Why Do I Read Comment Sections?

Comment sections on articles, much like message forums, are supposed to provide an environment where people can talk about the topics presented, and how they relate to the broader issues of the day.

However, as we have once again been proven in the wake of Sony's impressive E3 showing, such is not the case. Rather than reasoned dialogue, we have ranting and raving by a variety of fools and illiterate, knuckle-dragging rejects that have effectively clogged the pipes and made reasoned dialogue impossible.

The problem, is, as it always seems to be, a set of three core groups.

Fanboys: These are people who seem completely blind to anything beneficial that the "other" side is offering. From Xbox fanboys defending the Xbone's Draconian DRM to Sony fans relentlessly mocking Nintendo's impressive lineup, these guys have been annoying beyond measure. They just can't leave the people who are excited about something the hell alone.

Distortionists: This seems to be especially intense now with Sony putting out a product with no online checks of any sort. In the wake of Sony's clarification that third parties can still do online passes like they've been doing for the past five or so years, the Xbox Defense Force in particular has decided to try to muddy the issue, flooding the internet with baseless claims that Sony is lying, or that the PS4 is the same as the Xbox 1, or some other such nonsense. Were this just fanboys, that'd be one thing, but there are two other sub-groups in the distortionist faction: Shills paid by Microsoft to try and generate a false impression that people are receiving their initiatives positively, and illiterate morons who won't/can't read a full article or watch a full video without jumping to conclusions at any moment. The former can be seen right through pretty easily, but the latter is infuriating: nothing makes me want to facepalm like having to clarify to someone who didn't read a damned article what the reality of the situation is, all the while praying they read my reply fully.

Trolls: In the wake of Sony's complete and utter domination yesterday, Sony fans have become somewhat... Boastful. The cute GIFs and the like are amusing, I'll admit, but it's hard to discuss anything when the entirety of derogatory statements directed at MS fans, with no substance or thought beyond "suck it, Xbots!" Honestly, I'm sad that MS is shooting themselves in the foot like this. The more viable competition in the market, the better, and having MS basically bow out of the mainstream gaming console market does no one good. We should be relieved, we should be happy that Sony didn't follow them off the cliff, but we shouldn't come off as arrogant tools either.

Unfortunately, this is how it's always been, especially when forums are mostly unmoderated. Are we really so set in our ways that it's impossible to have a decent, open discussion as a community? Are we really no different than the Fox News/MSNBC crowd? It seems so, and it fills me with so much sadness.

23 Comments
23 Comments
Edited by JazGalaxy

So... personally, I was really shocked to see the return of staunch conosle bias. Over the past few years, I thought we had moved into the "one console future" where everyone pretty much agreed that both systems were the same. Nither one was really more powerful than the other. One console got Halo, but that' wasn't really all that great. The other console got Uncharted, but depending on your tastes, that's not really that great either. (Maybe that's just me, though)

I was legitimately suprised to see people frothing at the mouth and yelling about which console was going to be more powerful. Didn't those people die off yet?

Posted by WolfHazard

Well said. Can't we all just be excited because hey, games look pretty dope!

Posted by YukoAsho

So... personally, I was really shocked to see the return of staunch conosle bias. Over the past few years, I thought we had moved into the "one console future" where everyone pretty much agreed that both systems were the same. Nither one was really more powerful than the other. One console got Halo, but that' wasn't really all that great. The other console got Uncharted, but depending on your tastes, that's not really that great either. (Maybe that's just me, though)

I was legitimately suprised to see people frothing at the mouth and yelling about which console was going to be more powerful. Didn't those people die off yet?

You'd think they'd have been weeded out when we stopped talking about bits.

Edited by AiurFlux

I fucking refuse to be lumped in with those assholes at Faux News and the douchebags at MSNBC. HOW DARE YOU!

Honestly this happens every single time. Fanboys are simply a fact of life at this point, and not just in games. People have brand loyalty to television sets for fuck's sake. It just is what it is. Yes we're more vehement about it, but I think that's a good thing. Passion separates us. It drives it and the industry thrives because of it. Yes I'd like to see everybody argue the pros and cons of both rationally, but they're perfectly in the right to express their opinion with as much vitriol as they want. If you or I don't like it, fine. We have the right to ignore it.

Just let it be baby. Yeah.

Posted by YukoAsho

@aiurflux said:

I fucking refuse to be lumped in with those assholes at Faux News and the douchebags at MSNBC. HOW DARE YOU!

