Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
ShadowSJG

Why does the Sonic Fandom get such a bad reputation?

Recommended Posts

Honestly I don't really understand it. Being a part of this forum has shown that Sonic fans are just relaxed and not crazy rabid fans of the famous blue hedgehog. When I first came here, I was hesitant to share my story idea but then I got a warm welcome from this forum. That experience has just made question why do people have to generalize our fandom so badly. I mean sure there are some crazy fans out there, but this forum has made me realize that they are just a minority tbh. So what's the deal?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You said it yourself, vocal minority.  That's all it takes to fuel jokes, articles and discussion for those outside of the fandom, and it's the same in every case.  I'm glad you're happy here thus far, I am too, but even SSMB has it's moments that will give it a reputation due to the actions of a few members being witnessed from outside the fandom etc.

 

Forgive the dark example, but compare it to how the actions of a few unrepresentative extremist terrorists have painted the image of entire religions overnight.  People make snap judgements about groups of people all the time, and they take pleasure in doing so if it makes for easy joke/media fodder that'll get them attention.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, ShadowSJG said:

Honestly I don't really understand it. Being a part of this forum has shown that Sonic fans are just relaxed and not crazy rabid fans of the famous blue hedgehog. When I first came here, I was hesitant to share my story idea but then I got a warm welcome from this forum. That experience has just made question why do people have to generalize our fandom so badly. I mean sure there are some crazy fans out there, but this forum has made me realize that they are just a minority tbh. So what's the deal?

I agree, people on this Sonic Forum are quite chilled. But I think why this Fanbase gets a huge negative reputation because particular websites like Deviant Art where terrible unoriginal fan characters and strange fetish art that are still unfortunately there. Youtube and a few gaming forums where you can see people arguing about people how great or how bad sonic is. Also people like Chris Chan and Sammy classic sonic fan's annoying and aggressive behaviors. But then again all fanbases across the web aren't perfect.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The series as a whole is considered an easy target for mocking, therefore the fandom "stupid enough to enjoy this stupid series" is also seen as a low-hanging fruit to go after when you want a quick joke. It's not that this fandom is especially the worst in all the world, since it acts like most other fandoms in terms of expressing passionate interest, making fan works for the hell of it or going to conventions based on it (for better or worse). It's simply that the reputation the series has at the moment, coupled with some infamous fans, have made both very easy for the internet to mock without fear of criticism.

It's like how we used to mock the French by making every French character a horny coward with an OUTRAGEOUS accent; it's a light-hearted jab at an acceptable target we found easy to laugh at (unless you don't actually know what the joke is, which is never explained in any meaningful way beyond "Oh, they're the French/Sonic fans. It should be obvious." No, it's not obvious).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It isn't really one reason why it has a bad reputation, it is a combination of things and perceptions.

A common perception is that Sonic fans are ones that do fan art of dodgy poses, fan characters including recolours of dubious quality, fan fiction and the focus is on the shipping. While there are indeed ones that fit the bill (some that get a lot of attention, perhaps too much), not all Sonic fans are like that and takes the few extremists to put stuff in a bad light. Just by going here or Sonic Retro shows that it isn't like that or people did go here but was put off by what happened in the past and think that the forums are always like that. Besides pairings happens on plenty of media, looking at stuff like Game of Thrones/Doctor Who, nearly everything has fanfiction and I've seen recolours, fan characters and dodgy poses from other media (e.g. Dragon Ball Z, Sailor Moon, Steven Universe) but they mostly get shrugged compared to Sonic.

Also relating to that sadly is that many Sonic fans are disabled or part of the furry fandom and people just don't like disabled people or furries. People say cruel things to make them better and Sonic is just a target along with some other popular media (MLP, Thomas the Tank Engine) that is stereotyped. It is actually pretty hard nowadays to admit to liking Sonic compared to 10 years ago and definitely 20 years ago when Sonic was still mainstream.

