I think by now most of my adored readers realise that I love playing video games. I’ve played them for over a decade, I’ve seen some incredible technological developments, and been swept up in some exceptional story arcs, character twists and environments.
But I simply, emphatically, and whole-heartedly cannot stand the majority of present-day gamers. Here’s why:
1. Endless Expectations
Gamers feel as though their favourite game, or favourite series, needs to have every single one of their top #270 most wanted features. Sometimes, creative sacrifices have to be made, and it astonishes me how many fully-grown adults fail to grasp this concept. Is it really that much of an issue if you can’t jetpack around outer space dual-wielding 5-foot katanas in your favourite RTS game? Okay, I may have sensationalised, but some of the expectations people have for their preferred franchises border on ridiculous.
Gone are the days of fans being content with previews, screenshots and development updates for the items on their wishlists; they want it, and they want it now. I see so often complaints of delays, even down to people whinging about a one or two day difference in regional release dates. In rare circumstances, these are warranted complaints - Gran Turismo 5 springs to mind, where gamers were often left in the dark and were given no idea when its delays would end. But as a rule, I think almost everyone that enjoys gaming could be doing something productive while waiting, and in turn clearing their schedule for when they can get their grubby paws on a shiny new disc. Goosfraba.
3. Different Priorities
These days, games are becoming a much more rounded medium. The stereotype is wearing off; we aren’t just playing games because they are a novelty, but because they are captivating. That said, not everyone looks for the same thing in games; some like lavishly created worlds, some prefer relatable characters, and some just like to win. Unfortunately, this creates a situation whereby some people will be left unhappy with games that are perfectly well designed, or with a brilliant blend of gameplay, or those that offer unique experiences. Gamers can turn nasty when they are satisfied, which leads nicely into point four...
4. Obnoxious Clashing of Opinions
I wasn’t sure whether to call point 4 ‘trolling’ or not. In the end I decided not, primarily because I see, read and hear a surprisingly large number of ‘experts’ stone-faced in expressing their opinion as fact, whether it be about in-game or downloadable content, a development studio, or (especially) a comparison between two games. This problem is amplified when you are around a disproportionate number of gamers due to, say, the nature of your university subjects. Allowing people to form and express their own opinions is such a simple thing; it has worked for civilisations all around the world, for thousands of years. But to gamers, a contrasting opinion is simply a challenge - we may as well give it a ‘gamerscore’!
5. We Just Don’t Understand Development
Despite not knowing the approximate levels of blood, sweat, tears and more blood that go in to game development, I do have some experience in crafting (half-baked) creative works, and I have an appreciation for the level of perfection that developers aim for. However, in the past I have found myself guilty of being critical of a studio without having the slightest idea how difficult their jobs were. I’m sure if we all had a little more empathy, and thought of games as someone’s creation or work, we’d all be a little less grouchy. It isn’t often I hear people openly slandering painters or sculptors, and this is how we should treat our developers.
Except Stellar Stone.
Luckily, here at MMGN we have precious few fools that ruin our fun, and those who do get shot down pretty quickly. If only society could follow our lead...
By Tom Hughes
Do you agree with our list? As a gamer, what upsets you most? Let us know in the comments below!