The musings posed by the author are only his, do not reflect the opinions of the Oprainfall staff as a whole, and are meant to create an open dialog with readers. Enjoy.
There’s something I need to get off my chest from the last few weeks.
The past few years, I’ve gone to a number of funerals. Pretty much all of them have been for older people (by which I mean people 60 and up.) However, except for two who lived well into old age, most of those died due to things like complications from a stroke or cancer – the former happening to my old elementary school principal.
However, there was one that I’ve never talked about outside of the family, not even to friends at school. This I’m going to address today.
I had a cousin who was about a year older than me named Matthew. Now, Matt was a gamer and a sort of connoisseur of technology. Whenever anything new came out, he would be the first to know and pretty much know it by heart. It was from him that I would learn things like why Blu-ray would eventually beat out HD-DVD (f.t.r. he was a big proponent of Blu-ray in its early days).
Now, as I said, he was a connoisseur of technology, preferring higher tech or lesser stuff. So, obviously, his consoles of choice were the Xbox 360 (particularly for games like Halo and The Elder Scrolls) and the PlayStation 3 (because of the Blu-ray). That’s not to say that he never tried playing the Wii. He would try out some stuff whenever he was at my other cousins’ house. Ultimately, he never purchased the system; probably because it was lower resolution (which bugged him; and not just for the Wii but with everything). But he did see the positives of the system and saw the positives in the controls (though he preferred standard controls over motion controls).
Matt passed away on July 3rd, 2011, at the age of 25 from a massive heart attack while doing another thing that he loved: wakeboarding. It’s a strange thing how you can make your peace with the passing of one relative – as I did with my Grandma on my dad’s side of the family after years and years of battling dementia before finally succumbing a few months prior – yet have your life feel so thrown off when another happens so instantly. There really is no way to describe it. I’m still not quite sure if I’ve fully accepted it.
As a bit of a side note, another 25-year-old died on the same day in the same area. His family had their viewing in the same funeral home at the same time as Matt’s.
So, why am I telling you all about this? Because, ultimately, he was one of my influences in gaming while growing (in case they’re reading this, pretty much all of my game playing cousins and siblings have an influence on my game collection). Sure, I never had the same systems that he did (at least, at the same time as he did). But I’m sure it was because of him that I do things like play Gauntlet: Dark Legacy, why I backtrack after a few years and purchase an old PlayStation to play the games he played, and why I have a love/hate relationship with the Sonic series. And, perhaps most importantly, it’s why I can appreciate what each major console has to offer, as he pretty much had them all the last few generations – with a couple of exceptions.
So, when I see things like what happened over the past couple of weeks with Rayman Legends, it pisses me off. I’m not talking about the action by Ubisoft. Ubisoft has every right to do what they want with their product (I am upset about it though and I’ll get to you soon enough, Mr. Guillemot).
What I have a problem with is the reaction to things like this. Now, I’m not talking about expressing your dissent with the publisher (heck, this website is the result of dissention with a publisher; my stance: have at it). I’m talking about people who decided to take this opportunity to bash a console maker that had little to do with the decision.
And for the record, I wasn’t too happy about the reaction to the Bayonetta 2 announcement, particularly when it continued after all the information of the development was revealed.
And it’s not in just those two cases either. It amazes me that I keep seeing arguments between fanatics of each console. I realize that the companies try to do stuff like that during advertisements in order to position themselves in a better light. But for fans to fight these wars…
Guys, life is too damn short to be constantly mad about a few pieces of plastic. It’s not worth fighting over like this. Can you debate? Sure, that is if you can actually debate. But going into an all-out war with another fandom isn’t worth the headaches.
To the Nintendo fanboys, quit yelling about how the other consoles and their games lack true innovation or creativity. Besides, they won’t listen to fans of a standard definition system.
To the Sony fanboys, quit flaunting how your system is more powerful than the others. Besides, no one knows how to program properly for it.
To the Xbox fanboys, quit mocking the other fandoms for their crappy ports. Besides, not everyone has the money to replace a quarter of the systems they buy because of faulty design.
To the Matts of the world, to those who can find the positives of greater technologies and can appreciate simple innovations, I hope you enjoyed the 7th generation. And I hope you have enough money left to enjoy the 8th generation.
As for me, I’m going to keep playing games and appreciate the technology behind all of this. And I’ll make sure that I’ll be well informed about it, too.
After all, someone else has to tell the family about it now.