Monday, March 1, 2010

Massively Affected


As much as I herald the cause of nerds, geeks, and fanboys everywhere, there is one aspect of my brethren that I have come to hate. I think, in most circles, the worst trait for nerds is their vocal distaste for anything and everything. Go online moments after a movie premieres and foulmouthed tweet after foulmouthed tweet will abound. No matter how good something is, you will find thousands of acerbic status updates, forum posts, and comments from angry nerds nitpicking even the smallest details and blowing them out of proportion. Or they can go the complete opposite way and hate something for no reason whatsoever and still feel the need to rant to anyone that will listen. I don't think I ever need to hear or read the words "It just didn't work for me" ever again. They are totally useless words that convey absolutely nothing. Opinions are like assholes as the saying goes, but shouting your opinion at the top of your lungs makes you an asshole. I learned this the hard way and I know now that back in college, a lot of people didn't like me for just that reason. Once I realized how asinine it all was, I promised myself that I would end it from then on. In this day and age, comments like those just make the commenter out to be the fool. Just talking about this in the abstract though doesn't cut it. The only way to illustrate this is with an example and I have the perfect one: Mass Effect 2.

Mass Effect 2 has completely changed the way I see video games. As a story, I would hold Mass Effect 2 up against the greatest examples of science fiction and it would hold its own. The way I have described it to people is "take the dynamic alien species of Star Trek and the multifaceted and relatable characters of Battlestar Galactica and place them in the space opera and grand scale of Star Wars and you get Mass Effect 2." While I admit that the first game had its faults in gameplay, I still held it as my favorite game of all time until the day that its sequel finally hit my doorstep and I put the disc into my Xbox. From that point on, there was nothing else that could compare in my mind. It was as if Bioware had created a game just for me and me alone and the fact that they sold hundreds of thousands of other copies was just gravy for them. But here is where my ire toward my fellow nerds comes to a head. I go online just for regular daily websurfing and not even looking for commentary on the game and I see the cynical comments, "I am getting sick and tired of all the scanning" being the most common among them. If you have not played the game then you may not get this so let me explain. In the game, in order to improve the technology of your ship and your crews tools, you have to scan and mine planets that you visit. A large amount of people found this tedious and time consuming and made sure everyone knew about it. I hate it because I don't want to be the one that shouts back and has to be equally as obnoxious, but when I read those comments they drove me nuts. Part of me felt like they were trying to rain on my parade and part of me felt that they were flat out wrong. For me, scanning planets made perfect sense in a story perspective. It fit well with the overall feel of what was going on. Also, if you paid attention, you can tell that the game designers went to a lot of trouble to make the planets as scientifically plausible as possible. But of course, fanboys have to harp on the one thing they don't like and not look at everything in the big picture. I think what I am trying to say is for the love of god people, just try to enjoy things and don't go into something trying to think what you are going to tweet from your iPhone the second it is over. If you want to talk to me about something, bring thoughts, not snark.

I also want to massively thank Mike Norton for doing the above sketch of Mordin after I tweeted about it. I wasn't kidding Mike, I am going straight to your table with money in hand for one of these.

Oh and I know someone is going to mention it. Yes, the title of this post is grammatically correct. English degree yo!

1 comment:

KatieShea said...

While I understand your sentiment, I pose a question from the other side the table...

Who is more annoying? A nerd that hates everything just to hate, or a nerd that loves everything just because it is sci-fi/comic related/etc?

At least haters are somewhat critical. Sci-Fi/comic book/video game/fantasy sycophants irk me like no other.

::gazes to her right::