Honestly, I hate it when people say ‘games nowadays’ when they’re starting an argument. It’s such a stupid, sweeping generalization. How can you talk about ‘games nowadays’ as if they’re all the same, lumping them together into the same category? Is Rayman Origins the same type of experience as StarCraft 2? Or is Max Payne 3 the exact same game as Minecraft? Of course not.
Games have been and always will be different. It’s never fair to formulate an argument about games in general unless you’re referring to games in general as an entertainment medium. If you want to make an argument about specific genres of games or particular aspects of them, then by all means do so. Most of the time I feel like people use that generalization to talk about the usual silly concepts such as games are ‘easier’ nowadays or ‘shorter’ nowadays compared to “back in the day” as nostalgic gamers always love to say. I’ve already talked about how game length doesn’t equal game quality and how difficulty has always been game specific and hasn’t changed in any way at all, despite a lot of modern games being more accessible or having better in-game tutorials.
Not all games have been or are difficult. Not all games have the same amount of content or length. Not all games are for everyone, just as not all games are mature. The difficulty one is always particularly funny to me, because people say games are all ‘easy nowadays’ when there’s always been games like Tetris or Mario which are pretty easy for the most part, but nowadays we have games like Super Meat Boy which is designed to be disturbingly hard, proving my point that it’s always down to design. People love to whine so much about how ‘back in the day’ games were complete experiences and everything was unlockable but ‘nowadays’ all games are just short with DLC (downloadable content) add-ons. It’s a stupid assumption and one that completely sweeps over every type of game regardless of purpose or design. DLC may be a prevalent thing in today’s gaming market, but does that mean that every game regardless of genre or design is a short, 5 hour campaign game with no unlockables and just DLC content? Just think of a list of ‘games nowadays’ and you’ll begin to see why that argument falls apart. A game like Batman Arkham City is 20+ hours long for the first playthrough, with a great amount of in-game unlockable content, on top of additional and optional DLC content, as many people fail to realize that alot of DLC is just that; optional. Meanwhile, a game like Bayonetta has no DLC content, has a 9 hour campaign, but has 50+ hours of extra content and unlockables to discover. Similarly there’s some games that have no unlockables at all, such as puzzle games like Bejeweled or Chime, whilst some are by nature designed to always have unlockables, such as racing games and RPGs. So even for the DLC argument, people need to consider just how many different types of games that they’re ignoring by saying that annoying phrase.
In my opinion it’s an empty argument to claim that ‘games’ as a whole have somehow all changed in any way, shape or form, as it completely ignores the genre, design or purpose of the game, and that kind of thing is normally done by people attempting to make a conceited point.