Every holiday season, we reflect about what we've been through that year. We think about the good times we've had, the people we care about, and the games we have loved. We wonder what the future could hold. It is also a great time to think about holiday magic and how we might try to make the world a better place in the coming year.
For 2019, CheatCC is thinking about how we would give back. But we're not talking about the ordinary sorts of gifts or what we could bring to a white elephant exchange. Instead, we've donned some festive hats and grabbed magic wands to see how we might try to give back to the hobby we love.
If I could gift something to the gaming industry, it would be the gift of civilized and kind fans. Fans who, when faced with something they do not like, they can express themselves cordially, calmly, and constructively. Instead of spamming Twitter with death threats, fans would explain exactly what they didn’t like, why they don’t like it, and offer an idea how to make it better.
Fans would understand that the poor social media manager is not 100% responsible for the decisions the company makes and not verbally attack them, threaten their families, or threaten to dox them. In fact, there would be no threats of any kind, only rational discussions. This civility and kindness would not be limited to gamers’ behavior toward the companies either. I’d gift the same for gamers to one another. No more racist rants to one another. No more rape threats to girl gamers. No more swatting. Gaming returns what it was always meant to be: fun for all.
- Keri Honea
This year, I'd want to pay tribute to Ancient. This is a great Japanese developer that makes fantastic games with wonderful soundtracks. Most notably, the company is known for the Gotta Protectors series. It just had a new installment appear in Japan, Susume! Mamotte Knight: Hime no Totsugeki Serenade. This entry is very multiplayer-focused and is designed to bring people together to protect a princess and survive maps.
This new Gotta Protectors does have an English release tentatively confirmed and set, which is great! But this is a smaller Japanese developer that doesn't have the resources a company like Atlus would. If it would be possible to "give back to gaming" and I had the sort of resources, I'd want to do more to help ensure the game was localized efficiently and with the respect it deserved. Then, I'd make sure it was promoted enough to get enough attention from all the people who should be playing it.
- Jenni Lada
As a lifelong hobby, gaming has brought me so much. One important thing it has given me is a sense of community. Another, as a result of engaging with that community and also inhabiting the bodies of various onscreen avatars, is empathy. If I could give something back to gaming, and its community, through some magical Christmas ritual, it would be an increase to our overall empathy stat.
I know that a lot of our interactions are over the internet these days. I know gaming can get heated. I know that a lot of people care about the hobby and have strong opinions over what direction they want to see it go. But I think we need to remember that there are humans, complicated humans, on the other side of the screens. If we can remember that life is hard, not just for us but for others, and be more forgiving, less selfish, and more willing to hear people out, then I think we could all get more from this community. And, as a result, we’d always have a better stable of co-op buddies and fighting game rivals.
I don’t want to sound like I’m condemning gamers. On the whole, I think we’re a pretty damn great group of people. But, hey, we can always do better. So let’s try to level up a bit.
Let’s lift each other up.
Oh, and while I’m on the subject, let’s be grateful to the people who work long hours to make our games, too. They’re not magical elves, duty bound to provide every Christmas. They’re people with families and friends. When companies force them to work crazy hours to get a game out the door, let’s push back on the companies a bit. Overworked employees doesn’t do anyone any good.
- Benjamin Maltbie
If I had magical video game powers, I would use them to provide the games industry with good working conditions. It's such a shame that the medium I love the most is fueled by overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated developers who burn out more often than otherwise. If I had the Santa Claus Infinity Gauntlet, I'd snap my fingers and rid the world of greedy, uninformed investors, overpaid executives, and bloated rent prices.
Just imagine how much better games would be if the people who made them were happy, healthy, and experienced! Disasters like Anthem would be few and far between at worst. In theory, fixing the economic crimes happening in the industry would also be good for the industry, allowing for more kinds of games to exist and thrive and more kinds of people making them. So my backup wish, for Mystery Dungeon games to re-emerge and grow, would likely happen naturally as a byproduct of a better industry.
- Lucas White
To be honest, I wish I had more than one thing I could give back to the gaming community this Christmas. It's actually been pretty good to me over the last 30+ years. While there certainly have been no shortage of less than favorable moments (due to the stray troll or toxic a-hole who gets off on that kind of thing), for the most part it's been my home away from home. So I can think of no better gift to my fellow gamers than this; 365 days free of gaming bugs or glitches!
These past few years have been fraught with some of the craziest, most off-the-wall problems I've ever seen in video games. Friday the 13th: The Game, a personal favorite title of mine, only gets more and more ridiculous with each passing day. Only the older players still holding on understand how outrageous the bugs have become. The developers seemingly have checked out and have no interest in fixing anything further, so now it's essentially a glitchy free-for-all at Camp Crystal Lake.
But the cherry on the top of the broken sundae is by far WWE 2K20. That game was so bad, rumor has it WWE will pull a large part of its funding for future titles and it could put 2K's relationship with them in serious jeopardy moving forward. And lest we forget the Assassin's Creed face-debacle a few years back, which still gives me nightmares on occasion.
So if I could wave a magic wand, I'd give the gift of one solid year of perfect gaming. Not a single texture or pixel would be out of place. Imagine what wondrous times we would have!
The sad thing is, this wish isn't crazy or unattainable in the real-world. It's completely possible, if studios simply put a little more money and effort into the quality assurance departments they seemingly pay so little attention to these days. Not likely...but possible!
- Jason Messer