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31/31 Day 10111: The Implications Of Forgetting

The Nintendo Entertainment System was first released in 1983. Pac-Man first hit arcades in 1980. One of the very first games, Pong, came out in 1972. If you were even just born when Pong came out, you would be 41 this year. Been a long time, hasn't it? Well, if you were born maybe growing up with Pong, you could possibly be in your 50's at this point in time. In 10-20 years time, they'll be going into retirement, and well, that starts something important-it starts the loss of the old memories of video games.

We shall not forget...or will we?

My generation is one that grew up with the Nintendo 64, and PlayStation 1. I was born in 1995, and those born around that time are in high school, or college now, or otherwise are at the age that they would be if they went to it. We're the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs, and video game designers. However, we're already at a point where we didn't even grow up with the SNES. Well, it's possible we played it growing up (I didn't...well, I didn't play N64 either, but that's beside the point), but really, we are ones that did not grow up with the most early of consoles, and thus, we are missing a part of gaming history.

Even though I have been one to try and go back to past consoles,  still haven't played an NES, or an SNES. I've played games FOR them, but I haven't held a controller for either system. The same goes for Sega's systems. When I started to really start gaming, I didn't want to be ill-informed, and tried to play a great variety of games in order to get caught up. This makes me think of the future of our industry-what's going to happen when we only see the letters "NES" on a plaque in a museum, or for a Virtual Console title? That time is actually fast approaching, considering that not many people probably play on NES's besides those playing the old games for things like Replay, or for nostalgia. In 10 years, will those people still even go back? There may be some, but I think I can say for sure the number will be far less. 

In 10 years, the youth of tomorrow could be in disbelief we were once at this point.

The main point of what I'm writing for today is to explore why this is going to happen, as well as the implications of it. "This", of course, being that those memories of old consoles fade away, and we gradually reach a point where there won't be anyone left with nostalgia of old titles. The main reason this is happening, of course, is because we are simply moving forward in time, and memories become lost as time moves on. We've preserved them, of course, in museums, virtual arcades where we can still play those games, but also through the testimonies saved through the wonders of the internet. Archived old reviews, and again, things like Replay will forever be accessible, and thus, those memories will somewhat be preserved.

However, they will only be acting like a simple reflection. There are two kinds of sources-primary and secondary. Primary documents are ones that are firsthand, and are basically like witnesses to whatever they are talking about. However, secondary sources are like historians, or encyclopedias. They can provide information, but they didn't experience what they are talking about-they simply, well, regurgitate, you could say. That's what's going to happen with old gaming memories-we may have them preserved, but the people who played those systems when they first came out will be gone, and we'll live on what they left us. 

There is one problem, however-in the future, it's likely that new generations of gamers will be more resistant to the games of old. I, personally, have some difficulty with those old games, but I'm fine with the limited graphic quality they had at the time. My brothers? Not so much. When the majority of gamers start to feel this way, we could possibly see people pay less attention to the games of old, and thus, more of people not seeing the true innovation of our industry, as well people not experiencing old stories. What will happen when no one plays Final Fantasy VII because they can't stomach the graphics that aren't nigh-perfection?

Kids of the future: "he wasn't always 3D!?"

So, we've already seen why the loss of memories will happen-honestly, that's all easy to understand, and could have been condensed a bit more. But, what's really the big thing about this, is the future, and what it means for our gaming community and culture. With other mediums, it's sort of different. As time has moved on, it's not like literature has gotten better, it's just adapted to the ever-changing culture. Those old forms of literature still have a place at times. The same can kinda be said about movies, because black and white and silent movies still have festivals nowadays, and people use those forms of cinema at times in short films. 

I know what you're going to say-"but there are indie games that use retro, pixelated graphics". Sure, yes, that's true, and we will most likely continue to see games and indie developers utilize the ways of the old, but as time moves on, I feel like we can only move away from that style. As games become more and more realistic, we may start to get spoiled, or those growing up with that realism may be spoiled. If this happens, we could start to lose the foundations of our industry, and also what made those games great. The implications for this could actually be very minimal, or something unexpected.

Let's think-those people who are most accepting of online passes and DLC are the ones who grew up to them, not the people who were around for awhile before them. Well, that's the feeling I get, no offense to those who did grow up with the NES and such and are fine with DLC and everything. My point is, as we move out of that era, and into more and more of a digital space, those controversial practices could become more commonplace, because future generations may be more open to them. I'm not saying that is the future, nor that every company out there will take advantage of future generations, but that there is simply a possibility.

Well, I think that's where I'll end off for today. If you have any thoughts on this matter, write them below in the comments, and I'll see you guys tomorrow. 

At least we may forget about this.

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