For anyone who doesn’t know, Kickstarter is a website designed to get fans to fund a project (such as games, books, or music) that could not be made otherwise. It’s a website which people seem to love to use, whether they are the developer of a game, waiting patiently to see if anyone funds them, or a die-hard video game fan, searching eagerly through the vast expanse of games, hoping to find one you would gladly contribute to, just so you could, one day, play it. With a website like this, currently funding 30,000 projects and pledging $367 million to projects, this seems like the place to go for indie game developers.
But does it affect the way we game?
Though people may not think so, I personally believe that it does. If a person were to browse though the games on Kickstarter and stumble upon one that looks interesting, helping to fund this project would make you a part of it, making you feel more involved with the game. When you feel a part of the game, you become immersed: you count down the days to when it is released; you hope it gets enough funding; you feel pure excitement when you finally get to play it. Contributing to a project not only helps the developer, but it makes the game player feel involved and much more excited about the game.
The website also helps game players to find out about new games and genres to play, perhaps ones they would never have thought of before. It even helps you find new game developers that would have been virtually unknown before, but now you eagerly watch to see if they are releasing anything new, and there’s a certain surge of excitement you get when you see that they are. If not for this website, you wouldn’t have known any of this information. Kickstarter not only funds games: it helps you to find new games to play.
Another important aspect is the realization of how easy it is to publicize and try and fund a game. This inspires people to try to create their own game, something they may have never attempted if not for Kickstarter. If a person has always wanted to create a game, but has never known how to get it started, this opens up new opportunities for them, and even the chance for a new, well-paid career.
So does Kickstarter affect the way we game? I think so. When a website can make you feel involved with a game and make you want to contribute your own money to funding it, when you discover new genres of games with different gameplay styles than what you’re used to, and when it opens new opportunities for game developers, I think it is changing the way people game. I believe that Kickstarter can and will continue to change the face of gaming in the future; a future where even more games are funded this way.