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When Video games became sports

I recently read an article on IGN about adding a monthly subscription to the new XBOX 720. Now as I understand it, it would be a cheaper system but would require a monthly fee just like Microsoft tried early this year with giving you a cheaper XBOX 360 but had to pay a monthly subscription. As I read through the article, I stopped and began thinking about the change I am seeing in video games. 

720

When I was little I didn't play video games. They were a waste of my time. I would rather play sports (and I still would rather play sports) than play video games. It isn't an insult to gaming, I just find more enjoyment in sports. I understand that sports are about money. They are. It is sad but the NFL is a business, the players don't play for honor, they don't play for the team, they play for money. The franchises that try everything they can to take the business side out of it (which is almost impossible but they try and are closer than other teams) find success. Look at the Ravens, had a core group of players that played together, they played as a team. Look at the Patriots, well coached and have a great locker room atmosphere, they keep it in house. They win. 

When I first got on GIO, I never thought of video games as sports. I thought of them as art. They were people trying to do the impossible. Thanks to people like Ace, Crafty, and my missed comrade Mojo, they opened my eyes up to games I had never played. I played the first Mario brothers game and a game I had never even heard of, Mario 64. Then I graduated to games like Starcraft, Heavy Rain, Borderlands, Dead Space, and BioShock. These games are masterpieces. They are beautiful and intense. Every time I dive into one of these titles I am  rushed with emotions and deep thoughts that rival the way I feel when looking at art at the Met in New York. Whole new worlds are opened up and it is because of video games.

But now there is a change, things are no longer about the game, the art. It is about money. Back when I thought video games weren't sports, I tried to justify it because I thought there was some unwritten honor in sports but the more I grow up, the more I learn the more I see what is wrong with sports today, they are business, not families. But sadly video games are starting down that path as well. 

 

Ralph H Baer is considered to be the father of video games. In an interview he was asked about the role he played in the video game revolution. He said,

"All I did was come up with what I thought was a fun idea that was the result of a little box that was attached to a television set."

He later added,

"It just grew and grew and grew. Nobody realised, even at that time, that we were on the geometric curve that would go straight up to heaven." 

 

Ralph H Baer

 

I understand that video games were created to be a business. But to me, I think that many of the creators didn't do it for money, they did it for the art. They did it to create a world, an atmosphere that was different than anything the world had ever seen. That is art. But sadly the artists that make these beautiful worlds are slowly dying out to the business. Instead of being given the ability to create, they are hand cuffed. Instead of asking, how can I do the impossible, they are asked how many copies will be sold. It is a sad state that just as I am learning about the art in games, I am seeing the change from Art, to sport. I am going to miss the art and I am saddened that many of these games will be lost as new, more expensive, technology comes out. Thank you to all the games you have shared with me and I feel blessed to begin to see what some of you have known for years. The art that is video games. Be blessed. 

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