Should gamers have control over gaming culture?

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DrownedAmmet:

kitsunefather:
Who.. who else would be in control of "gaming culture", if not for the people who participate in it ("gamers")?

How about we give control over to the Juggalos, I think they could take gaming culture in an interesting direction

You ever played Backyard Wrestling: Don't Try This At Home? It's a juggalo wrestling / fighting game in the vein of Def Jam. And it's actually really good.

American Tanker:
The problem is that people think of "gamers" and "gamer culture" as a singular monolithic entity, that all gamers are the same. We're not. There are many genres, and genres that appeal to one person won't appeal to everyone. For example, I call myself a "thrill junkie gamer", and I gravitate towards racing games and shooters while avoiding things like simulators and hidden object games because they bore me to death.

There are groups that gravitate towards simulators, others that focus on role-playing and other story-driven games, and yet others that are like me and just want excitement. Yet when the media, and most other outsiders, look at us, they don't see the differences in what we like, they just see "gamers" without seeing the interests of the various different kinds of gamers that are out there.

There's a game for everyone, if they know where to look. And there's always the choice to play single-player rather than play online. You just need to look deeper than first impressions. Otherwise, you won't know what you're looking at or how individual gamers can be very different from each other.

There is what the greek chorus is for, I mean sure you can a game that sells thanks to critics shilling about how provoking the story is or how it how it tackles certain themes too uncomfortable for the average pleb. But the average gamer who uses steam or metacritic is a creature of comfort. So long you give them their tits, bloodshed and try not too hard to make them scream in rage as you kill the likable character they are content. Thats why you see them huddle around companies like Tamsoft and Neptunia, because it provides a sense of escapism western gaming has been distancing themselves from on average.

The critic is the opposite, they want Oscar bait for games, see Bioshock infinite, see Last of Us, see Gone Home, see Telltale Games' tv to game adventure adaptations. They actively shun anything that is delivers an escapism to the gamer and work actively towards dictating what scores well and what doesn't and what isn't scored at all after being pissed off too many times.

There is games for everyone, and then there is games that shares a sense of unity between critic and gamer and quite frankly I haven't seen that lately with western games.

Avnger:
They (we) are. Despite the attempts of the rabid gatekeepers on reddit and the chans, gaming is universal from everyone such as my mom playing a random mobile game occasionally on her commute to the hardcore WoW raiders to the people who enjoy "walking simulators" and visual novels. Everyone needs to get off whatever height horse they might be on and realize that we all shape the gaming ecosystem that gamers, developers, publishers, and journalists live in regardless of how much one relies on videogames to prop up their sense of identity.

Pro-tip: If your sense of identity revolves around you being a "gamer" to the point that you try to exclude others, you really need to seek professional help. It's not healthy. (generic you)

Then how do you justify your fellow allies gatekeeping a game to the point all discussion of it is banned huh? Glass houses and stones right here.

http://archive.is/NB3gJ#selection-6533.91-6533.161

Say what you want about the average gamer on reddit and /v/'s hostility toward certain games but we have never stooped to the level where we would actively ban discussion on certain games just because the mods and the hivemind don't like it.

No. Only I should control gaming culture.

If I controlled gaming culture there would be no more funko pops in gamestop.

Also this:

McMarbles:
You don't have a culture. You're sold shit that convinces you you have a culture.

gyrobot:

Avnger:
They (we) are. Despite the attempts of the rabid gatekeepers on reddit and the chans, gaming is universal from everyone such as my mom playing a random mobile game occasionally on her commute to the hardcore WoW raiders to the people who enjoy "walking simulators" and visual novels. Everyone needs to get off whatever height horse they might be on and realize that we all shape the gaming ecosystem that gamers, developers, publishers, and journalists live in regardless of how much one relies on videogames to prop up their sense of identity.

Pro-tip: If your sense of identity revolves around you being a "gamer" to the point that you try to exclude others, you really need to seek professional help. It's not healthy. (generic you)

Then how do you justify your fellow allies gatekeeping a game to the point all discussion of it is banned huh? Glass houses and stones right here.

http://archive.is/NB3gJ#selection-6533.91-6533.161

Say what you want about the average gamer on reddit and /v/'s hostility toward certain games but we have never stooped to the level where we would actively ban discussion on certain games just because the mods and the hivemind don't like it.

