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Posted by Hailinel (24961 posts) -

Some recent topics and conversations I've read and participated in on the forums and in some PMs has gotten me thinking. Thinking about thinking, or rather, expressing thoughts on the internet. Particularly when it comes to negative commentary and critique. It's easy to be a pessimistic jerk that rains on the parades of others, and I know I've fallen into that trap on more than one occasion; something I'm not proud of, and sometimes it can be difficult to apologize for. It's a concept that's true everywhere on the internet where discussion and commentary are allowed, when it comes to discussion about video games, and Giant Bomb's forums more specifically, I've noticed it manifest in some ways that I'd hope could improve. I mean, how often have we seen so-called arguments that could be boiled down to this age-old gem?

Dickery

I know I've been guilty of this. I've even been called out on it before. I was one of those jackasses that was dismissive toward Divekick (It's a flash game, it's simplistic, etc.) for...really no reason at all. For the record, I've actually tried Divekick since being called out, and while I can't say that it entralled me to the point that I'd buy it myself, I can understand why other people enjoy it. More importantly, I don't be a dick about it when it comes to other people discussing what they like about it.

This game ain't bad. Not my cup of tea, but not bad.

That said, I can still be a dick, and it's something I've really needed to work on for a long while now. I've gotten better about watching what I say, though I still slip up. So believe me when I say that nothing I'm saying here comes from a high-horse position of any sort. I need to work on this just as much as anyone else.

Which leads me back to the subject of that image macro. Some of you reading this are probably familiar with my tastes concerning certain games, and they don't really tend to be the most popular choices among the staff, or even the community at large. The internet is such that, if I have an opinion on a game, particularly a positive one, that runs counter to the supposed majority, then my taste is judged as bad and my opinion is null, just out of general principle. Even using the avatar I do can make me a target; I don't know how many times I've seen people's opinions derided simply because they have anime-themed avatars, and it's a specific phenomenon I don't believe I've ever seen in any other community I've frequented, past or present.

It's OK to disagree on things; no rational person is going to, well, disagree on that. Opinions differ, and even when one side is an obvious majority, that doesn't mean that the other side's views should be derided or considered invalid. On the other hand, the minority shouldn't use that minority status as fuel for a persecution complex. These aren't things that I need to say, but when discussing things on the internet, with relative anonymity and a lack of immediate physical proximity shielding us, it can be easy to shoot off a pithy comment ("This game is bad and you should feel bad!"), and somehow consider that a proper contribution to a conversation.

Expound! Expand! Extrapolate!

I realize that no matter what I say here, it'll probably fall on a lot of deaf ears, and who the heck am I to recommend how others interact on the internet? But if there's one thing that I could recommend, one improvement to discourse that I could request, it would be this: Please back up your arguments, whether they be positive or negative. There are a lot of forum threads that pop up asking questions like, "What's the most disappointing game you've ever played?" or "Name a game you like that other people hate," or "What's your favorite/least favorite game from Series X?" And then people just respond with simplistic answers that list the name of the game and little more. There's no conversation to be had, and when the questions are negative (i.e.: What's your least favorite/most disappointing/worst whatever?), a lot of responses just come out as empty. Someone answers with a the name of a game, or a character, or what have you, and then fails to explain why that's their answer.

Would it be to much to ask for elaboration? Not every response to a forum thread needs a doctoral thesis, but it would certainly go a long way toward helping spur conversation if more people were willing to take the time to explain why and how rather than leave people to fill in the blanks. Again, I've been guilty of the same thing; I've responded to such threads without presenting the whys, and it's something that I need to get better at. But if someone says that their favorite game of all time is The Adventures of Bayou Billy, well, I'd like to know why. Even if the reasoning is completely foreign to me, context to latch on to can help provide a better understanding of my peers here.

But more importantly, whether or not someone does provide the reason for why they like something, don't use that as a platform to belittle their sensibilities. Telling someone that they are wrong because they are wrong is...well, wrong. Being part of a supposed majority doesn't provide some innate upper hand in an argument, particularly when it comes to matters that are entirely subjective opinion. I may not like Call of Duty, but it's a better use of my time and anyone else's that would care to read what I have to say if I can present my dissenting views in a manner that is both informed and doesn't treat the person I'm responding to like they are an imbecile simply for holding a different opinion. That only makes me look like the imbecile.

