The title says it all. This is a trope that has become quite popular in the gaming scene. With the advent of mobile gaming, video games are more accessible than they ever have been before in the history of the medium.
So, more now than ever before, people who consider themselves die hard fans are constantly cloying to keep other people out of a hobby that they have enjoyed for years.
The earliest I can remember seeing this trope was when I was in the 6th grade. This was the zenith of MTV’s popularity. Groups like the Backstreet Boys and N*SYNC as well as pop stars like Britney Spears dominated the airwaves at this time.
I remember my friends listened to things like Slipknot, Korn and Eminem and decried the aforementioned pop groups as “crap” just because it was popular, and rock and rap music were more “underground” and “different” at the time.
You even see it in the current day with artists like Nicki Minaj, Skrillex, Justin Bieber and the resurgence of boy groups like One Direction. All of these groups and people are popular among a younger set of people so the older group automatically decries them as crap simply on the premise that they are popular.
We see this now more than ever in the gaming community and this all started back in 2002 when Microsoft first popularized online gaming with friends with their Xbox LIVE online gaming service.
As time has passed, the free to play model has now emerged where you can pay a small amount of money or even no money to get started with a game.
However as the game progresses, you can use small microtransactions to get power ups, advantages, or be able to play the game at a more consistent rate rather than having to wait 5 minutes to 5 hours for your energy bar to replenish.
These types of games are often simple, mindless, and often fun time wasters that you wouldn’t expect to pay a lot of money for. The issue with these games are when young people start playing them they can run up there parents credit cards, or if you happen to be an adult, it gets frustrating having to dump dollar after dollar into a game to just keep playing.
This has set a bad precedent for game publishers is a whole, but I don’t believe that a lot of these games are bad.
They may not be your style, they may not be what you enjoy, but when games like Ninja Royale and Rage of Bahamut are at the top of the Google Play paid apps charts, you can’t argue with their popularity.
In the same vein, you can’t argue that Call of Duty or Halo are bad games when they move upwards of 10 million copies apiece.
Good and bad in the game world are a matter of perspective. I happen to enjoy RPG games and action games. That doesn’t make puzzle games or first person shooters bad genres. They’re just not for me.
As sad as it is to say, popularity sells a lot more than originality. I’m not saying that this means it is good in practice. In fact microtransactions getting crowbarred into games like Dead Space so a publisher can squeeze that much more money out of the already paying customer is part of why the game industry is in such a slump right now as it is.
However I am saying to give some of these games a chance before you just declare them as “shit” because they aren’t “real games”.
One of the better mobile titles I played recently, Fantastica on the Google Play Store, was microtransaction tower defense game. You could pay money if you wanted to but you didn’t have to. But aside from the microtransactions I actually had fun with the game.
Judge a game on its merits once you have played it. Don’t just dismiss it as crap because it wasn’t published by EA or becuase its color scheme is gunmetal gray and dog shit brown and follows ‘roided up space marines around.
Call a game bad because it’s actually bad. Don’t call a game bad because it’s part of a genre.
(Archived rant, original post from Tumblr on June 8th, 2013)