See, I don't know if you are purposely misrepresenting things, or you simply can't comprehend the difference between the two. One is banning discussion of a game on a single privately owned discussion board. The other is literally telling others that they don't belong as part of a hobby. Mr Apple, meet Mr Orange.

Again, if one's sense of identity is defined by being a "gamer,"[1] they need to seek professional psychiatric help for their own good.

[1] There's probably some kind of exemption here if one uses gaming to make their living.

gyrobot:

There is what the greek chorus is for, I mean sure you can a game that sells thanks to critics shilling about how provoking the story is or how it how it tackles certain themes too uncomfortable for the average pleb. But the average gamer who uses steam or metacritic is a creature of comfort. So long you give them their tits, bloodshed and try not too hard to make them scream in rage as you kill the likable character they are content. Thats why you see them huddle around companies like Tamsoft and Neptunia, because it provides a sense of escapism western gaming has been distancing themselves from on average.

...and I thought I had a low opinion of the average gamer.

gyrobot:

The critic is the opposite, they want Oscar bait for games, see Bioshock infinite, see Last of Us, see Gone Home, see Telltale Games' tv to game adventure adaptations. They actively shun anything that is delivers an escapism to the gamer and work actively towards dictating what scores well and what doesn't and what isn't scored at all after being pissed off too many times.

Usually, "Oscar Bait" doesn't outsell "Escapist" media by an order of magnitude. Bioshock: Infinate hit 11 million sales a couple years ago, and the entire Senran Kagura series as sold a combined 1.65 million as of August. The Last of Us was the third best selling game on the PS3.

Hell, Gone Home has sold 200,000 copies[1] on Steam, which is comparable to the number of copies of Hyperdimension Neptunia U and Shinovi Versus owned on Steam combined.

If the average gamer were flocking to it, it wouldn't be niche.

EDIT: Or to put it another way:


And considering critics are supposedly shunning games like Senran Kagura, I'd expect scores far lower than 65-75/100. I mean, I like Estival Versus, massive tonal whiplash aside, but it's not an 8/10 game. It's a less mechanically rigorous, less expansive Dynastly Warriors with a novel hook and the simple fact that I'm not playing though the 3 Kingdoms or Sengoku periods again.
[1] and is owned ~750.000 times

What is gaming culture, exactly? Is there even a unified gaming culture? And if so, is there also a music listener culture? A movie watcher culture? A book reader culture? I think there's a point when so many people participate in something that you can't really talk about there being one specific culture defining it. Lots of different people play lots of different games for lots of different reasons and with many different expectations.

A very good question; but before I answer I need to put some things into context which is nothing more than my own perception of the industry.

To classify "gamers" you need to look at anyone who plays videogames, likes them, and seeks out playing more. At this point most people with access have already played a game. Hell even my parents played a video game once or twice in their lifetimes (at my behest) but they wouldn't really be called "gamers". Much in the same way that most people have seen a TV in their lives, but they're not avid TV watchers who know what's coming out soon etc. So firstly we need to classify "gamers" as "the people who actively play games".

Next, "gaming culture" needs to be described as the gaming scene as a mix of gamers, game makers, game publishers, games journalism, and games as business. Every part needs to be included to make a culture and we can't pick and mix.

I think that gaming culture us mostly split between 1/3 influence by the gamers and 2/3 influence by the publishers. Since gaming took the mainstream by storm (mid to end PS2 era, I'd say) I think it attracted a lot of "big business" that had previously existed in the music and film industry and brought a lot of its toxicity with it. The business practices of "design by committee" and "appeasing the shareholders" became a bigger focus by the Wolfs of Wall Street as it were in order to turn it as bombastic as possible. Journalism also took this shift on board much in the same way music and movie journalism had done so around the 90s-2000s as well.

