Gaming Fax Machine

Anything to do with games at all.
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Roonmastor
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PostGaming Fax Machine
by Roonmastor » Fri May 18, 2018 5:08 pm

As part of my role I type up meeting minutes on my laptop and ask those present to review them before the meeting is closed.

A few weeks ago I was doing this and passed my laptop to a gent in his 50s or 60s to review and he tried to scroll the screen using touch. Just like in those videos of toddlers trying to work the TV by pressing the screen, because it is all they know. I chuckled and said they don't give us fancy touchscreens and told him to use the touchpad to scroll. The gent went from confident to cautious before my eyes with the simple task of scrolling the text on screen.

I reflected. How did this gent manage to get through life and not learn how to use a computer until the advent of touchscreens?

My mum was the techie in our family when I was a kid. She could do stuff with a VCR that was like magic and would fax stuff to our foreign relatives at home from time to time. I could use both of those machines back in the day but if you put either in front of me today, I'd struggle to do much with them except turn them on. Is this because the technology was obsolete before I became an expert with them?

My mum doesn't email or use social media but she can shop online and get apps on her tablet these days but I had to work hard to get her savvy enough to do either of those things. And she is no idiot. Is this because she thought things like email were useless when she could just fax and soon found herself illiterate in the new world?

I pushed forward with the thought experiment as my mates and I were on Fortnite. Will we one day become gaming illiterate? I was looking forward to the original Fortnite mode and am still waiting for it to go free to play. Mind, we love the Royale mode too. However, we only used to play as a filler before we all got online to play Paragon.

Before Epic shut it down to focus on Fortnite. My mate's were pissed at that announcement. How could they shut down the game we put over a year into for Fortnite? I asked them if any of them had paid for anything in Paragon. They said no, you don't pay for cosmetics in games, only content. And Paragon shut down for the more profitable Fortnite. We still enjoy the new "in" game but we are some of only a few players still rocking our default, free skins.

We loved Star Wars Battlefront too but we didn't get the pay to win sequel and we don't have time to grind the levels to get on an even keel. You wouldn't catch us on a mobile wait-timer game either. We simply don't have the time to spare. Mind, I'll be jumping for joy for another re-release of my favourite nostalgic franchises in a higher definition. Just when is FF7 out again?

But gaming is pushing in those new directions whether we like it or not, with the younger generation being more accepting of it. At some point will the jump be so great that we become illiterate at our own pastime, clinging to our fax machines as the gaming world moves ever onwards?

Did it already happen? Was the Wii merely a false start or did it simply get innovated past before it got going with smartphone gaming? Or am I simply overthinking it all?


TL; DR - Is gaming going to leave us all behind?

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Met
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PostRe: Gaming Fax Machine
by Met » Fri May 18, 2018 6:54 pm

The difference between technology and games is that games have several layers. From a technical level I know people who got left behind when they stopped being simple due to the hardware limitations. This is like your fax machine. The NES became obsolete with the SNES which could do everything, and more.

What you're discussing seems to also be stylistic shifts. O don't think those will stick. We've heard single player is dying, but God of War is the fastest selling Sony exclusive, for example. The closest we really saw was Squenix moving away from turn based games before the release of Bravely Default. This is more akin to types of food. Nobody is saying burgers are obsolete because we have pizza now. I'll always be able to buy a burger, I'll always be able to get a good single player game.

Trends come and go, but there will be a solid core people will fall back on.

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smurphy
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PostRe: Gaming Fax Machine
by smurphy » Fri May 18, 2018 11:08 pm

Sometimes I feel like the concept of playing a game because it's fun is fading away. Especially multiplayer games. If there is nothing to progress through then people aren't interested. When Rainbow Six Siege got it's zombie mode there were countless threads on reddit with people asking "What's the point in playing the missions more than once if I don't unlock anything?". And it's similar with Vermintide 2, there was a bug (or possibly feature) that meant the highest level items were incredibly rare, and again people were asking what's the point in playing if they're not going to get new stuff.

It makes me think the rumoured Left 4 Dead 3 won't be as well received these days as the previous games were, unless they add some sort of lootbox progression system in - which to me is kind of fundamentally opposed to the sort of game L4D is. I miss the days of Unreal Tournament, Counter Strike or Halo 2, where the game was the game. A new player had everything a veteran had, the progression was in the mastery of the game.

