06/07/2014

Editorial: Hating Things Because They're Popular

You ever sat down and muttered to yourself "Oh I hate this thing" when what you actually hate is the people enjoying it? If you answered no to that question then you are probably lying or the only person to be truly level headed about media around the web these days. It's become increasingly apparent that the era of globalization has brought a couple of personality faults with it, or maybe just brought them out into the open.

To illustrate my point, let's look at a popular example: The Halo series, created originally by Bungie and made exclusively for Microsoft systems like the Xbox or Windows. Though the PC version of Halo 1 would later be available to play on Mac systems. In Halo you play as the heroic, somewhat overpowered Master Chief (real identity unknown), together with the super advanced AI Cortana he battles numerous aliens in order to stop them from unleashing an ancient alien weapon known as The Flood and destroying the universe with it as part of their religious dogma. Though I've only played Halo 1-3 without any of the spin-offs I can safely say that it's solid action-science-fiction-first-person-shooter goodness and one of the few shooters that I actually enjoying playing with a controller. I'm not alone in thinking that, Halo is one of the best-selling video game franchises of the last decade or so and really there's nothing wrong with that.

However, then you take a look at youtube comments for any given video that mentions Halo and suddenly the flame war is on. "Damn I hate Halo" "Man, Halo is such an overrated series" - The list goes on. Really, it's not like the Halo series is the only one that encounters this much hate but in this case, as with a lot of other super popular series it seems like the hate is kinda unwarranted. It seems like people hate things because they're popular - or because they're liked by people they don't like. I'm guilty of this myself, I have not and will probably never watch James Cameron's Titanic from 1997 because I simply felt like I was overexposed to it as a kid. Titanic came out when my female cousins were just discovering a liking for "cute boys" and of course Leonardo Di Caprio was a public darling at the time. That meant I heard sighed comments about the film constantly, as well as I saw walls adjournedly filled with pictures of Mr. Di Caprio and of course a poster of the film itself. Honestly, way into my teenage years I barely had any respect for Di Caprio because of this experience. That's probably what happened to Halo, or My Little Pony, or Harry Potter, or Doctor Who, or any such popular series from the last three decades you can name which has just as large a base hating it as it has loving it.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, if you've decided you hate something before even checking out the actual material - you need, nay we all need, to take a step back and examine the reasons for why. If the reason you hate something doesn't seem that levelheaded, give the stuff and actual look - you might actually find something you love.
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