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Forums - Website Topics - VGChartz taught me how to think

Debating gaming topics here became the building blocks for the entirety of how I think about all topics now. I joined VGC in 2013 after lurking for a while. I started lurking after I got into a debate in the youtube comments section of some gaming video once, and the commenter privately messaged me on youtube telling me that I wouldn't survive on VGC, which I scoffed at. But I was curious.

Eventually, I saw enough opinions that I wanted to have my say in and joined in myself, but sparingly. I had this idea that I didn't want to be recognized, so I tried to not leave an impression. But eventually I guess I had a flavor of opinions and people remembered my username or pfp and would point me out. I'd get friend requests and PMs. I'd get more involved in discussions. I was really into the Wii U/NX era. Always a Nintendo fan with strong opinions.

I realize it more now, but what attracted me to VGC wasn't video games, it was discourse. I just happened to be really passionate and knowledgeable about games at the time. But no one else was to the extent that I was offline. The average level of discourse here is just on a different level than offline with regards to games. This is probably the case in most online communities, but this was mine. It's probably because just knowing more information than everyone else on a given topic doesn't happen in a community of people passionate about that topic, so you can't skate off of knowing more things. Everyone knows roughly the same information here, so the strength of your arguments really matters.

I'm still into games, but not nearly to the same extent as I was before. But that's only because I'm interested in many more things now just as much. Even so, I think the manner in which I hold those interests is exactly in the same way that I did so here, and I developed that manner here. VGC was the kiln that forged my ability to think critically, and that made me curious about many more things. In my life, there is certainly a pre-VGC, VGC, and post-VGC perspective that you can view it from. I passively have appreciated that in the past, but I'm more actively appreciating that right now.

I never come here anymore, but I don't think there will ever be a time in my life where VGC is still up and I won't drop by to see the discourse. I still care about and have strong opinions about games. I like seeing folks that I used to see back when I was here. I still think of the current UI as the "new layout" even though it's years old by now. But mostly it's just really important to who I've become. It's also just nice to see other guys get success who come from here. Arlo was a VGCer from before my time. The Golden Bolt is at over 100K subs now, and I remember when he first launched and asked for advice here about the channel. It's just so neat. Even the articles here really do a lot of good. I wish I was better about that, but alas.

I just felt nostalgic, and wanted to say something. It's a really cool little community you've got here.

I don't know if this belongs in general or website topics, but it feels more appropriate here.

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I had a similar experience with a previous forum I was on. Although I definitely joined it largely because of videogames, since that was a different era, where things like official promotional art from games wasn't as easily accessible and taken for granted as it is today.

But like you, perhaps a bigger takeaway was all the things surrounding the games we interacted over, as I've made some lifelong friends from there whom I still interact with to this day.
And the way I express myself online is dramatically different now, almost entierly due to my time there, and to some extent here as well.

I learned from some easily avoidable mistakes that still pop into my head to this day when I begin typing up something opinionated or factual.
And some of these things have translated into useful tools to have offline as well.

Since forums are not really popular these days compared to social media, I think a lot of people are going to miss out on some of the good things that makes forum discourse unique.

I know what you mean. I wasn't here during Generation 7, but I was on some forum totally unrelated to gaming. One guy messaged me about video games and asked why I thought Nintendo made the Wii when it wasn't doing well at all. I had to correct him that the Wii was actually doing awesome. The average level of knowledge about video games outside of VGChartz is actually pretty low by comparison.

The_Liquid_Laser said:

I know what you mean. I wasn't here during Generation 7, but I was on some forum totally unrelated to gaming. One guy messaged me about video games and asked why I thought Nintendo made the Wii when it wasn't doing well at all. I had to correct him that the Wii was actually doing awesome. The average level of knowledge about video games outside of VGChartz is actually pretty low by comparison.

That's actually how I joined. Some teenager I worked with asked what my primary console was, and I told him it's the Wii. He scoffed and said that no one games on it and real gamers on X360, so I brought him to VGC and showed him some numbers. I think Wii was in the 60-80 million range and PS3 and 360 were around half those numbers.

But yeah, between spending some time in my early adulthood doing freelance journalism and VGC, my critical thinking and debate skills have sharpened considerably. I was a lot more defensive about Nintendo in those days, but between Big N's acknowledged successes and my natural mellowing out with age, I'm much more chill now. I also spend more time lurking than engaging because living a more balanced life doesn't leave much time for gaming, and if I see others have already expressed an opinion, I don't feel the need to jump in. Glad VGC is still around though.

Yeah I've mellowed out significantly since then as well. I think a lot of this pocket of gaming culture was hyper focused on the consumerism side of gaming, while I care a lot more about the self expression and art stuff now. So micro-transactions, reviews, DLC, game/hardware price, sales, etc don't really matter to me anymore. I used to feel like it was of paramount ethical concern. For example, I used to have strong feelings about 2D games needing to be priced cheaper than 3D open world games and that this should effect the perceived quality of the game, which is so silly to me now. Now I have a "how interesting will this game be in 20 years when it's basically free, and for what reasons?" perspective, and I just don't have it in me to argue about pretty much anything like I used to, even though my opinions are probably stronger now. I'm just happy enough that people care about things enough to have a view themselves now.

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I dunno if that's a good thing.

i joined VGC when i had just turned 13. however, i joined because i already had too many opinions regarding games/sales and had nowhere to express them. so, in some ways, VGC just turned me into an even more annoying, opinionated 13 year old.

funnily enough, i also found VGC through the youtube comment section.

Something I've really learned about the discourse on here is how unpredictable Nintendo is.
While most on this site didn't think Switch had much of a chance of getting much past the Wii and PS1 in sales, there were still plenty who thought even 100 million was very likely for Switch.
I'm well aware Switch is a hybrid (it combines Nintendo's typical two-platform approach), but I remember the Wii U days. Wii U was coming off of the Wii, had backwards compatibility and controller support, and it couldn't even sell as much as the GameCube. Early on in the Wii U's life, I figured GCN sales were the floor for Wii U. But Wii U just confused and didn't connect with a general audience. It even alienated many Nintendo fans. Why pay $300+ for a console with weak specs, weak online, and software droughts?

Lifetime Sales Predictions 

Switch: 161 million (was 73 million, then 96 million, then 113 million, then 125 million, then 144 million, then 151 million, then 156 million)

PS5: 115 million (was 105 million) Xbox Series S/X: 48 million (was 60 million, then 67 million, then 57 million)

PS4: 120 mil (was 100 then 130 million, then 122 million) Xbox One: 51 mil (was 50 then 55 mil)

3DS: 75.5 mil (was 73, then 77 million)

"Let go your earthly tether, enter the void, empty and become wind." - Guru Laghima

Just to check, how does "Globally in the US" sounds to you?

This place helped me discover a new interest, that being video game sales data and discussion. While its past its prime the years lurking and later posting will always be worth it and social media sucks compared to forums so I'll probably be on here till the day VGC fully dies which shouldn't happen this decade so still a while left to go.