Konami, Fallout 4 and how I learned to let go
The last couple of days have been a bit tumultuous for me when it comes to how I view gamers and myself. I've always loved gaming as an entertainment medium and perhaps even more as a social phenomenon, the shared sense of identity I feel when I talk to someone who also loves Fallout, the despair I share when something like Konami going off the rails happens. Gaming as a culture has been a significant part of my identity ever since childhood, so that's why it's pretty freaking scary when I realised I had to let some of that passion go.
Not too long ago I wrote a scathing rant against Konami for what they did to their IP, quickly retracted it and re-released it as a slightly less ranty version. I stand by the points I raised in that article but found myself shocked at how angry I was over a franchise I was only a casual fan of.
What made this so important to me?
To me it felt like the company who was responsible for some of the best games in the industry was dismissing us as gamers. To me it felt like a personal insult that degraded the culture I cared about deeply to the point of illegitimacy. Looking back I'm embarrassed at how personally it hit me.
A few days after I heard of an article that claimed Fallout 4 was a recycled Fallout 3 in disguise. Some of the commenters in that article were talking about how Fallout after the original two weren't part of the series at all and stated that 3 was the worst entry in the series. It's no new concept that nostalgia affects preference and Fallout 3 is old enough now that I'm probably a victim of it myself. I was perfectly ready to make my counter argument when I realised how much my nostalgia affected me, the more I thought about it the more I realised how valid their opinions were even if I didn't care for them myself.
I had to ask myself if perhaps I'm getting a bit too close to this whole gamer identity thing? As far as I'll ever be concerned games are art and the culture around it is no less legitimate than any other media but maybe I needed to re-evaluate my stance before I take to my keyboard high on my moral superiority. It's easy to forget I'm talking to real people.
Games are something I think I'll spend the rest of my life writing about but I'm not prepared to let my life only be about them.