Confessions of an Editor-in-Chief VIII: Opinions, Not Facts

There’s a reason why the majority of these ‘Confessions’ op-eds zoom in on what I believe to be moral quandaries of the gaming industry and/or community. While I’m perfectly aware of my total inability to change others’ behavior, I don’t think that should allow people’s conduct to go unchecked or unquestioned. I want you readers here at Project COE to think about what you do and say…not just with those in your physical presence, but on the world wide web as well. Why do I choose to express such things? Well I haven’t really ever come out and said it, but it’s simply because I’m unashamed to be a follower of the Christian faith/Jesus Christ, and think not enough of us speak up about the terrible things society embraces. I love gaming and gamers, but I don’t love how they treat each other, at all.

Hence this next topic that has been weighing on my heart and mind. What is your perspective about the scenario of a gamer declaring that something ‘sucks’ to another, or anything along those lines?

If you don’t think it’s a big deal, by all means save some minutes and don’t bother reading the rest of this. (Though it’s not as if these pieces are long anyway.) Those of you continuing on, please hear me out in my usual blunt manner: your opinion is NOT a fact. Furthermore, what you THINK should never in any way, shape or form be used to tear someone down. I speak of situations such as gamers who waste hours of their life being concerned with whether Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 or Battlefield 3 is the better game? Now I understand that some of those people aren’t necessarily pushing either agenda, but rather petting their appetite to get a rise out of others. I believe that’s equally distasteful, but my attention is on those who actually believe that whatever runs through their brains is the law of the land. But I ask, why do they care so much that it gets ratified?

I’m not suggesting that people shouldn’t have opinions. That’s impossible anyway; humans are opinionated. In reality, opinions are wonderful. They spark nice conversation and honest debate, except…well, when they don’t, which is what usually happens these days I’m afraid. It boggles my mind that human beings are capable of being divided over the silliest matters: what first-person shooter they prefer, which software platform they think is best, what female character is the most attractive (seriously?…) and yadda yadda. Then again, it’s really not a surprise because that’s exactly what pride does to the world. It divides; it isolates.

I wish that gamers, no matter the age, would just ONCE think THROUGH something they’re about to say to each other. I think if we did, people would quickly realize the eternally-greater value of genuine friendship versus the bigotry of opinion warfare. But, as I often say, this doesn’t happen if not for the corrupt human heart that puts self first and anything or anyone else way last, if even that.

Sometimes I wonder what would happen to mainstream gaming websites if their comments sections were shut down for even a single day, and message boards too. I don’t think a lot of people would know what to do with themselves. The sick desire to be in the camp that is ‘right’, to be so clever that others refer to your comments as ‘epic’, to be able to think in one’s mind at the end of a day, “That’s right, I told <so and so>”…it’s just embarrassing. Certainly the advent of smartphones and ever-evolving peer-to-peer connectivity keep this train rolling, but it pains my heart that they’re used so destructively. These gamers would never survive the times when people were given a good whupping for poor manners like those exhibited now.

Parents, of course, bear much responsibility in this regard. It’s sad enough that many mothers and fathers provide the very example that provokes this internet vitriol in our young people, but that doesn’t make us any less responsible for the characters we choose to broadcast to total strangers. That’s why I’ll always have fond memories of the now-deceased Nintendo NSider Forums. Call them a kiddie, family-friendly company all you want, but at least they promoted and ENFORCED a warm and friendly atmosphere. The moderation was hardly perfect, but nonetheless admirable. There was respect, dignity and a lot of fun and positive impact. These days the childish attitudes of gamers around the world enjoy an unregulated, wide-open arena where everything sucks. If someone doesn’t like a great game, it sucks. If someone doesn’t like a great game because of the developer or publisher, it sucks. If someone likes a seemingly bad game, the person sucks. If someone doesn’t like a popular franchise, it sucks, and the obvious opposition is the undisputed champion. Give me a break!

Rather than spend the energy and effort building long-lasting relationships, gamers instead unfortunately crave the last word and burn hours and oil making sure that others agree with the ‘fact’ that what they say sucks, truly does ‘suck’. Then when that fails to be the case, the vicious cycle continues. Well, so be it I suppose, but I’m much more interested in obeying what I’m taught: investing in the encouragement and building up of others and enjoying some games WITH them (like my precious wife for instance!). Care to join me?

Previous Entries:
Confessions I: Click here
Confessions II: Click here
Confessions III: Click here
Confessions IV: Click here
Confessions V: Click here
Confessions VI: Click here
Confessions VII: Click here

One thought on “Confessions of an Editor-in-Chief VIII: Opinions, Not Facts”

  1. I agree with this 100%, epic post see i made your point 8D.
    On serius note i think you are right and very spot on, but the thing is that society right now doenst practice common sense anymore and kids are been developed with this trend in mind, therefore i think it will be impossible to ask for something like smart talk between gamers about an especific game, genre or console, when you see most of the opinions, arent based on the pros-and cons susteined by fair reasons that can elaboreted a well developed opinion in a disccusion, far from it, is like you said i dont like it because it sucks, thats it, i think we as society need to read more like before, in order to make well thought opinions about games, or any other topic in life.

    Another thing is that i never see a person, when is proven wrong by great undisputed facts, tell sorry my point of view was wrong and thanks for make me see the things the way they are, that is very rare and uncommon on the web, people that insist in their wrong opinion, because like you said for them it is the only truth, when in reality is more complicated than that, sometimes we need a very large group of people to dicern the truth on a particular issue.
    Nice read and thanks for this topic

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