To Hell With Comments

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I wonder if game developers feel this way about people who make crappy videos and write pretentious articles criticizing their work as well.

immortalfrieza:

Sectan:
Isn't Yahtzee basically just part of the comment section that is Vidogamez Jurnalizm?

Exactly. It's unbelievably hypocritical of Yahtzee to put down comments when his JOB is for all intents and purposes to comment on video games.

The thing is, since he's the one getting paid, his comments ARE of more value than those of people who don't. Just like any other job, you can tell who's better at it (roughly) by how much can they afford to charge.

Btw, talking about other jobs, I DO hate when people try to gave their opinions about the field of my work. Mostly because they tend to fail horridly in their assumptions (it's a field of social sciences) and I go berserk.

I wonder how many game developers feel the same way about Yahtzee. I do agree that comments can be detrimental in some cases. While I don't mind reading people's opinions on websites, I really don't want them inside my games.

I like Yahtzee for his brittish disdain of the common working man.

It's the mcdonald's problem. You know there's rarely anything healthy to be found, you know it's bad for you, you know you're basically eating shit, but it's right there in front of you and creating something worthwhile takes a while.

SweetShark:

Kingjackl:
The worst part about this column is that Yahtzee himself has already seen for himself the value of user commentary and feedback. He did that when he released the beta of his new game, and specifically asked for feedback from anyone who played it. People commented and he used the information to make changes, fix bugs and add new features. But when other game publishers do it, he throws the written equivalent of a childish tantrum and puts it up on a website that makes heavy use of user comments. The level of hypocrisy and thick-headedness is astounding.

Also, that thing he put up on Twitter saying something like "oh, it's a commentary on comments, so you can't comment without looking foolish"? Yeah, if that's not an admission of failure, then I don't know what is. However foolish the commenters on this thread are, I don't see how they could possibly be more foolish than the one who wrote the article to begin with.

As I said, he only doing this for comedy to make the things more interesting.
Don't take his word so seriously.
If Yantzee was a Pony, he would had the Element of Disorder and Irony. He is good at that. But he isn't a bad Pony. He is a good Pony. We must Believe in him.

No, I'm with the crowd that understands his bitterness, self-loathing and misanthropy are all dead serious and that he needs to get over it. Seriously, what does Yahtzee have to be bitter about?

If it were comedy, I'd be laughing because there would have been actual jokes that were funny in that column. That wasn't funny, it was just petulant and mean-spirited, so I reckon I'm well within my rights to point out how hypocritical he's being.

Qvar:

immortalfrieza:

Sectan:
Isn't Yahtzee basically just part of the comment section that is Vidogamez Jurnalizm?

Exactly. It's unbelievably hypocritical of Yahtzee to put down comments when his JOB is for all intents and purposes to comment on video games.

The thing is, since he's the one getting paid, his comments ARE of more value than those of people who don't. Just like any other job, you can tell who's better at it (roughly) by how much can they afford to charge.

Btw, talking about other jobs, I DO hate when people try to gave their opinions about the field of my work. Mostly because they tend to fail horridly in their assumptions (it's a field of social sciences) and I go berserk.

Wrong. Just because he makes money off of his commenting does not make Yahtzee's comments any more valid than those of anyone else, including trolls. All it means is that he managed to scream loud enough to get enough attention to be able to make money off of his comments, it does not in the least prove his comments are more valid, just more well known.

Yahtzee, when you started doing reviews were you a professional or were you just doing a rant review about a game you liked/disliked? Opinions do matter, that's how you became somewhat famous, that's why you are valued now, that's why the Escapist bosses pay you for the content you provide which are basically rants. This whole article you wrote is a rant about how you don't like comments, but really, isn't this article you made just another comment, a larger comment, the first comment? Hehe, yet because it's you and people/fans know your web persona, they let it fly and you get away with your rants because they like the way you do it. Your web personality is made of game ranting, game developing ranting and so on.

