It would be exhausting to want to play everything, anyway.

This may come as a surprise, but I have friends. Some of those friends even play video games, and those that do, vary widely in what they enjoy. Many of my D&D buddies for instance are really into Japanese culture and regularly play games from across the Pacific. They enjoy them, after all. In fact, the vast majority of my friends tend to enjoy JRPGs and the like.

My family tends to gravitate more towards western games. My step-father plays strategy games (RTS and turn-based) and shooters primarily. My mother tends to enjoy playing games like World of Tanks and Warframe. My sister doesn’t play many games, but she recently purchased an Xbox One with a copy of Assassin’s Creed: Origins, and she loves it.

Jennifer and I tend to enjoy RPGs and shooters, and I myself also love playing racing games, platformers, strategy games, management games (like Cities: Skylines), and sometimes a simulation game is what I’m looking for.

Mind you, not the joke simulation games like Grass Simulator or whatever; games like Elite: Dangerous and whatnot.

However, that doesn’t mean I don’t branch out every now and then.

Switching and Slashing

Nintendo Switch On The Shelf

I’m so happy I have a Nintendo Switch!

Not long ago, I got the bug to get my hands on a Nintendo Switch, so I hinted not-so-subtly to Jennifer that I wanted one to play Super Mario Odyssey. She inevitably got the system for me for my birthday, and my mother helped out a bit to help cover the cost. Jennifer also inevitably caved, and gave my gift to me early, because she loves me and I couldn’t help myself but try to convince her to let me have my gift a tad bit sooner than my birthday.

The thing is though, the Switch is a platform which wouldn’t have appealed to me before. Just three years ago, I was a bit more of a dude-bro. I played gritty action games and shooters with cover mechanics and realistic weapons. Even the RPGs I played were rather mainstream. Regardless, I really enjoyed what I played and didn’t feel like I was missing out on much.

Sure, games like Dark Souls, Journey, and Dragon’s Dogma were out, but I just wasn’t interested.

NieRly Missed

NieR:Automata_20180108113853

I would’ve been looking on from afar

Here’s the thing. On one hand, had I never had the inclination to step outside my comfort zone, I never would’ve played Super Mario Odyssey and learned what a joy it is. I never would’ve experienced NieR: Automata and discovered that it is indeed, a great game. I also never would have played The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and had a change of heart from my preconceived notions about it.

I would’ve missed out.

And that’s okay.

I would’ve gone on, playing the types of games that I’ve always played, and I still would’ve been as happy as a clam. Sure, I would be missing out from another’s perspective, but to me I wouldn’t be missing anything. That doesn’t mean I’m not glad that I took a risk with some of the games I’ve tried out over the years. In fact, I’m very happy with my choices. However, from my perspective I had nothing to lose from not diving in.

There appears to be a sense out there on the internet, among the message boards, forums, and Discord channels, that failing to enjoy something that others like is a sin of sorts. You needn’t look any further than the “professional” reviews of games from bigger sites and personalities, where a game with a following receives a poor review score. A game like Uncharted 4 or The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild receiving a verdict that isn’t glowing is often met with outrage.

And to some extent, I can understand why that feeling exists. As humans, we crave patterns and attempt to see them anywhere we can. Deviations from the norm upset that balance, and to see an otherwise lauded title getting a middling reception from someone definitely fits with that line of thinking. Obviously, the person who feels that the game which is well liked by many people might not be the best thing ever, is wrong.

But barring the depths of WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr posts which lambaste something for the sake of being as edgy as possible, those feelings are never honestly wrong.

Okay, So What’s The Point?

Horizon Zero Dawn™_20171109201650

I’m really not sure

There isn’t a right or wrong to liking or disliking games, just as there isn’t a right or wrong to liking or disliking certain music or art. Sure, there are those out there that appreciate just about every piece of art, regardless of the technique used by the artist or style of the work, but those people are rather rare. The same applies to video games, especially if games are to be considered artistic.

I don’t like most rap or hip hop. I don’t find appreciation in some styles of art, like most of what I’ve seen of contemporary art. I’m by no means an expert on music or paintings, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a piece I’ve seen or a track I’ve heard. Perhaps that makes me an uncultured swine, but I would rather be an uncultured swine than a pretentious douchebag.