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Trelliz
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PostRe: Gaming Fax Machine
by Trelliz » Sat May 19, 2018 6:17 am

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smurphy wrote:Sometimes I feel like the concept of playing a game because it's fun is fading away. Especially multiplayer games. If there is nothing to progress through then people aren't interested. When Rainbow Six Siege got it's zombie mode there were countless threads on reddit with people asking "What's the point in playing the missions more than once if I don't unlock anything?". And it's similar with Vermintide 2, there was a bug (or possibly feature) that meant the highest level items were incredibly rare, and again people were asking what's the point in playing if they're not going to get new stuff.


That is definitely a problem, largely because devs understand that behavioural conditioning is a powerful tool and hooking people on getting the next shiny is an easy way to keep people playing. However I think games like PUBG, Fortnite as well as CSGO and MOBAs are examples of games where getting the next unlock etc. isn't the main draw, despite the presence of lootboxes and other cosmetics.

Speaking of PUBG/MOBAs, I think they are areas where I definitely feel the "It'll happen to you." I understand why they're popular but can't get into them in the same way myself - my experience of the former (in Fortnite) was landing, seeing nobody for 10 minutes then getting suddenly killed out of nowhere, while the latter was 40 minutes of slowly and inexorably losing a match while being told how gooseberry fool I was at everything by internet randoms. I think this is a systemic problem with online multiplayer for me now, that I don't see the time and emotional investment as being worth the eventual rewards.

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Green Gecko
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PostRe: Gaming Fax Machine
by Green Gecko » Sat May 19, 2018 1:57 pm

I'm going to be succinct for once.

No I don't think this will happen. There are vastly overcomplicated, progression/loot-driven multiplayer games out there, sure, I don't play those games. The closest I've got was Splatoon which was probably my best introduction to MP console gaming ever and thanks to Nintendo keeping things accessible and fun on a fundamental level (with no essential gear or XP or any of that gooseberry fool). And I'll probably stick with that because it works for me.

I'll probably keep retro gaming, and cherry picking games that appeal and work for me on later hardware. There are indie games that stay small, and there are classics, and builds on classics, that remain pure "the game is the game" sense. I just think you have to look in the right places. I don't really care about keeping up with "the game", and maybe that's already a sign of age. I've never been particularly drawn to those big MP games that seem to dominate your life - I've heard of people playing for 2000+ hours. I can understand the appeal of this one really massive game that you understand everything about. But I'm aware when that game dies and you move onto the next thing, you're still doing this grind, just moving at a slower pace, with larger chunks.

That wasn't succinct at all.

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OrangeRakoon
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PostRe: Gaming Fax Machine
by OrangeRakoon » Mon May 21, 2018 10:25 am

Gaming isn't changing, it's diversifying. It's a relatively young and growing medium that is still constantly evolving with both technology and design innovation. It's not so much leaving "classic" gamers behind so much as branching out. The more "classic" experiences are still there to be found, and no one is going to enjoy every direction gaming goes in.

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Preezy
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PostRe: Gaming Fax Machine
by Preezy » Mon May 21, 2018 11:59 am

Online gaming in general is something I've actively avoided for a number of years, so I feel completely out of touch with most of it. The battle royale stuff, for example, has completely passed me by.

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Lotus
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PostRe: Gaming Fax Machine
by Lotus » Mon May 21, 2018 12:33 pm

Preezy wrote:Online gaming in general is something I've actively avoided for a number of years, so I feel completely out of touch with most of it. The battle royale stuff, for example, has completely passed me by.

Same here.

I haven't played on a PS4 or Xbox One, and have no intention of doing so for at least another year or two when I'll probably pick up a PS4 and play the handful of games that appeal. Increasingly I look 'back' for new games to play rather than forward, so things are already passing me by. I'm fine with it though, as gaming's moving in a direction that I don't want to be part of anyway.

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Rax
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PostRe: Gaming Fax Machine
by Rax » Mon May 21, 2018 1:42 pm

Lotus wrote:
Preezy wrote:Online gaming in general is something I've actively avoided for a number of years, so I feel completely out of touch with most of it. The battle royale stuff, for example, has completely passed me by.

