Bring Back the Real Hardcore Gamers

There's something funny about the "hardcore" gaming crowd. It's tough to pinpoint what that is unless you've been around message boards or hang out with a group of them. The specific sector of gamers being discussed here are the ones screaming for originality in an industry that supposedly lost its way. At least, that's what many of them will tell you. That's where the problem lies:

They're horribly, blatantly, and impossibly hypocritical.

Here's a group of video game players who will find any way to bash the latest Halo clone, yet go crazy searching for the latest limited release of an obscure 2-D horizontal shooter. They can't understand why people are buying the latest Madden, yet froth at the mouth when a new Contra title comes out. It's some sort of elitist plague that's nearly as irritating as fan boys… almost.

There's no real sense in that. Is there a desperate need for something new and fresh? Of course. In reality though, getting something totally new and totally fresh is a rare occurrence. The millions of undercooked platform titles mimicking Mario and Sonic were just as prevalent in the 16-bit era as first person shooters are today. Sure, it's easy to dismiss something like Call of Duty 2 as "another first person shooter." It's missing the point, the fun, and why people continue to purchase new hardware even if the games are don't provide a 100% perfectly original experience.

A lot of die-hard gamers know this industry, and it's only natural that they would. What they don't seem to understand are the games themselves anymore. They pass over countless nearly flawlessly constructed games each year and prefer to spend their money on an obscure import RPG. There's nothing wrong with supporting the little guy or titles the gaming masses never heard of (it should be encouraged), but to sit and cry foul on an industry when a company even attempts to release something outside of their tastes because it's "not original" is a fallacy.

I'll be first in line to purchase a new 2-D shooter, but I'll also be there for the Halo's of the world too. There's nothing wrong with enjoying both, and it doesn't change the fact that you love video games just as much as the next guy. Don't hate the games because Psychonauts didn't get the game of the year award from a gaming publication, but a sequel to a franchise did. Psychonauts may have been fun, but at its heart, there are hundreds of other games like it. It doesn't take a high IQ to see that a derivative platformer is no better than a sequel on the originality scale.

Let's get back to the games now, and without any ridiculous bias. That's something that would help the industry just as much as some original games.

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