For many, switching on a video game is no more than a source of quick entertainment. However, the evolution of games from the early days of 8-bit graphics and sound to the current world of rich, 3D environments, complete with orchestral scores, has paved the way for a respected form of art.
What is Prog Gaming?
The umbrella term Progressive (or Prog) Gaming loosely covers tags such as exploration, atmospheric, adventure, story-rich, artistic, puzzles, walking simulator and indie, usually favoring non-violent games (although this is not always a prerequisite) where the focus is on something deeper; a yearning for the unknown and experiencing a journey beyond the day-to-day mundane.
This blog is a chance to discover games which fit this mold, with a focus on exploring stunning environments, challenging ourselves through puzzles and ambiguous meanings, and experiencing rich storylines that transport us to new worlds.
I will cover games from all eras, taking us from the rise of the consoles, where artistic freedom was often restricted by commercial needs, to the present day, where the advent of online platforms such as Steam has allowed smaller developers the freedom to release their games directly to a world-wide audience.
The term Progressive Gaming was first coined by me and my good friend Chris Myhill, who share a love of all things Prog Rock, and saw many of the similar themes and ideals of this musical genre reflected in certain games. What started out as a tongue-in-cheek method of describing them soon entered our own lexicon.
How can I join in?
Your own thoughts and opinions are priceless. As a valued reader, you are encouraged to join in the discussion by subscribing and commenting on each blog post. Don’t forget to let me know about any games you would like me to feature in future. I am always on the lookout for the next recommendation!
I will aim to provide a rating for each game, with a score out of 10. On occasion, certain games will receive the addition of the prestigious Tubular Bell award – granted solely to games I consider to have transcended the genre. Much like Mike Oldfield’s composition of the same name helped to define Prog Rock, we will discover certain games which have left a timeless mark on the world of gaming.
“Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends
We’re so glad you could attend
Come inside, the show’s about to start
Guaranteed to blow your head apart
Rest assured you’ll get your money’s worth
The greatest show in Heaven, Hell, or Earth!Emerson, Lake and Palmer, from Karn Evil 9