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Is Gaming Undergoing a Renaissance? |

From thatgamecompany’s cofounder, Jenova Chen:

I think right now — in the future, when people look back, I think it’s the renaissance of video games.”


Entertainment will always evolve. Painting, sculpture, music, novels, and movies have always evolved and will continue to do so, but you can usually look at the history of a particular medium and notice a distinct time period of unusual explosive growth and change and formation.

Each medium had their own time period, and there is a convincing argument that that time for video games is now.

Agree? Disagree?

  • There will always be mainstream games for the masses, yet today’s digital distribution methods also allow niche ideas to flourish, while making the authors a buck or two. Gaming have become so cheap and popular, the gamers became so diverse. There seems to be an audience for everything.

  • Trev

    I must admit in my social circle i have noticed a lot more people becoming interested and even joining me to play which has been amazing. Long may it continue.

  • John

    ‘Renaissance’ is probably too strong a word. It’s more just another evolution, and it’s not such a massive one at that, there has been, tbh, nothing special or significantly new coming around.

    For instance, having played both Flow and Flower, my conclusion is that in the end, they’re both just pretty versions of PacMan, with the scoring & competitiveness removed.
    Another example is the Wii, which is all about slapping new gimmicky controllers upon age-old game designs and gameplay.

    I would guess that when we turn back to this particular era, we’ll think two things:
    – this is an era that was particularly void of new gameplay ideas
    – old gameplay got refined, more accessible and gaming became mainstream

  • mcloki

    YES and the current recession/depression is the fuel of this Renaissance. As game companies shed developers and highly creative staff due to the economy there is a huge highly talented work force being created. While some may go into IT.Most of them are going to take their severance, and start a company. Writing an iPhone or Android game is not that much of a stretch. This influx of smaller, hungrier game development companies will spark hundreds of games. This is where the renaissance will come from. From the ashes of 2008 will arise the phoenix of 2010.

  • Darrin

    Video games are not in a recession. The industry has posted very strong growth numbers for the past few years (if I had time, I’d dig up the numbers).

    There have been lots of layoffs and studios shutting down, but that doesn’t mean the industry is shrinking. Every time you read a big story about EA doing layoffs or a big name studio closing for good, there are new studios starting up and other studios expanding and hiring more talent.