You are just nitpicking/ Rose colored goggles: Arguments that need to die

There are a few common complaints I frequently see leveraged at analytical pieces, whether it be a text post or a video, that cause me no end of frustration.

The first of these is “You are just nitpicking”. The word nitpicking is already a stupid sounding word that annoys me to hear, but the sentiment behind this complaint is that “You are complaining about something small that did not bother me, so your point does not matter”, which is a close minded attitude that makes me wonder why someone would bother consuming an analysis that they obviously have no desire to understand. It is perfectly reasonable that a small detail that bothered someone may not affect someone else, but to state that small details do not matter is completely ridiculous. The saying “The devil is in the details” exists for a reason; not paying close attention to the details will likely lead to your project falling apart. This obviously applies to projects such as buildings or bridges, but this saying also applies to creative work as well. Imagine if your favorite big budget, action blockbuster used slow piano music in every intense scene. That might be a cool touch once, but the contrast would quickly get old when your dumb action movie (dumb is not a bad thing) does not deliver on the coolest scenes possible (the main draw of the movie). Or imagine if you were playing a slow horror game like Silent Hill or Resident Evil, but all the music was replaced with the hardest core death metal imaginable. The crazy music would get you amped up, which would completely destroy the unnerving atmosphere of those kinds of games. This might sound obvious, but my point is that details matter, and details even smaller than this are important. In Silent Hill 2, opening the inventory or the map causes the screen to fade to black, then fade in from black with the inventory open. These fade transitions between the main game and the inventory did not exist in this demo, however, which causes opening menus to become rather jarring as the screen instantly snaps between completely different images. This is such a small thing to add, but it completely changes the experience of using the inventory screen; this is the kind of thing that shows how the small details do matter.

My other complaint about people’s complaints is the use of the classic “You have rose colored goggles” in response to anyone saying that an older something or other is better than the new version. I think this one mostly applies to video games, or at least I have never seen it used in discussion of movies or books. I suppose that the reason for this is because the technological difference between video games now and twenty years ago is far greater than the same amount of time in any other medium; i.e. movies twenty years ago were still in color, still had pretty good cg effects, etc. On paper, I agree with the idea that older stuff is not inherently superior to newer stuff, but this “nostalgia blindness” argument annoys me because it seems to imply that older can never be better, an idea I disagree with.

Anyway, neither of these are good arguments. Idiots use them in place of actual criticism; do not be an idiot.


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