Me, circa last year, discussing Divekick. Also, I apparently lost my glasses and was approximately ten years old.

Where am I going with any of this?

Good question. I wish I had a solid answer to that. It's not really my place to tell people how to act. But I can at least hope to promote some idea on how to make general discourse better. For better or worse, it's a topic of conversation that's become heavily discussed around here as of late. But this writing was partially born out of recent discussions, both on the forums and in PMs, that made me reflect on my own personal frustrations with the discourse in the forums, whether those frustrations were of my own making or not. I also understand that in all likelihood, anything I've said in this post will not change anything, and some will probably just see it as self-flagellation and little else.

But I can at least try, right? I guess the point is, there are ways that the discourse on the forums in general could be better. And if more people took a more thoughtful approach to what they say more often, tangible improvements could be made. Not every forum post has to compete to become the Citizen Kane of forum posts, but as long as the general rule of "don't be a dick" still holds, we could all benefit from putting more thought into what we have to say. And in some cases, refraining from saying anything at all. The first and easiest step that people as a whole could take is just being better about accepting the fact that not everyone shares the same tastes, and then not go looking for a fight.

It's something I want to continue improving on, and if you're aware you have the same problem, hopefully you do, too.

Also, seriously, theoretical guy above. Why is The Adventures of Bayou Billy your favorite game? I'm curious.

#1 Edited by GrantHeaslip (1615 posts) -

I've found myself abandoning more and more comments and forum posts before hitting submit recently, and I've been happier (and less of a dick) for it. Like you, I've thought about what pisses me off on the internet, and I've made an effort not to engage in the kind of behaviour that tends to rub me the wrong way when perpetrated by others.

I also agree that this shouldn't preclude criticism. I think criticism is still very important and debate is far more interesting than mutual agreement, but "X is terrible!", "Y is the worst!", or "Z is dog shit!" isn't useful, interesting, or discussable criticism. Same goes for "ugh, who likes that?" or "well, I guess that's fine for weirdos with anime avatars"-style dismissiveness. This kind of stuff is extremely common, even among staff members of this very site, and I think it poisons discussion and creates a bunch of unnecessary resentment. (I'd make the case that a lot of the kind of behaviour you're describing is on some level encouraged by the often-questionable examples set by the editorial staff of this site, but that's a can of worms I'm not sure should be opened right now.)

On a related note, I think there's an extremely important difference between "X is bad" and "I think X is bad." I've dug in my heels on that distinction a few times on this site and never made any headway, and for all I know it's a manifestation of differences in Canadian and American mannerisms, but I strongly believe those two phrases have fundamentally different meanings and connotations. The first is an authoritative-sounding statement of fact, while the second is a subjective statement of experience; the first presents an immutable position and gets people's backs up against the wall, while the second communicates thoughts and (ideally) starts a give-and-take discussion.

There's a modern tendency -- and I wonder if it's related to the rise of terse mediums like Twitter -- to strip away subtlety and qualification from arguments, and it's making discussions more and more polarized, hyperbolic, knee-jerk, and resentment-driven. This isn't just a problem on this site or in video game communities -- I watch Canadian politics a fair bit and the same thing is happening there, albeit to a lesser extent.

#2 Edited by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@grantheaslip said:

(I'd make the case that a lot of the kind of behaviour you're describing is on some level encouraged by the often-questionable examples set by the editorial staff of this site, but that's a can of worms I'm not sure should be opened right now.)

I'd agree with the first part if I didn't also agree with the second. Retsupurae has a similar problem.

#3 Edited by Rorie (2930 posts) -

And...here we go again.

Folks, I really don't need to be up past midnight again F5ing a post to keep it on track. I'm exhausted. I think most of the moderators are exhausted, as well. Everyone wants the community to improve but, for god's sake, I have to sleep at some point.

I feel like there have been thousands of posts about this community over the past few days. It's great that people want to discuss the community, but at the same time, I'm not sure how much more there is to say right now. At the very first sign of anyone even coming close to violating the forum rules in this thread I absolutely reserve the right to lock it and proclaim this weekend to be a community-soul-searching-topic-free-zone.

