Hype Responsibly


Source Gaming will be hosting a LIVE podcast. The podcast will start an hour before the Smash broadcast. During the broadcast, we will mute ourselves so everyone can enjoy listening to Sakurai. Once the broadcast is over we will begin SourceCast # 6.

Neo Zero
A Special Guest

Please note: The following is an opinion article. You are allowed to disagree.

With the announcement of the Final Smash Broadcast (10 A.M PT, 7 AM in Japan), I decided it was the perfect time to prophesize the following message: Hype Responsibly.

Note: The original version stated that the “Expand Dong” meme originated from the Smash Bros community. This is false, and has been removed from the article.

(The only acceptable song to listen to while reading this post.)

I don’t want to sound like a big ol’ party pooper, but there’s a difference between being excited about something, and being ‘blindly excited’. Being ‘blindly excited’ for is to let your own imagination run wild without any basis on reality. Of course, everyone has their own bias, but it’s important to recognize it. Since this is mainly a Smash Bros. speculation/ research / community oriented blog; I’m going to talk about Smash in particular. I hope that everyone that reads this remembers the message and applies it for other games/ medium because I think hype culture in its current form is dangerous to our actual enjoyment of products.

Saying that it’s very likely to have 4+ new characters (in addition to Cloud) is just complete ignorance on how long development time takes for each character. Characters take many months to develop, and aren’t just pulled from thin-air. In order to get a deeper understanding of the character development process, I have compiled all the character related stuff Source Gaming has translated in one place. If we get 4+ new characters (in addition to Cloud), I will write a Case for article on any character (that is mentioned in the first comment). Any. Pick the worse one.

If you want to make a good prediction, then you need to do your research. It’s like if I wanted to make predictions about the football league…in a foreign country. I could make a prediction and maybe I would even get some things correct. But I had no basis for my prediction, and in the end it’s total bullshit. Just because you talk about something quite often it doesn’t mean you actually understand it. A lot of people discuss politics but too few actually understand it. Re-tweeting Trump’s latest gaff does not mean you passed Intro to Political Science. 

Congratulations on making that tweet, here’s your new home…

Most people are not interested in talking about ideas. They just want to talk about people, places or things. Most content creators on the Internet don’t talk about what actually goes into the development process of Smash. They/ their audience are far more interested in what character is the center of the spotlight this week. Over the past few months it’s been: Rayman, Shovel Knight, King K. Rool, Wolf, Inklings, Tabuu and now Banjo and Kazooie who are seen as the “shoo-ins”, characters that were most likely to get in, or just the current fan favorite. The community has been moving from one fad to another in terms of character support. Most of the time it’s just based on an idea that “sticks” based on self-imposed fan rules.  

I don’t want to insult any fans of characters, but having a realistic expectation of the character’s chances getting into Smash is important. It’s totally fine to love the character that you do, but recognize their weakness in addition to their strengths. Jumping on people just because you don’t like the character isn’t right. You trampling on other characters does not make your favorite character more likely, it just makes you a bully. Far too many times character discussion has turned into a violent shouting match as both parties have been too immature to carry an actual discussion on a character’s chances. It’s been something that we’ve always aimed for in our articles, and the staple of the Case for series. If there’s a primary goal I’ve had with Source Gaming, it’s been to create a deeper and fairer understanding of gaming itself. If fans will continue to be oblivious then the community will simply never mature.

I’ve stated this before on a SourceCast, but the Smash community has been born from hype. It seems that it only knows ‘hype’. After all, we are the community that created the “Wombo Combo” meme. I think hype is an integral part of the Smash fanbase, but there’s no doubt it has suffered from it. Most of the time, we are more interested in having shouting matches and “scoring points” against each other than actual discussion. This is something that I’ve been trying to change through the existence of Source Gaming, and by attempting to lead by example. Sometimes I fail, but I’m working on improving the community and I’d like to think everyone who reads this blog regularly is a believer in that mission.

Rampant hype also destroys sensibilities and drives people who have realistic expectations insane and away from the community. There’s been times where I’ve said, ‘I don’t think that will happen’ and people JUMP on me like I was a ticking time bomb. It makes having a discussion less fun as everyone is looking to attack someone, or at least expect to be attacked for their opinion. This kind of behavior encourages hive-mind thinking and circle jerking, which is just a waste of everyone’s time.

It’s not fun to be on the opposite end of the argument, and I’m sure everyone who is reading this has experienced it sometime. So if you have an opinion that counter-intuitive to the community’s thinking: then you have an obligation to share it. Don’t worry about the down-votes; screw the haters. As long as you are willing to have an actual discussion and not just attack someone then you are entitled to post your opinion. I get it, I’m asking people–who are largely anonymous on the Internet to not be an asshole…which is very unlikely. If I can make a difference in ten people then I figured this article was worth it.

If you want to hear more about Hype Culture, then I strongly suggest: I hate Hype Culture.

