Friday, August 7, 2020

Promptapalooza: Toxic Fandoms -- A Snow Plow of a Quote

Things are rolling along quite nicely for Promptapalooza. I'm going to skip back a couple of days and talk about a prompt that The Ancient Gaming Noob handled for the group. 

"What is a favorite Quote/s, and tell us why"

Lately I have Twitter set to open, not on the home screen, but on one particular message that went a bit viral back in 2019 and continues to circulate and resurface.

Up until this point I didn't know who Al Snow was.  You may not know either. Basically he's a professional wrestler that had a lot of 90's and early 2000's WWF fame and creator of the "snow plow" wrestling move.

Gotta respect a guy who can toss someone on their head and not severely injure them. Then again, he's also the guy that wrestled a mannequin head.

At the end of the day . . . Al Snow is a professional entertainer. He's had a lot of air time on TV and understands "fandoms" probably more than most. 

This particular quote from Al Snow explains toxic fandoms perfectly.  

". . . you have a bunch of people, fans, that now have access and are privy to information but have no actual experience. And since they have the information, they think they now have knowledge and an understanding of a business that they've never been in . . . what's the problem with that? It leads to assumptions, and it leads to conjecture, and it also leads to contempt . . ."

Al's pretty wise for a guy who's wrestled a mannequin head. 

I can't tell you how much assumption, conjecture, and contempt I've seen thrown at entertainment companies.  It's unfortunate, because those doing it are "fans" -- albeit loud and falsely opinionated fans.  It's also unfortunate when those in the "entertainment company bubble" cater to a contemptuous vocal minority at the cost of the majority, who just want to be entertained. 

Happy Dueling!


Bhagpuss said...

That's a good quote. It always iritates me when people (fans, if you like) conflate what should be done with what can be done. Happens every single day in gaming.

Of course, the logic of the quote is reversible: professionals have the experience of producing the content but they really don't have the experience of consuming it. It's never going to matter to them in the same way it matters to a fan. It may well matter to them even more, of course, seeing it represents both their livelihood and their creativity, but "more" doesn't mean "same".

Which is why it's equally annoying when devs lose their cool and kick off on fans for not getting it. Neither side of the equation genuinely "gets" the other and crossing the fence, as when players become developers or pros quit and go back to being players, doesn't seem to grant dual understanding either, more's the pity.

Stingite said...

Yeah, losing your cool on fans would definitely be toxic behavior on the part of a dev. That shouldn't happen. I'm sure there are "toxic devs" out there.

But IMHO, devs should always consume their games.

For instance, the team I'm on just spent 3-4 months producing a mobile game, and I worked on it and played iterations of the game at every stage from paper prototype, to a digital prototype, to unity first iterations, to a full-blown PC and then mobile game platform production. When we launched, I paid for a VPN connection to play the game as if I was one of the gamers from New Zealand where we soft launched, to experience it as they do.

On top of this I've watched paid videos of players playing our game, so I can analyze how they play to see what they understand or don't.

I've put in, I don't know, hundreds of hours on a brand new game that's only in prototype.

This behavior should be the norm, not the exception.