Staff
#5 Posted by wemibelec90 (1696 posts) -

@hailinel: A nice post that pretty much sums up my feelings. In my mind, accepting that other people can like things you don't like is one of the biggest things that would make the Internet a better place. There's always a place for criticism, sure, but only when that criticism is thought out and supported with better arguments than "Well, it just sucks. Duh."

#6 Edited by Aetheldod (3593 posts) -

I sometimes respond in a short manner because writting in any form is a sort of a burden for me ... in fact speaking is as well because often times im unable to be concrete or truthfull to what Im thinking (reasons why I suppose drawing / visual arts are more enticing to me than anything else) , or sometimes plain old lazzyness :/

This whole disscusion in GB has given me a headache because I want to respond but I just dont know how to in a proper way and not being agressive , because like many Im tired of the whole deal and I just want it to cease , but on the other hand I understand the other possition but still I have a conflict with it. I dunno what to think or say to be honest (and I add that to a huge list of conflicts I have with myself all of the time , sheesh)

Also I do read my comments before posting and many a times have simple deleted it because it does not add to the disscusion or is simply quite rude (or at least I interpret it as rude)...... anyway I still need to really formulate my real thoughts about this whole stuff and be more true to myself , or maybe Im just writtng stuff for the sake of it :(

#7 Posted by Slag (4450 posts) -

Nice post @hailinel !

I think that's a trap that's easy for all of us to fall into and one no one is ever truly immune from triggering. I know it happens to me too.

The best you can do is be mindful of the pitfall and make a concerted effort to try to understand the potential appeal of something to another person. Most times it's just better to let bygones by bygones and just accept that people have different tastes and opinions. Like you did with Divekick in this post.

Frankly I'd think the world would be pretty boring if everybody liked only the same stuff.

btw fwiw I really really don't like Bayou Billy.

For me the reason is pretty simple, as a kid I read a Nintendo Power issue that hyped it to the heavens and got pretty excited to play it. I thought it was basically Crocodile Dundee the videogame with only the "good parts" (whatever that meant in my child's mind) of the movie. So when I played it and was so absolutely terrible at it I couldn't even beat the first stage, I got really upset. Before Bayou Billy, I felt like I was good at videogames. Bayou's Billy's difficulty quickly dissuaded me of that belief and that was crushing to my self esteem (well for like a week). Maybe that's not the best reason to dislike a game, but that is why I don't like it.

I occasionally toy with the idea of replaying it sometime to see if I could beat it if I really concentrated. Since I played it so long ago, I don't know if it really was as tough as I found it to be, or if that was an artifact of my inexperience and lack of help resources (like the internet).

#8 Edited by Aetheldod (3593 posts) -

@rorie: Im sorry Rorie ... D: is just I came late from work and just read the other thread and I havent been able to voice concerns /stuff (not that I anything concrete to say at the moment tbh)

#9 Posted by Demoskinos (14871 posts) -

I think for the most part I'm usually level headed but I'll be the first one to admit there are a few things that still turn me into a huge idiot for no real reason. I dunno I think sometimes it might be way easier to just resort to shitlord tactics simply because on the internet you're missing so many other facets of human communication like hearing someone's tone or reading their face that so much is lost in translation that it gets way easier just to be a snarky dick instead of earnestly trying to communicate like a level headed person especially when you're not staring a flesh and blood person in the face when you type something.

I do have a personal rule though that I try to never say anything on the internet that I wouldn't say to someones face. There are many times where I'll have a huge ranting post written out and before I hit submit I just think " Well shit what is this really going to accomplish?" then just scrap it. You've got some points. I think everyone just needs to take time enough to think sometimes what a post will accomplish. I know I've mangled some relationships with online friends with how I've acted before and I regret that. I do have to say I'll keep being proud to be a member of this community though. Those that spend more time here know that there are still a ton of great dudes and ladies here. We've had several people either come out or discuss their gender identity issues on the fourms and the response has always been positive. So I know the core of this community is in the right place.

If we want to continue to clean this place up the best place to start is with ourselves. And godspeed @rorie you're a goddamn saint for putting up with everything for the last several weeks. Whatever they are paying you it isn't fucking enough.

