My Video Game Industry Wish List
Hello, whoever is reading this! I'm one of the new summer interns here at Game Informer, and I’m super excited to write some entertaining stuff for you guys! We each have our own introductory blogs so you can get to know us better, but with mine I want to do something a little different.
Rather than listing my history with video games, which isn't any more unique or important than any of yours, I thought I'd list three changes that I hope to see in the games industry in the years ahead. I feel like that will give you a better idea of my relationship with gaming than if I just listed all of the games I like to play. Ready?
The first thing I want to see, which involves my biggest pet peeve, is the eradication of the word "gamer." I hate it. It needs to go. If you'd like my more detailed thoughts on the issue, you can check out a column I wrote about this dumb word, but to summarize, I think "gamer" creates a divide between "normal" people and those who play video games that stagnates the growth of the industry.
I believe writers use "gamer" instead of just the word"person" because they subconsciously feel like what interests "gamers" is too nerdy to matter to “normal” people. But that's such an oversimplification of people who play games. Everyone, including the most prominent members of the gaming industry, has a multitude of diverse hobbies, none of which include the stereotype of being locked in their mom's basements without bathing, consumed by the glow of their TV monitors. "Gamer" is a word that holds us back, and I hope that its elimination can destroy the toxic stigma that playing video games can carry.
Second, we need to accept and embrace the fact that as gaming becomes increasingly popular, politics will inevitably seep into it.
I totally understand and respect the sentiment of people who want video games to remain an escape from the exhaustive political climate we live in now, but I don't think the games industry can progress without honest and open conversations about the controversies that will continue to come up. Video games do not exist in a vacuum outside of the real world, and with the positives that come with being a global leader in entertainment, we must also deal with internal political issues that will ultimately befall our industry. It sounds obvious, but open dialogue needs to happen; if people are afraid to talk politics for fear of losing viewership, we'll be endlessly turning our wheels in the mud.
And finally, I want to see video game journalism in a better spot than it is right now. The biggest obstacle for games media is the secretive nature of the industry, where NDAs prevent some of the critically important stories from getting out. And although that's not entirely the journalists' fault, I want to see a more proactive effort from journalists to disseminate the information that needs to be heard.
I won't pretend to know the intricacies of the game coverage (in fact, to learn that is why I'm here), but I have a naive optimism that we can do better.
In a way, I guess all three of these items sort of tie together. I want to see the video game industry progress, and hopefully I can contribute to that change during my time in it. I don't know how long I'll get to keep covering games, but since I was given this incredible opportunity at Game Informer, I hope I can make the most of it by taking advantage of having your eyes on me.
So if you feel strongly about anything I've said and want to respond, I encourage you to comment or reach out to me on my Twitter (which is significantly less serious than this post). I can't wait to write some good stuff to read!
(Also, Let's Go Pens)