Well, I know it’s a bit late coming, but here is Part Three, the final part, of my series on Digital Pacification.
We’ve discussed what Digital Pacification is, we’ve looked at the cause and effect and now we need to look at what the possible repercussions are for us as developers.
When we develop, we look to many sources to come up with our inspiration. One of the biggest places we search for inspiration is the demographic we will be developing for. While I may be an idealist, somebody who wants to develop for a ‘gamer’ demographic, it’s hard to ignore the more casual demographic; especially as we are getting our feet off the ground.
As time goes on, that demographic will be the kids that we’re seeing at restaurants these days. The kids that aren’t growing up with binkies, but digital binkies. I feel that, because of that, we will be seeing less and less of the games that made my generation so great.
Let’s take a second to talk about Pokémon. Pokémon was the defining game of my generation to me, it’s the game that has sent me on the path that I have chosen. It allowed me as a kid an outlet, as well as an ability to relate to all the other kids playing the game. However, the game required focus. It required reading, thinking and puzzle solving, to be short: it required an attention span!
One of the things that I think will be missing from the upcoming generation is just that, an attention span. If sitting through dinner isn’t enforced or encouraged, how can we expect the upcoming generation to pay attention to any games more complicated than Candy Crush? Furthermore, how can we expect them to sit through a school class? (Though this is a topic for another time.)
To wrap up this series, let me ask a series question. What games did you play growing up? How do they differ from those that kids are growing up with today?
The next few years present a whole series of new challenges as game developers. We (I) may have to stray from my initial dream in order to get off the ground. Hopefully by the time we get off the ground, it won’t be too late to create the games that I want to create. Those that have an impact on another’s life.