Jimquisition: Joy Begets Anger

chiefohara

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Sterling work as always Jim. Fallout is a franchise i love, but the fan base is horrific. No Mutants Allowed was a cesspool of this kind of behaviour for years. Now to be fair i haven't been on the forums in a while, so it may have changed but it was a horrific insular looking pool of thought. All you had to mention was fallout brotherhood of steel and people were calling hits on you.
 

Delixe

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Jim makes a great point as always but it does only cover one aspect of the problem. Over the last few years games journos have equally fostered that hatred by being excessively condescending to their own readers which in turn makes readers angry and more likely to lash out in return. Several high profile journos have taken a distinctly anti-consumer stance and a lot of people who trusted their opinions have felt betrayed by that.

Just some examples of the top of my head would be Ben Kuchera's defense of the always-online Xbox One DRM policy. Adam Sessler's opinion that people can't tell the difference between 1080p and 720p. The defense of Mass Effect 3 as art that should not be changed because the fans didn't like it. Ben Parfitt of MCV claiming writers like John Walker of RPS are not liked in the industry because they aren't 'one of us'. Eurogamer's refusal to stand by Rab Florence for making a very valid claim about game journos being influenced by PR. Ben Kuchera again using the Adam Orth 'Deal with it' slogan to close down arguments. Games journos themselves getting angry at readers for not buying certain games like Gone Home and Papers, Please. CVG saying people who have a problem with DMC being 30fps are 'losers'. There have been many, many examples over the last few years, Jim has even mentioned them on the Jimquisition.

I've been gaming for a very, very long time now and I can't quite remember a time like this where the names of so many people in the journalisming are known by so many readers. Now when a journo calls readers 'losers' and tells them to 'deal with it' they know who they are and can follow them on twitter, facebook and even YouTube. This makes it personal in a way. I guess my point is that while the internets is full of rabid seething hate at times, journalists have been equally guilty of kicking that hive and as NeoGaf has shown, the internets never forgets.
 

Atmos Duality

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No Jim, it isn't just the industry's fault. It's everyone's fault.
Everyone who contributes to the financial success that encourages the industry to play "Follow the leader" (or "Tit-for-Tat" if you ever study Game Theory in economics). Demand steers Supply, not the other way around. An endless Supply without Demand is plain ol' worthless, while an endless Demand without Supply is endlessly frustrated.

And there are folks who are frustrated; frustrated at having nothing but annual derivative titles from the largest firms in the gaming industry. If you're looking for a game in a genre that isn't a copy of what is popular it's become problematic. Especially as other major players in the gaming business have latched onto this same strategy.

Basically, you're half right Jim. The fat cats have slowly moved away from supporting a variety of games to focusing only on an increasingly narrow band of highly marketable tropes and genres.
But it's the incredible financial success of those narrow band of games that has driven companies further into that model, like a rolling snowball.

Ideally, the biggest whiners would just shut their yaps and look for alternatives or foster competition. But that isn't always an option. Until the recent kickstarter and indie boom, there were almost no options.

So, assuming the "Frustrated's" demands aren't unrealistic, and no alternative title exists:
The are three options to respond to the problem (technically four, but these three are available to everyone):
1) Stay the course, hoping the market changes on its own (status quo)
2) Try to change the market's mind (vocal)
3) Leave the market (surrender)
[4) Enter the Market and do it yourself] (likely unfeasible)

#2 is the option these joyless folks go with. It's also the option that most easily leads to acting petty and degrading towards others. There's a reason I have the first three options in the order I do; I liken it to a loose cycle in which folks leave gaming (or at least a part of it).

They're still hopeful at #1, angry at #2, and give up at #3.

The whining and overblown outrage is either a direct result of #2 in that cycle, or indirect result from opportunistic trolls.
 
Mar 9, 2012
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Delixe said:
I wholeheartedly agree. That whole condescending, belittling, "Shut up, you dirty plebs! Don't question your corporate overlords!" attitude these so-called "legitimate, high-profile, gaming journalists" seems to be throwing more and more often around these days isn't exactly encouraging any kind of peaceful and rational debate.
 

Eve Charm

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Wow Jim wow, You think a guy that does " Movie defense force " Would know THIS ISN'T A GAMER THING. This is a PEOPLE thing.

