By now it’s no secret that motion controls are a shameless cash grab by the not-so-holy trinity of video-games. Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft have bulldozed the learning curve of what was formerly a very steep and alienating ascent and suddenly the thumbs we privileged-white-males, ages seven to thirty seven, have been sculpting for the majority of our lives are no longer our only invaluable investment. This leaves the door wide open for every demographic with a functional upper-body (and hopefully some without) to empty their wallets in to the corporate coffers, ensuring the rich get richer and every household on every hemisphere has access to guided yoga routines and other grievously inaccurate simulations of physical activity.
However, I find too many gamers are more than happy to piss and moan about the shortcomings of motion controls. A lot of this dissent originates from the community of anthropomorphic porpoises known as “Hardcore” gamers who are, in my fair and balanced opinion, whiny, misanthropic escapists that are scared to tears by anything that might threaten their safe, secure little hole in the ground in which to hide from natural light. That being said, many of their criticisms are valid. The interfaces are all equally sloppy and don’t lend themselves well to much of anything just yet.
Maybe I’m one of the few old enough to remember, but this entire hubbub is par for the course. Yes, the technology is still in its infancy and was obviously rushed to release for competitive purposes, but there’s a reason that Playstation launch titles look a lot different from the later titles. Maturation is a factor with any new technology as is, it would seem, the impatience and intolerance of its eventual beneficiaries. If we could all just take a deep breathe and put down the pitchforks for a moment, we might remember that technology has to endure an awkward puberty before it can be appropriately devastated, scarred, and socially re-built from the ground up, before it can do anything meaningful with its life. It’s like tearing apart a sixth grader’s book report for not enriching your already mountainous intellect. You monster.
As much as we seem to love to hate on motion controls, a little foresight permits us a view of some long-term benefits. If we want to see our medium develop even further, we need to invite new minds in to the evolutionary process. The same kids that are growing up with the motion controls are going to have an entirely new and exciting set of opinions as to what to do with them next. The same kid that’s jumping rope with his Wii-mote, when subjected to the appropriate traumatic experiences, is going to see that this funny little white candy bar thing could be used for sawing off gangrenous limbs in a survival-horror/first-world-war medic simulator. It’s just going to take TIME.
It’s the same process people undergo when immigrating to a new country. The first generation take the blue-collar jobs and establish a secure environment where subsequent generations can be free to pursue higher-education and become progressive, invaluable members of society. OR, first come the mass-appeal launch titles, then once everyone’s nice and financially secure, they invest in some more risky, ambitious titles that exhibit the technology’s real creative potential.
Tags: Sunday Soapbox