Research Post 5

If gaming is actually able to move from its niche and into a new one as a spectator sport, I think we can expect to see a change in industry goals.

As it stands right now, the money is in mass appeal. This means making games that are high graphics, newest generation of consoles, enveloping, and being open to all types of players. In terms of skill diversity, most games now are intended to be pretty easy to play, and quickly rewarding.

However, this does not make for a competitive atmosphere. The first game that comes to mind is the Super Smash Bros series. Melee (the second installment) was intended to be a casual party game, but Nintendo seemed to have accidentally created a fighting game masterpiece with a high ceiling for skill cap. Consequently, an intense competitive scene for the game erupted, and it became one of the largest competitive scenes in gaming. In response, Nintendo created Brawl, the third installment of the series. This game featured more random elements, slower gameplay, and the removal of most advanced techniques in order to slow it down and make it more accessible to people.

However, this was unnecessary! Melee was an incredible game because it could dual function as a competitive platform AND as a casual game.

To get back to the point– games with a heavy competitive scene are games with a high cap for skill and potential for players to become true masters of the controls. You can only be so good at a game like call of duty; most top tier players are really the same skill level. Where as in Melee, there were periods when one player absolutely dominated the rest. Showing that they were truly the best in their field. If the money moves from casual gaming, into the intention of spectator gaming, we can expect games to become harder and more skill based. The heroes of competitive gaming will truly be those who have mastered the controls, and they will be in a league of their own above the casual players.

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2 thoughts on “Research Post 5”

  1. Good post!! I am a causal gamer. I actually admire “master gamers” because there is an art to the craft. I would like to pose a question however. Do you think that old games are actually competitive? I’ve always noticed that games are competitive because even if you’re playing with by yourself you are still competing against the game to complete the level. this is just an observation that I have made from my own experience.

    1. I would agree with that- even when you are playing alone, you are playing with others. That is to say, if you are playing a single player game, like Sonic the Hedgehog 3, you might get through one of the levels with an incredibly fast time. At this point you might think “Hey, I bet nobody can do it faster than me!” And this is how a competitive scene erupts! I think that if you were to put competition in gaming on a timeline, it would be something like this

      Past————————————Present———————-Future
      Accidentally competitive———-Intentionally Not———-VERY Comp

      Or at least, this is my dream! I think that in the beginning, gaming hadn’t found its audience yet. right now, it is largely settled with the casual audience, because that’s where the money is. But I think in the future the audience is going to move to a competitive scene, and casual players will either play at a lower level, or orient more towards spectating high tier play. That’s what my paper is all about, and it should be finished in about 15 minutes if you want to read it!

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