The video game industry is thriving like never before. Back in the day, if you bragged to strangers about the headshot you'd just pulled off, you didn't get a round of virtual congratulations; you got a thorough cavity search by vigilant professionals. But now everybody games -- men, women, kids, the elderly ... hell, there are entire online services just for cats to play video games together in Japan (well, probably not, but you totally believed me for a second, didn't you?). But despite this thriving industry, a lot of sketchy new practices are emerging that may very well end up killing gaming before it even gets a chance to grow old, bloated, and entirely corrupt. If we want gaming to outlive its prime, we have to put an immediate stop to stuff like ...
Massive electronics corporations naturally assume that everyone has dedicated trunk lines feeding into the office buildings where they do their gaming. When the consumer points out that the Internet is not a universal right, nor a reliable service, the corporations swat these complaints away by loudly explaining that "all of our hardcore users have high bandwidth connections!"
That's like making a racist joke at a party and, when everybody turns to stare, protesting: "What's the problem? There are no black dudes in this room!"
But since you're incapable of seeing the folly with persistent connectivity, corporations, I'll break it down for you.
First and foremost: It's not a matter of if our connection works, it's whether or not yours works. My bandwidth just has to deal with connecting to your servers to get your information whenever I want to play your game. You're right: Supposing everything goes according to plan, my Internet connection can probably handle that. But you? Your servers have to connect to millions of games simultaneously, across millions of systems, at all times, forever.
Your responsibilities are much more prone to dramatic failure than the meager shit I'm tackling. Look no further than the launch of SimCity 4 for proof of that concept's failure -- or actually, don't bother. I don't think it's online yet. I think we're all still waiting in the lobby for Maxis' servers to be constructed. I understand they outsourced the building to an obscure Amazonian tribe-state that's barely up to steam technology, and there's a pack of marsupial hyena-monsters squatting on the only lithium cache -- but don't fret! The Glorious Seven, the server-tribe's famous warrior elite, are almost through with the Cleansing Ritual and ready to engage in battle -- so any day now we might be able to play the fucking game we bought last year.
And yet nobody thought to spin the experience as more authentic of the crippling bureaucracy of actual city planning. Way to drop the ball, Maxis PR team.