The younger fandom, and how they learned from exactly none of our mistakes.

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by Josh, Jan 6, 2020.

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  1. Josh

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    Exactly, New Donk City was intentionally uncanny: https://twitter.com/MarioBrothBlog/status/1255665250889859072

    Either way though, if Sonic 06 had been a good game, I doubt it would've mattered as much. I mean, Sonic Adventure also had the cast in a city alongside low-poly anime humans, and that didn't seem to bother anyone at the time. Personally, I think Unleashed's more cartoony humans were a MUCH better fit, but again, it would've been a much more minor criticism if, y'know, "realistic human lady kisses Sonic the Hedgehog" hadn't been the literal climax of the story. Sonic 06 was such an infamous dumpster fire, it poisoned the idea of every concept it failed to execute.
     
  2. RDNexus

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    Well, it was the contrary to me. I thought of the cartoony humans in Unleashed as a downgrade from the realistic humans in 06.
    Especially because I LOVE Eggman 06. For years, I wished to see him in a more human-look, and 06 made that real, in a sense.
     
  3. Dek Rollins

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    I don't like the realistic humans in 06, but I don't care for the Unleashed humans either. They don't really match the Sonic style, if that makes sense. I do like the anime humans in SA1.
     
  4. Blue Spikeball

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    Same. I found the GTA-esque humans in '06 too uncanny valley, and the Pixar-riff humans in Unleashed too over the top and irritating. As with most things, I prefer a middle point, like SA1 or Billy Hatcher.
     
  5. Vanishing Vision

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    I don't really mind any of the non-Eggman humans that much, but I overall prefer having Eggman as the only human character because of how pleasantly surreal it is. That in this world of talking animals there's this single odd-looking human being that keeps showing up. One of my favorite things about the Genesis games is the mystery of who places like Spring Yard, Star Light and Casino Night belong to. Developed cities that aren't Eggman constructs with skyscrapers, hotels and casino. Are there human beings in there? Are there Sonic-like animals in there? Is it for the Flickies and all the other little, non-anthro animals?
     
  6. Boured

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    Yeah, I've watched that video, while I do share his sentiment, with his quote "I'm not a fan of Modern Sonic, I'm not a fan of Classic Sonic, I'm a fan of Sonic." hitting me the hardest. I do not believe gatekeeping should be a thing, it's toxic and completely antithetical to why I joined the fandom in the first place, where it's inviting and accepting. Pushing people out of the fandom cause they don't line up with "Group Think" is not going to end well, even if it's coming from a good place, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    I will forever respect sonic fans from all walks of life, be it from SatAM, Archie, Fleetway, I want to lead by example. As well as in the gaming scene, Hell I know someone who enjoys Sonic Forces, and I say more power to him even if I personally find his opinion misguided.
     
  7. Really this is an issue that plagues fandom in general, the idea of policing it so that only 'the right kinds of people' can interact with it. No matter how well-intentioned this is it inevitably falls victim to the same exact problem with absolutely no exception: there is no objective 'right way' to enjoy a piece of media, especially with something as varied as Sonic. The idea that liking or disliking a certain facet of it as being the deciding factor of being a true fan is, frankly, asinine (not to mention the absurdity of applying this to a blue hedgehog who goes bootlegged super saiyan and fights discount Teddy Roosevelt using the power of friendship and rock music) and will ultimately damage the longevity of the fandom as it just creates pointless discourse that provides little benefit to the fandom at large. Disagreeing over classic vs modern, Archie vs IDW, Crush 40 vs Not Crush 40 is perfectly fine but not if it just devolves into childish tantrums because someone online doesn't like what you like. Tl;Dr it's a series about anthro flash, don't be a jerk about it.
     
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  8. BadBehavior

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    While the video is back on topic, I thought it'd be prudent to tell you about the pinned comment the video uploader made recently (3 weeks ago as of making this post). If you don't mind, I'll just post it here verbatim:

    Hey guys. I... probably should have done this three months ago. But I was unsure of how to do it. ... I was also lazy. That's the more honest part of it.

