Now being technically in the “Millennials Gamers” category being born in 1986 I’m a huge retro gamer and collector. I’ve always thought I’m somewhere right in between a Generation X (the tail end) and the very beginnings of a Millennial.
What I believe that this means is that I really do appreciate almost anything in the 80s including music and video games. While I’m not nostalgic over the Atari I still love many games on it etc.
So what I want to discuss today is really the tail end of the Millennial Gamers. The ones that really grew up with iPhones hench Mobile Games and Always online.
Being born in the 80s but technically growing up in the 90s I figure why not I’m as qualified as anyone to discuss this.
The question at hand, is do Millennial Gamers or gamers that are even younger truly appreciate games? Do they care about story in games, what exactly do they care about nowadays?
Let’s dive into the retro and old school scene first, then we will go to modern age gaming. These are just my perspectives with maybe some insight from other blogs and articles across the web.
Before the Internet Boom
Yes, there was a time before everyone in the world was connected or online. The internet boom or dot-com boom came sometime in 1995 is when it really exploded. Even then not everyone was totally online and you were stuck with the information you learned from school, tv, books etc…
So figuring out awesome video game secrets was impossible, unless you paid for it in a Prima guide or Nintendo Power. Other than that you had to figure it out all on your own. Things you would hear out on the playground like you could get General Leo from Final Fantasy VI after he was killed by Kefka. Seriously there was no way to confirm this at all. It wasn’t written in any book available and given
Turns out the only way you could get Leo is by using a game genie code. There are also patched versions of Final Fantasy III/VI that automatically allows you to put him in your party. So many secrets you could never appreciate in the modern era.
I remember when consoles use to be… well consoles. Today or in modern times it feels like consoles are literally just sandboxed PC. This trend really started happening whenever they started adding hard drives to consoles. I believe the PS2 came with an attachment and the Original Xbox shipped with one.
The TRUE consoles I’m referring too are the one’s PS1 era and below. These are the consoles they really felt like they were completely different. Truthfully the 16-bit era felt like the golden age of gaming to me. This could be due to the fact that I grew up in the 90s.
For whatever reason, those games will always be a part of my life and collection. Still, to this day I’m always arguing which jRPG was the greatest on the SNES. I’m sitting here wondering if conversations like this even happen at all now. Do you think kids today sit and talk amongst their selves about what great is the greatest?
The SNES and Sega Genesis the true 16-bit console war was just awesome. All the commercials all the new mascots (ahem Sonic) it was just an amazing time in gaming. I believe that Consoles now have lost their way. They don’t really do anything different than a PC now, you can even hook up a mouse and keyboard to the Xbox One and PS4.
The Nintendo Switch seems to really be the only console manufacturer that does anything different now.
Seriously what happened to all the Co-Op games that made Console gaming fun? Remember when HALO had split screen and no online? I sure do and it was awesome. We will get back to that for a minute.
The Co-Op modes are basically non-existence now. No More GOOF Troop on the SNES.
I mean there are still fighters like Super Smash Bros. that offer teams and stuff like that.
But, what in the world happened to Halo. That was the thing that put it over the edge back in the day. 4 Controller Ports, 4 Split Screen. Then you could take your team against another Team if you wanted.
Then you could even play 4 players Co-Op. INSANE.
I don’t understand why every game thinks they have to build another story to fit in a Co-Op mode. Listen, developers, we honestly don’t care if we play the same story or if our purple colored master Cheif has no background. We just want to play with our Friends.
What I’m getting at, is that it would be awesome to play Skyrim Co-Op. But I can’t.
Bethesda got the great idea that well everyone keeps asking for Co-Op why don’t we just make an online MMORPG! How’d that turn out for Fall-out 76? We just want to play Co-op! It really doesn’t MATTER if there is a story.
We just want to play games with our buddies offline and online.
Whenever it comes to a community I feel like that Retro community, for the most part, is fantastic. Compare the retro gaming community to a community of Fortnite gamers. The fortnite generation is just a bunch of kids screaming at each other on mics. Calling each other names.
Listen I’m still part of the millineal bunch. What I’m getting at is that I’ve had my fair share of trash talking on Xbox live. I’m a hillbilly I had to talk smack back because everyone would just call me a dumb redneck.
It’s way more toxic than talking to someone who loves Retro gaming basically Generation X. Either we are sharing our favorite tunes from a certain game or we are talking about a secret we never discovered as a kid.
Whenever you think of massive gaming collections, you think of all these retro gaming rooms with tons of stuff on shelves.
Can you even really collect digital items? If that online service disappears all your digital skins, items, weapons, etc… disappear.
Take Fortnite for example. It is required to be online to play, you cannot access your items, and the big money maker skins. All those skins you’ve bought are going to disappear and really they won’t be worth jack squat if Fortnite takes a dive.
I mean how would you access them? 20 years from now all that money you’ve spent on those skins are they going to be available. Most likely not.
If I want to play Final Fantasy II(SNES II/IV) all I need is a Super Nintendo, or a clone system, the game, and a TV. I require no service to play it.
A game that released in 1991 I can still play in 2019 without issues. It’s still valuable, and collectible.
The digital age… not so much so. How will someone experience Fortnite 20 years from now? My guess… they won’t. Those poor Millennial Gamers how will they ever play FORTNITE again?
Now if you wanna check out my NES Collecting Guide have at it!
