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Behind the Sopa Box: Time's up for the others


So before I get started and actually talk about things can I just point out that last week's SOPA BOX was the hardest one to actually write in a long time. It's bloody hard to write a fake angry blog over 700 words and maintain the kind of level of vitriol I felt was needed.

You see I said before the "SOPA BOX Revolutionary" was a caricature and not always my actual feelings on a subject. It was a caricature I could use to parody things and last week very much was full on parody. It was deliberately done and very deliberately written the way it was with a point in mind.

You see last week's SOPA Box was actually inspired by and titled to reference the Electric Dreams episode: Kill All Others, the final image of the Cblog was very deliberately from that very episode to clue in some people. The blog was deliberately done to never actually explain who this supposed evil enemy harming gaming is. I did guess based on my own previous stuff that people might assume I was on about people who could be described as SJWs but I also wrote it hoping some people might also think it was about some group of awful bigots too. The truth is there are no others.

The entire SOPA Box last week was an exercise in using weighted and emotive language to stir people up into some moralistic or self righteous furore. It was pieced together from actual cries to try and kick people out of gaming or cries about how awful certain groups or people are, yes even the kick their spines out thing was taken from something an actual person said.

My actual position is gaming is a giant house with rooms for everyone to find something they like or multiple things they like. Don't like something? Ok don't go near that room. Don't like say heavily narrative driven walking sims? Stay out of that room. What really annoys me and has annoyed me more and more is people who I see as going into other rooms and saying the equivalent of "Oh if only you'd change the carpet, the curtains and the entire arrangement of the room and all furniture then I'd come into this room more often. " Only to be shocked when people turn round and go "Well we like the room how it is and why would we change it all just to include you? If you don't like it there's plenty of other rooms for you". It's one of the biggest fallacies going that changing a game to remove things people enjoyed will somehow gain you a new loyal devoted fan base bigger than those you potentially alienated.

The only people who don't belong in gaming are those who don't care for gaming but want to use it as recruitment for their political group (there's plenty of different groups trying to do this) or who want to turn games into some political battleground and piece in some giant metaphorical game of Risk. Politicisation NOT politics is a big problem in gaming, those of you who read last week's Sopa Box likely very much now have an idea what I mean. The use of politics or bringing politics into things should be to benefit the art, what do I mean? Well Moviebob gave a great example of this recently when he pointed out in one of his videos how learning about a specific Japanese bit of politics from others, helped vastly enhance his understanding of a film he loved.

That's where politics becomes good, not trying to throw people out of a hobby cause they voted for douche bag over turd in whatever election happened. Trying to turn games into a political soap box for your view and reviews of games into political soapboxes, doing nothing but showcasing your political views and praising or chastising  a game for agreeing or disagreeing with them, isn't helpful to the medium.  The question of talking politics should always be "Does this add anything of value to people looking at this game and the game itself?" If no then chances are you're doing it to soap box.

Going back to the house analogy if you want a room done to your tastes convince people to join you and suggest to companies "Hey how about a game like [insert what you want]" rather than just yelling till you're red in the face for developers to change an existing game or yelling about how an existing game is oppressive or whatever and the franchise should change. If you can convince and will support a product giving you what you want companies will often happily make more like it. If you're not getting AAA $300 Million costing Walking sims there might be a reason for it. Oh and I say this as someone who will seriously keep saying how nice Beyond Eyes is as a walking sim game and how you should seriously consider getting it when it's on a discounted sale.

If I was the kind of person who stormed into a room in the house of gaming and demanded it change to fit just the tastes I have then I may never have played Beyond Eyes, I would likely have asked where the boobs, guns, gore and over the top nonsense I generally enjoy are and that I wouldn't play it without those things. I didn't do that, I decided when in Rome do as the Romans do and you might find you like some of it. You might find even if you don't like everything you'll find games you do like and do enjoy. For ages companies have been all about, to borrow a slogan from Burger King "Have it your way", at least in the west. While being able to change some elements in games is nice some seem to be taking "Have it your way" to the extreme and wanting something radically different to what's being offered and getting upset they're not getting as an fake example Devil May Cry the pacifist game about handing out flowers to people in the street to brighten their day.

In conclusion:

Calling for people to be thrown out of some hobby due to them not agreeing with your about socio political thing when they do care for the hobby, itself harms the hobby.

Calling for violence against people you disagree with over socio-political things just breeds more violence and makes you kind of a cunt (and I don't use that word often).

Inclusivity in gaming should be about content for all the proverbial "rooms" in the giant house of gaming not about trying to make a single game and get everyone to play it like some kind of grey slop everyone can eat but no-one truly enjoys. It also doesn't mean kicking out anyone who doesn't agree with you so everyone feels included because only people who agree with you are left.

If you remember nothing else from all this, everyone could be the others. So before you start calling to kick out or attack some supposed others just remember you are the other to someone else.

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About Dwarvenhobbleone of us since 8:33 AM on 06.19.2012

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