You Idiot!

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.

Upon further review… he’s really not very good

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.

This, however? Unquestionably a bad idea.

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.

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7 Responses to You Idiot!

  1. Molotova says:

    You mention religion and MMOs in the same blog entry and you are on to something there. In both cases it is potentially a big emotional and time investment in one’s favourite one. It is also the gateway to a community of like minded people that you come to identify with and spend loads of good time with. Criticizing one’s particular religion or MMO, or worse, saying there might be another one out there that might be better, taps right into the limbic system and triggers an emotional reaction. Expect abuse not a rational discussion more often than not.
    Anecdotally the two things might go together, I too am a non-believer and gamewise I am looking very much forward to both GW2 and TSW,… but I am by no means a fanboy of either.
    ~~~~ a fellow fool

  2. Dale Maurice says:

    It’s a good thing I don’t believe in god(s) because if I felt the same way as I do about MMOs I’d be changing religion quite often. Secret World beta this weekend! Then back to Eve, or Rift, or uhh, I dunno.

  3. For so long as I have interacted with others on the Internet, I have been told I’m an idiot (not always in so many words) on a near daily basis. According to people on the net, my taste in music is atrocious, my taste in television is vile, I know nothing about what makes a good video game, etc.. I won’t even get in to what people thought about me back when I was in the Save Enterprise movement.

    And that’s with me as a relative nobody. I can only imagine how much greater the calls of idiocy would be if I had a significant level of exposure like you do.

    It is, of course, incredibly irritating and can occasional damage one’s faith in mankind, but it goes with the territory, so you just have to roll with the punches. Try to focus on the free publicity angle of it. I know I was never happier to be called an idiot than after I took second prize in Blizzard’s writing contest and had nerdraging Alliance fans constantly bumping my story’s thread with their comments about how “offensive” it was.

    Also, I read the title of this post in Ren Hoek’s voice.

  4. Well… YOU ARE NOT ALONE !!
    –though games are for me only a hobby amongst others–

    The thing is that “the others” don’t even question anything.. Or maybe we are just getting old ^^ (and gamers are always younger).

    when I’ma called “a pain in the A”… I’m proud.

    • jasonwinter says:

      >>> The thing is that “the others” don’t even question anything.

      I think it falls into one of two extremes:

      “Game/company X is the greatest thing ever and you can’t do anything to convince me otherwise.”

      or

      “Game/company Y is the worst thing ever and you can’t do anything to convince me otherwise.”

      There’s rarely middle ground.

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