If Loving Games Is Right, I Don't Want To Be Wrong

It's hard for me to look at the news of the preceding 10 or so days and not feel like there's been some enormous, possibly irreparable rupture between gamers and those who serve them. I certainly contributed to this with a post about the ending of Mass Effect 3 and the movement to have it changed or appended.

I still disagree with the goal of the movement, and I still despise its fig leaf fund drive for Child's Play, making that charity a human shield and a passive endorser of the cause's righteousness. These things may rate scorn and condescension but there is one thing that should not and should never: The highly personal and emotional investment video gamers make in what they play.

Confusing their passion for base complaining is my moral error and I apologise for that. The truth of the matter is, I do just as much complaining as any video gamer. I just have a much larger megaphone through which to yell it. I've often felt that this is a community with a chip on its shoulder, committed to proving its disenfranchisement in every relationship. Yet if I view that resentment as illegitimate, I shouldn't be fueling it.

Nor should a guy like Phil Fish, the creator of Fez who recently said "gamers are the worst f**king people". Nor should the former Mass Effect producer big-timed the whole community when she told them to quit fantasising about being producers. I'm aware the latter comment was made at Game Developers Conference, essentially a gathering of professionals. She still addressed her statement to gamers at an event covered by the press.

A video gamer's idealism may be overreaching. It should never be impugned. It is as much a manifestation of this great interactive medium as it is the catalyst for it. That sounds like a lot of marble-mouthed malarkey, when what I really mean is, we can't shit on the indispensable resource that sets this art form apart from all others, even if its tone sometimes screeches into the eardrums.

Yet if we should consider our complaints carefully, I think the constituency should, too. I don't want to say everything becomes a cry-wolf situation — Capcom's recent behaviour with its downloadable content is plainly shit-headed. Ubisoft's longstanding, patronising DRM policy is, likewise, offensive to legitimate customers.

Please, however, examine and question what is actual disrespect of your time, interest, support and patronage, and what simply disappoints your expectations. I'm not telling you to find something positive in your thoughts. But it doesn't have to be something negative, either.


Comments

    I thought news was about fair and neutral statements. This is completely biased. And saying that the "Take Back" movement is using Child's Play as a human shield is just pathetic. It's a way to get attention and that should be obvious.

      They're using a charity to get attention about the fact that they didn't like how a game ended. Please tell me that you at least logically understand why some people might have a problem with a group that uses a charity as advertising just because someone wrote an ending they didn't agree with.

        Although you are right, Canipa. This shouldn't be tagged as news. It's an opinion piece.

    Good piece.

    I think the vast majority of feedback to the ME3 kerfuffle mentioned here - filtered of the most shrill and hyperbolic ranting - really is considered, articulate and civil. For sure, invoking charity organisations as a catch-all for good intentions is manipulative, and the efforts to tie separate criticisms of DLC and writing together (with all sorts of crazy conspiracy theories about forcing players to pay for another ending down the line) stupid. But tarring all critics with the same brush isn't helpful.

    I've been watching a lot of the more organised efforts for about a week, and they're anything but echo chambers of entitlement and outrage. There are hundreds of coherent and well-written criticisms of the game that don't just rely on a personal sense of betrayal.

    I think it'd be... really unfortunate to categorise it solely as "angry gaming nerds going nuts". because it does a disservice to the huge volume of criticism that is well-reasoned, constructive and calm. To their credit Bioware have approached it well and they're (apparently) keeping a close tab on the feedback.

      well said.
      it would be unfortunate to be called 'raging angry nerds' and be done with it. it is a disservice not only to your readers but a significant consumer base. at least it has been addressed here but we will have to wait whether BW will truly acknowledge the legitimate concerns of its players

    Well, if you look at how many people have probably donated so far, there's been like a good ten thousand or so. I sincerely doubt ten thousand people got together and went "Yeah, lets use this charity as a bludgeon to get what we want."

    Saying that is small minded, opinionated, and smacks of not reading the whole issue through.

    without passion we lose everything. we would then treat hobbies as if they were a chore and not as enjoyment. yes sometimes our passion is misinterpreted as complaining but in this day and age where people just accept the norm and don't ask for more we need to yell to get our point across the sea of indifference. there will always be those that complain for the sake of it but for most of us we just want what is best and have a limited way of conveying our feelings. we become disheartened every time we lose a fight to save something precious to us but we never want to become like the other people who are dead inside so we keep fighting, louder and louder if we have to. we fight for what we love and if that means making enemies along the way then so be it. if its worth fighting for then call me a passionate, stubborn and loud-mouth gamer

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