Is Having A Mob Mentality Ever The Best Route?
Ever since the birth of Halo, fans have never been hesitant to express their opinions to the developers and higher ups. Whether it's through social media, forums or any other way to communicate, fans have always adamantly expressed their opinions. The idea of expressing your opinion in itself is never bad; in fact, I encourage everyone to express their opinions rather than hold them in, but when our favorite game starts to head towards what we feel is the wrong direction, our feedback becomes more aggressive and we go from just being fans to being a mob of frustrated players.
My best experience of this mob mentality was during the Halo 4 era. It was my best experience of it because unlike Halo: Reach, when the community was split in their satisfaction over the game, Halo 4 pleased very few fans while the rest heavily criticized the game until the end of its life. For me, it was the massive fall of competitive Halo and it could have very well been the death of our competitive community if it wasn’t for the great efforts of those within the community. During the time of Halo 4, content was stale, many fans weren't supportive knowing that while our community was collapsing, Call of Duty’s community was skyrocketing and there was very little developer support for the game.
With these factors combined, our community became a mob of angry fans who took thier anger out on 343 Industries for creating a game that could not compete with its competitors. Even to this day when you look through the forums, the wounds 343 created back in Halo 4 are still unhealed with many fans continuing to criticize 343 and hoping that a new developer will eventually take over, and of course the added problems with Halo: Master Chief Collection didn’t help.
Right now, we are seeing a new mob form within the competitive scene over the lack of events during the first season of the Pro League. With the Gears of War (GoW) community being promised a $1,000,000 tournament as well as a large amount of open events next season, Halo fans are getting even more frustrated at ESL, with many being afraid that the GoW community will be completely revived before Halo ever recovers due to the lack of open events we are being provided. Although most people are respectfully stating their opinions in the hopes that ESL will listen, some are done being nice and demand that ESL provide a fair amount of open events next season.
I recently talked to a Halo player, whose name will go unmentioned in order to stay professional, who had a bit of a breakdown on Twitter over this open events situation. I tried to explain to him that automatically transitioning from no events to having several in one season would be a huge risk and that it would be better if we started off small and built up to bigger things, but he refused to agree with my idea and continued believing that playing it safe and smart would lead us nowhere. Playing it safe and smart when planning events would obviously be the best option, considering how our community has been deprived from consistent, large scale events for several years and we have no idea how good or bad the turnouts for each event would be. Regardless, the player’s anger and frustration got the best of him and prevented him from recognizing the reality of the situation. This mob mentality is a mentality that many fans have built over the years and, although I can't blame any for being frustrated over the mistakes of others, we need to understand that attacking a developer or tournament host will get us nowhere.
As someone who used to have this kind of mentality, I can assure you that it will get you nowhere. Constantly attacking the developer and presenting an unprofessional and disrespectful image makes our community as a whole look bad from the perspective of someone who isn’t involved in our game. I know the job of most fans isn’t to be an ambassador of the community, but if we want our community to grow then it makes no logical sense to bash our developers on social media so the entire world can see. At the end of the day, our disrespectful feedback will never be responded to and those tweets or messages will just be bad advertisements of our game for the rest of the world to look at.
As someone who writes articles that tend to stir some confrontation, I receive my fair share of negative feedback with a few people calling me “stupid" or “dumb,” and some even saying I should be fired for some of my ideas. Although not all negative feedback is bad and some can even be very beneficial to my writing, there are always those few comments that simply have no value to me and I refuse to bring any attention around those who lack the respect to contact me in a respectful manor. If I have these problems as a writer, imagine how big someone like Andy “Bravo” Dudynsky has it when fans are always submitting feedback to him. Just like I reject rude feedback, Bravo, as well as anyone else in 343 or ESL, does the same thing at a much larger scale. The reality is that no matter how good your feedback is, if it's in a rude manner, you are getting yourself nowhere.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with expressing your opinions, but having a mob mentality and disrespecting those who work so hard to keep our competitive community alive not only clouds you from reality, but it also gets you nowhere. Being professional about certain matters isn’t easy, especially considering how we’re all so passionate about this game, but respect is a requirement whenever you want to get your point across and until you start showing it, you will never make an impact.
What do you think about having a mob mentality in our community? Let me know in the comments section below.
Zachery Chevere can be contacted on Twitter @PmL_Zarhaz
Image credits go to Kotaku, RobertHayWood, ESL, Forbes and Bravo