#10 Edited by TruthTellah (9151 posts) -

Apology accepted, @hailinel.

heh. I agree with what you're saying here, and I think it's important that we realize that most problems are not just caused by "them". Challenges we face in discussion are shared amongst us, and while certain people may exemplify the worst of those challenges, it doesn't mean you or I or anyone else is immune from falling into the same things which hurt our ability to express ourselves well and discuss differing opinions.

It's okay for people to like what they like, and it's alright for others to dislike what they dislike. Now, that doesn't mean we can't still have passion in representing our viewpoints or calling out issues we see, but I have seen far more discussions hurt by people bothered that anyone might care about something they don't care about than by people believing strongly in their opinions on something.

The best way we can help set this tone is through the actions of our own posts and the encouragement of those who do take the time to be courteous and contribute. We already see that to some extent, but we can continue to do more to make clear that it's part of keeping Giant Bomb one of the best places to discuss everything surrounding video games. :)

#11 Posted by Sinusoidal (1539 posts) -

Nothing feeds the flame of discourse quite so well as anonymity and wildly diverging opinions. I think if everyone could just avoid saying things that they wouldn't say to someone face-to-face, the Internet would be a far more hospitable place.

#12 Posted by TruthTellah (9151 posts) -

Nothing feeds the flame of discourse quite so well as anonymity and wildly diverging opinions. I think if everyone could just avoid saying things that they wouldn't say to someone face-to-face, the Internet would be a far more hospitable place.

Unfortunately, I've known plenty of people to say just about the same things and worse in person as they do online. And places lacking in anonymity, like Facebook, still have exceptional levels of this kind of thing.

Yet, despite this, there are havens of decent discourse online and in person. A key part of that is the tone set by the community which gives most people a baseline for what is expected in the setting. I've seen the same people act noticeably different depending on the site based almost solely around the local culture. Unfortunately, most of the Internet is still relatively basic in their efforts to set constructive tones, and that is going to take quite some time for us to see have a considerable impact. I believe Giant Bomb has set its own tone which works to some extent, but as discussed here, there are clear ways in which we can improve it.

#13 Edited by Knives (711 posts) -

You can't build a free market of ideas whilst censoring out the "offensive" ones.

#14 Posted by Rorie (2930 posts) -

@knives said:

You can't build a free market of ideas whilst censoring out the "offensive" ones.

We have no interest in building a "free market of ideas." We ban and moderate posts and users every day. If you want to experience a moderation-free market of ideas, 4chan is a few clicks away.

Staff
#15 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7096 posts) -

Ha. I remember our discussion about Divekick in some thread a while back. Glad you got to try it!

I think we should extend Travis McElroy's (of MBMBaM fame) #NiceTwitter idea to GB for the weekend (or forever, hopefully!)

I proclaim this thread the beginning of the weekend of #NiceDuders.

#16 Posted by Zomgfruitbunnies (819 posts) -

@rorie said:

@knives said:

You can't build a free market of ideas whilst censoring out the "offensive" ones.

We have no interest in building a "free market of ideas." We ban and moderate posts and users every day. If you want to experience a moderation-free market of ideas, 4chan is a few clicks away.

Wait, are you telling me there are hidden links to 4chan on Giantbomb.com? ಠ_ಠ

Just kidding. Go to bed, Rorie. We'll behave. Or at least I will.

#17 Posted by Knives (711 posts) -

@rorie said:

@knives said:

You can't build a free market of ideas whilst censoring out the "offensive" ones.

We have no interest in building a "free market of ideas." We ban and moderate posts and users every day. If you want to experience a moderation-free market of ideas, 4chan is a few clicks away.

If that's how you want to run this site, by all means. Just remember that moderation, like the absence of moderation, has a price.

#18 Posted by Rorie (2930 posts) -

@knives said:

@rorie said:

@knives said:

You can't build a free market of ideas whilst censoring out the "offensive" ones.

We have no interest in building a "free market of ideas." We ban and moderate posts and users every day. If you want to experience a moderation-free market of ideas, 4chan is a few clicks away.

If that's how you want to run this site, by all means. Just remember that moderation, like the absence of moderation, has a price.

One of those options is, in the opinion of every staffer here, better than the other. If any user of this site dislikes moderation in general, or the actions of our moderation team in particular, then they can feel free to reach out via PM. But this is never, ever going to be a moderation-free forum.