Before this you still had this going on, but to a much lesser degree. I think gaming was still in its infancy and niche markets were the targets. Publishers were more numerous and not as monolithic as they are these days and were more open to the ideas of letting designers do their own thing or receiving pitches from game dev companies and just putting up the funding.

Around the period of 2005-2015 I think that publishers took over the previously mentioned 2/3 majority influence. Sega went under and Microsoft entered their hat into the arena, and Microsoft are anything but receptive to feedback. These new factors started an era of heavy influence on what people "should" want. The flock of "new gamers" during the PS2 era, unaware of the history, also expected that this is the norm of the business. Much like music would tell you who was the next "big hit" or movies would say "the year's blockbuster" before it was even out, now we had this with games and advertising hype which the greater populace lapped up. Around this time the "old guard" of gamers were now in their 20s or 30s and starting to live their lives with less games, work and family and all.

Nowadays I think that as gaming has diversified SO MUCH, thanks in large to the proliferation of mobile gaming opening access to millions more than before, and with new revenue generation avenues such as Kickstarter and similar startup programs, that this is shifting "control" of the culture back into the hands of the gamers. You still have the monolithic entities pushing what they THINK people want, and the subset of new or otherwise not-as-enthusiastic gamers partaking of the hype (see microtransactions and pre-order culture), but gaming culture is definitely heading into a more positive direction over the last 3-4 years and I think the trend is going to continue.

tl;dr We need to bring balance to the force

'Control of gaming culture' is not something possible. Its emergent - the Invisible Hand. But there are many stakeholders. Lots of people have already pointed out some. Here are some more:

Jack Thompson, and similar pundits - while they didn't actually change much, they forced gamers to defend themselves

Females in games - I don't know exactly how it happened but in the 90s females were actively discouraged from gaming and it worked. I'd also put the mobile game phenomenon beside the break in this discouragement. Females didn't play games as much, and trying to catch up is hard. I'm trying to teach my daughter and she has trouble with inputs, particularly with 3D. There is a far greater barrier to entry now than 30 years ago.

TV/Video - the rise of esports and trying to represent that on TV has had its challenges. But heaps of money comes in so it'll keep going. Obviously, streaming and YouTube are making an impact too.

trunkage:
'Control of gaming culture' is not something possible. Its emergent - the Invisible Hand. But there are many stakeholders. Lots of people have already pointed out some. Here are some more:

Jack Thompson, and similar pundits - while they didn't actually change much, they forced gamers to defend themselves

Females in games - I don't know exactly how it happened but in the 90s females were actively discouraged from gaming and it worked. I'd also put the mobile game phenomenon beside the break in this discouragement. Females didn't play games as much, and trying to catch up is hard. I'm trying to teach my daughter and she has trouble with inputs, particularly with 3D. There is a far greater barrier to entry now than 30 years ago.

TV/Video - the rise of esports and trying to represent that on TV has had its challenges. But heaps of money comes in so it'll keep going. Obviously, streaming and YouTube are making an impact too.

I wouldn't teach anyone to play specific game genere.
I have more femine interests/tastes in adventure and puzzle games than most males (I enjoy them). On the other hand I detest shooters, driving games and sports games bore me to tears (which have predominantly male audience). I love RPG games, tactical and strategy games, like but I am bad at arcade style games, completely fail at rhytmic games - which is sort of mind boggling because i.e. Furi is all about getting into the proper rythm and I do alright with that.
I had a friend who would react with motion sickness to even sudo 3D (he threw up trying to play Hexen...).

My daughter's favourite toy is a hammer and she runs smashing things up proclaiming she 'fixed it'. She loves Don't starve (mainly chopping down trees and smashing up rocks), though I had a troubling time explaining why daddy needed to 'give wolves a stick' (ended up just training beefalo's on them further on) and am very cautious to not let her see the shadowy side of it. My son is not interested in computer games at all.
My own sister loved 'Dune II', 'x-com Terror from the deep' and 'Pharaoh: Cleopatra' when we were young (would not let me sleep since she played in same room till late at night) but unlike me she mostly stopped gaming (she's over 40 now).

