Video games were a mistake.
Not the games themselves, mind, but rather the culture of obsession they’ve (perhaps unintentionally) propped up.
I am, of course, referring to the recent debacle surrounding the delays of both No Man’s Sky and Final Fantasy XV, both of which set up the internet’s equivalent of a witch hunt. But not a literal witch hunt, just as close to a witch hunt as one can get while still sat behind their keyboard.
By now, you’re probably familiar over what happened with the No Man’s Sky delay, but just in case you aren’t, here’s a reminder: Jason Schreier of Kotaku first reported that No Man’s Sky was receiving a delay, pushing the game back by merely a handful of weeks. This was then verified by Hello Games, developer of the game, but not before thousands of spiteful, vitriolic messages were sent Schreier’s way.
Including death threats. Fucking death threats, over a video game.
One might be forgiven for thinking that the threats would stop once the delay was actually confirmed by Hello Games, but you’d be mistaken in believing that. For once the delay was confirmed, the messages merely got sent to Hello Games head honcho Sean Murray, instead of Jason Schreir. Actually, that’s an error, Schreir still got hateful messages, for some stupid reason.
Now, lets recap the more recent situation with Final Fantasy XV. After being in development for practically a decade now, the game was pushed back by just two months, in a move that was first revealed by relatively-unknown gaming website Gamnesia.
Now, let’s have your guesses as to what sort of messages Gamnesia received on reporting the delay.
Disappointment? A roll of the eyes towards Square Enix? Maybe a little resentment?
Nope, death threats, yet again.
For a game that’s been in development since before I was even in secondary school (Christ almighty), the mere delay of just less than two months in painfully trivial in the context of just how long Final Fantasy XV has actually taken to properly reach our consoles.
But no, once again the devout disciples of a video game felt the need to take the mere reporting on their favourite commercial product personally, as a slight to not only them, but the developer of the game.
I’ve seen people suggest that both Hello Games and Square Enix sue everyone that revealed the information before it went public. I have no honest clue as to what either company could sue the reporters for, and this is coming from someone with above-average knowledge of the legal system.
So, what is this post all about? Well, nothing, to be honest. I don’t really have an answer as to how to deal with this hateful, spiteful subsection of the community of each video game.
Because how do you deal with someone that is so vocal, and so dedicated to their hateful beliefs? Especially when you consider that anybody can appear anonymous through the internet, it seems impossible to actually connect with someone on a human level, when you literally have no idea who they actually are.
So maybe, if we can’t combat this silent majority head on, we should instead support that which we like? Maybe instead of spending countless arguing with anonymous Twitter/Reddit/NeoGAF users, we should instead reach out to developers, whether individually or as a company, and thank them for doing what they do?
Because, while I can’t speak to the quality of the unreleased Final Fantasy XV (although I love that anime, don’t @ me), I can speak to the genuine likability of Sean Murray, and the team in general at Hello Games.
Murray has always seemed genuine in his kindness to me, in a time when folk like Peter Moore smile through their teeth at us, while trying to sell us on the latest micro transaction disguised as “customer service.”
So therefore, I plan on sending my congratulations and thanks to Murray for working on No Man’s Sky, regardless of my opinion on the game, which I’m currently still playing through. Because it’s damn obvious that he’s been working his hardest to make the game as brilliant as possible for his customers, as evidenced by nothing more than his beard.
So, once again, I’m being melodramatic by decrying video games themselves as a mistake. I just wish we could be rid of this hateful culture surrounding them, and I plan on doing my utmost to sideline this culture of abuse they’ve unintentionally set up.