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Behind the Sopa Box.


Ok I know people say when you explain a joke it loses some of the comedy value and I know this really is going to be quite an "inside baseball" esc C-blog so I don't expect many people to be that interested in this.

All that said I felt I wanted to do this. I wanted to sort of talk about my motives and sort of personal in jokes that I've put into the SOPA Box C-blogs.

Ever since I really started talking about video games online  I've attempted to use subtle or not so subtle mockery by being an attempt at a stylistic parody of elements of the games industry.

The main image for my Blog Billboard is from when I really started, it's states the name of the little offsite blog I wrote and published most of my reviews etc on before mostly being on Dtoid only. It also states "The Home of Shamelessly unprofessional reviews". A lot of the reviews I've written were deliberately rambling, deliberately going off topic and ending up with a score out of 6. The 6 star score itself being a joke about how so many publications felt the need to have score but I picked 6 because it's a deliberately awkward number. The entire joke being two levels, the first being that I am not a professional reviewer, the second deeper level being to take the piss out of how unprofessional some so called professional reviewers were seemingly being when they went on off topic tangents about personal life or personal politics often not bringing much extra to the review, rather using it as a soap box for their views.

With the Sopa Box cblogs what I've been aiming to do is address issues I feel are important or worth talking about but wrapping them in hopefully somehow humorous slightly over the top hyperbole . This idea has been forming for a while and it's thanks to someone who was here and did comment on one of my blogs long ago that the whole SOPA Box concept was born. You see the comment they left was in essence "Stop talking about industry things you're a no-one you won't make a difference just go back to talking about indie games with your tiny little audience on your tiny blog." This comment actually made me stop and think. I mean it's not exactly right but it's not entirely wrong either. I am a comparative no-one, I likely don't have a huge audience , it doesn't mean I can't make a difference but I know that for that it can only happen with others helping spread the word. Thus the joke behind the Sopa box was born.

Just as Jim Sterling plays a somewhat exaggerated caricature on his Jimquisition show, going from a somewhat fake fascist dictator to his new persona of the greatest showman in games media, I decided to write the SOPA box as a somewhat exaggerated caricature.

The caricature of someone who fundamentally believes he's somehow saving the games industry single handed, a person who believes he's starting a revolution based on the anger people feel towards the games industries scummier practices or other things relating to the industry. The caricature of an activist with next to no self awareness or ability to be self critical. In fact originally the SOPA BOX was going to have the catch phrase "And remember get angry" or "And remember stay angry" as a jab at the idea of self righteously angry protestors who are fine with anger being expressed by those on their side but would entirely condemn anything from the other side that was in any way aggressive or impolite.

As I said this SOPA BOX "revolutionary" was very much inspired in part also by Jim Sterlings tinpot dictator character. I mean it's not stealing the idea but it is sort of paying homage to it by having my sort of caricature be rallying against some supposed evil oppressor.

Originally I was thinking of trying a video series idea and still am and as part of the joke about how ineffectual I was at preaching and deluded at drumming up support for some supposed revolution the video would end with the camera panning out to reveal literally no-one listening and a drunk man staggering over to take a piss up against the box.

The reason I thought I should write this is well I've done quite a few SOPA BOX C-blogs now and I was somewhat concerned that some people thought I'd lost it and had just gone full raving lunatic. That for some reason I'd given up the nuanced approach and truly did believe some of the more over the top hyperbolic things I've said. That's not saying everything I've said is fake or I'm not talking about issues I care about in many cases, just that I'm trying to address said things in a somewhat humorous way (if that humour falls flat I'll leave for you to judge). Also I thought I should write this now because in the future I have a SOPA BOX planned that really does rely upon realising that the SOPA BOX blog is a sort of caricature and not my true feelings on a subject which are often very much more nuanced. I mean that's part of the reason for the Field of View stuff so I can look at subjects with more nuance to them and differentiate them from the shouty nuance less Sopa Box stuff.

So when you point out flaws in my arguments in SOPA Box blogs, I'm not mad, I'm not coming into the comments to be confrontational, hell sometimes I'll upvote but not reply because you are very much right those points are flaws in the argument and in some cases were things left out deliberately because the SOPA BOX is me as a caricature with little to no nuance in their stances, just full in on a side of an argument even if that argument sometimes does end up being pointing out the lack of nuance in replies from big games companies ......

In conclusion I hope people who might not have been are clearer that the SOPA BOX blogs are deliberately written to be angrier; to lack nuance and be an exaggeration of some aspects of myself. Done as a sort of parody of what I'd best describe is a sort of overblown activist style all to highlight a point but to try and highlight issues with humour too.

Thank you for reading .

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About Dwarvenhobbleone of us since 8:33 AM on 06.19.2012

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