Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Last of Us Was Robbed: Or The Problem With Gamers

Let's rewind time just a little bit. It was a few weeks ago that GameSpot named The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds as their game of 2013. This meant Zelda beat out games like BioShock Infinite, Grand Theft Auto V, and yes, The Last of Us, a game created by Naughty Dog, or as many of the studio's most ardent supporters affectionately call them, "Naughty Gods." (Just don't review one of the studio's games an 8.0 like Eurogamer did with Uncharted 3...)

Instantly, the YouTube video comment section of GameSpot's video was hammered with negativity and copious amounts of insults towards GameSpot and other gamers who didn't agree with their obviously objective facts that The Last of Us should be the game of the year everywhere, and if you don't agree, you're obviously didn't play through the entire game or something. It definitely had nothing to do with people having different tastes in gaming and what they view as most important in their gaming experiences.

GameSpot's Game of the Year for 2013 is...
The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds.
For instance, I value gameplay over telling a captivating story or having big budget visuals. After all, these are video games we're playing. Meanwhile, there are others who prefer a nice narrative to their games, people who prefer mature content over content suitable for everybody, and so forth. There's nothing wrong with what I value most in gaming, and there's nothing wrong with what anyone else values most in gaming.

This incessant whining about what someone or some media outlet calls game of the year is rather ridiculous, and it reveals an underlying theme with many gamers. This theme is that many gamers cannot understand that a lot of people have opinions that differ from their own. It's hard to accept, I know, but once you do, you can finally stop making total asses of yourself and your hobby.

I have seen far too many comments and posts regarding Ken Levine's top ten games of 2013, or David Jaffe's own list. These comments and posts say things like "oh, so-and-so game is good, but it shouldn't be on that list." It's this chutzpah that's basically saying "I know your opinion better than you do. Your choices are objectively wrong." Seriously? Are some gamers this pathetic? Unfortunately, the answer is yes.

We see this all the time nowadays, especially with the advent of social networking services. If forums and comment sections weren't enough, now gamers can directly whine and moan about game of the year choices, review scores, and other content more directly and more easily to outlets and people within the industry.

The idea that a lot of gamers still can't comprehend that not everyone agrees with their thoughts and that their opinion isn't the be-all end-all is frightening to me. We can readily view otherwise rational adults turn into emotionally childish people who will fling insults and other rude, negative words at people who disagree with them. There's seldom legitimate discussion. Instead, there's just pure, unadulterated vitriol.

We as gamers can do better than this. Perhaps one could just say that it's only "internet culture" to be rude, but I've seen this behavior outside of technology's boundaries. It's just as sad, it's just as depressing, and it's just as much of a black eye on the industry and our hobby as everything else.

Hopefully some who have read what I've had to say have been nodding their heads in agreement throughout their whole read. Some might disagree, and that's all right, too. I'm just requesting that we somehow get to a point where we respect others' opinions without needing to deride them-- without needing to think that our opinion is somehow superior over someone else's just because we don't exactly agree with them. I just hope that some of the same people who have been indulging in the negative type of behavior I've spoken of accept the opinions of SuperPhillip Central when we select our choices for games of the year when our sixth annual awards ceremony begins tomorrow night.

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