Do you think people who play games have become cynical or negative today more than in the past?
hmm, i don't know if it's MORE relative to the past (or rather more visible due to the TAKE ECONOMY on the various social platforms)- but i will say there's an awful lot of yucking other people's yums going around.
it feels like with any product announcement there's a crew pre-assembled to yell about it, when my response is usually, "then don't buy it, bud."
same goes for competently made products that don't necessarily reinvent the wheel. if it hits the quality mark and people enjoy it- maybe don't shit on it just for being a known quantity?
Its funny, Jeff G was talking about this on his show yesterday about how gamers never seem to be happy or satisfied with anything developers do these days and always find something to complain about. I've also noticed this as well over the years. So the answer is a hard yes. Of course, the irony of Jeff G himself being this way for years now hasn't escape my notice.
As someone who remembers how toxic console got and how bad GamerGate was... nah. Gamers will always be the toxic sludge of mankind, I don't see it changing for the worse or better. If anything there are a lot more people playing video games right now than just gamers, which makes the average attitude towards video games more positive.
Considering video games is still a fairly new medium, I think it's only natural that people who play games become more cynical. We now have groups of people who have been playing video games for 40-50 years that we didn't have before. It's going to be pretty hard to impress those people, who also grew up playing a very different type of video game. We also have a news industry that's entering 40-50 years of experience, that's going to explore tougher subjects than it did in the past.
I think as we see less of the "video games are toys for children" or "video games are rotting your brain" cynicism from the general population that didn't play video games in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, as the medium becomes more popular and widely accepted, more of it is just now coming from people who do play video games. Which is probably a better spot to be in.
EDIT: If we're talking about toxicity here, because I think toxicity and cynicism are two very different thing, my answer is pretty simple. Most humans suck. More of them just play video games now.
I think so.
Back in the day, you didn't have a wide array of games being released every other day and there were very obvious new grounds to be broken.
But we're now in a world where a ton of games sort of look like eachother or contain systems that have been seen in other games already. There's also a real standardization of the controls and tools that mean that games all kinda function similarly and lose some of the uniqueness of the past in favor of accessibility.
And where back in the day you could see where games could expand towards (what if you could.. play a fps in the command & conquer universe? What if... you were playing a RPG .. but the combat was in real-time? What if.. all the partymembers were other humans) nowadays there's often a feel that all the obvious genre-mashes have already been tried before.
It's an emphatic no from me.
Look, the only real difference between "then" and "now" is access to each other's opinions. We are living in an age of unprecedented access to information, coupled with unprecedented means for the individual to create and transmit new information. It's a dramatic and profound change, but at the end of the day that doesn't change the nature of what people talk about. I was on a video game forum in the early 2010s and I remember the console wars. You want cynical? Look up some X-Play clips from the 00s. Some people on Twitter were posting old clips of that show last week and all I can say is holy shit.
Giant Bomb GoTY discussions had a "Please Stop" or similarly-themed category for years. I just picked a random year and found that in 2005, GameSpot's GoTY awards included space for elevendifferent "Dubious Honors" categories.
Humans have this tendency to fantasize about the supposed golden era that came before them, or that ended right as they came of age. Solomon wrote about this. The ancient Greeks believed that they were living in the aftermath of a golden era. Less dramatic than that, as people get older they tend to want things to return to the ways that were familiar to them when they were younger. This leads to the demonstrably false belief that people "these days" care about things which are fundamentally more petty or unimportant, which is related to the equally false notion that things were inherently better "back then." Take a look at some newspapers from the 1960s or any other decade. People were always writing about how things were different back in their day, how people were more polite, how products were of a higher quality. This isn't new.
I think the most cynical period was the PS3/360 era. Introduction of MTX and DLC led to a lot of bad experiments (DLC true endings lmao and purchasable currency for single player games. PC ports were bad across the board and many don't work to this day without fan mods, PS3 ports were also bad. Corporate acquisition of industry standard tools and transition to new architecture meant Japanese devs had to do tonnes of work to get their games running, and many of the games from this time were strained more than usual dev cycles resulting in uneven experiences. This is also the grey/brown/piss-filter era. The Wii was a dumping ground for shovelware, even if it did have a few diamonds in the rough.
