Ask LH: Why Are Gamers So Judgemental?

Ask LH: Why Are Gamers So Judgemental?

Hi Lifehacker, I often wonder why gamers who enjoy a particular kind of game (say RPGs or MMOs) are so dismissive of any other genre? And why do so many gamers demand changes and “progress”, but then complain when newer releases come out. Any thoughts? Thanks,
Gamer Shame

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Dear GS,

I think it comes down to the human/hobbyist condition. People like to think that the dog they own is the best one in the “fight” — even if the fight is only in their imagination. While personal preference plays a part, a lot of it has to do with a rigid sense of brand or genre loyalty. You can see similar lines being drawn in the sand across all areas of consumerism; sports, car manufacturers, music, you name it.

Kotaku editor Mark Serrels has to deal with this sort of thing on a daily basis via endless reader comments. I asked him to provide his own two cents on the topic. Here’s what he had to say:

People get invested in things. I think it’s as simple as that. And when people get invested in things they often define that passion in opposition to something else. This is a common thing in gaming: console vs PC, FIFA vs Pro Evo, Xbox vs PlayStation. It’s tribal. Also: this is the internet. People are off the leash in terms of cultural norms. Therefore people say silly things.
As for the complaint for and against progress, I think that’s just the result of different people saying different things. Fans of games have opinions and some scream louder than others. In general I think people tend towards the negative in all aspects. So in the lead up to the game the complaints are about what hasn’t changed. Once the game is released the complaints trend towards what has​ changed. That’s how I see it.​

At the end of the day, you can only moderate your own behavior. If a particular online community seems too close-minded for your tastes, it might be time for pastures new. Just be resigned to the fact that you’re going to encounter at least some gamer ignorance and stubbornness everywhere you go.

(Incidentally, a free game goes to whoever can name the titles to all of the above screen shots!)


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  • I find that gamers (I’m one) are very opinionated, to the point of being quite arrogant. I’ve never understood it. Though I’m sure I come across like that at times too.

  • Objectively, query and article are both somewhat ‘duh’.

    People choose their chosen platform/game/genre *because* they think it’s the best (by whatever criteria matter to them).

    Arguing that they think it’s best because they play it is laughably cart-before-horse.

    Why do they seem opinionated? People who are most committed to their opinions write more, more often. You’re seeing sample bias.

  • (Incidentally, a free game goes to whoever can name the titles to all of the above screen shots!)

    I can name about 6 of them off the top of my head, some of the others look familiar but I don’t immediately recognise them, and others are mostly cut off or covered up.

    Dammit, I wanted a free game. But not one of those shit games I don’t like.

  • You can blame their mothers for their attitude. If online gamers are to believed, my mother has done some things that would make Hugh Hefner spit in disgust, so it’s little wonder we’re angry people!


    • You’re right, it isn’t just games. It’s anything. Sports, cars, music… you name it!

      The funny thing is that when you ask most people why they like one thing over another and why they refuse to see the pro’s of the other thing are usually lost for words as to how to explain it. All they know is that yours is poo and their’s isn’t. They just want to put people down and act all superior.

      It’s kind of annoying.

  • @chrisjager

    (Incidentally, a free game goes to whoever can name the titles to all of the above screen shots!)

    From left to right

    Tecmo Bowl
    Space Invaders
    Donkey Kong
    Command and Conquer
    Mr Do!
    Tomb Raider
    Cannon Fodder
    CS 1.6

    pretty sure that’s totally wrong but can i has free game now.

  • At least they’re opinionated and judgemental over something important. They could be scoffing at something trivial like the kind of car you drive or football team you follow.

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