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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] General: About the Teardown Mentality

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Associate Editor - News Manager

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 16273

OP  12/06/12 3:41:10 PM#1

In today's Devil's Advocate, we take on one of the most prevalent activities that many gamers like to participate in: Tearing down any game that isn't their "game of choice". See what we have to say before leaving your thoughts in the comments.

One of the reasons I think a teardown mentality comes into being in a particular space (virtual or physical) is that the mentality presents itself through an the action of one person, and because others share that same sentiment, they become emboldened to share the feeling as well, making the feeling more common. 

Read more of Victor Barreiro Jr.'s The Devil's Advocate: About the Teardown Mentality.

Associate Editor:
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom


Novice Member

Joined: 11/08/12
Posts: 23

12/07/12 10:32:18 AM#2
What a pretty blue crab.

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Joined: 1/04/05
Posts: 2626

12/07/12 10:41:44 AM#3
I do agree but I would like to point out that people of similar stand on an issue, be it political, gaming, etc tend to gather online (called 'crowd mentality'). It is the reinforcement of 'My idea is shared by others, we must be right' attitude. Yoou see this with the classical game bashing threads which always add the same points over and over again. It is no longer a discussion but my opionion is right thread.

"In 50 years, when I talk to my grandchildren about these days, I'll make sure to mention what an accomplished MMO player I was. They are going to be so proud ..."
by Naqaj - 7/17/2013 forum


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Joined: 12/09/11
Posts: 80

12/07/12 10:44:28 AM#4

The problem is not to be negative, but to be negative just for the sake of it or without argument or reason.

Too many forum writers are positiv or negative without an argument. If there is a reason to complain, you are allowed, you are bound, you need to complain.

Rated M for Mature - May contain content inappropriate for children


Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/15/07
Posts: 1147

12/07/12 10:46:43 AM#5

I think it is in response to all the marketing hype about a game. Like for "Tabula Rasa": "a groundbreaking game, will change gaming forever, blah blah blah"

But when you get the actual game, it's just another decent shooter kind of game, shallow and simple. That makes people want to puncture the bubble.

RIP City of Heroes. One of my favorite MMO's.


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Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 13620

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

12/07/12 10:49:38 AM#6
Originally posted by MsFit
What a pretty blue crab.

Definitely a nice shot of the lil guy. I think I was around 10 or so when i first discovered crabs really aren't red and white but rather blue, green, brown, etc.


"In movies, sometimes you see that scene where a war breaks out because someone with an itchy trigger finger or stupidly horrible reflexes fires off a shot and kills someone, and then all hell breaks loose. Well, that's the idea of a tipping point..."

No it isn't. If anything, the term for what you describe would be powder keg.

A common example of tipping point is population drop in an MMO. Once the population drops to a certain point, people start leaving because others are leaving, causing a steady or slow drop to become a rapid decline. An example of a tipping point in the other direction is how WoW caught on fire during beta and then at release due to the game's evangelists being spread through MMO, RPG and franchise circles. Bewteen the lack of expectations of what an MMO should be, an avid fanbase and a really solid game, the game shot through the roof, attracting so many more in just the first month that the devs had to turn on reserve servers they didn't expect to have to use for another six months.

Other than that little nitpick of mine, this is the first article here where I really wish someone with more understanding or familiarity with the subject matter wrote it because it's a great topic.


There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein


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Joined: 10/02/11
Posts: 2977

The Critical Hit Pretzel!

12/07/12 11:02:31 AM#7

I usually can see the good and bad in any game. Heck, SWTOR which was ripped apart by a lot of people I still could see areas in which the game did well even though I still considered it to be very genric. I think that 'teardown' mentality comes in play personally not about a game, but because of fans. I don't tear down games I don't like, else I'd have no respect for Secret World. I have this issue mostly because fanboys.


Fanboys make it SO HARD to actually be fair to a game and it only makes it so much worst when I try to make valid points. A good example GW2 I know its not a bad game but yet its not good either. Still, I'll find myself going at people who are fanboys about it because of sheer innocence. It just makes it so rediculously easy to ignore things that it did well such as many of the graphics (environments being the weak point but eh).


Heck, there is one area I feel GW2 did 'bleh' at which is the zones/environment in which its just a small point about having zones feel all 'the same 'biome' of sorts instead of feeling unique, yet with a fanboy despite graphically doing well, that point will stick out like a sore thumb and suddenly I'll feel as if I should just emphasize that. 

Its not about 'tearing a game that goes against my favorite game' mentalty I have its 'tearing down ignorant fanboys' which tends to be what makes me tend to go I'll admit a bit over the top.


Novice Member

Joined: 4/01/11
Posts: 568

Ahh devil ether.

12/07/12 11:02:51 AM#8

Nice article.  It made me think of Red Vs Blue for some reason.


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Joined: 3/06/12
Posts: 15

12/07/12 12:21:35 PM#9
There can only be one....

