"...he extends his preferences in games to All True Gamers..."
June 2, 2015 7:15 AM   Subscribe

Games have the opposite problem: an elitism defined by the absence of taste, or simply by bad taste [...] Stepping into games is like arriving at a cheese-tasting party where most of the crowd is angrily murmuring that cheddar and swiss are always and objectively the best cheeses on grounds of utility and pleasure, that assholes offering a plate of mold-laced bleu are an affront to any real cheese-lover, that brie may simply be too soft to be a real cheese.
A Lack of Taste (via Offworld)
posted by griphus (38 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
 
Seems like this is going to be a very interesting series of articles. Thanks! I can't wait to see the author's take on my current obsession, Hearthstone.
posted by Renoroc at 7:26 AM on June 2, 2015


Naomi Clark is a national treasure.
posted by GameDesignerBen at 7:43 AM on June 2, 2015


A great introduction, and I can't wait to see where she goes next. I also can't wait to play Consentacle, her tabletop game about consensual sex with aliens.
posted by One Second Before Awakening at 7:49 AM on June 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Good article! I like playing games that most gamers would consider horrifically unplayable on the basis of gameplay and graphics alone, but where there's been a clear vision, well implemented through the style or the story.

My favourite one as of late is a 2008 Nintendo DS port of a 2001 PlayStation 2 puzzle game (doesn't that just sound like a recipe for success already) where the answers to all the puzzles are cryptically contained in the text of a guide book that accompanies the game. If you can't be bothered to search through the guide book you can still figure out the puzzles after about a bajillion guesses, though! I know, it sounds great. Here are some of the stunning 3D graphics.

And yet, it's still a really cool experience. I like sitting down with a large mug of tea with the heater on and a copy of the walkthrough and slowly utterly cheating my way through the game, because the story, about a terrorist plot to blow up a plane that keeps repeating because the island the game is set in is trapped in a time loop (your job is to stop the plot) is killer. And the characters "[ranging] from a buxom babe in a black bikini to a professional wrestler trying to get his edge back to an old man doing calisthenics in a tutu, to a metaphysical little brat who keeps breaking the fourth wall by pointing out the many loopholes and inconsistencies within the game" are too. And the graphics might be really, really Doom-level (possibly worse??) but the low-res really actually feels like part of a successful stylistic choice. Plus the music is good.

It's called Flower, Sun and Rain (omg that trailer). I like looking at reviews to see how people just totally cannot deal with the fact that it has awful gameplay and terrible graphics and yet is still definitely a game. My favourite thing I've seen written in a review about it is
I can tell you right now, without having to make you scroll down to the bottom middle of the critique, that Flower, Sun and Rain is a 3 [out of 10]. As a "game" it sucks in almost every aspect you can consider in the traditional sense of reviewing a game. It's also an Editor's Choice.
The same review also says "This game is a flat out 3, you should really play it." And you should! Get your hands on it somehow. It's a great commentary on all the things people reflexively expect games to be. Just like this FPP article!

All quotes from this Destructoid review. Warning, contains spoilers.
posted by Quilford at 7:51 AM on June 2, 2015 [10 favorites]


The article is spot on regarding the issue of local maxima. See also the music industry and cinema. To make the simulated annealing analogy, one needs a source of heat, energy, and disorder, or you'll get stuck in some mediocre local molehill, with no clue that there is a mountain nearby. Of course, in the arts, that chaos comes from experiment. A majority of experiment will appeal to a very small audience, so it is commercially undesirable, but without some percentage of experimentation the whole thing festers.
posted by idiopath at 7:55 AM on June 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


Literally just made this comparison on FB this morning:

So I've been playing Diner Dash with it's freemium nonsense and finally downloaded Monument Valley and basically it's the difference between eating a tub of cheese balls and steak in a fancy restaurant.

I think food comparisons are especially apt, because games have a feel in that theres a push and pull between your physical actions and your senses in a way that there isn't in other art forms.

