Spoiler Warning for Life is Strange
Warning the following article contains:
Images of violence
Images some viewers may find disturbing
Images of dogs
Discussions of trigger warnings
Discussions about sexual assault
Items in a list
The use of gendered terms (e.g. He , She)
Mocking the idea of trigger warnings
Discussions of fearful situations
Discussions alluding to suicide
Ideas you may not agree with
Discussions about Higher Education
Links to videos
Some sexual content
A picture of a knife
Culture other than US culture
Discussions relating to PTSD
Links to an image which contains a gendered slur
Well I was going to write a nice little blog about something silly that we could all have a laugh at like the sheer number of video game developers information present in the Ashley Madison hack. That however will be a blog for another time. Yes I'm back on the politics temporarily for a few more blogs and this time it's once again the idea of Trigger warnings. Now I don't make it a habit of writing whole blog posts to respond to a tweet but in this case I think it's warranted.
Trigger warnings are something in theory I agree with, I agree with plenty of things in theory. In practice however the idea of trigger warnings is becoming a joke. The joke being if you look at the list of trigger warnings for this blog.
The original use of trigger warnings was pretty much to warn people with actual conditions that they may have a problem in the game.
Now here in the UK at least there is a vague idea of content people may find they dislike in games.
See. Now the big problem comes in (and this is where my objection is) when the idea of potentially upsetting psychological incidents caused by serious trauma are conflated with "I don't like this". Certain groups will claim all the warnings (and more) above have a perfect place here on this blog and the defence is immediately to refer to actual more serious incidents of triggering such as PTSD (and no not Twitter PTSD because people said mean things you disagreed with). The idea that anything that could in any way illicit and negative emotion should have a warning no matter how small the actual impact.
So when Mr Holmes you suggested that people asking for less trigger warnings were hypocritical for asking for spoiler warnings. There's a very big difference. The big difference being those who want trigger warnings want to avoid feeling said emotions while those asking for spoiler warnings are embracing humanity and want to feel said emotions to their fullest without potentially being shielded from the impact of a twist in the story. One example of a game triggering someone that comes to mind was Dtoid's own Laura K talking about how she was distressed after a section in Life is Strange where a character is trying to kill themself and how it brought back memories of a similar incident in her life. Later on, I believe on a Podquisition after having initially said the section was a problem in the game. Laura K said she'd thought about the game and that moment and realised she had to face that part of the past sooner or later and while she didn't appreciate having it trust on her as such but could see it as a positive thing to deal with said issues.
There's an argument for vague warnings about potentially more serious "triggers" people might have being identified as present in games in a vague way. However dealing with every possible thing people on Tumblr have claimed could trigger them is kind of an insane task. I mean look how many I've added for just this blog and the one about capital letters, yeh that's not a joke.
I'd even say to the extent that phobias shouldn't be counted into such warnings as phobias are very personal things. I can get the whole "Informing the consumer" argument but at the end of the day you can't attempt to inform everyone of everything in the game that could be relevant to them. Oh and on phobias I'm the guy who was petrified of dogs and yet went with my then GF to Crufts because she wanted to go there. Let me say that again. Me the person who was petrified of dogs went to one of the world's largest dog shows. So if you want to claim how a game made you feel fearful and you should have been warned just think if an idiot like me can go out and face his fear in real life it maybe isn't that tough with some help.
The concept of trigger warnings is one that's still debated a bit in higher education and well it seems now that academia is rejecting said warnings as they can undermine the impact of teaching. Presenting a shocking thing can help hit home information being said or outright challenge the preconceptions of students and force them to face other ideas and views.
I can understand the idea that someone who was sexually assaulted could be triggered by sexual violence in something.
I can understand how someone who has been to war and seen horrific things could be triggered by war games and imagery in some of those.
I can understand how someone who has had someone attempt suicide in their life being triggered by such things in a game.
I CAN'T understand how people can claim their dislike of Jam is as serious or applicable to being considered a trigger just because they don't like it
Being triggered has almost been adopted by certain people as an all purpose term for things they don't like and to use its original meaning as a way to make people feel bad, or make others out to be a villain and make it seem they're committing almost mental abuse by bringing up said subjects. I've even heard of one indie developer attempting to claim it wasn't right and was triggering that they were stopped from trying to use the 7 days to die game forum after they chose to use it to try and push for it's community to target a charity site. A site which at the time was hosting the fund rasing page for Officer Darren Wilson to fund his defence costs in court.
So Mr Holmes when you say Trigger warnings are a good thing. I think you'll need to be specific if you mean all trigger warnings or if you mean ones that make sense like say the Epilepsy trigger warnings etc and some of it ,lets say "This game requires you to have two working hands to play", are kind of on the consumer to become informed of themselves via other methods and sources of information.
Oh almost forgot
There we go that's addressed every trigger warning I think. read