My fellow gamers…

Greetings! Thanks for checking out my blog, BrightSideGaming. I’m a 24 year old student at Westfield State University in Massachusetts. I’ve been playing video games since I was 7, when I first got a Playstation. BrightSideGaming is about the current gaming landscape and its possible future (and the perception of those within or outside of the community), experiences within games that I’ve found to be memorable and more traditional recommendations or reviews.

The current gaming culture has a lot of negativity surrounding it. Developers are often disrespected and feel under appreciated by their supporters. Many games are being released before they have been adequately polished and tested. The mainstream media recently gave a lot of attention to “gamergate,” an incident that was indeed terrible, but unfortunately left an ugly stain on the gamer community as a whole in the eyes of many. Not without some good reason, some gamers tend to have unreasonable expectations from game creators, and can act out in hostile ways in comment sections. Many non-gamers still view it as a waste of time and a detriment to the youth. It still has a long way to go in terms of being universally accepted.

However, the gaming landscape has steadily increased in quality in terms of selection and overall experiences. Some might complain about the fact that games are on the whole less challenging than they once were, even though brutally difficult games are still widely available, and many games offer the opportunity to increase the difficulty of turn off built in hint systems. Many complain about games needing to be patched, sometimes even on the day they’re released. This is valid, but I’ve found most games do eventually get the attention they deserve to deliver on the creators goals, despite a few exceptions. In the last decade alone, gameplay mechanics, storytelling, sound, and social interactivity through online play have made huge strides. While the female gaming population continues to expand, many still feel women are too often over sexualized and underdeveloped as characters in games. That trend continues to diminish, many recent games prominently feature realistic women with strengths, weaknesses and a mixture of positive and negative attributes.

There has never been a time with a wider range of content to play. The last generation of consoles saw indie games come to the forefront, which often offered even more beautiful environments, unique mechanics and thoughtful innovations than their multi million dollar AAA competition. They are now considered to be just as viable for critical acclaim and game of the year awards, greatly expanded the potential for creative and new experiences. Mobile gaming hasn’t had the detrimental effect on traditional console and PC game sales that many expected, but has instead found its own audience, and games such as Bastion, Monument Valley and Valiant Hearts as well as countless others have showed it is a platform to be taken seriously.

Playstation 4 and Xbox One are the 2 fastest selling consoles ever, and both of their libraries look to explode in terms of quality this year. The Wii U has still struggled to find a large audience, but is catering to its niche very well and has built a solid library of first party games. Services like Steam, Playstation Plus and Game With Gold have made playing quality games legally more affordable than ever before. It simply isn’t possible to play everything good these days, but incredible selection is a good thing, and there is something for everyone. I say it’s time to stop the incessant complaining, or at least reduce it, and relish the incredible time for gaming that we are living in. This blog will look at specific experiences I’m having these days in gaming, and I hope to examine why certain aspects of games make it the ultimate form of entertainment for me and so many others.

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