Sunday, August 19, 2007

Let's clear a few things up...

Not that I think it'll make much difference to those involved, but:

1. I'm not a radical feminist. If I walked up to most self-identified radical feminists and tried to tell them that I'm a rad-fem as well, I strongly suspect one of two reactions: a. they'd laugh in my face at such a patently ridiculous claim, or b. they'd punch me in the face for making such a ridiculous claim. I know it's a difficult concept, but bear with me. Radical feminists are feminists, but not all feminists are radical feminists. I am a feminist, not a radical feminist.

2. Anyone who can read my blog and think that I want to ban video games is flat-out a moron. I mean, I can see how you might get the idea that I, like that uber-dipshit Jack Thompson, think that video games are evil, what with my post Games are Good For You. You know, the post where I talk about some of the ways that games are, uh, good? Or, maybe it's the post where I specifically say that I'm opposed to banning games? Actually, I suspect it's more about posts like the one I made about RE5. Of course, if you read the whole post, and the follow-up, you'd notice that I specifically mention how much I love gaming. That I'm critical of games sometimes is not to say that I don't love them or that I think they should be banned- in fact, it's rather the opposite. It's my love of games that inspires me to be critical and push for improvements. There's a pretty significant difference between constructive criticism and an attempt to ban games. Saying "I think things can be better" does not translate into "We should ban games" unless you've got all the mental facilities of a rock.

But, clearly, I haven't made it clear enough. If you're a gamer, and you're thinking that people like Tipper Gore or Jack Thompson are better allies than me? You've got all the intellectual power of raw hamburger. I don't want to ban any games. I want games to improve, and I'm doing my damndest to discuss them in an intelligent fashion so that we can, with any luck, get to the day when games are taken as seriously and seen as being as valid an art-form/entertainment medium as film. Super conservative groups and people like Gore and Thompson don't want to see games succeed- they want to destroy the industry. They think that games are responsible for all of societies ills.

But, hey, you're free to pick whatever allies you want.

3. I've seen some complaints about "Free Speech" popping up a bit. There seems to be some confusion about what constitutes free speech. I'm not imposing on your right to free speech by not letting insulting or hostile comments through moderation. I'd be imposing on your right to free speech if I tried to shut down your blog, or if I took actions to silence you on your own turf. You have every right to be as closed minded or obnoxious or offensive as you want on your own space, and if someone tries to shut your site down, and I know about it, I'll stand up for your right to say what you want. I won't stand up for your "right" to shut other people's sites down, though. When you try to silence other people, you are the one destroying freedom of speech.

And, for the record: I'm more than happy to entertain disagreements on my site. If you show respect for me and my site, you can disagree with me all you want. If you come on here and tell me to go fuck myself or post threatening comments, I'm not letting them through. If you don't like the things I say, I encourage debate. Just keep it at least moderately respectful. I think that's fair.

Anyway, I just thought I'd clarify those few things, on the off chance that it matters to anyone.


Autumn Harvest said...

Huh. Somehow I'm having trouble imagining you as a radfem, Roy. Although perhaps I just suffer from a lack of imagination.

Donna Darko said...

Roy is a feminist who loves gaming.

There's free speech and then there's ABUSE of free speech. These folks are fit in the latter category.

Elaine Vigneault said...

Good post.

These wannabe hackers who call themselves "anonymous" often don't read and don't think deeply.

They certainly don't know anything about feminism. All they know is that one feminist, Andrea Dworkin, wanted to ban pornography. That's the extent of their women's studies education. So, it doesn't surprise me that they'd call you a radical feminist. They don't know what the term means. To them, it means anyone who would call themselves a feminist.

Regarding video games, they don't seem to understand the concept of constructive criticism. They hear any criticism and think it's an attack and assume that you want to ban gaming.

To be fair, they're used to short messageboard posts, not longer, developed blog posts. It might just be their attention spans aren't long enough to 'get it.'

Luckily for you, this short attention span means they'll likely leave your blog alone soon to move on to attack another blog.

Michael said...

Good post - I think your writing on video games is about the finest out there. I wish I posted here more to be supportive (I've agreed with 99% of what I've read) and helped drown out the idiots.

Don't worry about taking a hard stance with comment moderation. Trolling hamburger-brains don't add much, and they're not missed by loyal readers.

Cara said...

Damn. Did I miss an interesting thread out there?

Donna Darko said...

about these people.

choice on earth said...

Roy, I think you're doing a great job. Your posts are always insightful and get me thinking, and you don't fall in to that trap of viewing feminism from some theoretical distance that I think a lot of male feminists do. And your video game posts are some of the best. Just wanted to show some support.