Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?
It’s not unusual for different fan bases to clash. I remember when I was younger I was a massive Stargate fan, but this naturally led to a Gaters Vs Trekkies movement. If truth be told I love Star Trek, Star Wars and many other sci-fi franchises as well as Stargate (except for Dr. Who perhaps.) BiTrektual is a term that means one can be a fan of both Star Trek and Star Wars. I also like to think one can have a general love for sci-fi. There’s a humorous song about this from Aurelio Voltaire – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LB0T4OeTxI.
Oh, come on let’s not fight, it’s so unintellectual.
How ’bout we join sides and be bi-trektual?
Wouldn’t it be nice, and so much more effectual?
To put our cares aside and be biTrektual!
– BiTrektual by Aurelio Voltaire (feat. Jason Charles Miller)
This also makes me think about the number of clashes that have become a part of the gaming community: PC vs consoles. What console is better? What developer is better? RPGs vs FPSs. Which games are better? Which RPG is better? Hardcore vs Casual… etc… I remember a time when people were actually trying to make me feel bad for playing Star Wars The Old Republic instead of Guild Wars 2 (Although I’ve since played them both.) There have also been numerous comparisons made between games like Final Fantasy and Zelda, Skyrim and Dark Souls or Outlast and Amnesia (I’ve done it myself,) yet each game has something different to offer – why restrict ourselves to just one?
Terms are then created to apply to groups of fans. I use to play a lot of Bioware games, but was not too keen on suddenly being referred to as a Biodrone; I’m wary of labels because the actions of others may then be associated with myself. I can admit that Bioware have made some mistakes and parts even disappointed me. They don’t define the entirety of my gaming tastes either. Sometimes it can really flare up between different fans, but I feel this only takes the conversation away from the games themselves by making it personal. I play games to chill out and have fun and don’t always want to have to justify my decisions or defend myself. Yes, I prefer RPGs to FPSs, Dark Souls to Skyrim, my Playstation to my Xbox… etc… but I can also accept that not everybody agrees.
It might seem a little silly that we’d launch on the attack for not agreeing on something like a favourite game, but it can run much deeper than that. Our preferences may also be linked to the values we hold. We may worry that the popularity of a game could result in encouraging the industry to move in new directions that we’re not keen on. A person’s sense of identity or community can feel threatened with change. In such instances it may be worth considering whether things are as bad as they seem. I usually find that I’m still able to enjoy the games I like regardless of how others feel.
In the case of the PC vs console argument, there’s an interesting suggestion in the video ‘PC vs Console: Why the Hate?‘ that it’s actually a difference in whether we want to have control over our technology or just to have it to fulfil a need. Debating the point is probably futile because the base reasons behind our decisions are different. So a PC may allow additional customisation options or mods, but do console gamers even care? Sometimes we’re looking for different things and so will never see eye to eye. We also spend many years solidifying our opinions and they’re not likely to change overnight. Personally, I like both formats because it keeps my gaming options open and I get the best of both worlds.
The word gamer includes many different types of people and I love the idea of being part of a vibrant and varied community, but that also means I have to be somewhat tolerant of other people’s opinions. I admit, I can be a little guilty of running away with my passions at times, but I do try to keep an open mind, otherwise I risk missing out on really good games due to my own stubborness. I can find it interesting to understand a different viewpoint and will try to ask lots of questions, which can only help me to increase my own knowledge of the different facets of gaming. We do after all, have one thing in common at least, and that’s a love for games; Therefore, shouldn’t it be possible for us to find a way to get along?
- Kotaku – Gamers, Let’s Stop Hating Each Other
- SA Gamer – The Burning Question: Why Do Gamers Hate Each Other?