There’s an episode of ‘The Simpsons’ where chairman Roger Meyers Jr. goes crazy on a focus group full of youngsters that want ‘realistic’ Itchy & Scratchy cartoons that are still swarming with magic robots. ‘You kids don’t know what you want!’ Meyers howls. ‘That’s why you’re still kids, ‘˜cause you’re stupid!’ Meyers might have a spiritual brother in Nintendo’s Reggie Fils-Aime, who recently lamented that gamers are impossible to satisfy.
‘One of the things that, on one hand, I love and, on the other hand, that troubles me tremendously about not only our fanbase but about the gaming community at large is that, whenever you share information, the perspective is, ‘˜Thank you, but I want more.’ ‘˜Thank you, but give me more.’ I mean, it is insatiable,’ Reggie told Kotaku. ‘For years this community has been asking, ‘˜Where’s Pikmin?’ ‘˜Where’s Pikmin?’ ‘˜Where’s Pikmin?’ We give them Pikmin. And then they say, ‘˜What else?”
If Reggie’s not happy, ain’t nobody happy.
Obviously, Reggie was venting his frustration over Nintendo’s unpopular showing at E3, and the fan backlash that followed. He still brings up an interesting point, though, and one that applies to game lovers across social, mobile, and console platforms: we’re kind of an entitled bunch, aren’t we?
We demand that developers give their undivided attention to our favorite franchises, then we moan about how there’s no new intellectual properties out there. We want free games, but we don’t want to deal with ads, or have in-app purchases pitched at us. And as far as mobile games are concerned, we want console-grade experiences, and we want them for 99 cents or less.
Of course, E3 is also a high-stress experience. So much is riding on each company’s press conference (and then we sniff about how E3 has lost its relevance, year after year), so passions tend to run up to the brim for that one particular week. Reggie was just worn out. He still loves all the children of the world. Right?
What do you think of his remarks, though? The Internet and smartphones have brought the gaming community in ways we never dreamed of barely a decade ago, but has all this scrutiny, contact, and communication cast a shadow over a pastime that’s supposed to be all about fun and escapism?