Your Favorite Game Sucks

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I'm sorry, but, there is a difference between pre-emptively establishing an opinion of a game for the purposes of making a wise purchase.. and shoving that opinion down people's throats, or misrepresenting its weight.

If you've decided you don't like a game prior to buying it, based on available information in the world at large, then.. yeah, goodo. We all do that sometimes. If someone asks you if you intend to buy it, well of course you're justified in saying no, and maybe explaining a bit, if you fancy.

But a review without touching a game? That's screwy. Now, sure, not playing the whole game through is understandable - a game might get wonderful in the later part, but it's a failing on the creator's part if they made the first half bad and put you off. If a decent stab was made, then all well and good.

Going onto a game's fansite and bashing the game without playing it? That's .. well yeah that's hater territory, and stupid. .. Actually so's going onto a fansite and bashing the game it's for having played it is iffy, too, come to think, what with it being a fansite and all.. but whatever.

There's a .. well, not a fine line, really, but a line anyway, and while having an opinion on a game without playing it or having only briefly played it is all well and good, the manner in which you deploy that opinion is not automatically justified. Now, what you review's you're own lookout and people reading that is their's, but all the same, what is unprofessional (note, not accusing anyone of anything, just rounding up this silly little post) is failing to warn at some point - preferably the start - that the opinion in the review is formed from an incomplete view of the product.

Honestly I think that's just good writing practice - not misleading people, I mean. Doing the game in question justice has nothing to do with it, and I wish all reviewers would point out how much of the game they've experienced.

... I really shouldn't try to post after midnight x.x

I actually tried reading twilight in the library (I'm not paying money for that), and I fell asleep. I woke up an hour and a half later when the librarian shook my shoulder and said she understood. So I feel I have a decent reason for hating twilight.

Shamus Young:

jebussaves88:
Its okay to have an opinion on something, but blurting out you don't like it in a forum only to reveal you haven't actually tried it is understandably going to be met with hostility by those who do like it.

This is the problem. There is no reason for hostility. I LOVE me some ice cream, but if somebody says that ice cream sucks I don't get all angry and confrontational. There is simply no reason.

Now try replacing the Ice Cream with something that matters more to you, and see if you still hold the same opinion. Try for example to replace "Ice Cream" with "your brother" (if you have one), and try replacing "sucks" with "Child molestation". If you some day found out that someone on the internet was spreading a false rumor that your brother was molesting children, wouldn't you get angry or confrontational?

I'm well aware that above example is very extreme, but i use it to point out that the problem isn't the hostility. Hostility is in fact quite often justifiable. The problem (or rather, the root of the problem) is the people who are trying to give a bad reputation to something based on pure speculation. Noone, be that any person, product or object, deserve to have false rumors spread about them based on speculation, and then it doesn't matter if it is a video game, ice cream, your brother, your dog or whatever.

Or to put it another way: The problem isn't that people get angry and confrontational when defending something. The problem is that (in many cases) they shouldn't have to.

The best thing you can ever do for yourself as a consumer of games is to find a reviewer you agree with 90% of the time or more. The hours it takes to do this will potentially save you hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars.

There is only one comment in this article I have a problem with, it's this:

Last week I had my rules for not pissing off the fanboys. They were satire, but a lot of people agreed with point #2 - that you shouldn't have an opinion on a game until you've played it. This is a horrible and self-destructive attitude to take. As a consumer, it's your job to be discriminating with what you buy. You worked for your money (I hope) and so you owe it to yourself to be careful where you put it. And that means forming on opinions on things before you pay for them.

He acts like there isn't such a thing as GameFly out there. And even then if you don't want to spend money on that, there's always asking your friends if they have the game in question and if you could borrow it. That's how I got ahold of the first Halo game.

But really, yeah there are times when you can tell right off the bat that something is bad. Makes me wonder why Seltzer & Friedberg's movies keep turning a profit when all one needs to do to judge their movies is view the trailers alone.

jebussaves88:
But on the other hand, recklessly broadcasting an opinion about something you haven't tried can be unnecessarily damaging to a products reputation. Its okay to have an opinion on something, but blurting out you don't like it in a forum only to reveal you haven't actually tried it is understandably going to be met with hostility by those who do like it. So yes, it is healthy to have an uninformed opinion, otherwise you'll get burned by purchases you simply won't like, but mindlessly yelling about it at those who do like it over an internet forum is not going to lead to many decent arguments.

