The Game Stash: Show Some Respect

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The Game Stash: Show Some Respect

Do gamers ask for more respect than they're willing to offer?

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Actually gamers do ask for absolute respect by demanding it other than leading by example and trying to be nice to non gamers, look at casual gamers, according to the hardcore crowd they should be burned at the stake for even thinking of shaking a wii mote.

With regards to Jack Thompson, I loved the guy, he was pure funny and now we are stuck with the much less funny Pachter in terms of mainstream news items, this is a huge shame. Personally I actually don't respect Robert Ebert's opinion on movies much less games, and your right I will ignore anything Ebert says because I've never respected his opinion.

Off Topic, Steve, I heard a vicious rumour you've turned 30 today, Happy Birthday,thanks for coming to this site since I don't have to go to the "other site" anymore to read your articles and beacuse I'm so happy I'm currently growing a handlebar moustache in your honour.

ColdStorage:
I'm so happy I'm currently growing a handlebar moustache in your honour.

What a way to celebrate my birthday!

Its funny. Gamers always ask to be respected and treated well, but whenever anyone criticizes games, gamers respond by sending rage-fueled hate-mail and sometimes death threats.

If gamers want to be treated well, perhaps they should start acting better.

Seriously, who cares what they think? Just play your games and be happy. I know you want to convince the general public that gamers aren't rage-fueled killing machines, but sending threats to an opponent of gaming doesn't exactly help our cause.

EDIT: Also, happy birthday you magnificently mustachioed man.

Irridium:
Its funny. Gamers always ask to be respected and treated well, but whenever anyone criticizes games, gamers respond by sending rage-fueled hate-main and sometimes death threats.

If gamers want to be treated well, perhaps they should start acting better.

Seriously, who cares what they think? Just play your games and be happy. I know you want to convince the general public that gamers aren't rage-fueled killing machines, but sending threats to an opponent of gaming doesn't exactly help our cause.

EDIT: Also, happy birthday you magnificently mustachioed man.

Yeah, but it isn't only gamers that do that. Movie kids do it too. Not to say that it's okay, but as Steve said, it's human nature to want your opinions validated...

But I have to agree that sending spam and threats is getting a bit out of hand.

A nice read and appearantly it's your birthday so congratulations.
PS: And I am still waiting for the escapist store to start selling Game Stash membership cards :D

Irridium:
Its funny. Gamers always ask to be respected and treated well, but whenever anyone criticizes games, gamers respond by sending rage-fueled hate-main and sometimes death threats.

This is so true...

We want to be taken seriously, and...this happens. We cant expect people to actually want to sit down and talk to us, if, when they say something negative its like the re-enactment of some form of 4chan attack...

I think gamers in general need to get there head out there preverbial ass at times.

In what I mean that, you are people, like everyone else (despite how much you want to believe you are something superiour), Therefore you are governed by the rules which are in society...Alot of gamers I know, fall into that category, and are people who know what they are, and how to act...

Some though...are the ones who make the bad names for gamers.

I see what you are saying, but I think part of the problem is that there is such a large amount of assumed knowledge on the side of those with the negative bias. Not saying it's a good thing when some gamers explode at the negative implications, but if it were simply "I don't get it" then I doubt many gamers would mind nearly as much. Thompson and others make constant false statements about how evil games are and how they are corrupting anyone they come in contact with. Ebert, a highly visible and respected critic, makes completely baseless statements about the nature of games that he himself retracts later due to an admitted ignorance of the subject matter. Etc.

Many gamers do take personal ownership of their chosen hobby and this sort of commentary can seem akin to someone not saying that they don't get along with your family but instead saying that your family is a bunch of evil jerks that abuse kittens when not working for the puppy kicking commission in their day hours.

Your articles are quickly becoming a part of my preferred internet content. Also, happy birthday!

Well said. Yet again I appreciate your article.

A very well thought out, well reasoned article. I feel more people need to read this (or something like it) so when the next serious Jack Thompson, or Atkins (can't remember his first name, the one from Australia) pops up, maybe we can get more respect by not threatening their life. I always feel ashamed whenever I read an article about that.

Happy birthday. I am glad he hits the exact thoughts I have lately. I can provide a relevant example today.

I immensely enjoy Transformers: War for Cybertron and basically read those positive reviews or watched them. To try something new, I tried out these negative reviews and I had great problems with being polite or accepting the person's opinion. Let alone give him respect. I was at the point of raging against this guy for what I percieved were 'unfair' points that lowered the score.

