I’ve been noticing a lot of Twitter chatter today about differing opinions of WildStar’s upcoming F2P transition, and the not-surprising toxic reaction from the online forum dwellers. I’ve gotten used to this sort of back-and-forth amongst the gaming community, and I didn’t think much of it until today.
Last night, I went to an open mic with an old high school buddy to play a few tunes together. Apparently it was High School Night, as there were several groups of teenagers with their parents excitedly preparing for their turn. There was a punk/metal band, a rock ‘n roll band, and a couple folk acoustic singers that kicked off the evening. One of the bands reminded me of the cassette tapes from Gone Home. It was loud, emotional, and charming in a way. Being such a young group, their skills were not all that polished, but their enthusiasm was genuine.
At that moment, I had an opportunity. I could be the snobby critic and point out every flaw in their performance. Before I could do it though, one of my friends chose to be that critic and spoke what I was going to say. I cringed a little inside. That wasn’t fair. These kids worked hard to do what they did and were pouring their youthful hearts out on stage. I wanted to enjoy and appreciate that; so I did.
I thought to myself: Do I want to be the person who says, “You need to practice more, your singing was off key, and your timing was off. Come back when you’re better,” or do I want to be the person who can say, “Hey, I loved your energy and enthusiasm! Don’t stop what you are doing!”
I felt then that it’s perfectly okay to enjoy something that isn’t perfect. Once I looked past the analytical “I-would-enjoy-this-more-if-it-was-done-this-way” attitude, it opened up a small doorway to my soul which allowed me genuine enjoyment without reservation. Of course, I still live for those moments, so perfectly sublime that they literally bring tears to my eyes; but we all must take the long journey to reach that point in our creative careers. It takes time to become great at something, but when the time comes, the world is changed forever by that greatness.
It’s natural to seek perfection. We may even experience brief moments of them in our lives. In reality though, we are all human beings who try, make mistakes, and try again. The only thing we can do is to keep trying and to encourage others to do the same. Because if we stop, we will miss out on those rare, precious moments we live for – we all lose.
You know, after all this deep thought, I feel something that might be an inkling of a sense of transcendence from the pettiness that makes up these waves of ruthless criticism.
TL;DR: It’s just a game.