This happens a lot because you get people who confuse "I don't like this thing," with "No one should like this thing." If someone is expressing their opinion, its always cool. When someone barges in and starts ranting about why I shouldn't like the thing they hate on principle, then it gets annoying....sadly, the latter is a lot more common on da interwebz than the former....

Not G. Ivingname:

Shamus Young:
Snip

Ok, are ANY of your article not trolling?

Yeah, seriously, how did this guy get a job here?

jebussaves88:
But it begs the question; if you don't like a game, and you haven't tried it, why are you getting involved in an argument over something you clearly have no interest in in the first place? If you'd played the game, or even demoed it, and had genuine criticism for it, then I think its something to discuss, but wading into the troll pit blindfolded is not bringing anything to the table except bad feeling.

For example, I'm fairly sure I wouldn't like the cover system in Killzone 2, and have never thought it was really that pretty a game, which rendered it as a console shooter rather impotent (to me anyway). But you don't see me wading into a Sony forum to tell all the members that their most anticipated game of last year was a big grey pile of something unpleasant. Just because I didn't bother to buy or demo it does not give me the right to criticise peoples taste, which is what anyone who stumbles into such a conversation is doing. "I didn't bother playing the thing you like, but I know it's just bloody awful, and anyone who disagrees is just a moron". If you were to say something like "It just didn't appeal to me" that would be something, if not completely pointless and a waste of time.
If people want mature conversation about something, then the people within that conversation should really be informed about what they're talking about, and anyone who isn't is entitled to their opinion, but within that conversation, that opinion isn't needed.

(Don't take this as me defending fan boys, but to be honest, anyone who blindly criticises a game without playing it is equally guilty of trolling it up)

To be fair, simply expressing your dislike for something is far from saying "anyone who disagrees is a moron."

Maybe it's because I get a lot of the Yahtzee example that I agree with it.

"Have you played (game)?"
"Nah, not a fan/isn't my thing."
"BAWWWWWWWWW! (game) is awesome! You should totally give it a chance!"

This branches into two choices: I don't try it and they remain like that until the NEW thing to complain about me not trying comes out or I try it, most likely did not like it, and get told I didn't give it a chance or I'm doing it wrong.

and I only have to deal with my friends. If I were Yahtzee, I'd probably be raising a lesser demon to deal with the folks who were no-winning me.

I'm in my rights to hate any FPS that comes out, because it's the first person part of the game I don't like. There's literally nothing you can do to make it appealing to me except drop the "FP." I agree there's a certain level of antagonism, but on most boards these things rarely come out of a vacuum.

I'm clapping, you just can't hear it.

Seriously I went with the mentality for the last time that you need to play something to enjoy it. It was Other M, I knew I was going to hate it and after I got it I didn't just hate it I DESPISED IT.

They dumbed down the gameplay and made it awkward and the story, oh my god the story was horrible. Now I have to sell for less than half the damn price I bought it for. That's what the shitty mentality gets you, now I supported a game that I hate and don't want another of and fanboys just get to smile ignorantly because they got another shiny Nintendo game that's impossible to be bad.

jebussaves88:

The_root_of_all_evil:
If you can't hate something until you've tried it: How many people hate crystal meth?

People don't hate the taste of crystal meth; they hate its effect on society. That's different. If Halo Reach was causing mass infertility, tooth loss and discolouration of the skin, then we would have every right to tell the Halo fanboys to button it. But it isn't, so we kind of don't, unless we've played it and are now chewing with our gums and firing blanks.

have you being near or suffered from the effects of crystal meth??

if not, how do you know you hate it?, the media made articles about it?? woah... thats exactly why i hate "such and such" game/movie/book

It IS, under the right circumstances, perfectly reasonable to hate something without first-hand experience if you've done your research. I hate Twilight and I have practically since I first heard about it, because as soon as I did, I went to look up some stuff about it to find out what it's all about. And I found out that the story is stupid (I actually READ the plot outlines and it IS stupid), the characters are shallow and moronic (they absolutely ARE) and the overall themes are disturbing and misogynistic. And then last Christmas I was forced to watch the first movie (I was accompanying my little 11-year old cousin who got the DVD for Christmas and felt that for her own good she shouldn't watch it unsupervised) and low and behold! It was just as bad as I'd expected, if not worse.

