When did we start using this word so often? I seem to encounter it all the time these days, and especially in relation to videogames.
"Content", is our catch all word for every piece that comes together to create the games we play. I won't refute that it's useful. But it takes a unique combination of art and ingenuity to produce these amazing experiences, and somehow all of it is distilled into one banal word. "Content". It reduces our perception of a game into numbers and statistics.
It can often cause us to focus on the wrong questions: How many hours? How many guns? How many powers?
Instead of asking, how much fun is it? How did it make me feel?
After you finish your favorite author's latest novel, have you ever said to yourself, "I can't wait until she releases some new content"? It sounds strange because "content" and art are naturally at odds with each other. Content is made to be consumed, while art is made to be appreciated.
Now granted there's a balance to be found here. Yes, games are a business. A developer can't work on the next game if the current one doesn't sell. Developers want to put their best foot forward for their potential customers by saying we have this many Xs and so many Ys. And for a gamer putting their hard earned money down, you deserve a suitably satisfying experience. But there is a constant battle of art versus commerce here. I just hope we can swing the pendulum back in the other direction a bit, and the word, "content" is not helping matters.
My fear is that as developers attempt to meet the bullet points required by '"content" with dealer exclusive items, extraneous modes, and piecemeal delivery, the original intent of expression will be lost completely. The word itself is the impetus. If consumers ravenously consume content, there must a steady supply of rehashes and cash-ins to keep them satiated. But if we rid ourselves of that vernacular, and simply talk about a person in search of a fulfilling game experience. Well then, maybe that would change the playing field entirely.
Hey, You There
Thanks so much for reading, I really appreciate it! I think I'll try to start putting out more of my
content thoughts here on Giant Bomb, you guys are pretty cool.
I could be over thinking it, (which is a usual habit of mine) but I feel pretty strongly about this. I'm curious, what do you guys think?