Monday, 29 July 2013

Can You Say A Game is Good?

People often say that they think a game is good and get angry or upset when someone says it is bad. A perfect example of this is this year’s The Last of Us, heralded by some as this generation’s crowning achievement and labelled by others, such as our very own Alan Wright, as wholly average. Of course I have no issue with different people having differing opinions but what I wonder is can someone truly say a game is good?

Bear with me here.

Its probably best if I use a music based example to fully explain my point. The Beatles are the most commercially successful band of all time. Everyone loves The Beatles right? My Dad would argue they are the best band ever, due mainly to their success. But does success equal quality? No. I have a friend who detests The Beatles, is his opinion invalid? Does their success prove that they are good? No, of course not.

Likewise someone, well, millions of people, can proclaim that they like The Last of Us but you cant put much weight behind them saying its good or great. It ultimately depends upon the individual. A good example I can relate to personally is Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. I have written many times on here of how I detest that game and yet it is hugely successful on a commercial level. The fact is it does not matter. If I as an individual do not enjoy the game then that game has failed and is bad. The game may have succeeded for millions of other individuals but the game has failed for me. Games are art and art is based on emotion and the expression/understanding of it. If I form no emotional attachment with a game then that game is bad. Bad, to me. If you form an emotional attachment to a game and enjoy it as you should hope to then that game is good, to you. The thing is if you find a game enjoyable it does not make it good in a wider sense, it only makes it good in an individual sense.

This is simply the nature of art and human emotion. I have had countless arguments/debates or what have you with my Dad over music. I love Metal, he hates it. The problem was he tried before to convince me it was terrible. This was futile because I feel a connection with it emotionally and enjoy it. Therefore, to me, its the greatest genre because my connection with it is so strong.

What am I trying to say here? 

I’m not saying there is no point in expressing your opinion over whether a game is good or not. These debates are healthy and play a vital role in the gaming community. I think maybe what I’m getting at is that respect of others’ opinions is crucial. I myself, and many others who I know, have been disrespectful at times, finding it too hard to imagine x game being good or y game being bad. Of course an individual might love/hate that game, that gives me no right to say they are wrong but it does give me a right to say whether I like it or not. 

Too often I see anger and upset coming out in comments sections or in personal conversations over gaming preferences. Just be civil, be chilled and enjoy hearing what people think about the game you are looking at/playing/reading about/talking about etc. 

In some ways this is the sole purpose of my YouTube series, Call me Controversial. I may go and film for that now actually. 

What do you think? Are there any games you’ve had nasty arguments over in terms of how good or bad they are? Let me know in the comments. 

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