The Completist

Into The Sunset

I would like to dedicate this article to Ivano Palmentieri. A better man than I.

I’d also like to recommend everyone check out and support the wonderful work being done at Flappy Jam. It’s the indy gaming community at its finest.

My Confession

I have a confession to make; I made a mistake recently. A big mistake. I granted my hatred credence to run rampant through what would have normally been a constructive analysis of a video game. I outraged some people, embarrassed myself and proved once and for all that stupidity is never more than a couple of sentences away. I have no excuse. I knew from the start that I was above the drivel that you will frequently witness in the comments section below any Gamespot article, but alas, I conceded to hate. And I was rightfully punished for it.

It’s the easiest thing in life to say or think something negative. We do it every day, all of us, no matter how genuine we claim to be. It’s part of human nature. Two wrong sentences, at the wrong time, can change your life. Especially when put on a public forum. Thinking before we act is a gift not all humanity is graced with, myself particularly. I’ve learned this lesson before, and regretfully, I am learning it again.

I have a life philosophy that I am not always good at sticking to. It comes from a man named Dale Carnegie. That philosophy is this: “Any fool can condemn, criticize and complain, but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.” Yes, condemn, criticize and complain. Those three hateful verbs that all too often crawl their way into our vernacular, only to come vomiting out like the putrid filth that they are. Why the obsession with hatred and venom? Why is it so easy to tear someone or something down? Why do we do it? And especially, why does gaming so often get filled with this poison?

I have some theories. Many of our lives are complex. My life, (and many others I’m sure) leaves me with little time for gaming. When I do manage to secure that time, it’s a precious, positive and uplifting experience. It’s a euphoric sense of play that few other things in life are capable of enabling my brain to explore. Shouldn’t this rush of dopamine also create a positive energy to be used for constructive purposes? Isn’t this why we games writers write about our gaming experiences? We want to share that joy with the world and give people the understanding of how that particular game made us feel. Criticism is a part of this process, for without it, everything would be a shiny pot of gold. But sometimes, the warts can make that special game even more special.

That being said, people do love a good flogging from time to time. Many in society seem to relish bad reviews and unconstructive critiques. To the point where there are entire industries committed to focusing simply on the bad. The philosophy behind this is simple really. We can look to what is called “social comparison theory” if we want these answers. It’s a theory which states that people thrive on comparing themselves to others. A positive review may garner some attention, but a big, mean, blasphemous one can garner even more. When you read a negative review you are frequently reminded that what you are reading about is inferior, which in turn makes you feel superior. I think this theory can easily apply to gaming and many other forms of entertainment. It doesn’t excuse the fact that there needs to be lines of reason drawn in the sand, but it does explain why if say, someone is having a really bad day, they may, for instance, write the most vile thing they have ever written in their life. True story.

After some serious self reflection, I am realizing now more than ever that there is a vast difference between a constructive critique of a games failures, and an all out nonsensical attack. If you were one of the people who was unfortunate enough to read my “Flappy Bird” piece, I am truly sorry. The days since the original piece went up have been a self examination for me. And in that time, I simply cannot think of one thing I can defend about it. It was called “vile” and it was exactly that. There may be a place on the internet, or in Hell, for this kind of games writing, but not in my book and not on 1 More Castle. Everyone made the right choice on this matter except me. And for that, again, I am sorry. I have been humbled by this unfortunate circumstance that I myself caused, and am willing to make amends with anyone and everyone that I may have offended. The person who wrote that piece, is simply not who I am.

And now that I have made my peace, I would like to say that this will be the last article I contribute to 1 More Castle. My reasons for leaving are my own, but in the future, I will continue doing what I do best, which is constructive, immense and deep pieces of work involving video games. Especially retro games, for without them, I’m not sure I would have the inspiration to write at all.

In closing, I offer my heartfelt apology to everyone and my thanks to the editors of 1 More Castle for giving me the opportunity to express myself here on their wonderful website. Good luck to everyone and I wish you all the best.