By SgtSphynx 60 Comments
After taking my own advice and stepping away for a day, and realizing that one of the things I wrote was based in hyperbole and misperception, I have made a slight edit.
I realize this isn't the best place to put this, but I just need to get this off my mind so I can refocus on college.
My fellow human beings,
I am merely one of over seven billion people living on this planet. In the grand scheme of things, my opinion and promises mean nothing. I enjoy video games; playing them, talking about them, learning how they are made, I enjoy it all. The past couples of weeks have been disheartening. The anger and vitriol dispensed by all sides is enough to make me not want to be on the internet anymore. I have seen friendships tried and some even broken. I want this to stop, but I am no one, and telling everyone to take a break and come back to the argument after calming down won’t accomplish anything. Compromise is the name of the game here, and if you want something, you have to be willing to give something. So I present an olive branch; the following is my pledge to gamers, game devs, and game journos/bloggers. A solemn oath on a list of what I will and won’t do.
Things I will not do:
- Commit character assassination.
- Accept character assassination.
- Harass those I do not agree with.
- Condone harassment from anyone or towards anyone.
- Treat anyone as special.
- Believe anyone without evidence.
- Sugarcoat my criticism.
- Make sweeping generalizations.
- Attempt to exclude anyone from enjoying, making, or writing about games.
- Use slurs.
Things I will do:
- Be civil in my interactions.
- Make up my own mind based on evidence presented to me.
- Attempt to independently verify evidence presented to me.
- Accept that other people may not agree with me.
- Accept that other people may like things that I do not.
- Accept that other people may not like things that I do.
- Accept that not every game needs to be targeted towards me.
- Attack arguments, not people.
- Admit my ignorance on a topic.
- Call people out when they commit character assassination, harassment, and make sweeping generalizations, regardless of whether or not those people agree with me.
- Listen to differing opinions without trying to silence them.
None of the following statements apply to everyone under the title they are addressed to.
To the journalists:
All I want in return for this is for you to change your tone. Be aware that the tone you write something in colors the tone of the response you get; put aggression in, get aggression out. Making broad sweeping generalizations and using insulting language will likely result in a rather aggressive reaction from your readers. You journalists have a soapbox; try to recognize that you are expected to act professionally. As shitty a situation as it is, the expectation of professionalism extends to your personal twitter account. It is not professional to only condemn the unacceptable actions of people who don’t share your opinions while ignoring the actions of those who do share your opinions. I understand the realities of the business mean that it is infeasible to not be friendly with devs, and I do not expect you to end those relationships. Own up to your mistakes when you make them and don’t stifle dissenting opinions.
To the devs:
Just make games you want to make. If you want to make an art piece type game, do it, it is quite likely that I will like it; I loved Gone Home after all.
To my fellow gaming enthusiasts, not all of this applies to every one of you:
This may fall on deaf ears, and many of you may not think that the other side deserves this peace offering, but if you want this discussion to be had it needs to be done with calm voices and clear heads. We all say that we aren't the people harassing others, so make an oath to not commit harassment. If you don’t like what Anita Sarkeesian or anyone else has to say in a video, don’t watch it. If you don’t like the click-baity article, don’t click on it. It really is that simple. However, if you do watch or click, if or when you do comment, be civil. That is a human being you are directing those comments towards, thinking they should grow a thicker skin is no excuse to commit character assassination. Recognize that not everyone shares your views, and that is a good thing.
Be civil. Your message will be received far better if you voice your concerns in a reasonable manner and tone. Call out those who commit horrible actions, inform them that they are not welcome in the discussion until they can act like a civil human being, don't give them any more attention than that.
In closing, we are all human, we all make mistakes. This is my peace offering; my solemn oath to be a better human being when interacting with my fellow human beings. If we all can make a similar oath, maybe we can get past the shouting; maybe we can return to the table of diplomacy; maybe then we can work past this clusterfuck and have fun with video games again. I fucking hope so, but this is like an armistice and only works if everyone agrees. I've seen enough war in my life in the real world, I’d like if I didn't have to see it when I went on the internet.
I am at the negotiating table and I invite everyone to sit down with me. Here is my offer, what is your counter offer? I am willing to entertain any reasonable critique and suggestions.