I thought this was a good note on a similar thing here:
All of that said, there is one consistent thread in the GamerGate maelstrom which I do want to address. This is the notion that game reviews should be objective, that critics should clearly describe a game’s features and shouldn’t dwell on the political context or ideological values implied or expressed by the game.
I think this position reflects a frustration with a gradual change that has happened in the overall perception of games, of what they are and how we should think about them. There used to be a sense that games should primarily be thought of as a form of technology – as something like appliances – and that writing about games should take the form of the kind of technical product evaluation that you find in Consumer Reports. But there is an emerging consensus around a different way of thinking about games. In this newer view, games are not appliances but works of culture like songs, movies, or TV shows.

Seen as works of culture, games will always have complex relationships to history and society, to the identities of the people that make them and the communities that play them. These qualities exist alongside the game’s formal and technical features, they don’t replace them but are all intertwined – and thinking about one dimension can illuminate aspects of the other. These relationships are often subtle and complicated and can be surprising, multi-layered, contradictory and ambiguous. The reason to consider these qualities is not to demand obedience to one particular ideological view but to inform our understanding and deepen our appreciation of the games we love and enrich our conversations about how and why we love them.

This shift of perspective is not simple, and the process of understanding games as culture is liable to continue to be challenging and contentious. But this is the direction we are moving: away from thinking about games as merely gadgets for children and towards an understanding of games as existing within a complicated web of social values and cultural meanings. If you love games, then you should be happy we are moving in this direction. This is an expression of games’ increasing importance, influence, and significance. We are moving uphill, together, and it’s going to be good for all of us.

Frank Lantz
Director, NYU Game Center
posted by edbles at 7:56 AM on June 2, 2015 [13 favorites]


We've come around to treating games as art now? Hah.

It feels like talking about movies, what makes a good movie, what makes a bad movie, and oh God why do we have another Transformers, why did it make a billion dollars, is there something wrong with us, or something wrong with the movie industry...

Actually... I think there's still an astonishing diversity in games and the gamers that play them, contrary to the impoverished gardens the author speaks about. Most of my friends are gamers, but out of all of us, we barely play the same games, and even if we play the same games, we don't play it for the same reason.

Blizzard to some degree understands this with World of Warcraft. Their games are the epitome of the "theme park" experience - they tried to create a single game that contained a variety of aspects that would satisfy the desires of many different type of gamers. This means the community the game built around itself was what held people together, not the game itself. See, games come and go: the community fades away in time, but in WoW guilds stay together for years and years. Some players liked the exploration and story (Idealists) - some players liked being part of a Guild and organizing raids, and accumulating items and wealth (Guardians) - some players liked PVP and the skill involved with topping damage meters (Artisans). Some liked being positions of power and leadership for Arena groups and guilds (Rationals).

Today there are open world adventure RPG games (Witcher 3, Dragon Age Inquisition). There are hyper competitive team oriented MOBA games (League, DOTA2, Heroes of the Storm). There are twitch first person shooter competitive games (CS:GO, TF2, Overwatch). Old school RTS games for the tactically minded (Starcraft 2). Building games (Cities Skylines, Simcity), 4X games (Civilization). MMORPGS (WoW, GW2). There are roguelikes, cardgames, survival games, racing games, turned based RTS / RPG, horror games, Japanese visual novels, the list is endless.

Trying to talk about the opinion of "gamers" as if they were representative of all or most gamers is committing the same error they accuse the gamers of making in the first place: assuming their view is representative of the entire population. The comments quoted are likely taken from a self styled competitive gamer, probably of the MOBA variety, and a fair representation of that too! - yet you'll find their views unlikely to be shared by the players in other genres.

We see the n-th iteration of Call of Duty because of the simple fact it can reliably yield a billion dollars in revenue, not because we expect it to have any redeeming artistic qualities. It's like complaining that the Toyota Corolla is uninspired and pining for a Ferrari. All cars have their place, and serve a particular niche. We would not call a Ferrari a failure for only selling a few thousand units a year, and neither would we decry the Corolla as destroying the automotive industry.
posted by xdvesper at 7:57 AM on June 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


The article is spot on regarding the issue of local maxima. See also the music industry and cinema.