    I want to make a pinned comment here saying that Aaron Webber and Tyson Hesse have actually seen this video. I figure it's worth saying not to gain clout or anything, but more so to maybe encourage people to ease up on forwarding this to them, as they're... definitely aware of it. But let that not give you the impression that I am ungrateful towards your support and urge to inform SEGA of your desire for change. Now, for the people who want to know what those two thought of the video, they were very polite and respectful upon being greeted with it. Tyson claimed that he actually agreed with a lot of things in the video, but of course, I would never want to pry into what those things would be. It was that simple. Webber, however, (and don't worry, he said it was okay for me to tell people this, as I thought it was important) sent me a direct message on Christmas morning. ... I'll never forget it. I won't bore you with the details as, honestly, I don't want people to be starting a forum debate on what was said, but in sum, he shared with me a story of his own background, he expressed some disagreements with points leaning along the social side of Sonic, and he encouraged me to take the raw passion that he sees I have for Sonic... and use it to directly have a hand in the series, like he once did. A big theme being that a lot of the people I criticize are, in truth, like me in some way, on the other side. So as I've done on Twitter, I want to reiterate that nothing in this video was meant to be a jab at someone as a person, none of it was meant to be disrespectful, it was about my frustrations with the art, and not so much the artist... hurtful as that may unfortunately be.

    One last note from me, though: This video was genuinely never supposed to be any kind of call to arms or anything like that. Truthfully, I didn't think most people would agree with it. I thought I'd be laughed at, called a hater, ostracized by the community. But I didn't really care, because it was what it was: a ranting addendum to the real meat, the videos on the Adventure games and Heroes. Point is, I'm really excited and intrigued to see so many people coming out and saying that they've felt similarly to me for a long time, and I think it's cool that they want to push for change as the Classic fans once did... but the mindset I had making this video was "Fuck it, I'm just a kid to everyone else, I may feel that I'm right, but it won't mean shit in the end, so, eh, I'm done." So I can't say I'm really joining you guys, even if you may have proved me wrong. I don't really want to focus on a series that feels like a sinking ship with occasional flares being lit when I can do other things. But I urge you, more than ever, to not simply parrot what I have said. I want you to think for yourself. If you truly agree with me, that's awesome. But I think the Sonic series has a huge problem with people just saying what's hip, what's cool, and what's accepted. Please, let the folks at SEGA know what you think Sonic should be... but make sure it's what YOU think. This era of dank memeage and Classic Sonic nostalgia will be over before you know it. Even Mr. Webber assured me of that. As Sonic goes forward, I want people to as well. And the future won't be much brighter if people don't learn from mistakes of the previous era. Be passionate and unmoved, but also be courteous, be open, and have nuance. Thank you.
     
  9. RDNexus

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    Excuse me for asking...
    By "video", you mean the one on the OP?
     
  10. BadBehavior

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    Yes, the very same.
     
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  11. Josh

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    Real talk? This whole thing has been bumming me out more the more I try to make sense of it, and it reached a tipping point for me over the weekend. I can't engage with it anymore. Twitter in particular has been toxic, and it makes me WAY too miserable that the Sonic brand has been so maligned that ANOTHER generation of fans has gotten to this point with it. Every single day, at least a few mean-spirited memes, gatekeeping hot takes, and cynical perspectives were winding up on my timeline. And lately, I haven't felt like I could share any sort of perspective or opinion on Sonic without somebody rebroadcasting it to THEIR followers, cherry-picking ONE minor aspect of a long series of thoughts ("lol really u like colors story?" "this guy seriously thinks generations is better than sa2, lol wow") or ignoring any and all context of what I was talking about, and having my timeline spammed with rage.