You might be wondering, what’s the point? The point is that there really isn’t anything wrong with not liking JRPGs, racing games, sports titles, or platformers. If you don’t like games like Super Mario Odyssey, retro games like Metroid, or even Metal Gear Solid, you aren’t doing anything wrong. You aren’t any less of a gamer, and anyone attempting to imply that you’re wrong for not liking something they enjoy is the video game equivalent of the pompous jackass in an art gallery, sneering at other visitors for not “getting” the piece they admire.

I’d like to put something on the record, mostly because Jennifer reminded me about this over and over. I’m not good about this either. Often before, and even sometimes these days, I find myself trying to defend a game I enjoy because I feel like it’s necessary. I think everyone deals with this issue on a regular basis, when confronted with an opposing view. However, I think acknowledging that I have this issue is a step in the right direction.

So while it’s important to not crap all over something someone else likes, just because you don’t share the same interests, the same applies in reverse. Just because you like something, that doesn’t mean that others should be required or expected to feel the same way. To go a step further, that also means that just because everyone else says something is good, that doesn’t mean you should feel obligated to experience it for yourself.

Play what you like. Challenge your tastes, but remember that games are there for fun. If it doesn’t sound fun to you to take a chance on something different, don’t. There’s nothing wrong with sticking with what you know as long as you’re having a good time!


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Posted by Shelby "Falcon509" Steiner

I'm just a gamer that enjoys talking about my hobbies. I do a little more than that too. I love cooking, grilling, being outdoors, going target shooting, etc.

24 Comments

  1. “Not everything is for everyone” is a great way of thinking about this. And that’s fine! You don’t have to play something if you don’t like it (something I’m trying to do with my Steam games right now).

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    1. There’s a freedom to be found in this realization.

      Liked by 1 person

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  2. Fully agree with this sentiment. I think a tie on piece to this though is that, just because you don’t like something, that doesn’t make it garbage. Too many times I’ve seen people dismiss games (and other things) because it isn’t their cup of tea (and on occasion, I too have been guilty of this). And not just dismiss them because they don’t like them but to dismiss other’s opinions of them. I wish we could get to a general acceptance of people’s opinions so that better conversation about what we like and don’t like about things can take place.

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    1. Not long ago I came to terms with what you proposed, that not liking something doesn’t mean it’s objectively bad. I think the best way to combat this is to see things through another’s eyes. Try to understand why they feel the way they do. Otherwise, all you’re doing is searching for an echo chamber to scream into.

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  3. Amen to this! It’s okay to love a type of game and to recognize that someone else might hate it. Cognitive dissonance is a sign of intelligence, after all 😉

    I also hear you about defending a game. I’ve been reading up on the “tribal thinking” and fanboy/fangirl nonsense, so I really like what you said about defending a game versus being at peace with your own gaming tastes/enjoyment.

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    1. It’s tough, because we as humans are very prone to tribalism. We seek out others that think like we do, and that’s how we end up with groups. That isn’t inherently wrong, until the groups begin trying to compete with each other over opposing views.

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  4. Absolutely, not all games will be enjoyed by everyone. People have different tastes and that is ok. As long as you enjoy what you play, whether within your comfort zone of go to genres/styles or outwith that the main thing should be if you are enjoying it or not. Also if someone doesn’t likes a game you don’t or vice versa that doesn’t mean either opinion is necessarily wrong just that people experience the game differently and have different opinions.

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    1. Bingo. To each his/her own. It’s not a bad thing to gush about something you love though, as long as that doesn’t mean you’re trying to shove that down someone else’s throat.

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      1. Exactly, gush over what you love and still write or talk about something you don’t particularly like. Just don’t criticise someone for disgreeing with your opinion, be respectful basically. It would be dull if everyone liked the same things anyway.

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  5. Thank you for this. I am, after a long time, starting to accept that there are games I don’t like – even when the critics do. I don’t enjoy Zelda games, or Mario, and I tried out a bunch of PS Plus games recently to weed out the ones I don’t get on with. And I feel better for it. I can spend time on games I do enjoy, and have more time for those games.

