Why can’t you fucking idiots have a proper conversation?

Ok, children. Today we’re going to talk about this funny little part of gaming culture: Discussion of opinions that seemingly consists of huge amounts of nitroglycerin.

This post by mxyzplk is really a prime example:
Mike Mearls Strangles Realism In D&D Like It’s An Unruly Hooker

I was going to pick and quote some of the juicier idiocies and comment on them, but now I’m feeling lazy and will go on with just a general commentary.

1) It’s not sacred. When reading something that is contradictory to your beliefs*, first take a deep breath and take some time to calm down. Then remind yourself that RPGs are not religions or anything like that. To be a smart and decent human being, it’s required that you can look things from an angle other than your own. It’s even better if you can look at things objectively, outside of the box. But that’s not gonna happen every time.

2) Don’t be a fucking douchebag. Don’t flame, don’t troll, don’t build strawmen, keep those ad hominems to yourself. Capiche? I understand that sometimes it can be quite hard. It’s not easy to treat someone, who’s throwing burning poo like a sorceress overdozing on PCP and crystal meth, like a real and decent person. To an extent, that’s a failing of the medium. But still, the internet is not wholly to blame. And the other side of the coin: Ignore the poo, don’t feed the troll. Try to be the maturer one.

3) Don’t take every friggin’ thing someone says about a game personally. If someone doesn’t like the game that is most precious to you, you have two good choises and a third, bad one.

  1. You can agree with him that the game doesn’t produce those things that he looks for in a game. That is, he has understandable and acceptable rationalisations for not liking it. To put is short: You agree to disagree.
  2. You don’t agree with him and think that his perceptions about the game are incomplete. Maybe you should try to clear things a bit for him. Be careful though, when proceeding with this option. It’s easy to get yourself misunderstood and give the impression that you’re trying to force-feed your preferences. If he still won’t “convert,” leave it at that. It doesn’t suit his needs. Again, agree to disagree.
  3. The wrong road: Be a dick about it. I mean, not liking YOUR PRECIOUS GAME is, like, the same as mocking UR MOM. NERDRAGE!!! My response: Just shut the fuck up and grow up.

4) Reasoning, motherfucker, do you have it? If not, then zip it. “Because the big boys told me so” is not proper reasoning. And you can replace the big boys with anything like “those guys on RPG.net” or “that dude who’s really into D&D and he practically breathes experience points and craps initiative rolls.” Or anything. Here’s a pointer: Think. For. Yourself. Question other people’s opinions and “truths.” Especially if they are in authoritative position, one way or another. If you’re too dump to think for yourself, then why the hell are you roleplaying? Unless you’re just doing it for the miniature battles. HULK SMASH!

Now, someone has propably read that thread I’m linking to and noticed that I myself have posted a couple of meaningles comments. And hey, I’m not perfect. No one is. Even mxyzplk himself, although showing a good deal of tolerance, “lost it” a couple of times.

“Never argue with idiots, they just drag you down to their level then beat you with experience.”

5) Addendum: It’s not enough to read it, you also have to understand it. I myself like provacative writing. It humours me. The downside is, many peole take those over-the-top provocations literally. They don’t know when to laugh. There are also other types of writing that can fool you, like satire. All of us have been taught to read the letters, the words, the things you see. But not everyone can read the meanings, understand the subtext. Still, it is something you can learn. And you should.

*Yes, beliefs, for it sometimes feels like I’m watching the Superbowl of religious fundies vs. atheist fundies.


Currently playing: Stereophonics – Have a Nice Day

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8 Responses to “Why can’t you fucking idiots have a proper conversation?”

  1. Word. I’m so tired to the hate and pus that recent subjects have caused that I prefer to ride this low and focus on creating cool RPG stuff and play with friends. The haters can just go strangle themselves with their own bile-filled intestines.

    • Indeed. These most recent 4E-shitstorms, well, they can be funny and amusing, to a certain point. Eventually they all just go overboard, and it makes me wonder why on earth they put up so much effort into arguing with strangers. Even though I’m not happy how 4E turned out to be, because I was actually looking forward to it, I mostly just try to concentrate on other games. Like, the games that I like.

  2. I’m still somewhat baffled by the entire phenomenon. “I don’t like 4e because I find the fluff to be ridiculous” and someone takes offense? It does not make sense.

  3. […] Finnish ones we’ve seen thus far. Further, there’s meta-edition wars! That is, Olorin explaining why all the edition warriors are fucking idiots (there’s bit of depth there). Possibly […]

  4. BTW, I didn’t get the impression just based on those one or two posts on Roolipelaaja boards. I also followed the link you gave in the first forum post to this blog post. I glanced it through and noticed the sub headers seemed a bit… passive aggressive. I hope my first impression isn’t correct and your converastion style in Majatalo proves to be different.

    • Well, a blog is a blog, and it’s not a forum. This is my personal corner of the internet and in here I can be as damn cranky-old-man-damn-kids-get-off-my-lawn and provocative as I want. And will be. Others can comment on my opinions, but they shouldn’t think that this is a medium where every participant of is equal.

      Discussion boards are (or at least should be) the home of civilized discussion, all participants as equals. Yes, with that one post I broke my usual forum etiquette, but I did it for a good reason. There hasn’t been any “You’re a fucking idiot” -arguments after my post.

  5. Nice. Was looking at this after googling Mike Mearls. The guy is prolific, but my Lord does he polarize folks.

    Just from reading the posts, I tend to side with the folks who dislike his prose. And what they’ve done to ‘my game’.

    The reason I did not post is because the last time I played D&D was 2005, it was 2nd Edition and I found it quite satisfactory. I have no experience whatever with 3rd, 3.5 or 4th and so feel it best to remain silent.

    Steve

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