    Overly harsh criticism of something you feel only somewhat positive about can cause you, in the course of defending your position, to become much more ensconced in it and committed to it as the One True Way than you otherwise would have been. The opposite is also true: If someone continuously praises something you dislike, ESPECIALLY if they do it in comparison to something you REALLY LOVE, then it's easy for that thing you dislike to become a thing you HATE. Tribalism. This has always been common on the internet, but I think social media is almost geared toward making you OVER-commit to your perspective. The most effective way to get a reaction (both a celebratory one from those who agree, and a negative one from those who disagree) is to state something with no nuance, and in no uncertain terms.

    Here's an example: If you found yourself enjoying aspects of Sonic 06, and you said as much, then you were probably raked over the coals for it, which made you like it MORE, which made you become more ANGRY about it. Eventually, it CAN'T be a game that irrevocably damaged Sonic's reputation. Instead it was an underrated MASTERPIECE that everyone else ignored because they were too IGNORANT and GAMING JOURNALISTS TOLD THEM TO and EGORAPTOR MADE FUN OF IT but REAL SONIC FANS like you always loved it and LOOK AT THIS UNSOURCED SALES CHART THIS PROVES IT. And when faced with something like this, people will dismiss the person making the claim and rake them over the coals EVEN HARDER, and it goes on and on. Same thing with modern versus classic, and Adventure versus boost, and "lighthearted story" versus "serious story." Toxicity breeds toxicity. You start feeling like you can't give ANY ground whatsoever.

    And the thing is, I'm not immune to this. That phenomenon of "over-defending what you like" can cause me to claim that Colors' story is a "return to form," instead of, "I liked it a lot more than what came before, but it's still like a C+ or _maybe_ a B- in a series of Cs and Ds." It's also caused me to egregiously over-rate my own _preference_ for Sonic's classic design, and the amount of hate I see being leveled at ol' black eyes in some circles has made me feel upset or resentful toward the modern version of my favorite character, when I'd never cared much before. But again, it arises from people who LIKED Modern Sonic's design being hated on for preferring IT, and then getting just as invested. I don't think I was ever TOO bad, but I know what I was feeling. But I can't let toxicity infect my perspective, or infect The Geek Critique, like that. It does me no good.

    The thing is, there *is* a nuanced, conciliatory version of the never-ending, "Sonic stories suck now, fire Pontac & Graff, Baldy Nosehair was the ruin of all that Sonic was," argument that would be more uniting and nuanced:

    "While I understand why so many people saw the earlier games' stories as over-stuffed cheese plots backed with poorly-translated dialogue, 2000s-era melodrama, and aged presentation, I still vastly prefer them to the egregious LACK of any real story focus that we see in the Sonic stories of the last 10 years. If the earlier games were too complex, the newer ones are too rounded and safe and simple, and I resent the fact that Sega refuses to even TRY to change that, and make a good, more serious, well-written, character-focused story, just because of a few bad games that came out 15 years ago."

    Saying it like this gives up some ground in an effort to FIND common ground, it doesn't dismiss the series' history or overtly hate on anything, and it's the kind of message that could get people who DID like Colors' story or a more lighthearted tone on their side, or at least better understand where they're coming from. But it also isn't as instantly quotable or or memetic as just pointing at "Baldy Nosehair," it won't inspire passionate devotion or dismissive rage on social media, and so people have little incentive to present it like this.

    I want to analyze and talk about this stuff with other fans, I want to share my perspective and understand their's, I want to ESCAPE thinking all the tribal bullshit infecting the world nowadays and celebrate the game franchise that I love, but even THAT'S been infected with tribal bullshit. And I'm just sick of it. I was sick of it a long time ago.

    This was September 9, 2009, right after Sonic 4 was first teased:
    [​IMG]

    Anyway, that's why I deactivated Twitter. I've got to, at least, take a break from all this. And even if I do decide to come back, I think I should stay away from Sonic discourse on Twitter, at least for a while. Most of the Genesis-era kids like that guy up there EVENTUALLY mellowed out, and I'm sure this will pass too. It just makes me feel awfully ostracized from the fandom, and it did back THEN too, which is probably why seeing it bubble back up again like this bums me out so much.
     