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Joined: 3/09/05
Posts: 288

12/07/12 12:34:50 PM#10

I think the issue is that it's become more cool to deconstruct the negative aspects of the game -- to critique it and diss it -- and then move on to diss the next game -- than to play the game and build community in the game itself. 


That has become the gaming community.  The metagame of most gamers.


And that is toxic to the economy of creating AAA content.  If you create content on the premise that people will come and linger and sub or spend time in the game spending F2P funds, but people come in like locusts (or as I prefer to think of them, piranha) to swarm to level cap, tear the game apart, and then move to the next victim, games will stop being profitable, stop getting funding, stop being able to afford to create AAA content, and the spiral we are already seeing will create a catastrophic collapse.


Assuming that the industry, the press, and the studios continue to believe that the piranha represent the consensus of the fans and players -- the whole of the gamers.


I'm currently playing SWTOR  as my primary game.  I have GW2, Salem, Firefall and Xsyon on my desktop, too.  Also Fallen Earth and RaiderZ but I haven't really touched either in ages and don't have a guild in either (nor in Salem or Firefall or GW2 for that matter, and in Xsyon my folks know I'm a flake but I am fond of them and I can't go fishing in SWTOR ;).


I am everything a piranha isn't.  I am a carebear/avid crafter and a mentor to crafters (although I'll PVP in a game that has decent PVP and that doesn't include SWTOR -- it did include SWG and Eve ;).  But I'm in no hurry to get to end game.  I value content and story.  I savor it.  


I got into DDO with the concept that it would be like spending evening with pen and paper games, moseying through quests and bantering with people over the content -- instead I found people seeing the content as speed trials.  That lasted less than a month.  Maybe I just didn't find the right people?  Maybe they weren't there to find.  Maybe no one markets to people like me, but I think we are out there because I find whole knots of us in SWTOR, for example, or LOTRO.  Games with deep lore and good storytelling attract us.


I think SWTOR was made for us -- KOTOR with Friends, as I like to think of it.  But EA seems to have made Bioware market it to the piranha -- because of course that's the primary market isn't it?  Because those are the LOUD people.  The people on the forums.  


Studies show that 90% of the people who read forums never post.  But the 10% who do have far reaching influence over the direction that games go over the silent majority.  Silence implies assent.  The game industry isn't mature -- they rarely go out and find out what those 90% think.  When a game is launched they don't do expensive user research to find out what to improve, they have guildmaster summits.


Think about that.  You take an elite -- guild masters who make it a priority in their lives to travel to a location to bitch about a game to a game studio for days get to shape the game.  Not the every day gamer who isn't going to travel to leave her family or job on the weekend.  Not the kid who can't.  Not the person who can't because he's playing games because he's disabled or ill and this is an outlet.  Not the person who can only afford ten hours a week to game, and can't take days out of a week to make it a major push at one chunk -- but might still spend more money on it than anything else as a hobby, and spend every free hour.


Yeah, it's pretty messed up.  


Neither the studios nor the gamers seem to see this as a disconnect from reality though.  Do you?


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Joined: 12/10/08
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12/07/12 12:57:29 PM#11
I cannot control what others say, only what I say myself.

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Joined: 8/28/05
Posts: 675

12/07/12 12:59:34 PM#12
I don't like a game. My opinion is very important so I share it, but some people don't get it or worse actually disagree with me, so I hate the game even more.  In fact the more people who like it the more I hate the game. Why can't all these fanboys understand that this isn't a good game.  After all if I am in the minority then could that mean my opinion is wrong or just doesn't really matter? Impossible.

Novice Member

Joined: 9/20/12
Posts: 364

Wish I had something positive to say =(

12/07/12 1:13:44 PM#13

It boils down to this website " entitling " people to say their peace. I usually get banned once every other week for ripping the " entitled "  people who cry, moan, sob about xyz game versus just playing something else or doing something else. If you took away the ability to post and just gave people the option to read you would probably still have the same people here.

Take those same people and stick them in a restaraunt. They wont moan loudly or bitch profusely  but in fact they will get what they came for and leave. If they liked it or not they will mumble later or not at all.It's only if there's a pair of ears willing to listen. 

And yeah, I am entitled as well.


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"Had to be me. Someone else might have gotten it wrong.” - Mordin Solus

12/07/12 1:25:20 PM#14
People should speak their mind either if they like something or not. I think the worst thing is being criticized for posting somethign negative. I mean everything is not correct or good 100% all the time. People need to accept the good and the bad. That is a part of how life works. Some just don't get it and never will.

