Video: 2012 Has Been An Amazing Year for Video Games

The year of 2012 has seen a lot of industries go through a great deal of change and the state of the art is always shifting.

Video games are no exception and 2012 has been an amazing year for looking at what it is to make video games, what it is to be a gamer, and it has also seen video games become more social than ever.

Although the titles that dominate this 2 minute video recapping some of the most emotional moments in these games are mostly single-player. It’s worth it to point out that many of them have gained their fanfare either because of how people play them together; or how gamers reacted to them in an emotional space. 2012 has been a year of cultural icons, controversy, and grand-sweeping emotional artwork painted on the canvas of the console-connected television and the PC screen.

The music of this video is stirring to anyone who played in the video game that caused one of this year’s biggest controversies: Mass Effect 3. The Mass Effect trilogy is a triple-A title that saw a huge fan base built up around the decision-making and progression of the hero Shepherd. The story allowed the player to make moral decisions as pioneered by such titles as Fable and had a direct effect on the outcome of the story and what sort of story got told. As a trilogy it walked inexorably towards a finale that proved to be both disheartening and strange for many players—to an extent that the fanbase reacted with such passionate vitriol to how it ended that a more clarified ending was eventually released to quell them.

Amid the clips and brief flashes of beautiful artwork from within the games, we also see flashes of Journey. Potentially one of the most artful games to ever be seen. It doesn’t involve any violence or battle, just exploration of the world and puzzles set in the mechanics of the game. The main character wears an all-covering outfit with a flowing ribbon, and is commonly referred to in the feminine although there’s a lack of any gender characteristics. It’s a beautiful, flowing game that people can get lost in.

Other flashes come from such titles as Hitman, The Darkness II, Darksiders, and Dishonored.

Even the now much-fabled Guild Wars 2 and Borderlands 2 had a debut in those 2 minutes.

The year 2012 has also been the year of the free-to-play MMO (massively multiplayer online) game. We’ve seen such a rise in titles where gamers are asked not just to experience a static world on their console or PC (however, beautiful, stunning, or emotionally stirring) but to join a multitude of others in games that sometimes require multiple people to complete tasks. World of Warcraft still dominates the world scene (in pay-to-play) but games like Star Wars: The Old Republic and Star Trek Online, that live in well-trod media spaces, have opened themselves up for free play.

The power of Big Data and cloud-distribution is stirring a digital revolution for both connected players and the ability to rapidly deliver downloadable content to users via services such as Steam—or, for the nostalgic, Good Old Games (GOG.com).

Next year has a lot to live up to; and we have a lot to look forward to.

About Kyt Dotson

Technology and civilization walk hand in hand and civilization is nothing without the skin of society, brushing up against itself, speaking strange nothings across dimly lit avenues and computer screens. If we're going to understand ourselves in this digital era, it will be through watching the adoption of technology by people to express themselves as people. I am an anthropologist and an author of science fiction and fantasy--and with my technology, I hope to open up new and exciting worlds that will not just enlighten the humanity of my friends and fans but also educate and enhance the expression of their own personhood. Find more of my work on Google+; send tips to @kytsune.