Throughout my high school education and early college years. I probably ate an unhealthy amount of snacks solo from the LAN parties we use to throw. As much as I wish it was mostly PC LAN parties it wasn’t. It was Halo LAN parties.
Yes, the PC Gamer Smango was forced to partake in LAN parties using Xboxes instead of the might PC Master Race.
That being said. LAN parties are kind of dead now. PCs and Consoles both.
Which is really sad, this was a great time to hang out with friends and have a blast talking crap to each other. While we were across the room or in different rooms. Running a nice Cat 5 cable across the floor with a HUB (boy if I knew what I know now about networking.) was sort of symbolic. It just doesn’t happen.
I doubt my Son will ever experience a LAN party in his life and as far as I know not many Millennial Gamers have either.
Especially the younger age.
Modern Era of Gaming
Let’s jump more into the always online ERA. I’ve always played Online games since I had a PC and had Dial-UP so my online experience has increased over the years. Giving my age 32 as of this post. Not everything REQUIRED online though. I was still playing SNES, PS1, and even Single player games on the PC etc.
There wasn’t a ton of games that were just ONLINE only at the team, and if they were I’m thinking like Quake III or Unreal Tournament. They at least offered a mode where you could face BOTS.
So you today, can still boot up Quake III or UT without an internet connection and experience the game.
Xbox Live came out and pretty much changed all of that for the most part. There were tons of MMORPGs Everquest, UO, and Runescape come to mind that did requires always online before this.
Even the original Xbox didn’t launch with online at first, the original Halo didn’t have Online, ONLY LAN.
Quake III and UT almost set the trend that you didn’t need a Single Player to be a success almost starting other franchises into the trend. Then you have MMORPGs that required Monthly payments to even play. That seemed crazy at first, pay $5 to play Runescape in the member’s world. $5 to play a game?
Whenever I was trying to convince my mother to pay for a game a month she thought I was nuts. It really was kind of NUTS at the time though. Just think $5 is NOTHING now what it costs a month.
World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV are both $14.99 a month now. You literally cannot play them any other way (maybe offline private servers if you want to be technical.) unless you pay for it and even then you need an internet connection.
The game that’s literally taking over the world. Fortnite doesn’t require a monthly fee, but it is REQUIRE to be online. You must be connected and online to experience one of the biggest games ever. At least it is free I suppose.
What I’m getting at is games like Fortnite going to be talked about in 20 years? I think an MMORPG if you are a certain group of friends you can talk about the experience you had in a raid. But really are we going to be arguing if Fortnite is the #1 game of all time on a list somewhere? Does it stack up to what I think is at least in the top 5 games of ALL time Zelda Link to the Past on SNES.
I love Quake Champions but it’s going to be really hard to bring it up in a conversation about the greatest games of all time if all I can talk about is how awesome combo shots are.
It’s kind of sad that I have to even put this on here really. I’ve never thought mobile gaming is serious, or at least for serious Gamers. There are tons of Millennial Gamers though that have done nothing but played Mobile Games. Giving the fact that it make tons of money for the terrible game experience I truly don’t understand it.
I’m not talking about portable game devices either. I’m talking about getting on your smartphone going to your app store and downloading Angry Birds. Angry Birds have probably been played by more people than any retro game ever.
That’s why it is so sad, are conversations going to start going by. Man, that Angry Birds game it was so awesome to shoot that red bird and knock over those pigs. Can a game like that really ever be considered a top-tier game? It’s sort of a puzzle game I suppose and one of the games that feel closer to a video game.
Could Angry Birds stack up to a retro classic like Tetris even?
What about all these people that have spent tons of money on a “game” like clash of clans. The only way to really be “good” at the game is if you pay MONEY to get past the paywall. What kind of GAME is that?
Yet games like these drive me mad because we are forced to include them in gaming. This is what Millennial Gamers have grown up with. Free games that force you to spend money to get past a certain point.
Apparently, tons of people are OK with it too because it doesn’t stop.
I’m so glad Diablo Immortal got the backlash it did.
No more secrets
Remember above whenever I was discussing the awesome secrets or made up conversations that happened on the schoolyard. Well, those don’t happen anymore…
That’s because every new game comes out it’s live streamed. It’s on Youtube, it’s on Twitch. All these professional gamers play all these games and have an unlimited amount of game footage out there debunking almost every single myth out there.
Then if there is a secret out there its instantly shared on social media and youtube. Thus running all kinds of awesome conversations to be had with friends.
You the more think of it conversations like I’ve had as my time as a gamer probably don’t even happen anymore. I mean even these days they don’t its usually log onto Discord and go play online games with friends.
Millennial Gamers Conclusion
Let’s wrap this up. I’m not saying most Millennials don’t collect games I’m sure some do.
I just think times have changed so much that they don’t really care, or really even have the option to do so anymore. Everything is digital now basically killing off Physical Media altogether.
All the schoolyard talks have gone from secrets to Fortnite dances and who has the latest skin they bought for $20.
The gaming industry has made a shift to games always being online. We still have some great single player games, but they don’t make near the amount of money a crappy mobile game like Clash of Clan makes or a F2P game like Fortnite.
It’s truly sad that gaming collecting will most likely cease to exist. I’m guessing hardware will still be collected perhaps with all the user data filled with games on the hard drive.
Let me know what you think about the future of games for the upcoming generations in the comment section below.
You can always hit me up on twitter! – @realkynerd