If you are going to hype– hype responsibly. Bring a source or two with your hype and good luck.


I’m aware that I’ve been writing a lot of opinion/ culture articles lately. Don’t worry, I have a couple of research projects I’ve been planning but writing these articles have been helping me discover what my own thoughts are on the video game community and video game journalism. I guess you could consider this, Approach to Handling Leaks and Rumors, Why Localization Occurs, Localization and Censorship some of the basis of my own understanding. I’m still maturing as a writer, and my thoughts are subject to change. Anyway, if you want to hear my thoughts on a certain topic then let me know in the comments below.

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    1. I think hype culture is what killed Cloud’s and Ryu’s chances, and then was unable to explain their inclusion.

      So glad that Sakurai doesn’t follow the hype train.

  1. I’d also like to add that if people don’t get the character(s) they were hoping for to please, please, please not just fill social media full of insults and hatred. Many Smash players have very fond memories of specific games, but their lack of inclusion does not invalidate the fun times you had in the past with those games that end up “underrepresented” or what have you.

    Sakurai has proven many, many times over that he is passionate about his work and that he treats every character with the utmost respect that time and budget allow for. To say nothing of the many other programmers, artists, musicians, testers, designers, and other roles between two development teams to bring us Smash for Wii U and for 3DS.

    Keep both the hyping and the moping in check. What we already have is phenomenal as a collective work.

    1. Its a weird feeling to be so happy to see a character you love, grew up with, and cherish get in only to see backlash to their inclusion (Such as Pac-Man for me.) To be honest I really only had a connection to the Kirby and Pokemon series in my childhood alongside the Pac-Man World games, so to me I can appreciate Sonic, Mario, Megaman, Samus, etc. It wasn’t till Pac-Man that I had ever seen a newcomer for Smash that hit that nostalgic spot for me.

  2. Amazing article, guys. Sometimes its nice to hear opinion articles mixed in with the rest. I admit I’m one of the ones who ran away from the community because I just could not take the endless wars they fight over this and that, and never went back. Actually, that happened with most communities I was in… It was nice seeing it written in a short but explanatory way. I found myself enjoying games I know next to nothing about than those that are posted everywhere. I wonder how things would’ve been for some games that I did not enjoy had I not known anything about them… but it’s hard to go back and change an opinion (or to disassociate something with its more “vocal” fans…) once its set in your head, you know?

    I especially liked that video you linked at the end. Said so perfectly, and so well. All the points exactly.

    Also those gifs (and that first vide0 were hilarious. Well done. xD

  3. This should be a given, but some (read:most) people have selective hearing/memory. This isn’t SSBD, there are rules. They can’t make an infinite number of characters, and Neither Goku nor SpongeBob are getting in.

    If you don’t get what I mean, SSBD was a joke game some of the users on SmashWiki made, and we are adding all sorts of unreasonable and impossible stuff. http://www.ssbwiki.com/User:DekZek/SSBD

  4. I feel your frustration. So often, the truth about these things gets buried under a mountain of wishful thinking and hasty assumptions. I mean, not that hoping for the best is a bad thing, but when people get salty from a reveal not meeting the lofty expectations their imagination gave them, it gets ridiculous.

    Especially when the same backlash and overreactions are what gets the most attention.

    But I guess that gives me even more of a reason to try and get the truth out there, you know? To help give a voice to careful, considered thought to provide a contrast to the shooting from the hip you see so often.

  5. If I understand the dare correctly, here’s my suggestion for the Case For article: Thrall from World of Warcraft. But I practice safe hype.

  6. Great article… I would say the timing is good, but it’s long overdue.

    I admit, I get hyped quite a bit for Smash… but then again, who doesn’t? Of course, knowing how much actually goes into video game development, I tend to keep my expectations low until some new evidence emerges. I don’t know where the community is getting 4 characters + Cloud from, but unless dataminers find more slots in an update at some point, I’m firmly expecting just 2 + Cloud at the most.

    I’m also not sure where these “shoo-in” ideas came from either… I wouldn’t even consider most of them for Smash 5, let alone DLC. It seems most of the fans forget that just because a vocal minority is hyping up a character, that doesn’t mean they’ll make a viable DLC character. TBH, if Lucas and Roy weren’t in Smash before, I really doubt they would’ve made it in. I understand having fond memories of characters from a few generations ago, but if they’re not widely recognized and/or will bring nothing unique to Smash, I really doubt we’ll see them in.

    I would like to thank the SG team and commenters for making me a more critical speculator, especially since I’ve learned that nobody is a shoo-in until they’re announced and there are tons of fan “rules” that have absolutely no basis whatsoever. Hopefully SG can change more fans’ thinking into… well, actually thinking. 😛

  7. I think you’re right about this article; hype is something that every fan (and worshippers) always use as a “bad habit”. When they have a character they extremely love and admire, and strongly wishing for them to be in Smash, they never pay attention to others except for themselves. Much more, they want everybody to agree on their hype, while they become offensive against the opposites instead rather than listening to their opinions, as they believe their opinions are meaningless “facts”.

