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GoNintendo 'End of Day' thought - Destin Feature: Why is this okay?

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Destin’s feature for tonight is one that’s near and dear to my heart. I even touched upon it indirectly during my ‘History of GoNintendo’ feature. Glad Destin spoke up about the issues, and I’m very interested to see what you guys have to say. Should be an interesting feature to kick off the week! See you guys in a few, short hours. - RMC

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I want to ask a question, but before I do think back to the last time an article about a video game made you angry.  When you responded were you level headed while respecting the other persons opinion or did you fly off the handle and attack their personal life, writing ability and make statements about how they’re undeserving of their position?  Think about that, and then try to think of an answer to my next question.  Why did you react this way?

There seems to be a common mentality within the gaming culture.  People want to be the first to play a game, or be the only person to have all the hidden items, achievements or trophies in a title.  Everyone wants the opportunity to present their level of knowledge to their online peers, or brag about how many hours they spent building up their character.  It’s like the player wears these traits as a badge of honor and when someone says something to taint their passion for the topic, tempers rise.

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Lately I’ve been much more analytical about this online culture I’m a part of.  I see people spewing acidic remarks on the latest review on Destructoid or IGN and I’m disgusted.  For example, LittleBigPlanet 2 getting an analytical look and some accurate criticism does not warrant people questioning a reviewers ability to play a video game.  It also doesn’t warrant a dismissal of the entire review simply because IGN gave it a higher score.  How can someone be wrong about their opinion?  I have to step back and wonder what is wrong with people when I combine this absurdity with the personal attacks levied at the writer, and the indication that the review is incorrect.  Why is this happening?

It’s almost as though readers feel personally insulted when a critical look is taken at a franchise they’ve invested their hopes and possibly money into.  Did you love the first LittleBigPlanet so much that it’s become like a real person to you?  Since when does a video game need someone to stand up for it?  The people making the game certainly don’t need your help nor does Sony who’s made millions of dollars off the game so why are you so angry?  I don’t think anyone has any definitive answers but I’m going to go ahead and take a guess.

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1)  They’re trolling.  People love attention even if it’s given after a purposefully hateful remark.  These people truly enjoy seeing other people get pissed off and probably laugh out loud at the anger spewed.  It’s disgusting.

2)  They feel personally insulted.  We invest a lot of time into our games but if you can’t take a joke about one of your favorites then I think you need to go outside for a second.  Do you see that green grass, blue sky or maybe even snow?  Maybe you don’t even need to go outside.  Just go into your living room or the nearest location where real people are present.  Those people are real.  The fictional portrayal of a characters armament in a 40 hour long adventure is not.  So when someone makes fun of it and you fly off the handle I hope you try and gain some perspective.  Nobody said that your parents are ugly and worthless, they made fun of a digital object in a digital galaxy.  Take a deep breath and move on.

Thankfully most of us in this online medium know that video games are not real and though they’re an escape for many, most of us can still take a joke or partake in an analytical discussion.  It’s just sad when someone resorts to a personal attack or criticizes another human being’s abilities simply because of the anonymity the internet offers.

Now I don’t support comment deletion, but if someone on a website has ever deleted a comment they have right to do so.  They’re the ones who own the website, the content on it, and can do as they wish.  This means your argument of free speech or censorship is invalid.  Disagree?  Step out of the safe internet world and go spray paint some profanity on any business you can think of.  Do this every day and when you end up in court, be sure to tell the judge that you’re just exercising your rights to freedom of speech.  I’ll tell you right now that it’s not going to go over very well.

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All I’m trying to ask with this piece is “why?”  Why does the internet have to be such an ugly place for anyone willing to have a different opinion than your own.  In my first year working in an online capacity I was called fat, homosexual, and had people saying I should be fired every single day.  In that year I was attacked more vehemently than I have ever been in my entire life and still am today.  I can handle it but I know there’s people out there who can’t and it’s torn them apart.

The point, or maybe the favor I’m trying to ask is that you think before you comment.  If you’re so angry that you’re willing to threaten murder (of which I’ve been on the receiving end) then perhaps you need to shut off your computer for a few days.  There is another human on the other end of that monitor and I think that gets forgotten.  Show a little respect, and together we could make the internet a better place.

Thanks so much for reading my thought for the day.  If you have any input I encourage you to add it in the comment area.

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