Tell me you won't be assaulted for saying how much you like Star Wars episode 1 in a sci-fi crowd, Hell You think DMC was bad, Tell people you liked Jar-Jar. Ask Movie bob about the Comic crowd attacking everyone now for liking "The green lantern movie" or any of the "Transformers movie"
 

Lord_Jaroh

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I think the problem with the Dragon's Age 2 review is that it is a game that has major issues and is far worse of a game than the first one, and the fact that it was given a "perfect review" Greg was telling Bioware that they were doing something good in changing their formula from Dragon's Age Origins. And he was being paid to do it.
 

Therumancer

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Nov 28, 2007
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I think Jim was a little two quick to dismiss the legitimate reasons for this anger, quickly heading off on a tangent so he could just drop an insult without really focusing on the other side of the coin.

At the end of the day the game industry is out to make money, it mindlessly plays "follow the leader" because of the people who keep liking, and liking enough to buy, very specific games and types of games. You cannot separate the players from the industry here, as they are pretty much one and the same. Basically if you hate the industry and what it's become, your generally going to hate the gamers that provided the fuel for it to turn out that way. As more and more vitriol gets aimed at the gaming industry and more people become aware of the issues, you are of course going to see attacks on the "gamer side of the problem" as opposed to the corporations themselves.

Now, in a perfect world this wouldn't be an issue, the gaming industry would create enough games of enough different types with enough frequency to keep everyone more or less happy. Sadly, this isn't a perfect world, it's a world of bloated corporate ruin, where only a scant handful of games are created at a AAA level, and tend to only be directed at the most profitable seeming, yet easy to please, group of people.

See, the vitriol aimed at something like "Dragon Age 2" came about because "Dragon Age" was supposed to be a spiritual successor to "Baldur's Gate" and the "Infinity Engine" games, basically what a semi-turn based RPG like that would look like if done with then-modern technology. It succeeded with so many people BECAUSE of that, which shouldn't surprise anyone since people still play (and remake) the infinity engine games today. Rather than sticking with the happy demographic of people they had, and providing an alternative to the "Action RPG" games already out there, Bioware basically decided "hey, we've made a ton of money, but if we turned this into a simplified action RPG we could make even more, as that is an even bigger group of people!". So basically the people who WANTED a current gen equivalent of "Baldur's Gate" got stabbed in the back, and wound up not having any games at all, where the people who liked action RPGs simply wound up with another one dumped on top of the pile of all the games like that already out there. Basically people who wanted a different kind of game, a AAA series for them, went after Bioware, but also DA2 fans because not only was the game horribly put together (reused maps, monsters spawning out of nowhere, guys in platemail ninja jumping off of rooftops etc...), but because those people represented the reason why a popular game type which is rarely touched on a AAA level was again lost, and positive responses to the game simply encourage Bioware to make more of that type of game, as opposed to more RPG-like fare.

It should be noted when it comes to "Mass Effect" that controversy was brewing for a while, the ending and marketing really destroyed the series and generated rage, but it's another case where an RPG-centric game was turned into at best an action-RPG (more of a "customizable shooter").

Understand a lot of the anger on those fronts (and the logic can be applied with different sides to other, similar conflicts) comes from a simple situation where you have a bunch of gamers who want X having absolutely nothing while those who want Y have AAA games stacked as high as the sky with more on the way. The guy who might want Y might be part of a bigger audience in absolute terms, but the guy who wants X tends to also be part of a very large audience, just not quite as big a one, enough to spark internet wide conflict which gets VERY nasty because your not dealing with any kind of a fringe minority on either side.

Ideally, the industry would produce X and Y, even if they produced more of Y, but this is not what happens, everyone chases the bigger potential profits from Y.

Don't get me wrong, it's not a good thing, and the industry is involved, but the attacks make sense, and really the closer the numbers are the worse they get.

Also there are cases where there are other issues involved beyond the game itself. See with Mass Effect 3 the ending was bad all on it's own aside from the other problems that had been brewing. It wasn't JUST about the ending but about promises Bioware made, and then revealed in a "behind the scenes app" that they never intended on keeping even when they made them. On a lot of levels it was the same kind of deception as "Aliens: Colonial Marines" albeit not as technical as no faux demos were created, rather Bioware just had people in a position to know better tell fans things, knowing they were not true, and then feign ignorance later. Those who defend Mass Effect 3 generally wind up defending what Bioware did, you cannot really separate the two here, since it's all about the end result, if you can accept the ending of Mass Effect 3, then your pretty much slapping a stamp of approval on the game industry lying directly to the fans.

