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On Running Feuds
The Case Against the Case Against DmC
By Cyril Lachel     |   Posted on January 21, 2013   |   Episode 189 (Show Archive)  

            

Look out trolls, because some party boy dressed as Gay Dante will come and get you!
All week, I have been forced to listen to respected game journalists tell me about the elusive Devil May Cry hater. They point to comments sections, YouTube complainers and the "User Review" bombing so typical of big budget video games. They have somehow turned these outspoken haters into the week's most important constituency.

This foolish idea of placating to the loudest, most obnoxious "gamer" needs to stop. There isn't a person alive that should give even one second of thought to what these people think of Capcom's new Devil May Cry reboot. They haven't played it. Their opinions were made up months ago and have no bearing on the quality of the actual game.

It doesn't take much to have a completely useless opinion. You don't have to play the game or even pay attention

Surprisingly, the outrage has little to do with the not safe for work Christmas card!
to its development. Hell, I'm not even sure you need to see a single screenshot to form a totally useless opinion. You just need to have an inflated perspective of your opinion's worth. The hard work is actually playing the game and coming up with real reason to like or dislike something.

Of course, the people who irrationally hate Devil May Cry are the same group who yell and scream about bias in the media. That site's high score must be dismissed, because the critic that spent the last twenty hours with the game can't be trusted. How much did Capcom pay for Giant

The "users" hate both the Xbox 360 (top) and PlayStation 3 (bottom) version equally!
Bomb's five-star review? Clearly the only points worth listening to are from those who haven't actually played the game.

This way of thinking is absurd and breaks down the moment you apply it to anything else. Do you take your friend's advice about restaurants they've never eaten at? Would you trust a doctor that diagnosed you before running any tests? Of course

My crazy aunt also thinks the Violent Femmes are secretly turning America gay!
not; just like I tune out my crazy aunt every time she criticizes music she's never actually listened to. You may care about these people, but that doesn't make their opinion worthwhile.

At the same time, these folks are more than welcome to voice their uneducated opinion on the internet. That's part of what makes this technology so great. But the local newspaper isn't giving my crazy aunt attention by running stories about her unfounded hatred of The Decemberists. That's the difference. Game journalists spend too much time writing stories about small pockets of contrarian voices.

Thanks to the MetaCritic culture we live in, there's a tendency to expect everybody to agree. As if it's a fact that a game is either good or bad. Some of these tendencies are at their worst during the early months of the year, as journalists have little else to talk about. It's easy to publish stories about 150 people giving Devil May Cry a negative score on MetaCritic; the content almost writes itself. Even if it's 50,000 people complaining, that is a mere fraction of the consumers who will ultimately buy the game at retail.

But it's not 50,000 people. Even if you combine all of the nasty comments on NeoGAF, YouTube and every other internet forum, you'll still only have a handful of people complaining. If the mainstream media

Then again, I would be really upset if Capcom turned my beloved Strider Hiryu into an emo anti-hero!
won't pay attention to a million people protesting the war in Iraq, then why should game journalists spend any amount of time placating this very small group of haters?

That's not to say that there can never be news value associated with this story. If Capcom's reboot gamble fails and the game tanks, then by all means talk about the level of anger amongst the community. But giving these uninformed trolls a platform before that only hurts the people that worked hard on making Devil May Cry what it is. It suggests to customers on the fence that maybe the other side has a real point. They don't. These are people who made up their mind months ago and have never played it.

This isn't the first time the community has acted like this and it certainly won't be the last. But maybe we can curb the way we cover these types of stories. There is little to no news value in a handful of people disliking a game they've never played. There will always be a subset that hate the game because of the platform it's on, the company that makes it or the style of the hero's hair. Gamers are good at finding excuses not to have fun. Let those trolls bitch and moan in the corner, because the people who have actually played the game are talking now.
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