imageJames Portnow: I've a few of quick things but first, I witnessed something fantastic tonight: I watched two people fall in love over a game of Dance Central.

Now, onto actual responses.

(to Yahtzee)
I couldn't agree more strongly. F motion controls being the only thing out there. Different input devices lead to experiences (I'm convinced this is why space pilot games disappeared: the death of the PC joystick). SH2 and most of the amazing experiences we've had come from the sort of instant, unthinking communication a controller gives us.

(to Moviebob)
Good point about the learning tools presented to people who want to get into modern gaming. I want to agree without reservation, and I would have two days ago, but my nephew's turned 5 this Sunday - I gave him a DS. This may be today's training wheels for console gaming. Nonetheless, I think the point is still one we have to consider.

On the flipside though, I'm not sure digital distribution alone is the cure, even if everyone does post their back catalog as, who plays retro games today? It's not novice gamers, it's the hardcore. Novice gamers want the spectacle and the elements that are closest to mediums they are more familiar with...besides, most novice players wouldn't know what to pick up.

That said, I still think preserving our heritage and handing off the classic games to future generations has immeasurable value. It's sad how much of our medium's history has vanished amidst the march of progress. It impoverishes designers and future aficionados, and, in doing so, impoverishes the medium at large. It's a tragedy how much is already forever lost.

imageMovieBob: I think you may be underestimating novice gamers. Believe me, NO ONE has a lower opinion of the "average joe's" ability to to better himself than I do; but it's also been my experience that - to borrow a thoroughly-wretched cliche from an otherwise really good movie - "if you build it, they will come"... at the right price, of course. I spent about ten years off and on working in video stores, and the phenomenon of people renting the damndest stuff if it was just visible was consistent.

The thing is, gaming "fandom" is a prohibitively expensive hobby right now; but so was for example FILM fandom back before TV and then video made it so you could watch older "notable" stuff without having to drive around the country to revival theaters. I don't necessarily KNOW that The Cloud is going to be gaming's Guttenberg Press moment, but it's got to be better than what we have now.

imageJames Portnow: I hope you're right. I'd honestly like nothing better than to see the best older games find a new audience...and without question I think it will happen to a degree. It's just (and I have no hard data on this) that I don't think that the people who bought the Wii for Wii Sports are really digging through the virtual console for the classics.

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