Choice

5 Sep

Whenever I read something, I try to imagine the author’s voice in my head and what it would sound like if they were reading the story directly to me.  If they’re angry, I imagine their voice rising and falling and maybe even that they’re pacing back and forth.  If they’re happy, I imagine them smiling broadly and expressively talking to me with their hands as they’re sharing their good fortune with me.

For anyone reading this post, I would like you to imagine that I’m speaking to you in a very level headed, professional tone.  I’m not angry.  I’m not upset.  Imagine that I’m speaking to you in the same tone of voice that I would if you were listening to my podcast or if you were listening to me discuss strategies with you during a raid on Vent.  What I’m about to write has nothing to do with being spiteful or malicious, but with the feeling of maybe being a bit misunderstood.

It’s recently been brought to my attention that certain bloggers or personalities have expressed concern or frustration with the fact that many of us in the blogosphere have been highly critical of World of Warcraft and Blizzard for certain decisions that they have made and continue to make towards the game.  Certain people feel that we have become overly negative and that we are fostering a sort of bitter rivalry between those of us who still enjoy World of Warcraft and those of us who may have moved on to greener pastures (i.e. Rift).

While I can certainly see where people are coming from and I respect that most people that are coming forward with this opinion have been extremely respectful about it, I can’t help but feel a bit confused by all of this.

At the end of the day, we are responsible for the choices that we make.  Personally, I write about what I want to write about.  I support who I want to support.  I don’t do things for the greater good or because I feel it’s going to get me somewhere by doing a certain something.  I have never felt that pressure as a blogger and I hope that I never do.  If I see that someone is writing about something that I can’t relate to or if I don’t enjoy their writing style anymore, I stop reading their posts.  I choose not to download their podcasts.  I may not Follow them on Twitter anymore.  I may even block them on Twitter.

Nobody is making me be exposed to things or opinions that I don’t want to be exposed to.  I make that choice to listen to them and to follow them in their endeavors.  I knew that by even admitting that I played Rift that I was going to be isolating many of my readers.  I knew that things would only get worse once I left World of Warcraft for Rift.  I was prepared to lose readers, Followers, and subscribers once all of the changes on my blog took place.  I knew that support that I had come to rely on for page views wasn’t going to be there anymore and I would be foolish to expect everything to stay the same.

I understand if people who Followed me for one reason can’t find that reason anymore and they have to remove me from their blog or Twitter feeds.  I would never fault anyone for doing that.  It’s ultimately your choice and I respect that.  But I feel like some of that respect is not being returned, in that we are being criticized for sharing our opinions and being asked to sort of censor what we say for the sake of other people.  If you’re allowed to gush over things that you enjoy in your personal space, why shouldn’t I be allowed to talk about things that I find upsetting or frustrating in mine?  To me, that seems like a bit of a double standard.

 

I guess what I’m trying to say is that if people have such a problem with what others choose to talk about or how they choose to portray themselves, they’re under no obligation to stick around and to keep following us.  While that’s not something I think anyone aspires to have happen, we understand if it has to happen.  I think it’s only natural for people to want to be around those with similar interest and opinions and to want to seek out other avenues if those opinions don’t really mesh anymore.

When people say that they don’t understand why we keep bashing a game that we don’t play anymore, my response to that would be “Why do you keep listening to it?”  If it bothers you that much, you can choose to divert your attention away from such things.  Take that person off of your feed reader.  Remove them from your Twitter feed.  I’ve had people that I Follow that may have rubbed me the wrong way and I’ve chosen to distance myself from them for brief periods of time.  Once I’ve gotten over whatever bothered me about them, I go right back to supporting them, like nothing ever happened.  It’s not personal and it doesn’t have to be permanent, either.  Those options are there for a reason.

I don’t think this is a situation that has to lead to someone being right and someone inevitably being wrong.  I just think that people can exercise their freedoms a bit better, in all aspects, and that any conflict that comes out of something like this is really quite unnecessary.  It shouldn’t have to come to this.  We should all be able to say what we want to say and give people the choice of who they want to speak for them or to represent them.  I think the blogosphere would be a mighty boring place if everyone agreed with each other and had the same views on things.  I like that we all don’t get along sometimes and that we all want different things for ourselves and for other people.  To me, that’s a beautiful thing and I would never want that to change.  I would like to think that others feel the same and if they don’t, that’s OK.

That’s their choice.

