The Console Wars: Resisting Conformity - Will Sora Layton Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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The Console Wars: Resisting Conformity

Let's start with a few statements, shall we? Each of the following is something I believe, and is my opinion, and (most likely, according to the internet) isn't yours:

Nintendo Wii was the best console last generation. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is decent, but not as great as everyone says it is. Shadow of the Colossus is the most overrated game of all time

Let's not be gray.

Okay, so, I've said them, those are three statements I wholeheartedly believe. There were few titles that were put out on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 that I wanted to play, with most of them being on Steam anyways, and many titles on Wii (and still some titles I would like to try out) that I adored. I played Skyrim a few months after its initial release, and liked it, but stopped after the main story and doing a couple guilds because I didn't feel like immersing myself in a world I didn't care about. As for Shadow of the Colossus...well...I think my points were made clear there.

So, most likely, some of you have probably already stopped taking me seriously, or something along those lines, because I have these opinions that are, well, "bad" or "unpopular". You may have even scrolled down to the bottom and have commented in a rage-induced fury, based on my gaming thoughts. If you have, props to you, you support my argument, most likely, if you believe I am thinking in a way that is "wrong" and I have to think your way. I know that this topic is kind of overdone, but considering some things that have happened with me recently, I felt like tackling this idea of conformation and opinions.

For those who may be wondering, the idea of conformation is basically assimilation, or peer-pressure, in a way. When someone conforms to a group, they give up their own ideas and join that group of people who are all like-minded, usually in order to feel accepted and not be "weird", or something along those lines. While the pressure to conform to the masses is certainly not limited to the gaming world, it is very real in our own little part of the world. To clarify something, I want to say that not everyone tries to make others conform to themselves, nor am I naming anybody specific; I am talking about general examples in the industry as a whole, and I will give a couple examples from my personal life, but of course, no names. 

I like this game VERY much...but you don't? Okay, bye bye Zero Escape!

First, let's tackle the idea of liking certain games. So, a couple days ago, this guy I know (who, is, by the way, the same person who said "the people who reviewed Resident Evil 6 badly aren't 'true fans') said that my top ten list of games was "biased". Excuse me, what? Is it suppose to be "not-biased", and my favorite games are suppose to be his, or possibly, the top ten according to Gamerankings or Metacritic? Am I suppose to conform to what he believes, because "that's right"? No, I shouldn't be doing this, I should be able to have my own opinion. Recently, I put out a piece about my problems with Shadow of the Colossus, which a lot of people didn't like, and said I had a "bad opinion", and many people disagreed (though thank you to those people who were open to my side) with me. Just because a game is popular, does that mean everyone has to like it? There are plenty of people who don't like Twilight Princess, Kingdom Hearts, or some of my other favorite games. Sure, I may disagree, but they can think what they want (okay, unless you claim Angry Birds is fantastic...that, well, I'm sorry, but no. :P See, conformity!), because that's how they feel. I felt like the bad controls I experienced while playing the ICO prequel marred any atmosphere/story in the game, and a lot of other people felt opposite. Alright, that's cool, you can like the game, just let me not like it.

That's not to say I'm not guilty-I've definitely tried to make someone else like a game that they were opposed to, and have told people that they can't like a certain game. I'm simply trying to point out an inherent aspect of our lives in gaming. Some may be more guilty of others, but I am not claiming I'm someone who is completely open to all ideas and opinions. 

I like the one on the right the most. Too bad most don't, looks like I need to play PSN and Live.

Moving on to consoles, this one is kind of more apparent in the industry, and I've kind of already covered this. Even though I have somewhat, we can look at conformity specifically in depth. One way that this has started to emerge is people buying a 360 or a PS3 because that's what their friends bought. Even though I own a 360 now, and all of my friends are owners of that system (I have one because of my little brothers wanting to play COD and Madden...), I would rather have a PS3 because it has games I'd rather play than the exclusives on 360. I've seen similar comments from other people on the internet, on both sides of the equation, which begs the question of conformity; do you feel forced to buy a console because your friends are doing it? Also, I was once laughed at for playing a DSi at school, because of it being "kiddy". One, at the time, I was playing Ace Attorney, which isn't really a kid thing. Two, I have found more enjoyable experiences on that system, as with Wii, than I did with the more "mature" competitors, because of the games available on each system. 

It's alright to joke about each system as being inferior to the others for things like Red Ring, Wii Waggle, and the PSN outage, but why do we have to make it seem like others aren't having as much as we are, because they're not conformed to who we are. Conformity seems to stem from the human mind, like otherization, in the sense that we want others to conform to us so that we feel better about ourselves in knowing that we are moving down the right path in life. However, what we really need to learn is that there's not some set path of right and wrong-the human mind can try and make it seem like that, but in reality, there are an infinite number of paths to success. However, they do all involve something important: being open, and courteous to others. Assuming everyone has to conform to you will get you nowhere.

Conformity is, like otherization, everywhere in human society, and will most likely not end soon, if ever. Like I said in the first installment, the best thing we as gamers, and as people in general, can do, is to recognize that to conform is to lose yourself, and to make others conform is to make them a different person. It's peer pressure, in a nutshell. There are legitimate forms of conformation, such as conforming to being non-discriminatory...and conforming to the idea of not conforming others to your own beliefs (har har), but the main idea of it is still something that shouldn't be done. If someone else feels differently, sure, they can, but they don't need to enforce their opinion down my throat. It's perfectly fine to say "I have X opinion, and this is why I think it's better", but it's not good to say "you have Y? Sorry, that doesn't cut it, X is much better, stop thinking like that". Let's have positive deliberations instead of heated arguments that end up in conformations, or violence. We are all different-embrace it, and embrace others.

We all want the same thing. It's just different. My way is just as good as yours, as long as it doesn't hurt anyone. Besides, do we really want this?

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