Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Popular vs Niche - The Gang War Of Gaming

As with everything that is made for sale in this world, a video game can become the hottest thing around, get a cult following or just pass through as if it was never released. The problem that this poses to the gaming community is that it has divided a significant part of the community in two "gangs". One of these groups are the ones that are so pro corporate that they will accept anything that gaming companies throw at them and will say that it is good, because it is popular and successful. The other group see themselves as some kind of terminator movie style resistance that refuses to support anything that has reached the millions just because it is "too mainstream and dumb". Been these two groups the way they are, let's just call them "corpies" and "hips".

Some of my older articles would seem to imply that I somewhat support the "hips", but the truth is that I think that both of these groups are stupid and I will proceed to take them apart one at a time.

Corporate Gamer

The Corpies
This type of gamer is the one that will become a fan boy of whatever the companies make without using any common sense in their judgement, becoming sort of the "yes men" and "yes women" of the gaming community . You will find corpies as been the ones who spend tons of money for useless (and most of the time unfair) DLC content, applauding when ever a game franchise gets simplified to a point where it is no longer fun (Resident Evil, The Soul Calibur series, etc) and will cringe at the very thought of anything (like characters, storyline or references) that came before 2006 (for them that stuff is "weird"). These people believe that everything that is decided by the big shots in business suits is a good thing and classify it as the "evolution of gaming" without giving it any thought whatsoever.

What is wrong with them.
The very first aspect where the corpies drop the ball is in giving gaming companies the chance to do whatever they want, regardless of what gamers think. By pouring money into everything, they have given the impression that the corporate people behind the games we play are doing the right thing every single time, while in reality some of their decisions are just awful. Second thing they do wrong is to trash entire gaming franchises just because it is a dated concept (I am not implying that we should force them to like some games in particular, but if you see how some corpies express themselves on many gaming media sites you will understand what I mean). The worst thing been that they do this even if the game in question is still fun to play, which makes no sense and tells us that this type of gamer has been enslaved by trends.

The funniest thing is that the corpies do in fact go into some kind of berserk mode where they defy they corporate masters, but they do it for the most trivial of things. If a game is delayed by a day, if the game servers for some game had any kind of problem, if some DLC content will not be released or if a game has less resolution and frame rate than maximum capacity, they could start a flaming war that can surpass even the most rabid "hip". They focus their energies on the "I paid money" premise and forget that game development is not an easy thing to do and all sorts of things can and will happen as the gaming community gets bigger and more difficult to please, especially when they are dealing with new technology.

Hipster Gamer

The Hips
This side of the war is composed by gaming hipsters in denial. They are like some "virtuoso" musicians that say that simpler music genres suck because "they are too easy" and will try to impose their arrogant and snub attitude in which they think that they know better than anyone else. This is the type of gamer that will limit him/herself to playing only what he/she considers to be in their small scope of worthiness and will not give a chance to anything that looks too popular or "mainstream" to them. They believe that if many people play it, it is because the game is too dumb for them.

What is wrong with them.
First of all, they are limiting themselves for a stupid reason. The fact that a game has sold really well or has many fans, doesn't mean that it is crappy and simplistic. Good games followed by good marketing often become popular so their criteria is based on sheer prejudice. It is true that some franchises have gone the casual way and have basically gone bad from the inside out, but this is not always the case and "hips" must realize that. In fact, some of the old school games that they seem to favor have been pretty popular on their day, so like some friends like to say... Their argument is invalid.

Another thing about the hips that defeats their own purpose is that they sometimes remain silent even when some of their favorite games get released. They like to talk a lot about hardcore gaming, but many times when a hardcore game comes, they don't put their money where their mouths are and just let it breeze by, just to complain and whine at a later time when the franchise gets canned because of low sale numbers.

Videogames press start and play

Whoever of them wins, we lose...
Both of these "gamer gangs" are the two sides of gaming gone wrong. One of them just lets game companies to whip them like this was some sort of weird corporate bondage and the other ones act like gaming needs to have these "elite gamer" rules that imply that we only should play like 40% of the whole gaming market, because based on their criteria, popularity = low quality. We need to stop looking to the extremes and just be a gamer, playing whatever, whenever you want, just like it used to be. We don't need rules, we don't need to be classified...We just need to pick up a game and have fun with it.

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