When it comes to DMC, again, the issues there are beyond the game itself. It's whether you agree with the reboot and them basically creating a totally new character and saying it's the old one, or not. From someone who is a series fan before that point and does not want the changes to be maintained and the status quo restored, those speaking positively of it are effectively hurting the series as a whole... after all it becomes a situation of "what I want vs. what you want" unlike the situation with game generes this is especially nasty because there isn't even the potential for the industry to do both, since your talking about the future of an established franchise. For someone to get what they want, you cannot have what you want... so to speak.

At the end of the day it might seem stupid, and people getting worked up over games, but it makes sense, especially as gaming becomes more of a hobby than a form of casual entertainment for more people than ever before. The industry COULD change a lot of this (I mean they could for example have simply created a new action franchise with a different sensibility rather than trying to change DMC, while still producing DMC games) but at the end of the day they won't, because while they could still make money, they wouldn't be maximizing profits as ruthlessly as possible. Short of a terrorist campaign against the gaming industry conducted by psychopaths, it's not going to change, so that means people are going to take the steam out of each other on the internet.... which at the end of the day is pretty harmless.
 

Icehearted

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It's not enough to root for the things you love, you just root against the things you hate. I'd say this looks like more spillover from corporate rhetoric against their rivals affecting fans more than it really should than some kind of self-created personal vitriol against someone for enjoying something they don't. This congeals really well with people's inability to use reasonable filters on the internet when making comments.
 

Bors Mistral

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Cybylt said:
I'm not sure objective means what you think it means, because everything you put your little (objective) tag under are subjective things. Like calling something a work of art, that is most definitely subjective.
OK, you do have a point.

I could have typed something like "My opinion, backed by over 20 years of gaming and 8 years of work in graphic and UX design, is that The Wither 2 has more interesting level design, superior visuals and better realized interface. On the other hand, I find DA2 significantly lacking in all of those areas." And then I could've spend a good deal of time explaining why in detail.

Well, I didn't do that. I agree that it's entirely possible that there are people who believe the opposite, even if to me expertise and common sense would dictate otherwise. People are entitled to their preferences.

My point in the end remains the same. Both games got released fairly close together, are technically in the same genre, and promise a mature setting where your choices matter for the progression of the story. Then you have Greg, not as a consumer but from the position of a reviewer, praising the flawed DA2 to high heavens and giving it a perfect score, while scoring TW2 30% lower with the only seemingly quantifiable argument given for the case being that the game is more difficult and doesn't hold your hand at the beginning.

Thanks whatever-higher-power that Greg didn't get to do a Dark Souls review.
 

keniakittykat

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Why would you even get angry over this? I didn't even know this was a 'thing'...
But my guess is that those spoilsports are the same bullies who would stomp on your juicebox in elementary because they think canned soda is better.
 

Rakschas

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keniakittykat said:
Why would you even get angry over this? I didn't even know this was a 'thing'...
But my guess is that those spoilsports are the same bullies who would stomp on your juicebox in elementary because they think canned soda is better.
great job comparing reasonable concern/critique and natural emotional response on THE INTERNET to the spite of schoolyard bullying.
 

Lightknight

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ccdohl said:
Thanatos2k said:
One addendum though: Hating a review/review score is not quite the same as hating someone else because they like something. That perfect Dragon Age 2 score IS a travesty, not because the reviewer liked the game, but because professional reviews are supposed to be more than just whether the reviewer liked it or not, they're supposed to be a rational objective analysis of the components at play, and any objective analysis of the quality of Dragon Age 2 will find it wanting.
Ding ding ding. AAAAAAAaaaaand Jim is shown to be wrong on page one. Good show sir. (ma'am?)
Well, while the three of us clearly agree that reviews should contain what objective analysis is possible, this not necessarily the case. Jim could have a spin-off review site whose only metric is whether or not prawns are depicted in the game. 5 stars out of 5 for games containing prawns, 0 stars out of 5 if absent. As long as the metrics are clear and the reviewer sticks to them then it doesn't matter.

Some reviewers are purely subjective reviewers. Some "try" for pure objectivity.