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Joined: 4/15/07
Posts: 1338


12/07/12 1:29:08 PM#15
   I just assume anyone anyone who posts to online forums are pretty much admitting they are idiots.  Ill let the irony hang there for a second >>>>>

No matter how cynical you become, its never enough to keep up - Lily Tomlin

  User Deleted
12/07/12 1:33:11 PM#16
If a game sux it should be bashed. Don't want bashed ? Then don't produce junk. And more importantly if you have to convince me that I like something, then you just produced junk. It takes ten good calls to think about erasing one bad call. Let me know what you made, be honest about it, and then let me decide. If you decide before release your game is the next world of warcraft, then get ready for a backlash of hellfire and inferno if your game actually sux. Not only that, but also get ready to get blacklisted. Two big bold names on the blacklist EA and BIO. Congratulations!!!

Also we have wow fanboi's just chomping at the bit to log into a wow haters forum like this one, and let everyone know there game is still better and list reasons why the next best thing sux so bad. Hate breeds hate.

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Joined: 5/06/07
Posts: 4545

12/07/12 1:34:24 PM#17
Originally posted by moguy2

It boils down to this website " entitling " people to say their peace. I usually get banned once every other week for ripping the " entitled "  people who cry, moan, sob about xyz game versus just playing something else or doing something else. If you took away the ability to post and just gave people the option to read you would probably still have the same people here.

Take those same people and stick them in a restaraunt. They wont moan loudly or bitch profusely  but in fact they will get what they came for and leave. If they liked it or not they will mumble later or not at all.It's only if there's a pair of ears willing to listen. 

And yeah, I am entitled as well.

I disagee 100% with this ridiculous premise.  If I went into a restaurant and the waiter sold me on the daily special which was "Delectible herb roasted chicken served over a bed of soft fluffy rice and warm gravy" when then delivered "Frozen breaded chicken patty on rice-a-roni" I would complain. I wouldn't want to hear that their rotisserie oven broke or they ran out of hot water or any other excuse.  I would expect them to deliver what they sold me.


That's not entitlement at all.  That's common sense.


That's the root issue of many of today's gaming problems.  Developers continually over-promise and under-deliver.  Just say what you mean and do what you say.  It starts and ends there.  Apologists continually lower the bar of what is acceptable, and each developer sees that and then shoots for a new low.  Now we have gaming companies that want to sell you their product before they even start working on it.


Stop lowering the bar and actually hold companies accountable for what they sell.  Then we might actually see a few games succeed instead of a string of failures.





"I should point out that no other company has shipped out a beta on a disc before this." - Official Mortal Online Lead Community Moderator

Starvault's reponse to criticism related to having a handful of players as the official "test" team for a supposed MMO: "We've just have another 10ish folk kind enough to voulenteer added tot the test team" (SIC) This explains much about the state of the game :-)


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Joined: 1/15/11
Posts: 1202

12/07/12 1:41:59 PM#18

If you don't like a game, wtf is the point of repeated negative posts on a forum to others that actually like the game? I can see if your giving a review and its negative, but trolling games to get off is pretty strange behavior and says alot about the person that is posting.

Forum rebals and conspiracy nuts are pretty annoying also, always trying to gather the pitch forks to storm the companies that have let them down. The games die on thier own if they make a crappy game, if you think your little posts are going to bring down multi million dollar game companies, you must be slightly insane.


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Joined: 8/06/08
Posts: 2370

12/07/12 1:58:04 PM#19

I never really saw this until I stepped away from this site for a while, been too busy enjoying GW2 and like, participating in life n' stuff. I popped in the other day and was almost knocked over by how polar opposite the people on this site are to every other site out there. It's pretty poisonous in here, probably about time to be even more heavy-handed on the penalties and bans.


In any case, I don't think this is about entitlement nor do I think this is about the games themselves. I think this boils down to psychology; human beings are by nature evil, vile, gross and without redemption. You like to think you are naturally good and occasionally do bad things, but it's the opposite. Then you get into an online environment where anonymity let's you be the thing you truly are behind closed doors, mob mentality kicks in, and you have what this article claims, the "teardown generation". In other words, people do it for no other reason than that they can, because people are no better than animals and more often than not, are far worse.


The end.

"Forums aren't for intelligent discussion; they're for blow-hards with unwavering opinions."


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Joined: 3/29/07
Posts: 6

12/07/12 3:29:37 PM#20

I am encouraged by this column, not only because it addresses a hot-button topic in a thoughtful way, but because it does so in order to improve the industry in general by encouraging readers to dig into their own perceptions.  

I would say that most of us here are avid gamers, and are rabid for quality experiences.  This teardown mentality definitely stems in part from never finding that "fix" which is perfect for our particular desires, and the anonymity of the internet, coupled with our dissatisfaction, leads to heated criticisms of whatever touches our ire that day.  

It is my hope that readers of this article will remember that we are here, in the first place, because we love video games and hope to be a part of a community of others who feel the same way.  Maybe less vehemence and more quality dialogue will be generated, and who knows, perhaps that slight lessening of negativity will allow us to enjoy the games we play just a little more.

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