selfish baby

I’ve long criticised gamers (myself included) as being guilty of getting served big steamy bowls of poop and thanking the people who produced it gratefully.

This column isn’t about that though. I think I’ve talked that particular topic into an early grave, but in my latest, personal feelings of rage on that subject I had an unsettling epiphany.

Gamers only really care about themselves. In fact, I think we might just be selfish assholes.

Another Day, Another Horrible Launch

In case you missed it, the Watch Dogs PC release was kind of a disaster. Aside from Uplay crashing and burning due to day one server load, a big chunk of PC players also experienced all kinds of game-breaking bugs and issues, with some poor bastards not being able to play at all.

One such player was MyGaming editor James Etherington-Smith, who posted a scathing column on Ubisoft’s shoddy treatment of PC gamers (and rightly so), as well as updates on Ubisoft’s handling of the issue.

The articles made me mad – mad that a game that was pushed back, a game that’s supposed to one of the biggest releases of the year, arrived in consumers’ hands broken and unplayable.

The articles made other people mad too – mad at James.

confused cat

Wait, what?

Yup, while there were some like-minded individuals, the lion’s share of the comments section was made up of people complaining about these “whiny” articles and defending Ubisoft.

Why? Because their copies of the game worked, and they didn’t want to hear other people talking smack about their favourite game.

I was massively disappointed – where is the solidarity?

Look I’m not entirely naïve; I realise that gaming is no longer the marginalised subculture it used to be, I realise that the internet is a terrible, terrible place and I realise that in general human beings are self-serving and self-interested.

I know all of that, but still I expected more. Because next time, it could be one of them. Sure today you’re the guy whose Watch Dogs runs perfectly on first install, but come the next big release it could be you whose trolling through forums scouring for something, anything that might get your game past the loading screen.

Those of you reading this who are old enough to have been to a LAN that used coaxial cable instead of Wi-Fi, you’ll remember that every time without fail, one guy’s PC wouldn’t work.

And we’d all spend the obligatory hour or so pretending to care, but then that poor bastard was on his own. You had games to play.

That thing on the left is called a T-piece, and on the right is a terminator. And you were always, ALWAYS one short of one of them.

That thing on the left is called a T-piece, and on the right is a terminator. And you were always, ALWAYS one short of one of them.

That’s pretty much what we have now – as long as my game is working, I don’t care that yours isn’t. The sad thing is, a little reflection had me realising that I’d been guilty of this myself.


For example, in the Titanfall subreddit I frequently see posts claiming that Titanfall is “dead on PC” due to excessively long matchmaking queues. These posts are almost exclusively by people who are trying to play on the Australia/SEA servers.

But on Europe? I have no trouble at all, so those posts just annoy me. Don’t badmouth my favourite game you Aussie bastards, Titanfall is awesome!

As usual then, I’m part of the problem. But it isn’t just about us being selfish pricks, there’s a bigger issue here.

As long as we don’t get angry on behalf of the majority, as long as we don’t get mad when our fellow gamers get the short straw – that minority is going to continue to exist. Unlike most minorities, however, it shifts often and easily.

So next time the dice come up snake eyes and our R600 game crashes to desktop, we’ll realise that maybe we do give a shit after all.

Unfortunately, noone else will.