The hilarity of people defending the art style of Sonic Boom never ends.

It’s a cliche that never fails to occur over the internet. Millions come out in defense of controversy at a moments notice. Whether it’s RE5’s killing of Africans to GTA being the focus of video game violence, the defense squad will quickly form a line to piss all over the dreaded complainers.

This tells you just how backwards internet people(nerds) really are. Complaining is taboo in backwards societies. Most well-informed people understand that complaints have a positive social function, and that dissent should not be buried. Discontent should be treated as a valuable resource. Instead, it’s automatically dismissed or frowned upon. Buzz words like “appreciation” are often thrown around in that reflex responses toward customer dissatisfaction are “you should be glad they made something for us anyway”. This is the medieval logic of lower expectations: no complaint is valid, since things can always be worse than they are, and we should always be grateful.

What caused internet gamers to ascribe to a curse of bureaucracy where we find ourselves pinned against a wall with rabbid forum goers foaming at the mouth screaming at us when all we voiced was a complaint about a video game? While the simple answer would be the mind control argument of how game developers “suffer” to make games for people (it’s not uncommon for that thought process), it’s more of a psychological response born out of a disgust for people in general. Sounds confusing as hell, doesn’t it? Lets put it into perspective.

I was watching 2 movies over the weekend. The Iron Giant and Dogma. Both movies are delicious. But both of them contain at least one character who describe themselves as artists. Dean from Iron Giant sells scrap but mentions that as soon as he turns it into art, he can’t just give them away. Dean performs a service of selling what is trash to people, but what happens when he turns all of his trash into art? In Dogma, you have an agent of hell (I think he played Dave in the Chipmunks and Syndrome in the Incredibles) who says that the reason he went to hell was because God was angry at him for not joining his army against Satan… or something (I didn’t really pay attention). The agent’s reason for not serving in this army was because “he was an artist”, which is rebuked by Salma Big Boobs that Elvis was an Artist, but also served in the army as well.

What do both of these characters represent? People who believe they are artists who do not desire to serve other people. An independence to please themselves rather than others. Which doesn’t sound too bad, I mean who wants to be someone else’s bitch for a living? The artist goes into a life of self-gratification. They usually create things not for the amusement of other people, but to seek validation. Often times, an artist might create a work of art that has no logic or reasoning to be accepted as “true art cannot be defined.” Some art pieces they create can be offensive as well. Like a painting that shows a guy sucking some woman’s tit (I’ve owned one too! Hehe). Whatever the case, art is used to do what? Express the personality and thoughts of the artist. Art is expression. The artist is inherently selfish.

The statement “True art cannot be defined” is really a euphemism for “My expressions cannot be judged by public opinion”.

So, we could say that Artists create art to validate their ego. Or (like regular people) just sell themselves out to make money making designs for companies and whatnot. The problem with the artist angle is when the artist tries to use entertainment to validate his or her ego.

The entertainer is in a completely different mindset. The entertainer is the penultimate people pleaser. They create work not to seek validation, but for the amusement of other people. The entertainer is one who desires to serve others. Make em laugh, make em cry, but ultimately, make em smile. They are inherently selfless.

Look at anime. What is the entertainment? Shit like Senran Kagura where the Silicone is a helluva. What is the Art? Shit like Gundam that expresses how much war sucks. The silicone easily wins (Gundam was originally not very popular when it first began).

When you look at video games, people will often times consider games to be art because “things can be expressed”. This is a lie. Games can and will never be art. They were created for the amusement of other people. What was an arcade? A room where people could just come in and enjoy cheap thrills (emphasis on cheap, and arcade game was cheaper to play than it is for a retail game to buy). Not some art gallery where people look at screens and go “hmm, what an exquisite piece of work here!” Art is not easily digested by the masses. Entertainment is made for public consumption.

Video Games fall under the category of entertainment given it’s status as devices of public consumption. However, the nerds believe games to be art that must be glorified and “respected”. Nerds dub themselves “Hardcore gamers” to disestablish themselves from the public. Why would they bother?

Well, Nerds in general, being social outcasts, usually have a negative perception of people in general. You can find them as those that use the phrase “people are stupid/assholes” simply because they have been mistreated by society. It’s not uncommon for the Nerd to have a negative outlook on people and society based on these experiences, and would often times develop unwarranted superiority based on having more intelligence in fields such as mathematics, science, engineering, shit like that. In the midst of their social isolation, they might actually become selfish in that they don’t want their favorite hobbies to be shared by the mainstream folks because then the nerds would lose their sense of “uniqueness” and individuality. So they fight tooth and nail (the keyboard warriors) to ensure that they alone can enjoy this hobby, or enjoy it in the right way. So they describe video games as art to further dictate that it can only be enjoyed and “appreciated” by a select few people, being those in social isolation. People who can “appreciate” art think of themselves as intellectually superior to the masses. Nerds already think of themselves as intellectually superior to the masses which is further enhanced by their preconceived disgust of the masses. As art cannot be easily digested by the masses, it gives them a sense of unwarranted self importance. Nerds

This is one of the reasons why the marketing gimmick of “Hardcore vs Casual gamers” worked so well to have the internet hate the Wii because the Casuals were referred to those of the masses which the nerds despise.

That said, they sympathize with the “artist” as art is created not to appease people, but rather the artist. This is why you hear about why Call of Duty sucks, or why NSMBW sucks. They’re both games that appeal to the public rather than the nerds. They’re not “art”. You’ll hear more praise for The Last of Us and Heavy Rain before they could say one good thing about Mortal Kombat. Why sympathize with the artist? Well, as crazy as it may sound, Nerds are socially inept which makes them incapable of expressing themselves normally in public out of fear of social scorn. Their fear and disgust of human beings make it difficult. But seeing how people can actually express themselves through “art” essentially gives them a platform of communication. The internet is populated by nerds because it gives them a platform to express themselves without fear of public scorn.

As the nerd does not enjoy sharing space with people, they do not understand the concept of “entertainment”. How can a nerd understand the fundamentals of entertaining people? They don’t even like to share their company! A person who does not enjoy the company of other people would be repulsed at the idea of entertaining other people! And so, they associate with the “artist” mentality of pleasing themselves. And since many nerds dream of becoming game designers, could you imagine all the ego chest humping they would do if they were allowed to make games? Oh wait, they already are. Thanks Aonuma, David Cage, Sakamoto!

So going back to Sonic Boom, with a fanbase that is so fucked with itself, arguments like “Knuckles’s design being logical, therefore it’s good” is simply a reflex response of the nerd psychosis. Not understanding the concept of entertainment, they laugh and taunt the complainers of the character designs. This is why it is so hilarious to me. The supporters of these ridiculous designs don’t really believe their own junk. They simply find no value in pleasing people. An artist they are or wish to be, indeed.