Do you have to actually PLAY RapeLay to formulate the opinion that it's horribly offensive and misogynistic and promotes rape? Or can simply reading about it for a few minutes (or even seconds) tell you everything you need to know? Sure, you may have to play to game to find out whether or not you LIKE it, but that may be something you'd be better off NOT knowing.

Just because an opinion lacks first-hand experience, that doesn't mean it has to be uninformed and ignorant.

I actually disagree with most of the points in this article. I've never posted on The Escapist's forum before and probably won't again, but I want to say this:

I feel that not trying out a game because it doesn't interest you is fair enough. However - saying that the game itself is bad without playing it makes you a fool. Same goes for film and any other medium. I can't say that The Expendables is a bad movie because I haven't seen it. I can, however, say that it's something I'm not interested in watching.

(And for the record, I read the first two Twilight books just to be sure. They suck.)

I think it really depends on how in-depth that opinion will be, though. If someone is going to go into great detail onto why a specific part of a game isn't good and act like your word is law whilst not having played it isn't the best defense.

A good example is probably Metroid: Other M. Is it perfect? No. Is there room to build upon what they had? Absolutely. It's also a very polarizing game. I've seen just as many people say that they don't like it as I have people who do, including me. As a matter of fact, I'd say it's nigh-on impossible to tell whether or not you'll like it until you've played it, seen what it does and doesn't do well first-hand. Heck, I thought Dead Space looked exactly like something I'd love, only to then walk away from the experience disappointed and unsatisfied.

I think if you don't think that you'll like a game but there is still some hope that you will, then you should give it a shot even if it's just borrowed or rented.

But that's just my two cents.

Video game advertisements annoy me more than they convince me to buy things. My local EBGames had a Red Dead Redemption advertisement running for a few months prior to the game's release and it didn't sound like a very good game to me (more like generic moral choice illusion) but after trying the game at a friend's house, I loved it. The best way to decide whether or not you want a game is to play the demo, clear and simple. Things like art style, gameplay videos, etc. can help, but if the average gamer is anything like the occasionally appearing cynical bastard voice in my head, they don't listen to advertisements at all.

Of course, discriminating what you buy/don't buy is always important. It's not worth 60$ to buy a game and say "there, I bought it and I hate it." It'd be better to say "That doesn't look good, I'm holding on to my 60$" and considering that many people don't have time to try plethoras of demos (I have a few downloaded which I haven't played yet, because I keep playing the games I already own, but haven't beaten.)

I really don't know where I'm getting with this, but my opinion is vaguely that the article has a good point and that trying demos is still the best way to determine if a game is worth your 60$/40$/bargain bin bucks/digital download/torrenting bandwidth.

Towowo2:
^this a million times. People need to learn how to articulate their opinions better and try not to present it as fact.

I almost never see anyone presenting their opinions as a fact. Just stupid people who try to come back with "well that's just your opinion!" because they disagree and can't come up with something to actually carry on a conversation.

But anyone intelligent already knows that an opinion is an opinion, and if you say something like "inFamous sucks", that isn't saying it as a fact. That's an opinion. If I said "inFamous sucks and if you disagree you are wrong and an idiot", then that's trying to pass off your opinion as a fact. But if you just say "inFamous sucks", then nope, that's clearly an opinion. It is completely unnecessary to slap something redundant like "IMO" or "I think" before any such statement; anyone with a brain already knows its an opinion, and anyone who needs to be told isn't worth having a conversation with in the first place.

In summary:

When i red this, the first thing that came to mind was Halo Reach.
I was the only one of my group not to buy the game, and they all shelled out $150 bucks for the "limited" edition.

:/ now they complain they HAVE to spend another $150 on the black ops "Limited" edition.
Then they complain they cant afford Diablo 3 or Dead rising 2.

Its all this saturation. You could go on the internet and only see 3 video game related advertisements a day.

Now every page you load stuffs a halo or call of duty advertisement in your face.

I haven't been able to stand the fanboys and evangelists since the inception of the public internet. I don't know, I enjoy argument and debate(family and friends will vouch that I would argue with a brick wall) so I will occasionally feed the trolls for entertainment purposes. But I have a difficult time understanding the deep passion and utter devotion that some people will give to a game or console. Do i have passion for games? Yes I do but it doesn't bother me a bit when someone expresses a bad opinion of something I enjoy, and trust me when I say that I have more than a few games which are very popular to hate.

I am going to wrap up my rambling before I become completely incoherent but I will say one last thing: Enjoy yourself and stop pissing in your own Wheaties when someone expresses a difference of opinion.