Admittedly things are pretty whack in the AAA space right now but at this point I pay attention to about one AAA game a year, everything else I play is smaller, more fun, more original and creative than ever. Games like Outer Wilds, Disco Elysium. Nintendo and Capcom are in their bag putting out classics on a near yearly basis and Game Pass is the best deal in gaming, it's not all bad but the long dev cycles of modern games really mean we get games that are too big and too boring for the majority of the play time.
Maybe? i think it depends on the context your looking at . theres more games and 'gamers' than ever so of course it just depends on where/who your looking at . theres alot more variity with indies being what they are todat but in the AAA space i think generally yes ppl have gotten more cynical when companies more than previously just keep pushing out the same games year after yr with not alot of differences .. but even then it just depends on where you look, and to be fair we always had that but i think we used to get more variety in those spaces than we used to. couple things like that with raises base costs and companies trying to nickle and dime even more out of you n yeah i think if you look in the right/wrong places things could be veiewed as more cynical. That said alot of ppl are also happy with these types of things n frankly just like ppl probably in our age bracket didn't know better kids these days probably don't either n might have less to complain about.
@topcyclist: it's a perception issue now because everyone's opinions are online.. and people feel they have to have a take on everything. So because "we" have tied our self worth into engagement of social media, everyone has to either love or hate something to get the most responses. It's not that different from console wars of Nintendo and sega, but now people have tied every game to their personality before it even comes out.
The solution to this perception is to just get off social media. Then, like me, you can ignore 90% of everyone's hot takes about every game that comes out.
I agree with the sentiments written above as a "no voter". We have more access to each others opinions now but whenever I listen to a podcast from people who were of age on old message boards and 90's early internet people were just as negative and toxic.
As far as "cynical"...maybe? only because I understand that the average age of a gamer has risen over the years so it's possible that the "average" gamer is less naive with experience.
I'm not sure it's cynicism, or just realizing how sleazy the industry is and how, despite supposedly being the young, cool industry: it's just another "the executives at the top are making decisions about short-term profit over long term creativity and viability." And that normally winds up with more workers laid off so those execs who made the shitty decisions don't have to take pay cuts.
To say nothing about all the bigotry and sexpests behind the scenes.
@voiceinject: Duder, read some news. The industry is shady as fuck.
Negative? Probably not. Cynical? Definitely, and it’s earned. The start of the Xbox One / PS4 era was marked by the big companies essentially saying no one would be playing console games anymore, then sold us half-step consoles, and now with the next gen we get price hikes instead of discounts. Meanwhile, the trends went from lootboxes to battle passes and other heavy monetization dark patterns, and every major publisher is trying to find their own GTA Online money printing press. Perhaps this is just us having a better window into development, or getting burned too many times on things that looked cool in trailers and conferences, or just a glut of entertainment options as alternatives, but I’d definitely say we’re more guarded than we were a decade ago.
Well, I think people who play games are just passionate about their hobby - maybe a little too passionate at times! But hey, who can blame them? It's hard not to get invested in the stories and characters of your favorite games. As for negativity and cynicism, I think that's just part of being a human being - we all have our moments of grumpiness, even when we're playing games!
I think it's an exposure bias. In hindsight, Ocarina of Time is not a 98/100. However, compared to everything else available at the time, it probably was. That's part of the issue. We have been exposed to more and more amazing games that it takes more and more to amaze us. Hogwarts Legacy is sitting around 83/100. If you could somehow drop that game into people's laps in 1998 exactly as it is today, their minds would be blown and it would be getting a lot of perfect scores.
@ginormous76: TBF Hogwarts does have a 90% user score on Steam from 137k reviews, and so far it's the best selling game of the year outpacing Elden Ring.
Fans and the general public have been quite high on the game, it kinda speaks more to the irrelevance of the gaming press and the drama around the title.
The big games are selling on a scale unimaginable even 20 years ago, the cynicism is often only seen on forums in the core communities.
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