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Idk about "innocent" but I would say there were definitely more family friendly games and platformer mascots as a whole because that's what the gaming industry was really known for. Nintendo had such a large influence because they owned an insane portion of the market. I think at one point in the early 90s, Nintendo's marketshare was 80% of the gaming industry? Granted, it was still young, but that's why video games were considered to be for kids and why every mom considered every console a "Nintendo" but once Sega and especially PlayStation kicked the door down by the mid 90s, the stigma that video games were for kids slowly started to wither away. Once franchises like Mortal Kombat, DOOM, Resident Evil, Quake, Diablo, Grand Theft Auto, and Half-Life started releasing, as well as becoming popular, it became more apparent to developers that the industry was growing and gamers want to play new things.

I would say that was the era where there was a lot more risk taking and true attempts to be more creative with new kinds of games, but by the late 90s and especially early 2000's that "innocence" was gone. Especially when online became more prevalent. I still remember killing someone in Unreal Tournament (still the best FPS game ever imo) and you had the ability to emote on top of where you killed them and that was in early 2000 in Quake you literally saw pieces of flesh flying all over the place that you called blowing someone to "gibs"