Topic: Hive-Mind Gaming Mentalities

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I'm interested to see how this goes.

Gaming is still a relatively new art form in comparison to other formats like literature, film and television and definitely harbours a far more divisive and aggressive fan culture than the other listed mediums.

With many "loud", yet repeated opinions thrown around the internet by content creators, forum users, influencers, etc., I find that a lot of the same terminologies and negative opinions are frequently used and worn as a badge of honour by certain subcultures of the gaming universe.

With a string of subjectively divisive games releasing lately, but for very different reasons (e.g. The Last Of Us Part II, Paper Mario: The Origami King) I've been thinking about the ability we, as individuals and gamers, utilise to harbour critical thinking and opinion formation and how much we shift or adapt our "own" opinions to assimilate into certain cultures or groups for our own sense of comfort, identity or belonging - i.e. becoming members of the Hive-Mind whether it be intentional or a result of our environment.

This aside, what are your observations and perspectives on "hive mind" gaming opinions? And, if you're willing to be so honest, what opinions have you adopted or shared due to review scores, popular opinion or reputation without deducing a true opinion of your own?



@Coach_A This thread will become very bad as people will start throwing opinions as you said.

For me both Positive and Negative opinions are part of the hive-mind gaming thinking.

To dislike a game because someone else disliked it dumb.

To like a game because someone else liked it is dumb.


I think other art forms do share similar communities; music for example, in my experience, had it. Bands that got "too" popular suddenly become uncool with the original fans and such. I think the bigger difference is the era that its happening, gaming and the internet have grown up together and therefore its more visible.

My personal gripe is that almost zero games are ever going to appeal to everyone. Therefore there will always be people that don't like a particular game, and that's fine. I don't understand why people care enough to argue about something that is personal preference.

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@Zuljaras I agree with what you're saying which is why I thought this could be interesting.

What intrigues me more than what you said, however, is when people seem to dislike games not just because someone else did, but because of the exact same reasons as someone else. Voids critical thinking and subjective opinion formation entirely, but seems to be a very popular method of approach from my noticing.



How come I knew before clicking that this would be a reaction to Origami King.

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@OptometristLime merely a contributing factor.

Had a discussion with a friend over the reception to Last of Us Part 2 last night as he'd recently completed it. I am completely neutral on the topic of that game because I've not played either title, but my friend played the first game many times over.

From his perspective, the sequel eclipsed the first in almost every way. He had no gripes with **public enemy number one** and overall thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Another friend of mine had very similar experiences with the sequel. We then watched a few reviews (one specifically from YouTuber 'Dreamcast Guy' which paraded subjective experience that went hand in hand with the public "hive minded" negative opinion of the game as objective and cross referenced the fact he's read books on philosophy as if to reaffirm and validate his opinion to push it more towards fact - which it was not.

Following this I have neutrally observed the Paper Mario public opinion which is the exact same everywhere you look:

"I only liked the first two games and everything else after that went downhill. Sticker Star is the worst and I'm not looking forward to Origami King because it's not an RPG"

Curious to other people's perspectives, I made this thread.



@Mintendoll that's a very rational comment. Ultimately reviews are to inform people, in as much detail as possible and without spoiling plot points, whether or not a game is worth the price it is asking.

Reading a review and relating things to past personal gaming experiences is how they should be used, but the herd will usually have a "poisoned well" perspective of games that are associated with controversial leaks, past franchise entries or public outcry and use those points to unfairly judge a game.



@Coach_A Well it is ok to dislike the same things as other players. Especially for title like The Last of Us 2.

But I think this is over. The game has been dissected more than enough.

The user base is 50/50 and that is ok.

There is no way a game is 100% liked. There is no such game. But some games are generally more liked than the others. That is ok as well.


antdickens wrote:

I think other art forms do share similar communities; music for example, in my experience, had it. Bands that got "too" popular suddenly become uncool with the original fans and such. .

I never buy it's uncool now because it's popular thing.

It's often because the band have tried to broaden their music and lost their unique sound which is what made them popular even if the newer stuff is good like Metallica stopped being a thrash metal band for 10+ years, Red Hot Chili Peppers stop being raggedy music fusion to become a jam band, Queens Of The Stone Age losing their stoner rock vibe and intensity from the Songs for the Deaf line up etc or their later work doesn't meet the incredible high standards of their previous work which is annoying to their fans as their setlist become about promoting their new material despite offering amazing live shows with acts like Muse, Prodigy and Green Day coming to my mind.

