Back to that whole thing with ZOMGPOP and the media backlash it caused - I started thinking about what would cause that sort of backlash (besides the obvious, “he was being quite a bit of a jerk” part) and it really boiled down to seeing the difference between how a company like Zynga is regarded vs. Pierce as an indie.
Both indie and core games enjoy having the type of community that would stand up and defend them, while it is not as obvious that social and mobile games do.
(They might! I just don’t know at this point/haven’t seen it and they may not even be the sort of pugnacious fan that is attracted to the other types of games.)
I suppose at the heart of it, I am afraid of this group disappearing into the ether. Yes, absolutely, most of gaming needs to grow up and stop calling each other names and so on and so forth, but some of the most eloquent and remarkable debates have also arisen from these groups, which would be a sad loss indeed.
This is something that I’ve been thinking about for a while, and haven’t really come to a definitive conclusion about. While I don’t think things like free to play is going to screw up core gaming as much as others do, I do think that specifically making a game that is designed for “everyone” rather than a specific niche or for self expression or any other more specific thing may have some good and bad unintended consequences down the line.
Edit: John Walker summarizes the above far more eloquently in this article.