What I mean by all of that is that taste in gaming is very individual and may change in time. I would like to note one IMPORTANT thing: it is highly untrue and devisive to claim that girls were shunned in 80s and 90s in gaming. All people who were playing computer games were stygmatized and shunned by the peers who did not play games (hell, by 'society' = mass media in general).
What is also notable is that long term passive agression towards and shunning of individuals that don't fit in is prevalent among teen girls (they just grow up faster and tend to end up creating toxic coteries proving one another how much of an adult they already are), so yes girl gamers had a harder time fighting off onslaught of non-gamers but not due to lack of acceptance on male gamers or developers side.

I can agree tho, to that particular era (80-90s) had fewer (if none at all) games in generes that are usually preferred by girls/women but that has been fixed by free market at this point.

Also there's little to no thing as 'gaming culture'. People playing Witcher, Total War, LoL, Bayonetta, CoD, TSW, Madden, Fire emblem, Senran Kagura or Rance have little in common with one another. Unless they happen to enjoy and actively play several generes. There are few people that play all of the 'good games', if only due to available time. Lumping everyoine into some sort of homogyneous 'gaming culture' bin is simply dishonest. I mean would you really lump in Basketball fans, with Golf fans, Bowling fans, Formula 1 fans, Soccer fans, Alpine skiing, Ice skating and Chess fans and claim they create their own culture because they sit/stand/cheer so obviously do exact same thing, right?

All movies suck because of Michael Bay & his fans. All music sucks because of edgy death metal & its fans. All games suck because of Call of Duty & its fans. /S

While I can't really say there are some questions that aren't worth asking, (Because there can be value in anything) this is a question I'm struggling with. Gaming is a hobby partaken by dozens of millions that is decades old. Just like movies, music, & everything else. Like with everything, there's different genres & audiences within the broader topic. RTS players & FPS players might not always get along. Action movie fans might not always get along with drama movie fans. There's overlaps & exclusions, everything & everyone is different, even when people voluntarily agree on things. And of course, people *outside* of the broader topic might not agree with *anyone* inside of it, regardless of genre (or visa-versa).

So a question like this is strange to me. We're already dealing with something fairly unimportant in the grand scheme of things (A hobby), and this question is even more pointless. Everyone controls everything & nobody controls anything. I really don't see questions like these as trying to bring up honest thoughtful discussion, and are more of trying to bait people into arguing about dozens of different political whatevers. I could be wrong, but such vague & somewhat easily answerable questions just don't seem to be doing much else IMO.

Enjoy what you enjoy, stop caring when people are getting angry for no reason. Don't fight when you don't need to, & try to let people be. Sometimes bad things happen, but don't let it tear you apart, or taint your life in the long run. Just be yourself & live.

Ninjamurai:

So a question like this is strange to me. We're already dealing with something fairly unimportant in the grand scheme of things (A hobby), and this question is even more pointless.

The best argument in a site for enthusiasts of a hobby must be calling such hobby "unimportant". I just can't stop laughing.

Ninjamurai:
Everyone controls everything & nobody controls anything.

OK, I'll stop laughing for a second, because such generalizations are as worthless as what you accuse the people of doing. Not everyone controls what games are advertised to the general public and how (and they certainly are controlled by advertisers). Why is this relevant in gaming culture? Because Genesis does what Nintendon't.

Deshin:

tl;dr We need to bring balance to the force

image

Sorry, I couldn't help it...

CaitSeith:
snip

Yeah... It was a pointless generalization for a pointless generalized question. It wasn't meant to be taken seriously. I'm glad I could bring you joy, but maybe you should calm down & not take everything so seriously. I know it can come off as me trying to say "You're all nerds haha." but that's not what I'm getting at. Because guess what? I am part of this unimportant hobby, I am a loser nerd talking on forums. Even if my post came off as too asshole-y, do some of the things I said not matter?

I suppose I'll boil down my opinion on the OP question further: "Yes & no. There is too much diversity to just slap a label on there & call it a day. But on a simple level, kind of. People who play video games kind of control video games, to some extent." Others have said this better, but this was just my take on it.

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