The example I'm thinking of is Bethesda and Starfield. Other than the graphics it's not a well designed game, but people keep making excuses for it, when smaller teams have done far more with far less money. The fans suggest the mediocre combat is intentional so you focus more on the role playing.

Nintendo fanboys are some of the guiltiest perpetrators. They don't usually accuse the critics of playing the game wrong (which is a different thing than what I'm talking about) but rather they keep speculating that Nintendo knows what they're doing and every bad mechanic is deliberate.

Perhaps Rick & Morty is a better example. For the past few years they haven't had a good track record. When a new season comes out, fans regularly speculate the reason for the mediocre episodes is they're part of a greater arc that we'll understand later. That it will be great on a rewatch.

I guess even stuff like Trump and the stolen election narrative is applicable here. Trump fans keep telling each other to "trust the plan" and that "Trump is playing 4D chess" even though history proved he was just making mistakes.

Is there a word or phrase for this phenomenon? If not, how about "overspeculating"?

  • This seems to be just a case of bias or a result of cognitive dissonance. I don't think there's a more specific word for it.
    – Barmar
    Oct 31 at 20:28
  • I'm not sure if it's a valid comparison of a politician's serious 'game plan' with an actual game, which may be designed to be a simple vehicle for entertainment, and is not intended to be any more. Oct 31 at 20:29
  • There is a possible expression for it: 'special pleading'. The Cambridge online English dictionary defines it: "the act of arguing from a particular case in order to get an unfair advantage in a more general situation". Strictly this is about situation or arguments rather than people. However, I think it could be applied to a combo's performance.
    – Tuffy
    Oct 31 at 20:45
  • Making excuses seems to be the usual phrase for this specific behaviour. Is there a reason you don't like it, other than that you're just looking for a single word.
    – Stuart F
    Nov 1 at 12:53
  • Making excuses for is not quite specific enough. It could apply to devils advocate Nov 1 at 16:51

4 Answers 4


In Brazil, we have a term which is "to mop". You can imagine Bethesda or Starfield making a mess and then the fans will go out and clear it, because they're fans and they'll support it no matter what. I believe it kinda comes from the feeling of "I don't want my friends to know I have supported someone and then that someone made something awful".

Ps.: I am just posting this because it's curious -- since I cannot comment.


I offer the word


someone who speaks or writes in defense of someone or something that is typically controversial, unpopular, or subject to criticism

From Merriam-Webster.


To drink the Kool-Aid is to be extremely dedicated to something to the point where it may be detrimental to yourself. It doesn't refer to the notion of making excuses for someone or something, but does capture the idea of rabid devotion to something that is seen as infallible. Someone who blindly follows or supports something despite whatever may happen can be said to have "drunk the Kool-Aid". It carries the notion that whatever the thing is, it must be correct/right/good, therefore anyone who doesn't see that is wrong. The phrase is usually used from the outside looking in, describing someone with dangerous or ill-informed beliefs due to some personal devotion to the thing in question.

  • That's not specifically about defending a person or company but same ballpark Nov 1 at 16:47

Another one is "Devil's Advocate", however this more describes someone who intentionally advocates for the unpopular side, in this case intentionally focusing on the good parts of the games mentioned (graphics) because the majority seems to focus on the bad parts.

  • 1
    This phrase implies that the Devil's Advocate does not really believe in the position they are espousing. The underlying reason for the person's contrarian position is just for the sake of debate, but not because they really believe in the unpopular side - it wouldn't apply to someone who truly holds a minority opinion. Nov 1 at 14:01

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