Due to this, it also overshadows the good parts of the fandom such as the passion. I mean how often do you get fans of something working on an official port of the game and have it well received? (refering to the Taxman ports)

 As for the games themselves, now right it is on a downbeat. When Colours and Generations came out, the general dislike wasn't as bad and some non-Sonic fans actually really liked the games, it looked like the mocking was dying down. All changed when Boom came out and back to 06-Unleashed levels, perhaps even worse since I'm seen people not even liking the classics anymore and think Sonic was never good. I think it will take a few really good games before the perceptions drop a bit however considering that Sega isn't as relevant as it was in the past, it would take a lot of work. Then again some tastes have changed over the years and if it wasn't for Mario or the Yooka-Layle kickstarter (or the Ratchet & Clank reboot game however R&C is technically not just a platformer), 3D platformers would have been as dead as disco.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sonic is a victim to it's own inconsistency.  Because many of the games and cartoons are inconsistent and bad, and are diverse enough across the past 25 years of its existence that it's attracted a menagerie of people of different appeal and interests, and with each pocket continuity you'll find a plentiful amount of weirdos. Furries, tryhard emo kids, foot/inflation/whatever fetishists, religious nuts and a plethora of people with mental and personality disorders. It's not inherent to Sonic per se, but the series is random and bizarre enough that any goodwill it has going for it can be overlooked in lieu of the chaotic ones. And they indeed can be very, very vocal, drawing attention to themselves under the mantle of the blue hedgehog. Besides which, by and large, all of this is over a cartoon character who's games aren't even really that good a majority of the time anymore, so it's baffling to the average outsider. Also, the fan art and fan-fiction can get really awful and cringey, especially with self-insertion.

Thing is though, who really cares? 

Like what you want to like in spite of the nutcases. Don't associate yourself with those pockets of the fanbase if it really bothers you that much. Sonic still has some really good games and effervescent imagination about it, even telling some good stories from time to time. Sonic can still be worth enjoying. No one is telling you not to. But if you're wondering why the fanbase has a bad reputation, read all of the above, and apply it to any intellectual property that features multicolored animal characters that's aimed largely at children. You know the ones.

Just focus on what's awesome about the fanbase, instead.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the the fanbases reputation is ultimately construed as negative because a number of very loud fans are far too forgiving of Sonic's shortcomings. It ultimately makes us look deluded, and I can see why our opinions are immediately dismissed as a whole because of this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's basically, the BBC thing whenever they need to do a feature on Global Warming or Europe. 

There are hundreds of really smart people, and then there are the 3 idiots. 

The really smart people get 5 seconds of airtime to be smart. 

The idiots get 5 seconds of airtime to be smart + 60 seconds of 'look how stupid the idiots are being'.

 

Because what gets you more hits on your youtube video, or your blog? "Look at this fan just being a fan" or "Look at these idiots who are getting upset over face cream" <--- Yes this actually happened on one fan group the other week.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ehh...to be honest, I do see where the bad rep the Sonic fandom gets comes from. That's not to say it's "fair" necessarily, but it's not baseless either. The fandom is extremely divided - fans run the gamut from classic purists to modern apologists, Pontaff fans to Pontaff haters, people who like Western takes on Sonic and those who only care for the "original vision", Adventure fans, boost fans, and on and on. And sometimes people allow their passion to override their common sense and decency, and as a result can be demeaning to others and vitriolic. I mean, personally I actually value the diversity of opinion in the Sonic fandom, but I don't care for the times when the arguments get excessively heated, and I don't like the extreme sense of division and of the fandom having all these "sects" based on preferences - particularly since I myself don't want to be pigeonholed as belonging to one or another. Sure, I may like the classics and the stuff that's associated with them the best, but I'm no "classic purist". And I may like Sonic Adventure an awful lot and have some positive feelings towards Sonic Adventure 2, but there are certainly aspects of the "Adventure fans" I do not want to be associated with.

Also, while the fairness of this is debatable considering lots of fandoms have this to some degree or another, there are many extremely cringey Sonic fan works, from recolors to fetish art to grimdark fan animations made by 12-year-olds. Even as a Sonic fan, I have to admit these kinds of things can be embarrassing. They're not unique to the Sonic fandom, but they exist in such enormous quantities and are so easy to stumble on...and combine this with the lousy reputation of the franchise itself, I can see why people start mocking the fandom, even if it's not fair.

I do feel like Sonic's fandom is a flawed one, honestly...but most popular fandoms can be pretty bad sometimes - even significantly worse than Sonic's on occasion. And people who mock Sonic fans obviously only focus on the "bad ones" when there are many, many good ones out there - many decent, friendly people, and many passionate fan-content creators who put effort into their creations. I have to say, I'm pretty impressed by the hacking/modding community, and there are plenty of fan artists who are extremely talented. Heck, there are even plenty of well-designed Sonic fan characters out there!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alright, time for me to make my reply, because I flat out disagree with a lot that's being said here. So, let's start from the top.

Yes, the Sonic fanbase is generally viewed as a fanbase only there to be ridiculed. Is there massive issues with the fanbase? Definitely, but you need to be a bit fair here as well. To start with...

