So, it might be old news (It's from January, so in this digital age, it may as well have been three years ago), but The Escapist- online gaming magazine/site host to a number of awesome things including Zero Punctuation- put up an article on January 20th of this year. Entitled "In Memoriam", it points out the fact that as a demographic, the gaming community at large is mostly oblivious to the industry that creates these games, except for when the launch dates of the newest titles we want or what new sequels have been announced.
As a community and as individuals, we owe the people who work on these games more than the scant quarter-second of attention we give them in order to find out when our next Mario, Halo, or Final Fantasy title comes out. The people who are responsible for making great games, or even just average ones- people who are a part of this industry deserve our respect and attention.
Many gamers at least knew of Gary Gygax, the man behind Dungeons and Dragons, and when he passed away in 2008, his was the only real 'celebrity death' we've had. If Christopher Weaver fell over dead, and it hit the news, would any of you out there know who he was? Just the guy behind Bethesda Softworks and Zenimax Media- you know, the studio/publisher behind the Elder Scrolls franchise, for example.
We have a few famous names- John Carmack, John Romero, Shigeru Miyamoto, Sid Meier, or Will Wright. But they are very few among the people who make the games we play and enjoy. Can anyone name the man responsible for Bungie Software's Halo series? (I can- but only because I checked in the manual. It's Jason Jones.)
We take our industry for granted. The Video Game industry is young compared to the rest of the multimedia industry, with movies, television, radio, and the printed word all having been around far longer. It's still a gangly teenager, going through it's own changes as it tries to find it's place among the other media formats in the world today. Our industry has a number of communities that are close-knit, and tied to a specific game or franchise. Some studios track their forums carefully after a game is released, and develop new content for a title based on what the fans want. (Valve is a decent example of this, aside from the wait for Half-Life Episode 3.) We have Live Gamertags for Xbox, Steam for Windows and Mac, PSN accounts for Playstation, User accounts on multiplayer Wii games. There are third party tools and websites, too: Xfire, ventrilo, and GameTracker. We have ways of staying in touch with our fellow gamers; we should find a way to stay in touch (in a better way than we do now) with the developers, designers, and creative minds behind our favorite games.
The article can be found here: "In Memoriam"