The first thing I need to get out of the way here is that I love BioShock Infinite, totally, and completely. Whatever faults it has, have become similar to the endearing quirks in a person that you adore. They make them who they are. You accept them as part of the whole.
Now if you asked me to point out the "character flaws" inherent in BioShock Infinite, I honestly wouldn't be able to tell you. Because I don't really see them anymore, if they are even there. I just see a game that captivated me from start to finish, and a narrative that left me lost in thought for days.
Videogames however, like all art forms, are subjective. I can have an experience and perspective that completely differs from yours, and thus we arrive at two entirely different conclusions. The thing is though, for some reason with other mediums I don't find myself getting as defensive when someone takes the harsh scalpel of criticism to my pronounced object of affection.
Some would I suppose, dub this the "fanboy effect".
This article went up on Kotaku, and I found myself extremely irked by it.
It was as if someone was attempting to undermine my enjoyment of the game, and the wonderful feelings I felt during my play through. I began to question myself and my ability to discern good game mechanics from bad ones. But fortunately, I took a deep breath and started thinking.
Perhaps with videogames especially, the subjectivity found in all mediums is intensely amplified. Many modern games have so many variables creating emergent experiences, that coupled with the individual and their playing style can lead to drastically different perspectives. What about that moment when I was backed into a corner, shields down, barely alive, and Elizabeth throws me salts at just the right moment to launch a life saving assault of murderous birds straight out of a Hitchcock film. What if that was the moment that solidified my love for the game? What if you didn't experience it?
When there is a film I'm rather partial to, I can always point to a scene and tell you why the mood, or visuals or dialogue make it something that I'm fond of. And if you don't see the same thing as I do when we look at that moment, I can reconcile that by simply telling myself our viewpoints are different. But with a game these moments are so fleeting, so ephemeral, how can I bring myself to understand your point of view when honestly we may not even have experienced the same thing? It makes me angry, and it makes me defensive. Was I wrong? Is my opinion foolish?
I've always wondered why we get so irate about attacks on our favorite games and maybe if I can understand what makes me feel this way, I can better accept the multitude of varying opinions out there.
What you do you think? Do you ever get upset when someone disparages something you like?
Thanks for reading, this is my first ever attempt at the blog format.