But this thread is not at all about moderation, so any further discussion of that topic here will be treated as off-topic and...moderated.

Staff
#19 Edited by TruthTellah (9151 posts) -

@knives said:

@rorie said:

@knives said:

You can't build a free market of ideas whilst censoring out the "offensive" ones.

We have no interest in building a "free market of ideas." We ban and moderate posts and users every day. If you want to experience a moderation-free market of ideas, 4chan is a few clicks away.

If that's how you want to run this site, by all means. Just remember that moderation, like the absence of moderation, has a price.

Considering how much Rorie has had to put up with as of late, I imagine he is well aware of the price of moderation.

Cut him some slack, duder. We're all trying to figure out how to best handle things and make Giant Bomb even better for the many awesome folks here. Sure efforts won't be perfect, but we've gotta give it our best shot.

I think it's great that @hailinel is talking about a challenge he has personally felt and bringing up how we may all do better around here in our conversations with one another.

#21 Edited by Rorie (2930 posts) -

@knives: As I said, any commentary on moderation in this thread is off-topic. Send a PM to the mods if you have concerns. As the forum rules state: "Posting negative threads or comments about moderators or staff members: If you have a problem with a mod decision, send the mods a PM asking for more information."

This is absolutely the last time I'll tell you this.

Staff
#23 Posted by Random45 (1213 posts) -

@grantheaslip said:

(I'd make the case that a lot of the kind of behaviour you're describing is on some level encouraged by the often-questionable examples set by the editorial staff of this site, but that's a can of worms I'm not sure should be opened right now.)

I'd agree with the first part if I didn't also agree with the second. Retsupurae has a similar problem.

This is why I absolutely despise those guys, I can't stand their videos at all due to how freaking horrible they are to people. I guess I'm one of the select few people who does NOT find enjoyment out of being a complete asshole to someone I don't even know. Yes, a lot of Let's Plays are bad, but making fun of them is hardly my idea of entertaining. Giantbomb usually doesn't fall this hole, but there have been occasions when I question some of the tweets that the guys send out.

#24 Posted by Hailinel (24961 posts) -

@rorie said:

And...here we go again.

Folks, I really don't need to be up past midnight again F5ing a post to keep it on track. I'm exhausted. I think most of the moderators are exhausted, as well. Everyone wants the community to improve but, for god's sake, I have to sleep at some point.

I feel like there have been thousands of posts about this community over the past few days. It's great that people want to discuss the community, but at the same time, I'm not sure how much more there is to say right now. At the very first sign of anyone even coming close to violating the forum rules in this thread I absolutely reserve the right to lock it and proclaim this weekend to be a community-soul-searching-topic-free-zone.

My apologies. I don't mean any harm by this. I certainly did not write this with the intent to cause you or the moderators any trouble. Please get some rest. You deserve it.

@slag said:

Nice post @hailinel !

I think that's a trap that's easy for all of us to fall into and one no one is ever truly immune from triggering. I know it happens to me too.

The best you can do is be mindful of the pitfall and make a concerted effort to try to understand the potential appeal of something to another person. Most times it's just better to let bygones by bygones and just accept that people have different tastes and opinions. Like you did with Divekick in this post.

Frankly I'd think the world would be pretty boring if everybody liked only the same stuff.

btw fwiw I really really don't like Bayou Billy.

For me the reason is pretty simple, as a kid I read a Nintendo Power issue that hyped it to the heavens and got pretty excited to play it. I thought it was basically Crocodile Dundee the videogame with only the "good parts" (whatever that meant in my child's mind) of the movie. So when I played it and was so absolutely terrible at it I couldn't even beat the first stage, I got really upset. Before Bayou Billy, I felt like I was good at videogames. Bayou's Billy's difficulty quickly dissuaded me of that belief and that was crushing to my self esteem (well for like a week). Maybe that's not the best reason to dislike a game, but that is why I don't like it.

I occasionally toy with the idea of replaying it sometime to see if I could beat it if I really concentrated. Since I played it so long ago, I don't know if it really was as tough as I found it to be, or if that was an artifact of my inexperience and lack of help resources (like the internet).

Thanks. And thanks for responding to my query about Bayou Billy! Kind of random, I know, but as someone that never played the game and whose primary knowledge of it came from a Captain N episode, it's interesting to hear.

