Keep your hipster out of my indie (MMO)

In one of my recent article’s comments section, I received a normal variety of comments. In this particular article I got a (laughable) much lower number of comments when compared to most of my other articles, but plenty of people visited. It’s possible that Illarion, the game I covered for this particular post, was just uncommentable. (Yay! New word!)

More likely is the fact that I did not get much from the game, something I explained and have talked about before, and this effected (affected?) the reader’s want for commentin’. This happened with this particular game because I have had to abandon my normal practice of picking out MMOs at random for two reasons:

1) I’ve covered so many that I am to the point that I might be grabbing a game that does not work, literally

2) My newbie first impressions already do not cover much of the games I find, but in some titles I will literally barely get past a tutorial in a week/10 hours of play. So, I start playing the game — if I can — the week before.

– but in this case (Illarion) I literally started playing the game the same week. If I would have buffered it, I would have saved myself an article.

Basically, I buffer and overlap my games now. I have to. Sure, I can name 200 titles I have never covered, but of those 50 percent would be (I know MMOs, trust me) the same, grindy crap I’ve talked about before and much of the rest would be in some unplayable state. So, the first comment was off because it showed that not only did the reader NOT read my article, but was completely unfamiliar with the post series:

You know, you sure have a way of making a really simple short story long and drawn out. This whole article could be summed up in one paragraph and the video could of been a minute long but you some how make it 31 minutes long.

He was basically telling me that, somehow, I should have written 20 words and expected to have my editors go “That’s cool, Beau.” If anything, he’s sort of off-hand complimenting me for my story-telling abilities. More likely is he just wanted to insult me. Don’r worry, it never works. I critique myself harder than any comment can, and the only real stinging comment is one that makes no sense. Which brings me to the next comment…

Beau is his number one fan; it would be cruel and unusual punishment, (in his mind),  for the rest of us plebs, if we weren’t regaled with his indie hipster awesomeness.

Ta-DAH! Now, I only bring this up because I am officially lost when it comes to what a hipster is. We’ve talked about it in gaming and general conversation a lot. I thought it meant, essentially, someone who chose a certain fashion: knit caps in Summer, those super-tight jeans, someone who uses Instagram and who hates everything. If this is the case, then why have I heard the word “hipster” being used to describe myself lately?

Look, seriously — this is a scientific pursuit. I am no more hurt when someone calls me a hipster than when someone says I have a second nose growing off of my back — it’s just not reality. I think.

I do not own a single pair of tight jeans, do not use Instagram (the one photo I have that looks like I used it was a legitimate mistake with the lighting. Yes, I’m explaining this.) I do own a knit cap but wear it when it’s, you know, cold and….

…wait a minute….I DO HATE EVERYTHING.

OK, I don’t, actually but let’s set the record straight here.

First, I know it might have to do with my big, black glasses. Don’t hipsters wear big, black glasses? The difference? Mine are the result of the fact that I have terrible, terrible, vision. Cheap frames are (ask the military) big and black. If I get big and black frames, they can hold my massively thick lenses…the lenses are the true cost with glasses. With my poor vision, a pair can cost several hundred dollars if I went fancy. So, that can’t be it.

It must be my apparent hate for “AAA” gaming. That’s gotta’ be it. I hate “AAA” games. That’s hipster, to hate corporate…something something. (Yet, I work for AOL.)

Of course, this is so far from the truth it is laughable, but — to be fair — you would have to have known me before my job description read “covers indie, free-to-play and browser MMOs” to know that most of my time online so far was spent playing and later covering “AAA,” “mainstream” MMOs. Hell, I STILL cover them.

People take their games seriously. They do. They see my dislike of RIFT (I never said I hated it, and admitted to what it did correctly in my opinion) or laughter at a 200 million dollar game like SW:TOR coming out as blandly as it did and they think that I am trying to cover indie games because, you know, I’m a hipster and AAA games aren’t as cool because everyone likes them and I only cover games that no one likes. I guess? Again I reference the games I cover and the thousands — or millions — of other fans of those games.

I’m only curious about this because I wonder if others think “he uses the word indie because he thinks it’s cool.”? Do people really think that games are covered by people who hate the games they cover? I know that there is a large number of dipshits who think I get paid directly from game companies (yes, even the companies I hate on) but why would I use the word INDIE over and over? Why? Why DO I cover indie games?

Because I am a gamer, and they are games. And, reason number one: find me another person who covers indie MMOs (a tiny group within a group) as much as I do and I will buy you a burger and fries. It’s just not that common. That’s why indies stay indies, and I simply enjoy giving them a chance at some coverage. Ask your favorite indie MMO dev about coverage and how much they get, much less on a major site. Hell, even sites like indiegames.com hardly cover indie MMOs!

Remember, it’s in my job title to cover indie titles. It has been for quite a while now. Yes, hanging out with indie MMOs does rub off on me like hanging out with a certain styled group might run their style off on me a bit, but I am almost 40 years old, I think I can write about what I like simply because the subject matter thrills me.

I am — and this is the god’s honest truth — more thrilled when I find some indie gem than when yet another “AAA” game comes out and promises to change all of MMOdom. Big, bloated games that require big, bloated machines to run just do not pull my chain anymore. I’m done, it’s over.

