It began when The Escapist put out their publication schedule, including an issue on how games were better in the old days (followed by one on how games' best days are ahead.) This gave me the impetus to write a short piece on how the games we play these days were pretty well defined in the 1990's. All of the major genres were either created or refined in the 1990's, with very little new being done in the 2000's. The article was rejected, ironically, but it helped me to get started on that process. This has helped me realize that:
- The history of video games can be told in an interesting fashion using genre as a lens. It's how gamers perceive games, and it keeps the focus on the games, instead of on the designers, corporations, or technology.
- I've probably played enough games to be able to do this well. Whenever lists of "The All-Time Greatest" or "The Most Influential Games" come out, I've played most all of them.
- I think at this point, I have the writing ability and longevity to do it.
On the other hand, the research is going to be fun. Although I've played most of the great games, there are still several which I missed (intentionally or not), don't really remember, or perhaps quirky outliers that I never got around to. So next on list, while I still have access to a Wii, is Super Mario Galaxy.
After that? I'm looking forward to spending some time with M.U.L.E., The Ocarina of Time, Metroid, and Silent Hill. I'm more wary of Tomb Raider, FarmVille, Myst, and Resident Evil, but you know - the things we do for art.