I do have a personal rule though that I try to never say anything on the internet that I wouldn't say to someones face. There are many times where I'll have a huge ranting post written out and before I hit submit I just think " Well shit what is this really going to accomplish?" then just scrap it. You've got some points. I think everyone just needs to take time enough to think sometimes what a post will accomplish. I know I've mangled some relationships with online friends with how I've acted before and I regret that. I do have to say I'll keep being proud to be a member of this community though. Those that spend more time here know that there are still a ton of great dudes and ladies here. We've had several people either come out or discuss their gender identity issues on the fourms and the response has always been positive. So I know the core of this community is in the right place.

If we want to continue to clean this place up the best place to start is with ourselves. And godspeed @rorie you're a goddamn saint for putting up with everything for the last several weeks. Whatever they are paying you it isn't fucking enough.

Nothing feeds the flame of discourse quite so well as anonymity and wildly diverging opinions. I think if everyone could just avoid saying things that they wouldn't say to someone face-to-face, the Internet would be a far more hospitable place.

You both bring up a good point. It's a good rule of thumb to live by on the internet.

I've found myself abandoning more and more comments and forum posts before hitting submit recently, and I've been happier (and less of a dick) for it. Like you, I've thought about what pisses me off on the internet, and I've made an effort not to engage in the kind of behaviour that tends to rub me the wrong way when perpetrated by others.

I also agree that this shouldn't preclude criticism. I think criticism is still very important and debate is far more interesting than mutual agreement, but "X is terrible!", "Y is the worst!", or "Z is dog shit!" isn't useful, interesting, or discussable criticism. Same goes for "ugh, who likes that?" or "well, I guess that's fine for weirdos with anime avatars"-style dismissiveness. This kind of stuff is extremely common, even among staff members of this very site, and I think it poisons discussion and creates a bunch of unnecessary resentment. (I'd make the case that a lot of the kind of behaviour you're describing is on some level encouraged by the often-questionable examples set by the editorial staff of this site, but that's a can of worms I'm not sure should be opened right now.)

On a related note, I think there's an extremely important difference between "X is bad" and "I think X is bad." I've dug in my heels on that distinction a few times on this site and never made any headway, and for all I know it's a manifestation of differences in Canadian and American mannerisms, but I strongly believe those two phrases have fundamentally different meanings and connotations. The first is an authoritative-sounding statement of fact, while the second is a subjective statement of experience; the first presents an immutable position and gets people's backs up against the wall, while the second communicates thoughts and (ideally) starts a give-and-take discussion.

There's a modern tendency -- and I wonder if it's related to the rise of terse mediums like Twitter -- to strip away subtlety and qualification from arguments, and it's making discussions more and more polarized, hyperbolic, knee-jerk, and resentment-driven. This isn't just a problem on this site or in video game communities -- I watch Canadian politics a fair bit and the same thing is happening there, albeit to a lesser extent.

@hailinel: A nice post that pretty much sums up my feelings. In my mind, accepting that other people can like things you don't like is one of the biggest things that would make the Internet a better place. There's always a place for criticism, sure, but only when that criticism is thought out and supported with better arguments than "Well, it just sucks. Duh."

Yep. Criticism is important, and it's great when it's constructive. I try to be as well, as tempting as it can be to tear into something that I simply have no fondness for. All I can really home for in that is trying to set a good example myself and encouraging others to do the same.

I sometimes respond in a short manner because writting in any form is a sort of a burden for me ... in fact speaking is as well because often times im unable to be concrete or truthfull to what Im thinking (reasons why I suppose drawing / visual arts are more enticing to me than anything else) , or sometimes plain old lazzyness :/

This whole disscusion in GB has given me a headache because I want to respond but I just dont know how to in a proper way and not being agressive , because like many Im tired of the whole deal and I just want it to cease , but on the other hand I understand the other possition but still I have a conflict with it. I dunno what to think or say to be honest (and I add that to a huge list of conflicts I have with myself all of the time , sheesh)

Also I do read my comments before posting and many a times have simple deleted it because it does not add to the disscusion or is simply quite rude (or at least I interpret it as rude)...... anyway I still need to really formulate my real thoughts about this whole stuff and be more true to myself , or maybe Im just writtng stuff for the sake of it :(

Hey, don't feel bad! You've been a good duder from my experience. It's been crazy around here as of late for all of us, but cooler heads can prevail.