Same here.

I haven't played on a PS4 or Xbox One, and have no intention of doing so for at least another year or two when I'll probably pick up a PS4 and play the handful of games that appeal. Increasingly I look 'back' for new games to play rather than forward, so things are already passing me by. I'm fine with it though, as gaming's moving in a direction that I don't want to be part of anyway.

This pretty much sums me up, when the Xbox One launched there was nothing on there that appealed to me (Ive never been drawn to Playstation that much), so I went with a Wii U and Im now playing on a Switch. I also game on PC but never wanting to playing online multiplayer means most of the big events in gaming have passed me by but I dont mind, Im very happy with the games I do play and the experiences I have.

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NickSCFC
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PostRe: Gaming Fax Machine
by NickSCFC » Mon May 21, 2018 1:46 pm

Meh, the way I see it you don't have to always play new games, providing there's physical copies about those old games will be available forever.

I love movies and song that were made before I was born, so maybe today's kids are trying old games and enjoying them too.

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PostRe: Gaming Fax Machine
by Ironhide » Mon May 21, 2018 6:46 pm

Rax wrote:
Lotus wrote:
Preezy wrote:Online gaming in general is something I've actively avoided for a number of years, so I feel completely out of touch with most of it. The battle royale stuff, for example, has completely passed me by.

Same here.

I haven't played on a PS4 or Xbox One, and have no intention of doing so for at least another year or two when I'll probably pick up a PS4 and play the handful of games that appeal. Increasingly I look 'back' for new games to play rather than forward, so things are already passing me by. I'm fine with it though, as gaming's moving in a direction that I don't want to be part of anyway.

This pretty much sums me up, when the Xbox One launched there was nothing on there that appealed to me (Ive never been drawn to Playstation that much), so I went with a Wii U and Im now playing on a Switch. I also game on PC but never wanting to playing online multiplayer means most of the big events in gaming have passed me by but I dont mind, Im very happy with the games I do play and the experiences I have.


I too, couldn't give a rats ass about online multiplayer games or FPSs, I'm just not interested at all.

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PostRe: Gaming Fax Machine
by Moggy » Tue May 22, 2018 8:08 am

I doubt there has ever been a generation in the entirety of human history that wasn’t utterly convinced that they would be able to keep up with new innovations. All of them were proved wrong eventually – either because there were no innovations in their lifetimes or because they were left behind eventually and started shouting at clouds that the young people are wrong. Ugg was convinced that he’d always be able to pull the sledge, but when Ogg put wheels on it, it blew Ugg’s mind and he just gave up transporting anything.

I think a lot of it is just fear. My mum isn’t an idiot, but computers terrify her. She somehow built it up in her mind that computers are complex and that she’d never be able to understand how to use one. She uses smartphones and tablets with no trouble, but give her a keyboard and mouse and her confidence just evaporates so badly that she’s unable to learn what to do.

So I think it is easy for us to say “nah, gaming will not leave us behind!”, but who knows where gaming will be in 30, 40 or 50 years time? I don’t know where it will be, but I bet we will be on here moaning about the direction it has taken. ;)

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Green Gecko
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PostRe: Gaming Fax Machine
by Green Gecko » Tue May 22, 2018 1:50 pm

I think that's the key thing though - confidence. Maybe it reduces with our capacity to learn new things as we age? I've always been driven by a curiosity and willingness to figure things out that I will fiercely do so until I have it working and very rarely give up. It's probably a time factor as well. We don't have time with kids and work and stuff to strawberry float around trying to figure out a new way to do something that is already working some other way in which we are familiar.

I've always met people with no confidence whatsoever to learn how things work or just how to use them. Or poor attention spans. It's always mistified me as my usual reaction is just, "why don't you try and see what happens?" So many people are afraid of failure. It's no way to live in my view.

