We all know the name Copernicus. He is that guy that found that the Earth wasn't the center of the Universe.
Today we have a similar problem in gaming. There is a certain niche in gaming that seems to believe the gaming universe revolves around them. This is the same group that is angry at the Wii selling in greater numbers than any console ever. This is the same group that that sees casual games as stupid. This is the same group that despite sales (or because of sales?) thinks that no Nintendo game, no wait, actually the statement is broader. It is that no game on any Nintendo platform is any good.
The gaming Universe is big.
In fact, I think we've only started to discover it. We're really stuck in our own solar system currently. I don't think we have an inkling about the galaxy that contains us, and the concept of the Universe is still far beyond our self-obscured views.
The last generation of gamers has become very resolute in thinking that the true base of gaming is their planet of games and that the whole of the gaming Universe is orbiting around them. There is a very dismissive and ignorant point of view seeing things like casual games as being a dark moon orbiting and obscuring people from seeing the wonder of the amazing planet of games that "hardcore" people play. The Wii they see as another moon orbiting and obscuring the beautiful views to their planet as well as cluttering their views of the stars at night. Which stars of course all orbit around the wonderland of "core" games. Someday, they wrongly believe, the people visiting those moons will realize that the moons are just stupid little hunks of rocks orbiting the magnificent, true source of gaming. The euphoric "core" that was the driver of the last generation of gaming.
Of course no innovation is made anywhere else than that motherland, the glorious center of the gaming Universe. How could it be? Being able to play games with your feet or by moving your arms? Gimick! Being able to shoot around a building's edge or through a window in a shooter? Brilliant new innovation!
It's a bit satirical, but I wish it was more satire and less reality to the opinions of those who constantly lash out, laying heresy charges against anyone or anything that suggests gaming doesn't revolve around "core" games.
There is a whole universe out there to be sure, but I believe we're really having trouble finding it. Part of the reason games have had such a hard time maturing, (and I mean really maturing, which is not at all the same thing as increasing the number of M-rated games) is because not just the "core" gamers, but even the majority of the game developers, operate under the belief that there is only type of "true" game fan. The one who thinks that Halo, WW2 shooters, and GTA are something akin to Nirvana, and that those games are clearly the basis for the gaming Universe. It's the center around which everything else orbits.
Until we, as an industry, fully decouple ourselves from this prehistoric approach, we're not going to mature. Copernicus lead to Galileo, and a completely new understanding of how the world worked and our place within our solar system, galaxy and universe. "Core" games are just one planet. They are floating around with other planets and may not even be the biggest or most important planet in their own solar system, let alone in their galaxy or in the gaming universe.
Gaming needs a Copernicus to disrupt the industry with truth, to change the perception of what gaming is. Maybe Nintendo can be it, maybe casual games, maybe something yet on the horizon or a combination of all these things. Actually, based on all the negative remarks made by "core" gamers, maybe the transition is already happening, and it's just the stubborn old ideas that are taking time to change as we don't want to let go of our old beliefs.
Regardless, I'm excited for a new age of understanding and discovery in the world of games. I'm excited to see what new planets of gaming that we haven't even conceived of yet exist just outside of our gaze. As I mature, I look forward with hope, that the industry can expand its horizons and search out new understanding. It's a hope that keeps me making games and playing them, despite a tremendous amount of negative feedback in regards to many of the games I trully enjoy.