The Simplicity of it all

Video games are video games are video games. When you get down to it, a game is just something that entertains you, gives you a release, provides stimulation to an otherwise lethargic brain.

But of course it can’t just be that simple, how many different genres have popped up over the years, and with the advancement of technology, things can only get more diverse as time goes on. And not only that, but things tend to get pretty complicated. With all the cool things developers can put in their games, they tend to choose anything they can think of and shove it into their game. This tends to produce a game that is visually and mechanically cluttered, leaving the gamer with a multitude of aspects to focus on while they go through this game.

Now, most of the time, playing video games isn’t too taxing on the mind. Games are supposed to be fun, they’re supposed to get that dopamine flowing in your brain, games can do this by just providing a fun and chill experience, but why do that when you can provide a blood pumping, soul crushing, adrenaline flowing myriad of frustration mixed with success. Yes, the first person shooters, the main culprit of this tactic, they are the games that take the gamer and run him through the ringer until his controller is through the screen. Sure, you want to kill yourself every time you die, but nothing in the known universe will ever give you the satisfaction that winning a match of CoD does.

Of course, CoD is fading out of popularity, but you easily forget how we’re currently still in the middle of a class-based shooter explosion. Take your pick from one of any number of developers who’ve put out their own version of the same game, and this is the experience you will have while playing it.

But whatever happened to the simpler side of things? I’m not a super hipster who’s going to say the Atari was the game system for humanity, but there is an art in doing things simply. And I’m going to bring in an example that America has come to cherish with all of the twelve-year-olds in there: Minecraft.

There was a time back in 2010 when Minecraft was but an exe containing a sandbox full of blocks. You could roam around a procedurally generated landscape and manipulate the environment to mine down to the bottom of the map, collect ores, go to the surface and cut down a tree, build a house, explore Minecraft.

But over time, they kept adding stuff to the game, more and more stuff as the versions rolled out. Gradually, the game that was praised for its simple infinity became something else. It became something more than a game that you can play brainlessly, it became less about creative exploration, and more about reaching the end, literally.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that there’s beauty in simplicity, and too few people realize that in this day and age. Sometimes the simple things are what’s best.

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