icon Author: Rhyfel
The positive side of constructive negativism.
Different players have different opinions about all sorts of aspects of gaming but while ultimately every person has the right to think what they want to and prefer what ever they would prefer, sometimes certain opinions get bashed or praised more often than others. There are cases of overly positive attitudes that can be off putting, condescending, artificial and even predictable and there are negative attitudes that can come off as aggressive, whiny. unfriendly and impassionate.

There is how ever an argument to be had in favor of certain constructively negative and skeptic attitudes for how they can provide an interesting and deeper level of understanding and even appreciation for an art-form.

As an example, let's talk character design.

Between games there's often a case where a character's design doesn't perfectly sync up with the game's portrayal of the character. That can be for a number of things such as character design being early in development before balancing and design changes have been made or because the different departments of a development team didn't communicate with each other as much as they should have or anything else, and most of the time those are perfectly acceptable and reasonably expected things to happen during development of a game, ultimately when a character design doesn't drastically sets itself aside from the practical use of the character then most people wouldn't even notice how they would, and those that do are almost never truly bothered by it.

But here's the argument, sometimes it is interesting to let yourself intentionally be bothered by those things, because they will often not necessarily change the enjoyment of the game or change the way people think of the game or even change the overall quality of the game and allowing yourself to notice things like that can lead to a more constructive appreciation of a game. Apex Legends as an example, Wraith's character design includes a grenade thing that Wraith cannot use, even tho the player can acquire grenades in the match, it can be argued that it's not a grenade and it might just be a cylinder container for something else but that is not the point, the point is that noticing it allowed me to also notice Bangalore and Caustic's design as they in turn do have canisters that match their abilities, Caustic carrying Nox Gas containers and Bangalore carrying Smoke Grenade rounds. So now I can appreciate the character design of Apex Legends more so specifically because I allowed myself to take note of Wraith's belt, it doesn't change my appreciation and love of Wraith's character at all either.

Being skeptical and pointing out things in a game with a "Question Everything" attitude can be a good way to appreciate the good things about a game's design, and it encourages follow-up questions and learning things about design and execution.

There's a big difference between bitching about something and being constructively negative about something, it's up to both the person commenting and the person receiving the comment, it is important for everyone to not fall too hard into a positive and defending attitude or a negative and assaulting attitude in order for everyone to actually gain something out of a discussion.

I personally wouldn't ever accept something "as it is" at first, I always try to consider what maybe can or could have been improved or changed or balanced better, and if so how? And why would it be better? It becomes a really interesting exercise. Specially when you consider that every decision in an art-form like a game comes from humans that can make mistakes or overlook things, regardless of their talent levels or years of experience or how big of a company they work for or how many sponsor logos they have on their shirts or which gaming chair they may be sitting on.

And when finding good design choices in games, it can lead to a very rewarding level of appreciation and understanding, to question why things were done a certain way and finding out the answer, finding out the dozens and dozens of clever creative and perhaps unique decisions that lead a single design element to be created in a game. It is far more engaging than to simply think of games as a single layer product and describing them with comments like "It looks great" or "I don't like it" if one is truly interested and passionate about it.

It important to hold certain things with the highest of regards, specially if you love something, and questioning things and being constructively negative about them can be a way to achieve that.
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