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?

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About wallcat

I have a strong passion for computing. In particular programming for which I am able to use a variety of languages including C++, Visual C#, Blitz Basic, Actionscript 2.0, Python and Lua. I also enjoy web-design and have some knowledge of HTML/CSS, PHP/SQL and Javascript. As well as programming I have a strong background in art and enjoy drawing in my spare time. When I’m not sat at my computer I like to keep fit by going to the gym or using my exercise ball.

5 responses to “Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?”

  1. Astro Adam says :

    Yes, we should all be able to get along. It’s really silly, though it can be cathartic and fun sometimes, to divide ourselves from other gamers because of tastes. And, sadly, this can make us look immature to the rest of the world. Time for us to reflect on this and stop it.

    • wallcat says :

      I agree. I can find a good debate fun, only I realized that most seemed to turn into an exchange of personal insults rather than talking about the games themselves. Sometimes I want to be able to talk about a game’s design or even just share in the excitement of a new release without the risk of things escalating (as silly as that sounds.) I like to try and walk away agreeing to disagree at least.

  2. Sue Archer says :

    As humans, we seem to have a tendency to want to categorize things and take sides, even when there is no reason. It’s like saying you will only read one subcategory of book – why would you do that? Why not enjoy something about all genres? Great post, wallcat!

    • wallcat says :

      Thanks. Being able to categorize and break stuff down probably makes it easier for our minds to deal with complexity, but it can place restrictions on our judgement. I usually find I’m one of the most open to trying out different genres. I don’t see why I can’t enjoy lots of different things, plus I’d get bored if I could only engage with a few.

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