dota_2_lesale_deathbringer_Venomancer_by_biggreenpepper

Gaming goes through phases; some longer than others. This means that not everything can last – despite our best efforts to cling to them like an epileptic koala bear.

To ease you all into the inevitable passage of time, here are five gaming stalwarts that are facing extinction.

Virtual reality

I may be beating an old drum at this point, but VR is a fad. A novelty. It’s that toy monkey that bangs cymbals together, it’s snap bangles, it’s a Tamagotchi.

It’s windchimes. They’re all cute and exciting at first, but then you realise they’re just a massive pain in the ass, and every time the wind blows you feel a cold chill run down your back; waiting, waiting for that inevitable tinkle, wondering which one will be the one that finally pushes you over the edge as you stare down at the shotgun in your hands, cradling it like an infant.

Or, well, maybe that’s just my experience of windchimes.

Still, the point is that they’re going to be a great party trick, and no doubt they’ll blow my mind into realms of disbelief. Of course, the dress fiasco of last week also blew my mind, so really it’s a low bar.

For me, VR is not unlike 3D televisions – a great way of impressing your friends and inducing nausea simultaneously. If the future of gaming is strapping enormous snow goggles to my face, I’m out. You’ll find me hanging out with Delano, doing Super Meat Boy speedruns and talking about the good old days.

MOBAs

Alright, Dota players, put down the pitchforks. This one comes with a caveat – it excludes League of Legends and Dota 2.

That’s the thing about MOBAs; much like the Highlander or Snookie, there can only be one (well, okay, two, but you’re really stepping on my narrative here).

People have seen the raging success of Dota 2 and League of Legends, and they want in. A free-to-play game that makes money hand-over-fist from Russians buying pretty hats? What the hell are we doing making anything else?

Problem is, the average MOBA takes longer to master than most professions – I have plenty of friends who graduated University with a degree in Dota, and not much else. These aren’t generally games you just pick up and play, and once you’ve mastered one of the two big ones, you kind of don’t want to.

I’ve had addiction phases for both Dota and LoL, but I’ve never really felt the need to play any others. I don’t understand how anything works; it’s all colours and bright lights and me getting my face stomped. Count me out.

Boxed games

Now I know some of you like the box art, or the feel of the disc in your hands or whatever it is you boxed fanatics prattle on about.

You might also like the way it feels to pull the antenna up out of your half-brick Motorola cellphone, or think that candles feel more “natural” than lightbulbs.

Get with the times, Grandpa. Digital distribution is a helluva lot cheaper, which means it’s cheaper for you too. It’s also easier, if you’re not one of my poor homies on 3G.

In South Africa it makes sense for us to buy boxed games since a 50GB download is pretty daunting for some, but we’ve learnt the hard way that we’re not exactly anyone’s priority.

Still, without digital distribution we wouldn’t have Steam sales, and I think we can all agree that that’s a world none of us want to live in.

Oh Gaben, you beautiful, beautiful bastard you.

Oh Gaben, you beautiful, beautiful bastard you.

Offline gaming

This one I’m pretty sad about. It’s not because of the usual reasons – I don’t much care if a game requires internet authentication or a urine sample or whatever it is Ubisoft has in the works, and I don’t really have an issue with the need for online access in general – if you don’t have internet by now, you’re a dirty liar because you’re reading an online magazine. Checkmate.

What I am sad about is that the more we move towards always-online gaming, the more developers will feel pulled towards utilising that connectivity. That means a greater focus on multiplayer support, Facebook integration, built-in streaming and all other sorts of useless crap that shifts attention away from the gaming experience.

I like multiplayer, nay, I love multiplayer (nay? wtf?), but at the ripe old age of 27, as I head into my golden years, I’ve come to realise that it doesn’t need to be shoehorned into everything. I’ve come to appreciate the experience of a solid, single-player only game that’s polished and well put-together.

I don’t think we’ll be seeing much of that in the future.

Consoles

Speaking of things we won’t be seeing in the future, PC master race checking in to gloat.

Let’s address the obvious – dedicated devices are just sooooo 2003. Having something that just does one thing is preposterous for 2015. Look at cellphones – digital cameras outside of the professional range are becoming obsolete, since a bathroom selfie just looks so bourgeois if it’s not snapped with an iPhone.

Now I know you’re all going to tell me the PS4 plays Blu-Rays or the Xbox One has Netflix or whatever, but come on. A computer does all of that too, plus a thousand other things.

This isn’t a Console vs PC flame war though. It’s more simply that the idea of a dedicated gaming system is archaic, and won’t continue into the next generation. This will be the last run of consoles we see out of Sony and Microsoft I imagine – they’ll shift the attention of their gaming division to making games, and the people who handle the hardware now will continue to do so.

Perhaps there can be competition on peripherals where Sony and Microsoft can go head to head for controller supremacy. I’m not exactly sure on how it will all shake out, only that the dinosaur in your living room will be catching a meteor to the face sometime in the next decade.