When it comes to customer feedback, one state of being has dominated the video games industry:
Anger over anything, and everything. Controls. Payment methods. New content. Old content. Graphics. Music. Folio sounds. Personal complaints. Business practices. Criticisms of the industry. Praise to the industry.
Nothing related at all to video games is sacred from this one emotion. Sure, it is not the only emotion present, but it is very dominant in the public consciousness to such a point where it is the first thing a person thinks when hearing the word “gamer”.
Why are we so mad?
Truly, a loaded question.
The truth is that people never need to be mad. If anger was somehow beneficial to life, we would not see it as a problem and would excuse angry behavior. But anger has caused far more destruction on multiple levels of human existence to be considered positive in the slightest. With that in mind, why is this negative, debilitating emotion the stereotypical default when it comes to gamers?
Perhaps we as a large group are not intelligent enough to recognize the danger of anger and stay away. But is there a way to prove this beyond a shadow of a doubt? Yes, it is possible, but no one seems to be tackling an answer in an objective or logical way that will have a lasting impact on the public consciousness. Besides, the group picture rarely matches the individual portraits of that group, so it could be that out of the rainbow of gamer types and emotional reactions to video games, the individuals that have spoken up, are the ones with anger management issues and a bone to pick.
This makes more sense the more one thinks about it. When a customer is satisfied, they won’t complain to the store because they see no reason to complain. Conversely, they will not, on average, stop to give praise or positive critiques either. Thusly, purely through our own human nature, most communications with the game industry moguls and businessmen are automatically skewed towards negativity, despite our best intentions on an individual level.
Alright, so we voice our anger because we are human beings. Like I said before: why is this our default? Maybe I should rephrase the question as such: why SHOULD this be our default?
In the end, it is up to the individual how they will respond. But it is good to keep this issue in mind, because it plagues the perceptions of the larger societal group of gamers. It may not bother some of us; others may see it as a good thing. Still others refuse to open their lips to say something because of this social pressure to be mad, because their peers may subscribe to that philosophy.
I am wondering, however, if some numbers will give this issue more of an objective viewpoint. I have decided to link this post to various video gaming forums and ask a question:
Do you hate Diablo 3? Yes/no?
Do not explain why, or how you hate it. I’m not a Blizzard developer looking for feedback on a certain issue. I just need to know your answer to the above question.
I will carry this effort out for as long as I can, in order to receive as much data as possible. I will compare the results of my efforts periodically with the sales figures for Diablo 3, in the hopes of seeing whether or not the vocal segment of the gaming community is representative of the gaming community at large, at least in relation to Diablo 3. Perhaps I may perform similar analyses with other games, depending on the results of this first effort.
I look forward to the results.