Friday, March 30, 2012

How Video Game Hype Works

It's a strange irony that even with the added technology that we have today, people who use the technology to interact with others don't seem too happy at all. This stuff is supposed to make life easier but for some reason people still seem as miserable as ever (or probably more so)

Take any kind of pre release hype for any big game. Online conversations always start with great hopes and aspirations, reflections of games past and how "good" older games were. You find people who like the same game as you do and you start talking on the internet to hype each other about how great it will be when the game comes out.

But it always, always ends the same. Expectations aren't lived up to, none of the hype turns out to be real, and the game always looks worse than it really is. But I sometimes think that the Internet is what really adds to that effect. Imagine, you have these thousands of people finding anything and everything wrong with your 60$ game. Instead of making the most of what you have, you wonder about what you don't have. Because one guy online said it, and 2000 of his anonymous buddies agreed. It's like we want to be miserable by asking others to feed our misery. Instead of enjoying the 38 characters in your fighting game, worry about the other 12 that aren't there yet. Instead of enjoying a 40 hour fantasy epic, worry about the last five minutes and figure that you were robbed, even if you did have 40 hours of shooting aliens over and over again. It's one thing to tell a close friend about what you didn't like about a game, but its something else entirely to share it with a million strangers, and find yourself just forced to agree to the majority.

At the end of the day, when you read that 9.0 review to that awesome game and convinced yourself to buy it, there's no point in validating your opinion after you've let go of your money. You can be miserable about your choices, but only if you want to.

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