In response to "Videogames: A Modern Folly" from The Escapist Forum: This is not something new. Travel back 10 years in the past and you could write this exact same article, except with some names altered, including Deus Ex among the lines of something "fresh and new" and Turok or Quake II instead of Metro 2033 (wich is by far the most underrated game of the year).
I remember reading some article in the same vein as this one, on an issue of the mexican magazine of Club Nintendo, when Zelda Ocarina of Time, Turok 2 and some other gems of the N64 era were just around the corner. And here we are 10 years later saying the exact same thing.
"They don't make games as before", "there are not enough new ideas". Most of the time this is very true, but gaming as come a long way in 10 years and while I agree that the FPS genre has been the same in more than 15 years, it's still one of my favorite genres. And I have to agree that only the indie scene is the boldest enough to come up with the most unique and fresh ideas around.
I wonder which names are going to be altered in the next 10 years...
Eh, personally I feel that innovation is a bit overrated. Yes, it is wonderful to see something that is new and refreshing - games which push the boundaries of what was previously thought possible. Then again, another side of me couldn't really care less whether or not a game was revolutionary. Sure, a game like Uncharted 2 is simply a conglomeration of various gameplay elements taken from older games, but does that somehow make it less enjoyable? No, it doesn't - at all. Yeah, the cover-based shooting system came from Gears of War, and the platforming came from Tomb Raider, and yet I enjoyed Uncharted 2 a lot more than both of those games.
I agree that innovation is something which should be encouraged, and I'm glad that it is still a strong force in the Indie game scene, but one must remember that with every brilliant or revolutionary title that is born out of this spirit, there are probably going to be 7 or 8 crap titles which simply lost their way due to the over-ambition of their creators. I suppose what I'm trying to say is don't knock the big-name developers - yes, many of the games they churn out have already been seen before, but don't be so quick to judge. When I look at my current gaming library for my PS3, although it's true I see a lot of re-used concepts, I also see hours upon hours of fun and memorable gaming experiences, and when push comes to shove, it is those games which are going to be remembered by the gamers of today. I think people need to put the elitism aside, and remember why exactly people play video games in the first place - to have fun.
In response to "Tower of Gygax: Honoring the Man Who Started Everything": I have a memorial to Gygax and Arneson already. It's the weekly game I'm in with good friends and fellowship. It's the clatter of the dice as we roll to hit and damage. It's the meta-game and house rules discussions that take up many an idle hour. All of these things make up their memorial in my heart. It may not be a physical memorial, but it's real, and it's meaningful. And I think the great men would have approved.
We'll miss you, Gary. And while the statue they're gonna use to memorialize you with is going to be tasteless, I promise that I'll always imagine a much simpler one, of a man at a table, behind a screen, rolling some polyhedral dice to see if his players survive the trap, grinning because he's bound to get one of them in his cunning trick. May he DM with glee.