Coffins or Consoles?
Editorial by Maximus Dominus
Poor John Dvorak. That magnificent maven of PC know everything has struck once again! This time, Dvorak is predicting the demise of the game industry. John's writing is on the wall. Go ahead and buy your console a coffin.
But, don't drive that final nail - not just yet. If his own article is any sign, even Dvorak's own kids aren't buying into his doom and gloom mantra that seems to perpetually emanate forth from John's desk on these most auspicious of moments.
As I continue to pour over John's April 20th article for the PC Mag rag, I cannot help but be amused at the Nanotech Neanderthal's nightmarish nay-saying. Someone needs to replace Dvorak's batteries, now and again. He has a column, though, so clearly, he must be right. Right??
Wrong! Dead wrong. Not only is the game industry not dead, it's not even dying. Those are consoles, Dvorak - not coffins - that you see, as you peer out from beneath those eyeglasses of yours.
To be sure, the game industry will have its ups and downs, but all industries do. The wheat must be separated from the chaff, but that's a far cry from calling for the undertaker to cart the game industry away.
Why do I think that John Dvorak is wrong this time around? Because the game industry, at its nexus, is not about Nintendo, nor Sony, nor Microsoft. Rather, at its very core, the game industry is a marriage of entertainment, technology, and people.
People are always going to want to be entertained. Did you hear that, Dvorak? Always! Why? By God, because it's just plain fun, that's why. Or does Dvorak even know what that is, anymore? Maybe he's just buried himself under a mountain of his column articles, and is starting to suffocate himself. How's the view from underneath all of that technospeak, anyway, John?
Technological progress is not only not subsiding, it is progressing at an accelerating rate. Take a good, long look around you, Dvorak. We've come a long way since Pong and Space Invaders first graced the arcades. Or haven't you even noticed??
If game companies churn out crap, will the public, at some point, pull the plug on such misguided antics? Yep. We sure as Hell will! But, that's the natural order of things in the game industry. The public has to do something to grab the attention of the gods and gurus of game manufacturing, from time to time.
But, what we will not do is pull the plug on ourselves, on our own love affair with gaming. Games named Doom don't mean that we're doomed, Dvorak. How can the gaming industry be doomed, as long as the spark of human imagination flashes brightly within the depths of our born-to-game souls?
Somebody needs to toss a bucket of virtual water in Dvorak's face, if that's what it takes to keep him from trying to throw cold water on a gaming industry that's not only hot, but red hot! Can you feel the heat, John Dvorak?!
We are just now beginning to see the real birth of gaming. As the human spirit continues to soar, and to conquer new technologies and new obstacles, we'll be taking our games with us, thank you very much.
Dvorak is apparently about to have a duck fit, wondering what are we going to do, once we get to the photorealism stage in gaming? "What's going to sustain growth then," John asks?
Imagination, John. Good old fashioned, God-given imagination. That's what! If Dvorak's got a problem with that, then he needs to take it up with the Big Man upstairs.
Am I saying that God's a gamer, too? Well, Dvorak's looking more and more like a Lemming every day, if you ask me. It's beginning to show, in his columns.
John made a startling revelation in his recent article, in which he is beset by a bizarre vision of the game industry's future. Apparently, he finally managed to figure out that game makers, at times, try to rehash an old idea or two. Well, wake up and smell the roses, people! But, did we really need Dvorak to tell us something that we already knew?
Dvorak's got himself all worked up into a tizzy, as he laments that games are really broken down into only five basic categories - shooters; puzzles and mazes; adventure games; sports games; and simulations.
So what? If anyone should understand, it should be a man like John C. Dvorak. Hey, John! It's not WHAT the game's about nearly so much as HOW it is presented, that really tells the story.
Whenever Dvorak tells his kids that their latest game is nothing new, he says that they leave in a huff. I can't say that I much blame them, since he doesn't sound like he's much in the mood to just have fun.
Let me think a minute, though. Read John Dvorak's latest column, or break out a game or two to have a blast with?
Which one sounds more like fun to you?