God, the agony. But it's a definite learning experience I will try out sooner or latter. And oh, your articles are becoming one of the most preferred ones online. That and your moustache is just so awesome, I wish I could grow that.

Happy birthday!

As to the topic, opinions that challenge our perceptions (as you yourself have put it) are always invaluable and will always be moreso appreciated, at least by myself too, than simple egostroking ones that encourage the feelings you already have. Or at the very least, they certainly aid personal growth a whole lot more.

To offer a more contentious example, I personally still do not view piracy through the eyes of those in the industry, who seem to equate it to a threat to their 'way of life', much like Al-Quaeda is touted every once in a while to hate the American 'way of life' elsewhere. But I still read Escapist articles on piracy and consider their points of view, because I can count on most of the contributors here to present me with at least a modicum of balance as opposed to the traditional gusto of "You must be STUPID to consider it anything but pure evil!" Heck, I even found myself changing my mind about piracy on certain points thanks to certain contributors here!

But the biggest trick of it all is to present such opinions in a respectful *manner*. In other words, "showing respect", as is put in this article, shouldn't apply to the subject or stance of said opinion, but rather to the manner in which it is presented.

However, this is where the trouble really starts. Because 'respect' itself is a word with many subjective meanings. To most it could mean nothing more than "Don't use curse words" or "Don't invoke Godwin", whereas the most respectful thing you can do, in my opinion, is to keep your arguments or opinions in the proper contexts of the debate at hand and to remember there are many layers to the argument you are making. Also, some people deliberately use cursewords and internet memes so as to purposefully *deflate* the argument and bring down the pretentious conceit that the argument is more important than it really is (the Somethingawful community is known to do this frequently and, unsurprisingly, it has caused them to be mislabeled as 'wholly disrespectful' by other, more traditionally-minded, communities because of this).

Then, as noted in the article, there is the *demand* of respect from people, who know next to nothing about a subject from first-hand experiences. My question is: "Why even bother convincing them otherwise?" I mean...a differing opinion is fine and dandy, but sometimes it just runs around in the same circles, using the same ridicolous leaps of logic and the only sensible thing to do at that point is to raise your hands and just decide it's not worth it anymore. Sometimes experience is really the only way to sway someone in an argument than through mere words, in the hopes that at the end of it all you *will* succeed at having them express some form of respect to the subject of your adoration.

As always it's about the level of agreement that different people and communities are ready to agree to I think. One person's 'respect' can simply be translated into 'kissing arse' by another. Personally I've grown used to the idea myself, that respect is a rare commodity on the internet. No one owes you any and you don't deserve such either, unless you have actions to put behind your name that would make you worthy of such - and even then it's contentious. So...it's a luxury in my view. And like any luxury overindulging in it can make one grow fat and lazy.

Then again...being deprived of it is no fun either and personally I don't buy into the whole "I'm shit, you're shit, the world is shit." argument either. It's more of a question behind what the result of you giving away respect to someone or something will be? Is it going to inflate the egoes of the people behind it to levels you think would be harmful to themselves and others in the long run? Will it encourage them towards what you think is genuinely good? Or will it just be a show of common courtesy (not something you come across on the internet too often to begin with).

You certainly know your way around a keyboard, Mr. Butts. Very well written/reasoned article.

I can definitely agree with the first half of your article. Anytime I see a new movie I have a number of critics whom I regularly read. Sometimes they agreed with me about the movie, sometimes they didn't, but that's completely irrelevant to me. It's about why they agreed or disagreed with my stance on the movie. To me a good critic isn't about praising the movies I love and slamming the ones I dislike (despite many people judging a critic by such merits), it's about how detailed they are in explaining their opinion.

It's a movie critic's job, not to just watch a movie, but to watch for the kinds of things that the average person won't think to watch for. Was the movie overbearing and completely off-cue with the action of the movie? Did the story feel forced and thus seem less plausible? Was the action hard to see? I also think a good movie critic should do his homework, which is one of the reasons that MovieBob is probably my favorite movie critic. He doesn't just tell me that a movie is bad, he goes into someone of the production nightmare that attributed to the movie being bad. Last minute changes, director being swapped-out multiple times, script changes... all that jazz.

The same, in my opinion, goes for judging a video game. A quick post on the forums can get me enough thumbs protruding up or down to tell me if a game is good, so if I'm reading someone's review I want a little more meat than that.

I also agree with the rest of the article. We shouldn't be attacking Ebert's credibility when arguing that games are art, but rather we should be challenging that his lack of experience in gaming renders his opinion less valid than that of his thoughts on movies. If he says that a movie is like diving head-first into pool of horseshit, then it's probably worth sitting around to see what he has to say. However, until he actually sits down and spends some time getting immersed within a game, then he can't possibly know for sure whether or not games are art.