Sorry, Young, but you're way off on this one. Let me write an extensive post on the third page no one will read to count the ways why.

I won't waste time on the difference between making an opinion that you shouldn't buy a game and making an opinion that a game is bad because people have already gone over it. That is a lie. I wrote two paragraphs on the matter and realized I had said nothing new so I deleted them. You're welcome, internet.

Let's move on to my second point, which is much more important. If you haven't played something, then okay, you can criticize it based on a number of facts. You can ultimately look at second hand accounts and decide you won't like the game. But you can't argue about that game with someone who has played it. Why? Because your understanding of the game is at a different level, not to mention possibly wrong. If someone asks you, 'What is it you don't like about the game?' you might give a nonsense answer. If someone decided not to play Mario 64 because he didn't like the SNES Mario games that's his issue, but if he said he didn't want to play it because he didn't like time limts you'd thing he was daft!

I'm making a distinction between casual analysis and deep analysis here. You can buy some wine for yourself without being an enologist, but you can't really discuss your choice with one (so just punch him in the face for spitting off all that wine). Even if you dislike a game playing it will have you dislike it at a different level, and you'll be able to argue your point. If you haven't played it, then you should be quiet about it.

You ask us if we played Farmville or read Twilight. I haven't done either. I also never said anything bad about those series, except from a cultural perspective (which doesn't require understanding of the thing itself, but of its effects) for that precise reason. And I have played many games that I thought I wouldn't like to see if they were as bad as I thought they would be (they weren't but they were still pretty bad). Why? Because I like to discuss games as a medium and I like to discuss certain popular games in them, and if I need to decry them as being bad I need to have solid ground to stand on. If I made an assumption about a game and it turned out the feature I assumed that game had was lampshaded and used to criticize its proeminence in games it'd take all the wind from my sails! (Which is why I need to play Bayonetta because I'm still not sure if it's actually serious about the whole... um... tits.)

What I'm saying is, if you're going to say ice cream is bad to a room full of ice cream eaters you'd better be able to defend your idea.

The problem, I think, is a lack of discernment on one's ability to do a deep analysis, and mistaking a casual for a deep one. Making a casual analysis is OK, as long as you know it's casual. The problem is mistaking it for a deep one. We all can do a casual analysis of what's showing when we go to the movies, but no one would write a blog post (a deep analysis) on a movie they didn't watch.

For the record, I consider the difference between casual and deep analysis to be the ability to examine different aspects of something separatedly. For instance, if you ask me about my opinion on a game, I can talk about its gameplay and its design. On a book, I can talk about its character development and its narrative structure. On a movie? I know that editing and framing are things, but I can't separate them from the greater structure of the movie, so I don't consider myself, personally, qualified to review movies. I can tell you precisely and objectively why I like or dislike a game or book, but can't do that to movies. So I don't. I can only review a game I haven't played to the same extent I can review a movie, so I know my review has to be lacking. (Of course this is personal; someone who can judge a movie's editing and framing has full right to review them.)

I'm not sure of what was the point of this article, but if you walk into a fanboy discussion complaining about a game you haven't played, you're a fanboy. You're an anti-fanboy, a fan of hating something. A kismesis. This is because a fanboy is someone who forms an opinion and then refuses to change it, and if you do it while holding an opinion about something you are less informed about than who you're talking to, then you're one hell of a fanboy. What was that quote about a fanatic being someone who refuses to change either his mind or the subject?

Arcane Azmadi:
It IS, under the right circumstances, perfectly reasonable to hate something without first-hand experience if you've done your research. I hate Twilight and I have practically since I first heard about it, because as soon as I did, I went to look up some stuff about it to find out what it's all about. And I found out that the story is stupid (I actually READ the plot outlines and it IS stupid), the characters are shallow and moronic (they absolutely ARE) and the overall themes are disturbing and misogynistic. And then last Christmas I was forced to watch the first movie (I was accompanying my little 11-year old cousin who got the DVD for Christmas and felt that for her own good she shouldn't watch it unsupervised) and low and behold! It was just as bad as I'd expected, if not worse.

Do you have to actually PLAY RapeLay to formulate the opinion that it's horribly offensive and misogynistic and promotes rape? Or can simply reading about it for a few minutes (or even seconds) tell you everything you need to know? Sure, you may have to play to game to find out whether or not you LIKE it, but that may be something you'd be better off NOT knowing.

