No, the title wasn't a less than clever attempt to not put “Edition” in it. The truth is, while this thread is inspired by the “Edition Wars,” and will touch upon it, it isn't restricted to that war alone and I couldn't come up with a better way to indicate that in the title without making it very long.
It is clear that there are several people that want the “Edition Wars” to just end. Good luck with that.
While I sympathize with that feeling. It is simply human nature. Nearly everyone, at one time or another, will reach the point of stepping beyond simple fanatic (let us remember, that is what fan is short for) basking in the glories of our thing of worship and sucking it up with his/her/it's failures. It is at that point, when the source of our fanaticism touches our hearts so deeply that we can no longer stand by and even let another speak ill of our object of devotion. And then we step into the realm of ideological proselytization.
Before anyone thinks they will cleverly point out the times I have succumbed to this irrational behavior, let me point out that I didn't claim I have not, nor never will, cross that line. As I said, it is human nature.
Let us look back on “Wars” that have passed, and are still raging.
Sports Teams: How many generations has this gone on? It has been a while since I have heard anything from “across the pond,” but for a time there it seemed as if there was a brawl every few months in Europe between sports fans. And while it certainly wasn't condoned, it appeared as if as long as no one was maimed or killed, it was viewed as a matter of course. “Oh those hooligans are at it again...”
Race Car Drivers: Probably a sub set of Sports Teams, but prolific enough to warrant it's own listing.
Car Brands: How many generations has the Chevy / Ford War gone on? Although this may be a bad example, as it may be artificially ended soon. While I never really partook in this war, I do remember the t-shirts being sold in its peak “I'd rather push a Chevy, than drive a Ford,” and vice versa. I wonder what the D&D equivalent would be? “I'd rather house rule 3.5, than play 4e,” and vice versa.
Operating Systems/Computer Brands: How many decades has the Mac/PC war gone on? How many more will there be?
Game Consoles: How many decades has there been the rift between Sony and Nintendo? Not to mention all the other littler brands that have cropped up, and died. Then there is the Xbox.
Authors: Even the most reserved of educated persons can get worked up over approaching slander of their favorite author.
And probably countless more than I am not remembering right now.
So, if those that wish to have the “Edition Wars” end can somehow convince others of the correctness of their ideals, without suffering ideological proselytization themselves, I'd love to hear how. I could use a change of tactics myself.
|Sebastian Bella Sara Charter Superscriber|
Right. So this is an excellent argument for moderation (not the Gary Teter kind, but the 'not too much of anything' kind)! If you care about a game so much that you are actually bothered when someone badmouths it, you should consider taking a step back and evaluating why it makes you feel upset.
There are few things in the world that are worth the hate you mention, and games are certainly not one of them.
Of course, this has been said before to no avail. I'm not so conceited as to think me saying this again will make a difference (and I'm pretty conceited!), but here it is.
Then again, if it weren't for these "wars," the Internet would have nothing left but porn. At least it creates content, right? ;)
Too true. It's funny, when you look back at preciesly which brands in history, and how they've succeeded, in said wars. (I'd rule out sports, just because they are designed to be a perpetual cycle, with winners and losers potentially changing places endlessly.) With brands, however, there is the drive to eliminate the competition, just like a war eliminates enemies. Beta, for instance, lost. VHS won.
I'm sure there have been other brands in the past that failed (although none that come to mind), with some being reduced to a specific market being their only chance of success. Others continue to this day. I think the Mac/PC, Ford/Chevy analogies work well.
...get worked up over approaching slander of their favorite author.
The highlighting is mine. 'Slander' is the key word. I don't think it's what most posters are trying for (though certainly the immature ones are), but a little less of it would go a long way.
The problem is that we become so concerned with being right and convincing others that they're wrong, we devolve into name calling, profanity, and even deliberate, shock-value verbal belligerence.
There's always another way to phrase what you want to say--you don't have to resort to grade school playground bullying--and there's nothing 'politically correct' about taking the extra moment to be honorable and mature. As soon as you become so subjugated by your own emotions as to call someone a f+$$ing dumbass s*-bag, you lose all argumentative value, and your opinions move immediately from debatable (which means 'could be right, and I should consider them') to laughable--your argument is completely lost amidst the verbal nuclear fallout and you are relegated to 'that guy.' Don't be 'that guy.'
So, there's absolutely nothing wrong with the 'Edition Wars' or any other debatable topic, so long as the topic remains debatable.
I'm a professional Soldier. We fight wars only when politicians fail. War is always the last resort. Whenever any nation's leadership sends their military to war, they should be staring themselves in the mirror, chagrined, because they have utterly failed as a politician; they are reduced to winning the debate by force-of-arms. I don't mean to turn this into a military-political argument, I'm only drawing a metaphor. Posters lose the debate when they begin fanatically defending their position with the internet-equivalent of messageboard war. Just MHO.
Don't be 'that guy.'
|Adam Daigle Managing Developer|
This is a discussion thread idea I had forming for a couple of weeks now. Unfortunately, just when it was reaching masterwork status, I was distracted by the changing Electronic RPG Landscape. I dropped the idea, it got kicked around, scuffed and bruised. While I am sure it is missing some of its decorative bits, the core is still intact.
So this is an excellent argument for moderation (not the Gary Teter kind, but the 'not too much of anything' kind)! If you care about a game so much that you are actually bothered when someone badmouths it, you should consider taking a step back and evaluating why it makes you feel upset.