I like to read reviews after I've viewed or experienced the content. I'll never read reviews before a movie, so after is the only time I can take 'em in. If I liked it, I'll usually read one or two bad reviews to get a sense of why others might not have liked it. Sometimes, the reviews are crap. Nothing but ill-informed jabs or ignorant rants. Other times I'll get a real perspective on a film that I'd never considered. However, I don't like to read too many bad comments about a film or game that I enjoyed. In this case, I think ignorance really is bliss. If I read too many, it may start to affect my opinion of the game negatively. Sure I may still like it, but that problem I never noticed might nag at me. Sometimes I'd rather have a biased enjoyment of an experience than a well-reasoned, moderately enjoyable experience.

You'll never get young adults to "lead by example", but there's plenty of gamers who are decent, respectable people.

That's basicly humanity in a nutshell. If you judge humanity solely on the worst of us, we don't have a lot to pardon us, but if you look at us as a whole, just take a peak at our accomplishments; it took us thousands of years to go from stone tools to steel, but in just one century, we went from horse and carraiges to nano-technology. Hell we went from horsepower to walking on the moon in less than that amount of time. I was able to survive cancer by recieving modern medical treatment while watching hi-def moves on what is basicly a computer in the palm of my friggin hand, when my grandfather had to die of it in the 40's

I'll repost a guide I wrote a while ago on this. I wrote it for anime fans, gamers and metalheads. It's written about metalheads but it applies across all those hobbies deliberately:

These groups of fans have problems with not being accepted but they also do not represent well, metal fans in particular but anime and gaming has a massive problem with dickhead fans.

Metal fans seem to dislike having the piss taken out of them for not liking 'mainstream' music, the problem with this is that frequently the fact that they like metal isn't the problem. I love metal but frankly some of my fellow metalheads seem to be trying to make it seem as unfriendly and inaccessible as possible.

Firstly the problem people frequently have with metal is that it's being played too fucking loud. That's not an argument against metal, that's specific fans being inconsiderate pricks. Not everyone likes the same music and just as you find rap being played loudly to be irritating so do others find metal irritating. Your parents and others their age lived through the birth of punk and metal, your music isn't shocking their square minds with it's incredible riffs, it's just not to their tastes but you're still forcing it on them.

Secondly metal fans almost seem to enjoy playing the minority. If someone asks about your music they're probably interested, just let them listen to a nice song and chat about it if they want to. DON'T blast them with something inaccessible and claim they're being closed minded for hating it. If you want to ease someone into music they don't like, you pick something close to their music and gradually bring them over. If you scare them off then you're making people who hate metal. When the teenage left my body I realised that most people who ask you about why you like metal are genuinely interested but confused, tell them you like the energy or that the guitar appeals to you. Do NOT tell them that they're an ignorant sheep or that the music is better than their music! No one appreciates that. If you want to introduce someone to Slipknot who listens to popular music then start them on vermillion 2, then before I forget and vermillion, then wait and bleed and so on...Don't blast people = shit into their ears loudly, that's just obnoxious.

Thirdly we need to recognise when someone doesn't like the same as we do but supports our right to like it. They won't like metal but they'll stand behind you. What you don't do is insult these people, present a closed group and insist that everyone likes what you like, that's the behaviour that pisses you off in others yes? All of my example groups prefer to be a small, underground group because people frankly think it makes them better than other people for liking it. It's group mentality but if you genuinely desire public understanding you have to welcome outsiders to your clique. You also have to be nice to people who like similar things and want to support you, don't cut off peripheral groups to keep your group small.

Example: "Everyone takes the piss out of metal and I hate it".
"I get that with emo too, it's horrible eh?"
"Go cut yourself fag!"

Metal does it with goths and emos, anime does it with people who like dubbed work and gamers do it with 'casuals' and people who like nice graphics, people who like a different platform to you and people who like FPS or JRPGs. It makes us all look like pricks who take the piss out of people who don't share our hobbies. Recognise when you have more in common with someone than you have differences and that you share a similar hobby.

Fourthly we need to realise when people are just taking the piss to be funny. All three areas need to recognise that if someone makes a joke about anime being all bad animation, explosions and rambling then it's just them ragging on a popular stereotype. Same with metal and screaming druggies yelling about suicide, or games and being mindless wastes of time. They're doing it in the same way as we'd say that rap is all about guns and hoes, it's harmless, doesn't mean they're attacking you and should be taken with good humour.