Just because an opinion lacks first-hand experience, that doesn't mean it has to be uninformed and ignorant.

Reading about something is already something, but it's not as good as firsthand experience. Maybe Stephanie Meyer is an awesome writer and she really manages to make those drab characters and situations come to life with her excellent prose! And it just so happens that the movie failed to translate her exquisite style. Have you thought about that? Yeah okay that's probably not the case, but if it was you would probably have the same idea about her, unless your research was deeper than I'm assuming. The more your research is thorough, the less likely it is to be wrong, but only firsthand experience has 100% certainty. Just like the higher the number of people interviewed for a poll the lower the margin of error, but a margin of error of 0% only happens if your poll consists of 100% of the total.

And at any rate you can definitively say that you don't like Twilight, but if you were going to write an essay on why you'd need to read the book. Trust me on this one.

As for the RapeLay thing, 'misogynistic' is not really subjective, so even a cursory understanding of it would tell you that it is misogynistic. And 'disturbing' is subjective, but subjective related to the themes shown - most people find rape disturbing (phew) so they would find a game based on it disturbing. It's not enough to base a big analysis though. If I found death disturbing I might think Fullmetal Alchemist is disturbing, so there. And of course, you're only analysing the themes. So if you said that RapeLay is disturbing and mysoginistic and then some asshole (probably in a checkered shirt with popped collars and a Doritos cap) asked you, 'But is it FUN to play?' what would you say? Well you'd probaly say that the guy was a creep to even ask, but you still wouldn't know if RapeLay would be a good game even if the offensive elements were removed. Sure it's okay to think that given the nature of those elements no further consideration is needed and they cannot possibly save the whole of the experience, but it's still a missing view. Or, to put it in another way: I have just created a full conversion mod of RepeLay that keeps the gameplay but removes everything else. Now the commands that were used to dominate and rape women are used to - say - hack computers in a cyberpunk setting. Is it a good game? I think your analysis was insufficient to say that!

That said, I'm still not playing Halo.

There are very few real fanbois.

Most are paid marketing cocksuckers sent to spew feces all over various forums.

Interesting. I appreciated the Farmville/Twilight analogy.

Shamus Young:
Experienced Points: Your Favorite Game Sucks.

You dare to insinuate that Ratchet & Clank series generates suction? Well, i do declare you're overstepping the limits my patience, good sire! Let's settle this like men... choose your weapon!

They work to calculate the precise degree of cleavage a game needs to show in order to attract the male gamers without alienating the female ones.

It's not just marketing... IT'S SCIENCE!!!

***

Now, cheap jokes about the article's name and tits aside: your first point in last week's column - don't review a game if you know you already hate it - is still worse offender in my eyes. Sure, some amount of criticism is neccesary. But if you're going to cover an average-to-good game in irrational bile (the oh-so-hated Halo comes to mind), and you're not even planning to be funny about it, why even bother? Well, aside from trolling it's fans you hate for liking it.

I try to play a game/read a book/watch a movie before forming an opinion, but sometimes it just doesn't take a brain to realize something isn't for you and/or sucks. I tried FarmVille, then quit 5 minutes later because when it tells me I have to wait 24 hours to start doing something in-game again that's just terrible game design. It's the same reason why I hate certain game-modes without playing them thoroughly?

Example: Call of Duty's "Search and Destroy" game mode.
Me: So how does Search and Destroy work?
Friend: One team is offense, the other is defense.
Me: Okay, simple enough so far.
Friend: Defense wins by eliminating the other team, or lasting the time until round end. Offense wins by destroying either of two key locations or eliminating the other team.
Me: So neither team respawns at any point until the round is over?
Friend: Yeah. It makes it so you have to play very carefully.
Me: That's stupid. What's the point of the offense/defense thing when really you're just playing a less fun version of Last Man Standing game modes?
Friend: No dude it rewards skill and careful playing.
Me: And campers. And noob-tubers. And tac-knifers. Just like every other game mode.
Friend: No, you're just mad because you're bad at the game.
Me & Friend: [ARGUMENT]

This discussion right here is what made me realize I no longer wanted to play CoD at all anymore.

Shamus Young:
How many of you played FarmVille before you concluded it was the videogame equivalent of stomach cancer? How many read Twilight before decrying it as an offense against both women and vampires?

I did both, I tired FarmVille, and I forced myself to read Twilight (my sisters copy thank god I didn't waste money on it) after they started getting railed on it popular corners, I did so because I'm a firm believer in not criticising something until you have a fair understanding of it; it's the same reason I've read 5 different version of The Bible, I've read The Qu'ran AND The Torah, if I'm going to be involved in a debate about something, I should damn well be informed about it.

There is a difference between evaluating something based off minor information, such as the choice to buy a game or see a movie, and arguing about the details of it; I didn't buy MW2, because everything I saw about it left me feeling "meh" and "not really my cup of tea" but I'm not going to bash the game; if I wanted to criticise the game I couldn't do so in good faith without playing it first.

So in short, making a judgement about something based on small bits of information is fine if it's a personal choice, but don't start criticising something without being informed about it.

Shamus Young:
Experienced Points: Your Favorite Game Sucks

Despite popular opinion, you don't need to have played a game to hate it.

[...]

... a lot of people agreed with point #2 - that you shouldn't have an opinion on a game until you've played it. This is a horrible and self-destructive attitude to take. As a consumer, it's your job to be discriminating with what you buy. You worked for your money (I hope) and so you owe it to yourself to be careful where you put it. And that means forming on opinions on things before you pay for them.

Read Full Article

I'd like to put a finer point on the above idea that I think may make some sense. You've rightfully pointed out that if playing a game is a prerequisite to making a judgment, everyone would have to play everything, which is impractical and unnecessary.

It is entirely valid to make judgments on a game based on lots of inputs: reviews, word of mouth, advertising campaigns, trailers, gameplay videos.

What I think may be worth saying-- and maybe what those fans who take defense of their favorite franchises to heart (misguidedly, I think, more often than not) is that the opinion of someone who has made a judgment not to play or purchase a game based on the above information is of limited value to others, in contrast to the opinion of someone who decided to play or purchase the game, and does not regret that purchase.

I may, for instance, not decide to buy Red Dead Redemption because it has a Western setting and that doesn't interest me. I don't need to know anything else about the game-- I don't need to play it, or see it, or know anything else about it-- it's just not of interest. However, there's no meaningful way for me to express my decisionmaking to others considering a purchase except to say, "if you're not interested in Westerns, you may not want to bother with Red Dead Redemption, as it is a Western." This opinion conveys nothing more than 1) repeating the original input, provided by the developers themselves (western setting) and my personal preferences (I don't like westerns).

On the other hand, the opinion of someone who owns the game may be of use because that information comes from a source different than the one I used to make my judgment: the game itself.

The best example of this I can think of isn't a game, it's a television series: Firefly. I had people suggest to me to watch many times, and they invariably described it as a Western in space-- which did not interest me. When I finally watched the series, its quality and character won me over. That's the missed opportunity that fans are talking about.

Where this goes wrong, I think, is that just as fans of a game feel a compulsion to defend their purchase decision, those who choose not to follow a particular title or franchise also feel the same urge, and tend to pull in other factors that may or may not have figured in their decisionmaking process at all: comparisons to other titles, the platform it is on-- and a war of bullet points ensues even though the only real motivator was a completely legitimate one: a lack of interest. The problem is that a personal lack of interest is not, in and of itself, a particularly valuable data point-- yet people constantly feel compelled to express it. I'm always seeing people pop into threads about a certain game only to say that game doesn't interest them, or doesn't interest them any longer, now that it doesn't have Feature X or won't be released on Platform Y. The need to express this opinion puzzles me.

What doesn't puzzle me is fans trotting out the axiom that you can't have an opinion without playing a game. I agree that's not practical, because it prohibits us from being smart consumers. However, without playing a game your personal opinion is probably worth a lot less-- perhaps close to nothing-- to others. People who also lack an interest in the title don't need to know about your lack of interest-- they've made their choice already. Those who do have an interest won't be swayed, and there's little point in expressing your lack of interest against their opinion. Those who are still on the fence have their own personal preferences to guide them, as well whatever information about the game you used to come to your own conclusion.

Opinions about games one hasn't played are entirely legitimate-- there's just no legitimate reason to make them public, as it only invites reponses and lowers the signal to noise ratio.

Truehare:
You know, I see a lot of people here confusing "stating your opinion" with "being a troll". There is a big difference there, folks.

Let me give you an example: If I say "this game is a big pile of dog shit", that is just my opinion. But if I say "this game is a big pile of dog shit and everyone who likes it is a stupid dogshit-eater", then I'm being an asshole.

Can you see the difference?

Not really, because there isn't one.

If you say you're uninterested in a game, or that you dislike a game, that's expressing an opinion. These are expressions of personal preference.

The word "opinion" is being polluted. An opinion is not merely an assertion of fact from a non-authoritative source. It is an expression of preference about something which itself has no objective value. There's no truth value to the statement "I dislike this game" beyond the agreement between the statement and my expression of it. There is no assertion made about the game whatsoever. This is an opinion.

The statement "this game is a big pile of dogshit" is an assertion of fact. It's not a literal one, but it is still an assertion of fact. Qualifying your opinion with the phrase "in my humble opinion, this game is a big pile of dogshit" (or, as many assert, simply assuming such qualifiers on anything said in a public forum) does not change this from an assertion of fact to an opinion; it only casts doubt on the accuracy of your perception. What you are saying that is that the game may or may not be a big pile of dogshit, but it sure looks like one to you. Adding qualifiers to this statement only casts doubt on the accuracy of your perceptions, and is using that doubt to masquerade as an opinion.

Once it's established that what's being dealt with is an assertion of fact, your second statement follows from your first: if the game is indeed a big pile of dogshit, then people who like it are people who like dogshit. Disguising your personal preference (I do not like this game) as an assertion of fact (this game is dogshit) then allows one to attack those who differ, either by suggesting by inference that they really do like dogshit, or that their perception is so muddled that they are consuming dogshit and do not know it. The personal nature of your perception has now been externalized-- instead of expressing your dislike for a game, you have made an objective comparison to something no reasonable person would express a like for, and asserted that the game is like this thing.

Everyone is, of course, entitled to their opinion. However, I think it's poor form to disguise one's opinions as assertions of fact, casting aspersions on those who do not share that opinion, and then hiding behind the badge of opinion. If one does not like something, say so. If you have reasons and these may illuminate others, tell what those reasons are. There's no real reason to take recourse to flat statements with offensive language and then acting surprise when others take offense at the inescapable logical conclusions from your expressed "opinion".

Good article. I was kind of feeling bad for hating Halo: Reach based on my experiences with Halo 2 through ODST, I was like "maybe they're right." But after reading this? Of course it's logical. It's logical to assume a game will be good based on a series' past, so I can say the same of shit games too, yeah?

I don't need to bend over to please some pissant fanboys! YEAHH

THIS ARTICLE FILLS ME WITH MUCH SOUGHT AFTER CONFIDENCE :D

It's like I keep telling my friends, it's okay that I don't play Halo and that I don't ever want to. It didn't interest me, but that's apparently a crime, to some...

Anyway, great article as always, S'.

Narcogen:

Truehare:
You know, I see a lot of people here confusing "stating your opinion" with "being a troll". There is a big difference there, folks.

Let me give you an example: If I say "this game is a big pile of dog shit", that is just my opinion. But if I say "this game is a big pile of dog shit and everyone who likes it is a stupid dogshit-eater", then I'm being an asshole.

Can you see the difference?

Not really, because there isn't one.

If you say you're uninterested in a game, or that you dislike a game, that's expressing an opinion. These are expressions of personal preference.

The word "opinion" is being polluted. An opinion is not merely an assertion of fact from a non-authoritative source. It is an expression of preference about something which itself has no objective value. There's no truth value to the statement "I dislike this game" beyond the agreement between the statement and my expression of it. There is no assertion made about the game whatsoever. This is an opinion.

The statement "this game is a big pile of dogshit" is an assertion of fact. It's not a literal one, but it is still an assertion of fact. Qualifying your opinion with the phrase "in my humble opinion, this game is a big pile of dogshit" (or, as many assert, simply assuming such qualifiers on anything said in a public forum) does not change this from an assertion of fact to an opinion; it only casts doubt on the accuracy of your perception. What you are saying that is that the game may or may not be a big pile of dogshit, but it sure looks like one to you. Adding qualifiers to this statement only casts doubt on the accuracy of your perceptions, and is using that doubt to masquerade as an opinion.

Once it's established that what's being dealt with is an assertion of fact, your second statement follows from your first: if the game is indeed a big pile of dogshit, then people who like it are people who like dogshit. Disguising your personal preference (I do not like this game) as an assertion of fact (this game is dogshit) then allows one to attack those who differ, either by suggesting by inference that they really do like dogshit, or that their perception is so muddled that they are consuming dogshit and do not know it. The personal nature of your perception has now been externalized-- instead of expressing your dislike for a game, you have made an objective comparison to something no reasonable person would express a like for, and asserted that the game is like this thing.

Everyone is, of course, entitled to their opinion. However, I think it's poor form to disguise one's opinions as assertions of fact, casting aspersions on those who do not share that opinion, and then hiding behind the badge of opinion. If one does not like something, say so. If you have reasons and these may illuminate others, tell what those reasons are. There's no real reason to take recourse to flat statements with offensive language and then acting surprise when others take offense at the inescapable logical conclusions from your expressed "opinion".

I don't think the word 'opinion' is being polluted because it's always been that way. There has always been people calling people or objects the devil, singers called untalented, shows poor and quality, etc. All comedians say shit like this just to be funny and not all us will agree with it but it falls under free speech so it's cool.

Everyday I hear opinions that I find annoying but you just ignore them because in the end it doesn't matter. As long as they don't have the power to stop me from enjoying 'it', then I will defend with an argument.

I'm usually saying in my head "pffft, what do they know?"

I'll just leave this here:
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ptitlexxpmjrh25rbg

[sarcasm]
I haven't read a single Stolen Pixels. BECAUSE IT SUCKS!!!11!ONE11!
THOSE WHO DISAGREE WITH ME ARE FANBOYS.
HEAR ME WHINE!
[/sarcasm]

Shamus Young:

jebussaves88:
Its okay to have an opinion on something, but blurting out you don't like it in a forum only to reveal you haven't actually tried it is understandably going to be met with hostility by those who do like it.

This is the problem. There is no reason for hostility. I LOVE me some ice cream, but if somebody says that ice cream sucks I don't get all angry and confrontational. There is simply no reason.

Yeah, but if you told me you hated ice cream then told me you'd never tried it I would think you were a complete and utter idiot.

Darkstar370:
I'll just leave this here:
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ptitlexxpmjrh25rbg

I haven't read a single Stolen Pixels. BECAUSE IT SUCKS!!!11!ONE11!
THOSE WHO DISAGREE WITH ME ARE FANBOYS.
HEAR ME WHINE!

As long as you know it sucks to you for your own reasons, according to the article.

Actually, this topic is doing my head in. I'm all for freedom of speech but I would prefer to see those who say it sucks give some reason. Least then it will serve a bit of purpose in the thread on a website that says it needs discussion value.

Then again it can be easily ignored or you could ask why you think it sucks.

Unless I missed/misunderstood something.

You know, I don't think the amount of times this has been said is enough to emphasize it, so:

Thank you for posting this article. It really, really, REALLY needed to be said.

With that being said, while I'm not much of a game fanboy - I do love BFBC2 and S4League, but don't think they're perfect-- they're fucked up mutated little children just like the rest - I am a platform/OS fanboy. While I can't say I ever forced people to try it before they hated it in that context, mainly because I assume everyone at some point has used MOS and Windows, and has tried multiple consoles and maybe dabbled in PC gaming, I can't say I wouldn't say "You can't bash pc gaming unless you've tried it." And you are right, it is wrong. A good gaming PC, if you build it, can go for $900 plus. If you build it, and therefore are already experienced in it.

I have every reason not to want to play Super Mario Galaxy 2 or any Wii title because I don't like what I've seen. Moreso, in this economy, having such a tight budget means that if I somehow do get enough money to buy another game, I'm not gonna get it just because I was told to because I was wrong in saying I don't like it. I don't care if I'm gonna miss something potentially good because, to be quite honest, I may just not be into that sort of thing. I like guns. I like cooperation. I like working as a team. More than that, I like healing people that accidentally walked in front of a gatling. Does Super Pillow Fluffer 4 have those things? No. The gameplay might be tight and the graphics might just be friendly and super bright, but if I want to get headaches while staring at a screen, I'll just play Touhou without shelling out 60 bucks.

Man this was great, Shamus I just love your way of writing.

And also death squad troopers aren't evil they are just doing their job ;)

I can see what the article is getting at, but it still has a gaping logic hole insofar as it suggests that one should either love or hate a game. Surely in the absence of any knowledge or experience of a game, one would feel some combination of curiosity, ambivalence or disinterest. "Hate" though is a strong opinion and entirely unjustified on any rational level unless you have first hand experience of the game or one closely related thereto.

This, sir, is why I love your articles the most out of everything in this website.

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