Anytime I think of the word “power,” my brain immediately goes to Emperor Palpatine from Revenge of the Sith while he’s roasting Mace Windu. Is anyone in that boat with me? The context doesn’t even need to matter. If someone utters that word, I immediately dive into Palpatine mode and yell, “UNLIMITED POWER!” Then I follow it up with an “I can feel your anger” quote directed at the person or group of people who were innocently subjected to my weirdness and are sending the bad vibes immediately my way. 

Power. That word has so much meaning. But let’s give it some context within the scope of what WE know best: Video Games. 

Who has all of the power in the gaming industry? 

Is it the publishers who fund and market the games or the developers who kill themselves to meet release deadlines? Is it the CEOs who fire staff to budget a bonus or the Project Manager who swears they “don’t do crunch?” Who has the lion’s share of power in this beautiful, glorious, toxic, gut-wrenching industry? 

WE do. 

We, the gamers of the world, quite literally hold all of the power in our hands. 

As consumers of the products created FOR US, we have the ultimate say on how we CONSUME the product. The publishers, developers, writers, marketers, etc., don’t get to tell us how WE are allowed to purchase, play, or rate a game. 

We are the brand makers. 

We are the game-breakers. 

We can lift a group of sus crewmates to the pinnacle of glory for creating a game that makes us distrust our friends in a frenzied euphoria, or we can toss a mishandled titan to the side because of their greed and dishonesty. We are the ones who decide who wins or who loses, and I think we lose sight of that far too often. Play, purchase, and enjoy games the way you want to. These companies will only continue to short-change and rob us of superior experiences the more we kowtow to their lackluster efforts and refuse to call them out for their greed and hubris. 

They can’t help it. It’s in their nature now. Their industry of corner-cutting and copy-pasting has taken hold of them for far too long. But they aren’t past the point of no return. We tell them what we want, what we like, and how we play. We tell them what’s good, what’s terrible, and when the junk games they try to shove our way won’t cut it. 

WE are the GAME MAKERS, and WE have the power… Unlimited Power