Just lately I’ve had a rash of comments on the blog and Twitter bad mouthing the models and games I’ve been reviewing, as well as my general like for those products. One or two comments have valid points but the vast majority are from, what I’d call, Snidey Gamers.
I should address one comment which is; why do I, generally, like the things I review. There’s two reasons. The first is that I try to review things that interest me. As a veteran gamer I try to find stuff that’s original and therefore a different experience. The second is that nothing is without worth. A game may not always be my bag but I can see the what the writers were trying to achieve or a rule that works really well. I don’t have to want to play the game to see that it’s good. Regardless, so long as someone enjoys the game then writers can sleep easy in their beds knowing that they’ve given enjoyment to a member of the wargaming community. Success is not an acumen of profit. And for those two reasons I will defend games and games developers to the hilt because:
Writing a game is hard.
Writing a good game is extremely hard.
Writing a good game that gets published is almost impossible.
Writing a good game that gets published and that people actually buy & play makes you as Gods in my book.
Everyone knows at least one Snidey Gamer if they visit any hobby store or gaming club with any regularity. They’re the kind of gamer that just doesn’t dislike something, they hate it, viscerally, almost irrationally. Yet, unlike Haters, they seem to dislike things because they’re different. When challenged their arguments are based on generalities and if you attempt to challenge them they quick to make it personal or pass comment that you’re beneath their notice. A Snidey Gamer will hate you because you collect armies they hate.
The Snidey Gamer will write off a game because it isn’t as polished as the games they already play.
The Snidey Gamer will claim that no one plays the games they don’t like. This is usually based on no one he knows playing it.
The Snidey Gamer will criticise a model range because they all look a little similar whilst at the same timing failing to acknowledge that most model ranges follow the same design trends.
The Snidey Gamer will think they can do a better job yet has no way of backing it up.
The Snidey Gamer will think they’ve won a personal victory if you give up and leave them to a sad facsimile of our hobby.
Snidey Gamers are such a problem because they will vocally criticise members of our community without every looking at the positives. Their arguments are entirely weighted towards the negative and they will never listen to reason. And don’t kid yourselves, writers, sculptors, designers etc are all part of our community too because without them we wouldn’t have a community. I’m not saying we shouldn’t have opinions or they shouldn’t be voiced but the Snidey Gamer is, well, snide, spiteful and superior in their opinions and utterly blinkered with it. Yes it’s their opinion but some opinions are just, simply, wrong.
There’s little we can do to tackle a Snidey Gamer. Their need to be right makes them impossible to debate the hobby, which is normal and healthy, so all we can is try not to be one. We have the best hobby and community in the world with plenty of models and games to choose from so there’s no need to tear downs the ones we don’t want to play.