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  12. That sucks, Josh. Yeah, I learned from an early age to not talk about Sonic stuff much on social media- especially Twitter. Unfortunately social media can bring out the worst in people and allows people to get outraged and throw tantrums over the silliest of things. Make one little opinion on something trivial like a video game or a movie, and they'll want your head on a pike. Expressing opinions on anything in this day and age on social media is like dipping your toes into a lake filled with piranhas.
     
  13. Vanishing Vision

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    This in particular is something I've been seeing in the last few years that's just completely nuts to me. During 2016-2019, I was participating in Sonic discussion on a website that will remain nameless, and it was absolutely, unimaginably awful. The same inflammatory arguments and insults over and over and over again. So much to the point that I finally realized I should stop torturing myself, so I left, just as you've decided to take a break from Twitter.

    The thing that stood out the most in these arguments was this incredibly bizarre "us vs. them" attitude that saw the long-suffering, tormented Sonic fan pitted against the oppressive evil of mainstream game media and its' demon overlord Arin Hanson. There was SO MUCH anger directed at Youtubers, Pontac and Graff, classic fans, anyone that enjoyed games like Colors, and things like Aaron Webber interacting with the Game Grumps was received as if FDR had Hitler over for lunch. They were constantly having to hide their love of Jason Griffith and Mephiles, lest THE ENEMY find them and inflict unspeakable atrocities upon them.

    Now, to be clear, I think the Game Grumps are tremendously unfunny, and I've rolled my eyes at game media's outsider opinions several times (mostly from a gameplay standpoint, like the "punishes you for going fast" nonsense), but I was taken aback at how much these fans let these figurative nobodies get under their skin. Why did it matter that Youtubers made fun of the games they liked? Why did it matter that not everyone that liked Sonic thought Black Knight was a unrivaled literary triumph? Why was the overall mood to resent so many others and mope endlessly instead of celebrating and enjoying what Sonic was to them?

    The (somewhat understandable) argument was that the series had left their preferences behind, and that while classic fans got treats like Generations and Mania, they were told their Sonic didn't matter. This is perfectly valid, but what wasn't is the idea that it was THE ENEMY that caused this. That the change in tone that Colors bought was the result of Sonic Team consulting Game Grumps LPs for creative advice, or that Iizuka himself spoke with his favorite Youtubers and ultimately decided that Shadow was too much of a "cringey edgelord" to have a significant focus ever again.

    The amount of personal attacks on so many people that thought differently from this group of fans, including the most horrible enemy of all, other Sonic fans, was frankly very upsetting. I guess that was the moment I generally had enough with Sonic "discourse", and going back to the OP of this thread, it was surreal to see history repeating itself (albeit with even more venom this time around). That post about celebrating Sonic 4 with a round of SA2 lines up almost exactly with my feelings back then. I loved and always will love the Genesis games, but could never go fully along with the chants of "new Sonic sucks" because, well, it didn't to me. Now those same chants have just switched to a new enemy, and now they're powered up with modern social media, which is an even greater destructive force than the Chaos Emeralds.
     
  14. Nova

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    I think what a lot of them are forgetting is that the 'Sonic has had a rocky start' rhetoric started way before Grumps even existed, let alone Arin making his Sonic opinions known. Colours came out in 2010. Grumps didn't even start as a channel until 2012.
     
  15. I've mostly turned a blind eye to SEGA's interactions with the Game Grumps guys, but the one thing that kinda bothered me is that instead of marketing Team Sonic Racing, they mostly just marketed the sound track and... had Arin Hansen and his buddies fly over to SEGA Japan so they could sing some cringe song about Big the Cat with Jun Senoue. I can definitely see why people in the fandom hate the Game Grumps guys, but it honestly isn't really their fault that things are like this. This was SEGA's own dumb marketing ploy to try to reach a wider audience without actually showing off the product they're trying to sell. The whole situation over there just seems so bizarre to me.
     