It's a really great essay, and other art forms are exactly where my brain went first too. I know too well both from being a reformed one and continuing to encounter them that a version of this mindset exists around other media as well.

That said, I'd definitely say it seems a lot worse/more prevalent/more accepted with gamers.

Also, that Flower, Sun & Rain game looks neat!
posted by sparkletone at 8:08 AM on June 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Trying to talk about the opinion of "gamers" as if they were representative of all or most gamers is committing the same error they accuse the gamers of making in the first place: assuming their view is representative of the entire population.

Back before grobbygronk started up, I'd have been very sympathetic to this point of view. And it still has merit, but it's also well past-time to acknowledge that letting the kind of thing, say, GTA does have so much of the conversation around games.

Yes, they'll always have the megabudgets and mainstream awareness that something small and a bit weird doesn't. But there's a wider cultural acknowledgment that, say, movies aren't or at least shouldn't be just super hero stuff. Or that music can be more than just what lives at the top of Billboard charts. That acknowledgement doesn't exist as widely for games, IMO, and letting the narrow-minded type of gamer paraphrased in this essay run the conversation/shape the perception to the degree they do right now is really, really bad even before you get to the horrible mutation of that mindset grimpleglunk represents.

We shouldn't hand-wave essays like this one in that manner. None of us have any problem with talking about US political affiliations in monolithic/general terms. The same nuance is possible here and unfortunately, I do think "gamer" is a tainted term until we do more to clean up the mess that's been made in our name.
posted by sparkletone at 8:23 AM on June 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


on the subject of Flower, Sun, & Rain - there's a song by Boris of the same name; does the original Japanese have some sort of punnish/poetic meaning that's lost in translation?
posted by Fraxas at 8:49 AM on June 2, 2015


“Truly successful games don’t involve repetition. That’s why Real Gamers don’t play MMOs and the people who play them aren’t actual gamers.”

This person has not played Super Mario Brothers. If that kind of person is a "real" gamer, I'm very happy being a "fake" one.

Odds are pretty good that I've been playing video games for longer than this person has been alive. There seems to be something about the younger generation of gamers where they think that opinion=fact. I see a lot of comments that boil down to, "I don't like it, therefore it is bad." This opinion get's expressed as fact even when it flies in the face of reality. I see it most often when I watch the chat stream of the Battlefield 3 server I'm an admin on (a similar FPS to CoD but a little more tactical) when some map (especially Metro) gets voted for by a bunch of people. Someone nearly always says something like, "This is the worst map in the history of gaming" even though most of other players clearly like it more than the other options they had and that maps gets voted for nearly every time it's an option.

There are other maps that I don't particularly care for but it's not hard for me to imagine why some other people like it. So, if I feel a need to comment, it's always, "Ugh, I don't like this map."

You can sometime tell a little something about the age of the person making the comment by how they type (the l33t speak makes me roll my eyes every time) and when I'm using some voice communication program to play with other people, you can get a better feel for the other person's age and I never hear gamers near my own age (30's) state their opinions as fact but I often hear younger players do so. It's definitely a trend and not a rule and I wonder if it's a young person thing or generational thing because the gaming landscape looked VERY different when I really only shared my opinions with friends and games were pretty much all one or two players.

This comment also really stuck out to me, “If I give you my money and give you the time I spend playing your game, I expect you to work for it by providing enough experiences, not by having me repeat something.”

It implies some sense of entitlement that I just don't understand. It almost as if, since the game exists, the player MUST purchase it and then the burden is on the developer to make it worthwhile. But that is how the sequence goes. The developer needs to make a game that I want to play, once I've decided that I will, in fact, enjoy playing it, then I'll spend my money and time on it. If I buy a game and don't like it, that's on ME not the developer.
posted by VTX at 9:22 AM on June 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


I loved Flower, Sun & Rain, sort of. It's kind of a delightful mess. I want to play more of Suda51's games, but I think most of the rest of them really aren't my thing gameplay-wise.

