I’d been meaning to write a reply to Ben Kuchera’s “In gaming, everything is amazing, but no one is happy” all week, and I’ve finally had enough tea and enough of a break to think about what he said. Go and have a read of it, please, and then come back. I’ll be here, typing away. Read it? So you can probably see why it didn’t sit quite right with me. Yes, games are pretty amazing, and yes we complain a lot. And the implication of Ben’s piece is that… we probably shouldn’t complain? That things are much better than we imagine? That we are too fussy? You know, in this age of fear and fundamentalism, when the media does little to promote satisfaction or optimism, it’s hard to disagree with anyone who says that we should just take a look at what we do have. It is pretty amazing.
The flipside is, well, it could always be better. If people didn’t strive for better then we wouldn’t have all that amazing stuff in the first place. And the first step in striving for better is often the complaint. “This isn’t good enough. Something has to change.” And that is why gamers complain: they are smart, imaginative people, who can quite easily imagine how things could be better. Whether those imaginings are right (or even feasible) is another matter, but no one should say that they are unacceptable.
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