Wednesday, September 11, 2013

For the Critics

We love to criticize. About anything and everything we possibly can. Politicians, bureaucrats, game developers, movie stars, authors, revenuers, journalists, lawyers, doctors; no one is spared from the all-seeing eye of the critic. ‘A generation of critics’, someone once wrote, instead of leaders. I think we’re afraid, afraid of our neighbors, countrymen, even the world. We’re afraid of losing what little we think we have left. And yet as often is the case, fear and the attitude it engenders only makes the reality more likely to appear. Journalists afraid of losing their audiences and their jobs and artificially creating controversy to bring gamers to their webpages, creating more and more distrust of anything printed for gamers to read. Publishers worried about the bottom line fall into the cycle of firing workers and killing their golden goose. Developers who are afraid to do new things in fear of not making massively successful games, thereby ensuring that the law of diminishing returns strikes back twice as hard. Gamers worried about the health of their industry are playing pirated copies of the games ‘not worth spending money on’. A critic is always right; after all if it didn’t happen today it will happen tomorrow. Perhaps, the problem is that we are looking at the situation the wrong side up. PC Gaming isn’t dead, Microsoft and Sony are about to launch new consoles, Nintendo still hasn’t made a good new AAA title so don’t count them out just yet, Free2Play hasn’t won, subscriptions aren’t the only way, and the Sun is still shining somewhere on Planet Earth. Maybe instead of criticizing we should just play video games, after all any day is a good day to play a video game.

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