At its best, the internet is a wonderful place to freely distribute creative works and discussion. At its worst, its the lower half of a youtube comment section.
Why do so many gaming discussions quickly descend into the fiery pits of fan rage?
My best guess is a psychological attachment to branding. Humans often love being on a team. Whether sports, region, or (PC master) race, grouping up can offer strength and identity, like joining a gang in prison.
To many, putting a rival down elevates themselves. Pre-diabetic convenience shoppers in-between chocolate bars gawk at magazines depicting celebrities in grotesque exaggerations to feel the hollow satisfaction of watching a fellow human fall from a social pedestal…for example.
A section of gamers mirror this behavior every day.
“Nintendo will be out of business with their lame-ass children’s console” XBONER69 might gleefully post.
“I hope Bill Gates catches aids and Micro$oft finally dies with him!” PSXXX69 could respond. How rude PSXXX69.
I grew up in the gaming ‘Nam of Sega vs Nintendo. We fought for our brand because our parents only bought us one system. Would a Genesis-only 8-year old admit the SNES had a vastly superior library of games and hardware? Of course not. Comix Zone was really cool and Mario was for babies.
Games may be cheaper than ever but consoles and gaming PCs are still a sizable investment. The ubiquity of AAA games across most platforms and smaller number of essential console exclusives greatly reduces the need to own more than one system.
The hilarious thing is that two idiots arguing XB1 vs PS4 are likely to be playing 90% of the same games! Are they arguing over where the d-pad goes? No, they’re arguing because they don’t have a personality of their own outside of what they own.
Giant Bomb’s Vincent Caravella claimed this was the best time to play video games and he’s right. I can only hope a few more haters pour their energy and passion into great games and great discussion, instead of attacking their fellow gamer.