Don’t do this

22 Feb
February 22, 2012

I’m sure most of you already know about the Jennifer Hepler story. I’d like to take a moment to say : Please don’t do this.

For two reasons. Firstly, compassion. Obviously, it’s not a nice way to treat someone.

I don’t like Hepler’s stance on videogames, personally. I can kinda see where she is coming from, but I think she’s wrongheaded. If there is a button you can press to skip the gameplay and just watch the story, to me it says the story is too disconnected from the gameplay. I’d prefer to see things move in the opposite direction, for story and gameplay to become more intertwined. It shouldn’t be so easy to mark the spots where the one ends and the other begins.

But disagreement with her is no reason to whip out the personal attacks, about her appearance or otherwise. This is another human being, they have feelings. And yes, she lashed out at her detractors by calling them pathetic virgins. This is what people do when they are hurting, to protect their psyches. In an ideal world, everyone would have rock solid senses of self-worth, insults would be shrugged off and only constructive criticism responded to. That is not this world, and anyone who can’t have some sympathy there has probably never made themselves truly vulnerable by putting something they’re deeply invested in “out there”. Let’s all try not to be assholes, even if the internet makes it so very easy.

There is another good reason not to do this though, and this one is more likely to hold water with the “fuck nice, this is the internet bitch. Harden the fuck up or get the fuck out.” crowd. And that reason is : you weaken your own position and divert people from the conversation you want to engage in.

Are folks rationally discussing the direction and quality of Bioware’s writing right now, or is everyone emotionally worked up around attacking/defending Jennifer Hepler? If your goal is not to be dismissed as a crank, criticize without throwing personal insults. Insults make your position weaker, not stronger. If your goal is to actually make a difference, you should want to argue from the strongest position possible.

Remember, attention is a form of respect. If no one respects you, no one will listen to you. You do want to be listened to, right? Stop making it so easy for them to ignore your criticism.

3 replies
  1. GhanBuriGhan says:

    Couldn’t have said it better. The internet will be the internet, but its disheartening to see human nature at work, every time shit like this happens. Of course there is occasional voices of reason like yours, that partly restore ones faith in humanity.

    Reply
  2. Cincinnatus says:

    Well, they are worth each other: gamers and Hepler. Today’s gaming industry has nothing but my deepest contempt, games for idiots made by idiots.

    Reply
  3. M.Miles says:

    A bit late for this one but I agree, completely. It’s always depressing as hell to me seeing all these flamewars and internet drama and people taking it too far.
    What’s the point? Has anyone ever been convinced by logical argument in an internet discussion?

    Reply

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