No Man's Sky: culture or cult?


I was with you until the end. I think it’s a mis-assumption that nerds can’t be total dicks, or not, depending entirely on the individual nerd.


[quote=“RogerStrong, post:16, topic:79001”]The internet and modern media simply publicizes and promotes louder and more controversial figures, and makes them seem to represent the rest.[/quote]In the process, the media gets another little something to pad out the news cycle, and the studio gets free advertising.

If there weren’t already crazy people out there, they would have to invent them. In fact, back when crazy people weren’t quite so easy to find, that’s exactly what they did.

As for No Man’s Sky, it can’t possibly live up to the hype.


I think it will do what the developers say it will do. But it may not live up to your expectations. Like any of the new Star Wars films will ever completely replace how the original films felt.


I get the message but I would like to share a little counterweight to this post and call the No Man’s Sky community passionate instead:


This idea is nonsense:

A friend of mine in the industry remarked to me a few weeks ago that video game marketing isn’t selling you a game, but rather a membership in a cult. That video game marketing is, essentially, weaponizing fandom. In other parts of pop culture, it’s simply incidental that kind of intense brand loyalty would spring up amongst a small group of fans. … But in games, that fringe is the entire target audience.

They’re certainly becoming more visible in the culture (god help you if you read the Steam forums, for example). And yes, the entitlement and frothing enthusiasm of certain people is remarkable and pitiable and cultish. But to suggest that they’re the entire target audience (or even a majority of it) is, frankly, stupid.

O tempora o mores!

Kids these days.



T-I-misogynist asshats-ER. That spells Tigger!

Those fucktards who made Meth 2 should burn in hell. Meth is my alltime favourite and they have to go ruin the whole fucking thing.


It’s exactly like that. Not every american is Donald Trump, but the fact that Trump is the nominee for one of the two major political parties hints very strongly that something was already going wrong in America.

In much the same way, not every gamer is a toxic asshat, but the prevalence of toxic asshats tells me that maybe there’s something wrong with gaming culture


This isn’t really a new phenomenon. There were gamers in the 90s (when I was working on an MMO) wishing me cancer or getting hit by a bus because I had the audacity to write some new content that was for a different class than the one they were playing.

Gamers can be really, really ugly.


I can’t speak for anyone else, and I most definitely wouldn’t send death threats, but I was definitely heart broken when I found out the delay rumors were true…I have literally been waiting for this game to come out for YEARS. I like using the site stumbleupon and I just happened to stumble upon a youtube video for this game about 2 years ago…i’ve been somewhat obsessed since then, and I would always bring it up to people who were interested in gaming. I would tell them I heard about this very obscure game but it never had a release date or anything…now when we finally got one a few months ago, I couldn’t believe that it was actually almost here, I would be able to fly around to almost an infinite amount of planets and just explore…I of course pre ordered as quickly as I could. Ever since the reveal, i’ve been counting the days down. So yeah, you could say I was pretty upset when I found out that I would have to wait almost 2 months longer. Not angry, it’s important to note that, but definitely upset.


I’ve been hanging out on the NMS SubReddit for at least a year now. Great group of people overall, very passionate about the ideas behind this game. Many of them are talented artists and creative types. There’s over 50,000 of us, and this article really seems to generalize based on a few bad apples.

This is very similar to the old conversations about rock and roll corrupting youth. it’s popular because people are passionate about the idea. In a world of micro transitions, we get a universe to play in and explore. The game looks beautiful, fun and open, so of course people love it. Even a few people who need to see a therapist.


I’ll put it another way. If you’re not interested in this game, you probably don’t get it. BoingBoing recently had a feature on Elon Musk believing our reality is in a simulation. What made him consider that?

He is a huge fan of No Man’s Sky, and at one point requested to meet with the developers. I’ve read that he more seriously considers this idea because of No Man’s Sky… An unreleased videogame has made one of our greatest minds rethink reality:

From the article:
"The sheer […] intensity of No Man’s Sky fandom—it isn’t even out yet!—speaks to a deepening problem with fandoms. "
Does that include wanting to meet the developers?


I get the comparison to Spore, but I’m hoping that it will something be more akin of the Starflight games from back in the 80’s.


