5 Resolutions Gamers Should Make for 2016
Greg Johnson / Jan 18th, 2016 No Comments
Well we’ve given you enough time to make your New Years Resolutions and then promptly fail them, so here’s some new ones! Last year we discussed resolutions gamers should make to help the industry progress. These resolutions were focused around themes of coming together and making the gaming community more inclusive and well-spoken; we continue that trend this year. Hopefully we’ve all made progress on the resolutions from last year, because we have new goals to work on for 2016.
1. Trust Crowdfunding
Once upon a time crowdfunding was an unknown entity not to be trusted. Several video games passed through its various halls, took money from excited fans and then dropped the ball in every way imaginable. Understandably, a lot of gamers were pissed and, even more understandably, a lot of gamers now keep crowdfunding at arm’s length.
Skepticism is always a good way to enter into a crowdfunding campaign as talking the talk is far easier than walking the walk. Big projects like Yooka-Laylee and Psychonauts 2 need far less proof in their product as they have the experience and legacy to back their promises. It’s the little projects that gamers should really do their research into. What has the company done previously? Who is on board? What safeguards are in place to ensure the game goes forward and doesn’t become an unending cycle of alpha testing? These are the questions that need to be asked.
While it is important to be weary of smaller crowdfunded games, these little projects need to be given a chance. Especially when some of these little projects turn out to be Undertale, The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 and a number of other smaller titles that proved successful and kept to their word. While crowdfunding of titles like Shenmue 3 seem absurd, due to having the backing of big company, it is a way for players to vote with their wallets, something touched upon in last year’s article.
2. A Sales Pitch For Patience
Steam is a resource. Gamestop is a resource. Target is a resource. Humble Bundle is a resource. Get the idea? There are tons of retailers and applications that allow gamers a plethora of ways to purchase games, most of which have their own deals. Taking advantage of these deals is the future of gaming and the way to create longevity in one’s gaming life. Patience is the key in not just taking advantage of sales, but sending a message to various publisher and developers.
While it is incredibly tempting to buy games the moment they come out, often time it’s better to simply wait. Star Wars Battlefront is a prime example as while it came out Nov. 17th, it suddenly turned early January and no major updates had occurred. Holding off on the game would have allowed others to get it for you as a gift, and ultimately you would have lost out on nothing. Sure some players may have seemed lightyears ahead of you with weapons/gear but that gap is quickly closed in multiplayer games like Battlefront. If it’s a single-player experience like Just Cause 3, avoiding spoilers is a pretty easy task if you truly set your mind to it, and there were a couple decent sales that arose to those who just held out until right before or after Christmas.
If nothing else, holding off on buying games day one does give our friends and family something to actually get for us a gift. I’m sure I’m not the only one that has annoyed their loved ones by already owning everything I could want gaming wise for the holiday, making me near impossible to shop for. Patience is a virtue, and Steam sales are the reward.
3. Turn Single-player Into Multiplayer
This is a personal one for me as I often knock a game just for not having multiplayer. My reasoning is that if Portal 2 can have co-op, every other game on the market has no excuse for not offering some way to enjoy with others. What I, and many others, fail to miss is the easy solution: take turns.
Playing Paper Mario with friends has brought many of my fondest memories and I’d stake my life on the fact that it probably holds true with other games for players around the world. Switching the controller at each death or level just to hand the controller off, these are just a couple of the scenarios that make gaming a social experience. My own Greg’s Cheers to Gaming series encourages all games be played together (especially when alcohol is involved), but this should apply to all games, not just those featuring multiplayer options.
Why is this important? It gives a new spin on a lot of classic titles while also breathing life back into the experience. This will lengthen the gameplay time of previously explored games and enhance the replayability of nearly every game in your library. Instead of seeing a game with multiple gameplay styles as “indecisive” it becomes a single-player experience built for two, to coin an oxymoron. A game can offer stealth missions for one player, with run-and-gun segments for another and every genre in-between. Giving games new life through sharing not only ignites the joy in others but can often reignite the joy of experiencing a game for the first time.
4. Think On Brand Loyalty
The concept of voting with your wallet isn’t a secret marketing ploy, it’s just common sense. I love Mario games with a passion, I grew up on them and continue to grow on them as they grow on me (in a totally non-brainslug sort of way), so thusly I buy t-shirts, Nintendo e-shop giftcards and sometimes even toys. The point of this is partly to just get myself a shiny new thing to enjoy, but also shows my willingness to market a product.
There’s a handful of friends I’d let put my name down as a reference on a resume, in the same way there’s only a handful of companies I buy merchandise from. Buying people t-shirts, giftcards and other brick-a-brack is a way to more openly show brand loyalty while also letting a company know its appreciated. Nobody wears Time Warner t-shirts because frankly nobody likes Time Warner. Thinking about what companies you advertise is thinking about what practices you wish to continue.
If EA continues to nickel and dime players through paid DLC and other gimmicks, don’t just avoid their game, avoid their shirts, avoid toys that go towards their profits and definitely avoid season passes. Becoming more conscientious of who we support and how we support them is as important as vocally expressing our opinions, which brings us to the final resolution.
5. Discuss Everything
Discussion and ranting are not one in the same, that point needs to be made immediately. Going online to say “Lol EA sucks dicks because money” doesn’t hurt them and doesn’t help you. Starting a thread on Reddit or some other site with a clear thesis and several backing points does.
Of course online posting will yield many responses like the ones above, but don’t just limit your voice to one platform, visit other forums and weigh in. Go to the source and use company specific forums to voice your opinions and concerns. Being well thought-out and articulating your thoughts may seem like attempting to polish a turd, but throwing more turds onto the pile certainly isn’t the way.
Word of mouth, like reading , is also a seemingly forgotten method of expressing opinions. Every single conversation shouldn’t become an opportunity for a tirade, but in the correct setting discussing your gripes or satisfaction with a game does progress events in a direction you’d like. Tell two people you hate a game and they’ll tell two people and so on and so forth, especially if you back it up with a thought-out argument using traditional methods of logic and reasoning.
Of course the obvious forum is websites like this one, Gaming Illustrated. Find a site you like and if you’re inclined to writing, then write. Facebook has left a bad taste in many mouths by turning causes into competitions on who can be louder about how much they support a group, but discussion is still a vital part of change, it just can’t be the only part. Now we find ourselves back at voting with your dollar and not just your voice, so enjoy 2016 readers and keep aware of how you wish to see the gaming industry grow.
tags: 2016 , Crowdfunding , gaming , New Year's Resolutions , Steam Sales