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General: Enough Hyperbole

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,622MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

hy·per·bo·le –noun Rhetoric

1. obvious and intentional exaggeration.

2. an extravagant statement or figure of speech not intended to be taken literally, as “to wait an eternity.”



If MMORPG.com Lead Writer Bill Murphy says there's too much of it around, both for players and consumers, there simply and actually is just too much of it. See what Bill has to say in his non-hyperbolic way and then add your own thoughts as well.

We love these games. I get that. We spend hours and hours playing them, reading about them, talking about them, and probably even dreaming about them. That kind of obsession leads to the sort of inane babbling I spoke about in my recent console MMO editorial: players who think they’re designers. Armchair quarterbacks are annoying, and so are armchair developers. It’s one thing to posit an idea in a thoughtful and constructive manner. It’s an entirely different thing to offer that idea when combined with vitriol, clenched fists, and a frothing mouth (have you got it yet that I’m being a hypocrite?).

Read more of Bill Murphy's Enough Hyperbole.


Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

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Comments

  • IkedaIkeda Largo, FLPosts: 2,204Member Uncommon

    It feels like I've been waiting for this article for centuries!  My issue with PR departments is that they usually tell us millions of times about really cool features and then fail to deliver.  While I think PR departments think if they don't get everyone immediately hooked, they'll die from lack of trying.

    :-P

    I truly believe that, in general, PR departments are singlehandedly responsible for the overall cynicism in the community.  So much so that they've made their OWN jobs increasingly difficult by failing to deliver time and again.  (not always, but there seems to be a growing majority indicating this to be the case)

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  • Paragus1Paragus1 Philadelphia, PAPosts: 1,739Member Uncommon

    My personal favorite is "next-generation" features or mechanics that are from last generation.

  • RohnRohn Saint Peters, MOPosts: 3,740Member Uncommon

    You're just noticing this, Bill?

    MMOs have engendered some of the most obsessive behavior I've ever seen in over 30 years of gaming.

    In short, people don't play them.  They form relationships with them, with all the evils that go along with such a misguided behavior.

    Have the game developers of recent games made mistakes?  Yes, they have.  The same can be said of developers in the "Golden Age", though.

    But many obsessed fans have lost the ability to think rationally.  They've gotten too close to the subject, hyper-analyzing everything, and thus blowing most things completely out of proportion.

    And, MMORPG.com caters to them.  Your web site has been catering to them for years (in a very "Jerry Springer" sort of way).  Why be indignant now?

    Pays the bills, doesn't it?

    Hell hath no fury like an MMORPG player scorned.

  • brett7018brett7018 Jacksonville, FLPosts: 182Member Uncommon

    Three letters kept coming to mind during the reading of this article.  W   A   R

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  • maplestonemaplestone Ottawa, ONPosts: 3,099Member

    Fun experiment: skim a thread, then go back and read it again an hour later, this time recording which posts you remembered and which you didn't, which used hyperbole and which didn't.

  • VargurVargur OsloPosts: 143Member

    It seems as games these days must use this language to get noticed. Before WoW was released, lots of people said it was going to be great, just because Blizzard was the designer. Many companies today don't enjoy the same respect, and the reason is their track records. A few columns ago, we were adviced not to scrap a game because of the studio behind it, but to gain notice the companies feel the need to use bigger words than their games can cope with. My guess is that it is two-part:

    1. Designers don't seem to look at other games and determine what are the best features of that game and be inspired, but think they have to come up with a solution of their own.

    If this is because of trademarks or egos, I am not sure. If I read that a game picked the melee system of DAoC, crafting system of EQ2, an epic quest line similar to LotRO's, and the character generation options and character movements of AoC (I allow Funcom those two successes), then I would sit up and take notice.

    2. Marketing is about big words. Games don't get attention without making noise, but unfortunately the old axiom that "all press is good press" seems to be stuck, despite the evidence of the contrary.

    If companies let more people peek inside their laboratory more often, and not rely on big presentations at E3, I think they might get more publicity for free. Of course, they requires them to have good solutions which seems to be lacking in most games.

    My late grandfather always said that if you have to brag about yourself, then it is worth nothing. Better let others do that for you.

  • KyleranKyleran Tampa, FLPosts: 20,002Member Uncommon

    I have no problem with people using hyperbole in a forum such as these, because as the defintion states:

    1. obvious and intentional exaggeration.

    2. an extravagant statement or figure of speech not intended to be taken literally, as “to wait an eternity.”

    The problem here comes when people seem to completely miss that the intentional exaggeration is done for dramatic effect, and spend their time rebutting other's posts as if the OP was trying to be factual.

    I recall a thread I started not too long ago asking "I don't have enough time, the root of all evils in MMORPG's?" and you'd be surprised how many people took me to task about the "root of all evil hyperbole".

