The Misunderstood Death of Adventure Games

Adventure games were most video gamers' first exposures into the world of PC games, ignoring the arcade genre. Classics of the adventure genre shared features like side-rendered 2D graphics and test parsing interfaces.

But adventure games are almost completely gone now from store shelves. Editorials blame the death of the adventure game on the first person shooter (FPS). Among game purists there's a knee jerk reaction to blame the twitchy game blame of FPS for the down fall of adventure games. I think it's a little more complicated than that.

FPS's require a certain base level of technological development. Your CPU has to be fast enough and you memory large enough to really provide for the kind of environment that FPS's demand. Do you think that Wolfenstein would've worked well on the Atari 2600? Please.

Once the hardware was available it opened up this entire new genre, a genre that appealed to a much broader range of players. This is probably because the logical (and sometimes illogical) nature of adventure games presented a barrier to the casual player. FPS's, with their simple interfaces and play rules, provided a much lower barrier of entry to many new gamers. Unfortunately, game companies adhered to macro-economic principles and began producing mostly FPS games to maximize their revenue. And thus, the adventure game slipped away to be replaced by the FPS.

So who's to blame? Your own computer for one. Adam Smith for another. But the actual FPS players, even if they do come across as vapid and brain dead, don't deserve your scorn. Besides, if they really are as stupid as you think they are, why not just avoid them altogether?

And now I'll leave you with a list of great adventure games:


Under the Bleachers by Seymore Butts

I just finished a book that was recommended to me called Under and Alone by a fellow named William Queen. Billy was an ATF agent that infiltrated the Mongols motorcycle gang and took down quite a few people.

The story itself is quite good: true to life tale of a good guy giving it his all to protect the rest of us from the worst of the worst. It's got all the elements of a Hollywood action movie right down to the conflicted hero.

This book does suffer from some problems though. The underlying problem is that I get the feeling that the book was ghost written. It just sounds like someone typing up a series of incidents that another person is relating. The chapters are somewhat disjoint and lacking cohesion, and it lacks the final emotional oomph that only the person who lived it could give it.

Overall I'd rate this book as four out of five sprockets.