Now that E3 2015 has come and gone (not to mention Comic-Con now being over as well), we find ourselves in a lull of any new information about games, whereas less than a month ago, we could hardly keep up with every new tidbit and detail being announced. Today, Daily Reaction is looking at the flow of video game information, from the overloads to the droughts, and our constant desire to know more.
Chandler: Ironically this topic comes up due to the lack of new information flowing in about games. We’re Daily Reaction, which is supposed to be reacting in near real time to things going on in the games industry. The problem today? There’s really not that much going on within the games industry. Sure, we could hack together some half-assed piece about this or that, but when there’s not much to say, I think it becomes a little obvious that we’re forcing the subject. That’s when the idea hit me. Why not talk about this very lack of information flow or significant happenings in the industry, and contrast it with the pile of details that are shoveled onto us at other times of the year?
Gamers love their information. In fact, it’s something that geek culture is known for. Spoilers. Teasers. Leaks. Any small piece of information that could possibly give us a hint or any kind of hype and excitement for the next big thing. We saw it this last week at Comic-Con with the flood of leaked trailers for new superhero movies, teasers handed out at the various panels, and general clamoring for just one more detail to talk about for the next big thing. This very excitement and hype seems to be even more grandiose than the release of the actual media itself. Hype can build for years, with people talking nonstop about this coming game or that coming movie, but the release can spark and burn out in a matter of weeks.
Events like E3 are then an absolute treasure trove of information, details, and general things to talk about. Final Fantasy VII Remake. The Last Guardian. Countless other things which you can read about here. All of these things continue to build in attention and we tear apart interview after trailer, after press release just to find out the smallest details. Then suddenly…
We go weeks, months, sometimes even years without getting another scrap of knowledge. We cling to hope of announcements for announcements. We were recently told that more Kingdom Hearts 3 news is coming, which says essentially nothing about Kingdom Hearts 3, and yet we hail that shred of a glimmer of a sliver of new data on the game as Square Enix’s God-given gift to us. Well, perhaps you don’t, but there are some out there who certainly do. This is where we are.
In some ways it feels like the lead up to a release is just as big of an experience as the title itself, but lasts longer. Personally I’ve become so used to this ebb and flow of information for new games and movies that I lose track of time. Did you realize that Ant Man is releasing in a matter of days? Yet it seems like just last week that Paul Rudd was being rumored to star. By the beginning of August will we care anymore? Or will we just be the clamoring for the next scrap of news on the next game or movie?
Dan: Yeah, there really hasn’t been much new information really going around as of late, which is to be expected post E3 and SDCC, as most of that is handled during the show. But, this does raise an interesting concept that I have been mulling over for some time. While many of us who do come to gaming websites to stay current on the latest and greatest news regarding the industry are gamers by our very nature, I have noticed that there is almost a subculture that almost seems to care more about the drama of gaming, than the actual games themselves.
This isn’t to say that one is better than the other, as there is absolutely a gray area in between, and of course, most of us do love to dabble in both sides time to time. But, I do start to wonder whether people are feeling attached to the things they complain about, as if they are legitimately being affected by the news, or if they are simply following suit with canned responses to simply be a part of the conversation. While it is entirely possible that every single commenter is personally involved with a product, the number of comments that simply spout hatred around a brand like Destiny, does make me wonder how many of those people actually play the game.
Having read a number of comments that talk about how “X game is nothing more than a rip-off,” or how much something is designed as “anti-consumer” by the same people, it does raise the question about the validity of the people making the statements. Having been a Destiny player since launch, I have personally had to deal with the shifts in its economy, which gives me a better understanding of the game overall. But, with the number of people spouting random claims about its design, and many of them being incorrect, it is easy to see that there is something going on regarding the culture surrounding news and information in the games industry.
On a day like today, where nothing major is happening, except for a minor reported outage on PSN, we can see the congregation of comments towards the easy to pick fruit. While the majority of the comments are reporting that they were not affected, there are still those who simply use this time to express outrage without even stating whether it was actually down for them or not. The ability to express anger regarding something becomes more viable than the reality of the situation, which leads me to the point about there being a subculture vibing off of news alone.
So, while there is nothing inherently wrong about a community standing together in hopes to shape the future of our growing industry, I wish people wouldn’t only clamor for the negativity in news. I can only imagine the number of great things that happen day to day in the industry, things that should genuinely get real fans excited, but in reality, many of them become outshined by a culture that feeds off of negativity.