Want a new ending to Mass Effect 3? Entitled.
How about wanting the extra characters already on the Street Fighter X Tekken disc, instead of having to buy an unlock key? Entitled.
Or what about wanting the removal of Games for Windows LIVE from the PC version of Dark Souls? Apparently, entitled.
These are the most recent three of many instances where certain individuals have tarred others, sometimes numbering in their thousands, as overgrown manchildren who make too many demands over the products and services they buy.
And it's really starting to get on my nerves.
Now, don't get me wrong. I could point to many different evils in the gaming community — sexism, homophobia, racism — that I'd choose to eradicate before the "entitlement" issue. But wedged somewhere between naughty words and the hate-filled diatribes that pollute forums and voice channels are the "gamers are entitled" bleaters. And henceforth, I want anyone who spews that platitude to go and fuck themselves.
Yes, I said it: It's a platitude. It's so platitudinous that it's the gaming community's equivalent to Godwin's law; the longer a debate goes on, the probability that someone uses the gamer entitlement argument becomes 100 percent.
And what do platitudes add to the debate? Precisely hog shit. When you call someone, or a group, entitled, what exactly are you saying to them? That they're spoiled children making unreasonable demands?
To make that assertion is, quite frankly, insulting. I don't see how people are acting like entitled brats just because they're passionate enough about their hobby to want better products. And don't forget that many recent cases, the complaints have come after they've paid good money for the games.
Even so, that doesn't mean the complaints about Games for Windows LIVE on Dark Souls for PC, just because it isn't out yet, are any less valid, because the people who want to buy the game are the ones sounding off.
Now, people who pirate games because "they're too expensive and full of DRM" (the two common excuses) have an entitlement issue. After all, most pirates just want stuff (even pay-what-you-want bundles) for free and will use any excuse they can think of. And people who grief female players because of their gender, under the pretense that it's a "man's game," are acting like entitled dick-wavers.
So why are genuine fans — who support the games industry by continually giving it money and engaging in (mostly) respectful discussion with players of all genders, races and sexual orientation — being lumped in with pirates and pigs, for the simple fact that they have grievances about something they paid for and want the companies responsible to rectify it?
Being entitled, when looking at it in its negative context, is the belief that the world revolves around you at the expense of others. I can't see why having legitimate grievances and asking the companies selling us these titles to give us a fair deal or a better product is in any way, shape or form equivalent to being an egotistical and spoiled manbaby.
These days, the only reason I see the gamer-entitlement argument being thrown about is because some people disagree with others. Fine. Disagree. I don't necessarily agree with all the issues people have with Dark Souls on PC, Mass Effect 3's ending, or Street Fighter X Tekken's on-disc DLC — and in the future, I may say that some of the things people are asking for are misguided — but I can empathize with their complaints, which are all made in good faith.
When in such a situation, I'd prefer to engage them in proper discourse, tell them why I disagree and try to persuade them to my view. What I wouldn't do is label them as selfish brats and move along. Whenever anyone does that, it simply cheapens or prematurely ends the debate. Nothing is added, no points are made and none are debunked. Its sole consequence is the death of discourse, and that's precisely the last thing this fast-moving industry facing an uncertain future needs right now.
Chris believes he is going to take a fair bit of flak for this, so direct it at his Twitter account right here: @akwinters.