Loving A “Bad” Video Game

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We’ve all done it. We’ve all loved that game that everyone else around us seemed to hate. Fallout 76, Anthem, or No Man’s Sky, anyone? These are games that were released to a cacophony of displeased players. Players who went so far as to say that developers should be fired… or worse. And yet, right alongside them, you’ll find communities of gamers who are all in. Gamers who love those games with all their heart and soul. And they do it to the tune of constant poo-flinging from evil hordes of hate monkeys on social media. It sucks.

Perspective

Hating is, of course, not limited to video games. I’m a sucker for “bad” movies, too. But loving a “bad” movie has never netted me the same social flack as loving a “bad” video game.

You may have noticed quotes around the word bad a few times. Let me be clear that when I say “bad”, I mean from the perspective of other people. When it seems like someone is slamming a project you love at the turn of every digital corner.

Loving a “bad” video game is hard. There are so many people out there whose only goal appears to be spreading hate. For what? Because they didn’t enjoy a game? So they’re driven to make sure no one else can either? That’s ridiculous.

I once had someone ask me what I thought of Mass Effect Andromeda. I thought it was an innocent discussion, so I replied “Honestly? I enjoyed that game quite a bit. It had its issues but-“.

“It was crap.” They cut me off. I was a little taken back by the shortness and behavior but I shrugged it off as an opinion I wasn’t likely to change. Water off a Javelin’s back, one might say?

I politely responded with, “Well I didn’t think so… I wouldn’t call it the best game ever, but I -”

“No. You’re wrong. It was crap.”

At this point, I felt assaulted. Less that someone was insulting the game — more so that someone was invalidating my opinion of it. We’re talking about a game that I didn’t even *love* and I could feel a heated surge of “defend it to the death!” feelings washing over me. A wave of disbelief that someone thought they could tell me how I should feel about something.

I readied an arsenal of words to rocket back at them.

And then I didn’t. I swallowed every one of those words and walked away. I felt both exhausted and relieved when the adrenaline left as quickly as it had come.

Luckily it wasn’t a friend of mine, so I don’t have to revisit that conversation or person in the future. But this is what happens. This was a very light example of someone who couldn’t stop at hating a video game for themselves. They needed to make everyone else hate it too.

A Battle That Can’t Be Won?

I thought about writing an article about being kind (please), seeing the humans behind the product (do), giving healthy critiques without personal attacks (all), and having the self-control to walk away when you’ve got nothing good left in the tank (of these). I thought about it. I decided it would probably be as effective as biting a bear to convince him to stop biting you. A Scourge Bear at that. Scavengers fans, you know what I’m saying. It’s a battle that can’t be won… not like that anyway. So I decided to aim in a different direction.

To those of you that have ever loved a “bad” video game:

Don’t you dare apologize.

If you see a game that makes your heart so happy you have actual tears… If you are so overjoyed at the prospect of it that you can’t hold it in.. Don’t! Let it out! Be proud. Be unabashed. Be confident in the undeniable fact that your opinion is more important than anyone else’s when it comes to your own enjoyment. You love that game for you and don’t let anyone take that away.

I’m not saying you should disavow anyone who has a difference of opinion. To me, one of the greatest aspects of humanity is our differences. They’re often used as ammo, but we can lean into those differences in a good way. I am surrounded by many good and kind people who have wildly different opinions and interests. I love it that way.

Surround yourself with a similar vein of friends. Nurture an atmosphere where you’re allowed to be you, and they’re allowed to be them. Where no one expects you to be anything but what you are, and you’re free to love whatever games you want. Be loud together about the things you love.

Let’s power up happiness and positivity that way. Let’s help drown out the negative noise. One powerful positive comment is worth 1000 negative ones.

Let’s make a difference.

Dad, Husband, Gamer, Dev — Creator of @wetrackgames

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