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Gaming Isn't Positive Anymore And It's Our Fault

For a lot of us, gaming is a pleasant getaway from daily minutia. We game whenever we get the time because, well, reality is pretty harsh and it's a great escape to have time to do something that isn't so productive. Some of us love gameplay, and some of us love a great story, stimulating puzzles, a great scare, an opportunity to be strategic, escape from reality, get competitive, or share our non-productive experiences with others. In the end, it's all about fun and getting away from our responsibilities for a bit (unless you're a self-described journalist, which I say conservatively with regard to some of the opinion pieces that somehow tumbleweed their way into the news articles).

Back in the day, that's what gaming was all about and, for many of my fellow 80s/90s era gamers, that's what it is today. Unfortunately, with the advent of the internet and, heck, even freedom of expression on the internet, we basically share the burden of destroying the experience for each other. Here's why I believe so:

First, thanks to the internet, gaming "journalists" can help us or hurt us. They can warn us about broken games well in advance of the release (embargoes withstanding) or, because everyone uses it and news gets out faster, it can completely destroy a game's image with sensationalist pieces on why a game will fail or disappoint. There were recent pieces on The Order: 1886 and Bloodborne suggesting they won't live up to expectations. It's always great to keep an open mind and consider alternatives to your own views, but we need to encourage developer efforts to really make the most of the hardware and make games that are fun and, above all in my opinion, positive experiences. The Order: 1886 might disappoint or flop. It might not. Either way, the gaming media has done a great job of hurting the game's image this past week alone with about 30 days to go before release. So much energy is spent on the negatives, which worries me as a gamer where the industry is going because at that point, it isn't news. It's the gaming media being sensationalist for hits, regardless of the damage it might do to a game that many people may actually enjoy more than they did. Heavens forbid that a game, not just The Order but ANY game, disappoints on the gameplay front, but ask yourself: what's worse, a bad game that takes off without a hitch...or a game that "would be a lot more fun if it wasn't broken"? Something to think about, especially where first impressions are involved...

Second, thanks to internet anonymity, it's much easier to be complete trolls and/or keyboard warriors whose sole purpose in joining a discussion board is to tell you why you're wrong and why their opinion should be taken objectively. Unfortunately, a lot of us have gotten bitter towards "the other side" of the gaming fence where there will be gamers who like specific platforms over your preferences. Maybe they just grew up owning one and stick to a trusted brand, maybe they had a bad experience with the rival platform(s). Honestly who knows? Either way, the repeated internet exposure to "the other side" I believe has created a division between gamers because we're exposed to something we otherwise would have in very moderate doses at worst in society. If you ask me, it functions a lot like sexism or racism: unless you're extensively exposed to something unfamiliar in an unpleasant way, you very likely have no quarrels with peaceful coexistence. If people of the opposite color or sex land themselves in something controversial and it comes back down to you, then we have a habit of developing an aversion for those people. We classify them, attribute behaviors, etc., just as we do with gamers of opposing thoughts--made worse by people spouting off because they're protected by anonymity. And if you don't think we can make that comparison, just look at how badly we stereotype people who aren't like us with games: "This site is run by Sony fanboys!", "XBots are always slamming PS4 because the XBOX One can't touch its numbers!", or "Nintendo fanboys are as bad as Apple fanboys because they'll eat anything Ninty throws at them!"

The last thing I want to say that I find painfully negative for gamers is that we're keeping score and it isn't healthy. Many of us, myself included, are guilty of drawing parallels to previous generations and calling each other out on hypocrisy, even if the person being chastised now had nothing to do with what was said back then by some other person (again, grouping). And we always seem to be under the illusion that a PlayStation 3 gamer would never buy an XBOX One as a primary console or that even a Nintendo Wii Owner would never favor the PS4.

