I really don’t like “fans” of a specific game any more. It’s a term that used to have many positive connotations, a descriptive you would and could wear with pride but now days it just seems to come with too much baggage.
I like a lot of things and I love a select few but even now I don’t think I could call myself a fan of anything in particular. I used to envy those people who felt strongly enough about something to call themselves a fan and yet, here I am using it as a negative. They used to be held up on a pedestal to admire, amazing knowledge on everything and helping out where they can but now, it’s more a smug idiot trying to prove their superiority complex. Lets be honest as well and say they are becoming a bit of a joke in the regular media as well.
This change has been happening for some time. I’ve noticed over and over the fans of a game that will completely ignore or be oblivious to certain issues or flaws while continuously proclaiming its brilliance. The opposite of that seems to be a hater, something reviled that no one takes seriously yet the word of a fan is somehow worth more. Both are equally as bias but it seems the influence and appeal of one is far greater.
At the moment I really don’t understand many mmo fans, it’s a genre that is mostly devoid of any real change and been rather content with various cosmetic changes. I still like them all, and even look forward to the next batch but to be a fan of one seems rather pointless, how is that distinction made on a title to place it above all else and then revere it.
I’m also having doubts as to their importance. Many times I see this blind praise of a title without any mention of faults, no critical eye on the mechanics or a balance to the positive… Just adoration. How does this help anyone? It will build up unrealistic expectations to potential players that is likely to cause bit of discontent when the reality comes crashing down. It doesn’t help the developers at all in finding places to improve or issues to solve and it is unlikely to put pressure on developers and companies to strive for better
We’ve had a number of rather amusing cautionary tales this year of games taking mechanics a little too far, being lazy with design or stretching the boundaries of acceptable cash shop use and it has been the critical players, the haters and such that have brought about positive change for their game that benefits everyone, maybe even the industry. It is a genre in it’s infancy and needs a certain guiding hand to help in development and as a way of pushing back against publisher demands, developers have their valuable input but players themselves also have a certain amount of insight.
I honestly think that person bitching and raving on the forums or wherever (like me =p) is giving people more important input, at least you can anazlyze those comments and see what the issue is, where to improve and what concerns the community has… If a little less passionately. Most people will never be bothered commenting when they leave and these posts can be indicative of a larger issue. The person thanking you for a patch does none of that, it’s good to know what people like too but there is always room for improvement.
It also seems like fans of something are the most avid in maintaining the channels of communication; attacking all who disagree and silencing alternative opinions.A close minded demographic whose ideas are completely closed and reluctant to even listen to others. A debate is hard to have at the best of times and this certainly doesn’t help.
There will always be a certain amount of decision in the community, our interest are diverse. Arguing is fun and this is the internet after all, I’m just starting to question which side is more valuable though. The dark side certainly has some intriguing opinions… It’s also more fun.