Every now and then, I stumble upon something written by somebody else that I find interesting enough to share with you, my lovely readers. They needn't be written by developers or pundits, either. Take, for example, this humble post from an N4G user -- an argument that PlayStation Network is better than Steam.
"Most people who come across this, will most likely disagree," concedes the writer. "I mean Steam has great holiday sales, cool free games, and memorable games from earlier gens. Ya, I love all of those things about Steam. But the thing I hate is the people. Steam mostly consists of three types of people, Bronies, "Offensive" people, and "pro gamers." I will be talking about all three in this blog."
And talk about them he does! His first subject, the adult contingent of My Little Pony fans, is tackled with all the razor-edged severity one would expect from a man so bold as to pour scorn on Steam.
"First there are the Bronies, I don't want to hate on anyone," he begins. "However I see no logical explanation to why anyone besides children and babies would enjoy My Little Pony. My guess is people just become Bronies to be 'funny,' 'unique,' or 'weird.' If that's true, it just proves that some people are really trying to hard for attention."
Next up? The "offensive" people -- people who try too hard to be controversial with regards to jokes and questionable comments.
"Then there's 'offensive' people, the reason I put quotations around offensive is because these people aren't really offensive, they just try to be. They set their username to some racial slur, or joke regarding religion, death, or politics. Although, they're really just trying to be funny and get attention, they don't really hate whatever they're making fun of. I mean hey I like a couple racist jokes as much as the next guy. But these people, just try to hard to be funny and shove all of it down your throat like they're trying to accomplish something."
So, the Bronies are annoying because they express enjoyment of a form of entertainment not explicitly designed for them. The "offensive" people are annoying because they try too hard and force their brand of humor upon you. Quite a case already, but our ranter has saved the greatest quantity of bile for an altogether more despicable foe -- the pro gamers.
"All of the Steam community gets on my nerves, but the people who piss me off the most are the 'pro' gamers," he states. "... I don't mind actual pro gaming, yea it's a cool concept in all. However when someone joins a public game, and starts complaining and throwing a fit over how I suck, it pisses me off. I play games, purely for fun, yes I get a little competitive at times but it's only for games that I should.
"In my opinion video games should be for just pleasure, if you're not competing for money you should take it easy and love the game, not get frustrated at it ... Players shouldn't join a game and expect every other team member to be as good as them, if they want go join a league or something. People just make a big deal over something that should be purely for enjoyment. What I'm trying to say is, IF YOU ARE NOT PRO DON'T TAKE THE GAME SERIOUSLY!"
The refuge from this putridity? PlayStation Network! Outside of a few bad eggs, argues our blogger, Sony's network is simply better, with a nicer breed of player.
"That's why I personally like the Playstation community better, yeah there are some nasty people on PSN also. However a big majority of people on PSN are friendly, and don't care if you're a beginner or you're just having a bad match."
So, why am I bringing this to you? Well, aside from the obvious fact that he's delivering a controversial opinion and will probably make a portion of you fly off the handle, I'm actually interested in the idea of different cultures on different gaming networks. The current stereotype holds Xbox Live being full of sexist, racist twelve-year-olds, Steam being full of impatient snobs, and PSN being not full at all because barely anybody bothered to get a headset.
Personally, I've had generally pleasant experiences when playing Left 4 Dead on Steam, and I'm a pretty average gamer, prone to screw up as often as score a big win. You may get the occasional, dreary-voiced complainer slagging off his team during failed rounds (often while failing to pull his own weight), but such a person is usually traded off for an idiot child on a console, playing music through the headset or having a full conversation with his mother really loudly. Frankly, I'll take the snob.
What about you, though? Is Steam too aggressive? Xbox Live too immature? PSN too quiet? Who do you prefer to play with?