Note: This is an opinion article. Disagree? Let us know in the comments.
With the announcement of Cloud, Corrin and Bayonetta being the final DLC for Smash for Wii U/3DS DLC, fans have sound off their opinion off the Internet. The inclusion of these characters is pretty controversial and has created a lot of interesting discussion. However, there is one issue that I continually see that I would like to address. That is users confusing ‘salt’ and actual criticism. Put frankly, most users who automatically resort to the salt meme are not interested in having a discussion. Therefore, I would like to take a moment to explain the difference between the two. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of times when people have been ‘salty’, but it’s over-usage in the past few weeks has killed any thought of having a productive discussion. This article will also explain to those who are salty, why they are salty and in fact not criticism.
What is ‘salt’?
Salt is slang for when someone is visibly upset and bitter about something. It’s very popular in fighting game communities, and has a widespread usage in the Smash Bros. fandom. It’s kind of similiar to “u mad?”, but slightly less antagonistic.
What is criticism?
Criticism is when someone takes something (a decision, a product, etc) and takes the good points and bad points to explain their own thoughts. The goal is not to show displeasure, but to show how it could’ve been improved, or what the author would have changed personally.
Salt: More like Fire Emblem All-Stars, amirite?
Criticism: I don’t think Fire Emblem deserves as much representation as it currently has in Smash for Wii U/3DS. The game hasn’t sold as much as The Legend of Zelda, Pokemon or Mario, and therefore shouldn’t have the same amount, or more representation than those series. It’s unfair to those fans.
Salt: Corrin is stupid.
Criticism: I don’t agree with Corrin’s inclusion. If they wanted to promote an upcoming game, Sakurai should have taken the fact that Roy, another Fire Emblem character, was already added as DLC.
Salt: Greninja’s such a dumb character! Where’s Mewtwo?
Criticism: I don’t think Greninja was a smart choice, since the older Pokémon characters are more established; X & Y haven’t even been out for a year. It’d be disappointing if Mewtwo stayed cut to keep the franchise’s characters low, considering how important it is to the series.
Essentially, criticism requires reason. If people are posting “salty” posts, they aren’t worth the time of day.
I believe criticism is essential in creating a healthy fanbase. I’ve long strived to improve the quality of the Smash Bros. fanbase by increasing the amount of information that is available to its’ fans, and to correct misinformation. However, juvenile behavior on both sides of the debate is not acceptable.
I’ve written about this before in Our Dear Leader. Sakurai is NOT a god among men. He is NOT the 9th Wonder of the World. He is NOT free from criticism. However, when it comes time to criticize or to praise it’s essential that understanding occurs. Blind faith, and blind hatred are bed twins and are not conductive in discussions. I understand that most people are not interested in this kind of learning. However, I implore others to try to bring those users out of their echo chambers (which happens all too often within this community) by leading in example. Personally, I hope that I’m showing a good example of the change I’d like to see in not just the Smash fan base, but gaming in general.