Thursday, November 10, 2011

Nerd Rage a'la Videogames

An aspect of life is competition. Economics, politics, mother nature, and sports are just a few examples that readily illustrate this concept. It should be no surprise that competition flourishes amongst the videogame industry and its community.

Below are a handful of my favorite rivalries--the brother of competition.

PC                    &              Console

Mario (SNES)                   &               Sonic (Genesis)
        Half-Life 2                 &                      Halo 2   

        Activison             &            Electronic Arts 

All of the above have seen its fair share of senseless shit talk. A couple decades ago I would argue with friends--the fleshy non-Facebook type--about the merits of owning a Sega Genesis console over the Super NES. I would brag about the systems line up, and how the graphics were obviously superior. As I grew older I began to realize that everyone has different tastes, and such discussions are rarely relevant to the grand scheme of things. Still, I'd find myself sucked into the occasional pointless discussion about which game/system is "better."

As the years went by the arguments evolved, and with the aide of the internet they rapidly expanded. Now anyone and everyone, including me, will lay down their side of the argument without the repercussions of face to face interactions. This wouldn't be an issue if internet comments were overwhelmingly level headed, well thought out, tidbits of communication. Unfortunately the opposite seems to be more prevalent. (Of course I'm an exception to this trend.)

The most recent example in the videogame community can be found on the website Metacritic. The average Metacritic score for Modern Warfare 3 is 89 out of 100, and the user score is 3.1 out of 10. A couple days ago it was 90 and 2.3 respectively. Now check out Battlefield 3, and you'll notice a similarity. Each franchise shows a dedicated fan base that seems hell bent on verbally sabotaging the other.

Reading the user review comments are simultaneously enlightening and disturbing. By the time my tolerance gave out a few interesting observations came to mind. Gamers still love rivalries and competition, and will go to great lengths to prove their personal tastes are the best thing ever. Their cyberspace rants can be fantastically ridiculous. At the same time I find it sadly pathetic that a number of people would rather read/write internet comments then actually research the topic at hand.

Hawthrone wrote, "Accuracy is the twin brother of honesty; inaccuracy, of dishonesty." Contributions to a discussion, that you find important, should never boil down to irrelevant dribble. Such rhetoric cheapens an already poor discussion. Yet in so many segments of our lives this ends up being the case.

No comments: