Your Favorite Game Sucks

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I don't think anyone would argue against predicting how you would feel about a thing before experiencing it.

The problem I have is with the distinction between "I dislike X" and "I think that I would dislike X". They are very different statements, and should be used correctly.

I mostly agree with Shamus, but I don't think that all "opinions" (or points of view) are equal. I will explain what I mean later in this argument.

::::Intro on Opinions

There are two types of opinions that I will refer to. One is an "informed" opinion. One is an "uninformed" opinion.

Before I say anything here I would like to point out that I think people, whether they have a "justified" or "unjustified" opinion of a game, still have the right to choose to buy, or not to buy a game, on the basis of the opinion they have. This is a fundamental "human right".

The issue here is not if the person justifies this decision based on an opinion they have, but whether the opinion they use is "justified" or "unjustified".
The only "justifiable" reason for disliking a game is based on an "informed" opinion.

::::"Informed" Opinions:

--Forming an "informed" opinion, contrary to the ramblings of fanboys, does not require you to actually play the game. It simply requires you to find out information about the game. The more facts you can find out about the game, the easier it becomes to pass a reasonable judgement on the liklihood of whether you will like the game or not.

--The opinions of other people can also help you to make a judgement of this liklihood. For instance, if the majority of people who have played the game like it, then there is a high probability that you will also.

::::"Uninformed" opinions vs "Informed" opinions:

I concede that neither of these methods are as good at helping you form an opinion of a game than playing the game itself, but games cost money and time. In that respect I concur with Shamus. However I disagree with the implication that "informed" and "uninformed" opinions of video-games are equally valuabe.

....... Why Informed Opinions are more valuable than Uninformed Opinions:.......

(1.--An "uninformed" opinion is one that is based on unreliable information, or none at all.

--In general, if you make any decision based on unreliable information, or none at all, you are more likely to miss out on something good, or cause something bad to happen to you.

(2.--Informed opinions are, as I have established, based on largely reliable information, and lots of it, meaning decisions based on these opinions are more likely to cause something good to happen to you, or lead you to avoid something bad.

::::

As you can see, decisions based on uninformed opinions result in more negative consequences, whereas decisions based on informed opinions result in more positive consequences.

::::

In summary, while I think that people have an interminable right to choose what they want to buy, it is ridiculous for fanboys to suggest that an informed decision on a game can only be made by playing the game itself. Good on you Shamus.

The fanboy strawman Shamus puts up ... is right. You should try to find and enjoy the good parts of games, not ignore them and bitch about the parts that don't matter.

If you complain about the mediocre singleplayer in a primarily multiplayer game, it's not that you're wrong ... your commentary is just irrelevant.

Know the type of game you're playing, and judge it on the qualities that people who play that type of game care about.

Or just write some self-indulgent stuff no one cares about.

While I can seethe point made by the article that you don't have to play a game to find out if it's good or not, it sure as hell helps if you do.

We can all stand back and say 'that doesn't look like something for me' (and it's not a bad thing if you do, we would all make some really stupid decisions if we couldn't) but I would definately have more reason to trust the opinion of someone who has actually experienced the thing in question first hand.

In short, you're right, you don't have to try something to be opinionated.

However, prepare to have your opinion disregarded if this is the case (I don't think I need to remind us of the 'issue' that surrounded Mass Effect caused by, you guessed it, people who had never played the game).

I agree to a certain point. Ofcourse we all have to form some kind of opinion of things. Dragon Age: Origins looked really fucking good so I bought it. Just like any other game. Sure, sometimes a bad game sneaks into my collection and I rage over having s pend my money on it, but hey, I paid to see Resident Evil: Afterlife so I know all about wanting your money back.

But, I can't say that I know that Twilight sucks, because I haven't read them.I can say that I've recived a very bad impression of the book and that I wouldn't spend my money on them. Those are too diffrent things, one is a opinion, the other is a impression.

With five pages of comments, I'm sure it's all been said, but there's a difference between having an opinion and bandying it about willy-nilly on internet forums. I agree that no one should have to apologize for an opinion on something and they are certainly entitled to it, but if you take the time to write anything on a public forum you should be prepared for some disagreement or backlash. Posting on a forum is an active thing that invites response.

That being said, I know it's possible to be so strongly against a game that you can't help but wrestle with the monstrous hype, but if that's the case, then you should welcome the flames. Why else are you posting other than to battle the opposing opinion? Now the rest of your points in that article focused on reviewers. For reviewers, it would be unacceptable to review a game without playing it. For everyone else, they should just stick to playing the games they DO like rather than attacking others that shouldn't matter to them anyway. I think that's the point. People coming together to discuss and geek out over their favorite game is harmless, but people coming in uninvited and trying to bash the game for their own satisfaction is negative and mean-spirited. So they get back what they give out.

One problem with the example given is that Yahtzee isn't really a reviewer. He's a self-proclaimed "critic". Which means its his job to criticize ACTUAL flaws. For example, as much as I enjoyed Red Dead Redemption, it did have its flaws. Like John Marston clipping through walls, numerous crashes, and other actual glitches.

Yahtzee pretty much hated Brawl because he didn't like it and (by his own admission) sucks at that particular genre of games

Headbiter:

Spygon:
I can not agree with shamus here its like everything unless you tried it i can not see how you have an opinion on it.

Then I assume you have absolutely no opinion on the following topics:

Rape.
Child pornography.
Osama bin Laden.
Drugs.
Genocide.
Being a millionaire.
Polygamy.
Adoption.
Political situation in China, most African nations and the middle east.
Israel.
Religions other than the one you follow, if there's any.
Me, and roughly 80% of the people on this website since you never met me or them in your life and probably never will.

OK let's take one of those examples. The political situation in China. Let's suppose there's a thread on the forum about China. Now none of the people discussing have ever been to China, or those who have were there as tourists, but they are all intelligent and well-informed people and they can have a nice discussion.

Then someone posts saying that they have just escaped from China and he was being persecuted by the government.

(Also for the sake of this argument let's pretent we can reliably know he's saying the truth.)

Anyone who insisted on their viewpoint if it contradicted the Chinese's assertations would be a major tool. He has had firsthand experience, so his point on it is obviously more valid and more accurate than anything you can come up with from secondary choices.

I, too, know nothing firsthand of those topics, but I can discuss them... with people who also know nothing firsthand of those topics. Could you discuss rape with a rape victim? Drugs with a drug addict? I mean on this forum, as I am doing right now with you?

Wouldn't it be like trying to discuss this article without having read it?

My whole point is this. There are different degrees of opinion. And the opinions of those who have had firsthand experience of something are, by definition, more valid. Not to say you need to like something, but 'I haven't played this game because it looks like something I'll not enjoy', as valid as it is, is worse than 'I don't like this game because I played it and I didn't like it'. If you can explain why, your analysis is better.

The difference is that it's impossible to have firsthand experience with oppressive governments or adoption or Jesus. Having firsthand experience with a game is just a matter of playing it. Plus, on this site, if someone is discussing a game, odds are they have played it. You don't go to a rape support group and say 'well I was never raped, but I'm dang sure it sucks!' so don't do that in here.

Doesn't it sound silly to compare games to rape? Yeah, you started it.

Shamus Young:
Experienced Points: Your Favorite Game Sucks

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

Read Full Article

Case in point SSBB.

That was an example of a man taking a franchise that had thrived because it wasn't what he intended it to be then shitting on the face of all his fans he changes it into what HE thinks it should be.

Yes...I get it...you want to make party games. Woopty fucking do. Wish I'd have been listening closer before I bought it thinking I was getting a sequel to Melee.

Was a sad revelation for me. I wanted to like it so much, me and everyone I've ever played just went back to Melee :(.

Hell yeah.

You can not like a game before even playing it, but you don't need to hate on it like many people do. Dislike it, but don't hate those who like it.

Spygon:

I know i can not have a opinion on those things you mentioned except the drugs parts so i do not say my opinion on the subject i can say "i think" but never "i know".

Hold right here. I'm beginning to see the problem. I'm sorry to sa this, but I think you might want to check again what "opinion" actually means. An opinion is ALWAYS subjective and ALWAYS are related to "a view on things". The moment you talk about facts, or to quote you, "I know" we already left the area of opinions.
And seriously? You actually "can not have an opinion" about above mentioned things? So if I were to look you straight in your face and ask you "What's your opinion about Polygamy?" you would actually stand there and tell me you don't have an opinion on it?

The Random One:

OK let's take one of those examples. The political situation in China. Let's suppose there's a thread on the forum about China. Now none of the people discussing have ever been to China, or those who have were there as tourists, but they are all intelligent and well-informed people and they can have a nice discussion.

Then someone posts saying that they have just escaped from China and he was being persecuted by the government.

(Also for the sake of this argument let's pretent we can reliably know he's saying the truth.)

Careful there, you're mixing things up. If you put up a limit like "He knows the truth." that derives far from the territory of opinion-based arguments. Claiming that there's something like a truth implies that the discussion that was going on was less about opinions but more about suspicions.
To elaborate, two examples (I'll translate directly to game-examples to save time and brain-space):

a) We discuss IF there will ever be a Super Street Figther for the PC. You say yes, I say no, we both bring our arguments why we have our opinion.
Seth Killian shows up, drools on his shirt and says "No, ther won't be."

There your scenario is correct. But the thing is, from the very point the reliable source steps up, there is no need for any opinion. An opinion that contradicts reality runs under the term delusion. In a discussion about uncertain elements the moment those elements are prooven wrong or right, any form of opinion in this context ceases to exist. (This is your example about the Chinese to tells us about opression in China actually existing)

Let's move to

b) We discuss if Capcom's decision to change Dante's look in the new DMC-game is a good or horrible decision. Again, we make our arguments for why we think our opinion is right or wrong.
Then a Chinese...player steps up and says "I played the new DMC and I think Dante's new look is great." Assuming I claimed until then that Dante's new look is a giant turd-pile, am I now suddenly wrong?
Correct me if I misunderstood your explanation there but as far as I can tell, the chinese player's opinion, following your thesis, is "more valid" than mine and I can't compete with him on the topic. So while the Chinese guy playing the game did change NOTHING about the topic at hand (be it Dante's look, the graphics of Shooter x, the Quests in Adventure y, or the Dialogues in Another M) suddenly I have to consider my opinion about said topic wrong until I too played the game?

I dare to say that you agree with me that example b) doesn't make much sense, now does it?
And that's exactly what Shamus' article says. "Discussing games without playing them" doesn't mean that you discuss things that have yet to be proven. It's talking about things that are known for a fact and arguing why those facts influence the game in a good or bad way.

And that is very well possible. We can try it right here. Did you play "Vampire: The Masquerade: Redemption"? No? Well I did. Now I claim that it has a very dramatic and well-made graphic that is top-notch even compared to current games. And I challenge you now to proove me wrong.
Given the internet as a source-pool would you consider yourself unable to discuss with me about this unless you played the game?

I, too, know nothing firsthand of those topics, but I can discuss them... with people who also know nothing firsthand of those topics. Could you discuss rape with a rape victim? Drugs with a drug addict? I mean on this forum, as I am doing right now with you?

Actually, I could.
What, did you never lead the discussion about if smoking is good or bad? I can talk with smokers about their "hobby". I might not be able to discuss the difference in flavor between Lucky Strike and Camel, but I sure as hell can talk about the drug, Nicotine, without ever having smoked a single cig. Why? Because the effects of cigars and cigarets are pretty well-known and easily researchable.

Having firsthand experience with a game is just a matter of playing it.

Not that easy, sorry. I only posess a PC (and a Sega Master System II *cough*). Now I want to talk about Super Street Fighter IV. So the matter would be more "earning the money for an XBox, a TV, a working TV-connection and the game just to play it. Mmmmeh.
But that just as a cliff-note about that playing a game isn't *that* easy for everyone.

Doesn't it sound silly to compare games to rape? Yeah, you started it.

Actually I didn't. ^^
Read again, his point was you couldn't have an opinion on something you haven't experienced first-hand. He even said "ITS LIKE EVERYTHING unless you tried it i can not see how you have an opinion on it."
And I know,absolute statements are unpopular but that is just so wrong, I can't wrap my head around it.
And that was actually my whole point in the last post of mine.

The Random One:
My whole point is this. There are different degrees of opinion. And the opinions of those who have had firsthand experience of something are, by definition, more valid. Not to say you need to like something, but 'I haven't played this game because it looks like something I'll not enjoy', as valid as it is, is worse than 'I don't like this game because I played it and I didn't like it'. If you can explain why, your analysis is better.

Except that you're wrong. Just because you have more knowledge of a subject, it doesn't mean your opinion is more valid.

To give you an example of why, you mentioned discussing rape with a rape victim. What if i went out and discussed rape with a rapist instead? I would still be talking to someone who has first-hand experience with the subject, but his opinion would probably be totally different.

Knowledge and opinion has nothing to do with each other, because opinions are subjective no matter how much knowledge you have of a subject. Knowledge can help you evaluate, but even evaluations is subject to personal interpretation.

Coming back to the subject of rape to give another example, lets say you discussed rape with the victim and asked her to describe the experience since she has more knowledge. She would probably describe it as a terrifying experience where you have no control and you are being forced to have sex with a stranger, and you don't know what he is going to do with you after he is done (like kill the victim). As terrifying as that sounds, there actually exists women out there who would want to try such an experience, who think it would be interesting, either because the idea turns them on or whatever. So even if the victim is capable of describing and evaluating the situation, there will still exists conflicting opinions because some women would actually love to try it, so their opinion conflicts with the victim. That still doesn't make their opinion any less valid, and if being raped is their big sexual dream, who are you to tell them they're wrong? :-) At most, you can tell them their dream is perverted and dangerous, but again is just your opinion.

Yes my friend is a Halo fanboy, and really just an instant fan and supporter of anything he invests his money in. The funniest example had to be the Zune. What makes it funnier is that he is Jewish and lives up to ALL of the negative stereotypes; he's incredibly cheap, he lies, he steals. My friend and I make fun of him incessantly for this.

My point for bringing this up is this: he refuses to play anything except halo, even though my friend and I really enjoy MW2. He makes up all sorts of strange excuses, like "there's no strategy in Call of Duty, everyone just does their own thing." As if Halo isn't even worse in this regard. Here's an even better one, "There's no skill in Call of Duty, you can't rush in and take a room." This is just plainly false. Since we play Hardcore, it only takes one shot to kill people, so if you use a flashbang and coordinate well then you can easily kill eveyone, whereas in Halo everyone has shields, so bigger numbers ALWAYS win, with the exception of someone who can get four no scope head-shots with a sniper rifle in a row. But that isn't strategy, that's just the luck of having amazing thumbs.

It depends on what YOU WANT out of a game. Frankly I don't care for Halo Reach that much simply because it all centers around twitch skills, and lacks intellectuality. There's a lot more strategy in Modern Warfare. Plus I tend to get frustrated when I shoot something in the head and it doesn't die. But those are MY preferences. Frankly my favorite game has to be Halo Wars, which is an RTS. Does that mean I hold it to be objectively better than Halo Reach? No, because that would be comparing apples and oranges.

If a fan boy argues about an objective (merely descriptive) facet of a game, say for instance that it has amazing graphics, then yes, either they're right or they're wrong. But a lot of the time (very stupid) people argue against each other from the standpoint of values.

"You're wrong man Halo is all about skill!"

"No man CoD is all about strategy!"

WHO THE HELL CARES! YOU'RE NOT EVEN ARGUING ABOUT THE SAME DAMN THING!

Just knowing that something is a JRPG IS enough to know you won't like it if you already know you don't like JRPGs. And you probably don't even have to play a JRPG to know you won't like it, all you have to know is the general aspects of its gameplay, and your own personal taste. But when it comes to a particular FPS, you may have to make your decision based upon more specific aspects of the game. You don't by HAZE because you doubt it has the polished multiplayer you look for. Maybe it has a good story (maybe imagine a game other than HAZE) but that isn't worth 60 bucks to you. Who the hell cares about whether some fanboy likes it because it has a good story, that isn't relevant to you.

Im afraid I cant really agree with this.

I thought Fallout 3 was just a cult thing, with the retro PC gamers, so I didnt buy it. Then my brother bought it for my birthday and said "give it a go", I thought that I may be wrong and gave it a try.

Basically - IT WAS ONE OF THE BEST GAMES IVE EVER PLAYED. If I had of missed out because I had prejudice against its fan base and the reveiws I had seen on the internet .... well it would have sucked.

Before anyone says that I have become one of these fan boys, I have never played and proberly wont ever play the originls and New Vegas may suck (although I doubt it) and Oblivion SUCKED BALLS, honestly I only played the first 10 mins and saw my friends play a couple of missions but honestly it was DULL.

Although you can get a fairly good idea about something before you actually experience it you can never have the FULL story.

Athinira:

The Random One:
My whole point is this. There are different degrees of opinion. And the opinions of those who have had firsthand experience of something are, by definition, more valid. Not to say you need to like something, but 'I haven't played this game because it looks like something I'll not enjoy', as valid as it is, is worse than 'I don't like this game because I played it and I didn't like it'. If you can explain why, your analysis is better.

Except that you're wrong. Just because you have more knowledge of a subject, it doesn't mean your opinion is more valid.

...

Knowledge and opinion has nothing to do with each other, because opinions are subjective no matter how much knowledge you have of a subject. Knowledge can help you evaluate, but even evaluations is subject to personal interpretation.

True, in Philosophy we draw a distinction between an "Is" statement and an "Ought" statement. The former being a supposedly descriptive fact about the world, the latter being a prescriptive statement of value. Perhaps there is some sort of objective basis in the universe for value. Perhaps a flower, in addition to having the physical attributes of being made of molecules, etc. also possesses some metaphysical attribute of beauty. But if it does, we clearly have no epistemological access to it. No one has been able to prove the existence of values outside the skull casings of our specific species of hominids.

However, our valuation of things DOES take objective attributes of those things into consideration. Thus if two people have the same modes of valuation then they can almost speak about their values in an objective sense, because all the things they both refer to will have the same values attached to them. So in other words, if two people find the exact same aspects of videogames fun, then they can meaningfully speak to each other about which game is objectively funner than the other. But communication breaks down when they come into contact with someone who has a different mode of valuation (i.e. thinks skill is determined by strategy, and not by twitch aiming, and thus MW2 requires more skill than Halo). At this point people just start talking past one another, not realizing that they are only referring to their own preferences and not actual aspects of the games.

However, The Random One also has a point. Although we can't know the objective values of objects (because there are none), a claim about one's OWN OPINION IS A DESCRIPTIVE CLAIM. Specifically it is the claim that one does or does not like a game, which is not a statement about the game, but about oneself. And someone who has actually played a game can actually say that HE DOESN'T LIKE PLAYING THE GAME, whereas someone who avoids playing it for certain reasons is claiming that HE WOULDN'T LIKE THE GAME IF HE PLAYED IT. Obviously the first claim is stronger than the other, because there can be little doubt of the first claim's truth if the guy has already played the game, whereas it's still plausible that the guy making the second claim could enjoy the game anyway for some unseen reason.

Athinira:

The Random One:
My whole point is this. There are different degrees of opinion. And the opinions of those who have had firsthand experience of something are, by definition, more valid. Not to say you need to like something, but 'I haven't played this game because it looks like something I'll not enjoy', as valid as it is, is worse than 'I don't like this game because I played it and I didn't like it'. If you can explain why, your analysis is better.

Except that you're wrong. Just because you have more knowledge of a subject, it doesn't mean your opinion is more valid.

To give you an example of why, you mentioned discussing rape with a rape victim. What if i went out and discussed rape with a rapist instead? I would still be talking to someone who has first-hand experience with the subject, but his opinion would probably be totally different.

Knowledge and opinion has nothing to do with each other, because opinions are subjective no matter how much knowledge you have of a subject. Knowledge can help you evaluate, but even evaluations is subject to personal interpretation.

Coming back to the subject of rape to give another example, lets say you discussed rape with the victim and asked her to describe the experience since she has more knowledge. She would probably describe it as a terrifying experience where you have no control and you are being forced to have sex with a stranger, and you don't know what he is going to do with you after he is done (like kill the victim). As terrifying as that sounds, there actually exists women out there who would want to try such an experience, who think it would be interesting, either because the idea turns them on or whatever. So even if the victim is capable of describing and evaluating the situation, there will still exists conflicting opinions because some women would actually love to try it, so their opinion conflicts with the victim. That still doesn't make their opinion any less valid, and if being raped is their big sexual dream, who are you to tell them they're wrong? :-) At most, you can tell them their dream is perverted and dangerous, but again is just your opinion.

Wait WHAT. Guy what you just said concerns two people who have experienced it.

I really dont want to use this example so lets try dohnuts. Someone does not like sweet things so assumes that they wont like dohnuts, fair enough, your proberly right (99%). However they will never know for certain. I dont like Tomatos but like Tomato sauce and I dont like cheese but enjoy pizza. Your talking about oppions of two people who have experienced it not weather or not theirs is more valid then someone who has not.

You can have an opinion about games you haven't played, that's everyone's right, but in that case it simply becomes a useless opinion that won't be able to do anything for anyone which transforms it from a interesting piece of discussion and possible statement about your personality into useless soapbox rambling.

PunkRex:
Wait WHAT. Guy what you just said concerns two people who have experienced it.

I really dont want to use this example so lets try dohnuts. Someone does not like sweet things so assumes that they wont like dohnuts, fair enough, your proberly right (99%). However they will never know for certain. I dont like Tomatos but like Tomato sauce and I dont like cheese but enjoy pizza. Your talking about oppions of two people who have experienced it not weather or not theirs is more valid then someone who has not.

Actually, I'm talking about the validity of opinions. Claiming one opinion is more "valid" than the other is a paradoxic argument.

Ultimately, the only opinion that is valid is your own, because it is unique and applies only to YOU. Lets take two people: One likes strategy games, one doesn't. The one who does like them has played them a lot, while the one who doesn't like them has either never played them or played one. So is the opinion of the guy who likes them more valid because he has actually played them? Of course not. His opinion is only valid for himself, and the same goes for the other guy, as his opinion is just as valid to himself.

Now, you can seek out other people who share similar opinions to yourself to get evaluations of products you plan to buy. Take Zero Punctuation for example. I watch that show not only because it's fun, but because Yahtzees opinion of what makes a game good is very similar to my own most of the time, so therefore his opinion on a game is more valid to me than the opinion of, say, Hannibal the Halo-Fan. But Hannibals opinion might be more valid for, say, FPS-Doug than me and Yahtzees.

The world is different for everyone. There isn't any two persons in the world who are exactly the same, share exactly the same mindset or perceive the world the same. Even some things that you might perceive as "the universal truth" isn't true for everyone else. For example, you might have accepted the fact that the sky is blue or that the grass is green, but try explaining that to someone who is completely colorblind :-)

Yes, you will never know something 100% until you try it. But if you are 99% sure that a game is a waste of your money, why take the chance?

ReiverCorrupter:
However, The Random One also has a point. Although we can't know the objective values of objects (because there are none), a claim about one's OWN OPINION IS A DESCRIPTIVE CLAIM. Specifically it is the claim that one does or does not like a game, which is not a statement about the game, but about oneself. And someone who has actually played a game can actually say that HE DOESN'T LIKE PLAYING THE GAME, whereas someone who avoids playing it for certain reasons is claiming that HE WOULDN'T LIKE THE GAME IF HE PLAYED IT. Obviously the first claim is stronger than the other, because there can be little doubt of the first claim's truth if the guy has already played the game, whereas it's still plausible that the guy making the second claim could enjoy the game anyway for some unseen reason.

Just wanted to give a quick reply and reference the section above, and mention that you are wrong about the bolded part.

To give you an example. I was out bathing with my family once at a lake in Italy (Lake Garda). I jumped in the water while my two little sisters was still standing on the bridge. I then told my youngest sister: "Jump in, the water is a great temperature", but my other sister told her "Don't, it's probably cold". By your argument, my claim is the stronger one, because i have first hand experience. But to my youngest sister, who know that my threshold for when i consider bathing water to be cold is a lot more tolerant than theirs, the opinion of my other sister is the stronger because they share a similar mindset about when water is cold, even though I'm the only one who truly knows. Even if a complete stranger was standing nearby on the bridge and overheard our conversation, to him or her my claim still wouldn't be stronger because they don't know me (and therefore don't know my mindset), and they can't evaluate my criticism based on that.

Like i said, when judging the opinions of others, we value the opinion of people who shares the same opinion than us higher. Therefore, the first claim isn't automatically stronger than the other. It might be stronger for you, but someone of a completely different mindset would disagree.

Athinira:

Ultimately, the only opinion that is valid is your own, because it is unique and applies only to YOU. Lets take two people: One likes strategy games, one doesn't. The one who does like them has played them a lot, while the one who doesn't like them has either never played them or played one. So is the opinion of the guy who likes them more valid because he has actually played them? Of course not. His opinion is only valid for himself, and the same goes for the other guy, as his opinion is just as valid to himself.

...

The world is different for everyone. There isn't any two persons in the world who are exactly the same, share exactly the same mindset or perceive the world the same. Even some things that you might perceive as "the universal truth" isn't true for everyone else. For example, you might have accepted the fact that the sky is blue or that the grass is green, but try explaining that to someone who is completely colorblind :-)

Yes, you will never know something 100% until you try it. But if you are 99% sure that a game is a waste of your money, why take the chance?

ReiverCorrupter:
However, The Random One also has a point. Although we can't know the objective values of objects (because there are none), a claim about one's OWN OPINION IS A DESCRIPTIVE CLAIM. Specifically it is the claim that one does or does not like a game, which is not a statement about the game, but about oneself. And someone who has actually played a game can actually say that HE DOESN'T LIKE PLAYING THE GAME, whereas someone who avoids playing it for certain reasons is claiming that HE WOULDN'T LIKE THE GAME IF HE PLAYED IT. Obviously the first claim is stronger than the other, because there can be little doubt of the first claim's truth if the guy has already played the game, whereas it's still plausible that the guy making the second claim could enjoy the game anyway for some unseen reason.

Just wanted to give a quick reply and reference the section above, and mention that you are wrong about the bolded part.

To give you an example. I was out bathing with my family once at a lake in Italy (Lake Garda). I jumped in the water while my two little sisters was still standing on the bridge. I then told my youngest sister: "Jump in, the water is a great temperature", but my other sister told her "Don't, it's probably cold". By your argument, my claim is the stronger one, because i have first hand experience. But to my youngest sister, who know that my threshold for when i consider bathing water to be cold is a lot more tolerant than theirs, the opinion of my other sister is the stronger because they share a similar mindset about when water is cold, even though I'm the only one who truly knows.

Like i said, when judging the opinions of others, we value the opinion of people who shares the same opinion than us higher. Therefore, the first claim isn't automatically stronger than the other. It might be stronger for you, but someone of a completely different mindset would disagree.

Erm... You obviously didn't read my post carefully. I was treating the claims as claims ABOUT OPINIONS, not claims about the world. So it is true that YOUR OPINION is that the water is cold because it is a fact that you hold that opinion, but (insomuch as we treat 'cold' as a subjective quality) the claim does NOT hold as much strength regarding the nature of the water itself.

I agree with you completely insomuch as I also recognize that the normative claims of others only have strength for us to the degree that we have the same values as those people. But those people ALSO need to have the correct objective facts as well.

So I could know that Friend #1 has the same taste in ice cream as I do, but Friend #2 disagrees with me sometimes. If Friend #1 hasn't tasted a flavor of ice cream, but says he probably wouldn't like it, and Friend #2 HAS tasted it, and DEFINITELY LIKES IT, then what should I do? My intuition is to try it, because Friend #1's opinion might be completely unfounded, while I think that the small difference between my opinion and Friend #2 is not enough to dissuade me as there are things we do share in common.

Also, your point about no two people having the same modes of valuation is guilty of being trivial. Of course they don't because no two people have the same brain, for if they did they would only be one person. However, as I said in the post above two or more people can have modes of valuation so similar that they can more or less speak about their values as if they applied to the world itself. But, also as I said above, this communication breaks down when they are speaking with someone who has different values. I'm not making a metaphysical claim.

However, from a metaphysical perspective, it doesn't make any sense if we thought that values belonged to things as they are in themselves, because if two people were to value an object differently that would imply that there was actually two objects and not one, which commits you to some pretty strange things.

One more thing... I don't think you guys know what the term 'valid' technically means. Validity is merely a logical function of an argument, and has nothing to do with how that argument matches up to reality. So the argument "If I eat chocolate, I will lose weight. If I lose weight I will date a supermodel. I eat chocolate, therefore I date a supermodel," is valid, but unsound (its premises are false). You are dealing with INDUCTIVE REASONING, and thus you should be speaking of arguments in terms of strength and weakness.

I think, Shamus, it comes down to interpretation. I interpreted, as many others, that judging a game without playing was decrying the broader idea of attacking a game without knowing about it. I would agree that a game can be judged once you have a certain level of information about it, and playing it is just one way to gather that information. That said, I don't think you should be able to complain about subjective aspects of playing the game without having done so.

Because you may be wrong. Its what you just said, a chance, a gamble. Chances are you are going to loose but you may win BIG! However weather or not you decide to go with the safe choice or the big gamble does depend on the sort of person you are and how bored you are with your currnt gaming lifestyle. At the end of the day both logical choices.

I think were getting off topic, the disscussion is not about weather or not you should or should not buy a game but weather someone who has played the game has a more valid opinion then someone who has not. In my opinion they do because the person who has not experienced it cannot be 100% sure. They are guessing, maybe a well fomulated and reserched guess but a guess non the less.

Because you may be wrong. Its what you just said, a chance, a gamble. Chances are you are going to loose but you may win BIG! However weather or not you decide to go with the safe choice or the big gamble does depend on the sort of person you are and how bored you are with your currnt gaming lifestyle. At the end of the day both logical choices.

I think were getting off topic, the disscussion is not about weather or not you should or should not buy a game but weather someone who has played the game has a more valid opinion then someone who has not. In my opinion they do because the person who has not experienced it cannot be 100% sure. They are guessing, maybe a well fomulated and reserched guess but a guess non the less.

Athinira:

PunkRex:
Wait WHAT. Guy what you just said concerns two people who have experienced it.

I really dont want to use this example so lets try dohnuts. Someone does not like sweet things so assumes that they wont like dohnuts, fair enough, your proberly right (99%). However they will never know for certain. I dont like Tomatos but like Tomato sauce and I dont like cheese but enjoy pizza. Your talking about oppions of two people who have experienced it not weather or not theirs is more valid then someone who has not.

Actually, I'm talking about the validity of opinions. Claiming one opinion is more "valid" than the other is a paradoxic argument.

Ultimately, the only opinion that is valid is your own, because it is unique and applies only to YOU. Lets take two people: One likes strategy games, one doesn't. The one who does like them has played them a lot, while the one who doesn't like them has either never played them or played one. So is the opinion of the guy who likes them more valid because he has actually played them? Of course not. His opinion is only valid for himself, and the same goes for the other guy, as his opinion is just as valid to himself.

Now, you can seek out other people who share similar opinions to yourself to get evaluations of products you plan to buy. Take Zero Punctuation for example. I watch that show not only because it's fun, but because Yahtzees opinion of what makes a game good is very similar to my own most of the time, so therefore his opinion on a game is more valid to me than the opinion of, say, Hannibal the Halo-Fan. But Hannibals opinion might be more valid for, say, FPS-Doug than me and Yahtzees.

The world is different for everyone. There isn't any two persons in the world who are exactly the same, share exactly the same mindset or perceive the world the same. Even some things that you might perceive as "the universal truth" isn't true for everyone else. For example, you might have accepted the fact that the sky is blue or that the grass is green, but try explaining that to someone who is completely colorblind :-)

Yes, you will never know something 100% until you try it. But if you are 99% sure that a game is a waste of your money, why take the chance?

ReiverCorrupter:
However, The Random One also has a point. Although we can't know the objective values of objects (because there are none), a claim about one's OWN OPINION IS A DESCRIPTIVE CLAIM. Specifically it is the claim that one does or does not like a game, which is not a statement about the game, but about oneself. And someone who has actually played a game can actually say that HE DOESN'T LIKE PLAYING THE GAME, whereas someone who avoids playing it for certain reasons is claiming that HE WOULDN'T LIKE THE GAME IF HE PLAYED IT. Obviously the first claim is stronger than the other, because there can be little doubt of the first claim's truth if the guy has already played the game, whereas it's still plausible that the guy making the second claim could enjoy the game anyway for some unseen reason.

Just wanted to give a quick reply and reference the section above, and mention that you are wrong about the bolded part.

To give you an example. I was out bathing with my family once at a lake in Italy (Lake Garda). I jumped in the water while my two little sisters was still standing on the bridge. I then told my youngest sister: "Jump in, the water is a great temperature", but my other sister told her "Don't, it's probably cold". By your argument, my claim is the stronger one, because i have first hand experience. But to my youngest sister, who know that my threshold for when i consider bathing water to be cold is a lot more tolerant than theirs, the opinion of my other sister is the stronger because they share a similar mindset about when water is cold, even though I'm the only one who truly knows. Even if a complete stranger was standing nearby on the bridge and overheard our conversation, to him or her my claim still wouldn't be stronger because they don't know me (and therefore don't know my mindset), and they can't evaluate my criticism based on that.

Like i said, when judging the opinions of others, we value the opinion of people who shares the same opinion than us higher. Therefore, the first claim isn't automatically stronger than the other. It might be stronger for you, but someone of a completely different mindset would disagree.

Because you may be wrong. Its what you just said, a chance, a gamble. Chances are you are going to loose but you may win BIG! However weather or not you decide to go with the safe choice or the big gamble does depend on the sort of person you are and how bored you are with your currnt gaming lifestyle. At the end of the day both logical choices.

