Seadragon Speaks: The shiny elephant in the room

Please note that the following is an opinion piece. If you don’t like it, don’t read it.

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With Flashback Friday and Saturday Sillies being the time to have fun, Sunday is a time for me to put on my ‘Serious Hat’ and speak out about the big issues in gaming. I’ve done this before on my YouTube channel involving MUGEN and the ‘Rape’ characters involved. Today, I take on the shiny elephant in the room…

I’ll give you a hint. It uses a hashtag.

No one? Do I have to say it? It’s freaking GamerGate, people! To me, seeing gamers divided over such petty issues is a shiny distraction to the real issues gamers should worry about… it’s like the game companies are acting like Bill Clinton did during Chris Rock’s special Bigger and Blacker: ‘Good, good. People aren’t talking about me!’

As a gamer myself, we shouldn’t be divided over something that isn’t attainable at this moment. Some of you guys might think that maybe I support the #GamerGate side… I don’t. I don’t support the other side either… in fact, both sides ought to be ashamed for their actions in this petty squabble over equality in gaming and that’s what this is: A petty squabble.

The ‘Social Justice Warriors’ out there ought to be ashamed because they are attempting to change games to conform into what they want, and at what cost is that going to take? There is enough room for the Depression Quest’s out there (and for the record, I played Depression Quest. It’s a neat game in the sense that it’s pretty much how it’s like to deal with depression every day and I should know because I deal with that crap myself) and feel like you’re not infringing on the market of the big time triple-A titles. Equality is a great thing… but video games is a place where we are all equal because we are all gamers. White, Black, Asian, Man, Woman, Gay, Straight, Bisexual… it doesn’t matter. As a gamer, everyone is welcome and to try and turn what we love into something that speaks for your so-called ‘social justice’ is shortsighted. You want real social justice? How about trying to fix what the real problems are in the real world.

Yet, the GamerGate side isn’t without it’s flaws either. For one, I get the feeling that they want to turn this into a political football and for me, that scares the ever loving crap out of me. Turning anything into a political football ends up in the worst fashion possible: What once was a seemingly petty squabble has now turned into the dreaded ‘Conservative vs. Liberal’ name shouting contest. That view came to head a few weeks ago when a GamerGate meeting in Washington D.C. was postponed after a bomb threat was sent over Twitter by some SJW psychopath. The people speaking at this event were from the American Enterprise Institute, a well known conservative think tank, and from Breitbart, a website that is either a godsend or (IMHO) a haven of hatemongers who use scaremongering to get what they want. That depends of what side you’re on, but the thing is still this: Nothing can be gained by turning this into a political shouting match. No one wins when the argument devolves into ‘My side is better then your side’.

Now since I mentioned that GamerGate is a shiny distraction, what are the real issues? Well, there are a few of them…

Half Assed Games: No game should be released in this day and age as horribly incomplete as Assassin’s Creed Unity and Halo: The Master Chief Collection did. Companies ought to be able to spend a little more money on research and development along with testing to make sure the game is 100% fully tested and ready to ship. As a gamer, we should expect our games to be bug free and glitch free. None of us should have to deal with a damn 8KB first day patch to fix things because the companies half-assed it.
Piecemeal Approach: I don’t mind DLC because, for the most part, it’s done right. DLC can easily extend the shelf life of a game far beyond the expectations. It’s when a game has a piecemeal approach to it that disgusts me. Most, if not all, of the dreaded ‘Free’ games out there have DLC that basically forces you into a ‘pay to win’ situation and as a person who is poor, I don’t like that. The worst I’ve seen was Spartacus Legends. This is a fighter that’s based on the series and it has DLC that you can buy… or, better yet, need to buy in order to make your men better. The top tier package goes for $150… which is absolutely batshit insane! No sane gamer is going to drop $150 on anything unless it’s the ‘Super Deluxe Mega’ version of a game and it gives us cool freebies.
Lack of Innovation/Fear of Failure: The big triple-A titles out there are known for one thing: A lot of them are the same. They don’t change much from year to year and yet, people eat these games up like cake at a fat men’s convention. Meanwhile, the more innovative titles out there tend to languish and sit until they placed in the dreaded bargain bin. To me, the lack of innovation and the fear of failure go hand in hand here. My best (and usual) example of this is MadWorld on the Wii. This was a great game and it earned a lot of praise for what it did… yet, in suffered because of where it was: the Wii, a system that I tend to associate with crappy shovelware games. Those games were bought by every Tom, Dick and Harry out there while a game like MadWorld sat in the bargain bin waiting for someone to get it. The spiritual sequel, Anarchy Reigns, did a little better because it was on PS3 and Xbox 360, but it shows that companies fear innovation because in their mind, innovation tends to equal failure.

These are the biggest issues confronting gamers today. Instead of being on the front line of a petty squabble between two sides acting like little children, we should focus our energy on dealing with these real problems and trying to fix them. Only then can we gamers feel happy about what we have done.

  • https://www.game-art-hq.com/ R.Hoffmann

    Excellent Blog. Sometimes something just has to be mentioned and you find the right words there to describe some really annoying problems for US, the gamers. Relations between developers and “game journalists” are a problem for sure as well, and its also pretty anoying how “SocialJusticeWarriors” are rather offended by games instead of playing them and are somehow in positions they better not had. Seriously..browsing Destructoid on a sunday as example is one of the reasons that got me banned there. The stuff there makes me sick. But I see it as clever clickbaiting by a clever guy who exactly knows what he is doing. It took less than 5 minutes to see a comment getting deleted there if someone described it as clickbaiting though.

    Being a bit more serious than usual on one day in a week is a good idea.

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