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Soapbox: Technoholism - A 12-step Recovery Plan (29 Dec 2004)
Technology is great, isn't it?

In our industry, technology has driven massive progress and financial returns, the likes of which were undreamt of 20 years ago. From 'rumble packs' and EyeToy-s to 3DFX cards and analog pads, we are blessed with the fruits of a golden age of, well, stuff. We have come to rely on technology. We await new formats, new capabilities and new toys with something approaching high passion.

But there is a dark side to techno-love. We have come forward leaps and bounds in hardware, but the software lacks far behind. The industry, especially in the console and handheld sectors, remains immature and hardware-led. Games are now much more expensive to develop. Geometric cost rises are not matched by equally geometric rises in sales. Creative game content is not evolving, and release schedules increasingly carry the whiff of déjà vu.

The industry is becoming more the equivalent of an electronic comics industry rather than the usurper of film that it aspires to be. Technology, bizarrely, is now part of the problem rather than the solution. We rely on greater and greater hits, trying to achieve better-than-photo realism through ever-more complicated graphics technology, massive physics systems, and ever more complicated consoles. Yet while we seek these new electro-thrills, we seem increasingly oblivious to our own atrophy, to the arguably failing state of the games we produce, and to our own future.

We are technoholics.

What are we addicted to?
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