A customer walks into GameStop. The encounter goes as follows:
Employee: “Welcome to GameStop, what can I get you today?”
Customer: “I’ve never owned a gaming console in my life. Which console should I purchase?”
That’s the most loaded question that could have been asked. Now, a good employee will know proper procedure and ask the customer’s budget, interests, and figure out what their tastes are. But let’s pretend that this question wasn’t asked in GameStop, or any retail store. Let’s say somebody asked this question online.
The mere thought of such an occurrence makes me sick to my stomach.
There are several ways I can see this going down. Someone will undoubtedly say: “Don’t get the Wii U, that thing’s already dead in the water.” Clearly, this person forgets about the issues Sony had with the PlayStation 3’s launch. Seriously, that thing was mocked from its announcement up until Uncharted and Metal Gear Solid 4 helped cement the PS3 as one of the most successful consoles of all time. From the reverse end of the spectrum, people will say: “Definitely get a Wii U because Nintendo is the only company who knows how to make fun games.” These people forget about the PS3, specifically the Little Big Planet franchise.
Nintendo isn’t the only hardware developer to receive hate. Let’s take a look at Microsoft, who would come under criticisms such as, “360’s break a week after purchase.” The Xbox 360 isn’t the only console to suffer hardware malfunctions. Does nobody remember the PS2’s issues with disc read errors? Let’s see, what other types of answers could we expect that would trash the Xbox 360? An obvious criticism is, “The 360 is only good for shooters.” Ah, this one is a little harder to defend. I’m pretty sure there’s no shooting in the Forza franchise, though. I’m also certain that Fable doesn’t contain—no wait, they did add guns. But this claim can easily be countered with: “Well, at least the 360 is easier to develop for than the PS3!” Then there’s always that one person who will come in saying: “Don’t get a console, buy a PC instead!” They’ll go on and on about how the “master race” is so much better than the console playing peasants.
I could go on and on talking about comments and “recommendations” people could make, but I think my editor would prefer that I get straight to the point. So here it is: gamers are incredibly biased. Sure, having different opinions in the middle of a debate is okay, but facts are needed to back up these opinions. Saying things like: “Call of Duty is the same thing year in and year out,” shows a bias against the franchise. Stating, “Everything EA publishes is utter garbage,” shows a bias against the publisher.
On a side note, I feel sorry for the fine folks over at Insomniac. I can’t imagine how ignored Fuse will be in the internet gaming community because EA is publishing it.
There’s no denying the fact that we’re biased. Yes, I said we. I’d be lying if I didn’t show an inch or two of bias. I think New York City is an awful town. Have I ever been there? Nope. But that’s where the Yankees and the Jets play and I’m from the Boston area. Concerning gaming, I sometimes have to swallow the pill and acknowledge that League of Legends, a game I absolutely loathe, does some things really well. I say this in spite of being on the Heroes of Newerth bandwagon. The main reason why I prefer Left 4 Dead over Left 4 Dead 2? The characters. I like them a lot more. So of course I’m a bit biased when I say that the original was better than the sequel.
Why does any of this matter, you ask? Let’s go back to my original scenario featuring that new gamer looking to buy his console. If we keep giving him biased opinions, how will that help him? How can he make a truly educated purchase? Do we even have his best interests in mind? Again, I’m all for having opinions, but let’s back them up with facts. Instead of misinformed propaganda, let’s say stuff such as: “Call of Duty has a great multiplayer mode, but sometimes lacks innovation.” Or we could say: “A majority of people dislike EA’s business practices, but they did a lot of great things with Rock Band.” Or perhaps, best of all, let’s say to new gamers: “What are you looking for in a game?”
Date: May 6, 2013