Wednesday, March 14, 2012

20. On Unhappiness and Civility - the ME3 Controversy

All right, I'm going to skip the small talk and get straight to business here.

It's been a week since the release of Mass Effect 3, the long-awaited conclusion to the single most epic sci-fi video game trilogy in gaming history - and also, quite possibly, the biggest let-down dealt to fans of any sci-fi franchise since Transformers: Dark Of the Moon.

Many fans have been left with a bad taste in our mouths after finishing the game, or even simply visiting YouTube and having it spoiled for us, and it's completely understandable. After the last two games' hyping of the importance of choice, and painting a hopeful picture of overcoming seemingly-insurmountable odds as long as everyone works together... To be ruthlessly railroaded into three ever-so-slightly different flavors of "destroy the galaxy" with no option to argue the point is a vicious slap to the face of any loyal fan. Top it off with being lied to - repeatedly - by the Powers That Be, and you have a real recipe for disaster.

But some disgruntled fans are taking it too far.

Yes, we're unhappy. A lot of us are very unhappy. But some of us are making it personal - verbally attacking and abusing BioWare staff, fans who hold a differing opinion on the game, and even each other.

This is absolutely unacceptable. It is childish, counterproductive, and does absolutely nothing to challenge the perception of us as "entitled, whiny brats." So, to every so-called fan who is engaging in such behavior, I have this to say:

Grow the hell up.

Every time you send an abusive message to a BioWare staff member, you are ensuring that they continue to refuse to take us seriously. Every time you leave an inflammatory comment on a media article, you are ensuring that the general public's opinion of us grows more and more negative. Every time you attack, harass, and abuse fellow fans of the franchise, you only make the fandom as a whole more resistant to hearing us out. By continuing to act in the inflammatory, hateful manner you've been demonstrating, you're doing more damage to the community than any nonsensical, tacked-on game ending ever could.

If we, as a sector of the fan community, want to be taken seriously, we need to put a stop to this destructive, cannibalistic behavior. It is quite possible - stupidly easy, even - to express our unhappiness and dissatisfaction without behaving in a manner that allows big-name gaming sites like Kotaku to paint us all out to be raving lunatics.

So come on, guys, let's be the collective better man here. Knock off the personal attacks and invective - leave that to the people putting us down, and be better than them. It's really not that hard, I promise.

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