Thunderstarter / Member

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Beware: The Community is Toxic!

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Anyway, I decided not to mark this blog as an editorial. This is the first blog since I got featured on the front page that Im only showing my followers (and, well, whoever else decides to click on the blog) . This is not something that needs to hit the front page. This, my friends, is a rant, but not about games, and not about Gamespot. Its about us.

But first, a little background on myself. I never really have taken the time to talk about me on this blog.

We all know the internet is a harsh, unforgiving place. Im not sure if it was always this way, I wasnt old enough to really get into the use of the net when it was beginning to gain popularity and widespread use in the 90s. Sure, I did go to Pokemon.com when I was 6, but that was more or less the extent of  my internet browsing. It wasnt until I was about 13 (6 years ago), when I made this account and this blog, that I would step into the realm of internet *ahem* discourse.

(By the way, Pokemon.com was awesome)

During my first few years here (you can actually go back through my blog history and see a lot of horribly written stuff ;) ) I didnt encounter much of what I see today in terms of the general atmosphere that our lovely community seems to permeate today.  I could say something, anything, and the worst attack from another user I would get was being called a fanboy or, sometimes, noob. Perhaps this is because most of my interaction with the community was through the two unions I was active in and the 15 or so bloggers that read my blog/whose blogs I read. Even when commenting on articles I never saw anything that was remotely Feedbackula! worthy.

For those of you who read my blog regularly (THANK YOU, first of all! I write because I love when people read my stuff! ) you know that when I write a post  I am either voicing an opinion that will clash with popular opinion or I am presenting an idea I feel could be presented to the community at large and start a good discussion.  

Well, as good as a discussion as you can get from the internet.

My issue with this community is that there are quite a few members who have absolutely nothing of value to give to the conversation at large. I am a big propreitor of the idea that, if you have nothing valuable to say, don't say it at all. It just dilutes the conversation and distracts those interacting with each other from the focus of whats being discussed.

Now, when , exactly, is a statement considered of value? Surely this term is too vague for us to even begin to measure discussion by it. Its an opinion, really. Some people feel bigoted statements are of huge value to conversation, while others believe that such bigoted statements need to be supported by a strong argument, evidence and (oh GOD please) good grammar. When I post a blog that clashes against popular opinion (like the first blog of mine to make it to the front page) I will, more often than not, get more personal attacks on my character, intelligence, morals, and personality than actual discussion of my points. This is not to say I dont receive thoughtful discourse (its quite the opposite, actually, most of you following me have given thoughtful comments to my blog) but all of the ideas and conversations will inevitably get buried by those who only wish to vent their rage at me, often without reading my blog first. Its not just me, either, its anyone who has an opinion that could possibly deviate from the norm. Carolyns articles in particular seem to set off a massive fire whenever she posts one of her ideas (which really is a shame). I dont always agree with her, but even if I dont, it doesnt make her opinion invalid, which is what much of the community believes.

I think one of the best examples of worthless comments appears on my blog about Microtransactions (if this is from you, reader, I am not sorry):

"I like paying for cheat codes that were free" "I like pay-to-win games"  "I want to encourage game devs to make every game about grinding so everyone will NEED to pay to compete" "I like paying for 'extra' pieces of a game that should've been there in the first place" 

Absolutely retarded, people accepting and defending sucking the industry's balls only hurts us consumers

 

There are so many things wrong with this comment. First of all, his quotes are nothing but conclusions he drew up about me whilst reading (or so I hope) my blog. He put them in quotation marks as if I actually said those things, thinking his argument would become more valid in this way, but it doesnt. Anyone who knows basic argumentative skills knows that a quote cannot be made out of something that has not been said and, on top that, is factually unsupported (and, actually, incorrect). Never once did I indicate that I believed any one of those things, yet this user thought he or she knew me and claimed that I did. This whole comment is an ad hominem attack, that is, its an attack on me personally, and it holds absolutely no argumentative merit.  It ignores my points and just goes for me, the writer, trying to drain me of my credibility through direct attacks, and its worthless. This is true for any blog or post and for any user, we all get it and its digusting, and roughly 40% of the posts I see are comprised of such filth (I made that number up, but I think its correct).

I love Feedbackula!  because, while its funny, its pointing out something that we tend to ignore; we can sound like **** idiots. I love it, because it puts those who cant write properly or have poor, unstructured and unsupported arguments right in their place. Now, the show does feature a handful of good, thoughtful, well-written comments, but seriously, thats not what were there for. And we all know it.

Now, a few of you might say when you open yourself up to a large audience, you are opening yourself up for idiots, too and youd be right. However, this does not mean that we cant hold this community to a higher standard. So what if a 13-year-old can get an account? At 13, most people should know the difference between a good and a bad argument (and hopefully they know how to use good grammar). The internet is not this toxic in every corner. Reddit is a perfect example of this. Going into different subreddits, you can see a lot of great conversation going on. Theres not nearly as much toxicity there as there is here, and I believe thats because each subreddit has reddiquette specific to the subreddit. If a post does not follow the reddiquette, it can be deleted. Id love to see a feature where each user can set up a set of rules that all who comment on their blog must follow. If a user does not follow said rules, the owner of the blog can delete the comment, much like you can someones  comment on a picture post on Facebook.

I would like my blog to be an area of at least semi-intelligent discussion about our favorite industry and where its headed. I would like to be able to moderate it, so that only the worthwhile responses show up on my comment section. Its a dream, but one I really, really wish would come true. 

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