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What is the value of negativity on a forum?


Marlew
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There's a difference between critiquing something constructively, which has value - both for prospective buyers of the game, but also for you yourself in order to help you process your response to a game - and shitting on something from a great height for the sake of it, which is never especially useful.

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The short answer is that negativity tips the balance back and gives any uninformed fence-sitters a more well-rounded view. I don't agree with some of the negative reactions to FFVII Remake but I can see how people reached some of their conclusions; on the other hand, I dunked on vanilla Persona 5 because I thought that the latter dungeons really suffered in terms of pacing. It was the sequel to one of my all-time favourite games and so I felt justified in being real and calling out the things that I saw as letdowns. (It's still a great game, as is Royal, but it's disappointing after 4G.)

 

Where it all falls apart is when the valid points and counterpoints descend into unfair judgements of character. Nobody's a moron for liking a game you dislike (although a case could be made for the Hatreds and Agonys of gaming ;) ) and things don't really need to get personal.

 

(In terms of reviews, I only write at a hobbyist level - consequently, I buy pretty much everything I "review" and so I already have an interest in the game and will happily be "negative" if something turns out to be a letdown. Alternatively, there's the "if we don't cover this game it's not worth your time" philosophy - sometimes a game is so far outside of someone's own interests that it's hard to think of anything to say, positive or negative. In last years forum GotY awards none of us ( @Wiper, @Jolly, @Bennyand me) wanted to cover Gears 5 because we had no interest in it and had nothing to say - in a way, that's even worse than having something you know you can be negative about!)

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20 minutes ago, Haribokart said:

Fresh off creating your ‘I HATE HATES’ thread, it’s clear there is none.

 

Where did that thread go? I was enjoying some of that! I love seeing games I love from another perspective even if it is a bit negative. I found that I couldn't disagree with a lot of the criticism of Final Fantasy 7:Remake because a lot of the reasons given were the very same I had for loving it.

 

There was also the comment that "it's not even a real Final Fantasy game, it's more like Yakuza," which has led my partner and I to play Like a Dragon over the holidays (and loving it.)

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8 minutes ago, Unofficial Who said:

 

Where did that thread go? I was enjoying some of that!

 

To be honest, I posted it in Announcements for a bit of grandiose humour and also because I specifically didn't want to shit on anyone else's enjoyment in that thread. I said I'd delete it at midnight and more or less did (6am, actually, because we conked out early!) and that was that. It was a pretty narcissistic exorcism, really, but I just wanted to let rip because I absolutely fucking hate that game and the hyperbole (as I see) only amplified it.

 

Not sure there's a net value in that kind of thread, though. 

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It's so much easier to have a negative take rather than to actually express and determine what makes something good, or to understand what the game is trying to convey in the first place, being dismisive is so easy, and it makes the dismisser feel superior in some way. 

 

Sometimes a game might have an element of friction that the player is supposed to experience or might be something a little different to add variety. But I see it far more common for person (on this forum and other places) to simply say "I don't like this" or run with it into a spiralling hate-take, rather than to take a moment and understand why it's been done in a certain way. 

 

I don't prescribe to this way of thinking and find it quite fatiguing. 

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Generally speaking, if people dislike a game you like you’ll try and convince them why it’s good and if not, state it’s cool that people like different things. But if people like a game you dislike you’ll go out of your way to explain why they should hate it too. That’s life!

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Everyone has different opinions. Everyone has a right to express their differing opinions. If you start trying to shut people down and stop them expressing their opinion, just because they don’t like a certain game or have a “negative” view of a game, then there’s no longer any balance. By doing that you would essentially be displaying an irrational herd mentality, marginalising people and their views and heading towards stopping any real discussion and openly encouraging bullying and censorship. 
 

People should feel free and unthreatened to have their say whether it’s positive or negative. They should be free to get their point across in any way they choose, providing it sticks to the forum guidelines. Freedom of speech is a good thing!

 

For me personally, i tend to use people’s opinions of games on here, alongside reviews and personal preference. If there were only ever positive reviews and impression, how would you get a balanced picture of a game? You wouldn’t! Plus half of the people would stop using the forum,because they only come on here to argue about shit! Lol.

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This is something I thought about fleetingly last year when posting in the "rate the last film you saw out of 5" thread.

