When I heard about Indie Game The Movie I wasn’t sure what to expect other than some game developers talking about their process of game development and what I got was so much more than something that simple. It gave me a revitalization in gaming and being a gamer myself. Something I felt I’ve lost throughout the years unfortunately… I start up this game news site because one day I thought to myself, “Hey I talk about games alot… Hey people generally like to talk back to me about games too… Hey why don’t I set up a thingamajig where I can post game news and talk about it and then have people I don’t know talk back to me! I think I’ll call it Gamer’s News Network!” Yeah honestly that was the complete thought process behind the idea and sole of GNN. Since this date I have thus reached a total of 1,062 Facebook likes, 97 Twitter followers, 2 WordPress followers, 2 YouTube subscribers, and less than a handful of people who actually care. Regardless of my 1,000+ Facebook likes I get a meager 10-30 people view my posts through there and maybe one guy who I know personally will interact with me. I’ve thought to myself many times what makes me so uninteresting and so shitty that people I have known for years barely don’t even want to show interest in what I have to say. Because if I can’t convince someone I know to talk to me, how can I convince a complete stranger to?
Well that thought that eats away at me combined with watching IGTM has made some crazy frankenstein love child of an idea. That idea is to just simply enjoy games as I did that crazy night where I decided to set up this thingamajig where I talk about game stuff and people I don’t know will talk back to me. I have so blindly lost sight of what makes me excited about games that I can’t believe I even get that one guy who I know to respond occasionally. So why haven’t I enjoyed games as much as I have in the past? I didn’t play my games any differently… I didn’t even change how frequently I play. I probably played games even more than before I started GNN. Watching Jonathon Blow, creator of Braid, talk about all those people on IGTM who raved about his game and made comments about his game is what made me figure out what changed in me. I played the games as if it was just some pictures on a screen doing things whenever I pressed buttons and what made the game good was whether or not the button pressing worked well and the pictures looked good. I played games to get from point A to point B and got to the boss as fast as I could so that I could win the game and move on. I was playing the surface of games, not the content underneath the surface as the developers hoped that people would.
The start of GNN was supposed to be me enjoying games even more and sharing my experiences and excitement with other people. What it ended up being was something that I felt needed to be updated all the time with news I had to scrounge around for and then get it out to my small following so that they’d know about it first from me versus some of the other big names such as GameInformer, IGN or Kotaku. I then started playing games faster and even stopped playing games because it seemed too boring even though I didn’t even pay attention to the storyline throughout my entire time with the game.
So in a nutshell I became a douche bag elitist gamer who played games just to say that they were played. Even now writing this article for my handful of people to read I think about whether or not people really care and wonder how I can make them care. If this article crosses at least one person’s computer screen and makes them think to themselves, “Damn… I just realized I’m the same way… I need to change that!” or “Wow this guy owned up to being a douche bag elitist gamer who thinks because he plays games he can run a site that talks about games, he isn’t so douchey after all!” then my whole point of this was made. That I, along with many other gamers out there, need to stop buying games and playing them to play them and instead buy games to enjoy them. There are so many great games with great stories behind them. I don’t just mean the story presented in the game, but the story of the game itself is something worth understanding and appreciating.
I task myself and every gamer out there to grab a game they’ve bought and might have played all the way through or not and go figure out a little bit about the game and then go back and play through it and look for the little details (not just the texture details) that were put into the game and the game’s story. Also knowing the developer’s story as well will make you understand why they’ve made their game as well. I’ve learned Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes from Team Meat have both had unique experiences with games as a child. Also that Phil Fish from Polytron went through hell and back just to get this game out to people so that they could enjoy it, and created Cyber Vision with his Dad as a child which entailed him putting his face to the screen as the screen just simply flashed patters that inverted colors like crazy. I’m not saying go out and learn about some crazy detailed information about these guys, but at the least try to read something about what the creators have said about their game or even what their past projects have been so you understand what they’ve done creatively. Knowing things like this will allow you to appreciate the game on a whole new level.
No longer is this just a task…. this is a challenge. Do you think you can handle it? More importantly, can you become a better gamer?