I really hate that 3DS streetpass stuff doesn't work with DS games running -- I want to let everyone who crosses my path know that I'm replaying the third Ace Attorney game for the nth time.
posted by asperity at 9:23 AM on June 2, 2015


Also: just thinking about Flower, Sun & Rain slaps Bolero back in my head. Thanks?
posted by asperity at 9:26 AM on June 2, 2015


I am not into games myself, but I too think the concept is generalizable. Any time something is sufficiently mainstreamed, you get a fair number of fans or adherents who become completely oblivious to the fact that their preferences aren't universal. They start treating their "thing," whatever it is, as prescriptive.

It is very much like a type of privilege. Mainstream gamer privilege is a fairly insignificant and limited purpose privilege, but the basic structure follow the same patterns. Your preferences are the ideal, and things that don't conform are not just not to your tastes, but objectively wrong, or at best, silly and insignificant.

But I have a nit to pick with this:

But we know that these are not the only tastes in food; there are more difficult tastes, often rife with snobbery: the flavor of a hard-to-drink whiskey, the pungency of natto from fermented soybeans. These tastes aren’t for everyone, and they require more from the taster–even if we resist the eye-rollingly classist notion that investing time into acquired tastes makes someone more refined. You can’t just be a consumer of these substances; you have to learn to consume, to eat, drink, taste whatever’s really there.

I think that kind of definitionally makes someone more refined. Not generally on the whole, but isn't that what refinement is? Gaining knowledge and experience that allows you to discern and appreciate subtle aspects of something?

Refinement doesn't make a person smarter or more capable on the whole, and it doesn't make them morally superior, but it does make them smarter and more capable in that specific domain. More refined, in other words.

I'm pretty sure I could distinguish a fine single malt scotch from Listerine in a blind taste test, but past that, all bets are off. Because I do not have refined tastes in that domain, and I don't have any problem at all with deferring to someone who does. They've invested time and effort and interest into something that I haven't. Their opinions and perceptions on that topic are pretty much objectively more valuable than mine. It can be tempting to denigrate their interests as a whole, but to what end? Different people like different things, and it can actually be pretty cool knowing people who know different things.

I just think sometimes we go a little too far in devaluing expertise. We're all limited purpose snobs of something, and it's insulting and dismissive to pretend that people's passions don't matter.
posted by ernielundquist at 9:34 AM on June 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


xdvesper: "Trying to talk about the opinion of "gamers" as if they were representative of all or most gamers is committing the same error they accuse the gamers of making in the first place: assuming their view is representative of the entire population. The comments quoted are likely taken from a self styled competitive gamer, probably of the MOBA variety, and a fair representation of that too! - yet you'll find their views unlikely to be shared by the players in other genres."

I think Naomi Clark is exactly right to call this playtester's feedback out for this reason. The feedback given to Clark is, ex., “Truly successful games don’t involve repetition. That’s why Real Gamers don’t play MMOs and the people who play them aren’t actual gamers.” That playtester frames the feedback in a "gamer"-centric way, and doesn't seem to discuss any of the mechanics or soundness of the software. This kind of feedback is useless, clearly, but Clark uses the anecdote to springboard into the larger point when she talks about how "gamers" as a group is so overly broad as to be useless.

Being able to talk about games in terms of taste or stylistic choices might be more useful in the long run. Part of this requires that gamers be able to distinguish taste separately from quality.
posted by boo_radley at 9:35 AM on June 2, 2015


asperity, the delightful mess genre is my favourite gaming genre. Have you played the Hotel Dusk series? This is probably a derail, isn't it. Maybe we should take this to MeFi Mail?
posted by Quilford at 9:37 AM on June 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Speak of the devil!

