Gaming. We all love gaming. Right?
We all love to play games where we take control of a character-or characters, where we do new or exciting things. Things that dance along the border of Impossibility or Improbability. We like to do our best, we like to try our hardest, and we like to push our limits even further. We like to beat the next level, we like to upgrade the next stat, we like to level up to the next phase. We like to advance and progress, and to defy the odds.
Likewise, we like to see games try new things, or experiment with titles that bring new ideas to the table. We like to try games that have one or many mechanics that are game changers for our typical Genres in gaming. We like to play games that allow our character/s to adapt. To earn, have, or develop advantages they didn't have before to advance or survive. We like to go places we've never been, we like to see things we've never seen. Sometimes, We like to feel like the setting or plot of a game is new or unique to us. Which, depending on all the many ways a game, or game' world can be experienced or interpreted, varies from person to person.
Sometimes, we don't necessarily enjoy a game's perspective, whether it be FPS, TPS, Racer, Platformer, RTS, RPG, or JRPG etc.. etc.. even hybrids or game types within one game- Yet, we usually find ourselves enjoying something.
Sometimes, it's the story that makes us push forward. Sometimes it's the scenery and environments that inspire us to explore. Sometimes, it's simply the rush of a game's pacing, fluidity, speed, or combat that excites us or gets our blood pumping.
One thing is for sure, different things will always appeal to different people.
Some games do things better than others, and some games are great, yet flawed. Some games take an idea and run with it perfectly until it's over- and others aim for a goal they can't quite reach. Some are executed perfectly as far as the gameplay goes, but the story leaves much to be desired. Some games have amazing settings and lore, or great plots or stories- but the game itself isn't fun to play... There are so many variables that go into whether or not a game will be liked or well received.
This, is something that applies to books, film, music, and media/entertainment in general.
My question for the folks here on N4G is: Why do we let people/press/journalists/peers make up our minds for us so often?
Why do we let someone else have so much influence over what we find exciting or interesting? Why do we let so many outside factors change what we initially find interesting, or exciting and/or appealing? This set of questions can also be applied to the friends/significant others we keep, or associate with. Why do we care so much about what other people think?
I don't truly know the answer to that question. But I DO think there is a common place- if you will- that tends to hover somewhere between what people TRULY want, and what that particular individual wants OTHERS to THINK they want.
It's been called common, mainstream, maybe even classified as popular opinion.
The thing I'm getting at is, when are we, as gamers, going to understand- AND respect- not only others, and what THEY want to play, but also truly respect OURSELVES and what WE want to play?
When is John Doe going to acknowledge that his desire to play pokemon or monster hunter is completely okay, even though his "friends" would laugh at him for it? When are those "friends" going to admit that they actually want to play too?
When are people who are certain that FPS games are 'bad' or 'too common' going to realize that putting guns into a game automatically brings an "Impossible" or "Improbable" factor into a game, which could be a huge factor in their appeal? When will they realize that first person also allows immersion, and is not always ONLY about shooting, but is often- also about exploring?
When will we collectively accept that there is nothing wrong with FPS, any more than there is nothing wrong with sports games, racing games, rts, MOBA, MMO's, and just about every single type of game that exists?
When will we stop using personal agenda/bias to not only value/de-value certain movies, books, music, and games? When will we stop using it to value or de-value certain TV's, cars, phones, and game consoles?
When will we finally start showing people around the world that gamers can be MORE mature than your average person, by learning to accept that everyone is different, and enjoys different games, or different ways to play, or different platforms for gaming?
When will we stop smearing feces all over the faces of those that don't feel exactly the same way WE do about something? When will we stop attacking people based PURELY on what they like?
When will we stop overlooking fun and excitement to be had- just because it's not our favorite 'flavor' or brand?
When will we play games that got a 7.5 on IGN and give them a chance for OUR OWN reasons, instead of ONLY playing games that others may have misjudged or not fully comprehended?
When will we use OUR OWN MONEY the way WE WANT?
When will we stop worrying about who's game sells the most, or which game console sold the most? When will we support companies because we like them- regardless of 'if' anyone else does?
People often complain about developers taking shortcuts,(which sometimes they do) and complain about too much copy-pasting (which they sometimes do) and doing nothing original or new.
Those same people will turn around and not support a game that TRIES to do new things when they have a chance, either.
People do so much gaming it's insane. People will spend so much money on gaming it's insane. People will spend $3,500 on a killer PC just to say they have the best, even though they may play that PC twice a month. What right do they have to put down the owner of a Wii U who enjoys gaming 4 hours a day? WHO is actually having MORE fun?
