Feb 20

Let’s Plague, A Problem with Gaming

Yea, it's kind of like that.I think we can all agree that these days, gaming is far from what it was in the beginning. Gamers are no longer thought of as fat, acne-ridden basement dwellers with no friends or dreams. While those people certainly still exist and do make up a portion, these days the video game industry has successfully changed the perception to the chic geek. Faux hawk sporting, thick rim glasses wearing, all wrapped up in a pair of extra tight girlpants. “OMG I’m such a geek :DDDD”.

I think we can all agree that gaming is far from what it was in the beginning. It’s becoming less and less about the games. Less about the challenge or experience, and more instead on the notion that you’re even playing something. How cool is it that people run off to the store at 12 AM to buy the latest triple A monstrosity and then immediately post on Facebook about how much of a nerd they are for having it? If you ask me not very….but if you ask the latest preteen generation, well…

The epitome of this new attention whoring generation of gamers, is the growing population of “Let’s Players”, people whom record their play throughs of various games, often involving shallow commentary on the game, or an attempt at humor that at best falls flat, and at worst garners a rabid fan base of zero sense and blind devotion. But that’s the ultimate goal, a fan base who will go out and share your videos to their friends, up your subscriber count for you. At first it might not seem like a bad deal, but suddenly you’ll find yourself sitting through advertisements left and right. Even going so far as for those smart few with ad blockers, the videos featuring advertisements to Netflix, various websites, or other referral locations. And worse yet? Entire videos uploaded featuring specials sales for you to spend your money on! Better Hurry! It’s a limited time offer!

And that’s the problem with this whole genre of gamers. The pursuit of the almighty dollar. The successful Let’s Players do this as their job, not as a hobby or for fun, but because they’ve learned how to make millions off the lowest common denominator. Sure you have a few that have the subscribers and content to keep them satisfied. But more than that you’ve got hundreds, you’ve got thousands of gamers desperately vying for a piece of the pie. To the point where it’s almost embarrassing to search for a game on YouTube. Go ahead, go search for a game on YouTube and see how many hits you come up with of “Walkthroughs” Bonus Points if the thumbnail contains a bad self insert drawing of the player as the main character of the game.

pew makes me want to diePeople like “PewDiePie“, “TotalBiscuit“, “Tobuscus“(Especially after embarrassing himself in PlanetSide 2), and “SeaNanners” are exactly what’s wrong with gaming today.  From inane comments to tiresome self inserts and desire for approval from their “fans”. Take a look at the image to the left. Is that really what gaming has become? Is this really what we want for entertainment? How low must we sink before we finally realize you can’t go any further? If you can sit through that squealing and screaming with your sanity intact, good for you. Myself, I’ll be staying as far away from them as best I can. However the hordes of meme spewing prepubescent kids screeching “Bro” this and “Derp” that into their mics makes this unfortunate culture of gaming unusually pervasive.  Sticking to more indie titles is a great way to avoid the vast majority of them, and using the mute button can take care of the few that make it into your game of choice.

Therein lies the problem with this generation of Let’s Players. Even if you stay away from their content, you’ll invariably run into their fans online. Fans that by their nature are often among some of the most annoying people you’ll meet online, even more amplified when you’re unlucky enough to encounter one recording their play through for their own viewless channels (the irony of this coming from a hitless website is not lost on me). But perhaps this whole rant is just the poor attitude of someone who refuses to get with the times. Like MOBAs, perhaps the charm of endless “Let’s Plays” has passed over me, leaving only a bitter gamer who doesn’t quite understand the times we’re in.

At the very least, I think we can all agree that gaming is far from what it was even just a few short years ago.