Paige FTW: What Brings Us Together

At this precise cultural moment, there are two things that matter: Avengers: Endgame and Game of Thrones. All else gives way before these two titans of pop culture. The whole of the internet is devoted to discussing, parsing and speculating what will happen next or why this happened or what have you. I am no exception to this rule.

I stand here today and ask you this: Where is the video game that unites the world like this? And why haven’t we found it yet?

Arguments could be made for classic titles — the whole reason Detective Pikachu, after all, is even a thing is because generations of children have loved Pokemon for more than 20 years.

But video games seem to have difficulties crossing those generational divides.

Is it simply that the industry is too specialized and fractured? Nearly everyone can go to the theaters or turn on a TV (or do some online pirating), but if you don’t own a Nintendo Switch or a PlayStation 4, you just … miss out.

Is that video games have yet to leap over the generational walls that keep it closed off from new audiences? The eldest devotees of games are still middle-aged, and many of them have moved on from the days of Galaga and Pac-Man.

Or is it that there just hasn’t been an all-consuming title worthy of such universal interest and acclaim?

In my eyes, the answer is something else entirely.

It’s a question of genre.

Movie or TV genres require no extra effort on the part of the viewer to switch between. You can watch a horror or an action movie with the same amount of effort (that is to say, none).

But to play a turn-based RPG or a first-person shooter requires entirely different skills and interests. For many people, there is no crossover. Genre hopping is not so simple a task for many — and so, many do not.

It may be many years yet before a video game manages to capture the public imagination…