Ahoy all, back for the first true post of the year and the first in a new series of Monday musings (a-musing hopefully.) which will cover whatever I feel like talking about whether it is hobby related or just something I’ve been mulling over in my mind-brain. Now, let me start by saying that this isn’t the amazingly deep post the title suggests, it’s just a thought and something I’ve been thinking of more and more in the last few months and something I felt like discussing as it affects everyone very differently.
Spin the clocks back into last year, it won’t take long, we had a big year in terms of releases for most of the hobbies, games, TV shows and movies that I would say I am interested in or love. We saw reboots of classic franchises like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, we had the amazing return of recurring shows like Game of Thrones and we had plenty of new shows, games and other tidbits to dive into. Yet I think I can count on one hand the amount of things I discovered through popular ‘Positive’ opinion.
Truly we are blessed to live in such an age, and the fact that we can share our thoughts and opinions on these things (or any thing else we want, be it a YouTube video or a full on movie.) is amazing and I actively encourage it, after all debate and discussion should always be encouraged as it gives us the power to change minds and inspire new ideas or opinions.
However the more I look into reviews, sneak peaks, leaks, forum posts and comments I usually find that is the point I begin to feel worse or ‘down’ about the topic in question or the item being shown. While there are always some good comments or opinions out there, they are vastly outnumbered by the bad and negative views most of which just end up being needless or cruel.
Is that inherently wrong? I wouldn’t say so, I don’t expect us to live in a world of sunshine and rainbows where everything is amazing all the time, it would be unbearable if we did and after all even our brains have developed an in-built function of always assuming the worst so as not to be disappointed or hurt. My complaint is not with negativity itself but how it is put across in media and the unknown effect even minor comments can make. Not to say Negative criticism isn’t necessary, it can be just as useful and powerful as positive criticism after all, but both need to work in the same way, simply put it’s by being constructive.
Needless or baseless negativity is my issue. Lets take something topically ‘bad’ at the moment.
Poor Sonic, these days he must feel as blue as he looks. He’s not had a good run of things in the last few years, we had some very low points like the aforementioned Sonic Boom, Sonic 06, Lost World, Riders etc. These games are generally accepted as being ‘Bad’, ‘God Awful’, ‘Shit’, by most people/reviewers, I could go on but I won’t. Now do I disagree with these comments?
To a certain extent, I don’t. If you don’t like something you are quite right to voice up about it if you so desire. What I tend to disagree with is people not explaining why they think something is bad or even mentioning what they would have wanted instead, and even worse is the scenario in which some people don’t even view or play the thing they are discussing and still cling to claims that it is bad simply because so many others say so. The other issue comes from the likes of demographics and the aims of the content itself, Sonic Boom! for example was clearly aimed at younger fans and those children who are maybe less exposed to Sonic like the rest of us nostalgic old timers, giving evidence to that is the Sonic Boom! Cartoon show which was released at the same time as the game for mutual promotion. Now think of those negative opinions again, is it right for you to slam something which you aren’t in the target audience for? I’ll leave that dilemma up to you but I can’t see me getting to upset or mad over something like this.
So anyways back to ‘Sonic Boom’, this was a quite significant overhaul to some much-loved iconic characters, this is always a risky move and is going to stir up some very mixed feelings and thoughts. Now let’s be clear here, I am not defending Sonic Boom, it is glitchy, badly scripted/voiced and doesn’t really define at any point itself as any one genre of game it just creates a weird mix of game styles that don’t meld. However its intention was good.
While the gamble didn’t necessarily pay off there was a lot of positives to take away from this reboot. We saw the franchise move forward by introducing new settings and characters, they created diversity between the 4 main characters in terms of story and play style, (the game doesn’t revolve around 4 differently skinned Sonic’s.) the level designs are interesting and new, the visuals are fantastic when they aren’t glitching and it still occasionally conjures up the nostalgic charm of Sonic when you do get to ‘GO FAST’.
Now as I said, if you don’t like it, fine, great even, but think for a second before you go running around (at the speed of sound) posting negatively about what a terrible experience this was for you and think. At any point, anyone from anywhere can see what you’ve posted and for those who haven’t seen or played the game you are automatically conjuring up a negative view in their mind, you could be changing or ruining the game for someone who has recently enjoyed it or you could just be dumping on the growing pile of negativity affecting us all or for some just cementing how they felt.
How we use negativity can be damaging, especially when it’s not constructive, I’m not saying it doesn’t have it’s place, and after all we can’t like absolutely everything and some things people will just never warm to, but does that mean we have to ruin things for everyone else, do we have to be mean about it?
Negativity affected me quite badly in the last year or so, there is so much negativity out there especially in the hobbies I enjoy (video gaming and war-gaming are notorious for it I find) it often is hard to ignore or not get weighed down by it, I found myself automatically assuming the worst or even avoiding things I used to enjoy simply to save myself the hurt, but I’ve started to look past it and stop relating negativity to everything. Although that doesn’t stop me thinking that the more I can do to spread positive review and discussions the better.
So as one of many finally add-ages: Focus on yourself and what you love, don’t let negativity take anything from you and always look on the bright side. Look for those positives and if you can’t then remember the old saying ‘If you don’t have anything nice to say…..’.
See you for next weeks rambling and remember, things will always get better.