So originally I was working on a much longer, more analytical blog post, but it was growing cumbersome, my mood began to change as more on the subject was said, etc. So instead I've opted to write a new blog from scratch, and the other one can now languish away with the other six or so blogs I've yet to finish.
So making headlines this week: death threats, video gaming is apparently full of them, someone should do something about it.
And before you start tak-tak-taking away, YES, DEATH THREATS ARE WRONG. This is something I'm observing, which for now I'm dubbing 'obligatory reactionism'. It's where you have a consensus issue, that everyone agrees on, yet you have to expressively state how awful it is yourself, or else you're accused of condoning it.
But here's my point...alot of the hate the games industry gets, it's brought on itself. And dismissing all of it as the work of cave trolls, is not going to fix it.
I've condensed the essence of what I was previously going to say on the subject of hatred directed towards the industry into two bulletpoints, first being that...
* The shit that gamers do, does not excuse, or justify, the shit developers do.
What both amazes me, and pisses me off, is how when an industry figure gets attacked, suddenly, everything that figure did is completely forgotten about, in favour of a juxtaposition on the issue condemning the internet mob of the week...even what that figure did which sparked the outrage to begin with. It's as if you're handed an 'immunity to criticism and/or scrutiny' card if someone is nasty to you. And this precludes people from fixing the underlying problems.
Part of this is due to press, part of it due to emotional reactionism, and part of it is due to industry hubris.
Just because immature people are upset about it, does not mean that mature people aren't upset about it too. This seems like an all-to readily used cop-out, that "anyone who thinks this way must be a basement dweller". The whole "Us vs Them" mentality begins within developers, eventually leading to intellectual inbreeding.
All this accomplishes, it to build resentment amoung your mature critics, and, eventually, empathy towards the immature ones.
And leaving the things upsetting people unaddressed, or just dismissing them? that's only going to continue to raise ire...up until the people start using death threats to make themselves heard...or just stop caring if they're heard or not, and just make the death threats anyway.
How does this fix anything, letting the industry's integrity slide because of the internet's lowest common denominator? which in the long run will just lead to more outrage.
* The industry and press have been, and still are, actively antagonizing people.
"LOL, have you seen the latest thing those whiny entitled crybabies are up to? cupcakes! I guess they're complaints are so illegitimate they have to resort to obfuscating emotionally manipulative antics to get what they want. And let me tell you, in definitive terms, that if these people do get their way, IT WILL BE THE DEATH OF ART AND THE INDUSTRY".
If only this were true satire...and not more like an aggregation of the gaming press.
But enough about that.
DRM. Always online DRM. No returns, No refunds. Terms of service you can't read until after the product is nonreturnable. Day One DLC. Day One DLC on the disc. Day One DLC on the disc that was obviously cut from the completed game solely so they could make an extra $10. Online activation. Multiple online activations for the same product. Multiple logins for the same product everytime you want to use it.
Using review embargos to stop people learning how shit your game is until they've already bought it....and it's nonreturnable.
The war on used games. EA. Activision.
I could likely go on and on.
And granted that's mainly publishers (Developers are not above consumer unfriendly behavior, but that tends to be more case by case stuff), but hopefully you get the idea.
If there has been a rise in hostile gamer behavior, I'd hazard a guess that it might be proportionate to the amount of anti-consumer crap the industry is trying to push (Unrepentantly, I might add).
The consumer is angry, angry at the massive amount of effort a draconian, uncaring industry, that ultimately, needs their love and commitment to stay alive, puts into both trying to exploit them, and keep them under heel.
This whole characterizing video gamers as subhuman filth 'thing' needs to be toned way back too...
Behold...the popular image of video gamers people can't let go of, and enjoy proliferating. Irony accepted.
And when this is the popular image of video gamers, people feel at liberty to brush off anything video gamers say.
And it really irritates me, how press/industry decry gamer behavior, and then, almost with the same breath, will turn around and indulge in the exact same behavior.
How the goodamn hell is video gaming supposed to 'mature' (Something else I'm really sick of hearing people regurgitate) if industry people are not leading by example? when they demonstrate the exact same arrogance and immaturity video gamers do.
How do you, the very people calling for calm, expect the hate to end, when you're contributing to it? when the possibility exists, that you're the ones inciting it.
And perhaps this is the meta case, when press and industry and progressives just sit on their high horse, hurling out derogatory attacks at people they see as beneath them...it pours fuel on the fire.
Like I said, just because immature people co-opt an issue, doesn't mean mature people haven't co-opted it for their own reasons. And with enough pressure, even normal people will turn into the sort making death threats.