There comes a moment in the life of every gamer when they realise that the world has changed around them. This moment tends to come when they look at what their kids are playing and the technology they are using to do so and see how far we’ve come since what we think of as the good old days. For those of us with children who are seriously into their gaming, it’s a constant challenge to keep up with the latest trends and technologies, and to not constantly go on about how things were back in our day. Many of us can still remember playing Goldeneye on N64 and having to listen to our parents tell us that the world had changed a lot since Pong. No one wants to be that parent.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most impressive and important ways that gaming has changed over the last decade or so to help you get a better idea of the kind of fun your kids are having on their consoles.
Indie Games Are Everywhere
One of the most significant changes in gaming over the last decade or so is that things have become a lot more democratised. While the big studios are still putting out AAA games and the mega titles like Assassin’s Creed, Call of Duty and Resident Evil are still hitting hard, the indies are flourishing. It’s not only the software for creating these games that has become more accessible, but also the marketplace. This generation of gamers is just as likely to scroll through Steam looking for hidden gems as they are to fork out a big hunk of cash for the next FIFA.
Online Gaming Is The Standard
Remember when multiplayer meant that we had to pick one house to play at, and we were lucky if we had a console that allowed for four controllers? Those days are long gone. If you’re a gamer yourself we’re sure that you’ve long since discovered the joys of online gaming, especially during the pandemic, but the idea that this is the norm for your kids takes some getting used to. Cramming everyone onto the same sofa is a thing of the past.
Controllers And Accessories Have Evolved
In fairness, this one is probably less of a shock than some of the other changes listed on here. Controller evolution has always been a part of gaming, part of the change that came with each new console. For a lot of us, getting to grips with the controllers we used when we were kids is part of the fun of dusting off those old consoles and booting up a retro game. Forget about motion sensing, remember when Rumble Paks were new and exciting? The Wii controllers already seem like a thing of the past, but what about those accessories?
Steering wheels have come a long way over the decades, and it’s hard to imagine handing your kid a Nintendo light gunfrom back in the day and imagining that they would look at you with anything other than confusion. The best light guns over the decades have always felt like something from the future that would put you in the game and they will continue to evolve with VR. Bitcade has an incredible range of retro gaming gear to explore and instructions on how to put them together. But speaking of VR…
VR Is The Future, Probably
It seems like people have been saying that VR is going to be the future of gaming for years now. It’s been quite a while since the technology was introduced and made affordable enough for the average gamer to invest in, but the takeover hasn’t quite happened yet. For the moment at least, it feels like VR is something that will be the exception to the gaming norm rather than the standard. One of the main reasons is that it is still significantly less accessible than the traditional tech, and many of the major game developers are still prioritising non-VR games. The industry sea-change is probably still on the way, but it is taking longer than some experts predicted.
YouTube Walkthroughs and Let’s Plays
This final point may be the part of videogame culture that is most confusing for the generation of gamers that has kids old enough to play themselves. The idea of spending hours at a time watching someone else play a game on YouTube and other platforms seems completely alien to a lot of people, but it’s something that millions of gamers all around the world enjoy on a daily basis. It’s remarkable to see not only how popular Let’s Plays are, but how profitable they are. The online personalities who stream their gaming experiences are making huge sums of money. If you really want to feel old, try asking your kid to explain why they enjoy watching someone else play a game while they could be playing it themselves. Otherwise, it’s probably better that you leave them to it.