What the hell are you talking about, seriously. When was gaming not about blockbusters? It just that the genre we used to see as big games have lost creativity and passed by better ones. Games are better now and more diverse as much as we complain about it.
Sales has never equaled to quality in any medium of life, just demand and the market. More people have seen Family Guy than the Wire, but in terms of quality it's not even close.
COD4 came out in 2007 and is still in the top most played games in both the PS3 and 360. Where are you getting this 3-8 hours stuff.
You walk around in shame, that's your problem. Look at the games coming in 2010 from all consoles, this might be the greatest year in gaming ever, think about this for one second:
Halo Reach = 360
Zelda = Wii
GT5 = PS3
Gaming is alive and doing well.
Gaming wasn't about blockbusters in the 8 bit and 16 bit era definitely. When you have like 10 dudes working on a much more simple game you don't need 2 million sales to break even.
And no, we don't have more diverse games now. We have 1999 in HD. Gaming has been at an almost total creative standstill for 2 generations and somehow all these ancient PC games and playing online have been repackaged on a console like it's new and isn't ground that's been treaded damn near 20 years now.
Can you seriously say the difference between 2001 and 2010 has been a bigger jump (technologically AND conceptually) is greater than 1991 and 2000?
As far as the 3-8 hours, I meant 3-8 hours of work to pay for the game. Meaning someone has to work at their job roughly 3-8 hours in other to have enough money to purchase the game. Hell even I got way more than 8 hours of Modern Warfare and it drove me crazy :P
As far as Family Guy and The Wire, and the usual Big Mac vs Mario Batali and trying to compare it to video games:
In other words, the differences are far too great to draw a decent analogy.
I'm even a bit hesitant to use movies or books as a comparison for video games because the a $5 book doesn't even compare to a $50 game. There's more of a decision process involved as the cost of the item increases.
I'm not sure those 3 games you picked really help your argument.
Halo Reach: Halo in HD. Sure it may be a different story, but how will it be fundamentally different from Halo 1-ODST? Meaning, if you lower your graphical standards, could I put this game the original xbox? If online is the argument, then fine ...a PC made in 1997. In other words, what is this game doing in 2010 that could not be done in 2001?
GT5: Don't get me wrong, I'm buying this game and anticipating the hell out of it. The argument remains: what is this game doing that couldn't be done in 2001? Probably not fair since a driving simulator can't exactly have space monkeys melting the world or some shit while driving, it can just do the simulation more accurately than before.
Zelda Wii: We don't know anything about this game yet. It could very well be the same old shit just with more waggle fidelity, or it could be you actually sword fighting Ganon. Could swing either way.
But in all 3 cases, back in 2001 would any of these games blown your mind if you were told about them? Like some future dude coming back and explaining these games to you.
Now imagine it's 1991 and you're being told about The Sims, or Resident Evil, or Thief, EverQuest, Diablo, StarCraft (or WarCraft), Tony Hawk, Ocarina of Time, Mario 64, Tekken, Counter Strike, Final Fantasy IX, MechWarrior.
In at least 2 of the 2001 to 2010 cases you can say "X game in HD" and explain 99.9% of it. How do you explain the Sims to someone in 1991? Or an RTS? Survival Horror?
I'd say 2 of those 3 games you picked actually hurt your argument because they just demonstrate that the video game industry hasn't done shit for 10 years besides make what they know is safe and will sell big (blockbusters).
Edit: and if you look at a lot of those games I mentioned you'll be hard pressed to find any that got so much as 1 TV commercial or any kind of treatment of blockbuster status.
In the same vein, can you name 1 major blockbuster game that redefined gaming like WarCraft or Counter Strike? How many games that alterer the course of video gaming were done in basements?
3rd Party Wall of Shame