[11:44:01] JeTiFunK > metro is horrible
[11:45:44] IAF_Nobanaa > Metro isnt even fun.
[11:45:53] Toolintension > METRO fucking blows
[11:46:00] Toolintension > U need gulf of oman

Guess which map won the vote?
posted by VTX at 9:49 AM on June 2, 2015


VTX: " If I buy a game and don't like it, that's on ME not the developer."

As long as the game wasn't misrepresented to you when you bought it, sure. I think largely what this is about is people going into a game with the unexamined assumption that "game" must always mean X Y and Z, and when a game doesn't meet those criteria, this miscommunication was some kind of fraud perpetrated upon them. Because everyone else should have known that "game" means you can take X Y and Z as a given.
posted by RobotHero at 10:05 AM on June 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


As long as the game wasn't misrepresented to you when you bought it, sure.

That's something different between games and films. It's not uncommon for a film trailer to misrepresent a film, either because marketing doesn't speak to anyone from the film crew OR in some circumstances it is done deliberately as a better way to sell the film to a certain audience.

I recall there was that incident with Drive, where someone attempted to sue the movie saying how the advertising made it seem like it was an action movie, but it wasn't.

And another example, one that didn't lead to a lawsuit, was Frozen. The movie trailers focused on the moose and the snowman, and didn't really talk about the whole thing about two orphaned sisters running a kingdom.

As a moviegoer, I'm totally okay with this. Even if the movie isn't that great (I'm looking at you, Flight).
posted by FJT at 10:18 AM on June 2, 2015


That's a good comparison but even then, I don't like to commit to two hours worth of movie watching without knowing what I'm getting into. I sure as hell don't buy a video game without at least scanning some reviews first. Moreso now that I'm older and have less time for the hobby, but it's been true at least as long as I've been spending my own, rather than my parent's, money on games, if not longer.
posted by VTX at 10:30 AM on June 2, 2015


cheddar and swiss
I tend to think of 'first person shooters' and their fans as Spray Cheese at best.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:50 AM on June 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


That's a good comparison but even then, I don't like to commit to two hours worth of movie watching without knowing what I'm getting into.

Yeah, I see that point too. For me, it really depends on how good I believe a critique or review is and the price of entry. For games, the interesting thing is Steam with it's sales and bundles has made me a lot more willing to try games off the usual beaten path, especially if they are around $10 or so. It's all right if I pay a few bucks for something and play it for an hour, that's fine for me. I have a huge back library that I will probably never catch up on. And these days, I think what I choose is highly driven by what friends talk about, and also maybe what I listen to on Idle Thumbs. I've largely ignored Metacritic, IGN, etc.

Movies are a totally different story. In a theater, if a movie stinks, I can always jump ship in the first thirty minutes and go catch another one. Multiplexing is kind of the "feature" of theaters that doesn't make it feel so bad when something turns out to be a dud, because chances are there's at least something enjoyable out of the 6-8 movies playing. I do rely on critics, both for what is written about the film (to see if it sounds interesting) or if the Tomatometer is high enough (If the meter isn't high, it's probably a rental).

And just to throw a third thing here, there's restaurants. I really don't like the crowdsourced reviews like Yelp, and am trying to rely on them less. People on there give bad ratings sometimes because of totally random reasons like the service isn't good during rush hour, or they didn't refill a drink every two minutes, or something didn't taste exactly how they wanted it too. So, these days, I try to read newspaper restaurant critics for what they think, and also sometimes just walk into a random restaurant I think may look good. And if it's a bad meal, it's only about 10 bucks gone at most (I usually don't eat at expensive places).
posted by FJT at 10:51 AM on June 2, 2015


To me, gamers' issues boil down to concrete vs. abstract thinking and ideas, which itself is a hallmark of maturity vs. immaturity. If your taste is that there's One True Way to make a game (i.e. "cheddar and swiss are always and objectively the best cheeses"), you're not thinking in the abstract and you're showing yourself as an immature individual.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:58 AM on June 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


So what you're saying is that abstract thinking is always and objectively the best way to think. The One True Way, as it were.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:01 PM on June 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


Have you played the Hotel Dusk series?

