Indie game dev, Videogame writer, Game enthusiast, Guitarist,


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Gamers need to learn to accept criticism

I'll just get this out of the way since it's bound to be shortly apparent. This is my 1st blog post, Im not really used to righting out my personal views to be deliberately and publicly scrutinised by strangers, but I figured Id thought up a topic that pretty much every gamer has experienced from either side of the fence if not both. So, having said that lets get on with the subject at hand.

Now I shouldn't have to tell anyone here that if you go into most article threads on N4G regarding titles such as CoD, Uncharted, GoW, Killzone Mario or pretty much any AAA title that are held by many in high regard, and heaven forbid happen to state a "negative comment" no matter how innocent or constructive it may be towards the topic at hand, you can expect a flood of disagrees, followed by a loss of bubbles and a myriad of rather colourful, if not particularly offensive personal attacks, often in regard to your sexual standing.

Not just a little uncalled for, for a personal opinion right?.

However, this is pretty much regarded as the norm, but should it be? Should we just accept it as "the way it is"? Or does the very fact that many gamers place what they happen to enjoy so far above and beyond criticism that we are actually, unknowingly of course, causing damage to that very thing ourselves?. By not allowing something we like to be criticised we run the risk of it falling into mediocrity, it's important to scrutinise, to objectify, especially in regard to games. To hold a game you enjoy under a magnifying glass and ask the question "how could this be better?" is in no way admitting it's a bad game, many developers are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to improve franchises, so what better place is there to receive ideas from that could contribute to this than from the fanbase?.

With the anonymity offered by the Internet, the user names we hide out true identity behind act as an unbreakable shield that protects us from any real threat, beyond that of a harsh comment from a fellow user or a mod issuing a punishment on our account. Due to this fact there are many users that abuse the safe haven offered by this "anonymity" they use it to troll articles, insight hate and add fuel the to the fire of the seemingly ongoing console wars, because of such users it has become incredibly difficult to hold negative opinions without falling into the category known as the "hater" Doing a quick search on the meaning behind the term hater, it apparently refers to an individual who "simply cannot be happy for a person/things success. So rather than be happy they make a point of exposing a flaw in that person/thing".

Now I know that their are bound to be people who do fall under the category of simply being a "hater" but it seems to me that the term is being largely misused, often only cited as a means to invalidate another persons negative opinion without the need for a valid counter argument for the person/thing in questions defence. I would even go so far as to argue that those who abuse and misuse the term hater can in fact be referred to as a "fanboy" for the very fact that they refuse to the see what they happen to like in any way but positive.

To be honest all this labelling needs to stop, or at least the misuse of these labels does. No good for our community can come if we refuse to accept peoples opinions as simply that, "opinions" as for those who are only here to spread hate and cause arguments, the less they get a reaction the less they will continue to troll and attempt to instigate.

The next time someone states a negative about a game, a franchise or anything else you happen to enjoy, just accept it as their opinion, if you want to state a valid argument in its defence that's fine but let's not stoop to childish name calling and labelling, because no doubt you'll be on the receiving end eventually, I believe if we learn to take criticism toward the games we like it can only lead to those games becoming better, and after all, great games are what brought us to this amazing hobby in the first place right?.

Before I rap up I'd just like to put one more thing out there.

Since video game related violence is a topic that seems unlikely to ever cease to enter the negative spotlight of populer news outlets and other maistream media, I think it's very important as gamers for us to be able to discuss this matter openly as well, without feeling as if we are helping to validate the opinion that games can significantly contribute to violence by even entertaining the idea. Gaming is our hobby, our passion and for some their job, if anyone should be able to debate the potential of positive and negative affects through gaming. It should be us and I think more needs to be done to encourage this approach instead of trying to ignore it and hoping it goes away.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and feel free to leave a comment if you like, but let's keep it clean please, thanks.

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Christopher1885d ago

Gamers also need to learn to use constructive criticism, though.

Too often is a post handled as you mentioned above not because of the opinion, but the manner in which it is delivered.

There's a difference between

"Haha [insert game name here] flopped"


"Well, it's hard to dispute the sales as a reflection of people's interest in the game. I doubt this bodes well for the future of the IP, but perhaps they will learn from this and come out stronger in the future."

zerocrossing1885d ago (Edited 1885d ago )

I couldn't agree more with that, though I personally think that kind of negative behaviour falls more under the category of "trolling" since their aim was never to be constructive to begin with.

Thanks for the food for thought though.

MacDonagh1885d ago

People are simple selfish beings who worship corporations instead of seeing the state of things because it's beyond their rationale. Intellectual discourse on the internet is impossible because people are not accountable for what they say. Not saying that people should post everything about themselves online but people can't and won't take responsibilities for the ideas that they wish to spread. They would rather stick with their echo chambers that they've become so well-accustomed to.

Dark5tar11885d ago

I hate the console wars so much. I love Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo in their own merits, and the drivel people say on here can be questionable to outright idiotic. The fanboyism needs to stop but that will never happen, anytime soon at least.

Captain Tuttle1885d ago (Edited 1885d ago )

This is an enthusiast site though, passions are going to run high; it's the nature of a hobby. Go to a stamp collecting or a kite flying site and there's just as much controversy. Or how about a site that discusses movies or sports teams? People get passionate about the things they care about. You'll have your trolls (cgoodno gave an excellent example above) but there's some good discussion here still, not as much as I'd personally like but it's also a more light-hearted place than others.
It's a balance and I think the mods here maintain a good one.

Good blog though, I enjoyed reading it.

Number-Nine1885d ago

N4G community is pretty childish.