Criticism = Fanboyism? The New Era of Discussing Video Games

Something´s wrong. And by something i mean the way people, be it gamers, gaming journalists or whomever is closely in touch with games, talk about games nowadays.

Instead of directly going into what i mean, i´d like to give a short impression of what gaming discussions were before. There was a time, call it the beginning, where critizism almost didn´t even exist. This time is completely individual, as it is the time when we were young. Playing games that you would never touch if you saw them in front of you now. That time was innocent, pure. You kept playing and playing, simply because it was awsome to play a thing called video game (or computer game, whatever).

Then comes the time of entering the freak-phase in our life time. We´re now carefully looking at what we´re about to buy. This is also when we found out about the internet and video game communities and such. Before that, print magazines were a major focus for us, too. Scores and numbers of stars now play a big role. Games that got less than 75% from our favorite print magazine aren´t even worthy to talk about. Great games got 85%, and the once a year blockbuster took 91% and everyone drooled in awe of that game. Playing bad games wasn´t a matter anymore, playing the best was.

And here we are now. Let´s call this the nerd-phase. Or, to be more precise, the super-wtf-isgoingon-idontknowbutilldoittoo-nerd-phase. At this time, scores became redundant again – for worse. Now, games that don´t achieve close to 100% scores are either average OR the magazines/websites that gave those below 10/10 scores are called incompetent. In the end, by now, this resulted in gaming reviews becoming completely unreliable (not that they ever were the alpha and omega, but now…). You don´t, if a game deserves the high score, if the journalists were paid by the publisher, OR if a low score simply resulted from bias against a system/franchise or from to few hype.  But that is not all! Now is also the point in time where whoever criticises a hyped game, instantly, becomes a “troll”. YOU DON´T TALK BAD ABOUT A HYPED GAME!!11! Oh well, that´s it now. When the so-called “backslash” before was considered a cool-down-phase, where the hype had ended and gamers realized the game´s shortcomings, now “backslash” is a term used by super-fanboys, who, by saying so, try to ridicule everyone who doesn´t COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY LOVE that certain game.

So these are the three phase of talking about video games in the context of history. Maybe you noticed that it is kind of a cycle, from not giving a **** about scores, to scores being everything, to scores being **** again. The only difference is that we started with a positive mindset, and now we´re (and with “we” i mean those who act like above) bitter.  Is that “growing up”? I don´t think so. At least i don´t hope so. I never liked all the importance of scores, but remembering former times, i prefer talking about why a game got 79% over talking about “why a game didn´t get 100%, you douchebag troll!!!11!“.

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