FPS (first person shooters) is the financial bread and butter of computer game makers. As well, FPS is a benchmark of gaming’s evolution. Despite the industry’s over-saturation of FPS games, some high paced shooters stand out as literal “game changers”.
In the early days of the FPS gold rush, Myst (and sequel Raven) was billed as the game that would define the genre. Instead a rough hack and slash shooter called Doom (released a few months later). Doom followed in the style of the legendary Wolfenstein 3D and became the biggest selling game in the world.
Most importantly, Doom was a highly moddable game. This lends credibility to my own theories about user created content. Because Doom was able to be modified, users could create new versions of the game by remixing other ideas into the Doom style of game. Some good examples are Ghostbusters, Batman and the amazing Aliens mod.
Following the history of first person shooters gives a valuable insight into the way games have evolved. The success of games doesn’t only depend on the game’s quality, content and gameplay. Games which are able to be modified by the user, remixed and shared are games that have more potential to spark gamers’ interests. To me, that’s a crucial element – whether by design or inadvertently, games which can be user-modified are more likely to achieve greater success and longevity.
The rest of the “People’s History of the FPS” is available here:
Part 2 – http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/09/20/a-peoples-history-part-2-the-mod/
Part 3 – http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/09/21/a-peoples-history-of-the-fps-part-3-the-postmod/
Game designers please note – game modability is the key to gaming success.
Teachers please note – when students are modding games, they’re learning!