I’ve been away for a few days. The good wife and I went to a boutique hotel nearby to our home in Madonna di Campiglio, just to relax for a bit after the crazy summer. Well, relax we certainly did – we had a private sauna in our room. I am just going to tell you all here and now that a private sauna in your hotel room is pretty awesome. Amazing food in wonderful restaurants, walks through heritage mountain wilderness, (where the forest is so old that it is almost like a parkland as there is no growth on the forest floor). Obviously when we were walking I imagined that a bunch of trolls were going to ambush us up around the next corner. My wife puts up with me well.
And I got back home, switched on the internets and found this post over at the orbs that be righteous. This post has my name all over it – literally. I almost didn’t respond, as I have refrained form responding on most posts and comments on other blogs about this issue. I have read a great many things written about me which were false, abusive and just plain stupid. But the last thing that I wish to occupy myself with is scurrying around the internet trying to correct people whose opinions are not going to be changed by me attempting to set things straight.
So I really shouldn’t care much. But there are a few misunderstandings of what I was attempting to say back in the post that started this all off. I thought that I had clarified my viewpoint on these, but apparently not. So for the benefit of those who see what they wish to see, here are the clarificatins for the final time:
“… When I was at school I was openly made fun of by the girls for playing these games. Now twenty years later girls are getting worked up about the fact that those same games don’t have enough female representation in them? Give me a fucking break.”
If you take this sentence as it is at face value, then it can seem like a demented rant. But put the quote back into the context of what I wrote and the meaning is clear. The entire post built up to this point. I had already spoken in detail about the historical context of video games and how they fit into our world. This was an ironic observation that whereas in the past girls didn’t want to have anything to do with these games, now they are pushing to be actually represented in game.
And as this is irony, it does not then qualify the statements that;
1. I never got laid in high school.
2. I blame women for all that is wrong in my world.
3. I was mercilessly bullied to the extent that my psyche was damaged.
It was an ironic look back in time. Yes, I wrote that girls made fun of me for playing these games. But the context was that it was ironic that now years later girls are pushing for in-game respresentation, after this was an activity that invited so much scorn by girls. Instead of taking this argument, people focused on me being supposedly “bullied” in high school. Well, I never said that I was bullied. I used the words, “openly made fun of.” I was careful to use these words, because bullying is much heavier. It means that a person is being victimised. I was made fun of. Did I sit in the corner and cry? No, actually I made fun of the girls in return. It was all good natured ribbing. I was not a victim, I was perfectly capable of standing up for myself. The point was an ironic observation of how times have changed. Can I be any more clearer than that?
Tam’s conclusion is as follows:
“… The only possible way to interpret this paragraph is that women shouldn’t have the right to complain about things they find offensive in the game.”
You reckon? I think I would like to change this a little bit. It should read;
“Any special interest group should not have the right to go about actively searching out instances in which they might possibly be offended and then complain about them and attempt to have them corrected in game.”
Tam thinks that the reason that the blogging world got into a big fight was because of my supposed conclusion, (read, misinterpretation on his and others parts). I disagree with this, but let us first correct his examination of my conclusion. Tam wrote;
“… his conclusion seemed to be that women are wrong to expect equal treatment in the game, and should stop complaining they don’t have it.”
Isn’t this nice and tricky? It “seems” by reading this that I am thus pro men being represented in-game. I clarified numerous times that my entire point was something entirely different. Here, let me quote it for you from a post that I wrote in the middle of the shitstorm:
“… I am all for the natural evolution of a game and a gaming genre. But I will strongly resist the idea of change for the sake of making change in order to appease any outside special interest groups, whatever the change or whomever the group may be.”
There should be no special treatment whatsoever, neither for men nor for women. We should all be treated the same. I suppose that based on this and Tam and his cohorts insipid method of drawing conclusions, that I must be a misandriest as well as a misogynist.
Anyway, the blogging world got into a shit fight for other reasons. And this was the ad hominem method of debate, of which righteous orbs was a prime example. Instead of attacking the argument, (which they got wrong from the beginning anyway in an outrageous case of strawman arguing), they attacked me on a personal level. In the comments on Tam’s post linked above, Tam actually states that he never called me a bigot, when in fact his blog actually linked to me using the words in the linkage, “complete bigot”.
I now leave you all with the explanation of strawman argument taken from wikipedia. In this example, I would be person A. Tam, Chastity and others would be Person B.
1. Person A has position X.
2. Person B disregards certain key points of X and instead presents the superficially-similar position Y. Thus, Y is a resulting distorted version of X and can be set up in several ways, including:
1. Presenting a misrepresentation of the opponent’s position and then refuting it, thus giving the appearance that the opponent’s actual position has been refuted.
2. Quoting an opponent’s words out of context – i.e. choosing quotations that misrepresent the opponent’s actual intentions (see contextomy and quote mining).
3. Presenting someone who defends a position poorly as the defender, then refuting that person’s arguments – thus giving the appearance that every upholder of that position (and thus the position itself) has been defeated.
4. Inventing a fictitious persona with actions or beliefs which are then criticized, implying that the person represents a group of whom the speaker is critical.
5. Oversimplifying an opponent’s argument, then attacking this oversimplified version.
3. Person B attacks position Y, concluding that X is false/incorrect/flawed.
This sort of “reasoning” is fallacious, because attacking a distorted version of a position fails to constitute an attack on the actual position.
In concluding, it remains to be seen if these people will continue to push their version of what my intentions were. I doubt that they will change their minds, because if they do it will mean an admission that a great deal that has been written has been way wide of the mark. I would however, encourage them to do this, because perhaps then we could have a rational discussion on whether political correctness has any part in the world of gaming.