Fan artists, and OCs. Honestly, I'm getting a little sick of hearing this being used as a major reason for why the fanbase sucks. Are recolours and mary sues bad? Of course, they are, but it's not a exception to Sonic's fanbase. Plenty of other fanbases have them, but the big reason why I fucking hate this reason is it always seems like they make these things and you get stamped for life as an person who only make people in this fanbase look worse. Realistically? When you make a fan character, and most definitely an OC, it's been said here already, you would be 11, or 12 years old. Are you seriously going to tell me that none of you have made mistakes at that age? That your writing/artist skills were top of the bar? Seriously? Recolours and Mary Sues are pretty bad, but you need to keep in mind that they have also likely been created by someone who isn't even a teenager yet and their drawing/writing skills aren't going to be exactly good yet.

But it gets worse, because then you generalize, and undersell the actual good OCs. Oh yes, they exist. Surprisingly, just because you have a non-canon fanfiction or character exist in a pre-established world doesn't automatically make the artist any worst. I've seen plenty of artists make fan characters with really creative designs, and they don't use recolours. It's all totally original, either done through modifying a base, or completely free-hand. I've seen some seriously cool designs for this series, and I seriously think it's completely unfair that we're gonna generalize them as a issue to the fanbase because they dared to have a fan character in the first place.

But if I had to go towards the biggest issue of the fanbase? Three words. Respect and Cynicism. Honestly, as much as I like SSMB, and the members here, even this place isn't immune to it. This fanbase is home to the groups of people who will call you every swear word in the dictionary if you don't happen to share their opinion on the series. "Don't like the classic games? Well fuck you! Don't like Adventure 2? FUCK YOU. Like Unleashed? Get the fuck out you scrub". Honestly, I have never seen a fanbase so fucking scared of opinions that you better not have an unpopular opinion, or suddenly you're a complete bastard who's a noob to games, and wouldn't know quality if it punched you in the face. 

Now, SSMB is mostly immune to that. It most certainly doesn't reach that kind of level thankfully, but let's be realistic, this place is fucking covered in cynicism to the point it feels like people just can't wait for the next Sonic game just so we can jump in right away with "Sonic's gonna be shit again, SEGA fucked up again". Fair enough, even I'm not immune to it as I jumped the gun on Fire and Ice back when it was first revealed, but that was because I was in shock at the fact SEGA seemed to stick their fingers in their ears and repeat one of their biggest mistakes to date (RoL/SC). I mean you can look at a game and determine if you think it'll be good or not but at the very least, could we be respectful of other people's feelings? Is it really fair that because someone has hope that a Sonic game might be good, or SEGA could get things working again, they are just being "hopeless optimistic?" Let me remind you that SEGA pulled off a comeback once with Sonic Colours/Gens/Unleashed? If you really want to be fair, the pre-worldwide release of Runners was an actual damn good game until poor optimization and typical P2W antics ruined it. While I wasn't here for it, I heard things was also particularly bad during Lost World's release, although I don't know the details of that. What I was here for was all of the doom and gloom comments and backlash to Rise of Lyric where if you dared say to simply "give the game a chance", you were wrong. Of course the game turned out to be terrible (IMO) but honestly, when it's gotten to the point where stating someone is wrong for giving a game a fair chance, we're sort of going over the top.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, perception is reality for all intents and purposes. Let's start with an obvious case.

deviantArt is one of the most popular websites in the world. And Sonic has a large presence there. For a lot of people, their experience with the Sonic fanbase is very likely going to be through a place such as deviantArt or Tumblr, not a forum. Then consider the popularity of Sonic with the youth, and how a lot of younger people frequent and post to deviantArt... you can see where this is going.

As a guy who frequents Facebook, I can tell you that a similar trend emerges there as well, again, particularly among the younger fans.

I would argue a lot of it boils down to the younger demographic associated with Sonic. Don't get me wrong. There are plenty of pleasant, intelligent younger people. But the stigma associated with the very young does not come from nowhere. Lord knows I can look back 10 years or so and shake my head at my behavior.

Then, as discussed by Hogfather and others, media outlets who make their money showing off the "cringe" parts of the internet just eat the worst parts of the Sonic fanbase right up, and so perception is skewed. The media's ability to shape culture is well-documented.

