Sunday, May 17, 2009


Game Culture Killed My Dog

You know what I miss? Fan sites.

I miss GB Station and Nintendorks. Sites that were run by people who loved the hell out of video games and wanted to share that love with other people. Places run by people who would freak out in ecstasy over the promise of a farming RPG or a Game & Watch collection. People who had a bottomless appetite for video games, who loved weird concepts, who didn't mind if a game was "innovative" or "hardcore" or "mature" just as long as it was good.

I know I'm looking back with rose-colored glasses. I know that gaming culture has always been about teenage boys having playground arguments to defend the good name of money-grubbing corporations. But, y'know... didn't it used to be fun?

Gamers have become snarky. Look at The Angry Video Game Nerd and Zero Punctuation, and all of the attention and imitators they've gotten by just ripping everything they look at to shreds. I mean, sure, I do it too, but... When I rip into a bad game, it's because it's bad in a way that fascinates me. Because there's something about it that I love. I don't think that most snarky gamers really love the games that they tear down. They're just looking to get a laugh out of some easy targets. Which is a real shame, because there's a lot you can get out of even a bad game.

And ever since the Wii became a runaway success, there's this whole "NINTENDO IS TOO CASUAL" thing that's tainted every single god damned conversation you could have about Nintendo video games. Jesus Christ, and I thought it was bad when everyone complained about "kiddy versus mature".

And now we have this new meme going around that GAMES ARE ART, and, you know, fine, but it seems like we're facing this slippery slope where we're all turning into snobs. As if games can only be appreciated if they have some higher message or purpose to impart upon the huddled unwashed masses.

I see so much negativity. So many people treating recreation like it's a matter of life or death. And then I see it in myself, and it just makes me wonder why I bother with all this sometimes.

I don't have to stay on the bleeding edge of video game news. I already have enough games and little time to enjoy them. But I'm hooked. When something like Scribblenauts or Retro Game Challenge happens, I want to know about it.

Maybe I need a new hobby.


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