  16. qwertysonic

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    Josh I think you just described politics...

    I mean duh! Giving up ground in an effort to find common ground is how rational discussion between people of differing opinions are had. Of course what you said works better, but it's much easier (and much more rallying) to say something like, "The oompa loompa in the Oval Office hates Mexicans and wants to kill all the gays!" I personally don't like following politics (and don't really have a strong political leaning) that's why I don't use social media. Kind, rational discussions with people you disagree with about things you both are passionate about are really hard. Even in person with good friends. Of course they don't turn out well on the internet with people you don't know and won't likely talk to again.
     
  17. Josh

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    Oh, I agree, they're absolutely bonkers and there's no excuse for acting like that, but I do feel some sympathy for them.

    I mean, my position on Sonic 06 back in the mid-aughts was, "I can clearly see this game is garbage, but I'm managing to have some fun with it despite that." And for THAT, for daring to even indirectly praise anything about it or, for that matter, any other 3D Sonic game, _I_ would be raked over the coals.

    Some other fans were offended by 06 and ANGRY about it, and I understood why (it proved the critics SO right!), but I always thought their over-the-top condemnation of everything 3D in light of that was... absolutely bonkers, just like I think THIS behavior from the younger set now is bonkers!

    That classic Sonic fan from 2009 from my last post said something awfully prescient: "They let the entire thing crash and burn, and all the current kiddies who didn't grow up with our childhood aren't really going to understand it." And yeah, of course, they DON'T. Sonic 06 was not the downfall of the series to them, it was just another part of their childhood. What the Genesis/Mega Drive games mean to us, the games of the 2000s mean to them, but the difference is, the consensus view of OUR childhood is that it was Sonic at his peak, and if the series was ever good, THIS was when it was good. The consensus view of THEIR childhood is that it practically killed the brand.

    The point is, I felt sniped at in 09 for daring to say I liked anything at all about Sonic post-98. But with the sorta-kinda exception of SA1, I didn't grow up with those games, and none of them were formative to my understanding of Sonic or my love of gaming. I was old enough to not take it personally, and see the 3D games from a more nuanced perspective, and KNOW in real time what an awful effect they were having on Sonic's reputation.

    But imagine how it's felt the past 14 years for someone who DID grow up with them, who unabashedly, unironically, uncritically loved them, and has had to endure EVERYONE, from gaming journalists to other fans to even the official Twitter account making a joke of them. Those jokes are HUGELY cathartic to us, but like I said, through no fault of their own, they weren't there, they didn't experience that time the same way we did.

    And I'm sure that more often than not, even IF they've offered up a nuanced and understanding perspective on their love of these games, they've STILL been shouted down by the mob for having the wrong opinion. If that happens enough, of COURSE some of them might feel resentful about it, and admitting to any kind of flaw with the early 3D games will seem like letting those assholes win, so they'll over-compensate for those flaws, and lash out about EVERYTHING ELSE Sonic's ever been instead.

    Again: Being bullied by assholes is no excuse for becoming one yourself. But it's STILL a pretty typical response to feeling bullied, and fans of early 3D Sonic games have gotten it worse than any of us ever did. Toxicity breeds toxicity.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2020
  18. Trickster's Joke