Of course I can enjoy big-budget entertainment and have favorite movies, bands and games that are definitely “AAA.”

The point is that this is what turns me on: indie. Browser. Tiny. A bit busted. Rough.

I can’t explain it, but I love to cover those games.

Of course I know that trolls just be trollin’…but I am now lost when it comes to what “hipster” means and am a bit sad that “hipster” is now, in the opinions of some people, the same as “indie.” That’s so….odd. Just another way that indie games might be overlooked. Yes, I’m serious.

Hipster is bad. Indie is good. Right? I thought that supporting cool, new ideas and independent games, music, art and whatever else you got was a good thing. It’s not cool — it just is what some people like to do. And, contrary to seemingly popular gamer belief, you can have “AAA” games on your PC alongside indie darlings. It is possible, I promise. How odd that gamers see many of their choices as a political statement, still. How incredibly oddball. (Of course, many of those “gamers” should actually be called “____ Online fan”, not a fan of multiple games.)

So, anyway, don’t call me a hipster. It’s just so funny because the only thing that gets me close to the definition of a hipster is the fact that I do hate so much in gaming. It’s a very bland, stupid landscape of shit a lot of the time. A LOT of the time. (see: E3.) But I wouldn’t be so immersed in the world of gaming if I hated more than I loved. That’s just common sense. And I talk about indies because, well, it’s my job.

Anyway, I couldn’t sleep. I need to ask one of those kids I follow who do nothing but post memes all day what a hipster is supposed to be. Surely they know.

Beau

4 thoughts on “Keep your hipster out of my indie (MMO)

  1. I really like it that you cover games most never mention!
    Also, many young people today use words with absolutely no idea of their original meaning. So much so, that they add incorrect definitions to the urban dictionary website and try to hijack the entire meaning of the word. Hipster isn’t what I was thinking of, but it’s a great example of young people having a very different opinion to those just a decade older. To me, indie was always vaguely cool merely because they dared to produce in the face of the big corporates. To be independent is to have the freedom to be new and different. Where others will force in game adverts, indies won’t, but the game might be in black and white. Nobody can argue that minecraft wasn’t a hit, from what I hear, despite not requiring a graphics powerhouse. Yet we have all met gamers who judge a game based solely on graphics. I think you’re cool, beau, and different, in a really cool way. To me, a hipster is someone who likes something merely to look cool, but without any real understanding of why said thing is cool. You’ve a wealth of knowledge on indie mmos, AND the aaa titles, as you say, so it’s not without reason that you think this genre is worthy. Only others, inexperienced, young and judgemental perhaps, would accuse you as such. I made a conscious effort to not involve myself in comments sections, but I see an author doesn’t have that luxury. I feel guilty that I just stalk so many worthy people/sites/podcasts, and withhold participation. I’m spread so thin, over so much media. Plus, you know, real life. Best wishes.

  2. Keep doing what you’re doing. It’s a great avenue to pursue, and frankly one I wish I would’ve gotten into long ago.

    All those comments and junk are just that, junk. It’s a weird side-effect of gaming. People apply meaningfulness in life to games and consoles and PC gaming, when ultimately they are just forms of entertainment.

    That’s my beef why triple-A games are spending so much money and pumping out games like SWOTOR, which may be, fun, and that’s fine-and-dandy, but that’s a lot of cash for the result we got.

    There’s too much other stuff getting in the way of gaming right now. Indie is fastly showing itself to be where some unbridled silly fun is coming from, and I mean that in the most endearing way. Silly, can sometimes be the most fun of all. We don’t need “seriousness” /grrr and somekind of raid progression through WoW and other games that literally are riddled not with gun game design, but with checks and balances based off how to make more money while just keeping players spinning their wheels. And that’s not a flat statement saying dungeons are dumb and nothing else. It’s just on observation of things.

  3. OK, first comment here Beau, I found your blog the other day wading through the cesspool of and I have to say I like a lot of your ideology. But more to the points here…

    My wife and I have had many discussions on what a Hipster is, although as Ryall pointed out, language changes and evolves over time and words take on new meaning all the time. Our current ideas on the word are that it truly means to be purposefully ironic in some way. Like wearing certain jeans, glasses, hats, etc. that some small group of individuals find fashionable themselves. But the concept of the hipster is to still distance yourself from that group, but ironically dress like you are from another group.

    Now the problem with this (and why me and my wife are often labeled as hipsters now) is that the current trend in hipsterdom (also a new word?) is to stylize like a geek or nerd without actually belonging to that group. Society now sees geeks and nerds all as hipsters cause of this!

    Also.. I blame Big Bang Theory for all of this. Oh and rock on with the indie MMOs, I keep swearing to myself that I will never again pay top dollar for AAA budget games, and then something like D3 will come out and I get all weak in the knees.

    Keep it up!
    -newFanJZ

  4. Thanks for all the comments guys and gals. I feel better now, knowing that I am no hipster, at least by definition. lol

    Good point about nerds being now considered hipsters, strange how that works.

    Beau

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