Back on Friday Belghast posted the first of the Blaugust prompts:
If you could change anything about one of your core fandoms, what would it be?
(I’m going to be a bit late with some of these, since I have my own things to post too.) Now, like lots of people, I have to wonder just what exactly my core fandoms are. First, to determine what exactly I might qualify as a “core fan” of; and second, to determine where in that fandom I lie.
But let’s skip all that. Because no matter the answer(s) to that question, my problems with fandom are the same. Now, since the prompt implies only one change, but I have a few problem areas, I’ll use this space to perhaps work out which is the worst, that I would change. I mostly participate with fandom on 4chan, which exacerbates the problems, but they are universal.
First, there are the doomers. For them, no matter what happens, the thing in question is always dying. Doesn’t matter how actually successful it is, it’s ending soon, just you wait. This wouldn’t be so bad, if these people weren’t so persistent. They doompost constantly, everywhere. If the thing isn’t the top of the charts, it’s a failure. If sales were low, the game is dying next month. Even if they get BTFO constantly, they just come back again in an hour with something else. My ‘favorites’ are the people that say ESO, one of the big three top MMO’s currently, is in a death spiral because, just for example, a single streamer stops covering the game. Point out that this is nonsense, and they’ll be on to some other thing. Then when that is shot down, they’ll bring up the streamer again. If this was mere trolling, it’d be understandable, but the obsession puts lie to that.
Next, there are the people that say everything about [thing] is crap. It’s not that they dislike [thing], but that it’s bad. You know, they put hundreds of hours into [thing], and continue to engage in [thing], which makes them experts into everything that’s bad about [thing]. And [thing] should change. Somehow. They very rarely give any actual criticism, let alone potential improvements. Again, this would be bearable if it was mere trolling, but the persistence of these folks shows that these aren’t trolls. They’re just unhappy with whatever, and letting you know it. Always, constantly. They aren’t doomers though, because they don’t think [thing] is dying. Not yet, anyways – but it will if it doesn’t improve.
The third problem group is the opposite of the above. They are the type that say [thing] is great how it is; sure, there can always be improvements, but [thing] is just fine now. No matter how low-quality [thing] is, they’ll praise it. They’re even worse than shills, because they aren’t even being paid to promote [thing]. But worst of all, these are who creators listen to the most. These people are happy, which means there are probably many more like them, so whatever! Forget the complainers! Ignore the valid criticism! Everything is fine with [thing]! And of course these types are the ones who get the most angry at people that don’t have a similar level of enthusiasm for [thing]. Unlike the types above, they actively try to drive people out of the fandom. All the while they’ll eat any slop that the creatives behind [thing] put out. They’re especially bad when [thing] has changed from something to another quite different [thing], and get quite upset that others don’t support the change.
In the end, I guess I have to say that the last type are the worst, to me. The former two are annoying as hell, but that’s all – they’re merely annoying. They don’t try to reform fandom into something it’s not, or it wasn’t. So yah, if I had to change something about my fandoms, I’d get rid of the slop-eaters.