Friendly PSA: Buy The Game, Play The Game, And Shut Up
I apologize beforehand if I offend anyone, but this just has to be done.
But before I kick off the rant, I have to offer a disclaimer that I hope will stem the tide of knee-jerk reactions:
Our forefathers fought for the right to stand up and say, "I don't like this." We should all appreciate and treasure this freedom, especially because it sadly remains uncommon in many parts of the world. Any one of us can make a public statement; we can bring our opinions, our complaints, and our fears to our fellow citizens and peers and discuss on rational, intelligent terms. When united, those who feel wronged do indeed have some power, as it should be, as it should always be.
But here's something too few people understand these days- there's a big difference between what I just described and flat-out whining. Selfish, bloated with hot-air "opinions," self-righteous, horridly ignorant, and altogether annoying, these whiners are part of a generation of entitlement that is really starting to get under my skin. I'm sorry, but I just have to add- "Occupy" this. The hypocrisy and entitlement running rampant through such idiotic - and embarrassing - displays of a "you owe me this because I said so" mentality is the epitome of passing the buck. The epitome of laziness. Yeah, you heard me.
Now, the recent Mass Effect 3 unpleasantness was the straw that broke the camel's back, but in truth, this was only proof that the entitlement plague has hit the gaming culture hard. I am on record many times for saying I dislike the direction Square Enix has taken as a company, and what they've done to our precious Final Fantasy franchise, a 25-year series that was once beloved and revered by just about everyone. However, at the same time, at no point in either of my reviews for FFXIII and FFXIII-2 do I go so far as to claim the right of the "oppressed gamer" and go, "I don't like this so do something about it. Now."
They may lose me as a fan. But I don't claim to understand everything about how a multi-million-dollar corporation works, and I certainly don't believe I could walk into a S-E board meeting and say anything they don't already know. I seriously doubt any of us could. And let's not forget, Mass Effect 3 is a widely critically acclaimed title while FFXIII and FFXIII-2 were not (by comparison). And yet, now we've reached the point where it almost doesn't matter how good a product is? And the developers and designers are forced to listen to our demands? My only question is: at what point will any of these people be happy?
As each year passes, I grow more and more sick of the attitudes expressed in forums and communities; it only reflects the aforementioned entitlement that has infected this entire country. This is a hobby. This is entertainment. So in the first place, anybody who takes certain subjects this seriously doesn't have enough to do. In the second place, it almost seems as if the supposed "fans" are complete masochists. They don't live to revel in the latest masterful interactive adventure; they live to complain. They exist online to prove just how superior they are to everyone - including the designers responsible for the product - and lecture on everything that costs money. I mean, it's starting to get comical.
The downloadable content fiasco is ongoing, too. People often make fine points. But those rational individuals are too often drowned out by the whiners who apparently embrace socialistic extremes and believe nothing should cost anything, for any reason whatsoever. Yes, there are problems that need to be addressed, as there is in any multi-billion-dollar/year industry. Yes, publishers can and have ripped off the consuming public. Yes, we have a right to be annoyed by that. But for the most part, taking a step back and looking at this supposedly enjoyable hobby with a clear head, one can't possibly be disappointed with the level - and quantity - of quality seen on an annual basis.
So for my fellow gamers, a friendly PSA, if you don't mind- Buy the game. Play the game. And SHUT UP. If you don't have anything nice to say, if you can't just say, "gee, that was fun; thanks 'insert developer name here,'" than just don't open your mouth. We can do without the whining for a little while. Let's just take a break and have fun again. Can we, please?
3/11/2012 8:55:31 PM Ben Dutka