This is an article written by PP1MT and is free to share, reblog and use as long as credit is given.
You may notice that this article is heavily inspired by Spec Ops:The Line.
The reason why I chose the game is because the game has provided illuminating insights into game criticism.
“Oh man, that was a great game last night. Our ganks are so perfect, and the game was just so one-sided.”
“Haha! I know, right!? Have you seen that part where I stunned the enemy Lich with my arrow? That was totally good enough for WCG man.”
“Oh! You know, there was this one time the enemy team were about to get me, but I (Insert-Over-dramatic-Escape-Maneuver).”
I was lounging(actually occupying the entire couch), the crowd tries to top each other’s stories with their own, attempting to score the most bragging rights. And of course, one of them decides to turn to me to score points. I used to play MOBAs in my past, but left because of several reasons. Determined to leave my past behind me, I told my new group of colleagues that I, not only don’t play MOBAs, but abstain from it.
At this point, to receive commendation from someone (me) outside of the gaming community would seem to be a mark of competence.
But my heart refuses to give its approval, and instead, the humorous attempt at doing so was received in contempt. It has become second nature for me to proclaim my hatred to such self-serving quasi-gaming discussion. And without hesitation, my love for all things 1337 turned into its purest shadow. I replied:
“Sorry, I don’t use spells.”
Accompanied with a grin that implied nothing but scorn and jest. The whole room fell silent for a few seconds as they realized they have all just been burned (especially the one who asked the question). Hurt by my disdainful rejection of their hobby in their very face, the rest of the crew retaliated accordingly – telling me that I didn’t understand the game and that my contempt was unjustified.
I said nothing more.
What they didn’t know, was that they have been burned by one of their own. At least I used to be. They didn’t know that I used to enjoy these games as much as they did, and did exactly the same things and engaged in similar conversations.
But that’s all in the past now.
How can a player, or rather ex-player, be critical of the other players? How is that different from the ego-trampling situation I found myself in? I’d just be a hypocrite, and also an asshole. But in this case, more of the former.
Only a player can be critical of another player.
Although whether his/her criticisms are valid will have to be further validated. My point is – how can I talk about an experience if I’ve not lived it? If I had not taken part in similar conversations, where the main point was to raise myself high above the rest to claim the sweet nectar of bountiful bragging rights? I have punched and kicked my way, sometimes at my own friends – I want to be known as the best.
And a lot of these players fervently chased after this elusive title as they tirelessly sought approval from the players around him/her. It then becomes a fix; they not only have to be accepted within his/her own community, but praised and commended as well.
You’re in the virtual world and going “Yes! I’m better than this guy, and I’m going to thoroughly disrespect him, just because I can.”. But that’s perfectly fine – all your actions are merely make-belief with zero consequences in real life, right?
You won’t be that kind of person in real life.
But what if you were?
You banded together with your friends and gleefully marched straight to hell and back. Every adventure, have been part of your journey to find something you’ve been searching for – it may be “Fun”, “Entertainment” or perhaps the sweet release when the story finally comes to an end.
And yet look at you now.
Do you even remember why you came here?