@Fimbulvetr Yeah, it’s definitely been a little bit of both for me too. When I was younger I didn’t really have access to AAA action games or shooters. My parents were adamantly against them, and they constantly repeated “Guns aren’t toys,” so I didn’t even get access to water guns or Nerf guns.
Now, I understand where they were coming from. As public school teachers and who worked daily with kids who struggled with emotional problems and domestic violence, they didn’t want me to trivialize violence and guns.
So, yeah, the lack of access to AAA and shooters as a kid has definitely shaped my tastes today. Even now, I kinda recoil at military shooters. I still have an itch, though for AAA games whose focus isn’t primarily shooting. Alien: Isolation was fantastic, atmospheric, and so wonderfully optimized that even my poor laptop gave me a solid 30 FPS.
If it were only a question of developers devoting more time to optimization, then I’d be willing to dabble more with AAA titles. But as I exit my 20s I have a different reason for shying away from larger, AAA titles. It’s hard for me to justify the time I spend with them because my time seems even more limited working full-time rather than being a student.
For example, I’ve logged 86 hours in Dark Souls 2 and had a great time. I could’ve used that time to finish a lot of smaller, 5-6 hour games or I could’ve used it to read, study, practice a skill. So, I dunno, maybe my tastes are shaped more by my stage in life than by anything else.
@ophiucha If I had owned a console or handheld as a kid, I wouldn’t have had it in me to get something none of my friends were using. Even now, my friend group leans XBox, but the PlayStation catalog appeals to me more. And since I don’t really like online co-op, I’m even less incentivized to take the plunge.
Buying a console has always seemed like a huge commitment. The money isn’t the problem, but the fact that it’s only got a single purpose.
In adulthood this is where guilt comes in again. I can justify a PC to myself because I need it for work and productivity…and if it just so happens to be able to play a game or two, that’s a plus. A console…that’d be a guilty purchase for me. As a kid, though, price, guilt, and time wouldn’t have factored into my gaming choices.
@Rumstar In the end, I also value style more. I have nostalgia for certain platforms like Nintendo (and to a lesser extent PlayStation) because of time spent playing at friends’ houses, but what I play is determined more by my taste than anything else.