Biting the Hand

Sometimes, I really dislike my fellow gamers.

There’s a sense of entitlement that creeps into their thinking sometimes, especially when it comes to games that have expansions.  They’ll talk for months and months between new products, about what they think simply has to be added to the game, what should be removed because it’s irretrievably broken, how they’d fix all the problems with this game that, mind you, they play enough to have an intimate working knowledge of every permutation of the rules.  Despite it being a terrible game that need work.

And then, when the game company finally reveals something new that addresses some of those issues, well, that’s nice, but it wasn’t the fix the group think had decided it should be.  That’s not the model or card or patch change or FAQ answer that was discussed and agreed on, so therefore it is bad and wrong and a sure sign the game has jumped the shark and is doomed to die out any day now.

Now I’m not saying gamers aren’t allowed to have opinions or dislike things about the games they play.  It’d be a fantasy world if every single game pleased every single gamer with every single thing it did.  But what bugs me is the certainty some of the complainers have that Game Company X clearly has no idea what it’s doing, did not play-testing on any of these changes, and is completely out of touch with how their own game works.  Especially because I’ve been privy in the past to just how exhaustive the design and play-testing process is for one of these games, and — for the really good games — it’s anything but rushed and haphazard.  And usually done by people with a much more intuitive grasp of game design and balance than people complaining on a message board.

Funny thing is, the people who complain the loudest are usually the ones who are still there months later, venting about the next new thing, and how the game was so much better back when the last thing they were moaning about came along.  So they beat on, boats against the current play state, borne back ceaselessly into the patch.

And yeah, I just paraphrased the end of The Great Gatsby into a quote about gaming.  I should probably stop.


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