Superposed Gaming — It Is And Isn’t A Thing
For those of you who haven’t dabbled in quantum mechanics before, or have never heard of Schrödinger’s beloved Cat, superposition put very simply, follows the thought that for all possible outcomes of an object, every outcome is said to have already happened and the actual outcome may only be devised through measurement of some sort.
Confused? Don’t be. Think of it like this: You’ve just had sex without a condom (or other contraceptive). You could have HIV or the female in this situation (assuming it’s not two homosexual males) could be pregnant. At the same time you could not have HIV and the female in this situation (assuming it’s not two homosexual males) could not be pregnant. The only way to know for sure is to take a measurement, which is to go for an HIV test or get a home pregnancy kit. Congratulations if she’s pregnant; I’m sure you’ll both make great parents.
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The point, though, is that until that measurement is taken, you are both HIV positive and HIV negative, because both possibilities exist. It’s the measurement that makes the key difference.
See how everything is easier to understand in a sexual context.
Now let’s bring that to a gaming context and consider the tool of measurement to be either personal experience or a review.
Therefore when a game releases to the world, or is announced, or whatever else, it is both the worst thing on Earth since Halo 3, and at the same time, the greatest game since Half-Life 2 if not better. And everything in between.
Why do I say this? Well it’s become a bit of an annoyance to me whenever I see people immediately praise or dismiss a game, either based on its name or initial showings of it.
The difference between an underdog and a dark horse is that the latter comes out of nowhere and surprises everyone but the underdog is that thing that nobody expected to do well, that does. I see a lot more of those in the world, of late.
Over the last few years I’ve seen games the likes of Lollipop Chainsaw, Dragon’s Dogma, The Darkness II and Catherine fly so low under the radar that you would be excused if you didn’t even know they existed. And yet they were all really great games; the thing is, a lot of people didn’t pay them any interest from pretty much the first trailer because it was assumed that the quality wasn’t there, or they didn’t do enough to attract gamers or whatever else you might like to blame that isn’t piracy.
Need For Speed: The Run is a game that has received so many negative or average-scoring reviews and yet I would rank it high up in my list of favourite Need For Speed titles — and trust me, I’ve played ’em all.
On the flip side of things, everybody thought that Aliens: Colonial Marines would be the greatest game ever and a resurrection (is that a possible pun?) for the Aliens series but what it actually ended up being was a steaming pile of shit. Still, people looked at games the likes of that, Grand Theft Auto V and The Last of Us and from the very first trailer, already had it in their minds that it was Game of the Year stuff.
Some of them still haven’t taken a moment to really think about it, and how many months further on are we?
I could go on and on and on, there are just so many examples currently in existence in the world.
Why do we do that? As gamers, why do we seek to judge before any measurement has been carried out? I can guarantee you that some games this year (cough Titanfall coughity cough) will be reviewed from a base starting point of 9/10 just because of their name and how much they’ve excited gamers with trailers, rather than being fair and rating it the same way we’d all rate the Game of Thrones RPG from 2012 that nobody played because they assumed it was shit. (It wasn’t… entirely.)
In truth, when a game is announced it is both a really bad game and a really great game. It’s also a mediocre offering and something special. Sometimes a few gameplay trailers serve as decent hypothesis-testing but they’re not a true measurement. Only two true measurements exist: You either play it for yourself or read reviews you trust.
So for the benefit of gaming, please don’t pre-judge games based on what you’ve seen or heard of them at first. Take every game on its own merits and play a game before forming an opinion about it. I mean, we all hate those guys with opinions on games they’ve never played, right? So why be that guy, ever.
We both are and aren’t better than that.