Can't We Just Move On?

There are certain common disputes that arise among gamers with all the regularity of a metronome's motion. Some of these disputes are well over a decade old, and in that time they have changed very little with regard to their form or content. Gamers seem to delight in retreading the same argumentative territory, rarely contributing anything to the discussion that their opponents have not already heard years ago.

I hope that I shall alleviate some of that Sisyphean misery by tracing the outlines of these arguments, in order that we might sidestep them in the future. In no way should this effort of mine constrain free, open discussion; quite to the contrary, let what follows serve as a means to bypass the morasses that lie between us and our perpetual goal of fresh, interesting discourse. Think of this as an indirect roadmap, which helps you to stay on course by listing all the dead-end streets that intersect your route. Nor should you consider these arguments exhaustive, any more than you might consider the typical butting of heads in an online forum to be a thorough examination of the matter at hand.

What follows hereafter may prove of comparatively little use to the enlightened community here at Gamers With Jobs, but it never hurts to be on guard. I do not explicitly endorse any of the views presented below.

On Nintendo

(1) I like Nintendo's consoles, because the games are all so original and creative.
(2) Original? Ha! Nintendo just repackages the same old characters, and most of their games these days are sequels.
(1) That's true, Nintendo relies heavily on its franchises, but the games themselves are often highly innovative, even if they are sequels.
(2) Those franchises suck.
(1) Not to me, they don't.
(2) Fine.

On Graphics vs. Gameplay

(1) With all of this emphasis on graphics, everyone's forgotten that good graphics don't make a game fun.
(2) Maybe not by themselves, but graphics are still important. In fact, it can sometimes be hard to distinguish between graphics and "gameplay."
(1) Graphics may be important, but developers should always ensure that their games are sound at their cores, before embellishing the graphics.
(2) True.

On id Software

(1) Between Quake 3 and Doom 3, it's clear that id Software only knows how to make game engines. They've forgotten how to design complete, fun games.
(2) Quake 3 and Doom 3 are great for what they are.
(1) What they are isn't much.
(2) That's what you think.
(1) True.

On Regulation of Games by the Government (This dispute is largely limited to the US.)

(1) The government should regulate the content of video games, lest minors view inappropriate material.
(2) No, it shouldn't regulate anything on behalf of lazy parents.
(1) But the government already regulates movies. Why not games, too?
(2) Actually, the film industry regulates itself.
(1) Oh. Well, anyway, it seems that we disagree about the proper role of the government in matters like this.
(2) So we do.

On Consoles vs. PCs

(1) I like consoles for their lack of headaches.
(2) I like PCs in spite of their many headaches.
(1) We have different preferences!
(2) Imagine that.

On the Mouse vs. Thumbsticks

(1) The mouse is less frustrating. I prefer mouse-and-keyboard to thumbsticks.
(2) Thumbsticks are more fun. I prefer to play games from my couch.
(1) It's as though we were two entirely separate people, each governed by our own desires.
(2) Amazing.

On the Console Wars

(1) I think Console A suits me best.
(2) You're crazy! Console B is where it's at.
(1) I feel pretty secure in my opinion, just as you do in yours.
(2) Well, at least we can agree that Console C is pure tripe.
(1) True.

On Mark Rein

(1) Mark Rein sure does like to spout off.
(2) That's because he's the source of all evil.
(1) Really?
(2) Yeah. You know how gaming forums are generally rife with tired disagreements, flame wars repeated ad nauseam, and mutual antagonism? Mark Rein is responsible for all that.
(1) That's incredible! Do you have any proof?
(2) Yes, I do.
(1) Wow, you're right!

I've seen each of the above disputes through to something resembling an amicable conclusion. Would that reality were so tidy!


Yikes! If only internet discussions were so friendly!

On the Front Page Articles
(1) I think Lobo suits me best.
(2) You're crazy! Elysium is where it's at.
(1) I feel pretty secure in my opinion, just as you do in yours.
(2) Well, at least we can agree that Certis is Awesome.
(1) True.

I think this format can be used for any discussion, on any topic, evar.

It's Bush's fault.

I think the Consoles vs. PC argument may have changed a little.

1)I like consoles for their lack of headaches
2)What are you talking about? You spent all lunch whining about NHL2K6 crashing and the Neroimus War Server being down.

(2) Well, at least we can agree that Certis is Awesome. ...uncomforatble silence ... derisive and sarcastic laughter


(yawn) boring piece, Lobo, I've heard all of this before.

I'm SICK AND TIRED of hearing fanbois of intelligent discussion shoot their mouths off about how "bad" and "evil" repetitive arguments that go nowhere are. If they're sooooo worthless, then how else would I find out that TEH PS3 IS 4 DUMB JAPINESE TENTICLE PORN ADICKTS?! Without having facts like these jammed into my head multiple times a day in increasingly strident tones, battering anyone without the same opinion out of the thread and, god willing, off the site completely, how can I form the correct opinion?!

you forgot the ON SONY category:

(1) OMFG, did you see/hear what Sony/Kutaragi did/said?
(2) Yeah, I am totally outraged/upset/pissedoff/turned on
(1) Sony's all about money.. they're not "for the fans" anymore
(2) true. I'll never buy anyting because of the rootkit fiasco
(1) And blu-ray sucks. And the PS3 costs too much.
(2) I hope they crash and burn.
(1) I'm pre-ordering 5 for ebay.
(2) Me too.

karmajay wrote:

Yikes! If only internet discussions were so friendly!

Heh, no kidding. I expected each template to end with

(1) You suck!
(2) No, you suck!

But they didn't.

By the time the disputants arrive at that sad point, they will have changed the topic. Instead of driving down a dead-end street, as it were, they will have careened through a guardrail and plummeted down a steep hillside to a fiery death below. I'm afraid the map I have drawn does not encompass topography.

This is the prettiest bottle of poison I've ever read. I just get the subtle impression that you want to end everyone you are describing with a Scanners style mind scramble. Maybe I'm just projecting.

*Edit* Three smileys in a row. We are a happy group.

Hilarious article. Thanks, Lobo.

(1) It's as though we were two entirely separate people, each governed by our own desires.

This made me laugh. (3) Allthough everyone know the keyboard&mouse style is way better then the Dumbsticks.

Quite the read there. Its rather funny to look at those comments and realize I can identify with almost everyone of them, at some point in my many years of gaming I have been on one side or the other of those arguments. I'd like to say I am ashamed to admit that, but I'm not. I got to that point in life when suddenly none of it mattered anymore. I mean hell? Who cares right?

I game as much as I can, and I look back at that time when gaming actually meant enough to me to argue about it and sigh. Those were the days. It was nice to worry about something other than the mortgage or retirerment.