Everything you do is more or less commenting on a subject (game, game developer, fan fiction, etc), but because you are a bit of an Internet sensation, you are not considered a troll, nor banned for the offensive words you use in videos sometimes/articles (we normal trolls get banned more often since our trolling isn't generating as many views and therefore money as your trolling does and upsets other members of the community). People adore you for it, they quote you for it, they love you for it. Basically you are an Internet troll, but seen as a professional troll, so therefore respected, so kudos to you for being a troll and getting paid for it. I think the rest of us "miserable cunts" as you would put it like the fact that you are voicing the obvious facts about gaming and the gaming community, and we applaud you for it, for the fact that maybe you are perceived as a troll with taste. So rock on! I wouldn't be surprised if this article you wrote was a remark you made yourself to yourself as well, so good on you for being self aware and if I got it wrong, well, it shouldn't matter, should it? after all, as you said, our comments should never matter because we are not professionals nor are we dedicated, or are we, otherwise why would we be trolling/commenting, criticizing in our primitive ways of using swear words like ... well you know. Cheers.

I honestly can't tell whether this article is meant to be serious or sarcastic. If it's sarcastic, then it deserves nothing more than a weary eye-roll before moving on to more relevant and useful conversations. If it's serious, then Yahtzee has just posted the stupidest, least self-aware, most vapid piece of work of his career.

TLDR: Either useless, or stupid and intentionally insulting. Step up your game, Mr. Croshaw.

I've never walked away from anything produced by Yahtzee that made me actively dislike him and want to stop reading/watching his stuff. Just a little bit more self-awareness, a self-deprecating one liner at the end, something to make this read like something beyond just ugly, bitter, angry, cynical bile would have really helped.

This is a very disappointing first...

Qvar:

immortalfrieza:

Wrong. Just because he makes money off of his commenting does not make Yahtzee's comments any more valid than those of anyone else, including trolls. All it means is that he managed to scream loud enough to get enough attention to be able to make money off of his comments, it does not in the least prove his comments are more valid, just more well known.

Funny how you reduce the whole process to "scream loud enough" to make it look like he and other critics are kind of randomly chosen and a shower of money rains down on them from heavens, instead of being picked precisely because, yeah, somebody thought that their opinions are more interesting than that ones from the commoners, and in fact the commoners do agree (or else they would already be out of business).

Oh and before you try to argue that he's not a critic, he is a comedian, it is you who talked about validness of opinions, which isn't the same as value. He can be totally wrong, therefore not "valid", and still have more value, precisely because people find it entertaining anyways. And that is what got him there in the first place.

The fact is, Yahtzee is just lucky enough that his comments draw him a paycheck, nothing more, nothing less. Being paid for one's opinions does not mean that those opinions have more validity or value than anyone else's. As we all know, there are plenty of people who have tried to be critics, tried to be comedians, tried to be the one among the masses to be noticed and get paid for their comments but never succeeded despite those comments being no different in the end than Yahtzee's or Jim Sterling's or any of those people. What happened is Yahtzee shouted his comments from the rooftops along with everybody else until he was lucky enough to not get buried under the flood of comments when someone in a position of power saw them and decided to hire him for it, in his case the Escapist. Just because Yahtzee was fortunate enough to be noticed among the wave of commoners doesn't mean he isn't being a hypocrite for putting down other people's comments.

EvilRoy:
They don't need to be careful of their words, they need to have a backlog against which we can qualify future opinions. They can be as biased or rude as they want, but having a face and a name guarantees that those things stay on the record rather than dying with each avatar and handle.

You're doing it wrong.

A person's writing should be judged on the content of that writing, not their track record or their status. You should judge things on their facts and merits, or in the case of opinion, how well thought-out and supported the opinion is, not who is comes from. It is entirely possible for person with status and a good track record to write something stupid and wrong, just as it is for someone antonymous to come out of nowhere and write something brilliant and true.

