Letters to the Editor: Back to the Drawing Board

Back to the Drawing Board

Each week we publish letters sent to us regarding previous issues and highlight particularly interesting forum posts. If you'd like to comment on an article directly, send your letter to [email protected].

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Whew, what a read. I enjoyed this article from start to finish, and while people's views will expect in the future for there to be no such thing as a "hardcore" or "casual" gamer, as long as there is diversity in videogaming (or videogames at all) in the future, we will still have labels, people who will use those labels, and that of course is free will. Our opinions about ourselves can easily cause alienation, but games are games. They're played for entertainment and competition. Any onlinw game that has two opposing forces duke it out in a quick ten to fifteen minute round will have insults and stereotypes thrown around at them, and at the end of the game you will have the hot-tempered players and the players who practice good sportsmanship. Of course you can get rid of all that if you play by yourself.

Thanks for the read, and good morning escapist.

oh, my goodness. I am in the article!?!?!??!

Yet Another Lifetime goal has been achieved.

Now on to developing a diet french fry!

OT: I loved the fact that Russ replied to one of the Letters. Although I at first was certainly in a similar boat in my attitude towards the article, I do appreciate now the need to recognize that opinions certainly are not the same, nor reciprocated as such.

Congratulations for those who are nominated. Also thanks for the interesting read, always love this part of the Issues.

Last page was the most interesting. Hate mail, considered reply, considered apology. Kudos to Mr. Pitts for sticking to his editorial ethos and also to BigDontheDJ for knowing when he's wrong and having the good grace to admit it.

It's true that opinions seem to be correct as far as each of us is concerned and when we're subjected to an opinion completely opposed to our own we can get somewhat emotional. To know when that emotion is wrong and to accept another's opinion as exactly what it is, that's something more folks need to learn here on these internets we all frequent.

David Wilkins:
Last page was the most interesting. Hate mail, considered reply, considered apology. Kudos to Mr. Pitts for sticking to his editorial ethos and also to BigDontheDJ for knowing when he's wrong and having the good grace to admit it.

I too enjoyed that. A mature response from both of them.

I'm actually saddened to see that BigDonTheDJ backed down on this one, as I think that "the best journalism" has nothing to DO with emotional reactions, but rather objectivity. Sure, what would I know? I'm just a Media Studies student. I'm sure the tabloid approach of choosing the most outrageously opinionated and inflammatory columnists is very lucrative for you guys. Lucrative, if potentially socially damaging.

Why do I dislike the article by Mr Kaiser? Simple. The first paragraph. Read it closely, and you will see a deeply prejudiced viewpoint, not just against female hardcore gaming and male casual gaming, but against a whole genre of music (and more importantly, all the people who participate in the culture of that genre, showing that the writer is ignorant of the possibility of meaningful or seriously political hip hop).

If you think that this is not too offensive and so perfectly acceptable, I suggest you conduct the following thought experiment:

Close your eyes, and count to ten. You are now from a family that is Christian and fundamentalist, but extremely supportive of abortion due to a recent experience with your mother dying because she would not abort a baby. You listen to meaningful, political or philosophical versions of hip hop or rap and used to passionately discuss these views with your mother, who is now dead. Reread the first paragraph of Kaiser's article now.*

Now you might grasp the potential for anger caused by this article. This is the kind of article that, if it had stopped at that first paragraph, we would expect to be labelled "flamebait" if it happened to appear in a strict forum's threads. Keep in mind that someone who fits the description in the experiment could easily, by probability alone, read the article.

Before anyone says it: yes, the rest of the article retracts these initially implied views, but they still leave a nasty after-taste, especially for those of us who (flagrantly) disagree. More to the point, it's very easy and common for readers to read the first paragraph and miss the rest, which just goes against a "fireball" writing style with all the spice at the start. Defending this kind of article as simply "freelance journalism" is not going to make a good long-term impression of The Escapist in my view. If all of us are going to treat games and gaming culture as art and art culture, then it demands a higher level of respect than random pop-culture criticism and gatling-gun humour.

There is a difference between giving an expert or interesting person a considered and researched place in a magazine than putting a hack deliberately out there to get Google hits on his blog. You can seek an emotional reaction if you want, but if you really have the guts, you will place someone who will inform you and create a feeling of interested, enlightened thinking, not one of basic anger. I hope there will be a cautious review of this magazine's approaches to journalism as the medium of gaming develops and matures.

* Please note that I am nothing like the person in this example.

Oh god... Thanks for printing my post but man oh man, why didn't I edit it for grammar errors. Ahh, gee now its permanently in the article achieve. Still, I got a delicious shinny new badge, NOM.


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