The Dirtbags of Holding: You Don't Have To Like A Game Because It's Popular!
Once again, I'm expanding on a twitter rant I had a couple of weeks ago. This time, it was spawned because of various facebook posts I've seen over the past couple of weeks in regards to Keyforge. If I were to summarize these posts, it would sound something like: OMG WHY IS KEYFORGE SO POPULAR? IT'S A DUMB CARD GAME AND A WAY FOR FFG TO MAKE MONEY CALLING IT A UNIQUE GAME WHEN ITS ACTUALLY JUST A CCG WITH A NEW COAT OF PAINT!
Aww crap, I broke my shift key with that statement. Should have used caps lock. Anyways, I'm going to start this off with something that I THOUGHT was obvious: people have different tastes in games. Not everyone likes every game. No matter how hard you try, there's going to be a group of people who enjoy playing Cards Against Humanity. I've taught my Boards & Swords co-host Philip TONS of different board games, yet he still insists that Munchkin is the greatest game of all time. Personally, I don't understand why people love Dominion so much.
Yet, you don't see me writing diatribes on facebook talking about what a garbage game Dominion is and I don't know why people play it. Sure, I do joke around about some bad games on the podcast, but that's more to get a laugh rather than to hate on a game that I don't like. I still don't understand why The Mind became the board game phenomenon it did this summer, but I acknowledge that some people really like it and move on.
Keyforge is EXTREMELY popular. Oh yeah, FFG is going to be raking in the cash with this game. But the game isn't for everyone. If you are the kind of person that likes building a deck for these type of 1v1 card games, then no, Keyforge isn't for you. If you are a person that likes extremely complex Euro games, it's probably not for you either.
As the hobby continues to grow and draw in more and more people, this is only going to magnify this issue. This is why when people talk about how companies are churning out game after game and flooding the market I just shake my head. Every publisher has already figured out that nobody is going to like every game, so they have to flood the market with a bunch of games to appeal to the largest audience possible I.e. make as much money as possible.
So we've established that you aren't going to like every game out there – so why do people have to hate on a popular game just because they don't like it? I'm not an expert on social dynamics, but I would wager it has to do with that desire to fit in. People don't understand when a thing is popular and they don't "get it". That's why older people make fun of "kids and their snapchat". They don't get it, so let's bemoan them and make ourselves feel superior. Same with board games. These haters think that if they rattle off their opinions about how terrible it is, A) they will come off as some superior gamer and B) they will convert people to "their side". No you wont. You aren't going to get me to hate a game I love because you despise it – if anything you are just going to make me hate you.
As fellow nerds/geeks/whatever, we are supposed to be better than this. We should be embracing everyone's unique tastes, not belittling them because they aren't like ours. So the next time you get the urge to rage against a community for liking a game, why not instead say "well I don't like it, but I'm glad you are excited by it". You aren't going to convert people to gaming by blasting them for liking games you don't.