It happens all the time. Judging works by their perceived poplar status or amount of time that they've been writing is a terrible way to go about things. That's going to lead to all kinds of problems. Humans have been led down some terrible paths by this kind of thinking.

immortalfrieza:

The fact is, Yahtzee is just lucky enough that his comments draw him a paycheck, nothing more, nothing less. Being paid for one's opinions does not mean that those opinions have more validity or value than anyone else's. As we all know, there are plenty of people who have tried to be critics, tried to be comedians, tried to be the one among the masses to be noticed and get paid for their comments but never succeeded despite those comments being no different in the end than Yahtzee's or Jim Sterling's or any of those people. What happened is Yahtzee shouted his comments from the rooftops along with everybody else until he was lucky enough to not get buried under the flood of comments when someone in a position of power saw them and decided to hire him for it, in his case the Escapist. Just because Yahtzee was fortunate enough to be noticed among the wave of commoners doesn't mean he isn't being a hypocrite for putting down other people's comments.

Please, you're making me laugh. Oh, cruel world where everybody writes as good as Tolkien, yet the publishers will select only one of them on a whim and mark it for consumption of the general populace. Those damn commies.

Same could be applied to games then I guess. Are publishers just blind idiots who will go ahead with the first garbage that someone tries to pass for a game?

Nimcha:
Just readin one small sample of the comments on this particular article pretty much proves its point...

No, by definition, it doesn't. If you are only reading one small sample, then ow do you know what the rest of it contains?

That's like saying that all artwork is crap, because if you take a random sample of any artwork, it is 90% likely to be crap, and not a Picasso or Shakespeare. Just like online videos or articles about video gaming published by large companies. The vast majority are crap. So, by that reasoning, Yahtzee's videos are crap too, right?

Grimrider6:
I've never walked away from anything produced by Yahtzee that made me actively dislike him and want to stop reading/watching his stuff. Just a little bit more self-awareness, a self-deprecating one liner at the end, something to make this read like something beyond just ugly, bitter, angry, cynical bile would have really helped.

This is a very disappointing first...

In all fairness I personally believe what Yahtzee is actually ranting about is the current trend for game companies to try to shoehorn some kind of interconnected social networking horseshit into every gaming experience. Something that for most people IS absolutely fucking useless. I get this idea from Yahtzee's less than affectionate mentions of the silly and needless level comments in Super Mario 3D World, and the PS4 share button. As well as from his last paragraph this week where he mentions he plays games to escape the outside world, so resents these attempts to invade his fun time.

Qvar:

Please, you're making me laugh. Oh, cruel world where everybody writes as good as Tolkien, yet the publishers will select only one of them on a whim and mark it for consumption of the general populace. Those damn commies.

It's not about writing quality it's about luck. You can write the best damned book the world has ever seen but if you're not fortunate enough that the publishers that it's sent to even notice it's there among the hundreds of submissions they get each day. Then there's the opposite, you could write the worst load of bile book that ever graced the earth and if you're fortunate enough to send it to the right publisher get it published and sell a million copies (and I think we all have an idea of quite a few books that's just that). Commenting is just the same.

Same could be applied to games then I guess. Are publishers just blind idiots who will go ahead with the first garbage that someone tries to pass for a game?

Judging by the quality of a lot of the games that have come out lately I'd say definitely yes.

immortalfrieza:

Judging by the quality of a lot of the games that have come out lately I'd say definitely yes.

Oh yeah? And they are making a lot of money too? Will they stay in business to keep their practice? Do you tend to play all those mediocre games as you read mediocre critics?

immortalfrieza:
The fact is, Yahtzee is just lucky enough that his comments draw him a paycheck, nothing more, nothing less.

I very much doubt it's just luck. He is a talented wordsmith and a pretty good comedian. You make it sound as if he was one of the many people creating videos of Zero Punctuation quality and just happened to win a lucky draw. That doesn't reflect reality. If Lady Luck suddenly awarded you Yahtzee's position, do you really think you'd be able to turn out consistently funny material with personality, week after week? Would you also be able to write novels while doing so?

That said, it's because Yahtzee is so talented that this unfunny hack-job of an article is so disappointing. I wonder if he's losing his self-awareness and edge as he slips into the comfortable bubble of "internet celebrity"?

Aardvaarkman:

Nimcha:
Just readin one small sample of the comments on this particular article pretty much proves its point...

No, by definition, it doesn't. If you are only reading one small sample, then ow do you know what the rest of it contains?