If someone insults something you like they're NOT insulting you! Seriously, people say they're offended if someone mocks their favourite game and that's just silly. It's just your favourite game! Do you feel this way if someone takes the piss out of your favourite TV show? You are not your hobbies and frankly a lot of metal, anime and computer games are patently silly. Taking something more seriously than it warrants is the hallmark of the fan but we need to wind it back in occasionally. Not everything is deserving of such zealous defence.

Oh, and learn when something is being deliberately silly. Defending Steel Panther from people calling them juvenile, immature and ridiculous is futile, they're supposed to be!

Also learn when something is an acceptable target and that the definition varies by social group. You hate anime being mocked as weird...but you rag on furries? That's hypocrisy.

Irridium:
Seriously, who cares what they think? Just play your games and be happy. I know you want to convince the general public that gamers aren't rage-fueled killing machines, but sending threats to an opponent of gaming doesn't exactly help our cause.

EDIT: Also, happy birthday you magnificently mustachioed man.

Unfortunately, however, a frankly sad number of people who badmouth games and hold outdated beliefs are either in power or at least have a degree of influence with people. I agree that people shouldn't be overcome with hatred when it's brought up, but defending a passion is a worthwhile cause, I would say. I very much doubt that movie fans or music fans would appreciate their hobby as a whole being labelled as dangerous. I'm well aware that there are films and there are songs which are deemed unfit for consumption or attacked by the big wigs at the cracker factory, but I never hear anything from anyone that matters that even implies an inherent danger to films and music.

And a very merry, belated womb-poppin' anniversary for that most mustachioed of men, Steve Butts.

I think that gamers will think that anyone who thinks badly of gaming has an uninformed opinion. If a movie critic like Roger Ebert actually sat down and played a game, decided it wasn't for him and proceeded to blast the industry on TV, we would cry out, "But you didn't play this game, or this one! You clearly have no idea what you're speaking of." In the end, I think that we'll always hate anyone who hates games, no matter how valid their points may be.

Shamus nailed it in his "games as art" Stolen Pixels... the whole search for validation seems to be an ongoing issue in video gaming. To wit:

Are you l33t or are you a n00b? Are you casual or are you hardcore? Do you play games on easy or insane? There seems a lot of self-esteem tied to these answers, for an activity that supposedly is entertainment.

How about this: is videogaming a sport, or "eSport" as people are trying to call it. There are some people who take the term seriously, pathetic as that may be. Or are games art? Now how many things are both a sport and art? Competitive diving... figure skating... synchronized swimming... ballet and other forms of dancing? Maybe martial arts sometimes... well I guess is it called an art so yeah. Now do any of these things have any remote resemblance to videogaming?

Videogaming is just that... gaming, on a video monitor. You may be very talented or you may suck, but at the end of the day, it's a game, like chess, poker, Candy Land, and Scrabble, not particularly art, and definitely not a sport, but hopefully you had a fun time doing it.

T-Bone24:

Irridium:
Seriously, who cares what they think? Just play your games and be happy. I know you want to convince the general public that gamers aren't rage-fueled killing machines, but sending threats to an opponent of gaming doesn't exactly help our cause.

EDIT: Also, happy birthday you magnificently mustachioed man.

Unfortunately, however, a frankly sad number of people who badmouth games and hold outdated beliefs are either in power or at least have a degree of influence with people. I agree that people shouldn't be overcome with hatred when it's brought up, but defending a passion is a worthwhile cause, I would say. I very much doubt that movie fans or music fans would appreciate their hobby as a whole being labelled as dangerous. I'm well aware that there are films and there are songs which are deemed unfit for consumption or attacked by the big wigs at the cracker factory, but I never hear anything from anyone that matters that even implies an inherent danger to films and music.

And a very merry, belated womb-poppin' anniversary for that most mustachioed of men, Steve Butts.

Defending our passion is a worthwhile cause. But I don't think we should defend our passion by going ape-shit and sending threatening letters/emails/ect.

Irridium:

T-Bone24:

Irridium:
Seriously, who cares what they think? Just play your games and be happy. I know you want to convince the general public that gamers aren't rage-fueled killing machines, but sending threats to an opponent of gaming doesn't exactly help our cause.

EDIT: Also, happy birthday you magnificently mustachioed man.

