The state of the gaming industry these days is very interesting - in many ways, I daresay it is pretty good. I would stop short of referring to it as some kind of golden age of enlightenment, thanks to a lot of negative underlying issues, but one thing I do believe it is improving on greatly is that games are no longer simply bright and shiny sources of shallow entertainment. Especially within the ‘indie’ scene, many games these days seem to be very thought-provoking; they’re stories, heart-wrenching, soul-searching stories that take you away from your own life and insert you into situations that force you to see things from an entirely different perspective. Sometimes the material is sad, sometimes it is a little odd, and sometimes it is downright bizarre, but the depth is there, and it does a lot to enrich the lives of the gaming community, as opposed to simply providing a little flash and no substance. It might very well be my own limited perspective, but I honestly don’t remember too many of those growing up; that’s why I’m so refreshed to see so many now.
One of those games from my earlier experiences is Earthbound. I love this game - even though I would say it is responsible for inflicting some very serious damage on my poor, yet-developing psyche as a lad.