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Rax
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PostRe: Gaming Fax Machine
by Rax » Tue May 22, 2018 2:24 pm

Reluctance to learn new things is definitely a confidence issue, with computers in particular people are afraid that they will delete everything by accident and thats the end of it. My father was very apprehensive until I showed him the magic of ctrl + z and the recycle bin. Once he knew about them he was a bit more open to trying things and teaching himself what he needed to know. Hes far from an expert now but hes well able to use Excel, Word, Outlook, Chrome and the other bits and pieces he needed for his business.

I think thats the biggest hurdle for most people when it comes to learning, fear of failure is huge so they would rather not try, I see it in loads of places. People who say they cant cook or swim or drive or whatever just need a bit of confidence and they would realise theyre well able for things. Basic competency doesnt need a huge time commitment, just a bit of effort is usually enough for poeople to start doing the basics they need with something.

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PostRe: Gaming Fax Machine
by Green Gecko » Tue May 22, 2018 2:35 pm

If that's the case, I can't imagine this ever happening to me. Not wanting to try to play a new type of gaming experience because I might lose? No way. I'm gooseberry fool at most games, it's never stopped me playing them.

I've come in the top 4 in GR Mario kart maybe one or two times for example. But I've been playing Mario kart for almost 20 years.

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PostRe: Gaming Fax Machine
by Moggy » Tue May 22, 2018 3:06 pm

Green Gecko wrote:I think that's the key thing though - confidence. Maybe it reduces with our capacity to learn new things as we age? I've always been driven by a curiosity and willingness to figure things out that I will fiercely do so until I have it working and very rarely give up. It's probably a time factor as well. We don't have time with kids and work and stuff to strawberry float around trying to figure out a new way to do something that is already working some other way in which we are familiar.

I've always met people with no confidence whatsoever to learn how things work or just how to use them. Or poor attention spans. It's always mistified me as my usual reaction is just, "why don't you try and see what happens?" So many people are afraid of failure. It's no way to live in my view.


I called it fear, but you are right it is confidence really. Plus a lack of curiosity and a failure to understand why it might be useful to embrace new technologies.

I think touch screens have really opened up technology to the computer illiterate – which looking at my Facebook feed is not necessarily a good thing. ;) Almost all of my family are online now, even my 80 year old grandmother has a tablet that she uses to watch Netflix and look at photos on Facebook. Put a PC in front of her though and she’d tell you that she doesn’t see the point in all of that computer stuff.

Maybe we will not be left behind as we get older if the interfaces stay simple and easy to use. Thinking of my grandmother, Netflix is a long way away from the radio and cinema (the entertainment she’d have had as a kid/young adult) but by operating it with a simple touchscreen it opens it up to everybody with very little knowledge required.

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PostRe: Gaming Fax Machine
by Dowbocop » Wed May 23, 2018 7:53 am

I've seen the fear/confidence problems in people as well. There's also a certain level of pride that some older people have in not using a computer and getting along just fine, like if they stopped writing letters and used email it would be a great betrayal of everything their generation stands for. Don't get it myself, but maybe I'll be quite happy getting my grandchildren to get up and change the cartridges for me thanks very much!

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Pedz
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PostRe: Gaming Fax Machine
by Pedz » Wed May 23, 2018 8:30 am

Online multiplayer can be great, just group up with some friends and do a party chat/use discord/get you phone and you're sorted.

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PostRe: Gaming Fax Machine
by Tafdolphin » Wed May 23, 2018 9:02 am

Pedz wrote:Online multiplayer can be great, just group up with some friends and do a party chat/use discord/get you phone and you're sorted.


This has always been what's stopped me. None of my friends IRL have ever had even a passing interest in video games until recently, so I've never had the chance to properly experience online games in a genuinely fun environment. Even Overwatch has been 90% solo play, which is a completely different experience to playing with a full team of friends.

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Pedz
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PostRe: Gaming Fax Machine
by Pedz » Wed May 23, 2018 9:21 am

Tafdolphin wrote:
Pedz wrote:Online multiplayer can be great, just group up with some friends and do a party chat/use discord/get you phone and you're sorted.


This has always been what's stopped me. None of my friends IRL have ever had even a passing interest in video games until recently, so I've never had the chance to properly experience online games in a genuinely fun environment. Even Overwatch has been 90% solo play, which is a completely different experience to playing with a full team of friends.


People have fri new IRL? I play games with people from here.

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