Honestly this happens every single time. Fanboys are simply a fact of life at this point, and not just in games. People have brand loyalty to television sets for fuck's sake. It just is what it is. Yes we're more vehement about it, but I think that's a good thing. Passion separates us. It drives it and the industry thrives because of it. Yes I'd like to see everybody argue the pros and cons of both rationally, but they're perfectly in the right to express their opinion with as much vitriol as they want. If you or I don't like it, fine. We have the right to ignore it.

Just let it be baby. Yeah.

Passion is all well and good, until it turns you into a raving, Tea Party-style nutcase. I almost hope the two don't get put out there on the same day, if only to keep people from beating the piss out of each-other at the midnight launches. You are, of course, right. If there are TV set fanboys, of course there are going to be game fanboys.

Well said. Can't we all just be excited because hey, games look pretty dope!

Not even that. I'm not going to go anywhere near an Xbox One, but why would I want to spoil the fun for someone who is? Life's too short to tear people down when you can be enjoying yourself.

Posted by Video_Game_King
@yukoasho said:

Are we really so set in our ways that it's impossible to have a decent, open discussion as a community?

I dunno. I've had some pretty cool discussions on this site.

But for your issue, I recommend a healthy does of this with each comments section.

Edited by YukoAsho

@yukoasho said:

Are we really so set in our ways that it's impossible to have a decent, open discussion as a community?

I dunno. I've had some pretty cool discussions on this site.

But for your issue, I recommend a healthy does of this with each comments section.

Hehe, that's making me feel better already. So nice and peaceful...

Posted by Video_Game_King

@yukoasho said:

@video_game_king said:

But for your issue, I recommend a healthy does of this with each comments section.

Hehe, that's making me feel better already. So nice and peaceful...

.....................Uh..........................*backs away slowly*

Edited by HaltIamReptar

listen dude. one month Giant Bomb is like totally bias for Microsoft then the next it's like totally bias for Sony. figure this shit out.

Posted by TangoUp

Brand loyalty is pointless. I never had an Xbox but I oppose them for the DRM thing (that didn't exist at such severity before) that affects others but not me. And I'd expect others to oppose pay-to-play-online (that didn't exist before but now does on the PSN) even if they 'don't care'.

Just caring about where your bread is buttered is more harmful to the industry than all that hand-wringing about used-game-sales-makes-developers-families-starve rhetoric.

Posted by stryker1121

There's nothing dumber in pop culture than people measuring dicks over whose expensive paperweight is better. Who gives a shit?

Edited by JazGalaxy

@tangoup said:

Brand loyalty is pointless. I never had an Xbox but I oppose them for the DRM thing (that didn't exist at such severity before) that affects others but not me. And I'd expect others to oppose pay-to-play-online (that didn't exist before but now does on the PSN) even if they 'don't care'.

Just caring about where your bread is buttered is more harmful to the industry than all that hand-wringing about used-game-sales-makes-developers-families-starve rhetoric.

I never in a million years would have thought that the tide would have swayed this far away from Microsoft in such a short time. It's like the entire last console generation never happened.

I mean, I admit, I'm one of those people. I loved sony during the PS1 days. I hated them during the PS2 and PS3 days. And then toward the end, I got a PS3 and PS Plus and started to like them again. And this THIS debacle happened and suddenly Sony are the heroes and MS and Nintendo are the jerks.

Never would have thought.

Edited by believer258

Nintendo's impressive lineup

What are they? I'm not being an ass, but what is coming out for the Wii U that we haven't seen before?

Please do not spew the words "Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. and Mario 3D World". We've seen very similar iterations of all of those before. I like those games, admittedly, but I do not think they are particularly impressive when nothing about them looks new.

I'm just curious. I'm not a fanboy of anything... well, except maybe this, but I'm not blind and stupid. Hell, one of my most anticipated games is a 3DS exclusive.

Edited by tourgen

It's not a console war. It's a war over license ownership. Which ever console lets me resell, trade, bargain away my disk/license are the guys I'm going to vocally back.

We should be taking this fight into the digital marketplace too.

Why should publishers magically grab ownership-after-the-sale control for digital licenses? They sold it. Their say in the matter is over.

Create a public marketplace where digital licenses can be exchanged between third parties. We paid. There is DRM in place to prevent unlimited reproduction. Just because it's digital doesn't mean you somehow do not own what you have paid for. Autodesk went to court with an ebay seller trying to enforce their shrinkwrapped EULA and got smacked down. We need to continue this trend.

