The video game world is constantly growing, and so is the video game audience. More and more games are being developed for the casual gaming audience, and while some people think this is a good thing, some people don't. Commenter GunFlame: used Steal *nothing to Steal* :( is sending out a call for unity, reminding us we're "all gamers, and that's all that matters."
Is it wrong to ask for unity amongst gamers? Is it too naive to believe that the same group that desire maturity and acceptance for their passion, can maturely accept those who have other preferences?
There was a colleague that I used to work with who would always say "can't we all just play?". I wish that we would, truly.
I will often pick out and critique—in the most flexible sense of the word due to my frequent sarcasm—all kinds of gaming platforms and gaming genres. But honestly, I appreciate all forms because they offer to a specific audience. Incredibly, I may not be part of that audience but I don't have to be.
Some of this attitude will have to be attributed to the anonymous internet age. People take advantage of this in a way that allows them to push opinion as fact, and get away with confusing something being 'good', and something being 'liked'.
One argument that is frustrating is the one regarding PC vs Console. Some claim that the PC deserves a higher quality because of the cost and effort of building a rig that can run high end games. Why? What extra quality is deserved due to a choice decision? Do I deserve smoother roads because I bought an expensive car? Do I deserve better food because I pay good money? Yeah, maybe I do with this example, but it was my choice to eat at the restaurant. I can only blame myself for that.
But do PC gamers deserve high quality games overall? Of course they do. We all do.
Another is the 'casual' vs 'hardcore'. Firstly, although the titles came about to define the audience, they have started to be used in a way that defines the caliber of a user. Can we not all just be gamers, or people that play games?
What effect does someone playing Wii Fit have on someone on the opposite side on the world playing Minecraft or Halo 3? Does it detract from the experience? It does no harm.
The gamers that have been playing for the last 15 to 20 years, have been looking for acceptance for their passion. Not everyone cares, it's not like mass acceptance will change how much I enjoy playing Star Ocean, but it is still something that we have looked for. Perhaps it's due to the times when it was more of a closet passion. But even with this desire to see it become openly accepted, we also don't want certain groups playing games. That group we want to accept what we do is the same one we ridicule because they play a 'casual' game.
You may say that it changes the direction of the market, that could be a reason for the dislike. But believe me, the console makers and developers know which games sustain consoles for the duration of the lifespan, and they know what games will keep their next ventures alive. The titles that most of us play aren't going to disappear, they have their place and they are needed. It is known.
What about cross platform gaming? Similar to the PC argument but more towards the games themselves. When Final Fantasy XIII first got announced for the Xbox 360, I was one of the Playstation fanboys who was not happy with the decision. And then after a while, I thought to myself "you're a twat". What difference does it make, does it ruin my experience? Does it stop me playing? Isn't it actually better for more people to experience any kind of game, doesn't it just help fund another experience? It does.
Some might say, and again, going back to one of the earlier points, that it takes away from the final product now that it isn't exclusive. Well, I don't think I have done anything for the company myself that warrants this exclusivity. I haven't funded the game. And anyway, shouldn't I be happy that I am able to play? That's all I want, I want to play. B-B-But...the game is now buggy on my console of choice? Okay, that sucks. But is it the fault of the gamer or the console?
Now some may read this and say (as I'm expecting), you're wrong! People want the highest quality, especially if they have paid good money for it. But in the end, gaming is a privilege, it is a choice. You are not required to play games. They are done as a hobby. You are not required to buy all games, any games, all consoles and upgrades. They are your choice.
I feel privileged because I can afford to play games, both time wise and financially. I am possibly also privileged because I actually don't mind who plays or what they play. I'm also in a position where I happily play across any platform that I have available. Just as long as I can play, I'm happy. I want to experience, immerse and enjoy. I do so because I choose to and I'm happy that it is provided.
Guys, regardless of your preferences remember one thing, especially if you are commenting on a site like this; you're all gamers, and that's all that matters.
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