VG247 is an international site and celebrates every holiday it can. Here’s what our gluttonous staff are grateful for during America’s national day of not emailing us.
•Video games. Astoundingly, everyone who works at VG247 likes video games. Video games are a thing we enjoy. We like the ones where you shoot things, and the ones where you walk around having feelings. We like the ones where you solve puzzles, and the ones where you park your brain in neutral, maybe even get out to admire the scenery. We like the ones you play with lots of friends and the ones you play in magnificent solitude. We like the ones where you have to click a lot very fast and things go boom, and this week we especially like the ones where you have a ship and sail around on the sea. Don’t get Pat, Dave and I started on that sea. We haven’t got all week.
•New machines. By golly are we thankful for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. We really didn’t know how much we needed another generation until it turned up at our houses. I don’t want to give too much away, but there may have been some cynical behind the scenes talk about how uninspired we all were, followed by the rapid consumption of several hats as we actually got our hands on the shiny new boxes and realised we’re all still madly in love with video games after all. Dat controller, know what I’m sayin’? Dat interface. It all works, it’s all connected, and it all makes things smoothly social. Ten out of ten, would hardware transition again.
•The Internet. Look, I mean, obviously it’s our livelihood, but have you noticed how gosh darn incredible it is? Next time you’re pwning noobs (or whatever you kids do) in Shooty Face 16: The Shootingerator, remind yourself that if Sega of America hadn’t been so bold as to see a future for network gaming, and Microsoft hadn’t jumped all over that, and Sony and Nintendo hadn’t turned up a bit late to the party, you’d still think the best thing your magic thinky box could do is suck 400 hours of your life into a JRPG nobody but you will ever care as much about. Your gamerscore-slash-trophies; your clan-slash-guild; your new friends across the world; your collection of downloaded games; the indie revolution; your allegiance to this website of pure wizardry. The Internet powers it all.
•Indies. Remember how a decade ago it felt like every genre of gaming had been exhausted? Every game could be described by referring to some other game. The very occasional innovation would flare briefly, then die away. Budgets mounted, focus-testing increased, and games lost a lot of their flavour and personality. Then some bright spark made a tree-punching sim which sold twenty gazillion copies, and now all of a sudden everywhere you look somebody is doing something interesting in games. Since publishers can’t afford to bet on anything but triple-A anymore, thank goodness indies are there to pick up the slack.
•Publishers. You won’t hear any of us shit on indie games; we love ‘em, and the kookier the better. But sometimes you just want the gorgeous, enormous spectacle of somebody blowing up a planet against the background of an overwrought, badly-constructed narrative justifying your mass murder of hundreds of virtual people. And that’s okay. Never go away, mainstream gaming; we will never stop loving you.
•Thumbs. One day, when we all live in jars, video games will be controlled by your living brain-flesh. Or, more likely, someone will work out how to make camera or motion controls not suck. Controllers with their bristling array of buttons will be a thing of the past, and the entry barrier to gaming will vanish – good news for us, as it will open the audience to everyone in the (first) world; the industry will start making a lot more money; games will diversify and proliferate; cats will lie down with dogs; et cetera. In the meantime, some of us have learnt to use twin analogs and not spend the entire time staring at either the floor or the sky. Thanks, thumbs.
•American holidays. Steph, who hasn’t taken a lunch break in about four years, is probably the most grateful for American holidays, but I’m stuffed to the gills on a breakfast of leftover potato mash and gravy and nobody has sent me an angry email today at all. I’m probably going to play some video games after lunch. On a work day. Gosh I like American holidays.
•You. There are an awful lot of you now, and as a result we sometimes contemplate a future where we do not eat from carefully cleansed plastic plates inside our cardboard “mansions”. One day, friends. One day.
•This GIF. That GIF, you guys. Superb.
What are you thankful for today? If the answer is not yet “cheap games” then you’d better take a look at all the Black Friday deals.