I think it's a legitimate belief that a good review has a healthy mixture of both, but this isn't a given. Dragon Age 2 should not have gotten a perfect score. But sometimes the subjective preference of a game outweighs the objective qualms. I think DA 2 ruined a franchise. Most people seem to agree, but if they liked it so much as to ignore the many qualms most of us have with it then I understand. Skyrim is one of my all-time favorite games but objectively the original vanilla release is buggier than a hobbo's hat that he uses to store his mayonnaise in the summer time.
 

keniakittykat

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Rakschas said:
keniakittykat said:
Why would you even get angry over this? I didn't even know this was a 'thing'...
But my guess is that those spoilsports are the same bullies who would stomp on your juicebox in elementary because they think canned soda is better.
great job comparing reasonable concern/critique and natural emotional response on THE INTERNET to the spite of schoolyard bullying.
Hey, as long as those people behave like little kids, I will continue to compare the two.
 

Rakschas

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keniakittykat said:
Rakschas said:
keniakittykat said:
Why would you even get angry over this? I didn't even know this was a 'thing'...
But my guess is that those spoilsports are the same bullies who would stomp on your juicebox in elementary because they think canned soda is better.
great job comparing reasonable concern/critique and natural emotional response on THE INTERNET to the spite of schoolyard bullying.
Hey, as long as those people behave like little kids, I will continue to compare the two.
except they dont.

also let us not confuse unprovoked humiliation with provoked anger.
anger in turn is not an emotion that is exclusive to children, it is rather a natural human responce to a percievend injustice towards oneself or to what one holds dear.
why the backlash to a game critics rating is in many cases very much the later has been explained in great detail in this thread. i can not do your reading for you, so this is a far as i go.
 

Edl01

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ShakerSilver said:
Edl01 said:
I also would love to go off about how Bioshock infinite gets tons of hate for being a corridor shooter when the exact same people are waiting in suspence for the next half life game.
[HEADING=2]STOP.[/HEADING] Stop that right now. You're making a huge generalization that is just plain wrong. Lumping all critics together and dismissing as hypocrites is incredibly petty. You're dismissing any valid criticism in that way, and killing any possible legitimate discussion of the game. And at least Half-Life respects the player's intelligence enough to give them more than 2 weapons and some health packs.
You missed the part where I said:

Edl01 said:
But I feel that would be horribly off topic and just asking to start an argument with someone. So I'll save it for another video.
Although I still don't get everyones issue with the 2 weapon system. In a game with upgrades its not like you ever actually use more weapons than the two you upgraded throughout the game :p
 

Thanatos2k

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chikusho said:
Thanatos2k said:
chikusho said:
Thanatos2k said:
Unfortunately, so many people in the world merge the statements and only ever advocate one thing:

1. Because I liked it, it's a good game.
2. Because I don't like it, it's a bad game.

Wrong. WRONG! People need to divorce their personal feelings from objectively looking at what a game is.
Your enjoyment of a game is closely tied to its quality.
But is that even necessarily true? Is your enjoyment of a movie closely tied to its quality? Because I know a hell of a lot of bad movies I loved.
And there are a hell of a lot of movies of very high (objectively measurable) quality that are awful.

If you love these bad movies, they inhibit qualities that are successful in being enjoyable to you.
But even in bad movies there are things that make a good or bad "bad" movie. Go watch RedLetterMedia's "Best of the Worst" series, or http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1144539/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

There IS a quantifiable difference! There is skill in making an enjoyable bad movie!
 

ShiningMetaLord

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I remember making a comment on Youtube about how Saints Row IV was my game of the year. Cue a bunch of people saying I'm an idiot and that GTAV beats SRIV out of the park. Funny thing is that I played GTA V, and yeah it is good, but SRIV was my goty still, because that game gave me more joy and entertainment and laughs than GTAV ever did.
 

Banzaiman

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For some reason, rage seems to be superfluous within the gaming community. I don't know why, though I do have an idea. But as is, I can't understand why people get so bothered by what other people think. Just, why? I understand that we are social creatures that crave agreement and interaction, but I can't understand why whether someone else likes a game or not is any cause for anger. Contempt maybe, while certainly not good to have and disgusting on some level, is understandable - that they are pleased by such a crap game. But outright anger is something else entirely.