How often have you been in a game where a player with hundreds of hours in does nothing but complain about how awful said game is? How irritating is it when you see a group of people on social media trashing a company for 'ruining a game' only to buy said game when it releases, or worse, preorder? What is it about gamers that makes us work against our own interests? Is it because we're insatiable or habitual collectors? Do we hope it will be better than we expect? Is it because we value money differently when it comes to games? Whatever it is, it's time to put up or shut up. Use the one weapon we have to make our voices heard because we're being taken advantage of, and we're letting it happen.
"Gaming needs to grow up" is a common byline of many an agenda-driven ideologue in the industry, but they're not wrong; it needs to. We aren't going to do that in an age of developers or critics held above others, however, and we seem to have fallen into a rut by doing so. We need to empower the disruptive, the scandalous, and push the boundaries, not simply hold up those whom validate us.
“If there's one American belief I hold above all others, it's that those who would set themselves up in judgment on matters of what is "right" and what is "best" should be given no rest; that they should have to defend their behavior most stringently. ... As a nation, we've been through too many fights to preserve our rights of free thought to let them go just because some prude with a highlighter doesn't approve of them." Steven King write this back in 1992, and it is spot on how I feel about people who are willing to give up their rights, and the rights of others, to fit some sort of socially acceptable rule. Liberty dies fastest when we willingly put our hands in shackles, sew our own mouths shut, and sell out our neighbors because we're offended.
I saw an advertisement for Falling Skies new episode coming up, and it got me to thinking how the show about aliens conquering Earth is an apt, but accidental parallel to the consumer revolt that has been going on for almost a year now. A major event, caused people who would otherwise not be allies, to band together as unlikely allies. People whose ideology, interests, habits, and behavior that were often at odds with others set that all aside to fight this enemy. Can they continue to cooperate with one another, or will we see them turn on each other?
Musing upon the resistance of the games industry to accept ethical reforms, Maiyannah Lysander takes a brief, introspective look at the games industry: its past, present, and future directions, and upon the philosophical under-pinnings of journalistic ethics.
Throughout human history people have been suppressing the ideas of their fellow men and women. Whether people disagree about art, religion, or politics, stomping on opposing ideas is a too frequently used tactic. Recently social media has helped give rise to a new breed of outrage activist who use more extreme, insidious methods to censor opposing ideas and in some cases turned their online crusades into careers.
With the push to "rebuild" the industry in the wake of GamerGate, BasedGamer and some other similar sites have cropped up. Jennie Bharaj's BasedGamer.com is a website that proposes to be an alternative to Metacritic, allowing gamers to post ratings and reviews of games to an aggregation system. If that seems a pretty vague and general, well, that's a big part of my problem. But we'll get onto that. BasedGamer.com is asking for 50,000 $ on IndieGogo here and a lot of people have solicited my opinions on it.
So well, they're unpopular opinions, I'd wager, but here they are.
This is a story. Well, kind of a few stories, actually. It's not my usual work, in any usual format, but these are not usual times. This is going to be long, probably uncomfortable, and share some views you might not agree with. Perhaps that is something you do not like. Please don't read on, if that bothers you.
Oh, and when I say long, I mean long. Like you're in for trying to 100% Just Cause 2 long here, in an article. Fair warning.