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16 Responses to “Choice”

  1. Jadissa September 5, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

    We’re critical of WoW because most of us have very fond memories of WoW. We look at the way the game is changing (or not changing), and we feel compelled to speak up about it, or in some cases, try something different.

    It isn’t because we hate WoW.

    It’s because we still love the memories we’ve had with the game, and we’re not feeling like whatever we’re doing or hearing currently is giving us the sort of fun and enjoyment we’ve come to expect from a game which has had such a large impact on our lives.

    Other people just need to realize that you can criticize decisions and directions without it being an indictment on their choices – that it’s not a tacit attack on WoW when we play Rift, or when we criticize transmogrification, “Mists of Pandaria”, the Raid Finder, etc. My posts aren’t written to be read in an angry ranting tone, (despite the title of my blog), and I don’t really feel like I’ve gotten that feeling from many of the WoW blogs I peruse.

    People just need to chill.

    • Oestrus September 5, 2011 at 12:27 pm #

      I agree.

      I could see if we had left in BC or Wrath and we were still beating the dead horse and using the current state of World of Warcraft to gain attention or notoriety, but for many us it’s a fresh wound. We’re still not over the loss.

      • Jadissa September 5, 2011 at 12:44 pm #

        Exactly.

        I actually have a former guildie who dropped WoW when Wrath came out, and he’s pretty much bounced from to every “WoW-killer” since, constantly telling me that I don’t know what I’m missing because I’m still playing “stupid Casualcraft”.

        I want to strangle this friend far more often than not.

        You make your MMO choices, I’ll make mine, and neither of us judge each other. How tough is this?

        • Oestrus September 5, 2011 at 12:49 pm #

          In a lot of ways, it’s like a relationship ending. Certain people get over the loss of that more quickly than others and certain people deal with it differently. Right now, it’s still fresh. You’re still keeping tabs on your old flame from afar. You still have some love there, which fuels your anger or your passion. You’re not going to have the greatest things to say about them, in the beginning. But eventually you move on. You wake up one morning and you don’t care anymore.

          • Jadissa September 5, 2011 at 12:56 pm #

            That’s pretty much the best way I’ve heard it described yet.

  2. Dechion September 5, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

    Well said as usual.

    I have seen the animosity you speak of. Actually I have had it directed at me by several people I have respected for years. It stings Internet words or no.

    In my case I still play wow, and likely will for the forseeable future. As far as I’m concerned I have just as much right to vent my disappointment as others have to write about how everything is rainbows and sunshine.

    In fact, that’s kinda the point of having opinions and then sharing them.

  3. Juvenate September 5, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

    What’s the phrase they say? Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one? It’s a crude analogy, but it’s so true.

    We might not play the same MMO anymore, but I still follow you and have you on my blogroll because I still enjoy hearing what you have to say, whether it’s good or bad about WoW. I honestly think WoW has much room for improvement and games like Rift can help Blizzard implement new ideas (like active world-wide PvE) into it. I actually enjoy your comments on Twitter because it gets me interested in Rift while at the same time getting me hopeful that Blizzard will pull their heads out of the sand. Cataclysm hasn’t been near the success that Wrath and BC ever were. Games like Rift are a wake-up call in the sense that WoW isn’t the only MMO fantasy option out there and players are more than willing to flock to it if they are dissatisfied.

    Bloggers shouldn’t let the opinions of one person affect them to the point where they need to “block or unfollow” them. If we all agreed on the same thing, this would be an extremely boring world.

    I feel I am truly friends with Oestrus. I hope to see her at Blizzcon and we can go shopping, drinking, or dancing at gay clubs. I’m not gonna let the fact that she plays Rift get in-between that friendship.

    • Oestrus September 5, 2011 at 1:06 pm #

      You are hilarious!

      Like I said in the post, I don’t think anyone aspires to have someone block them or not Follow them anymore. But we understand if someone has to do that, to keep their sanity or find enjoyment somewhere else. The option exists. That’s the point I was trying to make. The people on the opposing side of the coin make it sound like we’re spouting off all of these opinions and they have to just sit there helplessly and listen to it. You don’t. You have choices and you can choose to exercise those choices. Some of them are a bit more extreme than others, but they don’t have to be permanent.

      Thank you for the very kind words, Juve. It means a lot.

      🙂

    • DarthRegis September 6, 2011 at 12:30 pm #

      I usually amend that saying a bit, “Opinions are like assholes; everyone has one. And they’re usually full of shit.” 🙂

      (Please note: I am an opinionated person and usually full of shit. 😛 )

  4. Tomaj September 5, 2011 at 1:11 pm #

    I have to agree with a lot of the sentiment here.

