With video games becoming such a large industry, it seems that everyone that has an opinion about them also has a strong desire to share it with the world. Critique of gaming, or content creation on games to some, has become so popular with the field that nearly anyone with a camera and access to an internet connection can participate in the sea of thoughts online. But while there is a clear line between those that observe gaming professionally and those that do so as a hobby, the two extremes are always at odds with one another. In recent years, those who create content at traditional outlets are always clashing with those who get into games independently through open online platforms, with one side always looking to 1-up and push down the other. However, both sides often fail to realize that they need to work together now more than ever.
It’s no secret that the industry is in a constant state of change. The way people consume information is always morphing into new forms with each new trend that occurs. Not too long we got reviews and opinions about video games from magazines and commercials, until a thing known as the World Wide Web changed the landscape of information exchange forever. Magazines became less dominate (despite still being present even today) and more focus shifted into what was the new approach to making content on video games.
While not as drastic today, the same kind of change is occurring today with the accessibility and diversity of opinions about games. No longer is it one kind of group that is giving their perspective to the audience, it’s a number of different groups and people with something important or interesting to say. Does that make any one stance better than the other? No… but it does give the audience more to choose from.
This is where the crux of the problem is, and why there’s so much animosity between games media and content creators. Both sides rely on the viewers/readers/audience to thrive, which is a constantly fleeting and changing thing. Some argue there’s only so much viewership to go around, falling into what’s known as a scarcity model. But this kind of thinking is wrong and ultimately divisive. The financial parts of making content online about video games is always important, but the other part that gets lost in the confusion is relevancy and consistent outreach.
People who consume content on games don’t always commit to just one source, they follow a variety of places or people related to what they enjoy. Most people on YouTube aren’t going to subscribe to just one channel on any one topic, but instead tend to Sub to many different creators who cover similar subjects. Just the same, most readers aren’t going to just one website for their news and reviews, they’ll often visit many within a short period of time. It needs to be understood that people aren’t finite resources like money or food for outlets or channels to survive, they’re a lot more complex and susceptible to change and can give their time and energy to more than one thing.
Both sides, those in the traditional gaming media and those who are the new age content creators, spend too much time trying to put down the other side in an attempt to garner attention or credibility from the audience. It’s a bad superiority contest with one group pointing out how bigoted and unprofessional the other is, while the opposite side lingers on how the other is obsolete and corrupted. All of it is based on hearsay and complaints of everyone shouting viciously to one another online, which helps nothing.
It’s not only a constant waste of time and effort that burns bridges which could benefit the audience with interesting and amazing collaboration, but also reinforces the negative stereotypes from eyes from outside of the gaming industry that are pushed onto all of us. That we’re immature, we’re constantly fighting, we can’t see past our own views, and more of the same that’s been around for many years. Why can’t someone, anyone from either side take the moment to sit down with the other, set an example, and collaborate by utilizing what works from both and give the audience something more? Or are there way too many people caught up in their professional pride and subscriber counts to admit they don’t have all the answers? It sometimes feels like that more than it really should.
In the end, what we have is a divide that doesn’t need to be there. A rift caused by misunderstanding and stubbornness. It’s not a working competition that pushes everyone further in their craft, its become borderline hatred towards each other. We end up getting content creators and industry folk that lose themselves punching up and down onto others, rather than making thought inducing, fun content for the audience they need to survive. This is something that has to change, and it honestly needs to change now.
As the gaming industry and landscape of online platforms continues to transform more and more, many can and will lose themselves without having done more to remain relevant should this continue. Everyone within the gaming media and the content creators working independently can flourish with audiences that are abundant and engaging. But neither side has to take out the other to get it. Whether they want to admit it or not, both sides can learn, adapt, and become greater with the help of the other.
What are your thoughts about the relationship between the gaming media and content creators? Think more discussion needs to be had about the topic? Leave us a comment down below and let your voice be heard!