Now since most of you who use Steam and likely those who are already involved in Arma 3, should know about the new (or not so new) program Steam is pulling off called "Steam Early Access". What Steam intends to do here is bring unfinished games forth to the player for a lower amount of money, for the community to test out and find possible errors in the unfinished game itself (and come up with own input I would believe), until the game then is released.
Now this firstly is not wrong at all, since the consumer is warned before purchasing the goods and the price for the game is significantly lowered, the question I want to state here however is, how serious can this program be taken, now that it's more frequently used around Steam? Steam states the purpose of this is to bring a product forth to the player that people will actually enjoy because it would include the input of a broad spectrum of players. But can such game really be a success just because it includes the input of a lot of players? What makes a game a success?
To start this off, I would like to examine this question under the most important, the cultural aspect.
Video games, just like music, paintings or whatever made by one or a few persons is there for people to observe, listen to and enjoy.
What I believe happens with the "Steam Early Access" program is a further degradation of culture. The purpose of creating games becomes something more focused on making profit and grasping the most possibly high percentage of the player community, rather than bringing forth a piece of artwork for a special line of consumers to enjoy. This is also exactly the reason why all of us enjoy Arma 2 and especially ACE/ACRE so much. It has been a product brought from likeminded individuals to the crowd that enjoy exactly the same. It's a type of game of that will be played and even more remembered for a long long time because it captured the hearts of the ones that it was meant for. Same goes for the older games in the series like Operation Flashpoint.
The game had a lot of flaws, but still most of us really enjoyed it because it actually was a piece of artwork produced for likeminded individuals. Nobody cares about the flaws the game had anymore. People still play it at times because it is loved for what it is. Things and people are loved for what they are and the flaws they have, not how "perfect" they are. That goes for everything. What "Steam-Early-Access" intends to do is strive for perfection, eliminate all possible errors in the game by having the most possible feedback. But that is not good is it? That's boring. Perfection is boring. Furthermore there is no perfection, but perfection-like states ARE boring. That's why such games will not last long.
Games like Call of Duty (and especially the newer series) are games that will be forgotten real quickly, because they are supposed to shallowly capture the mind of the highest possible percentage of players, rather than the deep hearts of passionate individuals. This is the same with mainstream music. Believe it or not but I believe that especially tunes of mainstream music follow datas that analyse the psyche of individuals and what they like the most so the music can be sold to a high percentage of people. These songs however noone remembers, because they are shallow BULLSHIT.
These pieces are not art, they do not capture noones heart, they are just there to insert through your ears and exit your a-hole in the same time span water leaves your urinal tract.
And to return to "Steam Early Access" boys, this is exactly the same that will happen to the gaming industry. You guys might enjoy the game that was brought together by a broad specturm of players through months or years of feedback, but the game will not be played for long because it will not capture anyone's heart, it will be shallow BULLSHIT made for the highest possible spectrum of players for the highest possible profit.
What I want to say is, "Steam-Early-Access" is a program intended to degrade gaming culture to a mainstream Call-of-Duty 360 no-scope fuckfest, with meaningless games which's fame will no longer last for no longer than the day they were released.
Video games ARE art. Art is something produced by a single or a smaller amount of individuals for people to enjoy, something that gets input by the majority of the Steam community is NOT art. It's a solely profit-orientated program that degrades gaming culture to a piece of bullshit. The reason we enjoy certain things so much and remember them throughout a longer time is because they hold a deeper form of meaning. A meaning that came from the inner passion of an individual and was meant to be brought to a specturm of other individuals. That's why we enjoy hearing people perform, because they use their own hearts, instead of plain empirical statistics used to capture the mind of the of the highest percentage of organic tissue containers.
You see I drew a line here. That is because I want to bring a little order to the nasty emotional chaos I put up there above and to clarify that there is a lot more to say to that, than that "Steam-Early-Access" means a further degradation of gaming culture.
"Steam-Early-Access" lowers labour intensity. Now you do not have to pay all the people looking through possible errors in the game, now you have the a whole community looking through the errors without you having to pay them for that. Furthermore you have a lot of dreamers looking at how amazing the game might be, but in the end it is just an unfinished game which will probably never be finished, and if it will, it will be already forgotten.. or a complete fuck-up.
There is not much I can do, because after all Steam is not breaking any law, there is just one plea I want to release to you guys:
Don't support Early Access. Work against the mainstream, if the games you love are worth it for you.
That's my thought process. What do you think?