    Hell, we’ve disagreed on some of the finer points of certain things, for sure, but in the end, no great impact on the grand scheme of things. And as you said, WoW is still a fresh thing to a lot of people that have left the game, and given that a lot of people are or have left midway though Cataclysm, I don’t think the criticism is unwarranted, either. The people that have left, left for a reason, or a variety of reasons. For some, it’s more than others. For some, they’re things they feel more strongly about than others. And the individuals are always going to have their individual opinion.

    The only issues I will ever have with these opinions is when people state them like facts, or when they assume that everyone should have the same opinion as they do, or if their opinion is a biased or uninformed opinion (e.g., “the game is boring, but I’ve only taken part in a small chunk of the game”).

  5. Jasyla September 5, 2011 at 1:13 pm #

    First, I do think people should be able to write about what they like.

    However, sometimes the negativity that many people express gets to be a bit much. I have no problem unfollowing people on Twitter or unsubscribing to blogs when they start writing about things I’m not interested in or when they enter into a downward spiral of negativity, but I don’t usually do it immediately. People need a good rant every once in a while and I don’t hold that against them. I don’t stop listening until it becomes a real trend. But reading a dozen negative tweets/posts during that time does affect me and I suspect many others as well. There’s only so much negativity you can hear (about a topic that’s supposed to be entertaining) before it weighs down your own mood. Things that I do for enjoyment all of a sudden get put upon by the Debbie downers and I can’t help but to feel upset or depressed as well.

    I have no problem with well thought out, well articulated posts that are critical, but so many aren’t. Especially on Twitter where being articulate and explaining your position is next to impossible. It’s all the random, angry “GG Blizz” comments in response to just about any new announcement that get to me. Last week people were complaining about Worgen getting ponies. Who the hell complains about about getting a pony? People will really complain about anything and it’s a giant buzzkill for anyone who still happens to be enjoying themselves.

    I must say, I don’t really understand why those who have quit WoW continue to complain about it. If you just let it go you’ll be happier for it.

    • Juvenate September 5, 2011 at 1:51 pm #

      I was so pissed that people had the balls to whine about Worgen getting ponies. WE WEREN’T EVEN SUPPOSED TO GET A MOUNT PERIOD. Those are the types of people I would be more than happy to “unfollow and block.” Luckily, I’m not following people that are that idiotic. 🙂

      As for the “WoW quitters,” it’s still very fresh in their minds. These are people who have played and have been loyal subscribers since Vanilla/BC days. They worked hard to make their characters who they are today. It’s really not as simple as just “throwing in the towel” for some of them. And while things they say might be judged as harsh, I can’t help but hope that Blizz is reading/listening to their criticisms.

      • Oestrus September 6, 2011 at 8:48 am #

        Most of the people (if not all) of the ones who were upset about the Worgen mount addition were people who still play World of Warcraft. I found it to be incredibly ironic that people who were so in love with the idea of “mogging,” (which is basically a form of recycling content) were up in arms over the Worgen mount looking like the human mount (which they believe to be recycling content).

    • Oestrus September 6, 2011 at 8:53 am #

      My response to that would be, “Who says that we are unhappy?”

  6. Orvillius September 5, 2011 at 6:23 pm #

    To me this feels like a reprise of the “if you aren’t capping VP every week you’re doing it wrong” debate. I think that you, Oestrus, tend to state your opinions very emphatically, and for people who are used to more… subjective assertions? softer phrasing? Whatever you want to call it, for some people your posts come off as very combative. Personally I enjoy reading you, and other bloggers who make strong assertions when they write but I can understand how someone could read your posts (or quotes from your posts not entirely in context) and feel like you were setting out to be insulting or dismissive towards people who are still playing WoW and enjoying it.

    • Oestrus September 6, 2011 at 8:52 am #

      Hi Orv,

      I can see where you’re coming from. I can see how misconceptions or misunderstandings can arise. If that’s the case, people can feel free to approach me (or anyone) and ask them to clarify. I do pride myself on being pretty approachable and I’m happy to expand on something, if someone isn’t sure where I’m coming from or how to take me.

      To read a Tweet of 140 characters and to take that as gospel is awfully presumptuous. You can read a lot into something like that and people do. I would like to think in terms of my blog posts, that I have been fairly diplomatic with regards to why I chose to leave World of Warcraft and why I chose to play Rift. I would prefer to be judged on that rather than comments made on my Twitter feed.

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