 

A couple of people didn't agree with some of the low ratings I gave to a few films and it felt like I needed to justify my ratings by going into more detail. Nobody really wins in that scenario.
People don't want to hear why you hate something they like and it can be exhausting and annoying translating your feelings into words, especially if you don't have time to really think about it.

 

Like you say, if I don't like something, I'll fuck it off out of my life and move on.

Coming on here and saying "shit. One star" might give me some momentary catharsis, and someone might go "thank god, I thought it was only me who didn't get it!", but that's not really worth much to anyone.

 

I did consider only posting when I'd seen a film that was middling or above.

If I couldn't really find anything of value in something, then why bring that to people's attention?

I must have just forgotten about that the next time I watched a shiter and came on here to slag it off :D

 

I think you're right, it's purely an ego thing.
May as well just concentrate on talking enthusiastically about the things you love, maybe encourage others to try them, lift each other up and be respectful.

 

I did enjoyed your description of Hades the other day in the isaac thread, if only because I'm a bit miffed by it's popularity too, and it was so out of character and spontaneous and ill measured. So not your style.

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I am often quite negative in any "general state of gaming" type threads as those threads are just for navel gazing opinions anyway and I do feel fairly negative towards modern (non-indie) gaming trends and market forces.

 

I'm not a fan of people camping in a game's thread and incessantly posting about how terrible it is etc while others are enjoying the game.  I'm not suggesting we prevent people from doing so but in my experience reading people nitpick and whine about a game while you're playing through it really doesn't add value to the experience. Sometimes it's best to avoid the forum discussion if you're somehow enjoying a game that the group has turned on.

Most recently experienced this while playing through and enjoying Cyberpunk on PS4 after buying it on release day and reading the thread here.

 

That thread was particularly bad because you had some posters labelling anyone who dared enjoy their experience with the game as "apologists", "corporate bootlickers" etc. Whatever about general negativity, what does being caught up in that hysterical nonsense add to anyone's enjoyment of a videogame?

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1 hour ago, Marlew said:

 

To be honest, I posted it in Announcements for a bit of grandiose humour and also because I specifically didn't want to shit on anyone else's enjoyment in that thread. I said I'd delete it at midnight and more or less did (6am, actually, because we conked out early!) and that was that. It was a pretty narcissistic exorcism, really, but I just wanted to let rip because I absolutely fucking hate that game and the hyperbole (as I see) only amplified it.

 

Not sure there's a net value in that kind of thread, though. 

 

ah fuck... is this a centurion alt?

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The world is all geared towards being nice to everyone constantly and reassuring people. This is creating its own issues down the line around critiscm and how receptive people are to feedback

Being able to tell someone that you don't agree with what they say is a powerful thing and negs were food for this. I would often not have the time or energy to deeply but could simply use a neg to let someone know I did not agree with their perspective on a matter. Negativity is like the dark side of the force, but it keeps things and people in balance. 

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The point is to skew the zeitgeist. Often I have come across examples of pure positivity, only to discover I loathe the creation in question.

 

Developers and professional critics read these forums. They are influenced by them.

 

By not offering a counter point you are allowing things to perpetuate unchecked.

 

As an example look at Monster Boy. Nothing but praise. I fucking hated that game so much, that I wanted the "permanent internet record" to show that at least one person saw the inherent flaws in its lazy and cruel design, and that it in no way was representative of other games in the series. I personally know people who have said it shits all over the older games.

 

These people are wrong.

 

If I do not openly say they are wrong, by default they become right.

 

The lie becomes truth; wrongness becomes rightness.

 

By offering a counter point you forever plant the seed in the collective consciousness that maybe, just maybe, what the majority is thinking is incorrect, and just maybe, this lone voice in the storm is in fact righteous truth.

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I still see the gaming threads as buying guides on things I haven't made up my mind to go day 1 on.

 

Too often these threads get caught up in people congratulating themselves and each other on their exquisite taste in games ignoring the glaring issues that may be a problem to others.

 

One thread popped back up the other day, Dangerous Driving, an old school arcade racer where the lead chap posts here so everybody wants to say how its the best game of the year. It cost £20 I think and the chevrons pointed the wrong way ON EVERY CORNER, it was utterly ruinous but people wanted to pretend otherwise and say you get used to it. That needed negativity as was just a poor state to release a game in.