Oh wow, I'd read ages ago there was a sequel but then forgot about it, so thanks for this! And yes, Hotel Dusk totally falls into the delightful mess genre, but it's got a lot going for it visually (I love rotoscoping, so may be biased.) Have been meaning to give it a replay since I don't think I ever got the best ending.

And probably we should take it to MeMail (but I do love sharing the Good News of the more fabulously ridiculous games out there.)
posted by asperity at 12:06 PM on June 2, 2015


If you like Flower, Sun and Rain, Suda's PlayStation games and work up to up to No More Heroes offer a lot of similarly interesting experiences, especially the Syndrome series and The Silver Case (here's a great fan video that shows off the mood and aesthetics). They're darker and more noir/surreal-cyberpunk, but mechanically idiosyncratic and almost collage-like visually. Unfortunately, they're pretty obscure and unavailable in English, but still worth taking a peek at for the aesthetics and ideas. Here's an LP of The Silver Case. And one for Moonlight Syndrome.

Killer7 is probably the most playable and least messy thing he's made, but it's still a glorious maelstrom. Somewhere around No More Heroes--which satirizes the GamerGate flavor of "gamer" identity (but, like most satire, walks a weird line between eviscerating its target and using "satire" as an excuse to indulge in it)--Suda's own work and the work he promoted started to shift away from oddball art games to more mainstream "gamer"-identity games, and his latest original game looked too much like a sad and skeevy self-parody for me to check out. Some of the games he produced pre-NMH are interesting, too; Contact always looked neat.

Regarding the article, I've been told for years that I play the wrong games for the wrong reasons. Comics and animation have similar low-taste tyrannies. Whatever. Nerd culture can get bent.
posted by byanyothername at 1:03 PM on June 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


FJT: "I recall there was that incident with Drive, where someone attempted to sue the movie saying how the advertising made it seem like it was an action movie, but it wasn't."

I think that's a lot like the same sort of thing. All the footage in the Drive trailer is in the movie. Seeing that as misleading is just as much about the viewer having an expectation that movies will have an action scene every 15 minutes or whatever.
posted by RobotHero at 1:20 PM on June 2, 2015


"When does map switch?"

Is a question that immediately identifies someone as one who does not get it.
posted by ethansr at 2:15 PM on June 2, 2015


In other gaming news: the Fallout 4 announcement has been announced.
posted by turbid dahlia at 2:58 PM on June 2, 2015


Trying to talk about the opinion of "gamers" as if they were representative of all or most gamers is committing the same error they accuse the gamers of making in the first place: assuming their view is representative of the entire population. The comments quoted are likely taken from a self styled competitive gamer, probably of the MOBA variety, and a fair representation of that too! - yet you'll find their views unlikely to be shared by the players in other genres.

This is the best analysis of what's going on here. Naomi Clark's friend clearly just asked the wrong person for feedback about her game. She asked a professional bowler for feedback about her new stamp-collecting adhesive. While the bowler was a bit of a jerk about it--"Bowling is a much better hobby than stamp-collecting! This adhesive is useless to bowlers!"--it's not surprising that she didn't get useful feedback by assuming that anyone who plays any sort of video game would be interested in her particular type of game.
posted by straight at 3:08 PM on June 2, 2015


I love Flower, Sun, and Rain so much I shelled out $200 for a copy of the rare Japanese printed hotel guidebook. That game is amazing. And terrible. And amazing. It's a perfect relaxing with a stiff cocktail before bed sort of game.

Contact is also very good, if you have the patience for a long RPG. It's not as weird as most of his other games, but it has some definite interesting quirks, such as a very firm player/protagonist divide, which eventually becomes plot-important. Also there's a dog you can summon in combat. You level him up by rubbing his belly during a game-save, while the protagonist is sleeping.
posted by rifflesby at 3:51 PM on June 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


Some people prefer to read the starred movie reviews in the newspaper or look at Rotten Tomatoes. Others prefer to read scholarly film criticism. Somehow these two groups coexist without open & protracted Internet/journalist warfare breaking out.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 6:03 PM on June 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Part of the anger between these groups with different taste is a (somewhat accurate) feeling that the industry is zero-sum, and if a game you hate gets made, that's money that should have gone to a game you like. Fortunately this is becoming less and less true.

