I have a really powerfully critical nerve. I assess things very quickly and I’m able to articulate why I like, or dislike, what I am currently experiencing. It’s one of my few gifts, and combined with my love of talking and expressing ideas, it gets me in more trouble than anything. So, this topic is not limited to games, because it can also happen with any form of entertainment. Here is the statement in question.
“Just keep with it. It gets better. I know why you don’t like it, but really, stick with it.”
This happens a lot to me with music, where I’ll get an album or a recommendation, and then when I don’t like it, they’ll suggest more of it instead of accepting my grounds for disliking it. I am sure I’m not the only person who has this experience, where this is the answer you’re met with. I wish I knew why this is the response people give, but I would like to speak to this idea, and the people who hold it, directly.
We’re all going to die. That’s one of the inevitable parts of life. Everyone has so much time on this world, and the way it should be spent is to experience as many happy, good things as you can, so you can gain a comforting and pleasant experience while leaving your little marks here and there in your environment. Of course, another inevitability of life is working, because the way modern culture works is that currency is needed to buy services, or products. This is not good or bad, this is just the way this is.
I’m going to bold this so you don’t miss it: If I don’t like something, why should I spend more of my short time or hard earned money doing this thing I don’t like?
It’s perfectly swell that you like the thing you’re doing! I know that you don’t roll your eyes at the answer that kid in the red coat gives about “what makes a man,” or that you genuinely enjoy the way Dragonforce sounds. That’s all well and good, and it’s swell that you do for a lot of reasons. I mean, just on a base level, it gives those people that work on it jobs, and also the knowledge that what they’re doing was worth the investment in time. But, no one likes the same things. Common communities will rally around the same kind of thing, but it’s not important that everyone likes everything. Again: It’s not important that everyone likes everything.
Just as you reserve the right to offer a suggestion, I reserve the right to critique it and express what I do not like about it, and you have that same right too. I could put out a suggestion out for everyone to listen to Pere Ubu’s “The Modern Dance”, and I know that I will get 70% negative reactions. If you don’t like it, though, I will not suggest you also listen to “Dub Housing”, the follow up, because YOU DON’T LIKE IT, and it would be stupid for me to say “well, here, try this.” It’s like someone going to a buffet of chicken and they fucking hate chicken. They have every kind of chicken readily available, mind boggling ideas and concept chicken dishes, but that guy fucking hates chicken, so he’s not going to eat any fucking chicken.
I get this a lot when I tell people I hate RPGs, too. They don’t listen to my explanations of why I hate them, and why they annoy me, which I have regurgitated so often I think I’m losing weight. The response isn’t “well, okay”, but “well what have you played?” What I’ve played doesn’t matter. I could say Lufia, or, Chrono Trigger, or Final Fantasy 7, and guess what? They still have the same problem (or problems) I have with RPGs, so who cares? The thing to address if you want to have a discussion is “why,” and the goal shouldn’t be to convert me, but to gain perspective. I’ve learned more about my music from people hating my recommendations than liking them, and it’s so easy to take that same stuff from what is a part of your favored medium what people think sucks about it than what people like about it. Don’t pretend that what you like doesn’t have flaws. Hell, go further: embrace those flaws, because that is a part of what you love.
So you can have the perspective, here is why I do not play RPGs.
1. I dislike menu based combat.
2. I dislike intensely verbose games.
3. I dislike heavily fantasy settings, either fantasy or science fiction.
Also in the interest in perspective, if I was going to talk about "the start of the affair" (which, if you're reading this past June, was this month's topic), it would be about arcades and nothing else. That's where I fell in love with games, and arcades have everything I like about games.