Who is actually having a better time, or more worthwhile experiences? The guy who does 1440p/120fps on Crysis 3 one or two times a month? Or the guy who explores the Oceans and Islands of the Wind Waker whenever his heart desires? Or is it the guy who loves playing his PS3 still because neither new console appeals to him enough quite yet?
Nobody can answer that. We can only say what WE would like to do for ourselves.
It's about time we stop bashing, thrashing, hating, and digging so deep that WE are more poisonous to the industry than ANY of these corporations that are TRYING their best to entertain us.
It's about time that we accept that if a game or console sells well, it MAY be that damn good!
On the flipside, we need to accept that games and consoles WE don't necessarily want or really see value in, may be just as worthy of our attention, if not MORE!
The thing that makes all the difference is seeing how far some people will go to make something or someone, or some genre, game, console, corporation etc.. etc.. look bad.
When people worry about how well a different console sells, more than they do about their own console- that's just a selfish person being selfish, or an insecure person hoping to secure his opinion, or an immature brat, being immature.
When someone has to worry about how much money a company MAKES, then the dick measuring competition has simply gone too far. Period.
So what if Sony is closing factories, selling assets, or buildings/property off to stay in business?
The fact that they can do all this and STILL bring quality products and diverse entertainment to the masses is AWESOME. Have they ever let that struggle get them down enough to give up? Nope.
So what if the Xbox brand has supposedly "never" brought profit or revenue to Microsoft? Has that ever stopped them from trying to bring new and exciting entertainment to gamers? Nope.
So what if Nintendo isn't exactly living in it's prime glory days like it did with Snes, Pokemon, or the Wii? Does that mean they should just give up?
The thing is, there's MORE people on the planet to buy from these companies then there ever was in the past, and gaming as a whole has reached broader audiences than ever before! Why try to "kick companies out of existence" with smear campaign after smear campaign, just because we are so busy thinking there can only be one 'good' guy? Why PROVE that we aren't capable of letting people be who they are, or do what they do, or try what they try, or like what they like, especially when we are talking about something as simple and awesome as entertainment?
Why not game, and let game? Live and let live? Buy, and let buy?
I'll admit, I've had instances in the past where I didn't like something a company has done, or a certain product, but it doesn't mean I have to hate the company OR their product, especially to the degree that some people go to.
If I say something abrasive, it's usually directed at the hypocrites and know-it-alls who think they can dish it out, and not take it when it's their turn. But I'm going to set a new foot forward and change the way I do things because it's exhausting, it doesn't help, and it's pointless for the most part.
I'm starting to feel like I just don't see why we have to resort to gaming "politics" when we could simply vote with our wallets and avoid all the stupid circles and spinning, especially when there is so much more in store for us to enjoy.
I have loved consoles from Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony, and I buy whatever systems in which I find Value or appeal. I don't own a Wii U, a PS4, or an Xbox one yet because I haven't seen the "I gotta have it" moment from any of them yet. I recently sold my PC that was MUCH faster and more poweful than either the PS4 OR xbox One, simply because I don't enjoy PC gaming quite like I used to. Does that mean I'm supposed to go on a campaign to make PC's look bad? No...
It's frustrating to see so many PC ONLY gamers doing the inverse, and slamming consoles. I mean, if things hadn't happened the way they have so far, then where would we be? Would we still be playing pong? Would we ever have experienced Mario Brothers? Or Duck Hunt? We would have missed out on so much! Yes innovation and new things could have followed a likely course regardless of what console was made when, or who bought what. But since we ARE where and when we are, let's just enjoy what we have, and what more is to come.
The future of gaming is bright, as long as we CHOOSE to see it that way.
The value associated with THIS console, or THAT console will always be established between a company and a Gamer.
We need to stop trying to influence the consoles/platforms we do or don't like so much. It's one thing to weigh out Pros and Cons when debating value, it's another to go on a witch hunt, and never rest until we see a little healthy competition being crucified.
Let's all please, vote with our wallets, stop gagging each other with statistics, and talking about sales. Sales are a huge factor, but if the past has taught us anything, it's that time changes everything, for better or worse.
It's never wise to count chickens before they hatch.
It's never wise to bet on a one trick pony.
It's never wise to doubt the underdog.
It's never wise to make such strong opinions that we look foolish when we use absolutes.
So seriously folks, my fellow gamers-
Let's all just wait and see what the future holds.
I just want to see us all get along, and start showing that we are capable of more than pointless discussion about things we can't possibly know until they are revealed to us by the companies who DO know what they are doing,(subjectively) or at least, who DO know what the have planned for us.
Let's go back to ENJOYING video games. Let's go back to SHARING the fun we have, or the skills we have learned. Let's make this about the experience, and less about the WAY it's experienced.