Who Killed Adventure Games? Redux

In the process of not doing work and scanning the interwebs, I came across a classic article on Old Man Murray from 14 years ago on “Who Killed Adventure Games?”

It was triggered by a Gamecenter article from a series that I believe was titled, “Dead And Buried: Five Vanishing Genres,” although it’s not entirely clear since the page doesn’t exist anymore. Through the magic of the Internet Wayback Machine, however, the body of the article can be read here, though I’m not even sure who wrote it. The classic long story short: simpleminded, casual gamers killed adventure gaming, and Myst made them do it. The editorial at the end by Cliff Hicks symbolically put the nail in the coffin of the adventure genre.

Erik from Old Man Murray had a nice take on this article, pointing out that “Gamecenter mentions Jane Jensen’s Gabriel Knight 3 as the last title of note in the genre.” He then uses GK3 to illustrate his alternate theory of who killed adventure gaming. It’s funny as hell, worth the review. Who can’t relate to that?

Fourteen years later, it’s nice to see that adventure games are not dead and buried. In some ways they have evolved, in some ways they haven’t. They’re certainly not as mainstream as they used to be, and it’s not as easy to find a pure “adventure” game that doesn’t mix in elements of FPS, RPG, or other genres, but advances in gameplay and storytelling methods makes me think there will always be a place for them.


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