The Art of Low Expectations

 Have ever you been excited about a game and turns out, the game in question is a pile of garbage? I have and let me tell you, it’s the worst feeling. While all of your friends are talking about the new hotness, you’re sitting in a corner trying to convince yourself Final Fantasy 13 is Game of the Year. Expectations, or specifically, hype has a remarkable ability to disappoint. But I have a solution, The Art of Low Expectations.

Lately, I find myself reading comments on trailers for movies and video games, and of course, at the very top is always a fanboy saying how this product will revolutionize his life. This same fanboy will be defending this product with near crusader dedication once it’s trashed by the media. Rule one, don’t EVER be a fanboy. Fanboyism is like treating a product like an ugly girlfriend. You constantly convince yourself she’s perfect and make excuses when people tell you she’s not. It distorts your reality to the point in which you’re not a person, but a company’s patented marketing tool.

Rule two, view demos and trailers with scrutiny. Especially, if they’re CG. The only thing you should take away from CG trailers is atmosphere. Demos are somewhat more reliable, but even then, you’re watching people have an experience, not having one yourself. And when they present onstage demos, you must remember the person demoing has played for several hours. Their experience will not necessarily reflect your experience.

Rule three, understand marketing terms. These are the “Strike” words of the industry Words like competitive multiplayer, innovative, interactive, experience. Sometimes, the strike words are statements like, “Brand new gameplay options” or “Never-before-seen fast pace gameplay.” Don’t fall for it, they’re just words.

Rule four, be excited. This one might be confusing. If I have low expectations, how can I be excited? Simple. If you devalue all the marketing smokescreens and still find yourself compelled by the product, than you’re excited. You’re not filling your mind with flowery marketing lingo. That way, when the product is released, you are free from the stringing pain of unmet expectations.

I guarantee if keep these rules in mind, you will have a clearer understanding of the gaming industry as a whole. Never will you be that same loser that makes excuses about games, or you still might be. Who knows.

John Tarr's picture

I like Rule 4. I'm on the complete opposite side of the spectrum where I'm extremely pessimistic about nearly everything. 

Jevrio's picture

Games these days are so bad that we most learn to have low expectations.



(Skyrim, BF3, and a few others looks good tho)

Politically Incorrect's picture


I wrote this blog after playing a level of Call of Juarez: The Cartel. After that game, my pessimism rose from 8 to 110.

(Although I'm also really excited about Skrim, BF3)

FratasticVoyage's picture

I was told very young that "The greatest impediment to progress is lowering your expectations, and achieving them" 

Idk how I feel about a society that lowers it standards for enjoyment, though as a counter-argument, there haven't been many "omg *splooge" games in a while

MrDudeMan's picture

Isn't this method counter productive? If you have poor expectations doesn't a game thats mediocre look better to you than it does to someone with high expectations. For example I got Dragon Age Origins 2 with no expectations whatsoever and I enjoyed it. Though the people who played the first one seemed to think it sucked for the most part. 

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