It is often said that every fanbase can be awful. I would say this is true. But it is ultimately perception: the worst parts of the Sonic fanbase are more visible, and so there is an idea that the Sonic fanbase itself is one of the most awful. A place like SSMB is fairly tame all things considered, but we only have a few hundred or thousand active at the most, and we are drowned out in a sea of countless more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can say with all honesty that almost every fanbase I've been a part of is the worst fanbase ever according to someone. Even relatively smaller ones like Metroid. Every fanbase has individuals with strong opinions, and for some reason we can't ever agree to disagree, so we start resorting to swearing at each other, and all of a sudden we're the worst fanbase ever. It's really kind of comical when you look at it, because it's apply broad strokes to what applies to individuals acting out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't really buy this "loud minority" case. At least that can't be ONLY reason. Otherwise every fandom would be considered horrible. (Although I do agree that Chris Chan and SammyClassicSonicFan aren't helping our case).

The questions shouldn't be "what makes our fandom horrible" rather we should ask "why those horrible things happened to us but not the others".

Reason 1: Sonic is still huge. Claim that only original games were good all day, but you can't deny that Sonic has fans all ages, so something still draws people to him. For example I was "raised" on Adventure 1 and Sonic X. Ben 10 fandom has it's wars, but no one cares, they to small for Internet to notice. Of course there are bigger franchises with better reputations, but "see reason below"

Reason 2: Low quality and constant changes to the formula. That's the obvious one. I kinda admire Sega's constant innovations (even if it's stealing God of War for Werehog and Mario Galaxy for Lost World), but it doesn't make game better, plus it just fractures the fandom, especially story wise (I still believe that going back to classic gameplay and making it 3D (better than Adventure games did it) would satisfy majority of fans).

Reason 3: Sonic is anthro and very specific kind. Just like MLP it makes him very easy to create your own OC (try putting green paint on Nintendo character and calling it OC. (Luigi doesn't count)). Also, it seems to me that being furry makes him more popular to put in fetishes (similar thing is with other popular furries like Fnaf or MLP) For sake of yours sanity I want go into my theories why is that, although Roger in Sonic dissected (part 10) had a theory that furries are popular with social outcast.

Reason 4: We're fans of talking blue hedgehog that fights scientist obsessed with eggs. That just makes us east target. (Again, MLP fans have the same problem)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen hypocrisy floating around. Complaining about the existence of a here bandwagon, yet jumping on it the minute something is announced.

If you're gonna complain about something, at least make sure you're not part of that something your complaining about, or alternatively, acknowledge that the joke's on you for winding up joining. Rarely do I see either one. Just contradict a previous stance without so much as an acknowledgement.

I may be guilty of this myself. Can't recall if that's truly the case (some people do have longer memories than I), but I'm pretty sure I'm not innocent of it, either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it all comes down to how the fanbase takes to different opinions. 

SPLIT FANBASE:

The fanbase is split over the years. We have classic fans, modern fans, adventure fans, boost fans, boom fans etc etc. We have fans for every era, and every gameplay astetic. Because the fanbase is split, there are a verity of different opinions and how the Sonic games should be handled. We have classic purists who think that if Sonic isn't Sonic 1, 2 and 3 then the game sucks. We have Adventure fans who think that if the game isn't like Adventure 1 and 2 then the game sucks. We have modern fans who think that if the game doesn't have 3D Sonic then the game sucks. 

So what happens? With split fanbases, they often form their own groups and clubs thus mini fanbases form. 

HANDLING DIFFERING OPINIONS:

Different Sonic fans have differing opinions which is OK. It's how they are handles that makes the difference. Examples:

Sonic 06 - Sonic 06 is a game that is disliked by many. However there are people who really do enjoy it. When someone does enjoy it, they are often questioned as to why. Also, they are often told they cannot find it good because many people dislike it, thus making most 06 fans quiet about their love for the game.

Sonic couples - Shipping and shipping wars happen in every fanbase. I bring this up because this is apart of what I am talking about. I often seen many get into wars about which female character Sonic should be with. SonAmy and SonAze are very popular ships, but most will get angry if you ship Sonic with Sally or anyone else because only those ships are canon (though SonAlly was canon in the pre-reboot comics). Characters also end up getting disliked by fans because they get in the way of their parings. Characters like Julie-Su, Sally, Elise and Silver are the biggest victims of this. 

Sonic social media: The Sonic social media accounts have made some people laugh and some people cry. One type of comedy isn't for everyone. Half the fanbase is tired of the memes and the others say keep em coming. The controversy over the social media falls under here because many dislikers of the social media accounts often say that you are stupid for liking the Boom-esque humor, however the fans will counter that and silence that opinions with "no fun allowed", basically blocking any criticism of the jokes presented.

