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comment by user-inactivated
user-inactivated  ·  377 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: American wasteland: How Americans became slaves to a mindless, wasteful, ugly ideal of convenience

Sorry, nerds: Video games are not a sport

Be forewarned, it's a bit forceful.

ThatFanficGuy  ·  377 days ago  ·  link  ·  

"Forceful" is not the word I would use to describe the piece. It's derogatory, and it is so because the natural development of a certain field does not fit the author's definition. It sounds more like "These damn kids!" than "You shouldn't be doing this". It's meant to offend: look at the title. It isn't meant to highlight an issue.

Thank you for sharing. I was hoping for it to be more introspective and informative.

user-inactivated  ·  377 days ago  ·  link  ·  


I think it could be called a lot of things, but ultimately I think the aggressive tone is not helpful.

    I was hoping for it to be more introspective and informative.

I think there are interesting ideas offered in the piece, right or wrong, and that there is a discussion to be had on the subject, which is why I was considering posting it. What ultimately kept me from doing so though is partly because I think the aggressive tone is a poor tone to set for starting such a discussion, for one, which would only inspire aggressive responses from commentators. I think that's unhealthy.

Recently I've begun to shy away from conversations that take aggressive, assured, and/or absolutist tones. They lead to an agonistic mindset when it comes to discourse, because suddenly people think that there is something to lose and something to gain, and as a result, there is a fear of "losing" the conversation. When we embrace a competitive mindset, we lose sight of exploring concepts, offering ideas, and trying to learn something. In trying to be "right" we convince ourselves that we are "right," and the other person is "wrong" and what they have to say has no merit. We focus on what we want to say, ignore what others have to offer us, and we shut ourselves and each other out. In that sense, we all lose, even if someone happens to "win" the discussion.

lil kind of touches this in a different way, in this thread about Pride. If we take an aggressive approach to our discourse, there's a good chance that the people we're trying to reach withdraw themselves from us and what we have to say.

You asked a while back why I'm trying to get off the internet. In meat space, when you're sitting next to another person or in a room full of people, there are social cues and motivations that encourage more gentle, and in my opinion, more fruitful conversations. The internet though? Not so much. So many people want more than to just be heard, they want to "win."

ThatFanficGuy  ·  377 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I agree with all of what you say. I've been experiencing it too - and shying away from certain things in a similar manner for similar reasons.

I'd started to find the default to the combative stance in discourse too distasteful to take part in. I realized that a lot of my misery came from the mindset of being at war with the world: with the people, with the ideas I encounter, with myself... Letting go of trying to win is liberating because it allows you to shed the responsibility of having to acquire the prize - something that doesn't exist but in your head.

I enjoy games, I enjoy friendly competition. I don't enjoy finding myself in a cesspool, to borrow the common term, where people would rather belittle each other than compete honestly. I know how intoxicating it is, and I'm already prone to becoming addicted to easy ways out. It's terribly satisfying to feel big in the moment, for a moment. If you string enough moments together, it may even seem like a good enough deal not to pay attention to your misfortune.

I used to play a lot of Dota 2. Used to enjoy the shit-talking. At one point, I quit Dota for a year because I felt like the social atmosphere there wasn't conducive to good play or to well-being. I came back because I enjoyed the game too much.

I used to get a kick out of listening to people claiming they'd slept with my mother because I made me get a kick out of feeling superior to them. "I'm not like that! I'm better than this!".

It's the same thing.

I think it was getting into CS:GO that catalized the range of experiences on the matter and led me to implement the zero-tolerance mute policy. If someone makes a comment aimed to destabilize (by either blaming or inciting anger), I mute them. If they start the match by shouting the sound bites from the latest compendium, I mute them (they had nothing of value to say to begin with, I conclude). After muting most people I play with, both in CS:GO and in Dota, I started to find the matches far more enjoyable. Things go smoother, quieter and somewhat more coordinated.

There was that thing that GoldVision, the guy that played GTA V in the most pacifist way possible, said on Twitter:

    <...> every comment, message or mention, good OR bad, makes its target more powerful. For your own happiness and sanity, please only amplify ideas you want to see more of

So I understand why you wouldn't share the article, and I respect your choice.

Anger is powerful. It's easy to give in to it. It can become a powerful tool, but only when used with a cold mind. Otherwise, combustion is imminent and the heat is likely to damage all that surround it.