I love the idea of No Man’s Sky, a huge nearly infinite universe to explore. The concern is if the actual game mechanics will make it fun or if it will become boring after the first month of wandering around the lonely universe. Then again when someone first told me about Minecraft I was very underwhelmed by the idea, but after playing it and it hooking me I realized the brilliance of that game and still come back a 2 or 3 times a year and play the hell out of it for a few weeks. I’m hoping the actual gameplay hooks me and I enjoy it, but right now I too worry it’s going to be a “Spore” game…


I’m not familiar with the Starflight games (going to go look it up after this post), but I have had a lot of fun over the last few years playing the new Elite:Dangerous off and on. It only models our entire galaxy and it already feels nearly infinite (and lonely) in size when you’re exploring.


the author also said about mass effect 3’s ending:

They were whining in the same way people whine when iTunes deletes all the music off their computer.

whining indicates an unjustified complaint. itunes deleting music? not whining. fans organizing to petition for a better ending, or for something like the return of firefly? also not whining.

also yuck:

it makes the gaming habit feel like it’s more special than just a way to waste time between dinner and bedtime every day.

games are not much different in their enjoyment than a book or a movie – i feel, if anything, they take a bit more work – but: if you’re not enjoying it, put the darn game down. you’re not obligated to play.

it sounds like the author themselves has borne the brunt of some of the negativity, and maybe it’s sapped their enjoyment of playing. they themselves are looking for a reason for it all.

i don’t feel like the blame can be laid at the feet of marketing and hype – as the author suggests – particularly because the hate extends far beyond games ( comic books, movies, confederate flags ) but maybe companies do bear some responsibility for not actively trying to help to calm things down.


Many older gamers just can’t muster much sympathy. Try waiting for blizzard games. Waiting for a Tesla. Waiting for anything by j.d. Salinger. I am not denigrating how you feel, but I promise this will be neither the last or most egregious time this happens to you.


It’s worse than that because it’s “I enjoy the idea of this game that isn’t yet out” to “there is nothing else in my life but this game (that doesn’t exist in any real sense), and I’m going to threaten to murder the family of anyone who tells me that it won’t go on sale when I thought it would.” That’s disturbing on extra levels.

That’s too easy to blame mental health issues - this behavior is so normalized that it’s rife in the “gaming” sub-culture. Two disturbing things are normalized - having your life revolve around a video game (that may not even exist) and threatening to murder people for saying or doing something you don’t like that has to do with that video game.

It’s rather like judging all Americans based on Donald Trump supporters, especially when there are a lot of them. “Gaming culture” - the culture of people who self-identify as “gamers” is full of this kind of behavior. If you’re involved with games and have any kind of public (i.e. social media) presence, people are going to threaten to murder/rape you/your family on a regular basis. And yeah, most of these people have poor social skills and were at the bottom of the social pecking order - that just makes them more angry, not more empathetic.


You know, I am also looking forward to the game and have taken the time to ferret out all the information about the game that’s been given. One thing I think a lot of people overlook is that only 1% of planets will be of the “lush garden of life variety” so often seen in the trailers. 90% will be largely barren, with only 10% having many lower life forms. I think a lot of people will will throw fits when they start playing, only to find their first planet is a toxic wasteland, or a Venus hellhole, or a cold barren Mars. Then their next, and their next, aannndd their next…

My impression about people who are “in love with the idea of the game” is that “their idea of the game” will be quite different from what the game will be, and in many cases, is different from what we already know about the game. If you look at comments under the YouTube videos about NMS, you will find that a large fraction of comments are filled with errors about various aspects of the game, or are inane speculations. I suspect that the crazy people making threats probably know the least about the game, and will hate it when it comes out anyway. Expect to see some angry rants/threats from these morons.


You just know these arsehats are going to be disappointed when the game finally arrives, it may be a great game, but in their minds, what ever the developers, do it wont live up to their expectations.

Virtual reality games are great, and often fun, but some people need the occasional dose of reality


Geez, it’s not like this thing is Half Life 2: Ep 3. (rimshot)

Are fans changing, or is that the real world is increasingly dystopian, and therefore greater escapes, or “Somas,” are more desperately needed, coveted, with stronger symptoms of delay or withdraw? I wonder what recent speculative fiction covers this well…