There is something intensely human about the need to feel part of a group, but not just any group. An exclusive group.
This reared its ugly head again in the gaming world. My family loves Legend of Zelda. I wasn’t much older than my daughter is now when I played the original Legend of Zelda. And it was amazing!
She couldn’t tolerate more than a few minutes of it now.
Why? Because she has the option to play Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Seriously, after you’ve grown up on that, 8 bit is, well, worse than Minecraft.
Now there’s all this drivel that “you’re not a real fan” if you haven’t played those games. All I can figure is because the people who did want to keep the club exclusive. They don’t want the next generation being admitted to the club, even if I did buy my daughter all of the manga from the earlier games so she could catch up on the story.
But she never had to face off against an impossible-to-beat Dark Link.
She’s read all the manga, the Hyrule Compendium, and Making of a Hero. She knows more about the series than I do. And as we were replaying Skyward Sword with her (she strongly dislikes the old Wii), she was filling in plot points for us based the manga she’d read.
Yeah, she was teaching us a thing or two about our childhood series.
I saw this again with the Fire Emblem series.
I am a very late comer to the series, only discovering it after we got Super Smash Brothers for the Switch. There were some interesting characters, I wanted to know more about them, and that led me to the current incarnation of the games.
As I was enjoying some of the amazing fan art for the series, I came across much of the same grumbling. We’re all latecomers, not real fans, and we ruined the series for the real fans.
I never bother to engage in these discussion, usually just rolling my eyes and moving on. I know the makers of games are looking for more fans. They need them to generate revenue, and for large, blockbuster games, they need a huge fan base to support it. Newer fans may have “ruined” the Fire Emblem series, but we’re also what kept it alive, and are why so much more lore has been written about it. So much more added for the older fans.
Sure, they put an “easy” mode in the games for fans who “want to focus on the story”. Not sure why that bothers the original fans who liked the challenging strategy. That wasn’t taken away, but a new way for people to enjoy it was added.
But then it reduced the exclusivity. People had to share, and that is what they really disliked.
Yet, someone like my daughter loving Legend of Zelda is a huge boon to the makers of Zelda. They now have another lifelong fan who’ll buy their games, manga, and merchandise. And let me tell you how much she loves her Legend of Zelda backpack!