In summary, maybe I'm old, but what would we all have to lose by trying to be more positive about the gaming experience? People will have different opinions and the internet is quickly becoming a utility we all frequently enjoy. May as well not use the powers of anonymity or journalistic clout to divide us, y'know? Sure, there's a component of jealousy, but you can always own more than one platform. It takes an open mind, but also a willingness to stand by your beliefs. Don't avoid buying a game you're really looking forward to because a journalist says it's easy/plays too much like Call of Duty/etc. We're getting there now since (A) Everyone pretty much agrees Bloodborne, based on people who've played it, is not too easy and know it's nerfed for public demonstration reasons and (B) Despite journalists saying Halo 5's beta is too much like Call of Duty, people enjoying the beta are having a ton of fun. That aside, we still need to work out our personal differences with fellow gamers on different platforms and not take past encounters with [insert platform] fans and generalize to the fans we talk to now. Let's coexist and cheer for games. Let's not put other people down saying, "the only reason this game is even hyped is because it's exclusive". At the end of the day, we all just want to have fun and are always looking for the next big experience. And we can do it without blasting each other for thinking differently.

As always, this is just an opinion piece written by a guy who grew up really loving the classics and holds on to the more positive aspects of gaming. Feel free to agree or disagree in the comments below and, as always, thanks for reading.

getrektedmate3177d ago

Well said... But I will continue to be a fanboy... :)

thorstein3177d ago


I don't quite understand it. If I become knowledgeable about something and then determine that one product is better than the other because of tech, I fail to see how that is "fanboyism."

That said, ponder this:

I buy the SONY line of consoles because I like their games and I like the system. I found the X360 to be a great console (as was the original Xbox) but the newest isn't on par with the current gen SONY system.

I also purchase Windows OS computers. They are superior to Apple. I know this because I have spent 16 years of my career using Apple products at work and MS OS computers at home. There is something to be said about the superior software and the ability for it to accept upgrades readily.

That isn't fanboyism. Fanboyism is buying into a product because it has a slick ad campaign and claiming it is superior in every way without ever articulating why it is better.

freshslicepizza3176d ago

1. people used to complain back in the day as well, difference is social media has exploded since then so of course it appears to be much more noticeable now.

2. you talk about games like the order being blasted by the media but you also neglect other games they praise like splatoon. what you're essentially doing is what you're calling out the media for doing and that is focusing on the negative articles while ignoring the positive ones.

3. i do agree anonymity causes a lot of issues in regards to troll behaviour online.

4. you talked about competition and this need to always conclude there has to be a winner and a loser. i agree this ideology isn't good for anyone.

one thing everyone has to take into consideration when drawing parallels to history and how different we are is we all expect more now. those mario games back then in the 80's cost $50 to buy. what was the price of gas and a gallon of milk then to what it is now? how much do games cost now, $60? so do you not see how much pressure is put on game developers now to deliver? this is why we see such a rise in indie game development, costs just are no longer sustainable unless the aaa games are marketed as blockbusters. then when those blockbuster games come out there is added pressure to deliver something incredible. but because of time constraints, budgets and utilizing dlc tactics all we do is whine about the games when they come out because we don't envision the process, the money at stake and how high our expectations have gotten over the decades.

what i do see in forums that's kind of troubling is this underground movement to keep the commentary away from the experience and joy of playing games. this movement if you will likes to fester and keep the focus on the negative views. such as dlc or why game consoles that cost $400 that can do many more things than what a $200 game console could do back in the 80's don't perform as well as they want. more features, better performance, more exclusives. it's like we are never satisfied. then you have the trolls/fanboys who like to take things further and focus on the competition and spend most of their time making comments about why that systems isn't very good. this has all been done before for decades but since we are online now and connected around the world it's just more obvious.

at the end of the day gaming hasn't gotten worse. look around, we have more platforms than at any time in history to play games on. we also have a collection of games at our disposal that dwarfs what was available at any time in history. all with various pricing structures. so tell me again why people spend so much time complaining?

3176d ago
DarXyde3176d ago

Thanks for the thoughtful comments, all.