That's like saying that all artwork is crap, because if you take a random sample of any artwork, it is 90% likely to be crap, and not a Picasso or Shakespeare. Just like online videos or articles about video gaming published by large companies. The vast majority are crap. So, by that reasoning, Yahtzee's videos are crap too, right?

No. Every single sample you read is crap. Just try any random one. Always crap.

It's a matter of quality vs. quantity.

When a site/article/what have you is on a more niche website/a smaller website, there can be comments that actually have to do with the subject at hand and actually mean something. But when you get to the larger, broader, more general public comments section where it's just completely unfiltered, then it's much harder to wade through the crap and find the meaty, constructive comments. They get drowned out by too much fluff and it just becomes a meaningless blob of unproductive shouting contests/copypasta-ing.

100-200 comments that actually attempt to have something to say > 8000 comments spouting off a bunch of nothingness.

Nimcha:

No. Every single sample you read is crap. Just try any random one. Always crap.

Nice to see that you're making a difference with your quality contribution.

Kingjackl:

SweetShark:

Kingjackl:
The worst part about this column is that Yahtzee himself has already seen for himself the value of user commentary and feedback. He did that when he released the beta of his new game, and specifically asked for feedback from anyone who played it. People commented and he used the information to make changes, fix bugs and add new features. But when other game publishers do it, he throws the written equivalent of a childish tantrum and puts it up on a website that makes heavy use of user comments. The level of hypocrisy and thick-headedness is astounding.

Also, that thing he put up on Twitter saying something like "oh, it's a commentary on comments, so you can't comment without looking foolish"? Yeah, if that's not an admission of failure, then I don't know what is. However foolish the commenters on this thread are, I don't see how they could possibly be more foolish than the one who wrote the article to begin with.

As I said, he only doing this for comedy to make the things more interesting.
Don't take his word so seriously.
If Yantzee was a Pony, he would had the Element of Disorder and Irony. He is good at that. But he isn't a bad Pony. He is a good Pony. We must Believe in him.

No, I'm with the crowd that understands his bitterness, self-loathing and misanthropy are all dead serious and that he needs to get over it. Seriously, what does Yahtzee have to be bitter about?

If it were comedy, I'd be laughing because there would have been actual jokes that were funny in that column. That wasn't funny, it was just petulant and mean-spirited, so I reckon I'm well within my rights to point out how hypocritical he's being.

So you truly believe that he think EVERY SINGLE HUMAN BEING that leave a comment about his videos/articles is an assh*le?
No, I don't think so.

Let's face it, the only reason the most people react with this article, is the use of the harsh language, which of course is one of the signatures of the personality Yantzee have. Yes, he believe that most comments are useless, because he think there is no way in reality to chance the opinions of other people, or to be more specific, Yantzee's opinion about a game.
Now the question is I agree with his opinion? Of course not. However I acknowledge that he doesn't just plaint said he hate comments. He addressed his reasons why he believe that.
Finally if we put his opinion about the comments AND his well-known comedy/harsh language into the mix....VOILA!!!
We have this article!!!

Of course this article has 160+ comments in the space of a day(ish), and of course I feel the need to add mine. It's a shame there's no way to post a comment on an article like this without it being thick with irony but then the alternative is that people don't use this perfectly valid and convenient way to discuss the issue presented before us which, at least as far as I'm concerned, would be detrimental to the articles/ videos on The Escapist.

Admittedly there are plenty of people willing to post trivial, meaningless comments or go hunting 'likes' by claiming some small portion of the credit for someone else's joke. On the other hand there are those who post legitimately interesting points (either in support or countering the journalist's argument) and to lump all comment posters together as a big glob of 'boring twats' is a shortsighted generalisation at best, it would be equivalent to saying all movie critics are pretentious (something I had previously considered to be true), it may well be accurate for some but it tars genuinely valuable insight as being somehow worth less simply because of its origin.