(I was going to make a snide remark about how the indie art game people express this anger by writing thoughtful articles, while the competitive types threaten to rape and murder people, but 1) it's a cheap generalization, and 2) it's not hard to find insane misogyny among indie art game fans, such as the people who started gamergate.)
posted by vogon_poet at 8:47 PM on June 2, 2015


This article sums it up. I love games. All games. I've played every Gears of War game, I play indie games, I play Dark Souls, I'm downloading Always Sometimes Monsters right now. And I can't stand gamers general lack of taste and aesthetics. You see it everywhere - in comment sections that talk as if Metacritic scores and number were the only way to measure things. In the way that so many game devs, as Tim Rogers points out, seem to have only read Lord of the Rings. In a general idea that the only thing that matters is games and gaming, and everything outside that is worthless. In the idea that you should reduce everything to numbers.

A variety of tastes in gaming benefits EVERYBODY. Gears of War, that game I mentioned at the start of this post to certify my populist tastes? Launched with trailers full of Donnie Darko music and followed a 'decayed beauty' aesthetic that the old Sublime artists would recognize.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 9:16 PM on June 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


VTX: "I never hear gamers near my own age (30's) state their opinions as fact but I often hear younger players do so. It's definitely a trend and not a rule and I wonder if it's a young person thing or generational thing because the gaming landscape looked VERY different when I really only shared my opinions with friends and games were pretty much all one or two players."

If that's truly the case, then either 1) you are very lucky, or 2) gamers are better than MeFites and the world at large (which I doubt). If you go into any MeFi thread on music or art you will find a ton of people in their 30s and 40s who consider certain music to be objectively bad, certain art to be objectively bad, etc. I've read plenty of discussions where, for example, one faction will be arguing that Musician A's music is objectively better than Musician B's music because A's music is more structurally complex, while the other faction argues that Musician B's music is objectively better because it has more feeling and soul, and Musician A is just technical wankery. The main difference between MeFi and other sites is how articulate people are, and the lack of homophobic insults, etc., used to make the points. But the core phenomenon of "There are objective goods and bads in art and music and sports and everything, and my tastes always happen to exactly line up with those objective qualities" is universal at pretty much every age I've seen.
posted by Bugbread at 9:26 PM on June 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Charlemagne In Sweatpants: "Gears of War, that game I mentioned at the start of this post to certify my populist tastes? Launched with trailers full of Donnie Darko music and followed a 'decayed beauty' aesthetic that the old Sublime artists would recognize."

Plus the designer (Cliffy B) was the creator of Cat Scan.com, the subject of the first ever post on MetaFilter.

(Not germane to this discussion, but I still find that trivia amazing.)
posted by Bugbread at 9:31 PM on June 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


FALLOUT 4.

*squeeeeeeeeeeeee*

Still, it's Bethesda rather than Obsidian so it wlll be a wonderful engine hosting a mediocre game. Maybe Obsidian will do the next one on the same engine like last time.
posted by Justinian at 12:26 PM on June 3, 2015


Well, I think that if you're following your "thing is objectively better than other thing" assertion with some well thought out and reasoned arguments, your assertion is implicitly an opinion. When writing an essay that is arguing a specific position, I was always taught never to start a thesis sentence with "I think", just state your thesis as fact and then back it up.

When I see gamers make those same sorts of statements, the unsaid evidence always seems to be, "Because I think so and no other rational is needed."

Especially in the case of not liking the map "Metro" where the top TWO ranked servers run that map and nothing else and it nearly always wins a map vote on the 3rd ranked server (which I help run).

Or maybe I just don't want to admit that BF3 gamers could ever possibly be more reasonable than a mefite (unless they're both).
posted by VTX at 1:04 PM on June 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


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