Entitlement, thy name is gamer – do studios owe us anything?

Vinewood GTA V

I’m not excluding myself from this discussion, but the current state of affairs in gaming is quite sad. Yes, gaming is an entertainment business, but it seems that we far too often forget that businesses have to operate, quite frankly, in a business manner. More importantly, those businesses are operated by humans with needs apart from the gaming industry, and that’s a point we, as well as fans of other entertainment genres, seem to forget often.

I confess that these thoughts have been on my mind for some time, but it often takes a monumental game or game news to trigger a backlash of gamers who encapsulate the issue. Such a situation arose when Rockstar mentioned that it would post a new game trailer for GTA V sometime this week. Those plans were then disrupted by Hurricane Sandy, which didn’t fare too well with a few gamers today after Rockstar posted a video of a musician playing the theme to GTA: Vice City

This second comment drew what was perhaps the best response from the community I’ve seen yet:

Isn’t that the truth? We are, in every facet imaginable, a culture driven by the idea of instant gratification. However, some studios – notably Rockstar and Valve – embrace an entirely different approach to their game releases. There’s a mentality that drives those studios to produce content when and how they prefer; granted, that plan is not feasible for many smaller, less independent studios. But the refreshing part of that is that I am okay with waiting. I repeat -okay with waiting. There is nothing detrimental that occurs by being patient. It is, in the words of poet (yes, I went there) Kay Ryan, “a place with / its own harvests.” If you are angry at anyone, be angry at yourself for allowing priorities to become misaligned.

Please remember that I am just as guilty of this; waiting for Mass Effect 3 and Skyrim over the past year was excruciating, or so it seemed. Looking back upon that time, I realize that my time and energy spent complaining for those games prohibited me from participating in the actual community of family and friends around me. Don’t let yourself get to the point where a monumental disaster becomes insignificant in your eyes, and you angrily start complaining about your own interests. Gaming, though it can be community driven, also has the potential to isolate you from whatever truly matters in your life.

Perhaps we can learn a lesson from all this:

Other people and their needs, regardless of whatever entertainment medium seems incredibly important to you, must always take precedence. With that said, best of luck Rockstar and to all Eastern coasters in your recovery from the storm. We – the gaming community – can wait.

Just remember to not be this guy –

If you decide to go that route, I hope that our response isn’t quite this rough, but something similar –

Best wishes Rockstar.

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