Unfortunately, however, a frankly sad number of people who badmouth games and hold outdated beliefs are either in power or at least have a degree of influence with people. I agree that people shouldn't be overcome with hatred when it's brought up, but defending a passion is a worthwhile cause, I would say. I very much doubt that movie fans or music fans would appreciate their hobby as a whole being labelled as dangerous. I'm well aware that there are films and there are songs which are deemed unfit for consumption or attacked by the big wigs at the cracker factory, but I never hear anything from anyone that matters that even implies an inherent danger to films and music.

And a very merry, belated womb-poppin' anniversary for that most mustachioed of men, Steve Butts.

Defending our passion is a worthwhile cause. But I don't think we should defend our passion by going ape-shit and sending threatening letters/emails/ect.

I think that everyone can agree with that. It only serves to further a stereotype.

The reason we want people to understand the games, is because it's the majority of those people who make the laws regarding games.

Edit: Probably been said so +1 to them.

Great article, but while I was reading it, I realized that the whole "Gamers are horrible people!" argument is a never-ending cause-effect cycle. People complain about gamers over-enjoying our hobby that involves performing violent and sexual activities in a non-realistic world, we respond by swearing and threatening them, they reinforce their argument because we threatened them, and repeat. We, as video game players, have basically screwed ourselves over with having any sort of positive public reputation.

This reminds me of a recent article (can't remember which one, though) on this site talking about how we need to be more proactive in sharing our love of gaming to try and counter the image of "Gamers are those people that we hear about on the news whenever there's been a violent crime".

Oh, wait - it was "View From the Road: It's Time to Grow Up".

Thanks for the article, Steve.

Steve Butts:
All I'm suggesting is that we're blaming them for not understanding something that they have had no opportunity to understand.

Wrong.

Steve Butts:
Maybe that's getting a little overly philosophical, but I think the same is true of gamers.

Bit of a big word for what is a rather juvenile point.

Other than those two niggles, good article and I particularly agree with the notion that those who push for outside recognition the hardest tend to be the least secure about playing games in the first place.

The more I read the more neutral I feel towards these articles, they make some excellent points, but they way they are presented to me is just, well, it's like putting a sour coating on a piece of chocolate, it tastes bad to start with, but there is a good bit in there, if you can just tough it out.

Steve Butts:

ColdStorage:
I'm so happy I'm currently growing a handlebar moustache in your honour.

What a way to celebrate my birthday!

On an unrelated note, is it really your birthday? cause, seriously it's my birthday too, how's that for a coincidence?

Steve Butts thought a degree in Latin would be more useful than it has been.

Really? If so, AWESOME! Fascinating language, that is. I'm a monoglot, but if ever I was going to pick up a second language, I'd probably go for Latin. Silly, but I've never been one to let practicality stand in the way of learning stuff!

Summary of different viewpoints

I am Joe Gamer. I enjoy video games because they are fun. It angers me when people that get a lot of media attention speak about games in an ignorant manner, misleading the mainstream.

I am Jack Thompson. I have agendas that are served by media interest in myself. I need a cause that will generate that media attention; something new and edgy that parents already have a predisposition to dislike. I will shit all over video games.

No opportunity to understand? It's not a lifetime's work to pick up a controller and play some games. By being evangelical before you experience or at least understand something, you're being a douche.

As always, an excellent, well-presented read. The Game Stash (which should be titled The Game 'Stache) is quickly becoming my favorite read on this site.

Hope you had a nice birthday.

I can see what you're getting at but a lot of us do return respect.

I'm not angered when people think badly of gaming, but when their reasoning is incorrect and they refuse to accept a different opinion. I'd quite enjoy an honest debate about the effects and worth of gaming, but that never seems to happen.

If the opposition accepted our viewpoints instead of blatantly ignoring them, and then sat down to get first-hand experience of games rather than just giving their 5 year old God of War and looking in disgust at it then i think their viewpoint would be a lot more justified.

The counter argument always seems to be "scientific studies" for them. Both parties have studies that are constantly contradicting each other so they're not a safe ground for justification at all.

Timendi causa est nescire - for both sides in this debate.

Sikachu:

Steve Butts:
All I'm suggesting is that we're blaming them for not understanding something that they have had no opportunity to understand.

Wrong.

Steve Butts:
Maybe that's getting a little overly philosophical, but I think the same is true of gamers.

Bit of a big word for what is a rather juvenile point.

Other than those two niggles, good article and I particularly agree with the notion that those who push for outside recognition the hardest tend to be the least secure about playing games in the first place.

Thanks for the compliment. Seriously.

Unfortunately, your initial two reponses illustrate my point. The extent of your first argument goes no further than saying I'm "wrong" while your second merely insults my delivery.

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