The Great Divide

There’s something to be said about divisions in regards to gaming and how it changes overtime. We went from increasing graphics in bits and resolutions, and online and offline, and now subscriptions and vr. There’s always a divide in between the people who want the “traditional way”, and what the next generation wants. A lot of the division that you see in the gaming community is how to consume and what is the best way to consume and what are the best things to consume. There’s obviously only one answer, do what works for you. I feel that there’s a division amongst people who talk about gaming in this regard and it leads to toxicity in conversations. People shoot down ideas that are different from their own for whatever reason.

I think the best thing about gaming is the how games are different in any form, whether it be how you consume, how you play, who you play with and how you accomplish that, etc… instead of comparing what is better than the other. I think we as a community can lead people to experiment with other experiences if we use a language that is not putting down something but more highlighting why something takes an approach to that title or how it is good for that title. I’m not saying every game is good, but obviously that’s up to that specific person. I’m just saying that there’s a divide in the community that fosters discussion in a negative way that I believe we as a community should try to move away from.

I kind of rambled, sue me.


The gaming industry hasn’t fully matured yet. I think it’s on the brink. One area that needs to improve in order for the industry to continue to move forward is overcoming the tribalism and toxicity within the community. Trying to downplay everything that doesn’t fit into a box in terms of expectations holds the industry back from taking risks.

Imagine if people yelled at each other about their favorite foods the way they fight about their favorite piece of plastic or gaming ecosystem. “You like eating at buffet’s? They devalue chicken over there!” Or “Why do you eat that Italian trash? Real foodies eat Mexican!”

The gaming industry has never had as many talented creatives receiving this much funding to make as much diversity of creative content at better values while being accessible to more people both from a creative and consumer standpoint. I don’t understand trolling as an outlet to express enthusiasm. It’s time to do better.


I’m all for the diversity and advances in gaming and how people consume gaming, especially if the result is more people enjoying these games.

My only hesitation is if new norms comes at the cost of old methods that benefit gamers. On a recent Xbox podcast Major Nelson tried to spin it that gamers already own games when subscribed to GamePass but this is categorically false. When you pay for a subscription, you pay for the privilege of using that content, you don’t own it. No one would claim they own seasons 1-3 of Stranger Things by being subscribed to Netflix. That narrative just bothers me and doesn’t really respect the ownership many consumers values. It also leads into another potential issue of locking content behind a sub like we see with Game Pass perks. I see nothing wrong with adding value to a Game Pass subscription, it’s really a great idea, but it shouldn’t come at the cost to other people who can’t or aren’t subscribed to Game Pass. It also presents a slippery slope where if gamers start to accept that as the new norm, it gives them leeway to lock betas or worse, entire titles behind a subscription. At that point, this isn’t any different than forcing an online DRM like so many argued against leading up to the Xbox One launch.

So I love the idea of different options for gamers when it opens up markets to people who would otherwise never be able to experience this awesome industry. I just hope they respect us consumers by making them all options open for the player to choose how they engage with the content they want to play.

Soccer still has its football hooligans and toxic fans. It’s not specific to gaming. The problem is we give the toxic people way too much attention. Because divisive rhetoric is sadly how algorithms prioritise exposure, you get influencers using division as a vehicle for platform growth, then susceptible people piggyback on that. It’s sad, but I don’t know if its a maturity issue in the industry itself.


Hey Jez, welcome to the forum! Completely agree as well. Toxicity gathers too much attention and with so many people becoming more tribalistic in and out of gaming, it’s going to be a hard problem to tackle.

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Really good points. Can’t dispute that negativity drives clicks…and business. To be fair, there are toxic outlets regarding movies and TV too. The difference seems to be the level of tribalism that makes it so much more effective in the gaming industry. You mentioned soccer…and I think that leads us to the difference from other creative platforms. The gaming communities have turned console sales into a sport. I believe a lot of gamers favorite game over the past 20 to 30 years has been system wars. Seeing the casualty of the sport (Sega) intensified the stakes in it.

I’m hoping that as pieces of plastic have less relevance to the stability of platforms, it begins to deteriorate. There will still be people fishing for clicks with negativity but I don’t think they’ll be able to rile up the masses as effectively when the masses aren’t trying to protect their plastic.

Regardless it’s counter to why most people game. At least for myself, I game to step away from the tribalism and toxicity I can find at every turn on the news. When I think of my favorite gaming moments over the past 40 years, many of them were shared with other people.

Also…welcome to forums Jez! Awesome to have you here man!

Nice to see you here Jez. And yes, excellent point: toxicity attracts more toxic people, but also heavily disagreeing people will be gravitating towards the controversy for another reason. One of the goals of this forum is to avoid that kind of negative concentration that has invaded many other venues. It’s one thing to be critical of a product, it’s another to concern troll, insult others or hyperbole everything into the best thing ever or the smelliest turd ever created.

I agree that Major Nelson shouldn’t have said that you own it, as you don’t. I will also say that you don’t “own” any game that you buy, you own a license to use it. That goes for physical and digital. Alanah had a podcast the other day that had a conversation about this as well, talking about subscriptions and how it can effect the market.

I think that we’ve already seen some of this “locking behind” something when it came in the form of digital games and it started last generation. When we started DLC, if you were only able to get things that were offline, you were basically screwed. Any of the XBLA titles, you were able to get them unless you had bandwidth. A lot of gaming went online and it did segment the market in a big way. It went even further this generation where there are just online only games. There’s always a cost as things go forward and new norms form. If you don’t have bandwidth, you aren’t going to experience gaming the same way that others do. Online DRM is basically already here, it’s just disguised and the focus isn’t on it as much because a large portion of the community is online. Games, even single player ones having day one patches is one form of that. We have plenty of games that are only downloadable that people who aren’t online just don’t experience. That’s why we have companies like Limited Run Games.

I understand that it is a difference between it and a subscription, however, I am saying that these types of trends and changes happen as time goes on and new norms happen. As we get older, there will be things that we don’t agree with but because we won’t be the biggest deciding factor, businesses won’t care as much. Right now we have more of a voice in the discussion because of our place in the market. Once the market grows beyond “us”, we won’t have that type of say anymore.

I don’t disagree with what you are saying, I am just stating the realities. :slight_smile:

Agree 100%. I just hope that as long as we do have a voice that matter that people do speak up against trends that negatively impact us as gamers. It’s for this reason that I was disappointed when no one pushed back against Major’s spin and silence on this type of narrative only helps accept it as a norm, which isn’t good. Granted I know I don’t 100% own my digital titles but I can at least play most of them if I’m offline. The same won’t be true if everything is locked behind a sub.

Yea, we shall see. I imagine things will be different in 10 years.