Seems I’ve been hearing that a lot more these days. Some of it is even warranted.
Back when I ran my sports blog, I took the approach that anyone can write about what happened in the last game or wax philosophical about free-agent signings. I didn’t want to do that; I didn’t want to produce essentially the same content everyone else was, with just minor variations and slight differences of opinion.
So when I heard sports commentators say that you have to have an elite quarterback to win a championship, I challenged it. Or when a fantasy football magazine said a great wide receiver will be even greater if he has a talented wideout lining up opposite him, I challenged that. I even defended Tarvaris Jackson not once, but twice — a year after tearing him down, based on the myth of quarterback win-loss records.
I’ve often tried to take a similar approach with my non-news content on GamebreakerTV. I’ve postulated that Facebook popularity could mean SWTOR’s not failing. Today, I brought up the notion that PvP might not need rewards. And from the start, I suggested that The Elder Scrolls Online might not be a steaming pile of turd. All of these seem to go against the “traditional” thinking regarding MMOs or gaming in general.
Very rarely do I outright come out and say, “This is correct, end of story.” Rather, I present an alternative, rarely considered view, and try to see what people think about it. I try to present good points, using facts and statistics when I can — as I often did on my sports blog — and providing what I hope are quality opinions when I can’t.
Sometimes I’m wrong. That’s cool, I can live with that. And while I understand that opinions on the Internet are like armpits (everyone’s got ’em, and they usually stink), I’d like to think that, before someone leaves a comment telling me what an idiot I am, that they step out of their tiny little world and at least accept the possibility that maybe, just maybe, they don’t know everything.
It’s probably the liberal in me talking, but “traditional” thinking only keeps tired, old ideas intact long after their period of usefulness has expired. “Everyone knows this is how it is” has been used to justify far less trivial societal elements than video game opinions.
I’m also a former Catholic who abandoned the dogma of religion, which, in my opinion, only perpetuates itself because it’s what the people before you believed, and therefore you’re likely to believe it, too. I dislike strict adherence to any concept that exists largely because it’s what’s always been accepted — I’d rather have solid proof to back up those claims and for people to be willing to examine and, if applicable, accept new ideas when they present themselves, even if it means challenging long-held beliefs.
And yes, we all know that people talking about a controversial topic and leaving comments = more hits on the page = more money for me and GB. But if I wasn’t writing those things there, I’d probably write them here where, frankly, I have a much smaller audience and could probably get away with spouting crazy ideas without catching as much flak for it.
I’m not looking for anyone to simply agree with me. Sometimes I’m totally wrong and need to be told so. But at least try to see where I’m coming from, to see where I came up with my ideas, and approach the topic from a different angle than what you’re used to — or even comfortable with. That’s the only way you learn.