As long as you're not being asinine about your preferences, I've got no quarrels with fanboys. Respect for other opinions does us all some good. :O)


There's nothing wrong with making an informed decision, but it's about avoiding the negativity that can come with it. One might like to play shooters (which isn't my cup of tea) but I'm not going to go out of my way to tell you why I don't like them and why you shouldn't either. If I do tell you why I don't like them, it would simply remain an expression of my own reasons, not some campaign to sell you on my opinion or berate yours. That said, I can agree that you must make informed decisions on what's worth owning and what isn't, but we would be wrong to start a fire with people who think differently. Politics of gaming pretty much lol.


On the first point, in my opinion, the issue is sensationalist media. I'm not saying games can't be criticized; some of them really deserve to be, but given the recent string of popular articles, I think it's fair to say there's an intentional theme where hits are trying to be made, y'know?

On the second point, I don't mind articles highlighting why games are looking great. People operate in an interesting way: let's look at Splatoon--there will be people interested and people who aren't as well as those on the fence. A positive article would generate responses from the interested and the skeptics which is fine. You'll get a few negatives, but those people are often dismissive trolls. Now if the article is negative, the skeptics might take a backseat and observe, but the interested and uninterested would likely lambaste each other and it creates hostility. We're all here because we love games and I don't see much meaning in the negativity. I think we should be passionate about this industry and express our differences in less destructive ways, but sensationalist articles don't exactly make that a practical scenario. Your other points, I can agree with.


You're right about that; it isn't about just the consoles, but it's an industry wide division over so many things. For me, it depends on my mood that day. Personally, I love Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, Fire Emblem, and Final Fantasy VII through X, but I also love Kingdom Hearts, Zelda, and the Souls series. For me, I just love the RPG genre and the action genre, so if it's an action game with RPG elements, I'm probably gonna jump all over that. It is bad how dismissive the oppressive opinions in the industry are, and I sympathize with that completely. Sometimes, I get angry private messages because I love retro games too and other people want to argue with me personally. I don't mind, but we do need to be better than we are as a whole with how we view competing opinions.

Chard3176d ago

It's really as positive as you want it to be. You can completely ignore the elements you don't like. It baffles me that people get caught up in things like gamergate, or caring that someone doesn't like a game they like (especially when that game hasn't even released).

DarXyde3176d ago (Edited 3176d ago )

I agree where we can always ignore what we don't like, but if everyone followed that philosophy, no one would be in conflict and everything would be positive!

The thing is, we've lost pleasant discourse and journalist integrity over the years. The gaming community now feels too political with division and blatant bias coming from sources we count on for news. We can always ignore the people who attack us, but it's sending a gloomy message when we look for unbiased opinion pieces or objective news articles and turn up short. It's all so negative. I think, as a community, we try too hard to estimate the many reasons future releases will fail or disappoint. I find negativity and positivity to be contagious so, while the people who attack me aren't a big deal at all, reading about the industry from unqualified or biased journalists has gotten pretty depressing.

@ DefenderOfDoom2,

A fair point, mate. Either that, or people like the game more than they let in on. Everyone I know complains about Call of Duty and somehow it's pretty much the biggest annual franchise.

Someone is being brutally dishonest with me lol.

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jznrpg1d 12h ago (Edited 1d 12h ago )

I want to play Alan Wake but I’m not buying another digital only game this year. I still haven’t bought Baldurs Gate 3 but if do buy a digital only game that will be the one but I’m still holding out as I have tons of games to play and don’t like buying digital only. I hate this practice and don’t want to support it. I understand small indie games sometimes being digital only but those are rare too. But these bigger games can easily get someone to print them 100k or more copies and they will all sell.

gold_drake1d 12h ago

yh im holding off on Alan wake too.

the digital only is stupid as hell. there is no way that the physical media costs them so much.


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This is going to be one of the best games of the generation. I am almost finished with a druid play through. The game is the real deal.


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