#1 Edited by CaptainThunderpants (79 posts) -

I've been thinking for a while about gaming/nerd culture and why many people in it take everything so seriously to the point of effecting their personal lives and relationship with others. What kicked this off was hanging out with some friends (and friends of friends) we were just shooting the shit and playing around with emulators on the Ouya (don't laugh). Sonic came up and two dudes who never hung out with us before started arguing about various Sonic games, stuff like if Sonic was still relevant today and some obscure plot points in the games. It started out funny, but it went on for about an hour and their argument interrupted every other conversation in the room. We ended up kicking them out of our dorm because a) we were just annoyed by them and b) we started to get noise complaints and neither I nor our mutual friends talk to them much any more. Apparently, it was common for these dudes to just be angry about everything gaming and to pontificate their anger to others. Kind of like being a true-to-life Angry Joe.

I kind of don't like being associated with game culture at all because many people I know only see this pseudo-Autistic side of gaming. I'm a part of a film group at my college and another dude will just drone on and on about JRPG's and how EA and BioWare are killing gaming forever and gaming YouTube personalities and will not stop despite our obvious disinterest.

I bet this is more rare than I think, but is there something about video games that you think seems to strike some emotional core in people, or do I just have terrible mutual friends?

#2 Edited by mosespippy (4285 posts) -

This isn't unique to games. Next time you're in a bar talk to someone about politics or sports. It's the same shit all over.

#3 Posted by Generic_username (626 posts) -

I don't know if it's all that specific to gaming. I think it's much more related to internet culture leaking out into the real world, and gaming happens to have a bigger presence on the internet when compared to a lot of things. I see those same types of ridiculous arguments happening all the time about the latest movies and music. I think it's just the internet getting its claws into everyday life, and (I think) there are more people who play games who use the internet incessantly than people who identify themselves with other mediums.

#4 Posted by wemibelec90 (1739 posts) -

It's just like any other hobby, really. If a person gets invested enough in something, he or she is inclined to defend it more emotionally if resistance is met. Some people are VERY invested in games, having played them since they were a child, and that investment can come out violently with the right situation or people.

I think that since online gaming culture has started to not take shit with a variety of things (diversity in protagonists, ridiculous day-one fiascos, etc.) these arguments are coming out violently a lot more often. Everyone is trying to get things they have wanted for a long time, and we are all trying to figure out just exactly how it is we need to fight for it. Gaming is still a very immature medium, both in age and attitude, so it will take some time to feel things out and find the proper middle ground.

#5 Edited by CaptainThunderpants (79 posts) -

This isn't unique to games. Next time you're in a bar talk to someone about politics or sports. It's the same shit all over.

Yeah, but at least politics are important.

#6 Posted by Pezen (1629 posts) -

I think many of those types of people are just living most of their intellectual lives within their gaming bubble. They get invested in it the way most people do not. I remember being one of those people regarding a band when I was in my teens. To the point where my friends sat me down and told me to stop having that band as the only topic of conversation I ever contributed.

However, as slightly annoying as it can get, I have yet to read a news story of people killing or beating each other up over disagreeing on a game. At least not the way you see in certain sports and political areas.

#7 Posted by NumberTenOx (9 posts) -

Because a fanboy of any stripe is a social cul-de-sac? Emotionally stunted?

#8 Posted by kindgineer (2767 posts) -

HUMANS!

#9 Posted by AlisterCat (5629 posts) -

People are willing to cause physical pain to others based on a football score. Case closed.

#10 Posted by BaconGames (3482 posts) -

@captainthunderpants said:

@mosespippy said:

This isn't unique to games. Next time you're in a bar talk to someone about politics or sports. It's the same shit all over.

Yeah, but at least politics are important.

The mechanics in a sociological sense are all the same. Taste is a huge driver in how we define ourselves because they are proxies and extensions of cultural evaluations of each other. Beyond taste and how we use it to make sense of the world around us, humans generally have a stake and claim in social outcomes and a large part of that is discourse. Mix the two and you have fundamental components to how we understand investment in any cultural value or product and the subsequent conflicts that may occur. Keep in mind also that communication and socialization are imperfect and differential, which basically means people can be very capable of poorly communicating a held belief to others.

Any differences between games as a cultural product and politics is incidental to politics as a institution and our tendency to view it as at least somewhat utilitarian. Otherwise saying politics is important is as arbitrary as saying games are not and vice versa.

#11 Edited by Chop (1999 posts) -

Because video games attract people who are socially awkward

#12 Posted by ZolRoyce (730 posts) -

HUMANS!

I picture the thing in your avatar shouting that out and it's delightful.

#13 Edited by TooWalrus (13235 posts) -

As others have mentioned, this kind of thing happens just as much elsewhere, if not more. As others haven't mentioned, Sonic fanboys are fuh-kin' weird.

#14 Edited by TruthTellah (9307 posts) -

People care about x. People get emotional about x.