In addition the comments section on your videos are a representation of your audience, a raw unrefined glimpse at some of the people who you are essentially relying on to watch your videos and ensure you have a continuous source of income (for an online journalist at least). If you don't like the people you are attracting then you have two options:
1) Deal with it - this option means not creating an article especially to call your audience twats because they enjoy discussing video games/ video game culture on your videos.
2) If you are unable to carry out option 1 you are left with just one alternative (excluding continuing to insult your fanbase until you longer have one) and that is to change the way you do your videos, which will invariably influence the kinds of comments you get and, more importantly, change which comments end up at the top of the pile through likes and replies. Jimquisition videos are a great example of this.

Years ago Jim Sterling was considerably angrier in his videos and more aggressive, the kinds of comments he got were, subsequently, not especially nice to read with many pointless and abusive arguments starting as a result. These days Jimquisition is incredibly refined, he is (usually) totally focused on presenting a logical and coherent argument that doesn't require him to resort to shouting/ ranting, and as a result I now consider it worth a few extra minutes to see what other people have said in relation to his videos because the comments are, on the whole, far more interesting and much less negative and ranty. As it stands the only other possible solution to Yahtzee's issue with commenters is to simply not include comments sections which I would consider a tremendous shame as the online community on this website is arguably one of its best features.
Honestly I found this whole article infuriating. I enjoy commenting here because I know it is often the best way to get stimulating conversation about video gaming. Saying things like "I consider it an insult that material created by trained people with experience and qualifications and talent is forced to share space on my computer screen with the musings of uninvolved people with no qualifications bar a keyboard and bottomless twattiness" doesn't come across well to me at all, in fact this is the first time that Yahtzee has posted anything that made me think less of/ like him less as a video game journalist, it just feels like an angry lashing out directly as a result of a few people's comments on Super Mario 3D World. Of course none of this matters because it's all in a comment rather than a video I was paid to make and at 160+ comments in there's little to no chance Yahtzee himself would ever read it but still, I felt like an article describing all commenters as twats was unnecessary/ inaccurate enough that it was worth taking 10 minutes out to present my own twattish counterargument, if only because I currently have the freedom to do so here.

JenSeven:
However, you forget that about 60% of the population is of lower intelligence (basically, an IQ rating below 90).

This is not just wrong; it's literally impossible. An IQ of 100 is defined as the score on the test for which an equal number of people performed better and worse. Thus, only 50% of the population can have an IQ below 100, and 50% can have an IQ over 100 (minus, of course, however many scored exactly 100).

To go into more detail, the system is intended to generate a bell curve, with around 68% of the population having IQs between 85 and 115, and around 95% having IQs between 70 and 130.

If we focus on low intelligence, only 15.8% of people have an intelligence a standard deviation below average.

And that's well before we get into the controversy of what an IQ test actually measures (though intended to be an inherent trait, people don't always perform equally well on it, and people with better educations perform better). But that's an entirely different can of worms, and my main point here is that you probably shouldn't make up facts, particularly when talking about intelligence.

Aardvaarkman:

Nimcha:

No. Every single sample you read is crap. Just try any random one. Always crap.

Nice to see that you're making a difference with your quality contribution.

I never claimed I was. But really, comments, especially on a video or article about a certain view are almost always crap. Discussing things can be done on forums.

SweetShark:

So you truly believe that he think EVERY SINGLE HUMAN BEING that leave a comment about his videos/articles is an assh*le?
No, I don't think so.

Let's face it, the only reason the most people react with this article, is the use of the harsh language, which of course is one of the signatures of the personality Yantzee have. Yes, he believe that most comments are useless, because he think there is no way in reality to chance the opinions of other people, or to be more specific, Yantzee's opinion about a game.
Now the question is I agree with his opinion? Of course not. However I acknowledge that he doesn't just plaint said he hate comments. He addressed his reasons why he believe that.
Finally if we put his opinion about the comments AND his well-known comedy/harsh language into the mix....VOILA!!!
We have this article!!!

Re-read the article and point out one thing he says in there that's actually comedic. The Academy Award manatee thing doesn't count, since he's just regurgitating a bit from a David Mitchell Soapbox rant that was funnier then. Also, I do believe he thinks that every human being who comments is a twat, because that's exactly what he says in his article. There's nothing wrong with harsh language, but the tone of the article is way too serious to be being ironic. It's disrespectful to the audience, and hypocritical of Yahtzee to decry this sort of thing since he arguably has more need for online comments than any of the big game publishers he's decrying.

