Friday, 29 August 2014

Living in Your Own Little World

Some people seem to be selectively deaf, blind, and mute. Selectively. They hear, see, and say what they like and want, but ignore the other part, that does not sit well with them. The latest example pertaining to game journalism, if we can even call it journalism at this point, is the opinion piece Chris Plante posted over at Polygon. I do not intend to link to it, as it is so biased piece of work you could make a circle out of it, and I am not inclined in giving them a single grain of traffic.

If the only conclusion on the whole affair surrounding Quinnspiracy you can make, is that gamers are awful people that threat other people, and hack accounts, then we got a serious problem. Not with the gamers, but with your cognitive abilities. Just to make it clear, anyone who made any kind of threats is an idiot, and I believe authorities are able to handle those few cases on their own. But, and this is the problem I mean to address in one of the future posts, we are dealing with broad generalisation here. That by itself is fallacy of composition.

Just because one gamer made threats, does not mean all gamers are terrorists. Just as, I am sure, reasonable people will agree that because one Jew is a terrorists, does not mean all Jews are terrorists. You got that? We all understand what fallacy of composition is now? Good, then let us avoid it in the future and move on.

Next on the list we have the straw-man arguments. These are used to divert the subject to something that has nothing to do with the original argument. Great example is how Plante tries really hard to change the outrage of the community over lack of integrity among game journalists, into something more insidious like sexism, and misogyny. All with the help of those who made threats. You see, this is why you do not make threats. They are not effective, and ultimately will only hurt your own side in the argument. If you don't like something, argue about it in the intelligent manner befitting a homo sapiens sapiens.

The rest of the article only goes downhill. More than the opinion, it reads like a piece of propaganda, I thought nothing could be worse than Communist Manifesto, but this takes the cake. The author is trying to show his readers what monsters we gamers really are, how we refuse to accept that "No longer are games designed, marketed and sold to a niche group of young men." At idiocies like these, I would just like to say: "There, I am done. The man did all the work for me." But unfortunately I cannot. Because it seems that if you let the harpy scream, it will eventually garner the attention it craves. So you need to shoot down the harpy at the first sight, because you will not be able to outshout it.

We all know that the group of people playing games is evergrowing. I do not intend to spend time on deliberating who is and who is not a gamer, and what qualifies whom to be considered a gamer. I would like to think that we as entity that form gamers are inclusive folk. I am sure there are jerks and idiots among us as well. But, they are just vocal minority. And this is the prime reason why I am so bothered with the things those opinion makers, that love to moniker under the name of journalism, have to say. Half of what they say is misguided, the other half full of lies. Do I need to spell out that not all of us are terrorists, if any?

Next time you see an idiot harassing someone, or making threats, just know this: He might be a gamer. But he is not a jerk because he is a gamer. Him or her being a gamer has nothing to do with him/her being a jerk. Those two things just happen to coincide. There is no actual correlation between them.

The problem in this whole debate is that one side is actively trying to mix two different things together in order to create easy target to counter, while the other side is at times willingly playing that game and shooting at the easiest target with hate speech and misogyny. The journalists would really love to avoid talking about their responsibilities, and would much rather write about how intolerant and bigoted gamers really are. These are easy targets, it is far easier to judge, than letting others judge you. And shame on those gamers who let themselves get caught in those traps.

It seems the so called journalists still refuse to see the Truth in the eyes. It is not we the gamers who are throwing, as Plante says, a temper tantrum in a grocery store. It is not we who have to grow up, get serious. Certainly a portion of those gamers do. Certainly. But the reality check is here for the so called journalists who need to decide where exactly they stand in this whole debate. Will they get some spine one of these days and distance themselves from the game developers, or will they continue to mislead the consumers, and share the bed with the developers. The real, and metaphorical one.

Because if they are so certain they can just shrug us off, write it off as if a spoilt child is throwing a temper tantrum than they seriously miscalculated. They are patronising us. Thinking we will eventually just forget about it, because at the end of the day, they hold all the keys to the fortress.

Well, bring it on. Give us a reason to make those reviews on Steam into something more. Give us a reason to pay attention to streamers and youtubers even more than we already do. Sure, even among them there is to be a rotten apple, but at least they are not patronising us. Game journalists seem to be oblivious of their own insignificance. They seem to think that the Damocles's Sword above their head is their just for decoration. They do not seem to understand what the sword represents. Fine. The sword will fall, and they will be history. Even Damocles had more salt than those leeches.

The game journalists have failed to realise that in the whole equation it is them who are disposable. It is them, who can be replaced. It is certainly not us, the gamers. We are an entity too organic, too big, too disorganised. We are the consumers, which makes us inherently needed. It is certainly not game developers. They make the games we want. Those two factions are both required. The only faction in the whole equation that can be disposed are the game journalists. They are the middle-man. And when they fail to bring the wanted results to the both sides, they will be replaced. Once the gamers in general start to ignore what game journalism has to say, the journalists will roam to the dumping ground of history. There they can reminisce how much good they did in the name of the coin instead for their readership.

UPDATE: After I have already written this, I stumbled on the post made by Cynical Brit putting all the raging that is going on these days in some semblance of a frame. I highly recommend you to read it, as it tries to explain what the gist of it really is. Also, the man is far more eloquent than me.

#JournalisticIntegrity #Quinnspiracy #Gaming

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