"hey yoshis my favorite charaacter so? shut ur face" -SUPERSONICFLIPPY
Movie buffs and music snobs don't need to convince you to like something. In fact, they're probably more likely to scoff if you don't and walk away of the mind that you'll never really get it. So what makes us video-game enthusiasts feel the need to defend the honor of things we enjoy, and is it poisoning the hobby's credibility?
Everyone from the media, politicians, and our parents, to the experts on other forms of entertainment that don't consider our industry of choice "art worthy," have beaten down the avid gamer over the years. We've had to fight for what we love our entire lives. Maybe we've just become a jumpy bunch, ready to brawl at a moment's notice, but there is a good chance it is hurting our eventual acceptance by the mainstream.
A while back I did a mock video review of Super Mario Galaxy 2 for a video-game satire blog that I started. It was purposely over-the-top, full of outlandish claims, and made as little sense as possible. I ended it with a score of zero out of 10 and then admitted that I hadn't even played the game. The concept just upset me so much that it deserved that low of a score. Now sure, this approach was never going to attract any well-thought-out responses, but the amount of replies I got to this verbal diarrhea with absolutely no grounds for an argument was kind of surprising.
"f*g well for one yoshi is way different from dino dino has never? ate things whole and your f**king retarded i mean really your b*tching about 1 f**king thing you fat f**k go to hell for your sins" -nintendogamerlper
I mean really. I called Mario a rip-off of The Flintstones, said that the plot made no sense, and justified my zero score by claiming that Yoshi was an abomination as I admitted I hadn't even played the game. Even if the YouTube commenters really loved Mario Galaxy 2, my opinion clearly isn't very important.
I half expected anyone who didn't get the joke to just laugh about how uninformed I was and move on, but obviously they felt the urge to fight for the honor of a game they loved.
I've always been of the impression that it was only a matter of time until video games became as accepted as movies or music are in our society. Still, there is something to be said for being inclusive to newcomers. I bought my first comic book only a few years ago, and I was kind of nervous to step into my local comic shop with no knowledge about where the one I wanted was located or if it was an acceptably cool thing to buy.
The perception that comic fans are harsh on those without sufficient knowledge of the medium certainly exists, probably created by The Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons. So it was a mental block I had to overcome (turns out the local "Comic Book Guy" was extremely nice and recommended stuff I should catch-up on). Chances are, a lot of people out there are nervous about stepping into that GameStop and asking about whatever it is they happen to want because they've seen the flood of nasty comments on a game review or editorial that didn't say exactly the right thing.
I'd rather put our best foot forward as a community. The last thing we want is to potentially turn off new recruits. When we use our passion in a creative way, making works of art that show our dedication to the hobby we love, it paints the community in a positive light. Let's have more of that and less attacks on people's opinions of games you enjoyed. While I put that video out there as a joke and found the responses hilarious, it is still a problem for people that put out honest opinions and are met with nothing more than vitriol.