There are countless people around the world who love video games. It’s something that brings them joy and entertainment. However, it also causes endless bickering about what they use to play games on. This argumentative phenomenon has become known as the “Console War.”
This idea of a Console War began back in the late 80s when both Nintendo and SEGA were releasing successful gaming consoles. Obviously, competing companies wanted consumers to choose their product over the other. They both started with positive marketing strategies that informed customers what made their gaming console a must-have. There came a time, however, when the marketing turned toward much more negative smear campaigns, like SEGA releasing a commercial that declares that the SEGA Genesis “does what Nintendon’t.” This drove gamers to pick a side, with each side gaining a superiority complex about what they game on.
Even after SEGA stopped making consoles, the Console War never went away; it just shifted. Nintendo is still making extremely successful consoles, but so are Sony with their PlayStation systems and Microsoft with their Xbox consoles. Plus, gaming PCs have become extremely powerful and commonplace. In the age of the Internet, the fighting has become more prominent than ever. Gamers seem to always be at each other’s throats because they believe they play video games on whichever platform they deem best.
Some argue that certain platforms have better exclusives, while others that their favorite platform has better graphics or loads faster. Some of that may be true. Afterall, Mario games are only playable on Nintendo consoles and PCs worth thousands of dollars should obviously be more powerful than a $500 gaming system. The big question that those who take part in this war never seem to ask themselves, though, is “so what?”
It’s okay for someone to have their favorite platform or preferred games or specs. Arguing about it, however, is meaningless and extremely toxic. Gaming is supposed to be something that brings people together. Some people turn to gaming to escape real-world hardships they may be going through. Outcasts flock to the gaming community seeking somewhere they belong.
Bullying and gatekeeping are never okay. It’s especially unnecessary to put others down just because of something they enjoy. If someone likes PlayStation consoles because they’re big fans of Uncharted or LittleBig Planet games, then let them enjoy that. If someone prefers the ability to play the newest Legend of Zelda on the go with the Nintendo Switch, then that’s great for them. The same can be said for those willing to shell out the cash to have the most hyper-realistic visuals and fastest frame rates on a high-end gaming PC. There’s no need to verbally attack others because they’re playing the way they prefer.
We should all be happy that we’re able to play incredible video games on a wide variety of platforms. We can bond over sharing online multiplayer experiences, reminiscing about the stories we’ve played through, and the excitement we feel when big announcements are made. If Mario and Sonic can put aside their differences to meet up at the Olympics after essentially being the ones to start this ridiculous debate decades ago, then maybe us gamers can be more civil.