    It was done for tongue in cheek effect, I certainly don't think there's really anything "evil" in MMORPG's actually (well, except for a few PKer's) but again, a number of folks really had to point out the "error" of my obvious exaggeration.

    Now, if a game publisher is promoting their game as "next generation" or "best gaming experience of all time" its a bit over the top, and even posters in these forums who start threads on these topics should probably not be surprised when they draw a strong negative reaction.  (in fact, I assume that was what they intended with their OP)

    In my day MMORPG's were so hard we fought our way through dungeons in the snow, uphill both ways.
    "I don't have one life, I have many lives" - Grunty
    Still currently "subscribed" to EVE, and only EVE!!!
    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,191Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Ikeda

    It feels like I've been waiting for this article for centuries!  My issue with PR departments is that they usually tell us millions of times about really cool features and then fail to deliver.  While I think PR departments think if they don't get everyone immediately hooked, they'll die from lack of trying.

    :-P

    I truly believe that, in general, PR departments are singlehandedly responsible for the overall cynicism in the community.  So much so that they've made their OWN jobs increasingly difficult by failing to deliver time and again.  (not always, but there seems to be a growing majority indicating this to be the case)

    This!

  • heartlessheartless Brooklyn, NYPosts: 4,993Member

    As much as I enjoy current gaming--there have been some really great games released in the past few months--I miss the old days of gaming when the developers were mostly gamers first and businessmen second. When gaming used to be a passion first and business second.

    Unfortunately, gaming has become a "pop" industry and the love of gaming is no longer enough. This whole industry is becoming McDonaldised in order to maximize the profits as much as possible. The hype and marketing is a byproduct of this. There is virtually no inovation so the publishers need to bend the truth a bit in order to sell their games.

    The truth is that we are all responsible for this because we buy into the hype and we buy the games. How many people hear "the next Call of Duty" or "the next Diablo" and can honestly say that they are not interested? No matter what we say here, we all know that we will purchase the next CoD and Diablo III and the next Halo eventhough they will offer nothing new except for better graphics (just using these titles as an example).

    My whole point is that as long as we as gamers continue to buy into the hype and support this dishonest marketing nonsense, the industry will continue to deteriorate more and more.

    image

  • UnsungTooUnsungToo Lake Worthless, FLPosts: 276Member

    Man, I cracked the chit outta my knuckles today cleaning out my paint brushes. But yeah, I'm gettin, no, I'm there. I don't even care anymore. And that sucks.

    We'll see what happens.

    Godspeed my fellow gamer

  • Ramonski7Ramonski7 Aurora, ILPosts: 2,656Member Uncommon

    Too bad this will fly over the heads of most people posting on this topic as they type out their hyperbole laced response.

    image
    "Small minds talk about people, average minds talk about events, great minds talk about ideas."

  • NajwalaylahNajwalaylah I fell asleep in the Desert, CAPosts: 85Member Uncommon

    We think hyperbole is great for entertainment purposes, until we get bored of it.

    In a specious world where at the top level of froth infotainment and edutainment have largely replaced information and education, there is no escape from what's considered entertaining. That is the problem.

    Roger Waters was right. The species is amusing itself to death.

    Casilda Tametomo, Priestess of Soldeus | AKA Lepida Aegis-Imperium.com

    image
    «Si oblitus fuero usque ad finem omnia opera eorum»

  • AluviusAluvius New York, NYPosts: 288Member

    Hyperbole is also a favorite of haters on these forums as well.  Its not enough for someone to not like a game, it has to be the worst game ever in the history of games.  It was made only to enrage that specific person.  It is a complete copy of another game .. it even uses the exact same graphics down to the pixel!!111!1  If you like this game then you have XYX character flaws and must be 8 years old.  Etc, etc.

     

    My eye rolling favorite is the "you want things handed to you on a platter and don't want to work for them like in ".  Please, these are all just games.  No one has signed up to work in a gold mine.  Even your favorite old game was just a game.  I got  a chuckle on the new EQ progression server where the hardcore EQ fans were all saying how EQ was hardcore mode compared to WoW .. then all of the raid bosses went down in a week to level 50 characters in a single group.  :)

  • k11keeperk11keeper Kalama, WAPosts: 1,056Member Uncommon

    The thing is when people are discussing games or any form of entertainment, no matter what facts you propose it's almost always going to be subjective. Or at least the deduction from the facts is subjective. Like I can say WoW has more subscribers then any game and yes that is a objective fact but once I say WoW has more subscribers then any other and therefore it is the best then it loses it's objectivity and becomes subjective.

    Also, how do you expect people to express their opinions of game without using hyperbole? You weren't even able to write this article without using it? I guess we could all just point out facts about games and then try to say why those facts back up our opinions of said games but then it just comes down to opinions anyways. But hyperbole is more entertaining to read and usualy elicits a response though. Many a time I have tried to use a logical stance pointing towards facts and why they back up what I say for an argument on this site just to have it completely ignored, but when I inject some hyperbole people actually read what I said and respond. I might not agree with their response but at least the dialogue continues and we discuss the topic further.

