When I was younger, my parents restricted how long I could play video games during the day. We all knew that if they let me play for as long as I wanted, I never would have left that couch. Of course, I did not sit idly by and allow “the man” to determine how long I would play without retaliation. How could they expect me to go outside, of all places, while there were still monsters to slay and enemies to punish? So, what did I do when nobody was home? I played video games. What did I do when visiting friends? We played video games. What did I do when I had reached my allotted time limit for the day and there was no possible way to sneak in more play time? I thought and talked about video games. Gaming has been my primary hobby for practically my entire life. While I know now that everything is best enjoyed in moderation, nothing can capture my interest quite like a great game.
Some say that the gaming industry is stagnating with the predominance of annual release, blockbuster titles such as “Call of Duty” and “Assassin’s Creed.” Some say that gaming’s heyday has come and gone, that developers regurgitate yesterday’s titles back into the market with shiny “new” features that rarely meet expectations. That may or may not be so, but the gaming culture, I argue, is very much alive.
It is a great time to be a gamer. Video games have been around for a relatively short time, and the games and mediums through which we enjoy them have advanced far beyond what many imagined forty years ago when “Pong” was considered breaking technology. With online gameplay the norm and the next generation of consoles just over the horizon, the current standard of gaming is incredible.
Eugene and Springfield hold a number of gaming establishments in which the culture thrives. Amidst the regular holding of paid tournaments of games old and new, the people hanging around game stores conversing with strangers about new releases, and the several unique arcades and “barcades” around town, it is clear that the social aspect of gaming is more than just alive, it is booming.
Here are a few websites that I found interesting.
This site has a lot to offer. It includes game reviews, essays, news, and practically anything one could want from a gaming site.
Here is a very well written blog. Interviews with developers, reviews, and podcasts are a number of things included on this site.
Reviews, news, walkthroughs, etc. can be found on this rapidly updated site.
Another gaming news and review site, but with a focus on arcades. It also includes links to other sites that give a list of arcades around the world.
This blog is all about arcade games, with a focus on shooters.
“The International Dota 2 Video Game Tournament” – http://www.flickr.com/people/52821156@N00