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Arts (painting, music, movies, dances, games, etc) are something very subjective things.
What is good for one people is a bad for other people and vice versa.
It made by human so there is always love and hate from the appreciation.
People's favorites are always like Venn diagram.

Edited on by Anti-Matter

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It's less of a hive mind and more of a determined collection of mindsets, there is overlap but... it's definitely unfair to take a population and give them all a label. Hive mentality could describe certain manifestations of opinions or seem to be a function of buying habits yet it's nothing more than a buzzword when it comes to actually understanding the "why." Clusters of thought are certain to emerge around popular games and there is always going to be expectation in regards to a sequel. We all want to see new games fulfill their promise even if it seems like some relish the failures. I would say those are the fringe radicals and you must be careful to excise their voices when it comes to identifying the true motives of a particular thought group.

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The internet is dominated by written communication.

To successfully articulate one's point of view, particularly in writing (and especially on a smartphone, which is kinda fiddly) often takes time, effort, and I guess a moderate level of intelligence.

Because of those requirements, I would posit that quite often people forego investing time and effort, even if they have the requisite intelligence, and instead revert to writing something that is quicker to produce, and easier for the audience to 'understand'. And as such, people will often employ generalisations, buzzwords, memes etc. to express themselves as quickly as they can because they haven't got the time/mental energy/intelligence to produce something more nuanced.

Then of course, there's the desire to be noticed. The internet is way, way, way over-saturated with opinion. In an attempt to get your opinion heard you're gonna shout louder, you're gonna exaggerate, you're gonna dumb down what you're saying to maximize your audience, you're going to use bait etc. etc. Things start getting increasingly binary in appearance: you're either for or against; you love it with all of your soul or you hate it with a passion that that could fuel a sun.

Then finally, one of the primary uses of the internet (aside from porn access) is to make jokes. If people are anything like me, at least half of what they say is at least partially intended to be humorous (if not necessarily overtly). But not everyone seems to be in that mindset when consuming internet content. They take things too seriously, too literally etc. I will dip in to the 'hive-mind' stuff from time to time to make a joke, to parody it sometimes, to troll those who insist on taking things seriously.

I'd encourage everyone to try to lighten up, look for the funny side in everything, and not take opinions expressed about video games too seriously.

Edited on by gcunit

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Personally, I try not to be part of the hive mind, even if I do share some of the same opinions. Example, physical games with only a code in a box, why not just sell it digitally at that point? I share that opinion with others. More than opinions like that, I actually tend to form my own opinions based on my own experiences.

I love actually playing games, sometimes my experience may be different than someone else's. There's lots of games I like, if I stuck with what others say about a game, I wouldn't find many games I like. Sometimes, that hidden gem may be a game others are ignoring, or not looking at because a popular content creator says it's bad.

Will say, the hive mind is a bit worrisome for me. Example, I love the Sonic series, but a lot share the opinion that "Sonic isn't good." It's fine having opinions, will say personally it makes me a bit worried about being bullied for liking a game. Though with Sonic, it's still the same case with other games for me, I just play them decide from there. This is more of a personal worry, but it does stem from people thinking similarly.

Also, I feel some may just side with the hive mind to fit in. Just play the games you enjoy, it is fine to disagree over opinions on games and just enjoy them. Same goes for movies, music, etc. Games and other forms of entertainment are subjective, and will be different from person to person (haha, I think I'm hive minding with @Anti-Matter on that one, what he says is true about the arts).



I think a part of the equation is that a lot of people actually don’t have a huge amount of confidence in their own opinion. They might not even be entirely sure what their own opinion is.

Thoughts are mushy and confusing, and assembling them into a cohesive string of words can be an arduous and daunting task. Moreover, there is a degree of vulnerability involved in sending out one’s genuine, personal thoughts into the world, as a challenge to them is a challenge to one’s very self.

Many of these issues can be avoided by identifying an existing narrative and aligning one’s opinion with it. And most existing narratives posses some degree of sense or persuasiveness, otherwise they wouldn’t have come into existence in the first place.

Bit drunk at the moment, but I think the above is true to some degree.

EDIT: Just read GCunit’s post, and there’s a lot of overlap (maybe we’re 〜hiveminding〜). Should have read it earlier, but again, I’m a bit drunk. I think they’ve gone into issue with more depth that I have.

Edited on by Maxz

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I like unofficial reviews, i use to buy unofficiall nintendo magazine, and would read every page, reviews these's days are not great cause there not unofficial. only unofficiall magazine i can get is EDGE..


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