I wasn’t planning on writing anything today but then I heard this cover of a song that I like and it gave me the inspiration I needed. Today’s blog is about the mainstream and how it’s a threat to our beloved communities.
didn't have any relevant pictures so here is some background music.
First of I want to give some context to why I dislike the mainstream picking up on our scenes. It’s a story as old as modern media, a small scene gets too big, the mainstream media pick it up and turns it into something it was never about. It’s happening to the metal scene, it’s happening to the gaming community, it’s a global trend and I hate it. It’s not that I don’t like how new people get to experience things that I’m passionate about, it’s how quickly our scenes will adapt to the mainstream. As soon as we get a taste from the exposure that comes along with this trend, our corporations will want more. They start making games for the sake of “appealing to a wider audience” and that’s where the issue lies.
The problem is NOT that more people get to experience our communities, that’s really awesome in my opinion, and I’m not going to go in to the subject of “fake gamers” as I think it’s stupid. However, what happens when our communities get picked up, it gets twisted into something it was never about, award shows, reality TV like behaviour (just look at the mountain dew game Jam in 2014), and the latest bashing of review scores that are ‘too low”, and just a general growing disgust of anything that doesn’t fit the new norms the mainstream dictates us to follow…
The problem here is that there is no enemy to fight. You can’t fight the mainstream because it’s not an actual entity. It’s not something that has any ill intend towards our community, yet it’s presence is harmful. It’s basically made up of people who do their jobs, and the ones who follow. It would not be right to say that they are this bad or evil thing, as it is greed that makes our scenes want to appeal the masses, it’s money and a lot of it to.
As for what we can or should do about it, I don’t think there is a simple answer. You can’t fight the mainstream because it is not a thing, it’s a collection of loose elements. You could try and stop the publishers from trying to appeal to this wider audience, but good luck with that. You could go as far as to police every newcomer in the scene to check if they are “hardcore enough” to be called a gamer, but let’s be honest that just makes you a bully, a self-entitled bully.
The only option at hand is to whine about it. Just take to the internet and cry out every time a studio does something you don’t find acceptable. Not only is the phrase “no such thing as bad publicity” completely outdated, it’s also wrong. Bad publicity is a thing, and a potentially harmful thing at that. Publishers will lose money over it, it will cost them sales, and they will adapt. Just look at Warner brothers pulling Arkham Knight from steam, Overkill apologising for micro transactions in pay day 2 and working with the community to make them manageable and CPP stepping up to issue an apology and fix its poor policy on micro transactions. There are many more examples out there of what we can do with just raising our voices against shitty behaviour and do so we should.
There is no denying the threat the mainstream forms to creativity and originality,… but you also can’t deny the benefits it brings with it. For me, I think it’s an extremely two sided issue, but I think we are able to overcome the things thrown at us as a community, while still reaping the benefits provided to us.
What do you think, I’m I full of crap? Am I completely right? Maybe the answer lies somewhere in the middle. Let me know what you think, if you want to, and just happen to have the time to do so, if not then don’t. But it would be cool if you did.