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Reader Comments (84)

Posted: Aug 2nd 2011 1:51PM Oskari said

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@Dril

So...you just do it for the drama?
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Posted: Aug 2nd 2011 2:07PM Borick said

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@Oskari There's nothing 'just' or simple about drama.

Why else do you read a story or play a roleplaying game? We are human beings here, not a bunch of rational actors falling in along a gradient.

Diogenes was a hero of mine. So was Demosthenes. So was Livy. Ranting pontification has a long and stories history. I find it interesting when someone dismisses it as simple or 'just'.
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Posted: Aug 2nd 2011 2:28PM Irem said

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@Dril
It depends on what you mean by "blind praise." I've been called a fanboy just for having a positive opinion, and I've had people tell me I'm hyping and overpraising a game just for correcting cynical assumptions with actual information (they LIKED those cynical assumptions, darn it! Why wreck them with facts or balanced discussion?). If you're one of the people Justin's talking about, everything positive said about your game-nemesis of choice is just further evidence of fanboyism.

As for why it's more socially acceptable, it's way more fun to listen to somebody be happy than it is to listen to someone gripe and moan about how everything is going to suck. A lot of whether or not someone's negative opinion gets shot down depends on if they're well-informed, can phrase things in a civil manner, and are open to new information.
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Posted: Aug 2nd 2011 2:32PM Space Cobra said

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@Borick

I have noticed some people and families just love to argue. It means they care and it is an accepted norm. There is a joke about English families compared to an American who considers his own family dysfunctional: In England, such bile is normal.

Italians love to argue. Some people are just built that way and get enjoyment out of it. A critic's critic.
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Posted: Aug 2nd 2011 2:38PM j1083 said

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@Irem "it's way more fun to listen to somebody be happy than it is to listen to someone gripe and moan about how everything is going to suck." I'm not entirely sold on this point.

As someone else pointed out with the sports team analogy, there are people, whole groups of them, who enjoy being unhappy, finding fault, and complaining vociferously for it's own sake. It's "us vs. them" or "me before them."

For example, if you visit Fark's Geek tab, you'll find an entire thread dedicated to bashing Diablo III: people like to feel validated in their opinions and will seek others to valdiate them. It's not any more productive than your typical Two Minutes Hate, but it *is* basic tribalism at work. Humans are social animals, that doesn't make everyone socially graceful.
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Posted: Aug 2nd 2011 2:56PM Irem said

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@j1083
I'll rephrase: "It's way more fun to listen to someone being happy about something you like."

The biggest naysayers tend to be the ones who go into threads or forums dedicated to the game they dislike in order to tear it down in front of the people excited about it. The person who joins a forum in which people are excitedly discussing what they're looking forward to in Game X just to say, "You're all fanboys who can't see the game's obvious flaws!" really isn't going to win any friends.
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Posted: Aug 2nd 2011 3:20PM j1083 said

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@Irem No argument there.
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Posted: Aug 2nd 2011 4:22PM mysecretid said

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@Irem

Exactly right, Irem. Honest positive reaction to a game is regularly dismissed as "fanboyism" -- the gaming forum equivalent of STFU.

"Blind praise" is a subjective-value term, defined by the /listener/, so it's a rhetorical trick (at best) to suggest that it's a constant quantity which can be readily identified.

Cheers,
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Posted: Aug 2nd 2011 4:26PM Borick said

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@mysecretid Markets survive on faith. It is a mistake to place faith in that which is value-rational and self-interested.

Rhetorical trick or axiom, it's all observer-based and variable within a range of deviation, so be careful where you measure the quantity that you value.
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Posted: Aug 2nd 2011 1:47PM Borick said

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You look for simple reasons, and I think you miss the most important.

Some of us have played these games since Pong, and associate a love with the genre rather than the games themselves. We may not be interested in designing the games or winning the games. In the end we may spend more time critiquing games than playing them, but we are most interested in the future of the genre.

Design studios get things wrong and continue to do so. When a particular product makes a horrible showing of itself, that product will be derided because it is more than just a product someone else might like -- it cheapens the genre and moves away from the individual might want to see.

Everyone likes food, but few people like restaurant critics. Nevertheless, restaurant critics can improve an establishment through bad press, or be the catalyst for getting rid of a roach-infested, poorly-managed diner.

Success doesn't breed success indefinately. There is place for the cynic, the demagogue and the perpetually dissatisfied. Even if we're wrong, we cause people to think and refine their own opinions.

Posted: Aug 2nd 2011 1:58PM (Unverified) said

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@Borick

Very well stated Borick. I too am of the Pong generation...maybe we're just grumpy.
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Posted: Aug 2nd 2011 3:30PM pancho72 said

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@Borick

Very well said. Individual games can be trendsetters, and if we don't like a particular trend we may hate that game for setting the trend.
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Posted: Aug 2nd 2011 4:10PM Oskari said

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@Borick

Not everyone will share your personal opinion of which direction the genre should go. Your "right" might be another person's "wrong".
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Posted: Aug 2nd 2011 4:32PM Borick said

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@Oskari Thank goodness that they don't. I can't do everything, after all.
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Posted: Aug 2nd 2011 1:52PM Borick said

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Oh, and to steal a line from Norman Spinrad, "When everything fails, then the fun begins."

I don't always root for the indie developers, but currently the indies are the ones producing value, and the AAA studios are just looking for something new to tax.

Posted: Aug 2nd 2011 1:55PM N620AA said

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Good write-up, and I mostly agree. This does relate a bit to why people troll in the first place, though: to get a response, to get a reaction. People always tell me I'm lying when I say I do not get why anyone would thrive on negative attention... so I suppose it's more common than not.

People will bash a game if they think it will get them attention, -any- attention. Heck, I wouldn't be surprised if many of the frequent ranters here enjoy negative attention more than positive because they giggle at getting a rise out of folks who take them seriously. This dynamic works so well for them because there are no real consequences for talking nonsense, spreading misinformation and being flat-out vitriolic.

When Internet anonymity dies (and I do think it will someday, for better or worse), this kind of nonsense will probably become rare. Until then, the Internet is the kingdom of the ignorant and the socially maladjusted.

Posted: Aug 2nd 2011 2:16PM Borick said

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@N620AA Your comment is rife with namecalling and judgement, but your arguments are no more rationally founded than most of the rants about games.

Removing privacy and anonymity will make the world all better? How is this less of a subjective rant than, say, most of the anti-FTP or anti-SWTOR posts?

If you aren't posting for attention -- in the desire to be read, then why did you post? For myself, I post mostly for the people who will never reply to my words. The webmasters here aren't the only ones who can perform simple analytics to determine read counts.
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Posted: Aug 2nd 2011 2:27PM Gamewench said

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@Borick I can't answer for him/her but from what I understand is the comment section here is for discussion. It's damn near impossible to have any civil discussion when someone wants to be inflammatory =)
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Posted: Aug 2nd 2011 1:57PM (Unverified) said

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I'm a pretty hardcore player, and I got admit I one tough critic. My rule is always be constructive, keep your arguement clean, and deal in facts. Quality in alot of games is become a issue, companies are focused on the fast buck lately; microtransactions. As a player I like unbised detailed information on games, not propaganda. Companies need that fire at their fight, or they settle with what they can get away with. An if player make the mistake of settling, they get poorer and poorer quality. Companies only responsed to one factor, money. Unless subscriptions take a hit, they don't change.

Demand Quality.

Posted: Aug 2nd 2011 2:46PM SocksForYou said

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@(Unverified) Nice post, I agree.

MMOs don't need more frothing trolls but, my god, let's not pretend there's not a lot of justified criticism directed at the genre.



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