Cold Dark Heart

Cold Dark Heart
The Fallacy of the Fanboy

Matt Meyers | 3 Aug 2010 13:00
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We should have higher aspirations for our confrontations; we should not only be exposing the weaknesses of our foes, but acknowledging our own. Our weakness is, I would say, our inability to effectively communicate the relevance of videogames as a hobby and art form within our society as a whole. Holkins can chastise Ebert all he wants, but it does not help people understand why videogames are art.

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I refuse to believe that simply dismissing our opponents will ever lead to acceptance of gaming. Gamers' openness to the opposition will make our position better, in the same way that a studio's openness to criticism leads to better games.

The importance of this should be obvious; studios have to fight for their survival every day with legislatures over the right to produce and sell videogames. Gamers are still a marginalized segment of the population, as Cracked has made clear in another one of their "Top 5" articles on why videogames are still not cool. Moreover, the right of users to freely explore the web is constantly under attack by news organizations and soccer moms, fearful that an online session of UNO will indoctrinate children with Satanism, and that pedophiles will round up any kid stupid enough to play a round of Call of Duty online. This anxiety stems from ignorance, because any gamer can tell you from experience how insane such assertions are. But this ignorance can never be cured if we actively dismiss and turn our backs on people. It reinforces the very idea, gamers' social deviance, which we know to be false.

The game industry is a $10.5 billion a year industry, based on 2009 sales. 67 percent of all households within developed nations are now playing videogames. Gaming is not becoming part of the cultural landscape; it is already an integral part of it. Gamers have no need to act defensive. Holkins says, in another section of the same post, that Ebert, like other anti-game crazies, are "determined to be on the wrong side of history." That is the fact of the matter. We know the secret. We are "in" on it. But knowing it does not mean that we must act elitist. The best way to defeat Ebert, Thompson, and all the others who share their views, is prove that the dissemination of videogames throughout the world is, absolutely, a positive force for good. Achieving this goal does not require much. Our arguments only need to change from defensive to assertive, and we from kneejerk protectors to diplomats.

Matt Meyers is a student and writer. Carowack.com is his new blog and thought-repository. Check it out!

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