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Hot Topic - is this a golden age of gaming?

How will we remember 2012?

The year is 2025, and a bunch of ageing games enthusiasts are standing in a bar doing what games enthusiasts love to do most after playing games, which is complain about them. "2011 was the worst year ever," one says. "Bulletstorm flopped, the 3DS made my eyes fall out, and just when you thought we'd scraped the bottom, BioWare released Dragon Age 2." "Nonsense," says another. "We had it hardest in back in 2015. The year Apple used up the world's entire supply of copper. The year Microsoft's central headquarters sprouted giant robot legs and ate Wisconsin."

"Well, what about 2012?" suggests a third man. A silence falls. Knuckles whiten. Eyes glance left and right, making a quick inventory of the escape routes. 2012 is the most divisive and controversial year in gaming history, the very mention of which turns brother against brother, father against son, house pet against house cleaner. The trouble started one gentle Saturday afternoon in October, in the form of an innocent website debate and accompanying poll. This website poll, which you will now contribute to.

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The wisdom of Matt: YES!
We've never had it so good

I was beginning to worry that the best times had passed, but 2012 has been a huge encouragement. Blockbusters like Mass Effect 3 and Borderlands 2 have blown me away with their dazzling scale, while XBLA continues to thrive with treats like Fez and Mark of the Ninja.

The trend that's getting me really excited, though, is the revival of the thinking-man's game. Dishonored, XCOM, Far Cry 3 and Hitman: Absolution - four games that all hit the shelves within the same tight window, and all aim to deliver an experience that's smarter than most games are willing to provide.

I haven't seen a wave of games this interesting since the late 1990s, when titles like Fallout and System Shock 2 created a new trend that disappeared just as quickly. The proximity of the releases this year leave me concerned that some games won't sell as well as they deserve to, but from the perspective of a gamer it's Christmas come early.

It might never match the intoxicating cloud of nostalgia that looms over late 90s gaming, but this year's selection is the best I've ever seen.

Assuming you haven't shattered your screen in rage, please click to page two and Log's rebuttal. Then, cast your vote. May our children forgive us.

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