Saturday, 27 July 2013

Killing the games industry Socially

Remember when we played video games and barely knew anything about the names of the people behind it? When we played Mario and yeah, some of us would know the great Shigeru Miyamoto but usually you'd just say "Oh it's by Nintendo".

Remember when social media wasn't this thing that existed, that everyone and their neighbours grandmothers iguana was part off?

Pros and cons seem to exist for so many facets of life these days. Social media helps us not only connect with one another but find out about current events and gaming news, but especially drama. Truth be told I can't help but wonder if drama in the gaming world would not be so prominently career destroying if it weren't for social media. But you know what, that's like blaming a gun for shooting someone in the face, instead of blaming the person holding the gun.

Usually this lady....

How we, the consumers of products and news, react can have as much bearing on events as companies and 'influential' people. A so called no name, can make one remark that causes emotions to be rattled and then an all out affair of hatred, on the same level of a daytime soap drama scale will have erupted.

Twitter enables people with opinions, but no footing, to makes comments about and to gaming developers and journalists. In that regard people in the gaming industry are open to not only publicity for their work and good feedback, but also insults, threats and if they’ve done something wrong, you can be sure it won't stay hidden for long. Is this a good or bad thing? I don't know.

In a way I think it's more bad than good, because we don't often know what the whole story is, we based it on a limited character post that represents only a fraction of what occurs behind the scenes and by god are we entitled (in our own mind) to know what's occurring back stage.

The time of games being bought, played and talked about purely because of how they look and play is still with us, but it's getting overrun by the concerns of what occurs in the studios of the companies that make them. In a way this isn't completely shocking and unwarranted. When it boils down to certain companies shafting their fanbase and consumers, people can get rightfully riled and stop purchasing, even beloved games, based on the actions of a company. That is their choice and fair enough. Other people may be upset with certain companies attitudes but still continue to buy games because at the end of the day, they still care more about playing something they enjoy than the drama. That too is understandable and in a way I find it the preferable route.

But that said, if we do all just submit and not voice our opinions and more effectively, take a physical stances that will make a difference, such as not purchasing a game, then are we helping the harm linger? 

These are all decisions that can only be made on an individual basis. I wouldn't like to tell people what to do with their own money or tell them how they should be thinking. I'm not entirely keen on other people doing it either, though some people can express their strong defense of boycotting without making gamers feel like they're letting the community down by not participating. Heck some people just want to play games, so why should it matter to them how other people are being effected.

The latest drama brewing concerns Phil Fish, the creator of Fez and his reaction to some unprofessional comments made by AnnoyedGamer over at Gametrailers. Fish has a reputation of coming across as an arrogant individual who may think he is the savior and high king of indie gaming, when he simply isn't. By all accounts, Fez is a wonderful and fun game and the game itself shouldn't lose credibility, even if the creator does. 

Video of AnnoyedGamers comment can be found here: Invisible Walls

But AnnoyedGamer was out of line was the words he used, they were over the top and arrogant in themselves, which is ironic as he complained about Fish's arrogance. Both sides needed to not get involved with each other online for the world to see, but I suppose Fish was publicly insulted and so he saw no reason as to not let AnnoyedGamer and everyone know what had happened and demand, not request, but demand a public apology. Now whether you think that demand is justified or not, Fish made it less likely that he deserved one when he told AnnoyedGamer to "kill himself". 

Apparently this is a quote by Bender from Futurama, but that doesn't really have any relevance or serve as an excuse, especially if no one is aware it's a quote from a cartoon robot.

Nevertheless everything spiraled and then non industry tweeters put their two-cents in, but some started to make personal attacks on Fish and accuse him of horrible deeds. That's when it's too far, when it's not right and you need to back off and shut everything down before it escalates.

Which is what Phil Fish did and then moments after, privatised his personal Twitter account and then Polytron announced Fez II was cancelled.

Personally I don't believe it is, this is Fish being overwhelmed, hurt and doing something brash. AnnoyedGamer doesn't seem to have come out of this worse for wear but he did pull a stupid move.

But when a misunderstanding is pushed in a repetitive fire of taunts and misdirection can have a devastating effect. People give up, people rage or people punish inadvertently gamers who had no part in the drama. Then there's worse internet bullying and rampant factless drama has caused people to do, to themselves.

Why are people behind and in front of the gaming scene so entitled and how did things get so bad that we forgot that games are

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