Excellent advice. Excellent. The difficulty is if someone has stepped beyond being simply a fan, it is pretty darn hard to remain clear minded and level headed enough to take a step back. But something that should be attempted anyway.
Well said Andrew Turner. And a perspective I hadn't considered before.
I like the direction this thread is going.
I invite all that haven't chimed in to do so, and those that have already done so to continue.
|taig RPG Superstar 2012|
I don't think I've ever been *so* passionate about a hobby, that I would cross that line. If I found myself approaching the line, I would probably find a new hobby. I get myself stressed enough about little things at work, so I don't want to ever get that stressed about something that is supposed to be fun.
Having said that, I can see how someone could get to that point. There are people who just throw themselves into every aspect of their lives, and they identify so closely with their chosen hobbies/teams/cars/what have you, that an insult to one of those things is truly an insult to them.
Well taig, there is some question as to if the behavior being discussed here is stressful... At least I hope it wouldn't compare to work stress.
Maybe there is "good" stress and "bad" stress, like cholesterol?
I guess I didn't polarize this thread enough. I'd have thought there would be more discussion by now.
Maybe everyone is busy being opinionated in another thread?
|Mike Welham Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012|
|taig RPG Superstar 2012|
|Charles Evans 25|
(edited - umm, the messageboard filters didn't like one of my words for some reason???)
I think that (in a messageboard post context) perhaps the prouder the poster - the more certain that they are of the rightness of their opinion - the harder it can be for them not to argue with someone else whom they perceive as either snickering about something which they highly rate or proclaiming the virtues of something of which they themself disdain.
I think mutual respect is necessary for arguements or debates to remain civil, and where that is lacking (or at least it is misunderstood to be lacking, when it was in fact initially present) things can go bad very fast.
Very insightful, Charles Evans.
If that holds any truth, and I think it does, it proves to be very problematic.
In the North East of America (At least. I'd speculate all across America) we are bombarded with the ideal that a lack of pride in men is a sign of weakness. Something that is shameful, feminine even.
Conversely, the only thing we are really taught about respect is "don't get caught being disrespectful." Ever since "knocking someones teeth in," became social anathema (even the honorable "let's step outside" kind) there is no longer any consequence to being disrespectful in private. In fact, it can even be advantageous to taunt your victim into striking you.
That brings us around to a pastime of any reading this thread. The internet is the most private public place ever.
That would suggest the reason that many flamewars aren't participated by known female posters, and that they are usually picked up by known male posters.
That does explain a lot.
Ever since "knocking someones teeth in," became social anathema (even the honorable "let's step outside" kind) there is no longer any consequence to being disrespectful in private. In fact, it can even be advantageous to taunt your victim into striking you.
How sadly true. My childhood consisted of daily fights on the playground and at the bus stop. Fast-forward twenty years, and I'm teaching in a classroom when two boys start "fighting" -- and it took me a good minute to realize they weren't putting on a spoof! They slapped each other like sissies, no one even got a black eye, and yet there was talk of expulsion. So what's a kid to do? Thankfully, in this case it did not occur, but all too often, the near-total ban on simply beating up a bully pushes kids into bringing firearms to school instead.
As anyone who has spent any time on the Wizards of the Coast messageboards knows, I was a major player in the Astrid's Parlor war. I thought the messageboard was a great idea, I wanted to see it become a place where female gamers could talk about issues that concerned them, and I thought it would positively affect the 4E product that ultimately hit the shelves. Other people thought the messageboard would drive a wedge between male and female gamers, that it created a feminist echo-chamber, and that it didn't belong on the boards.
I fought against these people for a long time. I tried to get the moderators to take a more active role in keeping dissenters out, I tried to create special rules for posting on Astrid's Parlor. Ultimately, though, it became pretty clear that other people didn't want these changes, and so I gave up and left.
Honestly, I wish I had done that so much sooner. I wasted so much energy on that messageboard arguing with posters, and moderators, reporting trolls, and trying to keep regulars from leaving. People still use the messageboard, and I think that's great if they like arguing over the same points with the same people in fifteen different threads on the same subject. However, that's not my thing, and I just can't do it anymore.
Anyway, after I disengaged from Astrid's, I found time to join a Safe Space program at the university I work for. The program is dedicated to providing safe spaces on campus for members of the LGBT community. I'm so glad I did this, because I feel like I do so much good now (more than I ever did arguing for Astrid's Parlor). Yes, I still have to contend sometimes with angry faculty or administrators that disagree with our organization's mission. However, I also get to meet people who are grateful that our program exists, and who are interested in making a difference. I have opportunities to be a part of big things, like signing onto a letter briefing sent to the California Supreme court, opposing the passage of Proposition 8. I've also learned a lot about how to argue points without it becoming personal.
In short, I think the OP is right. Wars of any kind are not the answer. If you don't like something, it's fine to say so, but if someone tries to engage you and make it personal, it's time to take a step back, and reflect. As John Fowles once said, "War is a psychosis caused by an inability to see relationships. Our relationship to our fellow-men. Our relationship with our economic and historical situation. And above all, our relationship to nothingness. To death." If we can't relate to one another about RPG editions, or politics, or relgion, or whatever, we've lost a portion of our humanity. As for me, I just wish I'd realized that sooner. Peace out.