 

Then you get the forum darling games like Untitled Goose, Hades, Spelunky, Binding of Isaac - they are worthy of critical appraisal and acceptance that not everybody will find them the 'best game ever' - far from it for many of us who find some/all of them shite. 

 

I like reading the dissenting voices that are constructive and call out their problems with the game, there is a place for that. I have no time for the fanpersons who won't have a word said against their favourite dev/console/title.

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17 minutes ago, Sketch said:

 

By offering a counter point you forever plant the seed in the collective consciousness that maybe, just maybe, what the majority is thinking is incorrect, and just maybe, this lone voice in the storm is in fact righteous truth.

 

"this cartoon monster game is not as good as the old cartoon monster game. I would go so far as to say...

 

...I loathe it."

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In an ideal scenario, a negative comment on something that is generally being praised can lead to further, more detailed discussion on its merits and/or flaws. I find this forum is generally pretty good for articulation in the first place, but when someone does talk negatively about a game that is overwhelmingly praised we then get really involved posts and discussion elucidating on why people hold it in high regard. Ideally.

 

A number of the threads for big games here don't interest me in the slightest when it's in the honeymoon period of consistent, sometimes vacuous praise. That isn't something that interests me, but when an opposite side begins to form then the conversation becomes far more involving. Hell, sometimes negativity can spike my interest in a game, as perhaps what that person dislikes is something that does appeal to me! Conversely, positivity can turn me off a game; this year I've found that all the praise that FFVII Remake has gotten has consigned that title to the 'never going to play it' pile, and a lot of the plus points people give to Hollow Knight were active detractions for me when I played it. Meanwhile, negative responses to The Last of Us Part II have actually gotten me intrigued to play something I had zero interest in.

 

In my view it comes down to understanding your own sense of taste. Perfection will be subjective, and the only game I would come close to calling perfect is VVVVVV. A detracting viewpoint can serve a purpose in expanding discussion, provided it's not just an obvious shitpost looking to troll. To tie it into the OP, I really enjoyed that Hades thread as it's a game universally praised, but I've yet to play it myself as none of that praise particularly spoke to me, and seeing the response you got to it got me to thinking that maybe I should try Supergiant's output (I bought Bastion for cheap. It was alright, lovely presentation but failed to grip me. Fine for £2).

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4 minutes ago, Cheyenne said:

In an ideal scenario, a negative comment on something that is generally being praised can lead to further, more detailed discussion on its merits and/or flaws. I find this forum is generally pretty good for articulation in the first place, but when someone does talk negatively about a game that is overwhelmingly praised we then get really involved posts and discussion elucidating on why people hold it in high regard. Ideally.

 

A number of the threads for big games here don't interest me in the slightest when it's in the honeymoon period of consistent, sometimes vacuous praise. That isn't something that interests me, but when an opposite side begins to form then the conversation becomes far more involving. Hell, sometimes negativity can spike my interest in a game, as perhaps what that person dislikes is something that does appeal to me! Conversely, positivity can turn me off a game; this year I've found that all the praise that FFVII Remake has gotten has consigned that title to the 'never going to play it' pile, and a lot of the plus points people give to Hollow Knight were active detractions for me when I played it. Meanwhile, negative responses to The Last of Us Part II have actually gotten me intrigued to play something I had zero interest in.

 

In my view it comes down to understanding your own sense of taste. Perfection will be subjective, and the only game I would come close to calling perfect is VVVVVV. A detracting viewpoint can serve a purpose in expanding discussion, provided it's not just an obvious shitpost looking to troll. To tie it into the OP, I really enjoyed that Hades thread as it's a game universally praised, but I've yet to play it myself as none of that praise particularly spoke to me, and seeing the response you got to it got me to thinking that maybe I should try Supergiant's output (I bought Bastion for cheap. It was alright, lovely presentation but failed to grip me. Fine for £2).


no, you’re wrong.

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It’s all about balance, isn’t it? Everyone has their own opinion and it’s good to read those different views. I’ve found out about so many games, amongst other things, because of this place and the discussion around them has helped me decide whether I should buy them.

 

If everything was just pure praise all the time, then there’s nothing to measure it against and it becomes pointless. I’d much rather listen to loads of varied opinions than a single reviewers voice.

 

Childish console wars bollocks can fuck off though.

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