Shared opinions and forced opinions are two completely different things.
One thing I have been doing for some time now, is expressing myself and how I feel, no censorship. The fact is, not everyone is going to agree with something you say. There will be people that agree and disagree. I will even take it to the next level and say this. If you're offended by this, good. My problem is not disagreement in general, but when someone decides to phrase a reply in such a manner that not only doesn't agree with ones viewpoint, but also makes another person's views obsolete. I can give several examples, really, but for the sake of making this a general statement, I shall make my point using the a line that has always bothered me. It's quoted for gaming, but can be used for any subject matter.
"(Insert Game Name) is the best game in the world, and I don't care what anyone says!"
Now...some people use this as a joke, and when used that way, it's not so bad. Let's dig a little deeper though. Look at the quote. It's one of the most ignorant things someone can say, if they say it in a non-joking manner. The first half states your opinion, and that is fine. The second half means you're completely dismissing someone elses views completely. This is something that becomes difficult, especially in the gaming world. Lots of us gamers are very opinionated. One could debate why we have become this way, but games are much more than they were back in the NES/SNES days, therefore more to like or criticize - more to talk about, in general.
Being as VGHC is a community run by yours truly, and also started on a Facebook group, before this site existed, I shall be making up gaming comments and how I deal with them. For my example, the debate will be classic Mega Man vs. X Series Mega Man.
"Mega Man classic series is the best series ever. Period."
If this is serious, you can't be convinced. (conversation ended)
"Mega Man classic series is the best series ever, IMO."
I'd have to disagree, I feel that the Mega Man X series had much better games overall.
Notice how the first example, was not even worth engaging, because they have already made it clear they cannot be convinced. Now if you know the person personally, it is possible they are joking around. This is not always the case though, so let's just assume the top example ended right there, and the person was indeed not joking around. Also, for the sake continuing this topic, let's assume again, that the bottom example is what happens, and we shall continue the conversation.
"Classic Mega Man is amazing! How can you even compare the two? It completely blows X out of the water. Mega Man was much better when he DIDN'T talk."
Interesting viewpoint, but to be fair, classic Mega Man does talk in Mega Man 8, and in that game as well, he probably shouldn't have talked. He sounded like a little girl.
While you can say that one person is clearly more open minded than the other, there is discussion. Now we shall get into the difference between continuing a discussion, and completely killing a discussion.
"He talked on ONE game! In your "X series" X talks in more than one game, and sounds like a pansy!"
I was just simply saying that both games have times where Mega Man (or X) has spoken, and it has not been exactly the greatest thing, that's all.
"Yeah, well...classic Mega Man is the best series in the world, and I don't care what anyone says!"
As you can see, with the first example here, the person wasn't hearing it. Even though the person was proven wrong or forced to think outside of their own views, they were instantly offended, and come off harsh because of this. This is NOT discussion. This is actually quite counter-productive to discussion. Let's try example two, shall we?
"Yeah, I'll give you that. He did sound like a girl in Mega Man 8. I don't know...I'm attached to the classic series, because I spent lots of my childhood with it, and I felt it was more consistent."
What do you mean?
"Well, the classic series stuck to what it was good at, and people like it. With the X series, after X5, it all went downhill. X6 and so forth, completely ruined Inafune's vision for Zero as a character, and fan response proves that. X5 should have been the last game, and led into the Mega Man Zero series. Instead, Capcom kept putting out games just to put out games."
You got me there, although I wouldn't say classic was quite consistent either. I didn't feel that classic Mega Man 7 or 8 felt the same. The controls simply didn't feel as tight as they did in 1-6, 9, and 10. Also, tutorials and boring characters in Mega Man 8 just really made me feel myself wanting to just go back to the 8 bit days, and interesting enough, 9 and 10 went back to that.
"I suppose both series have their ups and downs."
I enjoy them both, and I agree with that. I just personally like the X series better.
This example has a discussion, or at least part of one anyway. No feelings were hurt, and while the two people clearly did not agree, they continued to prove their respective points, and the discussion progressed.
With everything being said, this isn't going to make most change their opinionated ways. However, if I can even get you to take a second look at your perhaps opinionated behavior, and modfiy it to be more discussion friendly, then that's good enough for me. I don't seek to change the world, I just seek to bring awareness, and it's a problem that has plagued the Facebook group from time to time. These behaviors are of course not only exclusive to a limited community I have on Facebook, or even on this site (which I do feel is an evolution from the Facebook Group). This happens in other forums/communities as well.
I'm not gonna pick on any communities/forums, or anything. Instead, I will give another example of a topic that perhaps could bring up similar discussions and/or arguments. Console vs. PC. My answer - who cares?
Anyone who knows me personally knows I prefer a console, but I am not opposed to PC gaming, and some of my best gaming experiences come from this. ElPresador on YouTube refers to PC users who try so hard to force their opinion down your throat, "PC Elitists". I in turn use this term jokingly to people that cannot be reached. So far, I have only used it when talking about people actually talking about something on the PC. The better term would be "Fanboy". We've all heard of them. The fanboys are fans of whatever it may be, and everything else sucks. Not only that, but they will go out of their way to tell you these things.
Gaming not not strictly retro or modern only. Gaming offers much more than just shooter games, so don't talk as if it's all that exists. Fighting games are not the only competitive games that exist. Nintendo may come off as childish games to most now, but that doesn't mean they aren't good games. Sony may be clearly losing this generation, but that doesn't mean the PS3 flat out sucks. Pokemon isn't stupid just because of your inability to see what actually makes it fun. There are many thoughts, and people do have them, as well as the right to express those feelings accordingly.
This is all about gaming, but honestly, it can apply to real life as well. Sometimes, people simply cannot be reached, and if they cannot, the best thing to do is withdraw from the siutation. Eventually the person will get tired of hearing themself talk - maybe. I end this post quoting myself, in response to a user in the Facebook Group.
"I "bicker" to the masses. Most like it, some don't. It's something I've learned to deal with because not everyone is going to like what you have to say anyway."
It becomes difficult when deciding when to shut down a discussion or not sometimes, but this is my basic mindset. Feel free to speak freely, just keep in mind two things. First, you can't please everyone. Even in your best efforts to be fair, someone is going to take it the wrong way, and you may need to explain just that, or try and communicate your message differently. Secondly, keep in mind that while you are not trying to please everyone (because it is impossible), you should not go out of your way to make someone feel like their opinion is invalid either.
Oh, and for those of you wondering - yes, I had a inner fight with myself in order to make up the scenarios I listed here.
- Victor Max Vellon
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