A while back, an essay by Robert Abbott titled Video Games Are Incredibly Stupid! made the rounds. (Parts of today's entry won't make sense unless you have read his original essay.) It was a strident argument against modern video gaming. It provoked many responses including mine, which he reprinted under the "mixed responses" category. I've added a few screenshots just for fun.
|mario kart, multiplayer fun|
Classic Games are interesting to me in the way they had to create microcosms from scratch; thus, there was some more flexibility in the worlds they gave the player to interact with, along with fewer expectations about how good things needed to look (one programmer could do all the code, the sound effects, and the art). Some of this has been lost as games have grown in complexity, but I think your view of modern video games is very limited. You mistake some of the dominant trends for the whole thing. Yes, 90% of modern games are derivative crap, but that's been true through many eras of gaming. Do you know how many Space Invaders and Pac Man clones there were? No, because they've properly fallen into the historical dustbin, of interest only to fans of the history of the field. (Actually, it's probably more like 95% of games are derivative, and half of those are crap, and the other half provides decent experiences for fans of the genre.)
As for the "In fact, to this day no one has made a movie as funny as the silent comedies," I don't know if I agree. I think the audience reactions you describe have as much to do with audiences of the era than with the content itself. I haven't watched many silent films, but it has been my experience that some of the comedies from the period right after in a similar physical style (Marx Brothers, Three Stooges) aren't laugh out loud funny for modern viewers.
|robotron: too much for 3D?|
|the new zelda, aka 'celda'|
You might think that Miyamato is the exception that proves the rule...after all, he's an old-schooler himself, having made games starting with Donkey Kong and moving into the future...but many game houses are experimenting with looks and styles other than "as realistic as possible." There's an interesting trend using "Cel Shading" that provides some very interesting new looks. Still 3D, but more animation-inspired. And even old school game style and variety is making a comeback in "party games" such as "Mario Party" or "Fuzion Frenzy," that bundle many small and unique classic style games in a single graphical and gaming context.
So in short, while I somewhat agree with some of your opinions about industry trends, I don't think you've looked deeply enough at the trends you disparage, or to see what else is going with video games.