I, for one, am glad that 2014 is drawing to a close. Things sucked this year, eh?
If we weren’t dealing with broken games like Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Driveclub or Assassin’s Creed: Unity (not that I encountered problems with the latter, but I did see those faceless bodies…), we were presented with lobotomised current-gen efforts like NHL 15. Worse yet, this year saw an inundation of remastered titles like the aforementioned Halo or The Last of Us: Remastered. Or Sleeping Dogs. Or Tomb Raider. Sadly, we haven’t seen the end of remastered stuff, with reworked versions of DmC: Devil May Cry and Dark Souls II coming in 2015.
Publishers, you’re killing me.
But no, that’s not why this past year was awful. The thing that trumps all of this – all of the horrible games we’ve been tasked to play, or replay – is that gamers were thrust into the spotlight this year and looked like total and utter fools, arguing with one another as if we were in some sort of digital Hunger Games.
I won’t be going into #gamergate (or why I still feel the need to hashtag that) and who’s wrong or right in this little debacle, and that’s for one simple reason: things aren’t black and white. No one is wholly right. No one is absolutely wrong. That’s the biggest thing that we didn’t get as a whole this year: that people will have differences of opinion and will ALWAYS take the Internet to air them. And others still will fling their nose high in the air in disgust, letting the world know about it. Rinse and repeat.
I’m not saying chauvinists are right, but at the same time, I’m not saying we need to label every single male gamer on the planet a ‘neckbeard’ because of the actions of those ridiculous few. I’m not denying that we’ve some sh*tty representations of females in games, but I’m also quite happy pointing out that same fact applies to a variety of other denominations. Rather than a cut-and-dry, your-view-or-my-own, I simply ask that gamers take a look back at the events of this year and then grow the f*ck up.
That’s important, so let’s just say that one more time: grow the f*ck up.
We’re an ever-aging group of people, and we’re not about to stop gaming at any time. We should all act our ages. Engage in polite discourse. Unless you’re dealing with someone with who will never change their outlook – and the best course of action with those types is to stop feeding their crazy – you should be prepared to LISTEN to what someone else is saying. Better yet, you should try to then understand where that person is coming from.
I’m not saying you need to agree with a different point of view, but you owe it to yourself to entertain one every now and then. You might just learn sometime. Or, if you actually understand where someone’s coming from, you might be able to explain where your thoughts differ; you might help THAT person learn something, or at least look at an issue from a different perspective
Labelling gamers as a dying group of fanatics doesn’t help. Going on Twitter and getting passive aggressive against people who disagree with yourself doesn’t help. Using social media to state that violence in Grand Theft Auto V drives us to real-life violence because a petition said so doesn’t help. Stacking the deck at PAX panels so ‘diverse’ topics are discussed between people with the same exact viewpoint doesn’t help.
We need to step on toes. We need to think differently from one another. We need to be respectful doing so, of course, but without that clash of ideas, we’ll stagnate. Plain and simple. So most of us need to get off our high horses and remind ourselves why we’re so in love with video games in the first place: for fun.
Let’s hope 2015 brings with it some common sense. And original IP.
That frustration out of the way, it’s been an interesting year over here at Stevivor. We’ve seen staff come and go, readers rise – and stay, so thank you – and quality work continue to be churned out. I won’t lie when I say it all wasn’t hard work – we’re all volunteers barely making ends meet around here (please turn off AdBlock!) – but it’s wholly worth it. If you keep coming, we’ll keep writing.
Thanks for your patronage in 2014, and I look forward to seeing you again in 2015.
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