The Alabaster Sock

We Will Fight the Threat with Fighting

Gak

Posted by Matt on September 7, 2009

Man, I keep coming back to the fact that fandoms are leeches.

It really astonishes me how much of a sense of ownership/entitlement a lot of people have in regards to their favorite properties. We all have favorite parts of things, but these types go a lot farther – they are OBSESSED with whatever their favorite element/character/story/etc. is, and if the creators do not kowtow to their particular tastes, well, that means they are EVIL and WRONG. The obvious example of this is fan fiction/shipping, but it extends to things that are even more trivial than that (read that sentence several times to really understand how low I’m going here). There were people who refused to buy the recent Turtles in Time remake because of the music. It is their money and they can whatever they want with it, but christ what a dumb thing to get in a tiff about.

This brings me to the horrible Catch-22 situation of fanservice games. Now, the idea of a game that includes stuff to make nerds joyous is all perfectly fine and dandy, but it opens itself up for a whole heap of bullshit. Once these tard sharks get a taste of sweet recognition, they will demand more. And when they want more, they want more as in more of what THEY want; fuck everyone else, they might as well not exist. So now you have a situation where you try to please as many people as possible, but in the end it is impossible, because there are so many wide, divergent tastes among the crowds of fans. Unless you are a god or you have ten years of development, you then have to live with the fact that some picky buyers are going to refuse your product because they didn’t get EXACTLY what they wanted, even if it is something inconsequential (oh god has Smash Bros. fandom taught me this over and over and over). Of course they can live with that, because in general there will be more happy campers than grumpy Gusses, plus who the hell cares what some nerd on the Internet is mad about. But they will be mad, and the victim will not be the bank account of the game maker (no matter how much the fan wishes it was just to prove their point), but you and me, the rational nerds who may want to talk online about something and thus must endure the whining or leave interaction with others behind.

Basically, the issue is that once you give your fans the idea that they mean something, they will take that idea to the very extreme, and set themselves up for disappointment when reality rears its ugly but sublimely right head. They feel abandoned, they feel like they were lied to, and they want everyone else to know how much the creator has betrayed them, using the greatest/worst tactics of political punditry, namely making up statistics and extrapolating anecdotal evidence in order to show that they are ‘right’ about that betrayal. The latter is especially dubious, considering that the Internet is just one giant echo chamber for even the most half-baked lunatic idiocies the human mind can concoct.

Even stuff that aren’t such a big source of fanservice can gain a following that thinks they are the primary director of the property. This is likely based on the money/time factor; they give the creator money, they devote time to their creation, so obviously they are the only thing between the creator and utter failure. There’s a more emotional possibility in there, too; the fan wants to be associated with something successful, so they choose that property (this explains something like console fanboys more than anything), or they become uncomfortably attached to the characters or theme and they essentially become a part of their lives. But these cause them to forget why they became fans in the first place: because of the creator’s ideas. It is lunacy to like something for what it is and then try to force it to conform to your own ideas. But that’s the world for you.

And it’s not that I’m against people second-guessing a creator’s decisions…far from it. But the problem is that there is no rationality behind this, purely their biases taking over. They don’t criticize someone because made something truly inferior, but because it does not include something they wanted, and solely for that reason. The game looks fine, but if they don’t include my personal favorite characters then IT SUCKS.

And yet here I am, back for more punishment. I went through Super Smash Bros. Brawl, numerous VS System and Heroclix sets, and Tatsunoko vs. Capcom, and I was able to survive despite the onslaught and morons. Now I am once again in the fray with TMNT: Smash Up, and once again every time I go to a message board looking for news or at least some decent conversation I am transformed into human rage after being exposed to too many fan comments. But dammit, I love this stuff, and I am stronger than any fanboy. I will defeat their petulant whining! I will sail past their enormous senses of entitlement! I will overpower their 1000-word text tantrums*! I am the greetest!

*No, I don’t see any irony here. Nope, not at all.

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2 Responses to “Gak”

  1. crispy4001 said

    Hey Icymatt. I couldn’t agree more.

    I think it’s also important to note that the creators of these properties often times aren’t the ones heading development. Sure, they might drop their input here and there, but ultimately it’s the core development team who builds the game. It’s dumb to judge the GAME based on what fanservice wasn’t planed or, or needed to be cut. Sure, it might disappoint some core fans asking for long-outdated obscurity X, but that shouldn’t come as a deal breaker to them. If it does, they aren’t thinking about the effort that’s been put into the game otherwise. Fun becomes only a secondary factor to them.

    As for TMNT Smash Up, you should check out TurtleDojo.com. There’s some folks there that are really into the license, but so far no one’s pulled the ‘NO BEBOP/ROCKSTEADY NO BUY!’ The place gets updated a lot more than my thread at 1up.

    (which I wish more people would post in when I add things. I’m currently at a quadruple post. 😦 )

  2. […] by icymatt on September 20, 2009 Statements that infuriate me (and are tangentially related to this surprisingly popular […]

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