My academic background is philosophy, which at this point in my life means pretty much zilch, with one exception. I can point out a pseudo-intellectualized hipsters like my life depended upon it. From their over-tight jeans to their insistence on listening only to music that nobody else has ever heard of, I have a special place in my heart for hipsters and their brethren. Did I say heart? I meant toilet. I have a special place in my toilet for them. So it should come as no surprise to learn that when I was tasked with writing a list of the top ten ways hipsters ruin gaming (and everything else), I had a weird mixture of feelings. If there is a way to characterize a combination of giddiness with the sensation of skin crawling, that’s pretty much where I was. But being the good worker bee that I am, I said yes and here I am. Skin still crawling, still giddy about ripping these foreign movie watching dicks to shreds. So let’s begin.
Gaming Should Be About Inclusion
I realize that one of the main points of playing video games is to win, and winning sometimes (often) means beating other people in the process. From arcades, to Pong , to Mortal Kombat and our multiplayer FPS, many gamers get their kicks by kicking the ass of others. And that’s fine by me, as long as everyone is able to play. What I do have a problem with, however, is the idea that only a select few should be included in the game in the first place. And if you know hipsters like I do, you are aware that the minute something becomes popular, they are off to find the greatest new thing that no one else knows about. Well guess what? It’s one thing to be an independent spirit and move to the beat of your own drum, but when that beat is telling you to ignore the rest of the world, you really aren’t cut out for gaming.
Graphics Actually Do Matter Sometimes
There is a weird, less than obvious notion out there among both hipsters and so-called “hardcore gamers” (scary how similar the two groups can seem, sometimes) that games can only truly be great if they transcend time. Because of this, things like enhanced graphics with newer engines and systems are worthless pursuits, as they will only be hopped over by the next iteration. And while even I can admit that there is something admirable in finding timelessness in gaming, it is equally ridiculous to me to assume that something which allows us to immerse ourselves in the story of a game shouldn’t be a focus in the game’s development (or subsequent review). Of course future games will have better graphics, but why should that matter anymore than with any other media? Should movies and television shows not be shot in high definition because it wasn’t available twenty years ago? Give me a break.
Stuck in the Nineties, Much?
And similar to our previous item on the list, one of the favorite toys of hipsters to show off in their studio apartments in between the vinyl record player and the Arcade Fire poster is a retro gaming system. Think Sega Genesis or Super Nintendo, for the most part. But before you start getting all nostalgic on me about the greatness of that era of gaming, I’m not knocking anything about the consoles themselves. Truth be told, you could easily argue that the SNES is the greatest video game system of all time, and you might very well be correct. But the problem with the hipster inclusion of such icons of yesteryear in their personal abodes is just that: they are icons more than anything else. Just as there is a general refusal to participate in the commercialism of the masses, so too do hipsters pride themselves in “kicking it old school” while snubbing their noses at those of us posers who actually have the audacity to spend ungodly amounts of money on next generation shit. Um, newsflash buddy: try picking up a copy of Earthbound of Chrono Trigger on your beloved SNES and then talk to me about the almighty dollar. That’s what I thought.
American Games are Good Too
Look, I get the appeal of RPGs. I really do. I may not have the experience spending hundreds upon hundreds of hours in various time travel stories with the same basic screen in front of me like some of you people, but I have learned to appreciate the quality of some of those titles. Kind of like learning to appreciate wine. Or scotch. Or some other alcoholic beverage that I didn’t care about until I was at least fifteen. The thing is, there is an obsession for all things “J” in the hipster and hardcore gaming community that cannot be ignored, so I may as well bring it up here. No matter how many truly excellent “W” (as in, Western, as in not Japanese ) games, including RPGs , come along for us to play and love, they never seem to make a dent in the minds of those supposed vintage purists who will only proclaim their dedication to games developed in the East. And far be it from me to start dropping some “’Merica, love it or leave it!” lines on you, because the truth is, that’s just not how I roll. But just as the pseudo-intellectual community can’t seem to appreciate a non-Wes Anderson movie without subtitles, neither can it allow for the inclusion of a homemade video game on its list of all-time greats. And that just ain’t right.
Stop Being Such an Asshole in WoW
I’m not much of a PC gamer, but this is for my wife who has been frequenting the various community MMOs for several years now, only to quit unexpectedly—near tears sometimes—because of the way she was treated by a fellow player, usually when she didn’t play up to their standards. This one is a bit of a wider accusation, primarily because I realize that not only hipsters are to blame for it, but Lord knows you are definitely in the mix as well. Just as with music, and movies, and beer, and coffee, and clothing, and even grocery shopping (because heaven forgive me for not getting my stuff from Whole Foods and the local coop), there is no shortage of people who not only look down on people not like them, but rail against them verbally and electronically whenever the opportunity presents itself. But unlike you, who have infinite hours in the day after peeling off your jeans and not showering to level up in WoW or your favorite new unknown MMO, people like my wife actually have to lead normal lives, and couldn’t compete on your level even if they wanted to. So do them, and my wife, a favor and get off their backs for a change.