    Of course, saying that character should be in because they’re awesome is a stupidest reason. It’s never a reasonable qualification for Smash. Even I have a character that I would like to see in Smash, I always bring up the reason why with few researched parts of those characters. Wishing for that character always need to be reasonable, it has to make sense. However, none of those fans ever made any sense of their choice, because they don’t have any reasons except they just want them in there instead. They don’t understand how Sakurai chooses a character; they don’t understand the rules that Sakurai is following. And whenever Sakurai brings up a character that wasn’t the fan’s choice (like Cloud for instant), they get angry without understanding why that character was chosen. Plus, most fans still think or believe that Smash is a local game, which the only characters that they can bring up is local only games like Shovel Knight. They don’t even realize that Smash is released globally, which they don’t think of any characters that’s iconic to the community. Even those fans still don’t realize that Sakurai won’t bring up any manga/comic and anime/cartoon characters, but they still believe some characters like Goku and Shrek will be in the game, which is definitely nonsense. Much more, these types of fans don’t understand how Smash works.

    I got offended many times in the past regarding to this point. I even got offended recently too. In the past, Smashboards; in recently, Youtube. Some fans thought I hate that character because I wouldn’t think that character would be in Smash; but that is wrong as I’ve never said I hate that character in any comments before, as I never hate a character without a reason. Fans just misunderstand those people with disagreements as they don’t even try to understand why they think is disagreeable. Listening to people’s disagreement is important to understand as it is reasonable, and I do respect those people if they’d corrected me (which is why I give lots of credit to everyone here. Thank you people of Source Gaming!).

    For me, I’ve been hyped before for my characters that I liked to see; but since Cloud’s inclusion (which I’m not blaming him for anything like that), I think none of my predicted characters won’t make it this time. But even though, I’m still hyped to see who’ll be the chosen final characters for Smash 4, as I’m welcoming them without any regrets and disappointments. But even though, I’ll give one recommendation to everybody here…NEVER EXPECT ANYTHING. Hypes and expectations will ruin you if your character never made it to Smash. Even you’re hyped, it’s better not to expect anything if you wanna avoid being disappointed. Furthermore, I can already see how those hyped fans will become extremely angry that they’re character didn’t make it in Smash 4, and will get rid of Smash as they start hating the game, including Sakurai, and Nintendo for it, and rather play Fall Out instead. But this is also the most ultimately wrong thing too. As I said before, you may hate Nintendo if they committed a scandal, but you can’t hate Nintendo for who they chose for Smash; trust me, it’s really hopeless and pathetic.

  8. Is there already an article about the changes of each smash brothers game? Not meaning something like cut characters, stages, gameplay, wave dashing etc … but well rather the generic feeling. Smash 64 e.g. feels like a just for fun party game, while Brawl seems to be a game more like for “sirs” (sounds weird, I know, imagine the “like a sir” meme in front of your eyes) mostly because of the slower supposed gameplay – never played Brawl BTW – and the erect music.
    Melee music more feels like “we are rising the bar, we are back with better stuff than before”, while Smash 4 has this “this is THE shit, now we are going crazy”. This is what I am feeling.
    The article could handle the graphics style (quite serious -> Brawl, VERY comic like -> Smash 64), the menu guidance (main menu, CSS, the overall presentation of each game) and of course the mentioned style of the music (smash only music, not tracks from the series the characters come of).
    Is there something like that?

  9. I don’t know if it’s the right place to say this, but I’d like to recommend a “Case for” article be written for Mach Rider or Ayumi Tachibana.

  10. The one internet meme that we all know that was created by the Smash community is “No Items, Fox Only, Final Destination” if you’re looking for alternatives to “Expand Dong”.

    There’s a lot of hyped characters that were considered as “shoo-ins” in between that time. Sora, Goku, Shrek, Bayonetta, Shantae, Isaac, Klonoa, Naruto, Iron Man, Simon Belmont, Hector (Fire Emblem), Ridley, Waluigi, Adolf Hitler (if you’re referring to /b/), Osama bin Laden (Again, /b/), Daisy, Snake, Dixie Kong, Krystal, Gaben (If you’re referring to the PC gamer culture), Toad, Chrom, Zero (Megaman X), and John Cena. Now some of those are actual troll posts except for Goku, who upgraded to actually being wanted by the fanbase.

    Hype culture is a real downer when it comes to deciding a character. They expect you to vote for their favorite character rather than your own, and I was almost pulled into this mess. I suggested a character that wasn’t in the hype train rather than jump on it to avoid getting into flame wars, plus it was a character that I actually liked rather than hyped for. If you have not fallen for the hype culture, please speak up but don’t reveal who you’ve voted for until they are done with the Sm4sh DLC saga and have announced all available DLC Characters.

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