In a recent New York Times piece, Seth Schiesel looks at 2007’s top-selling video games and finds that social and easy-to-pick-up titles are crowding out more complex and critically acclaimed stuff. His basic point — as anyone who has played Wii Tennis at a party could tell you — is pretty reasonable:
Paradoxically, at a moment when technology allows designers to create ever more complex and realistic single-player fantasies, the growth in the now $18 billion gaming market is in simple, user-friendly experiences that families and friends can enjoy together. …Put another way, it may be a sign of the industry’s nascent maturity that as video games become more popular than ever, hard-core gamers and the old-school critics who represent them are becoming an ever smaller part of the audience.
But taking a closer look at the numbers, his argument starts to break down. Continue reading