It's no secret that Video Games can have a major toll on our society. That not necessarily being a bad toll, more like the toll from the hourly bell that at first is a joyous noise to the ears but then ends uebbing a hampering on our moods as it continues to ring for more time than it takes the hour to pass, bringing with it more obnoxious noise and disfuctionality then hence before. In real terms, gaming just isn't what it used to be, sitting down with maybe a friend on the couch to take turns playing Mario or working together to overcome a mind-wrenching game of some Contra-esque. Nowadays, gaming has taken more of mainstream turn towards online/social interactions and yearly iterations of the same IPs with nothing more than a few new perks or challenges to throw into the already drowned mix of mindless chaos. To put words more recently, there has been a flourish of sequels and practices shown in the news that have been frowned upon. Starting a while back, there was the defense of Ubisoft releasing an Assassin's Creed game every year along with Call of Duty becoming more of an expectation than a surprise... It may seem as though I'm only talking about big names that mostly everyone has at least one copy of hiding somewhere, but that brings me to a point... Every site I've seen that talks about games, whether it be GameSpot or not, has talked at one point or another about companies going bankrupt, DLC practices, and the general turn towards social networking. In the past year, there has probably been more news about the industry rather than the games themselves. There's Camcom's "already on the disc" DLC escapade, there's now EA putting micro-transactions into every game, the Arma lockup, Atari and THQ going out, sales slipping throughout the board especially Nintendo, said company thinking of puthing all their effort into solely software, marketing (such as Hitman's nuns), DayZ vs WarZ..... And that's just a start. With all of this happening so close together it's easy to see that gaming is going downhill. And it's hard to say who all is benefiting at the moment. One bittersweet group I could easily mention would be indie game developers, and I put it that way because it's not all fun and games making your own game. The most unique games that can possibly think of have come from small groups of people putting their effort and ideas into a game they love. For the most part, there have been some great success stories to come out this: there's Braid creator Jonathan Blow and Mojang (Minecraft) being the most well-known. However there have been plenty of not so lucky developers, of which I can't recall at the moment... :( sorry. Now on the same record as indie games, there was a console called the Ouya the seems to have been long forgotten. With its [hopeful] release this year, it should bring much more than the normal console experpiences we've come to expect. If you're unaware of what the Ouya is, we'll it's more of a developers kit in retrospect. You can easily mod the console to your likings and make games without the need for a license. This is showing us that games may in fact push towards a more independently developed industry. With big names like Sony and Microsoft looming overhead it sounds almost impossible that the Ouya could be successful. However Kickstarter, the site that gave rise to some major controversies as well, managed to be the prime place for Julie Uhrman, who raised about $8 million to fund the project... Yea that's not made up. Seems that while the big guns are going down per se, small developers are making giant footprints. The Steam service seems to embrace small developers while PC gaming keeps on sounding more appealing. Consoles just might end if we keep seeing the same from AAA titles and publishers. If not for the Ouya's unique aspects, and maybe some bad ports, it might not be a bad move to bring entire gaming experience being to a computer instead. As for tablets, well... It just ain't happenin'. With so much in the industry to talk about, it's hard to say it all in one go. There's plenty more out there uyou can read about I'm sure, as I didn't entirely go into much detail in some places and I wasn't entirely fond of continuing to remind myself of what might be a bleak future for gaming as we know it.