I think were getting off topic, the disscussion is not about weather or not you should or should not buy a game but weather someone who has played the game has a more valid opinion then someone who has not. In my opinion they do because the person who has not experienced it cannot be 100% sure. They are guessing, maybe a well fomulated and reserched guess but a guess non the less.

PS: Sorry for the reposts, bloody quotes messing me around.

PunkRex:

I think were getting off topic, the disscussion is not about weather or not you should or should not buy a game but weather someone who has played the game has a more valid opinion then someone who has not. In my opinion they do because the person who has not experienced it cannot be 100% sure. They are guessing, maybe a well fomulated and reserched guess but a guess non the less.

PS: Sorry for the reposts, bloody quotes messing me around.

There is a difference between a "guess" and an "inference". If a game is part of a genre I can't stand, by a developer who has made games I despise, is being torn apart by reviewers I trust, and has throughout it's development cycle has been touting features that make the flash-bangs in CS look like a good idea, I can infer I won't like it. Joe Bloggs opinion is not more valid than my inference because he has played the game, for one my inference may be based on the opinions of those who have also. Joe doesn't know me, he doesn't know the games I like or what I think is important of a game. His assumption that I will like the game just because he does is a guess, and infinitely less valid than my inference. Especially if he's a fanboi.

Surely you don't find it odd to have positive opinions about a game before you play it, why would it be any different for cynicism?

Ravek:
The fanboy strawman Shamus puts up ... is right. You should try to find and enjoy the good parts of games, not ignore them and bitch about the parts that don't matter.

If you complain about the mediocre singleplayer in a primarily multiplayer game, it's not that you're wrong ... your commentary is just irrelevant.

I disagree; you assume that the person talking is only trying to have fun playing the game. If one is deconstructing a game (either for the betterment of the medium or simply self-interest), then the reverse would make more sense. An example: if I'm playing Mass Effect 2, in play I would downplay the time spent gathering minerals, but like hell I'm going to stay silent about that because it needs to change before Mass Effect 3 comes out (at least Bioware has shown that they are paying attention, but I digress). Games are improved not only by adding new things, but by fixing the old and the broken, and the latter is worth exploring as much as the former.

Know the type of game you're playing, and judge it on the qualities that people who play that type of game care about.

Or just write some self-indulgent stuff no one cares about.

The problem with this argument is the same problem with niches and genres. If this is true then when talking about a "Halo" game the only thing worth discussing is what "Halo" players like about it. This is short-sighted; why is "What Halo players like about Halo" more important than "What keeps people from liking Halo"? In fact, if one can answer both questions, then they can build a game that would be more popular than Halo, whereas otherwise people who don't (or even might not) like Halo are simply excluded from the conversation.

I think this is well said and makes some good points. But that said, I also think that while someone's opinion shouldn't be dismissed on the basis of being based on second-hand information (reviews, articles, talking with friends, etc.), the person stating their opinion should also have the good grace to mention what their view of the product is based upon- whether it's actual game play, a Metacritic score, Yahtzee's review, experience with similar works in the genre, or what have you. And certainly even as many of us could stand to temper heated opinions down a bit, the people whose opinions of a game are based on other people's opinions of a game have all the more reason not to sneer at someone for, say, liking a game that some jaded critic said it was derivative.

Excellent article!

If you're going to be vocal about your distaste for something you should probably have some specific reasons, but hands-on experience doesn't have to be one of them.

Lordofthesuplex:
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...

Thank you for pointing out this fact in the post. When you have services or means that allow you to play before you buy means that being ignorant about the content of a game is a luxury you no longer have.

I really hate black people. I mean, I've never actually dealt with one, but from what I've heard and what I've seen on T.V, I don't think I'll like black people.

I don't have time to hate an exclusive game, I'm usually just indifferent
I'll probably be a bit more displeased towards its fanboys tho

I haven't played FarmVille but I do have a Zen Garden in Plants Versus Zombies so I'm seeing the appeal-er, addiction a bit (oops)
and earning (not quite grinding) points in Reach does serve to remind me of a MMO...

oh and I read the first Twilight book
sigh

But at the same time, what if someone is absolutely devoted to hating something that you're pretty sure they'd like if they were given the chance? This happened to me with Nazi Zombies. I had a negative attitude about it before I'd ever played, and even for my next couple games. After that, because of my friend's constant insistence that it really was good, I decided to give it another try, and I actually did enjoy it. That's just one personal example, but I'm sure there are others (and no, this isn't just me succumbing to "peer pressure" or whatever, it was just that the first few games I played really were crappy and I was bored, but my next few games were enjoyable).

I'd say that if the sales strategies are cruel, you are allowed to hate the game before you've played it. otherwise you should not hate it without playing it, but you are free to not give a crap about it.

Thank you for stating this.

I may have never read twilight but i can still say its a pile of shit.

I do not have to try a crap sandwich before i say it is terrible.

Honestly, that needed to be said,
Well said...

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