, they will be revived in a few years by the Indie video games. Either the “big three” consoles will wake up and start seriously courting the Indie games, or a new console (like the Ouya) will take advantage of them in a big way. And when I say “revive”, I mean revive in a very big way. Essentially Minecraft is a taste of the things to come.

The reason I’m fairly confident of this is that the Video Game Industry follows a trajectory very similar to the Music Industry. (For details on this you can read here.) The only difference is that the Video Game Industry is about 2 – 3 decades behind the Music Industry because it started 2 – 3 decades later.

Right at the end of the 80’s the Music Industry was in a serious rut. (Not as bad as it is now, but it was still a low point.) However there was actually a very active Indie Music scene that the mainstream industry mostly ignored. Then Nirvana’s Nevermind was released and hit it big. The Music Industry decided to heavily invest in the Alternative (i.e. Indie) bands after that. The Music Industry had a huge revival that lasted about a decade.

Right now the Video Game Industry is in a serious rut. However it has a small but active Indie Game community. It is basically just like the Music Industry was just before Indies it hit big. I also remember being very frustrated during the late 80’s and early 90’s even though I knew a little bit about the Indie Music scene. It was just so frustrating to find the good stuff. There definitely was quite a bit of good stuff out there, but there was far more total crap out there too. It was hard to sort through it all.

This is why I like sites like the Altered Confusion guys. They are at least trying to point us to the good new games. They aren’t as polished as say IGN, but you have to go with what’s out there, and I can tell they are passionate about what they are doing. They will steadily improve over time. And really if you are interested in good new games, then the Indie Game scene is where it’s at.

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