Why is it that I should be mocked because I still enjoy Japanese games?
The industry has changed over the past few years, and I can accept that — but I can’t accept some half-wit calling me a weeaboo because I enjoy the odd modern JRPG (a term I will address later) and collect classic import titles. My response to the term is generally less civilized than I’d like to admit.
My anger at being called a weeaboo comes from the lack of understanding more than anything else. It’s frustration at those who don’t understand how the industry got to where it is today. It’s disgust at those who judge a book by its cover and refuse to branch out. It’s sadness stemming from the knowledge that my core tastes aren’t shared among the majority of the gaming community anymore. It’s dismay at the idea that one day the industry will turn its back on genre and theme diversity.
It’s hard to wrap my head around the evolution of the gaming community, and I’m not going to get into pointing fingers here. I very well could do so, but why bother? What’s happened has happened, and there’s nothing to be done about it now.
I’m not going to speak on the differences between Eastern and Western-developed games either. I’m not going to laud my tastes as being superior. I know when a title is well-made and when it’s garbage, and I can admit when a game I enjoy is bad. What frustrates me is when a game is labeled as garbage because of its genre or the place in which it was developed.
I am not a weeaboo. I do not want to be Japanese. I do not watch anime, think Japanese culture and products are superior, or ignore games that are developed in the West. I just happen to enjoy the style of many of their games.
Why do people who enjoy classic-style console RPGs deserve to have a derogatory term thrown at them? A game should not be labeled or judged based on its country of origin.
It’s Not That Simple
I love the simple feeling of adventure I get from turn-based RPGs, getting killing sprees team-based FPS titles, mulling over my next course of action in 4X strategy games, getting perfect scores in rhythm games, struggling to survive in roguelikes, figuring out what to do next in adventure games, getting a good ending in visual novels, coordinating in ARTS/MOBA titles…
I love video games. Why does it matter where they come from?
I hate the term “JRPG” because it’s so vague. This is especially the case today, when Japan is putting out games that defy what people expect from Japanese titles. Dark Souls and Dragon’s Dogma are two recent titles that do just that. When a developer from Europe or North America makes an RPG with themes and gameplay similar to that of a game you would expect to have come from Japan, why is it still just called an “RPG”?
The discrimination in term reeks of ignorance. Since when is being ignorant about the industry and gaming itself acceptable among the community?
I’m not saying that the overall quality of Japanese-made games these days is as high as it used to be. I mean, the moeblob shit (it can be referred to no other way, I’m sorry) is pandering to the lowest common denominator — but lumping the quality titles with the garbage is unfair, lazy, and ignorant.
People who toss around the term “weeaboo” at the mere sight of a Japanese game need to open their eyes and recognize that they’re limiting themselves. Their tastes are no better, nor more justified, than anyone else’s.