When Nerd Rage Is IllogicalMay 8, 2010
Well, I suppose one can argue that “nerd rage”, or the emotional, indignant and often incoherent objections brought on by video game-induced frustration, will always be illogical simply by definition alone. Still, every now and then I’ll come across a grievance on a message board or some other public forum and find myself sympathizing with its author, even if I haven’t personally experienced his or her predicament. Some complaints, however, I will never truly understand. For example, I admit it does baffle me a little whenever I see a long angry diatribe railing against how some trivial combat mechanic or another isn’t matching up with what’s established in an existing IP.
I do want to say that I’m pretty deep into several IP-based games at the moment, and I respect lore and canon as much as the next gamer. I’m a lore-geek at heart, and I’d be pretty pissed too if a game I’m playing suddenly starts taking flippant liberties with a beloved franchise. But there are differences between sweeping changes versus the small ones that don’t really matter in the greater scheme of things. For instance, I think saying something like, “Star Trek Online is too combat-heavy for the IP and should be balanced with a better variety of diplomatic missions” is a much more legitimate demand than, say, “What the hell, Cryptic, why aren’t my insides immediately melted away by alien cells when I fight the Undine? Bad, dev, bad!” Seriously, even if they could feasibly work it in, why would you want that? I saw what happened to Harry Kim, and it was not pretty!
Likewise, I get that the lightsaber can cut through most substances and that arms and hands have the tendency to go popping off left and right in the Star Wars movies (pun totally intended), but I just don’t understand the fixation some people seem to have with dismemberment! I for one would be pretty upset if my limbs were to go flying off each time I duel a Jedi in Star Wars: The Old Republic, not to mention something like that would probably warrant a Mature-rating. And I could care less how many arms a mature Gundark should really have, just let me kill it.
Ahh, best not to sweat the tiny things, and just enjoy the fact our favorite movie/book/tv show etc. even has a game based on it. Star Trek, Lord of the Rings, Hello Kitty or whatever, I think most do a pretty good job! Hey, if it’s part of an expanded universe, chances are that whatever’s chafing you will eventually be ret-conned out and explained somehow anyway. “Cacophinzer rounds“, anyone? Hee hee.