Starfield: The Dumbest Discourse

September 5, 2023

Written by Jamie Galea

Y’all ever see a take so bad you are forced to immediately go to sleep? Not only is that one of the all timer tweets, but it perfectly describes what it’s like following most conversations around Starfield, the latest and greatest by Bethesda Games Studios. It’s something that’s especially fascinating considering that, as I’m writing this, the game isn’t officially out yet!

The gamut the discourse has run is astounding for such a short amount of time. Whether it’s a gamergate affiliated game developer complaining about the main menu, people getting upset at the game’s Metacritic score (87! That’s not a bad score!), people getting upset over specific Starfield reviews, people not understanding how game engines work, the games media trying to figure out why outlets outside of the US barely got any review code, people getting upset that you can’t land on any part of a specific planet (including gas giants), and so, so much more.

For as stupid as a lot of all this is, it pales in comparison to the latest chapter in the discourse, and the incident that’s inspired this piece, wherein people are complaining about the fact that you have to choose pronouns for your player character. What’s nothing more than a simple gesture of inclusivity provoked one British streamer/content creator to scream and rant to his viewers about how he loves to sit down in front of an RPG and lose himself in a world, but hates that his immersion is being broken by what he describes as Bethesda proceeding to “current day us”.

The Adoring Fan of Starfield

Not going lie, I’m pretty hype the legend has returned to haunt you across the galaxy.

What should’ve been left alone as an instance of some dickhead having a near gamer moment then proceeded to get amplified across social media, with his name and that annoys the hell out of me me. You’ll probably have noticed by now that I’ve chosen to not name the streamer, something that most of the quote tweet dunking proceeded to do. That’s because I genuinely do not think he deserves any more notoriety than he unfortunately got, and bad takes like his do not deserve nor warrant the oxygen that they crave so very much.

Where this proceeds to upset me is that both the dickhead streamer and the gamergate developer also happen to be be subscribers to Twitter Blue (never X — only arseholes, cops, dickriders and bootlickers call it that), and that’s where their shit takes just so happened to be amplified. Thanks to the way people can now monetize their Twitter accounts based on engagement, both these tossers can potentially get paid actual cash money for their engagement baiting, something that given the general hype about Starfield, meant their idiotic takes did very well. Seeing both gronks proceed to pat themselves on the back for a “job well done” and revel in what they contributed is nothing short of infuriating.

Of course, this is a much wider problem that has always been the bane of social media. Negative and “controversial” opinions tend to do well and are always amplified. This isn’t unique to Starfield, let alone anything else in pop culture, but it’s far more widespread than the fun or positive takes and experiences people have had. It’s not helped thanks to Twitter’s new owner who’s proceeding to mould his $44 Billion USD addiction into a much dumber and far less interesting service befitting the dull and unexciting way he used the site beforehand.

A person on ResetEra discussing the metacritic review of Starfield.
ResetEra is a place of some truly cooked opinions. Thanks Vook for sharing this deranged take with the world.

And again, all of this is while the game is not as widely available! Right now only reviewers, selected streamers, influencers, and the most dedicated fans who’ve paid close to $200 or even $500 can play the game, so it’s definitely limited the general flood of content unless you’re willing to actively go seek it out. I’m dreading what’ll happen once it’s out on Steam or Game Pass. I’m hoping for some good memes and fanart, but who knows with this game.

Right now, I’m just tired of hearing about Starfield. While I know it’s been received well and it’ll definitely be a GOTY contender amongst all the other heavy hitters released this year, the wider discourse surrounding the game has just put me off it for a bit. I’ll definitely get to it at some point, but much like with The Last of Us: Part II, I think it’ll be a game better enjoyed once the discourse surrounding it has died down.

On the plus side, I’m genuinely appreciative seeing all the bad takes that force me to go to sleep. I need a cure for my latest bought of insomnia, and they’re helping quite a bit.

 

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