Video games are losing their artistry

Derek Sherlock – Anchor staff

In my honest opinion, I feel that video games are becoming a dying art. I grew up in the era when videogames changed from being 2D (often side scrolling platformers) to the extremely blocky 3D masterpieces. I witnessed games go from the Sega Genesis/Super Nintendo era of games to the Sony PlayStation, Nintendo 64, as well as the often-forgotten Sega Saturn/Dreamcast. While the graphics are getting better and better as the years go on, they have become a shell of what they were when I was a child.  

I remember when games didn’t rely on flashy graphics but instead put a lot of emphasis into the story. A few such games are: Metal Gear Solid, Resident Evil one to three, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, or Star Fox 64. They gave gamers a story that either toyed with their emotions or caused them to marvel at the virtual world in the game. The creators made these worlds for us to live in for a certain amount of time each day to escape our own physical lives.

Today’s games, while they can give us an escape, are not based on any story. They’re usually online multiplayer and there is such an emphasis on the graphics and game play that the sense of escapism.

Photo courtesy of The Motley Fool

As someone who grew up in an uncaring environment, I would escape into video games. I would pretend that I was running for my life in a zombie-infested midwestern town or pretend I was swimming in sub-zero Alaskan waters on my way to take down a group of terrorists who took over a nuclear disposal facility. Some days I was even a hot ace pilot in space defending the galaxy from a scientist who was bent on destroying planets.

I got sucked into these stories. When my house became too much for my young mind, I would escape into these games and find comfort in them. It is safe to say that without video games I don’t know if I would truly be here right now. They really helped me through some dark points in my life. With the games today, I don’t get that same sense of comfort or escape. In games like Fortnite, Black Ops Four and Fallout 76, there is no overarching story to escape to, time and time again. I am able to play with other players and do a bit of player versus player, but without any story I can’t get lost in a fantasy world that is often caring and comforting. Getting lost in a story is what makes video games an art form and these stories are dying, taking video games along with it.