“The way some video game fans spew awful hatred at the companies who make the things they love makes me sick to my stomach sometimes.” -Felicia Day
I try to keep most of my articles light-hearted and as thought-provoking as possible. I like to keep my readers entertained. Then I saw this tweet and it sparked a need to write this piece. Video games used to be considered nerdy and dorky and only pale, pimple-faced loners played them; kids with no friends and no social life. Now, video games are a form of social life. From party games at a friend’s house, to MMOs, to online death matches, video games have become extremely mainstream. With that type of notoriety, and with the instant access to information that the Internet provides, games, and the companies who create them, are constantly being scrutinized. We all have expectations and if those expectations aren’t met, we are disappointed. But, does, as Ms. Day puts it, “[spewing] awful hatred,” actually solve anything?
Games in the 1980s were very simple and usually consisted of small teams; sometimes even just a 1-2 person shop. As technology has expanded, the development teams for games rival those of Hollywood blockbuster movies. Sometimes there are hundreds of people working on a game. These are people just like you and me. They have families. They are trying to make a living. And they are passionate about what they do. When you finish a game, take the time to sit through the credits. Sometimes, there is a section where the team members give shout outs and thanks. Read what they have to say. Just like us, they work under extreme stress. There are long nights and huge sacrifices. All of this is done to bring joy to others in the form of a game.
With the advance in technology, there is a greater chance of a game being buggy. The nice thing is, these bugs can be fixed quickly as opposed to back in the day when they were unfixable. We, as gamers, need to be understanding. If a game has a day-one patch, so what? We wanted the game released, the development team was given a deadline, and if they missed something at least they fixed it. If the team didn’t care and wrote the game off once it went gold, I would take issue. But, if they recognize something that needs to be fixed, and they are working on a fix, then we’re good. They are human. Mistakes can be made. And I for one don’t think that a public apology needs to be issued for every little thing.
Which brings me to my main point: why do people feel the need to be nasty toward developers? It doesn’t solve anything and can actually make us gamers look ignorant and selfish. Do you have to like every game out there? No. People are entitled to their opinions. I don’t play Call of Duty because I think first-person shooters have over-saturated the market. I rarely play online, preferring to be in the same room with my friends. Those are my opinions. That doesn’t mean I’m going to hop onto the COD forums and start telling the developers they’re dumb for releasing another game that to me is exactly like the first.
Sometimes, developers want to try and reinvent/reboot a series to appease fans. This can meet with extreme failure (Metroid: Other M) or extreme success (Street Fighter 4 & Mortal Kombat). And I think the new look for the Tomb Raider reboot is pretty cool. Recently, Capcom received death threats due to the change to Dante in the upcoming game DmC: Devil May Cry which is intended to breathe new life into the Devil May Cry franchise.
Death threats? Are you kidding me? Is that creative decision so detrimental to a gamer’s life that they feel it necessary to issue death threats? We’re supposed to be a society of civilized people. And idiots like these drag us back to the dark ages. If you don’t like the changes, don’t play the game. No one has a gun to your head. Actually, I’d rather these clowns just not play video games any more. They give the rest of us gamers a bad image at a time when the industry needs as much positive press as possible.
I love this industry. I love playing video games and writing about video games. Someday, I hope to write for video games. And because I love this industry, I am critical of it. Everyone has a right to be critical. All I ask is that when you’re criticizing a game to keep in mind that someone sacrificed time with their newborn baby to get this game in your hands. Make your criticism constructive. Explain what you think needs to be improved. If you claim to be a gamer, take care of the industry. Stop with the nonsense. The more you hate on the industry, the more the industry suffers.
Just In Bailey –an homage to the secret code from Metriod, which allowed you to play as Samus Aran without her suit– is an editorial column at Vagary.TV brought to you by Joey Alesia. Each week Joey will challenge you to look at a different perspective of the characters, gameplay, and/or plot in your favorite games. Chat up your thoughts below, or send Joey an e-mail at Joey.Alesia@vagary.tv and remember to follow him on Twitter @wrkngclsswrtr.