That statement is pretty blunt, “There’s something for everyone in gaming, but everything isn’t for you.” I imagine you’ve had one of three reactions reading it: you either, one, nod your head and get it right away, two, give your computer screen a confused look because you aren’t sure if you should be upset by it, or, three, get upset and start to formulate a rebuttal to tell me how offensive this is. Bear with me for a minute while I lay this out for you.
As I write this, there is another article being written about how games need to become less violent, more this, less that, and so on and so on. There’s always someone, somewhere, trying to make the case that games are bad for us. There are people, whether they are being honest or not, that think every game should fit into their own set of morals and standards. Sounds a little nuts, doesn’t it? I do hope you think so, because, if you don’t, you probably won’t like the rest of this.
Gaming has been evolving for decades now, growing from a niche novelty item into the largest entertainment industry in the world. We’ve gone from just a couple of consoles and PC to countless platforms including handhelds and VR. Where once your selection of games was fairly limited with just three games released in 1972, we’ve had about 680 games released this year. The genres available to you are more than I can list, and just about anyone can find something to play. Maybe that’s why it is estimated that 44% of the world is playing some sort of video game.
The beauty of gaming is it has those niches. It has genres within genres, all of which appeal to someone. The reality is they don’t appeal to everyone, and they shouldn’t. Every one of us has a genre we don’t like, or type of game we think is awful. There are games we won’t even try because of platform, publisher, subject matter, or genre. That’s absolutely normal, and we shouldn’t do anything to change it. Just like we all have book categories we don’t like. Do we actually consider changing those to fit our tastes? I wouldn’t pick up a romance novel any more than I’d play a Japanese dating simulator. I couldn’t imagine demanding romance writers start writing their books more like fantasy adventures so I would find them more entertaining.
What it boils down to is there are definitely games out there for me, but not every game is for me. That’s actually pretty great because it means more people will have games to play. If every game fit my tastes, I can assure you many gamers wouldn’t find something they liked. Our tastes are different. I like FPS games, RPGs and MMOs, and I play just one mobile game. I know a lot of people that don’t like any of those genres. For FPS games, I play military sims almost exclusively, but thousands and thousands like Overwatch, a type of FPS I don’t care for.
Hopefully it’s making a lot more sense now. But what’s the point? Point is, when you see people saying “this game shouldn’t exist,” or “I don’t like that, change it,” keep one thing in mind. Even if you agree with their dislike of whatever game they’re talking about, the next person may say it about a game you like. As a matter of fact, I can guarantee that whatever game you do like, there’s people out there who don’t. Imagine if we all stood up and said “I’m offended by that, ban it,” or started a petition to pull a game from store shelves. How many games would we be left with? So, when someone says a game shouldn’t exist, even if we don’t like it, we have to say, “yes, it should.” Otherwise, we can’t really say much if someone comes after the games we like.