Complaing About Video Games: Constructive or Pathetic?

We all hate change, there's no denying that.  Well there is, but that's why they call it denial.  We also hate when things stay the same.  We hate when things don't meet our expectations, and at the same time hate when something happens in a way we did not imagine.  All around, we are never satisfied.

This is one of the main elements of the human condition that deals the biggest blows to anything with a large following.  Things like sports teams, political parties, and religions are drastically affected by the the unending gripes oozing from the mouths of their supporters.  I will not be discussing any of these.  I'll be talking about people's hating on video games, because serious topics give me country-music levels of depression.

There's no doubt complaints about games started with the very first ones.  I'm sure friends cussed out other friends when they lost a game of Pong or Asteroids, but this is the good type of complaining.  It was the whining that came about from the enjoyment of something, because of being invested in it.  

The main problem now is the impact games have had.  Yes, an industry's success is also its greatest threat.  We've played games for decades now, and our growth and aging has unfortunately lead to the birth of self-proclaimed video game experts and elitists.

Snobbish attitudes are cultivated when someone has a particularly strong passion for something, but fails to see that they themselves are not the reason it exists.  Some people like to believe certain video games and game franchises are successful and well established because of the fact that they were the first people to support and enjoy them early on.  This somehow gives them the idea that they should have a level control over the direction the sequels or further expansions of the franchises should go in.  And when they realize how small the conrtol they have over the creative process is, they resort to plan "B": critique everything.

Much like a film or sports critic, a video game critic is more often than not an example of the old saying, "Those who can't do, teach."  Whether someone is a good or bad critic depends on how seriously they treat their topic.  Someone who picks apart at every detail of a game, or treats it harshly with heartless apathy rather than journalistic objectivity is someone who has forgotten how to have fun with a game.  They are people who loved games, but grew bitter by their lack of input in their development, and are trying create a sense of authority over the games by bashing them in their reviews.  It's a sad turn of events, and their negativity drowns out the voices of reviewers who still genuinely love games.

Opinions are essential to the success of any form of media, as they encourage companies to continually enhance their prducts, much like competition, but people need to think about what they have to say before they say it.  I'll leave you with this:  if you're going to rip a game apart just to prove how knowledgeable you are, you'd better be ready to deal with all the people you encourage to speak their minds about things they know nothing about.  Just look at every single internet forum ever.


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