Apology accepted, @hailinel.

heh. I agree with what you're saying here, and I think it's important that we realize that most problems are not just caused by "them". Challenges we face in discussion are shared amongst us, and while certain people may exemplify the worst of those challenges, it doesn't mean you or I or anyone else is immune from falling into the same things which hurt our ability to express ourselves well and discuss differing opinions.

It's okay for people to like what they like, and it's alright for others to dislike what they dislike. Now, that doesn't mean we can't still have passion in representing our viewpoints or calling out issues we see, but I have seen far more discussions hurt by people bothered that anyone might care about something they don't care about than by people believing strongly in their opinions on something.

The best way we can help set this tone is through the actions of our own posts and the encouragement of those who do take the time to be courteous and contribute. We already see that to some extent, but we can continue to do more to make clear that it's part of keeping Giant Bomb one of the best places to discuss everything surrounding video games. :)

Yeah. A big part of why I wrote this as I did was to own up to my own mistakes, both on this forum and elsewhere online. Everyone here is human (well, maybe not VGK. I'm not sure what Lunarians qualify as, but you know!), and we're all passionate about the things we really like, and we should all be mindful of how we approach these sorts of things. This community has a lot of good in it, and we should do our best to promote that side of it just by being better to each other, even when we disagree.

Ha. I remember our discussion about Divekick in some thread a while back. Glad you got to try it!

I think we should extend Travis McElroy's (of MBMBaM fame) #NiceTwitter idea to GB for the weekend (or forever, hopefully!)

I proclaim this thread the beginning of the weekend of #NiceDuders.

Heh. I figured someone would! Divekick is a very goofy game, no doubt about it. I tip my dunce cap to those that enjoy it!

#26 Posted by Irvandus (2880 posts) -

@brodehouse: Ugh but I just bought all that fire emblem dlc. Anyway I'm sending you a pm letting you know what happened as to not retread it here.

#27 Edited by TruthTellah (9151 posts) -
@brodehouse said:

I feel like I've missed something again. Is Twitter aflame with griefery again?

This community qualifies as a neurotic. Spends more time thinking about itself than actually expressing anything joyful or passionate.

HEY MAN I'M PLAYIN ABYSS ODYSSEY IT'S PRETTY DOPE YOU SHOULD BUY IT

You nuts, son! We've been going crazy lately about the hype action of EVO, and I know a bunch of folks are chattering away about that huge DOTA tournament going on. In my experience, while this stuff does pop up and this is a particularly important time for it, I think the vast majority is still dumb fun and excitement over games.

All I'd complain about this week is a few instances where I wrote comments instead of spending even more time on Shovel Knight (which is also pretty dope you should buy it), but, hey, there will be weeks like that. I hope I'll be able to get some gameplay in this weekend while I try to figure out what all this DOTA nonsense is about. ;)

#28 Posted by Mirado (993 posts) -

I've found myself abandoning more and more comments and forum posts before hitting submit recently, and I've been happier (and less of a dick) for it.

This is the absolute number one thing to do if you want to improve how you are viewed online, and in life in general. Go over what you are about to write/say just before you commit to it, especially if you have strong feelings about it. Not all of us were blessed with excellent temper control, so just hammer it all out, but then let it sit for a bit and then look over it. Chances are your words are now a hell of a lot harsher in hindsight.

I've killed a good number of potentially embarrassing statements that way, not to mention a ton of typos. Hell, it even saved me in a few arguments with friends, although you obviously have less time to contemplate face to face.

#29 Posted by MB (12480 posts) -

Let's all take a break for the rest of the night and just come back to this sometime tomorrow afternoon, or better yet, after the weekend. I agree with Rorie, not a single one of us wants to deal with another multi-page topic rehashing the same things that have been said hundreds if not thousands of times recently. For the sake of our collective sanity, let's all try to sleep on it and spend some time digesting everything that has been said and pick this up later.

We've got a morning show and a couple of UPF's coming up in just a matter of hours. Let's all take a breather, play some video games, and have some fun. We can get back to serious business after some much needed decompression.

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