Tribalism in Gaming

Like baseball fans arguing over stats from two decades ago that only a handful of people even remember, there're few things worse than tribalism in video games.

Which system is more powerful? Which copy of a game on both systems has the higher resolution and frame rate? Eww, look at those textures. Well, obviously this will look and run better on the PC. Sony's clearly the front-runner this generation. Microsoft has the superior first-party releases.

And on, and on, and... on.


These problems have always been a part of gaming culture, but in today's modern setting, where the internet acts as like one giant microphone, they've now become a wall of noise, with everyone complaining about everything, all at once. Sadly, the greatest victim of all this pointless back and forth is the games themselves. They've gone from being items built around the concept of enjoyment and escapism, to being things that are defined, dissected and evaluated.

"It's maybe an 8, but you're crazy for giving it a 9."


These days, as is the case with most forms of entertainment, everyone's a critic. Rarely are the merits of a game's story or gameplay, or fun-factor ever discussed. All everyone seems to care about is the score. What's the meta-critic? Hmm... there was a dip in the frame-rate there for 5 seconds, I think I'll pass on playing it altogether. Ultimately, this is just a blueprint for their proof of concept, maybe they'll get it right with the sequel. This is worth $25 tops, not $60. 1080p 60fps or gtfo.

Yes, but did you enjoy the game? Did you have fun? Was the story engaging? Did you find it worth your time and attention overall? How well did the team that created it realize their vision?

These are the questions I care about, and they're the questions that the greater audience outside of core gamers care about as well. As long as we keep arguing and bickering with each other over nothing, they'll never join us and we'll never truly evolve as an industry. If we want gaming to be more accepted by the general population beyond Call of Duty and Angry Birds, we've got to be better than we are.

Mike Murphy
Mike Murphy

Contributing Writer
Date: 07/15/2014

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