If he is just joking, then it's a pretty bad joke is all I'm saying. We'd never be having this discussion about whether or not Jim Sterling really means it when he says "thank God for me", would we?

Nimcha:

I never claimed I was. But really, comments, especially on a video or article about a certain view are almost always crap. Discussing things can be done on forums.

That doesn't make any sense. This is a forum, and forums are composed of comments.

Seriously though. After Extra Credits and Rebecca Mayes jumped ship, Mr Croshaw is the only erudite individual left on The Escapist. Also, Total Biscuit knows lots about Starcraft and is totally representational of English people.

I believe the best sort of comment section would be one that says, "Your comment has been posted." after you type it... and then deletes it from the system.

Dragonbums:

deathjavu:
I feel the same way about the comment sections on news sites. What, exactly, does a comment section add to a news story? The ability for random uninformed assholes to put their opinion on the same level as an actually researched story, and then for other assholes to have their shitty opinions reinforced by the first assholes.

Yes, yes, commenting on this article is ironic, let's get that joke out of the way early.

Please. There are more opinionated, biased stories written as news articles by the day. They are well researched confirmation biases. No better than the comments section where more often than not your likely to find a commenter that points out all the holes in said article but also provide counterpoints and less biased statements.

This is not what you find in comments sections. If it is there, it's massively outweighed by the piles of dogshit surrounding it. Which leads me neatly to confirmation bias, which is what I actually described: "and then for other assholes to have their shitty opinions reinforced by the first assholes," i.e., for people to go seek out irrational or disproven arguments in favor of their position, in the comments section.

The enabling of confirmation bias is exactly why the comments section is not beneficial. Before if someone disagreed, they had to go find a dissenting opinion elsewhere or form their own. Both of which are undoubtedly more involved and potentially educational than scrolling down a bit to see some random jackoff's ad hominem and taking that as an escape route.

DeaDRabbiT:

deathjavu:
I feel the same way about the comment sections on news sites. What, exactly, does a comment section add to a news story? The ability for random uninformed assholes to put their opinion on the same level as an actually researched story, and then for other assholes to have their shitty opinions reinforced by the first assholes.

Yes, yes, commenting on this article is ironic, let's get that joke out of the way early.

Commenting on news stories, is no different than having a discussion about a news article on the train when people used to read the same newspaper as everyone else every day. It's an outlet for conversation and reflection.

Doesn't work as an analogy, no one interrupts with screaming obscenities and rape threats on the train.

Which is to say, the signal-to-noise ratio of a comments section is simply far, far too low on average to compare it to any sort of rational conversation where the actors are restrained to a bare minimum of decency, and a fairly minimal number of participants.

The worst part about the internet is the removal of most obstacles/barriers for publishing. Yes, previous obstacles and barriers were sometimes corrupt or faulty, and they managed to hold back a few innovative/creative types we would have enjoyed, but I greatly prefer a flawed filter to none at all. Now everyone on the planet self-publishes practically everything, and 95% of it is fucking retarded.

I guess I'm saying we've gained a few new voices that might have been stymied back in the day, but those fresh, intelligent producers are pretty well drown out by the vast surrounding oceans of mediocrity and idiocy.

The notion that all opinions are equally valid might be the root of some of the world's greatest ongoing problems.

I dunno about greatest, but certainly we have problems stemming from this. I hate to admit that the prevention of artistic creation is a good practice, but to some degree it does filter out the shit- and the internet has proven what a valuable service that is.

Could you imagine trying to pick a book from a library of everything that could be published on the internet? You would never find anything worth reading. Everything good is buried under mountainous piles of crap. And the library treats it as all the same, throws it up on the shelves and displays just the same.

Also, I saw that some people were having trouble distinguishing between an unmoderated comments section and a moderated forum? Which...really?

twm1709:
Well, we may be twats, but at least most of us can spell "probably" ;)

It was intended to be "provably." It is provably true that almost no comment has ever added anything to a video or article.

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