In the RKG Discord, someone was going off on gatekeeping. Not in video games, but elsewhere. His main point was that as long as someone wasn’t hurting someone else, let them like what they like. I agreed because I have been put down for my tastes all my life. I find it more amusing than hurtful, but it’s still annoying after a while.
To be clear, I don’t go around saying I think Star Wars is boring (I do) or that I found The Big Lebowski exceedingly distasteful (which I did), but I’m also not going to lie about it if I’m asked. I don’t like many of the popular pop culture, but I keep my mouth shut. Unless I’m specifically asked. Or, if I’m opining on my own Twitter feed/Facebook wall, etc. In other words, in my own home. I’ve had people take offense at that, and I take great pleasure in agreeing with them that my taste is terrible.
I mentioned boba tea, which was invented by my people–the Taiwanese people, that is. It was all the rage when I was in the Bay Area, and I tried it when I was out there. I don’t know if it’s still the case, but I was given a contaner of tea with big, thick, chewy tapioca ‘pearls’ at the bottom of the cup. There was a big straw in the cup, and you were supposed to suck up the pearls through the straw.
I could not suck hard enough to get that pearl through the straw. Wow. That sounds sexual, doesn’t it? I could not do it. No idea why I wasn’t given a spoon as well, but I faithfully tried again. When I managed to get one through the straw, I momentarily panicked that it was going to get stuck in my throat. Plus, it was soft and squishy. I do not like solid things in my liquids, at least not the ones I’m drinking (which excludes soup).
When I moved back to Minnesota and it became a thing here (roughly three years after it was a trend in San Francisco, I refused to get any. Even though people around me raved about it. Now, I would not be able to have it because it has milk in it, which is fine by me.
I get that people have their own preferences, but I don’t get why people care so much about what other people like or don’t like. I have a friend whose husband takes it very personally if she doesn’t like the same thing he does. He takes it as a rejection of him, which I understand, but I don’t agree with.
I mean, I get it. I bristle a little when someone puts down a From game if I think the comment is without merit. Such as, there was a video in 2019 about the worst game of the year. It was one of those Whataculture type of channels that churns out content on the daily. It’s a valid topic, but it’s most certainly chosen because it’s good for SEO. People love the best of and the worst of lists.
In this case, one of the persenters, a woman, got a weird look on her face and said that her choice was Sekiro. I mean, come on. You can say you didn’t like it. You can say that you thought it was horrible. But the worst game of the year? Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Don’t Dry (CrazyBunch) was released that year as well. Her argument is invalid.
She went on to explain that she tried it and couldn’t do it. Which, again, fine. It’s a hard game, and as I’ve written several times, my least-favorite of the From games. But then she went on to say that she couldn’t understand how anyone could like the game and that they were just lying. I’m paraphrasing, but that was her basic point. Since she did not enjoy the game and was bad at it, then no one else could really enjoy it, either.
I have exactly zero problems with someone saying it was a terrible game for them and that they hated it. If she had said it was her worst game of the year, I would have had no issues with that, either. But for her to say it was the worst game of the year and that everyone was just lying to themselves, well ,that was a very different thing.
In general, I just think people should be allowed to enjoy whatever they want in any way they want as long as it’s not harming anyone else (objectively harming). I don’t understand why people would want to deride others for enjoying something (or not enjoying it). I like being able to discuss these things, but I don’t feel the need to get heated in defending my opinion.
To be honest, at some point, I’ll just withdraw. I don’t care after a certain point. Once I’ve shot my wad, I mentally shrug my shoulders and move on. I’ve said to my last therapist that I gave and gave and gave until I reached my limit and then I just shut them out. This was more about interpersonal interactions than opinions on pop culture, but they are not that far apart.
My therapist told me quite sharply that that was not a good way to be. I retorted that I was just explaining, not condoning. I knew it was not ideal, but it was the way I coped at the time. I did not do boundaries very well, complimentary of my mother. She actively discouraged boundaries as they made her uncomfortable. She did not like that therapist because as my mother said, “She’s making you pull away from me.” When I tried to point out that boundaries were not a bad thing, my mother said that in Taiwanese culture, family was the most important thing.
I know that’s true. But, I don’t think that even in a familial culture like Taiwan, individuals didn’t matter at all. If that was true, then I would consider that a flaw, regardless of culture. There has to be a balance between family and individuality. I’m not sure we have a good balance of it in America, either, but I certainly think that the individual not having any life of their own isn’t good, either. Again, I’m sure that’s not how it is, even in Taiwan, but that’s how my mother interprets her culture.
I pretty much just like what I like and keep that to myself unless asked. It just makes everything easier.