Well, hello everyone. We’re finally starting to come out of our Destiny 2 coma that we have been in for the past week or so, meaning you should start seeing some normalcy return to these articles. Anyways, my grumblings for this week are partially inspired by a conversation I was part of with a few friends as well as experience from my years participating in online gaming communities. I see it happen quite often and it is something that I don’t think should happen as often as it does, nor at all. What is it then? The fact that others seemingly like hating on things others really enjoy for the simple reason of, they don’t like it.
First and foremost, I fully understand and agree that everyone is entitled to their opinions, even if sometimes they seem like *insert one of many cliché sayings here*. What I don’t understand or agree with is when people say, “Oh, I like this game a lot and am really enjoying it.” and then someone else comes back with something like, “Oh, well I don’t like this game for these reasons and this is why you’re wrong and shouldn’t like it.” Again, opinions, I know. When people make statements like that however, it feels like they are almost trying to “attack” (for lack of a better term) the enjoyment someone is finding within a hobby of theirs.
I feel like this issue can be thrown into a couple of broader categories of topics that we have discussed many times before. The most prominent, in my mind anyhow, is how this can be seen as a form of gatekeeping to new players of a game; or, even people new to gaming in general. I am of the mindset that we, as gamers, shouldn’t want to be pushing out or keeping people from experiencing what we like about our hobby. When you have people that essentially tell you that you’re wrong for enjoying a game and that you shouldn’t be enjoying it, I must admit that I find this counterintuitive to the whole idea of letting others discover why we enjoy games so much.
I feel that elitism is another thing you could classify this as. Let me pull an example of what I mean from stories Frantic has told me about /r/Metal. Apparently the discussion of bands that fall into the categories of Nu Metal, Metalcore, and Deathcore are not allowed on that subreddit. While I’m not here to discuss the exact reasons as to why this isn’t allowed, it basically boils down to the fact that these people do not believe that those bands within those genres are technically metal. When one person tells another that they should not be enjoying a game that they currently are enjoying or the way they are enjoying it is wrong, I feel it is no different than saying, “Well because you like Nu Metal, you’re not a metal head.”
So what exactly am I saying? Well, to put it bluntly whenever I see someone hating on someone else for the game they enjoy or the way they are enjoying it simply annoys me to no end. Partially it goes back to the mindset of not telling someone how they should or should not play a game. The other part goes to the fact that, why do we care so much about what others enjoy? That’s probably a question I would not want the answer to, but we are always being told that gaming needs to be inclusive. Telling someone that they are basically wrong and shouldn’t be doing what they are doing because, why not, does not seem inclusive to me. It just feels like a weird mashup of trying to keep new people out of gaming and being an elitist.
As I mentioned at the start of this post, I completely understand that people are allowed to have their opinions. Otherwise if we weren’t, I wouldn’t be writing this… At times though, depending on how these opinions are presented, they can be destructive to the gaming community in general. How so? It goes back to what I have already mentioned with gatekeeping and elitism. Take a second to ponder the question of how would you feel if someone told you that you were wrong for enjoying something? I imagine not too many people would be keen on the idea of being called wrong for simply enjoying a hobby of theirs.
The point I am trying to make is this: we need to stop being so elitist and set in our ways of old if we truly want to start making gaming inclusive. Don’t belittle someone just because they are enjoying a game that you think sucks, or because they are playing it “wrong”. Spoiler Alert: There is no right or wrong way. Lastly, enjoy playing games for what it is and try not to care so much about why someone else is enjoying it differently.