What gamers say... and what they really mean

A certain contradiction...

Gamers are a rather inconsistent bunch. Thats generally understandable. The medium comprises a huge, eclectic spectrum of games and experiences, enjoyed and disliked by folk of all tastes. It shouldnt be surprising that forming any consensus opinion would be akin to sculpting a pot out of water. But there are some things that we say and do--as individuals--that just make no sense.

Things like the way fanboys lampoon the failings of their rivals consoles while desperately justifying those of their own chosen fun-box. And the way we crave original games, but then avoid new franchises until theres at least one sequel. And the way we later decide there have been too many sequels and write off that same series, claiming that it was best in the early days. Look, gamers say and do a lot of ridiculous, self-contradictory things. Especially on the internet. So Im going to use the next few pages of internet to poke at those things in a derisory fashion. While also being entirely contradictory about it, given that Ive done a fair few of these myself over the years. Onward!

The combo contradiction

"Fighting games? Nah, can't be bothered. It takes hours to learn one character, let alone get any good, and even then its way too complicated to understand everything. Combo timings, cancel windows, focus attacks... It's all a load of over-complex gibberish.

"Now if you'll excuse me I have to load up Dragon Sword of the Sword Dragons: Legends of Prophecy. Big day ahead of me. I need about five hours to level up so I can take on the Wizard of Evisceration. And first I need to master my Magic of Finding Stuff so that I can grind 200 Necromooks with a 79% chance that one of them will drop the Grand Wizard Chopper if I have a Fortune Teller in my party. If I can infuse that with a fully-maxed Demon's Flaming Gonad, I should have an 86% chance of doing 928 DPS, taking into account the Wizards physical defence and my projected Strength and Will by that point.

The graphics goof

"I'm sick of the graphics arms-race. Everyone's focusing too much on polygons and textures, and not enough on gameplay and ideas. Everything's a shinier version of everything else. Where's the innovation?

"Why aren't there more games like Watch Dogs? That hacking mechanic looks awesome. The freedom. The scope for invention. Brilliant! Oh what, you say the latest build doesn't look as good as the first E3 demo? And 792p on Xbox One? Thats not even a real resolution! Oh fuck that game. I knew it'd be a load of overhyped crap.

The Dante dilemma

"I used to love Devil May Cry, but it's got really stale. Yeah, it looks slicker and cooler, and lovely in HD, but it's the same old thing over and over again. Why won't Capcom shake it up?

"Oh they have! Brilliant! Oh wait, screw that, his hair's different. And the new developer is changing things. No way it can be good.

The indie indiscretion

"Yeah, indie games are just a load of Mario rip-offs with recycled graphics from 1994. If I wanted the games of yesteryear I'd have stuck with my NES.

"Anyway, enough of that, I'm off to play Call of Duty: The New One. It's a whole new game. If you squint. And watch the new mantling animation in slow-mo. With your face pressed against the TV. And really, really want to believe.

The format fumble

"Oh for God's sake, PC propaganda-bots. Get out of your ivory tower, climb down your pedestal, unplug from your hive-mind and accept that you're impressing no-one by spending a whole months pay cheque on a box that plays indie games. Who buys new hardware for that crap?

One year later

"No, still no word on Uncharted 4. But who cares? Look at Don't Starve! Man, the PS4 is awesome. So glad I paid launch-day prices for it.

The Nintendo negligence

"Bloody HELL, games these days are so dour. Do game dev studios not have windows? Are they made entirely of wet clay? What I'm asking is, do modern developers have no awareness of colours other than brown? And good God, the endless slaughter. Frogger would end with a brutal melee takedown QTE if it was made now.

"Still, at least I've got a proper console. Why do Nintendo fans still bother? What are those guys even playing?

The maturity mistake

"Nintendo games? Juvenile kiddie nonsense. I'm not a child. I'm a mature grown-up with mature grown-up needs.

"Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to ogle some gore-drenched mammaries in Misogyny Fighter XII: Titsplosion.

The opinion oversight

"Yeah, I get that you liked this game, but that's just an opinion, not fact. Unlike mine.

"And besides, you've played the game, which means you got it early for review, which means that you're biased. I guarantee your viewpoint is skewed, or my names not PSX4EVA_CODSUX.

The difficulty derp

"Games are made for babies these days. There's no consideration for long-term, hardcore gamers with real skills. Games spoon-feed you everything. It's all one long tutorial that holds your hand and doesnt let you discover or master anything.

"But Dark Souls is just a load of cheap ganking. It hasn't even got a proper story. I mean what the hell's even going on?"

The Bayonetta blunder

"Hey Sega, give us Bayonetta 2. Seriously Sega, where's Bayonetta 2? Look, we know that not enough people bought the first one, but we'd do anything for a sequel.

"Wait, Bayonetta 2 is coming out for the wrong one of three consoles I dont yet own? Not buying it. I mean who the hell holds good games to ransom with exclusivity? Im buying an Xbox One for Halo.

The first-person failure

"All the personality has gone out of FPS. Where's the creativity? Where are the interesting weapons? Where are the tactics? Where's the colour and fun? Everythings the same, and everythings boring.

"Bulletstorm? Nah, I didn't like the jokes in the reveal trailer, so it can't be good. And besides, its a new IP and I dont trust it. I'm not buying it and will listen to not another word you have to say on the subject.

The ultimate irony

So there are my favourite lies and self-delusions of the contrary gamer mind, but how about yours? Any other ironies that irk you, or contradictions you can't abide? Do you find yourself dropping any yourself on a regular basis? Let me know in that there comments field below.

And while we're on the subject of gamer anthropology, have a look at some of our related stuff, like Coop's rundown of 18 types of people we hate playing games with, or mine and Andy's 100% scientific test to determine What generation of gamer you are?

David Houghton
Long-time GR+ writer Dave has been gaming with immense dedication ever since he failed dismally at some '80s arcade racer on a childhood day at the seaside (due to being too small to reach the controls without help). These days he's an enigmatic blend of beard-stroking narrative discussion and hard-hitting Psycho Crushers.