Gamer Fallacy: Play Everything *This is an analysis of behavior that impacts anyone with a hobby but is observed most commonly in the wild to the sub-category of Homo sapiens known as gamerius maximus. You don’t have to consume everything to be a gamer. You don’t need to play games constantly, or even a majority of your time, to be in “The Know” – an elusive state of being where you logged sufficient hours or consumed an adequate amount of games journalism to discuss topics from a place of authority with a valid viewpoint. Once you play all these games…then I’ll listen to your opinion on what’s the best RTS. It’s okay to have other hobbies, take breaks from gaming or just cherry-pick the best titles (or even not so good ones that look interesting) and still be a gamer. There is [oftentimes] a stigma amongst gamers where you must know everything and played the best, of the best with honors to form an opinion. If you’re ‘missing’ a critical piece of information in your gaming library your view becomes void immediately. The deficiency in your play-history invalidates your opinion and any meaningful input you can offer to the conversation. Here are some sample interactions that occur hundreds of times a day throughout the net (that’s not hyperbole…go check Twitter, Reddit or NeoGaf): RPG Fan: My favorite Final Fantasy game is IX. Elitist Gamer: Have you played VI? RPG Fan: ….no, the first one I played was VII on the PSX. Elitist Gamer: lulz…noob. The series took a real nosedive and became angst-ridden when VII came out. Cloud and Zidane are nowhere near as awesome as Terra. Old-School Gamer: Super Metroid is the greatest game ever made. Newer Gamer: I heard it inspired Tom Happ when he created Axiom Verge. I should pick it up on Virtual Console someday. Old-School Gamer: WHAAATTTTT!?!? You’ve never played Super Metroid!?!??!?!?! I’m sure you’ve encountered similar attitudes or maybe even displayed them yourself when someone hasn’t played your favorite game and dared to discuss the genre or era without intimately knowing everything which occurred related to the topic. I know I’ve been guilty of this – sorry Tim. But it’s okay for people to form an opinion and not know everything. Gaming is perhaps the most exhausting entertainment hobby to keep up with. Games take anywhere from 10 to 100 hours to complete (even more to see ‘everything’ the game has to offer) and there are numerous new releases every Tuesday…or Friday randomly every now and then. Movies, books, comics, television and anything that doesn’t take thousands of hours to master is easier to keep up with than gaming. It is growing more absurd to play everything. It isn’t even realistic to play every AAA title that comes out in a given year with budget and time constraints. Instead of belittling someone’s opinion we should be gracious and realize that their favorite game of the year is based on a limited sampling size and they don’t need to play everything. It doesn’t invalidate their belief, just places it in a slightly different perspective. If you didn’t own all these controllers then you aren’t a REAL Gamer There is no must-play list. There is no video game guidebook or trophy list you can complete to be an “informed gamer.” There will always be someone who knows more, plays more and is able to recall their entire library with 100% clarity. We should strive to recommend games where it appears someone is missing a superb entry in their library we believe they will enjoy instead of condemning them for not having the exact same taste as ourselves or opportunities to play what we’ve been exposed to. It’s okay if you missed a game or a thousand and still want to jump into the conversation; your opinions and beliefs are always welcomed …unless you haven’t played A Link to the Past… Have you ever argued with someone who hasn’t played game X? Have you ever been criticized for not playing game Y? Level Up, Friends!