    The world would be dull if everyone had the same opinion.

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    1. That’s the ticket… There’s nothing wrong with not liking Zelda or Mario games. Hell, there’s nothing wrong with only liking AAA or major releases either. Some people just like certain things.

      It’s funny how much of a relief it is when you realize that you can relax and just play things that you want to play.

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  6. Very true! Last year Final Fantasy XIV was my most played game. It probably will be this year too 😀

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    1. MMOs are devious monsters like that. I’ve heard very good things about FFXIV. Not something I’m interested in, but I can definitely understand the appeal.

      I’m glad you’ve been having such a good time with it.

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  7. I think trying different games and just seeing what you enjoy is the WHOLE point! Like, I love RPGs, create your characters and quest type of games – yet dislike Skyrim.
    I am not a fan of FPS yet somehow enjoy the patoot out of Overwatch.
    I am loving Assassin’s Creed Origins, yet somehow was not able to get into Assassin’s Creed Syndicate (which is a shame because it seemed amazing when I was watching the husband play it).

    Honestly, there being such a variety is awesome because we DON’T all like the same thing and have different tastes. My friend who plays Overwatch with me LOVES Songs of the Deep and Ori and the Blind Forest. I like puzzles games more on my phone and not on console, so I tend to shy away from them.

    Honestly, it would be so boring if everyone stuck to one type of thing and not nearly as many games would be made. (And somehow I am looking at sports games and shoving them aside in regards to consideration because I just CAN’T. Only one that gained ANY interest was the one that had a story line with that one person…. only way I would play it to be honest.)

    I like that there are different types to suit different people and sometimes you get the ones that you try that aren’t the ‘norm’ for you and you enjoy. Heck, the fact that I have played games and not enjoyed the style is still good – it opened up my mind to try others I wouldn’t have otherwise.

    ….. I think I left my original purpose of my comment behind.
    But good entry, like always!

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    1. I appreciate you taking the time to comment. I agree with you about trying new things. I know that I would’ve been perfectly fine sticking with what I know, but I’m happy I branched out. Learning more about what you like is certainly not a bad thing!

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  8. I don’t really like Breath of the Wild so there’s nothing wrong with that?? Yay!! 😀

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    1. No, there’s something definitely wrong with you…

      Just kidding!

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  9. Exactly! This fits in with my “Let people enjoy things” mantra that I picked up from one of you find bloggers (I forget whom). I also think that if you don’t like something you’ve started playing, don’t spend more time on it than you need to. It’s why I stopped playing Final Fantasy Type-0 and Super Paper Mario. I used to feel obligated to finish things, but if you’re not enjoying it, there are so many other games out there, and I, for one, have almost 200 on my backlog where I own at least 50 of them in some shape or form. There are too many options to spend it playing something that isn’t going to bring maximum enjoyment.

    I love the “I’d rather be an uncultured swine than a pretentious douchebag.” 😀

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  10. Robert Ian Shepard January 17, 2018 at 20:39

    I just wrote a very similar piece for my own blog after watching the new trailer for the Nintendo Labo and dissecting my reaction to it. It’s good to know that many of us may struggle with this from time to time. I think being a part of the blogging community helps a lot with this because you begin associating games you don’t care about with the people you know who do. It becomes less “that game looks dumb” and more “oh hey, so-and-so would love that!” It helps you to see the hobby from other perspectives and to appreciate everyone’s tastes a little more.

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  11. Maybe thats the internets way of marketing to get you to play a game. I remember when The Last of Us came out, it was all anyone could talk about, and how you where missing out if you weren’t play it. Whatever if the game sounds appealing to my tastes I’ll play it, but if not who cares. I have played
    Super Mario Odyssey and it’s a blast.

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  12. Cheers to you, for stepping outside what you like and trying new things. Like you wrote, it’s like any other form of entertainment: music, shows, movies, etc; just because you like different things, doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong.

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  13. […] recommend reading You don’t need to enjoy everything if only for the line ‘I would rather be an uncultured swine than a pretentious […]

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  14. […] You Don’t Need To Enjoy Everything – Falcon Game Reviews […]

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