Gaming is something people get very invested in, often at a very early age, and the foundations of our youth tend to endure and evolve into strong opinions and emotions in the future.

Online
#15 Posted by Cinnase7en (47 posts) -

@toowalrus: SEGA fanboys in general are. I see many of them lapse and admit that, maybe, a lot of SEGA's offerings weren't good and that their childhood was a lie.

And Jet Set Radio was never great. I have to imagine they will all come to the conclusion eventually.

#16 Posted by crithon (3322 posts) -

I've had it happen in comic book conversations and film conversations. And I bet it's in sports arguments and politics.

#17 Posted by Neonie (438 posts) -

Go tell an atheist or person heavily invested in religion they are wrong. Go on. I'll wait here for the results.

#18 Posted by thatdutchguy (1273 posts) -

@mosespippy said:

This isn't unique to games. Next time you're in a bar talk to someone about politics or sports. It's the same shit all over.

Yeah, but at least politics are important.

lol

#19 Posted by JuggertrainUK (203 posts) -

As a Gamer and huge football (soccer) fan I can tell you that it's common to all interests and basically anything that you invest time in. I've never really argued seriously with anyone on a video game related subject, but I'm not surprised that it happens. Some people have a bigger urge to get their point across no matter what the subject.

#20 Posted by Karkarov (3176 posts) -

This isn't unique to games. Next time you're in a bar talk to someone about politics or sports. It's the same shit all over.

Yeap. I don't remember reading stories of Bioware employees getting murdered over the mass effect 3 ending. I have read stories about soccer (football for you Europeans :P) coaches getting killed over their team losing a big game.

#21 Posted by LordAndrew (14426 posts) -

Video games killed my father.

#22 Posted by Splodge (1747 posts) -

@LordAndrew But...

...I AM YOUR FATHER.

#23 Posted by Schlorgan (233 posts) -

I think part of it might be that a large percentage of people on the internet are gamers and everything on the internet gets blown way out of proportion always and forever.

#25 Posted by Marcsman (3227 posts) -

We proudly wear our hearts on our sleeves.

#26 Posted by GordanChoong (60 posts) -

@captainthunderpants: So you're making assumptions on one incident that all gamers or most gamers heavily influenced or part of gaming culture is like that? Man you must be sick if you think that way.

#27 Posted by GordanChoong (60 posts) -

@neonie said:

Go tell an atheist or person heavily invested in religion they are wrong. Go on. I'll wait here for the results.

What a great idea for a new thread! Thanks! :)

#28 Posted by Slag (4610 posts) -

If you care about something, you can get emotional about it.

If you care about something, feel that few others do in the way they "should" or that few respect your passion adequately, you can extra emotional about it.

#29 Edited by stryker1121 (1522 posts) -

Fanbases suck in general...go to a pro football game in my town wearing the opposing jersey and you are asking for it.

#30 Posted by bluefish (499 posts) -

Fuck you we're emotional. Dick.

.

I'm sorry man, we gotta stick together. I love you man.

#31 Posted by geirr (2632 posts) -

Fanbases get emotional, even murderous. Look at sports, religion and politics. Hell even the cola wars back in the days would get people yelling from time to time. All those broken Coke bottle shankings...

#32 Posted by TheManWithNoPlan (5797 posts) -

Because there's a lot of awful people in the world.

#33 Edited by dudeglove (8010 posts) -

People are willing to cause physical pain to others based on a football score. Case closed.

Umm, no. People who do such things are usually violent individuals to begin with, or have a predisposition towards violent behavior, or become such after drinking (because what else do you do when watching most sports?), or are basically obnoxious assholes to begin with, not because West Ham drew nil-all against Portsmouth again in the league.

Also, seriously OP? Their argument was over Sonic? That's, like, I don't... look, there are better things to argue about concerning video games. Sonic lore ranks in overall significance roughly around the same position as the rolling text screens of Doom.

#34 Posted by Gaff (1816 posts) -

My pet theory is that the more threats an individual perceives to his core beliefs / tastes -in short, his identity-, the more vigorously the individual will defend it, even when there aren't any immediate threats. Or at the slightest provocation.

Then again, Sonic fans are the worst.

#35 Posted by LordAndrew (14426 posts) -

@neonie said:

Go tell an atheist or person heavily invested in religion they are wrong. Go on. I'll wait here for the results.

What a great idea for a new thread! Thanks! :)

I don't think neonie actually expected you to do it.

#36 Posted by Zevvion (2081 posts) -

Because people who like videogames are generally human beings.

#37 Edited by joshwent (2289 posts) -

As others have pointed out, "Why does video game culture get emotional?" is a flawed question because it's far too narrow. That kind of shitty reaction you described is about fandom and group-think in general, nothing specific to video games at all.

A Birmingham football riot which resulted in one death... happened the year the NES came out in North America.