On the Record

One of the interesting things about podcasting is that you're committing off the cuff opinions to record. We prepare for each show, of course, and we think about what we say but sometimes you throw something out into the ether because, while our shows are productions, they're based in two buddies having a conversation about games. And when you're just shooting from the hip, you sometimes say dumb stuff.

Obviously, we get things wrong frequently. We're not Retronauts, who fill the role of gaming historians better than we ever could. Because we play each game we talk about to completion, we don't always have time for serious research, plumbing the internet for interviews and old articles. We do our best but it doesn't always happen. That's one reason I'm so glad we have a serious audience participation component to our shows. I never feel bad being corrected about something on the show. I welcome it not only because I want to learn but I also think that it helps make our show whole.

This is slightly different when it comes to opinions. I think the "objective review" movement is absolute nonsense. What does that even mean? Objectivity is overrated and borderline meaningless when it comes to talking about art. So yeah, we're free and easy with our reactions and can't help but bring our personal experience to everything we do. We try to present this side by side with a objectiveish historical context but both angles are important. Objective reviews of art are boring.

Since everything we say is recorded, I've "gone on the record" as saying a couple of things I have later reconsidered. This is good! For some reason, specifically in politics, having an unchanging mind is lionized as opposed to ostracized.

Quick side note: how would that make you feel if you were an ostrich? Your name is synonymous with being an outsider while lions get to hang out in the sun, feelin' all cool.

Anyway, as a culture we respect having firm opinions. I think the reason behind this is that it's easy to understand. This person is a fiscal conservative. I can lump them with other fiscal conservatives and ascribe the preconceptions I have about them. This person is a feminist. I can like or dislike them based on what I think of that word. But just like everything that categorizes people, this is folly. The thing Myers-Briggs and Introvert/Extrovert axes don't get is that people are far too complicated to be walled up. My mind changes constantly, my heart too.

This is all just a way for me to say that I was wrong about PC music being generally inferior to console music. In my mind, I had an image of PC music that went from PC speaker blips and bloops and then went to Mass Effect style orchestral boredom. Swell swell, orchestra hit, duhhhhh. However, there's a rich history of DOS platformers specifically that have really neat music. I've mostly learned about this from watching Lazy Game Reviews on Youtube (recommended).

The thing is, I wasn't wrong when I stated that opinion. It was based on incomplete perception (ie, all perception) but it wasn't wrong. Having an opinion, saying something on the record, isn't a problem as long as that opinion is fluid. If you accept that you should constantly be revising your stances based on new information then you have the freedom to speak as you will, the freedom to make mistakes. Which is super important and hard to do in the world of internet accountability.

I don't really have a bow to tie this up. I haven't been "called out" on any of this stuff. But I've been thinking about it a lot lately in the wake of Gamer Gate Objective Review Dumbdumbs.

My next entry will be about GamerGate in general, so look out for that.