Posted by TangoUp

@tourgen said:

It's not a console war. It's a war over license ownership. Which ever console lets me resell, trade, bargain away my disk/license are the guys I'm going to vocally back.

We should be taking this fight into the digital marketplace too.

Why should publishers magically grab ownership-after-the-sale control for digital licenses? They sold it. Their say in the matter is over.

Create a public marketplace where digital licenses can be exchanged between third parties. We paid. There is DRM in place to prevent unlimited reproduction. Just because it's digital doesn't mean you somehow do not own what you have paid for. Autodesk went to court with an ebay seller trying to enforce their shrinkwrapped EULA and got smacked down. We need to continue this trend.

I agree.

Posted by triple07

Off topic: @tangoup: I have a question about your argument. Are you saying that I shouldn't buy the new Xbox because of the DRM issues affect other but not me, or that I shouldn't be insensitive to someone who has a problem with the Xbox Ones DRM? The first one I have a problem with your logic, but I totally agree if it is the later.

On topic: Never read the comment sections of articles anywhere, its not going to bring you any satisfaction unless you enjoy beating your head against a wall. At best you will get people who read the article and say "good article" or something similar and at worst you will get people who read the headline and then jumped to the comments to complain. Sure maybe you'll get an article where someone makes a good point in the comments but how often does that happen, really?

Posted by TangoUp

@triple07 said:

Off topic: @tangoup: I have a question about your argument. Are you saying that I shouldn't buy the new Xbox because of the DRM issues affect other but not me, or that I shouldn't be insensitive to someone who has a problem with the Xbox Ones DRM? The first one I have a problem with your logic, but I totally agree if it is the later.

On topic: Never read the comment sections of articles anywhere, its not going to bring you any satisfaction unless you enjoy beating your head against a wall. At best you will get people who read the article and say "good article" or something similar and at worst you will get people who read the headline and then jumped to the comments to complain. Sure maybe you'll get an article where someone makes a good point in the comments but how often does that happen, really?

I did mean the underlined part.

You are of course always free to get whatever you like.

Posted by spraynardtatum

@wolfhazard: For me its the PRISM always connected thing and will be until some privacy laws are made.

Edited by Mrsignerman44

I think it'll all die down in a few years, it's very exciting at the moment though so fanboyism is at an all time high of course.

Posted by KentonClay

@tourgen said:

It's not a console war. It's a war over license ownership. Which ever console lets me resell, trade, bargain away my disk/license are the guys I'm going to vocally back.

We should be taking this fight into the digital marketplace too.

Why should publishers magically grab ownership-after-the-sale control for digital licenses? They sold it. Their say in the matter is over.

Create a public marketplace where digital licenses can be exchanged between third parties. We paid. There is DRM in place to prevent unlimited reproduction. Just because it's digital doesn't mean you somehow do not own what you have paid for. Autodesk went to court with an ebay seller trying to enforce their shrinkwrapped EULA and got smacked down. We need to continue this trend.

That would kill the fucking market, if it was convenient and well made. Instead of buying games, you could just search for someone in the world who wants to trade that licence away for a licence you own, and then everyone would just have a small number of licences at any one time that they swap around constantly.

Edited by TruthTellah

I think this post better fits with "Why Do I Read Comment Sections During E3?"

There's extra excitement, partisanship, and craziness during E3. And that will die down over time. And it'll change even more once people really have practical time with the consoles.

It's like commenting on a political article during a Party's national convention.

Posted by tourgen

@kentonclay: No it would not kill the market. It no different than any other secondary market. I challenge you to actually back that claim up with anything substantial. Every economist on the planet disagrees with you.

Edited by KentonClay

@tourgen said:

@kentonclay: No it would not kill the market. It no different than any other secondary market. I challenge you to actually back that claim up with anything substantial. Every economist on the planet disagrees with you.

The difference is that sharing digital content is perfectly and utterly convenient. Let's say that Steam set up a trading service that was smart and easy to use and helped you to find trading partners.

If I wanted game X and had game Y, I would just be able to do a quick search of people looking for game Y and have game X (which, given the number of people on Steam, I'd be almost guaranteed to find), and make the trade. I wouldn't have to move my ass one inch, wouldn't have to know my trading partner, it would happen instantaneously, and the nature of the trade would guarantee that we both get a mint condition product. Unless you're the kind of person that NEEDS to play games on release, I can't see any reason to own more than a few licences that you would just trade around.

Every. Single. Game. would have hooks to keep you from just trading.