Posted on July 28 2010 by Nathanial Rumphol-Janc
For starters, I can’t begin to assume what Zelda fan’s worst nightmare really is. We’re all individuals, and I am sure our worst nightmare is this series coming to a downfall harder than what happened to Sonic. However, I am not just talking about how fans treat me at this site, but how we treat this series and really, how we treat each other. I have often pondered where it all went wrong.
I’ve been in this community for roughly a decade, maybe a tad longer, and it seems to be the days of “just talking about zelda and loving it/slightly debating about it” are gone. We here at Zelda Informer love to talk about Zelda, and I will be sure there is plenty of Zelda talk in this article as heck, that is really all I want to do. So, why is that the fans are not the same?
I’m going to ignore some of my past experiences at other sites because they aren’t really as relevant as what is happening right now. I have been “running” this site for roughly 2 years, and I have a wonderful staff of writers, graphic artists, and video editors that have really helped make this site into something we are proud of. We have released, in my time here, about 180+ articles. A feat that is astounding given all things. We have debated about what game is the best, what needs to be changed, is it time for a new headman not named Miyamoto, what is the best soundtrack, among several other topics of varying degree. Yet, amongst all of it, it seems hate is what bubbles to the top.
Some articles are written fully aware there will be haters. In my last I made a case for why I personally do not put Ocarina of Time at the top of the list, and I knew some Ocarina of Time lovers were going to say some negative things about it. What I didn’t expect was people to come in and start bashing Majora’s Mask. It happens, but what happened to having a nice chat about Zelda?
You see this in the forums at times too, though it’s a bit less frequent. You see this at many Zelda fan sites, a bunch of “so called” Zelda fans bitching and moaning about everything wrong with x game, and that is why it sucks. A few concede that their own personal tastes puts a game like Phantom Hourglass down the list but still talk that yeah, it’s a good game. I actually recently did this myself when I said Ocarina of Time wasn’t the best game in the series for me, but I sure as hell had a lot of nice things to say about the game too. I actually found myself trying to defend its position more than attacking it.
Fans seem to have gone into a state of “my opinion is more important than your opinion, because you are clearly an idiot”. I get it, it’s fandom. It comes with the territory. This sort of behavior happens in sports fandoms all the time, so this isn’t something I am not accustomed too. Still, Zelda fans like to tear each other down for how they individually feel about the series as if it actually matters that you don’t agree. It’s cool to discuss why you don’t agree, and have a great conversation. Many times, though, it ends up with a bitch fest that goes nowhere. It’s sad, and this isn’t the sort of community I have grown to fall in love with in the last decade.
Maybe it just has something to do with the popularity of Zelda these days, and with it’s associating fan sites. Sites like fellow affiliate Zelda Universe and Zelda Dungeon have grown to heights that have exceeded any previous generation of sites in terms of popularity, and Zelda Informer is starting to approach that level. It seems as sites get more and more popular, that in comes a new level of “expectations” and “standards” of which a site never particularly held itself too. For a site like Zelda Universe, they embraced this fact and have a semi-professional editor that goes through every single news post before sending it live. This is a great method, and we only stave it away because having such a method relies heavily on one or two individuals for any posts to go live at the site. We pride ourselves in posting quickly and concisely, and we’ll try to clean it up after it’s up, or later in the day, as we have time. I like to think people understand this, as several have commented to me in the last 6 months that they like Zelda Informer so much because we generally post news before most other sites. Our method of posting has a lot to do with it.
As the series has grown, and the sites have grown, the fans are even more restless. Just look at our site update post that contained women in bikinis, since it is a “just keeping you informed” post about site changes that most have already noticed or don’t even care about, we had some fun with it. Now fans are out to crucify me. I make a grammar mistake in a post and just “seconds” after going up, people are more apt to talk about the mistake versus talking about Zelda. I get it, I make mistakes, we all do, and it will be cleaned up as I have time. Am I a grammar god? No. Am I even really a gaming journalist? Eh, maybe at the most “loose” of definitions of what a journalist is. Am I a professional in the field? Hardly, nor do I pretend to be. I do this for fun, and anyone who says otherwise just doesn’t know me. Zelda is my favorite game series, and possibly the only reason I still play games today. I like to talk about Zelda, and share those thoughts with the world. I don’t get paid for this, I don’t do it for “personal glory”, I just want to talk about Zelda with a bunch of other Zelda nerds. Is that so hard?
As things have turned out over the years, it is. If someone disagrees with you, it’s game over. We do do things that most other sites don’t – we respond to comments. We like to take an active role in letting our commenters know that yes, we are reading, and yes, we do have responses. Are they always the best responses? No. We make fun of people all the time, and we also make fun of ourselves. Anyone who is a active member of our forums knows that we don’t take ourselves seriously, and thus, we are shocked when everyone else likes to take us so seriously. One small quip, and the world explodes. It’s a fascinating sight. I am left wondering “wait, when did we change what we are?”.
Zelda Informer is a sarcastic, enthusiastic, Zelda loving fan site where we do what we do for fun. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, and we don’t expect our fans too either. We love Zelda, and that is really the bottom line. We thought everyone else loved Zelda as well, but have we grown to love it “so much” that we actually hate it? Seriously, I get more stressed out now talking about Zelda than I do anything else, because I know it’s going to end in “my opinion is more important than your opinion” and it just sucks. Guys, I think it’s time we all lighten up a little, no? It’s a game, and we are just a fan site for that game. No need to take things and go all SRS BSNS on each other. Much love folks.