Have you ever been talking to friends, acquaintances or just a random dude at the bus stop and you get on to the subject of hobbies? If so, I would lay good money down that at some point of the conversation, “I don’t like it, it’s shit!” is uttered with regards to one of the hobbies being discussed.
When I was a younger chap, it would usually be about which computer or games console you had. At school, you were posh if you had a Commodore 64 (but a total dick if you had a Vic 20), you could hold your head up a little bit if you had an Amstrad CPC 464 (but not the disc equipped 664 or 6128!) and it was standard for a Sinclair Spectrum (usually the +2 model). It developed into the console generation with the Megadrive and SNES (Sega for me, but I remember being very jealous of SNES owning friends. Concurrently, there was the Amiga vs ST. I was an Amiga 500 kickstart 1.3 and a 512k ram expansion guy (how times change!).
Where is this going? Well, I have recently joined the current console generation after a couple of years of sitting things out. The delay was more due to real life getting in the way (house deposits are so expensive!) but I have eventually sorted a machine out and am now the happy owner of an X-Box One. Now, this is where the above quote comes into it.
I was chatting to a couple of friends from work one lunchtime and mentioned the fact that I had purchased said XB 1. At which point, the aforementioned quote was delivered in stereo.
The reason I chose the XB1 rather than the PS4, as explained to said two friends are as follows: currently, the XB1 has more exclusive games I wish to play (Rare Re-Play, Forza 6 and Tomb Raider: Rise of the Tomb Raider. Halo 5 is on hold, I am still undecided despite being a fan since the beginning of the series). The PS4 has two exclusives I wish to play, The Nathan Drake Collection and The Last of Us, both of which the originals were played on the PS3. There are a couple of games coming out next year that will warrant a PS4 (Uncharted 4 and No Man’s Sky), but since they are not out yet, it’ll be mid 2016 before another shiny black box joins the set up under the TV.
And their response (again!), ”But it’s shit!” Okay, it was a good-natured jibe, but it got me thinking.
Why do people do that? Is it through a sense of knowledge unbeknownst to me? Is it a social superiority power trip that harks back to the school yard? (BTW, both of these gentlemen are closer to 30 than not, so I would expect some maturity…) Or is it just points scoring in a game I didn’t know I was playing?
I get it that people like to identify with groups, the social need to be one of the pack. But, and this applies to gamers of both the video and war variety, it seems to be an almost automatic response. And the key part of this discourse: The people who say it can’t tell you why they have said it. Seriously, if you don’t like something, at least have the good grace to be able to say why. The counterpoint is also true. It’s no good saying something is good, but then not being able to say why it’s good. It’s a more common experience than you would think, and it always becomes a topic of conversation at wargames shows. I mention shows mostly because you get various opinions given and the most expressive of the reasons for people liking something is ”cos it is”, and for disliking, it’s the post’s title.
Maybe it’s a forlorn hope, but it would be nice if people could explain their decisions, having experienced or put some thought into it. Or have we reached a stage in human thinking that ”It’s shit” is the pinnacle of expression?