And we're back! Sorry it's been a few weeks since our last "Weekly Debate."
This week's topic came from a conversation I was having with some friends the other day. We were talking about DOOM, WarCraft 1, and Ultima Online, and that turned into a conversation about which game is the Most Influential of All Time.
I asked this question on Twitter/Facebook, just to try and get a feel if this would be a good topic, and it exploded. We got answers that include GoldenEye 64, GTA3, Quake, Gears, Ocarina of Time, Chrono Trigger, Duck Hunt, D&D, Halo, FFVII, Link to the Past, and many more.
So, I started thinking about what game was the most influential. I never really made my decision here the other night, so I thought about. I included a few factors: sustainability, impact on it's genre, and impact on future games. After toiling over it for a day, I came to the conclusion that it was either Ultima Online or The Legend of Zelda. This is a tough one y'all. But, I made my decision.
Let's look at a few reason as to why I came to this decision. First off, the game is still being played to this day. In September the UO servers will have been online for 20 years. That's 20 years of people playing the same MMO. But people still playing the game is only one factor. Let's talk about UO's impact on MMORPGs. Yes Merdian 59 was the first graphical MMO, but UO rocketed the genre to the masses. I mean it went from a few select people playing the genre to everyone with a decent connection giving it a shot. Companies took notice and started development on MMOs immediately. From there the genre went haywire from Anarchy Online to Everquest to World of Warcrat, arguably the most popular game ever. Impact on future games: Well for UO this could be a list that never ends, so I'll keep it short. 20 years after it's release, you're still seeing elements that Richard Garriott developed implemented into games. There are few games that UO didn't influence in some manner.
So with that, what do you think is the Most Influential Game of All Time? I look forward to this debate.
**Remember to keep it friendly, and to respect that not everyone has the same opinion as you.**
For me, I can't decide if it's Quake or Half-life.
Firstly, it's Quake and not DOOM for the simple fact that Quake has 3d-positional aim, jumping, and non-linear (non-arena based) levels. These underpin almost every modern game. It was only missing one element...
Halflife is the game that added the other half to any successful game from indie to blockbuster - story. From the opening credits as you're transported into the Black Mesa facility (setting and atmosphere laid down in a theatrical way), all the way through the many spectacular setpieces and puzzles; Halflife sucks you into the action. You ARE Gordon Freeman, not just a nameless grunt. Sure, the Source engine has been the backbone of scores of other games, but that technology built on what Quake laid down. It was the genius of the storytelling that raised Halflife (and it's successor) to the special place in our hearts. Without that it was just another shooter-on-rails.
I have to agree with walking_corpse!!! Quake was a huge step forwards for FPS games. And while I do agree that the story aspect was missing from Quake at the same time I don't think that a game has to have a good story to be revolutionary. Some of the best games in the world don't have a plot, they are simple and deliciously enjoyable.
Tennis for Two - Wikipedia One of the first concept of videogames.
Doom (1993 video game) - Wikipedia On PC it was Doom, even with its fake 3D it had Serial (RS232) multiplayer up to 4 players. From Wikipedia: "In late 1995, Doom was estimated to be installed on more computers worldwide than Microsoft's new operating system Windows 95, despite million-dollar advertising campaigns for the latter. The game's popularity prompted Bill Gates to briefly consider buying id Software. This led Microsoft to develop a Windows 95 port of Doom to promote the operating system as a gaming platform. The development team in this effort was led by then-employee Gabe Newell."
Doom has a port for almost every OS and platform.
I think for me it has been Warcraft III and how it has influenced the gaming industry. Because of this games we have games like Dota 2 and LoL which together probably make the biggest player base of any other game.
Very well put. I'd say, if we're judging by the 3 factors, that Half Life wins out of the two.
It's very easy to look at games now and see the influence both had on them.
The most influential game is nearly impossible to agree upon. There have been so many games throughout the history of gaming that have reinvented and even at times invented whole genres. Where would we be without games like Pong or Pacman? They were some of the first games were wildly popular. Sure some other game would have filled the void left by their absence, but it wouldn't have been the same. They were just a couple of the originals that made gaming what it is today. They're also just the tip of the iceberg as there was so many other games that invented or revolutionized how we play today.
Games like Metal Gear Solid that brought stealth gaming into it's own or GTA III that brought us a giant world to explore and broke down our inhibitions. But then again what about games like DOOM and Wolfenstien that brought us FPS gaming, or Half-Life which changed how we play those games. The hugely popular games like Goldeneye, Zelda, Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy, Halo, are all worthy mentions as they've brought a lot to the table. There's also been a large number of niche games that contributed to the world of gaming, games that barely receive any recognition. That's the thing though, there's so many games to consider, so many games that have changed how we play. Sometimes it was subtle changes, sometimes not, but in the end each left their own mark.
But all those things as great as they are, they aren't what's truly influential to gaming. What's more important than inventing a new genre or radically changing it? Being the game that made gaming common place. That's why I wouldn't point to one game as being the most influential, but instead a game series; namely Mario. He's the Mickey Mouse of video games, everybody knows who he is and thanks to the proliferation of the NES and SNES the vast majority of people have played one of his games at one time or another. It doesn't matter what era we're talking about the Mario franchise has always been very popular and in many cases has set the standard for platfomers to follow. While it's easy for PC gamers to conveniently forget he exists, the reality is that he does and has introduced more gamers to gaming than any other game. Because of that in my mind he's contributed more to gaming than any other and is the most influential of all time.
That's the great thing about these posts, is that while a few people agree here and there, we get the opinions of everyone.
I think you bring up a fantastic point, it is hard to pinpoint one game that did the most for gaming, but I did in my mind. Yes, Mario did a lot for the world of gaming, and there's no denying that.
So, cheers, this is very well written and thought out.