I have only watched a single scene of True Detective, and it’ll be at least a year before I watch more than that because of HBO’s fabulous policy of only releasing DVDs right before the next season of a show. It kind of makes sense, they’re going to sell exactly the same number of DVDs, but now they get to punish those of us who don’t have an extra $20 each month just for the privilege of a single additional channel. In economic logic of some kind, it enhances their brand by creating artificial scarcity.
But sweet zombie Hitler with a chainsaw has it brought out the worst in people on the Internet. It hasn’t just been True Detective, but it’s been at the heart of the maelstrom these last few weeks. It started around Valentine’s Day, when House of Cards hit Netflix, and we got diatribes on how Netflix should space out their releases because the enjoyment of shows is ruined by marathoning. Then it’s complaining that people are overly analyzing shows, talking them to death with endless spinning of theories and going down the rabbit hole of references. Then there were counter arguments that those who don’t try to read into shows aren’t properly enjoying them either and so their criticisms of said shows can be dismissed. And of course there were the updated installments of the wars between those who live in mortal fear of spoilers and those sick of self-censoring every single moment of entertainment since we found out Bruce Willis had been dead for the entire movie.
I’m all for debate and argument, and even getting into the analysis of how entertainment is best appreciated, but there’s a distinct line that is being crossed more and more where there is not constructive discussion going on, just fingerpointing and accusations that some other people are enjoying things the wrong way. Hell, our own Drew Morton got called a “goon headed cunt” for defending fan theorizing yesterday on Facebook, and his head doesn’t even resemble that of a goon.
In roleplaying game circles, this is an old phenomenon, if only because when you sit down a half dozen people at a table week in and week out, fights inevitably flare up over one thing or another. “Badwrongfun” is the term used for this, when the line is crossed from constructive argument into just declaring that the other person is having fun in the wrong way and that it is so intolerable that it’s ruining your fun as a result.
Come on Internet, I’m not telling you to stop being cranky and scathing, I do love you that way. But take it down a notch already. Not everyone has to enjoy things in the same way.