Sonic Archie comics: Archie has a good fanbase even during it's pre-reboot days. Now since the reboot, Archie's fanbase has expanded. Most fans do consider Archie adaption of certain games and characters to be better than the games. Some want Archie characters to be in the games. While others are adament about Archie events and characters not going anywhere near the games. This mostly ends up in whos the fanbrats and such.

Sonic Adventure 3: Most people want Sonic Adventure 3. Some think the franchise will get better because of it. Some do get accused of wanting Ow the Edge because they want a Sonic Adventure 3; however most think SA3 brings out the True Spirit of Sonic~also it is one of the top discussions on any Sonic forum or community.

SONIC SUCKS!

Like I said; there are many different sub-fanbases in the Sonic community. Most do think if the series does not adapt to a certain way, then it sucks by default.

Saying that Sonic will suck has become a very edgy thing to say. Being cynical about the direction of Sonic also is a popular thing to do as well. Most outsiders would see it as fans wanting to tear down their own fanbase because of it. That and it doesn't help when jokes and gag withen the fanbase relies on saying the fanbase or the franchise sucks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Memes.

Bad games.

You will find often times that  a lot of folks criticism even sometimes its technical aspects cant actually themselves. See its easier to say sonic games are bad because thats the thing you say. Instead of providing evidence.

That isn't to say sonic cant be criticized I can and will criticize it to high heaven. But the meme of sonic games just being bad effects good games. Professional reviewers do this.

And ussually, you ignore it and like thing . the problem here is that for mant the memed criticism taken at face value seemed to have effected franchise direction.

I think the pile of uncreative nothing shit that is lost world is an argument for that. That angers some folks they rage debate, talking about how it appears thar sega doesnt carw about or actively antagonize adventure sonic fans, or classic or whoever. Then folks say "you have to show them you care" but then sega makes another bad game and the cycle of bad games, rage, memes, trying to instil hope, bad games continues. Sometimes you get an good game.

Memes and bad games. Memes and bad games. Thats all it is

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Shadowlax said:

Memes.

Bad games.

That isn't to say sonic cant be criticized I can and will criticize it to high heaven. But the meme of sonic games just being bad effects good games. Professional reviewers do this.

The meme of bad sonic games you mean? 

The rest are fine really. I could take an 'original character do not steal' meme if used appropriately. Come to think of it, Aaron should have added that tag when he did the starfox post. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/1/2016 at 2:49 PM, Diogenes said:

 

 

1 hour ago, caseykz said:

The meme of bad sonic games you mean? 

The rest are fine really. I could take an 'original character do not steal' meme if used appropriately. Come to think of it, Aaron should have added that tag when he did the starfox post. 

Eh no. Sometimes its just memes.

Sometimes its just memes unrelated to bad games, just saying elements of games with explanation are bad. Sonic has too many friends,why? Like that could be a legitimate criticism but often times they dont have one, its shit they regurgitate and it spreads. And then sega taking reasoned criticism and analyzing the situation they do what they often do and work with extremes.

And not only that you seem to think the original character do not steal meme is all fun. But its often  uses as sometype of argumentative peice against elements of sonic games. "Oh you like sonic stories, you must make oc's and write fanfiction" or post cold steel shit. Like any of those things are inherently bad.

Tes bad games may have spurred some of those memes on. But its gotten way beyond the point of just bad games. Saying games that large amounts of folks like has become a meme. And not with reasoned criticism, just saying its bad. Gaming sites like giant bomb and the now defunct game trailers.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, reflection_of said:

Because we are different. Anyone who cares about what other people think of them has left the fanbase along time ago.


That's very loose point. Different from who? TMNT fans? Mario fans? Game of Thrones? Entire World?

What would make us so different then the others and why we in particular are so different?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, MetalSkulkBane said:


That's very loose point. Different from who? TMNT fans? Mario fans? Game of Thrones? Entire World?

What would make us so different then the others and why we in particular are so different?

 Most people don't like Sonic. Hence most people don't like the fans.

It's the same reason why people hate nerds and goths.

 

They all have highly unusual tastes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ya know, every fandom I've seen have those bad apples. I think the reason Sonic fandom gets the spotlight is because the series itself doesn't have good reputation. To an outsider it's incredible strange to see sonic still having a massive following. Kinda like it's odd to see mlp get a massive following of adults despite it being recognize as something for little girls.

So when a bad apple comes along, whether it be a bad game or someone like Chris Chan, it makes the existence of the fandom even more funny to an outsider. There's alot of attention to those apples because there's plenty of them. It's like a goldmine for jokes and mockery. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

You must read and accept our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy to continue using this website. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.