The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 12
The game industry is notoriously cutthroat. Stories abound of men and women who are put on deadline crunches for months, multiple times over the course of a game's development cycle, all in the service of bringing our favorite games to us. Thanks to the publishing structure and nature of the medium it is not an industry that often produces million dollar celebrities on the production side. The result is studios full of men and women that work just as hard as anyone else to put food on the table of their families while struggling with the added pressure of producing a piece of entertainment for millions of people.
Even games that have seen a massive amount of effort poured into them do not always come out as hoped though. The results are games like Medal of Honor Warfighter, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, or Final Fantasy XIII that fail to meet the high expectations set for them. Though no game can be expected to cover all bases for every member of its audience, some fall even shorter of the line than others. So what is the proper response to these games that fall short in spite of the hardworking, caring men and women working on them? What is the solution to the clashes that developers and gamers so regularly experience?
I find the solution quite simple: more petitions. Petitions are the new favorite tactic of gamers in their battle to better games for everyone and I, for one, wholly support it. In the past few years we have seen petitions to add dedicated servers to games, change endings and demand a completely logical government sponsored boycott of prissy DmC Dante - among others. Though they have been a part of the industry for years, the proliferation of the internet has made petitions an even more effective tool. That effectiveness comes from the petition's structure; its organization and collective voice allow us to more efficiently express our opinions.
More important than a collective voice, however, is those petitions' ability to represent a much broader group than the people who actually choose to sign them. One of the most important things that we as gamers can do to help encourage the health of the industry is to make sure that every gamer and customer is represented, even when our small group is the only one speaking. It would be morally unconscionable for us to go about the process of making our demands without including everyone who may not know that they should be making them. After all, it is our right to demand, not simply request, change to these products as we see fit. It is our responsibility to improve the industry on other peoples' behalf.
Some will say that we are not within our rights to demand this change. They will say that our complaints focus on arbitrary, aesthetic elements. Of course, we all know these pathetic claims are wrong, almost laughably so in fact. We paid for these games, our money keeps the studios going, and that gives us as much right to see something we do not like changed as any creative director or investor.
Others will attempt to deflate our claims by pointing out that the signers are only comprised of a small, like minded group of players who share a common dissent. As I have already pointed out however, our petitions represent the entire player base even if only 60,000 members of a popular game's 4 million person player base actually signs. Still more will call it ridiculous that we demand so much change from our games while movies and music see so little of the same, but in our hearts we know it is not. We cannot let the publishers' and journalists' attempts to hide our activity stop us from helping those who do not know they want change.
We must not let the ignorant claims that we are being disrespectful of the work that went into these games bring us down. The masses may think us so, but they are sheep and we know that the only way to get anything done is through veiled threats, thinly disguised slights directed at a production house's credibility, and thugish mob tactics. The time of calmly explaining ourselves on the developers' forums has passed, and they have started neglecting our cries in the places they set aside for us to express ourselves. They say we act childish, rude, and obscene when we use the language that is necessary to get their attention, but we know they are wrong. After all, we know we are right so how can they be anything other than wrong?Games are amazing, beautiful works of art, and that art should conform stringently to our own personal preferences.
For supplementary reading, might I suggest a wikipedia entry relating to this post.