This is written in direct response to the editorial "Console Wars/Our Console,Our Team" On Dave Z's Sega Saturn Page.
I find it sad if you find half your fun of gaming in bashing the "other" system(s).
Elija compared sports teams to game systems, but a closer connection would be teams to the game themselves. Systems would more accurately fit to the fields that the teams play on. For example, take into account, since they're fairly widely known, Street Fighter II and Mortal Combat. Team loyalties would more appropriately fit here, because everyone has their "gaming" preferences. Now both games have been extremely cross platform, Arcade, Genesis, SNES, GameBoy, Game Gear, Saturn, Playstation, you get the point. Now depending on which you prefer, you're gonna like that "game" better. Hell, for all i know you hate fighting games, but thats not the point.
Now yes, each system does have it's different abilities, but lets assume that both systems are exactly equal, but Street Fighter is only released on system X, and Mortal Combat is only released on system Y. This is purely hypothetical, but lets just say that you love Street Fighter very much, you love the look, play mechanics, characters, the overall style of the game, and utterly hate everything about Mortal Combat. And to go further, lets say that you own system Y due to company loyalty, and bash system X also because of company loyalty to system Y. In bashing "booing" system X, you say such things as "All games on system X suck, etc" But a game you really like is only on system X, and the competition for that game you like, a game that you really don't like, is released only on the system that you "root" for. Now does it make sense that you should bash a game that you really enjoy because it is on another system?
Now lets look at example 2. Still sticking with the same 2 games, and still sticking with the same 2 systems, basically the same exact rules, only this time...Both games are released for system Y, the system in which you own. Now which game are you going to buy, the game you really enjoy, or the one you really don't like?
Doesn't it show more sense to show biased system loyalty, or does it show more sense to have your preferences about the games themselves. Notice that it is called the "Video Game" industry, NOT the "Video Game System" industry. If anything should have been learned by now, it's that systems come, and systems go fairly fast. And you tell me, after all this time, which is remembered more fondly, the game Pac Man, or the arcade board it was put out on? How often do you hear people comparing classic arcade hardware to other classic arcade hardware? How often do you hear people comparing the Atari 2600 to the Atari5200 or the Atari 7800? It happens, yes, but no where near to the degree which people do with systems today.
If you must compare and "root" for a favorite something, let it be the games. Saying "so and so game sucks BECAUSE it's on so and so system" is stupid. You miss a lot of good games that way. Now saying "so and so game sucks BECAUSE idon't like how it plays, feels, the story, etc" is something entirely different, and is an opinion based on something honest and justified.
I really had hoped that this lesson was learned after the (for lack of better terms) "Snes & Genesis Wars" of the last generation of systems. Look at how many people at the end of that had owned both systems, and reaped the beneficial great games of both. I know at least I did. And yes, money doesplay into this a bit. I myself can only currently afford to have one of the current 32 bit systems. However I do not try to reassure insecurities about "was this the right choice?" or "hey, that system does have some really great games" by bashing that other system just because I don't own it. That is where I personally believe the heart of this lies. People trying to reassure their purchases by demeaning the system they don't own. To those people I say that you have a serious self esteem problem, there is definitely something wrong with you personally if you can not be happy with what you have, and let others be happy with what they have.
This is not about sports and rooting for teams, this is about "Mine Is Bigger Than Yours." And if thats what you're going for, then you are in for some big disappointments. There is always going to be something bigger and better on the horizon. There is always going to be someone prettier, always going to be someone smarter, always going to be someone bigger, always going to be someone with more money. And yeah, I'm first to admit that having these things is nice, but it is not, and should not be a primary goal. It just shows an interesting reflection in our society that these attitudes have seeped into the video game industry so.
And you know what, I personally do not care how you get your jolly's UNTIL it starts to affect my fun. NO ONE has the right to infringe upon others rights to happiness, and yes that does apply to video games as well. As long as someone is not hurting anyone you or anyone else while they are having fun, you and anyone else do not have the right to tell them they are wrong, or bad, or what they are playing sucks. To each their own. Respect other people like you would have other people respect you.
There are most certainly going to be those who think I am going overboard, but if you look at what goes on, then you'll see that I'm really not. In closing, I would like everyone to ask themselves this question, not just about videogames, but as a general life's philosophy.
Which ranks higher to you:
1.Quality over Quantity?
2.Quantity over Quality?