    I agree that it should be toned down though, but to get rid of it completly I think it would just make reading and writing about games boring, to me at least.

  • peacekraftpeacekraft BirminghamPosts: 189Member

    "this game makes use of innovative never seen before features!!!111"

  • TomTrixxTomTrixx VPosts: 94Member

    Originally posted by Najwalaylah

    We think hyperbole is great for entertainment purposes, until we get bored of it.

    In a specious world where at the top level of froth infotainment and edutainment have largely replaced information and education, there is no escape from what's considered entertaining. That is the problem.

    Roger Waters was right. The species is amusing itself to death.

    A small correction, Neil Postman was right about it, Waters just wrote a song about it inspired by: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amusing_Ourselves_to_Death

    ;)

  • divmaxdivmax JhbPosts: 106Member

    Originally posted by Kyleran



    I have no problem with people using hyperbole in a forum such as these, because as the defintion states:

    1. obvious and intentional exaggeration.

    2. an extravagant statement or figure of speech not intended to be taken literally, as “to wait an eternity.”

    The problem here comes when people seem to completely miss that the intentional exaggeration is done for dramatic effect, and spend their time rebutting other's posts as if the OP was trying to be factual.

    I recall a thread I started not too long ago asking "I don't have enough time, the root of all evils in MMORPG's?" and you'd be surprised how many people took me to task about the "root of all evil hyperbole".

    It was done for tongue in cheek effect, I certainly don't think there's really anything "evil" in MMORPG's actually (well, except for a few PKer's) but again, a number of folks really had to point out the "error" of my obvious exaggeration.

    Now, if a game publisher is promoting their game as "next generation" or "best gaming experience of all time" its a bit over the top, and even posters in these forums who start threads on these topics should probably not be surprised when they draw a strong negative reaction.  (in fact, I assume that was what they intended with their OP)


     

    I agree.

     

    I could as easily say that the problem isn't with the people using hyperbole, its with the people who don't seem to realize its hyperbole and react badly to it. I just wish that people would chill a little before responding to others in game forums and that would already make things better.

     

    "Pipedream?  Probably.  But we all need something to cling to, right?"

  • NajwalaylahNajwalaylah I fell asleep in the Desert, CAPosts: 85Member Uncommon



    Originally posted by k11keeper
    The thing is when people are discussing games or any form of entertainment, no matter what facts you propose it's almost always going to be subjective. Or at least the deduction from the facts is subjective. Like I can say WoW has more subscribers then any game and yes that is a objective fact but once I say WoW has more subscribers then any other and therefore it is the best then it loses it's objectivity and becomes subjective.

    This really isn't a problem for me; I believe it's only a problem for those whose sense of objectivity is unformed, missing, or gimped, and then, only if they let it bother them if they are disagreed with.

    [quote]
    Originally posted by k11keeper
    [b]I guess we could all just point out facts about games and then try to say why those facts back up our opinions of said games but then it just comes down to opinions anyways.[b]

    [/quote]

    Which is no less, and possibly more, than it comes down to without facts and relation of fact to formation of opinion. There is no magic "My Opinion Wins" button. The closest you'll ever come to a winning opinion is one that has facts related to it. No other kind of opinion of someone else's has ever changed my mind.


    Originally posted by k11keeper

    But hyperbole is more entertaining to read and usualy elicits a response though. Many a time I have tried to use a logical stance pointing towards facts and why they back up what I say for an argument on this site just to have it completely ignored, but when I inject some hyperbole people actually read what I said and respond. I might not agree with their response but at least the dialogue continues and we discuss the topic further.
    I agree that it should be toned down though, but to get rid of it completly I think it would just make reading and writing about games boring, to me at least.


    And, without hyperbole, I am not usually bored (or, if I am, the whole subject is indicated as one I could take the time away from and spend it elsewhere fruitfully).

    I'm not suggesting you have to, and I'm not determined that you should do the same, but I don't publicise my opinions for the attention or lack of attention that responses to hyperbole would get me. People who are only responding to hyperbole are not those whose counter-opinions I worry about knowing. The dialogue that hyperbole would get me when facts would not is not dialogue that I find worthwhile.

    If people who put little thought into their expression of opinion stopped flagging those less-worthwhile opinions with their use of hyperbole, how would it be as easy as it is now to know which expressions of viewpoint to skim, filter, and dismiss?

    Casilda Tametomo, Priestess of Soldeus | AKA Lepida Aegis-Imperium.com

    image
    «Si oblitus fuero usque ad finem omnia opera eorum»

  • Holyavenger1Holyavenger1 Montreal, QCPosts: 440Member Uncommon

    Talking about World of Darnkess.... Why is it not on the MMORPG.com game list again? Oh, the criterias, right...

    Fyrr Deerdan - HolyAvenger
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