Dangerous Citizens

While I’ve been hanging around the Elite: Dangerous forums, I’ve been struck by an odd sentiment that seems rife in some areas.  I’ve been mulling this with some bafflement.  I gather it’s something the converse of which crops up quite regularly on forums for Chris Roberts’ forthcoming space game Star Citizen.

It’s the apparent belief amongst E:D/SC enthusiasts that SC/E:D is an inferior product which marks out its fans as foolishly misguided, hopelessly intellectually inferior or – in some cases – consciously and actively malevolent.

She put the Elite screenshot first!  BURN HER!

The ‘arguments’ put me in mind of the long-running anything-by-Apple/anything-by-anyone-other-than-Apple ‘debates’.  And I have to ask: what on Earth is the matter with people?

I have a PC.  I’ve always respected the Mac as an excellent platform for doing creative stuff – graphics, music, videos, publishing, etc; while the PC is by far the better rig for gaming.  Both can do ‘office’ stuff equally well, as far as I can see.  Yet even now I’m occasionally howled at, textually speaking, by a certain brand of Mac user for being so foolish as to use ‘WinDoze’ (ho ho!  That sure told her!) – even though gaming is mainly what I do on my home machine.

I’ve been looking forward to Elite IV for decades.  I never quite got it, but E:D will do.  But what if I decide I’d quite like to play Star Citizen as well?  Is there some reason I can’t do that?  Is it possible to like and be a fan of two different space games at once?  Or is it like trying to hold tea and no tea at the same time?  Or actually get rid of that thing your aunt gave you from Ibiza that you don’t know what it is?

David Braben, the creator of E:D, is – so I gather – quite supportive of Star Citizen.  And why not?  It sounds like a pretty good game.  And I’m led to believe that Chris Roberts is similarly amiable towards Elite: Dangerous.  And why not?  It sounds like the sort of game a space-game fan might enjoy.  But their respective fans, apparently, have no truck with this mushy mutual-respect nonsense.  No, it’s the pitchforks and flaming torches, and battle ensues until only one remains.  There can be only one!

No, there needn’t be only one.  There can be lots.  Bring on the space game, I say: it’s a genre that’s been too long in the doldrums.  To see several appearing at once, and open-world, sandboxy games at that, gives me hope that we might finally be starting to see gaming as a hobby moving away from its thus-far ingrained obsession with mindless first-person on-rails shooting nonsense.

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