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Now this was one that took some effort to decide. Fortunately, I had help. Check out this week's edition of my column here, http://www.gatheringofgamers.com/profile.php?profile=3416&action=view§ion=chronicles&chronicle_id=2165
Join up and debate with me, on this and any other column that catches your eye. We don't bite (well, I don't).
I had a long list possibilities to choose from on this, and I'm wondering: what would anyone else have picked? What stood out to everyone during the years of 2000-2009?
For my part, I'm always more interested in moments that invest me in characters or a story; if this column were solely my opinion it might very well look very different. This decade has seen storytelling in games open up to an astounding degree that no one could have predicted (a fact that'll get explored further in two weeks when the column focuses on the best stories that were offered up this decade). RPGs from Square kept me in video games long after I probably would have given it up, so this fact is particularly noticeable to me.
As a result, the moments that define gaming are becoming more and more about atmosphere, environment, personality and moral dilemmas, and less about being particularly skilled at accomplishing certain tasks. In the next decade, I expect to see this focus shift onto user-created content and persistent worlds, thereby moving further from our gaming origins.
Of course, this simply means that games are capable of delivering the sense of freedom that has always bubbled below the surface. Will there be room for the rigidly-defined, pre-scripted moments that have been dominant these past ten years?
I think so. But we can look forward later. Right now, look back and let me know what your favorite moments of the decade were.