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    I want to point out I very much agree that the sonic fan base tends to miss the Forrest for the trees primarily with review outlets and youtubers. Blaming them for influencing sega instead of blaming the corperation for throwing you under a bus for business venture that for all intents and purposes , didn't actually work out and ended up largely reversing corse on. Friends are back ( kind we will get to that in a second) , adventure remakes and adventure type games are being regularly talked about. The conversation around the fanbase has somewhat shifted to a point where people are calling the people who do rag on some 13 year old's oc weird manchildren like they should have been called years ago. Things have in a way changed , though not as much as they should have.
    Though that isn't point, my point is that for whatever reason there is a section of sonic fans who are very loud and who also for whatever reason thinks that sonic, a literal corporate mascot is not subject to the machinations, of capitalism. This comes from the same place as those weirdo's who think that Ian Flynn hates the archie characters, and not that they are associated with possible future legal issues, couldn't actually sell books by themselves after a while, awful material that is nothing like any of their visions for the franchise. No, Ian flynn hates them, because that's easier t swallow than nameless faceless suits making bad decision. Those you tubers, ruby eclipse, those reviewers, Ian flynn are faces in which they can direct their ire. Because the reality is unsatisfying to say the least




    But I want to pose a question
    Why should they not be assholess? No seriously, Why? You may say, " because that's bad and in the context of this conversation not productive" and I agree for the first thing, don't agree with second thing. Being an asshole to sonic is very productive. This isn't about bullying, its about getting results. Those reviewers, youtubers, gamepeople ect what have shitting on everything those fans liked liked, got sega to get rid of everything those fans liked liked and appealed to them. They don't want to bully, they are replicating the behavior that got results. And simply put, while you can say you didn't participate in it, you benefited from it and they didn't . You cant tell them to not be assholes , because you got what you wanted. Classic sonic came back, there is a new classic sonic game, all the edgy shit in the franchise got shitted on for years even from sega themselves. Being an asshole to the people younger than you got results from sega. Why would they not replicate the behavior to get the same results. To be the bigger man? Why should they give a crap, they don't care about you. Like you and your peers before you didn't care about them , they only care about getting a product that caters to them. Why should the guy who's favorite character is shadow, getting ruined to appeal to your demographic give a shit about anything other than he wants? When not giving a shit about anything other than ones own desires is the thing that got results for the people who's opinions ruined his character.

    And here's the thing, its working. Guess who's back? Shadow , everyone else. Guess who seemingly is getting fixed after sega messed them up in future comics? Shadow, guess what's being talked about , sonic adventure. Guess who is regularly being sent YouTube dissertations by everyone and their mom about how the adventure era was valuable ( a point agree with ) the community staff.

    You don't think its productive for conversation, but neither the toxic fans nor sega is interested in conversation. They are interested in getting the message out, that benefits both parties, the fans that what their adventure-era esque product and characters, and the corporation who wants money. Your displeasure is calculated against potential profits as was theirs years before.

    So it seems like you have a 30 page thread complaining , but not asking why this is happening and why should they stop. Its happening because fans did it before, and it worked. Why should they stop? Why should they not do the thing that got the people who shitted on them the things they want, to be nice? Like you mentioned , they will whether they are nice or shitlords will be seen as weird creepy fetishists with oc's to a lot of the folks who ragged on em before. Why not at least go the route that gets results.

    Now, all of this could be avoided by sega years ago realizing people want different things from this franchise and making different products to appeal to those people, instead of just thinking people will just go along for the ride, or they can fall off. People could just go into their corner and stay in their corner, if they do not wish to diversify. But unfortunately sega is weird didn't try to do that until.. generations. And still kind of didn't do it right then, because their idea on acting on that was sonic boom. And it took almost a decade after generations to get mania. I'm getting off track. My point is, if sega was a normal company there would just be classic games, some adventure era type/influenced games, and newer fair in regular rotation in all sorts of products. But they aren't, so the solution is to yell at them, and for the toxic fans, yell at everyone you think they value more than your group until they listen to you. And it worked , and it seems like its working again

    So I ask you, the OP everyone in this thread

    Why shouldn't they be assholes? It worked, and was rewarded.
     
  19. Wafer

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    I actually read all of that and, honestly, it just seems like you want to go to bat for YouTubers for some reason, and have produced arguments to fit your goal.
     
  20. Crappy Blue Luigi

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    I actually didn't read any of that because you lost me at "why should they not be assholes?"

    The crux of your argument sucks. Flat out.
     
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