Howdy people of Polygon. I need your help as I'm working on my dissertation on Computer Games Technology at the University of Portsmouth, and I need some thoughts from long time gamers. I've asked around the web a bit, (The Verge, Reddit) and I'm really not getting enough feedback to inform any potential research findings; so I'm humbly posting this here in the hopes of a stronger response as I know you fine folk enjoy discussion.
The question is: "How has your relationship changed with the games industry since 1992?"
With this question in mind here is some context to help you with a baseline for your answer, I'm using the SNES/Wii U only as an example so regardless of your feelings on that console if you can think of an alternative (Genesis/Megadrive/PC etc.) that's awesome too:
- The Super Nintendo (SNES) released around 20 years ago (1990-JPN/91-USA/92-EU) and during that time frame the marketing from this product came from dedicated magazines such as Super Play, television ads and obviously in store promotion. There was no Internet, region locking was more of an issue than it is today and a product was mainly successful on word of mouth compared to the modern times. Your relationship with publishers and developers began at the shelf where you picked up a game, and ended at the checkout/service point. If people didn't enjoy a game - or there was a critical flaw in how it played - there was no direct way to get that information to a developer as opposed to 2012 (Twitter), and no way to patch a game. You were stuck with what you had, and in the world of 1992 we really had no issues with any of this and only in hindsight do we notice that.
- The Wii U launched in 2012, and in a very different world than it's ancestral predecessor. Print magazines are no longer the driving force behind how we get our news (hello, Internet,) and we the ability to have a direct relationship with developers like [Hideki Kamiya](https://twitter.com/PG_kamiya) to provide feedback about how we enjoy our medium. Facebook, blogs, websites, forums, Twitter, YouTube - all of these allow us to connect to a wider audience than in the 1990/2 era of video games and as such the power is mainly in the hands of the consumer. The Internet is now everywhere, and more than ever public perception can destroy a the wider public perception of a product. The changing differences illustrate how our relationships have changed in that twenty two year time period.
There are more elements which I haven't discussed above and that's where I give you free reign to tell me what you feel. Maybe its about digital distribution, DLC, self-publishing, Steam - I'll leave that up to you to decide. But please, if you do decide to respond I'll be eternally grateful.
So once again, the question is: "How has your relationship changed with the games industry since 1992?"
Thanks for reading, and I hope that you feel how very important it is for me that I get a lot answers to this question.