JoJoestar I certainly understand where you’re coming from! I probably wouldn’t have opened this discussion if I didn’t feel I could trust the people here to not approach it in a nasty way.
I want to talk some time to have a meta-discussion about this, ’cause, while I did anticipate people who are not interested in this thread would avoid it, that was probably a bit naive. It’s not like this is a huge forum, doesn’t even have subtopics. So even someone likely to not enjoy it or even feel uncomfortable with it was probably going to feel compelled to read it.
I don’t think people in here are one-upping each other so much as they’re relating to one another in a way that is often not really given much space. Like, yeah, the meme is “let people like things” and then “let people hate things” and then “let people like hating things” and “let people like hating liked things” and “let people like hated liked things” and so on. I think the first few people who talked about why they disliked Undertale were not wrong to think that they felt that people would be overly precious when simply seeing someone say that they did not like Undertale.
I think this speaks to the way we have been conditioned to take in media and commodities and, not just identify with them, but even take them as a part of our identity. It’s not really anyone’s fault, it’s just hard to avoid the idea that so much of the world most people live in today has been designed to revolve entirely around consumption. Personally, I really, really resent this for lots of reasons!
Although, to be fair, it also isn’t necessarily wrong to feel a game is a part of one’s identity to some degree. I don’t know if that’s why the thread bums you out but it could be why it might bum someone out, because it’s difficult to not take it personally. I don’t think this is because someone is overly emotional or sensitive or unhealthily attached, though. Games are much more able and willing to engage with players on an emotional, intellectual, political, and yeah, even on an identity based level. Games DO engage with identity. They always have, of course, except in the past that has usually been a very narrow list of identities and acceptable expressions of it, but now that games are engaging with us on that level, a lot of us are, 100% rightfully, pretty excited about that. And even before that I imagine more than a few of us are probably in this forum or even this thread because games were a big part of our lives for a long time.
I playfully evoked the idea of Haterdom and I can accept that my flimsy rules that I can’t even really enforce didn’t prevent people from getting a bit aggressive and dismissive in tone, but I do hope that this thread doesn’t continue to bum you out and that you can see a little more where people might be coming from and so it doesn’t drag you down at all. I don’t mind seeing people hating on things I love, but that’s me. I do think it feels cathartic to complain about something and especially to end up doing that socially and relating to other people instead of just complaining at a wall. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I think where people have used more negative language and also took something someone said and ran with it, it wasn’t to one-up them, it was more out of a feeling of excitement at finding someone else who feels similar to them. In a position like that I think it’s not unlikely that people are more likely to speak in hyperbole and that back and forth might get a little animated, and not everyone wants to go through the principled work of measured critique all the time either.
Ultimately though, again I can’t speak for everyone here, but when I gripe about a game like I have in this thread, it’s not really only out of dislike or distaste. Partly it is also about feeling resentment towards the idea that consumption has been so closely linked to identity, but yeah, I don’t think I would talk about a game like this if I just blindly hated it (or, if I blindly hate a game, it’ll be for a very good reason and not really appropriate for a fun thread). As cathartic as it can be to indulge in incredibly insipid invective, more what I feel than hate about these games is regret that I couldn’t like them like everyone else does.
Just wanna be totally clear and restate this for posterity, the mood this thread caused you to feel is perfectly understandable! And I hope I’m not seeming like I’m just going off on you like you’re wrong for feeling that way. You’re not, but I don’t want you to feel bummed out either. Rather I wanted to make a case to you that maybe there’s more to this sort of exercise than meets the eye and that it’s not like a private forum review bomb of the beloved classics. You certainly don’t need to participate, and I apologize in advance if me tagging you back in made you feel like I was dragging you in to dismiss your opinion of the activity. I sincerely appreciate that you expressed how you felt and I hope this overly long explanation is reassuring and not just dismissive but in fancy language.
I guess as the OP I felt a personal responsibility to share where my mind was at when I chose to post this and why I think it got a pretty active discussion going, but honestly, yeah, if we’re gonna act like we get to be the Cool Exclusive Gamelikers who know what’s wrong with videogames, I hope other people can also cosign what I’m saying here and add their own thoughts, and from this point to continue this thread we should commit more to ensuring we’re not just ragging on games aggressively out of the thrill of contrarianism, especially when the people you’re really contradicting aren’t even here. Bobby Kotick doesn’t care that any of us dislike Overwatch (and I do). I am not really embedded in this community by any means, but I know enough about community in general to know that ideally members of a community are ready and willing to take responsibility for making someone in it bummed out unintentionally. I think if anyone wants this thread deleted or locked or whatever makes sense on this platform, I say let’s do it. Trash it!!! It’s not worth making even one person feel crappy.