Seething Cauldron of Pop Culture Talk

Irascible Analysis of Popular Culture

Culture Talk: Console Warriors

All gamers go through a phase where it’s “Us” versus “Them”. You’re favored gaming company or hardware against their favored gaming company or hardware. Arguments are waged and lines drawn. Members are quickly drafted, taught the rules, and then thrust into the middle of that hellish firestorm that is forum debate. The goal of all this is to “win”, with winning meaning the eventual admittance of defeat by the other side. The only problem is that there never is any victory because the rules are constantly changing.  What might be touted by one side can be quickly swept away following a decision by that side’s company of choice to take things in a different direction. In a word: pointless.

The argument might be made that console wars are no different than sports. One side wants their group to win and the other side wants their group to win. There the similarities end. In the game industry, both sides can win because, while the two are competing with each other, the is enough room for both to flourish and make profits. This forces the console warriors to adopt increasingly obscure determinations of victory. Another problem is that there are no official rules to determine who wins. It’s up to the warriors to figure that one out and both sides have different ides of what constitutes victory. To further distance itself from the sports analogy, each team in sports offers virtually the same experience. Both teams are playing the same sport. That’s not entirely the case with game companies. Each company may offer a very different experience and that experience is readily available in all territories. One company might excel in RPGs, while another excels in platforming titles. Very different experiences. While there might be gamers who chose one over the other, many gamers will play and enjoy both.

Therein lies the problem with console warriors: they miss out. If you’re a true console warrior, you’ll stick to your console of choice and ignore the others. By doing that, the console warrior knowingly cut himself off from a supply of quality entertainment all because he, or she, wants to win an online battle, which, as stated before, will never actually ever be won.

Why then do we fight? Validation, simply put. We want to convince ourself, and others, that we made the right choice by picking one console over the other. Every time the other console loses an exclusive or sells poorly, it’s a victory for us because it gives us one more notch in our belt. It’s not about playing and enjoying games, it’s about posturing, about back-patting, but without the eventual championship victory of your favorite sports team.

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April 16, 2010 - Posted by | Games, Random Thoughts | , ,

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