Have you ever heard something so many times that you don't even remember where it came from or what it means? Everyone uses clichés to get a point across from time to time, and gamers are no exception. We've all done it, but there are some overused phrases that continually rub me the wrong way, usually because the reasoning behind them is flawed. Let's make an effort to eradicate these phrases from our lexicons, and hopefully begin to express our feelings about the gaming industry in a more concise way.
“Dust Off My Wii”
Hearing this from any gamer severely irritates me. It's meant to make him or her sound "hardcore", but it comes off as silly and uninformed. Wow, you're so cool because you haven't played your Wii in months/years/millennia! Instead of whining about waggle, why not try one of the stellar Wii games that you surely missed this generation? Believe it or not, there are a lot of them, and playing them would probably be more fun than complaining.
This needs to stop, and some of the biggest offenders are female. I’ve written about this before, so I won’t get into it all over again, but what it boils down to is this: it really doesn’t matter what sex you are. Gaming preferences aren’t determined by boobs or a penis, they’re attributed to each individual’s personal tastes. If we stop making such a big deal about it, maybe shovelware publishers will stop trying to market such obvious garbage towards a female demographic.
As a former GameStop employee, I could give you plenty of legitimate reasons to hate the mega-retailer. However, it appears that some gamers would rather whine about GameStop’s used game prices and employees’ relentless pursuit of your pre-orders. Here’s a novel thought: if you don’t like GameStop, don’t shop there. While you’re at it, find something else to bitch about besides a corporation trying to make a profit.
I don’t even know what this means anymore, and I don’t think anyone else does, either. Earlier this generation, casual games referred to easily accessible (but usually still fun) titles that lifelong gamers and their non-gaming friends and family could easily play together. Now it could be anything from Bejeweled to Rock Band to Modern Warfare 2, depending on who you ask. Furthermore, who cares? Calling out someone else’s gaming habits doesn’t make you more “hardcore”.
“(Insert Game Here) Clone”
I will admit, I am as guilty of this as anyone, but I’m pretty tired of hearing it. As a writer, it’s sort of a lazy way to describe a game, and gamers tend to use it as an insult, whether or not it has any basis in reality. Just like any other form of media, game developers and designers are going to be inspired by what came before, and the more the industry grows, the more we will see familiar gameplay elements being repeated. That doesn’t mean every sandbox game with guns and cars is a Grand Theft Auto clone, and every shooter set in World War II is a Call of Duty clone. If you want to complain about a game being unoriginal, that's totally understandable, but there are better ways to do it.