Is Gaming Hype Wrong? (A response to George Weidman)

Something you all should know about me – I am a HUGE Kingdom Hearts fan.  I know, it’s shocking, what with my two Top 10 lists about worlds and characters I want to see in Kingdom Hearts III.  When me, my cousin Griffin and my girly-mate Mandy got to the end of Kingdom Hearts II, the three of us were excited beyond belief at where the franchise went next.  We talked, long into the night, about what we wanted to see.  What Disney worlds we were eager to see brought to life.  This was when Pixar was in its hayday, so we wanted to see some of their worlds.  Still do, actually.  So much eagerness.  Young passion that was stoked.  Then we waited.  And we waited.  And we waited.  But it never came.  It never was talked about.  There were handheld games after handheld games, but they all felt like something tacked on.  Aside from Birth by Sleep, that is.  Eventually, our hopes kind of faded and we moved on.  Granted, the three of us aren’t a trio anymore.  In fact, my cousin, the brother I never had, is dead to me.  And my girly-mate has kind of gone in her own direction, and I in mine.

However, when I saw a teaser at E3 last year, that finally showed me that Kingdom Hearts III was coming, I was over the moon!  So much excitement!  The franchise I grew up with was back!  And it looked better than ever.  But that was a teaser.  I wasn’t about to get very excited until I saw some gameplay.  At this year’s E3, I saw just that.  And it looks amazing!  The visuals are astounding.  The gameplay looks smooth.  The world looks massive.  I would have liked to see more worlds, but still.  Everything I saw gave me confidence that this game was going to own.  I can’t wait to see what comes next!  That childlike love was back, and I don’t regret that.

Today, I saw a video on a channel that I am subscribed to on YouTube, called Super Bunnyhop.  It is run by a guy named George Weidman.  In it, he lamented this year’s E3, and made a lot of stabs at the industry and those who consume this, like what we are watching is wrong, and our endorsement of what E3 represents is wrong as well.  I think I’ll let him state his case.  That’s only fair.

An interesting case, he makes.  I don’t always agree with George on his opinions.  But that’s a good thing.  It’s good that I can listen to someone I don’t always agree with and at least be open to their opinion.  Unlike the SJW crowd, I don’t live in an echo chamber.  Alternate opinions can give you new perspectives, and that’s a good thing to have in life.  Still, I don’t always agree with his opinions, and in this case, I felt the need to voice my discontent.

Here’s the thing, George, I am with you on a lot of parts of this.  There is a lot of bullshit associated with E3.  The spectacle can take priority over the quality of content.  Gaming companies can spend inordinate amounts of time whoring themselves out to their consumers.  But, that’s kind of the point of this event, isn’t it?  To reach out to consumers and promote your material?  Sure, they could do it in a less gimmicky sort of way, but this entire event is to showcase gaming.  What’s wrong with that?  What’s wrong with an event that promotes video games and allows gamers to come and see what they want to see up close?  Is it because of all the bullshit?  I’d actually get your argument, if it is.  Might even be with you, to a point.  If we could just cut the fat and the grand-standing at E3, that would be excellent.

That doesn’t sound like the argument you’re making, though.  It sounds like you’re getting on gamers for participating in this at all.  Like it is gamers’ fault that we get excited about new games.  Yeah, the teaser for the Final Fantasy VII remake was just a teaser.  Just like the teaser for Kingdom Hearts III was just a teaser last year.  Just like a movie teaser is just a teaser.  These things exist for that purpose – to tease.  To get people talking.  Then, you have a trailer from the game itself, and we get more context.  That gets people talking even more.  It’s called the hype train.  When done well, it gives people enough information to give them a general sense of wonder, yet leaves room for surprises.

I can hear the counter-argument – but come on!  Look at how many games pretty much spoil everything in their promotion!  Again, I agree with that.  There can be a little too much advertisement.  That’s a hype train not done well.  When gamers know everything to expect from a game.  There are also the ones that give us false expectations.  That was the problem with last year, and the big games like Watch Dogs and Destiny.  There was too much hype, for games that were not bad, but not that great either.  Rather run of the mill.  Though, honestly, if our expectations had been a little lower, do you think we would have been as bothered by that.

The thing I take the most umbrage with as at the end of the video.  When you say that it’s better to just go into something blind.  I disagree with that.  Rather strongly.  This is our money we’re risking.  You don’t think that maybe we should get some idea where our money is going?  I get that AAA companies have no obligation to tell us, but it’s in their best interests.  Do you really want to spend money on a game without having some idea that your money is being well spent.  But I can hear – that’s why reviews are made!  I majored in Journalism and Public Communication, George.  I got my Bachelor’s in it.  Wanna know something – I learned about marketing.  To this day, do you know what the best form of marketing is – word of mouth.  It does more to sell a product than any review will EVER do.  I like watching Angry Joe or even you talk about a game, but the truth is that I often look at a game’s trailer and gameplay footage and judge for myself whether or not I think it will be a good game.

It’s the reason that I am now enamored with the game Life is Strange.  I saw the trailer, and heard people talking about how it was “SJW: The Video Game.”  I got annoyed at that statement, because nobody had even played the game yet.  Later on, the SJWs would actually be annoyed at the game because it is written by men.  Go figure.  But the trailer intrigued, and I wanted to see more.  That’s how the game got me.  And I’m glad that I did see that trailer.  If I hadn’t, then I might never have known.

There’s nothing wrong with getting people interested in a product.  That’s how you sell anything.  If nobody hears about a game, and then somebody sees it on the shelf, do you think they are going to play it?  Or do you think that they will see the trailer, as I did, and then think – I think I might like that game!  If they do, then they tell their friends, and the word of mouth chain grows.

I think the problem that you have is the spectacle.  And I’m with ya.  Really, I am.  There is too damn much of it.  But, I am not about to guilt gamers for loving getting hyped about a product.  Because if we didn’t get excited about gaming, then what the fuck are doing in this hobby?  We do this because we love it?  Right?

Until next time, a quote,

“Without leaps of imagination or dreaming, we lose the excitement of possibilities. Dreaming, after all is a form of planning.”  – Gloria Steinem

Peace out,

Maverik

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s