Internet Famous
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In a lot of ways, tight-knit subcultures share several things in common.

Comic fans, foodies, gamers, and sports fans alike all have one thing in common: obsession. It isn't enough to just like something, fanatics have to dissect and analyze every aspect of what they take pleasure in. While on the surface there's nothing wrong with this behavior (to each their own, live and let live), obsessing too much can lead to the spotlight being placed in the wrong direction.

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When an art form is viewed less as a creative work, and more as a spreadsheet or roster, the point of the art form appreciation gets lost in the process. Since 2008, there's been more of a focus on game developers than ever before. It's a great thing to see those who have struggled behind the scenes for years get the exposure and recognition that they deserve, but over the past year or two, it seems like there's been a shift in the conversation. No longer are we paying much attention to the games themselves; these days most of the attention is placed squarely on the shoulders of the developers.

Between Interviews, podcasts, presentations, documentaries and all the other forms of media that cover game developers, the games themselves sometimes feel like an afterthought. As a subculture, gamers become so fixated on the motivations and personalities of game developers, that they miss out on the pure unfiltered enjoyment (or lack of enjoyment) of a game's release. So much information has been absorbed about the developer before the player has even pressed start, that their opinion of the game is tainted or otherwise affected based purely on their like or dislike for the developer.

 

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The end result is an art form that is very quickly finding itself judged on the wrong merits. And, while enthusiasm and acceptance of gaming in mainstream culture has never been higher, those of us who have deep ties to gaming run the risk of alienating that new audience if we're not delicate about just who, what, and how much we obsess over. There's nothing that sends a casual fan running for the hills faster than overly-analytical discussion about people they've never heard of, or care about.

Enjoy games on their own merits, and allow others to do the same.

Mike Murphy
Mike Murphy
@chibi_mike

Contributing Writer
Date: 07/11/2014

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