The Entitlement of Ignorance; in Defense of Jennifer Hepler

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by LinksOcarina, Feb 22, 2012.

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  1. LinksOcarina

    LinksOcarina Rookie

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    Note that this is an editorial I have been writing for two days now to show support for Jennifer and Aaryn against what has essentially blown up in the faces of everyone around here. The Editorial can be read here if you so choose to, but some comments below about the debacle and an issue It hink that is paramount to the problem.

    The past week one Jennifer Hepler, a writer at Bioware, was basically bullied by a band of internet trolls who felt that they could do something so deplorable, they can get away with it as being ok.

    I must admit I get a bit tense at times when people criticize my own work and verbally attack me. Hell, my last editorial had someone calling for me to be fired from Blistered Thumbs because I disagreed with the popular opinion. It is hard to hold your tongue against such ignorance these days though, especially when harassment is the only thing some people know.

    And what is worse, they feel they are entitled to do it too. That is what sickens me more, the hypocritical stance of haters hating for the sake of it, believing that their anonymity over the web gives them a magical shield to call someone an "obese cunt" or a "cancer killing a game company." when in actuality Hepler only was in charge of the writing of specific questlines and characters in a Bioware RPG.

    And whats worse is that any constructive criticism is thrown out the window when people bemoan the fact that the company is not acting professionally towards them, despite slinging venom in their direction? I find that just disturbing at times.

    But I guess the world is full of ignorance like this. The catch is, in the end this entitlement of ignorance is what annoys me the most of all, because it makes it right for other ignorant fools, people against the gaming world, to justify their own attacks toward us. So in the end we just have a vicious cycle that always repeats out hatred and bitterness, started by the fact that people feel its ok to say something and not have any repercussion to it.

    Maybe I am pissing in the wind here, after all trolls, griefers and grognards will always exist. We shall have a fair share of naysayers and doom spreaders, uninformed masses and vicious mob mentalities that come and go. But honestly, is it really worth it in the end to let people get away with this against someone who doesn't really deserve it, especially when its cherry-picked misinformation like a fox news report? That I draw a line at.
     
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  2. NecroWolf

    NecroWolf Regular

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    I agree completely, and thank you for making a topic about it. The best way to combat internet ignorance is to spread the word.

    Everything you said is true, and while I'm not a fan of Jennifer's writing myself, what the ignorant trolls are doing is wrong. I hope the abuse ends soon, and everyone moves on, nobody deserves to be treated like this.

    Edit: Correction, apparently I am a fan of her work, as I'm a fan of every single tabletop RPG mentioned in the article. You have learned me.

    Great article, very well written.
     
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  3. Lien

    Lien Rookie

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    I didn't know who Jennifer Hepler was till i read your article and all i can say is... WHAT THE HEC KIS WRONG WITH PEOPLE ONLINE!

    Seriously! It's like they want a straw man here... Teenagers these days!

    And nicely written links.
     
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  4. C_nate

    C_nate Rookie

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    I hate to be that guy, but I think the subject is getting way more attention than it really deserves. I blame it on the new "constant have to have news 24/7" way things are done now.

    Don't get me wrong, your article was well written and you made some good points but you are arguing against human nature here and that is something that will never change no matter what.

    Some people are just assholes. That is all there is to it. A lot of people like to blame the internet thinking that the being anonymous turns regular, normal people into raging assholes, but I think that premise has always been false. Regular, normal people on the internet still act regular and normal. Assholes will always be assholes. The internet just brings us into contact with many more than you'd ever encounter in your normal day to day life.

    Ever go to a ballgame with your kid and sit next to the loud drunk asshole a few seats away screaming profanities the majority of the game? The impatient (healthy) asshole who parks in the handicap spot cause their needs are more important than everyone elses? The asshole who won't move his bag off the bus seat so someone else can have a seat cause his personal space and bag is more important than every other person on the bus? I can go on and on but the point is, there are people like this in every city in every country in the world. So now instead of only having to deal with the assholes in your city, the internet has you deal with all the assholes in the world.

    Oh I am sure some of them might not be like that in real life and that they are just doing it for shock value or what have you. but regardless of their reasons, the very second you let them drag you down to that level you already lost and they won. This goes double if you are a professional who puts your work out there for public consumption. Like the old saying; If you get into an argument with a fool, from a distance people can't tell who is who.

    It doesn't matter if it is cooking, writing, designing, whatever... if you make it for the public there will always be some people who will absolutely hate it with every ounce of their being. Doesn't matter why, human nature.

    The last thing you do is start writing articles about it cause all it does is add fuel to the fire. Gives them the attention they don't deserve. One of the easiest ways to get noticed is to start a fight with someone more famous than you are and get them to respond to it. Now your name is elevated right up there with theirs.

    The most important thing to remember when you are a public figure is to keep your cool and your tact. Imagine if the President called a press conference to call all the birthers out there a bunch of looney assholes and to quit bothering him and wasting his time. Some people might cheer him for it, but many more would attack him even further for it. Responding in kind when you are a public figure is just asking for the floodgates to open.

    You notice the tweet when he said "go fuck yourself" Did the guy go fuck himself? Did he go away ashamed realizing what a dick he had been? No, he fired right back with some more insults. It's a losing battle and an argument you can never win because there is no way to win. If you have to respond it's always best to kill them with kindness or something that doesn't escalate it further.

    Best way to deal with a situation like that would have been to remove the stuff and act like it never happened. The offenders would have eventually gotten tired of fishing and no one taking the bait and moved on.
     
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  5. UghRochester

    UghRochester https://www.twitch.tv/ughrochester

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    Same here. It's impressive of what she has done in her history as a writer. I'm quite glad she mentioned she's working as a writer, not some gamer. Wished people knew you don't have to be a gamer to write about games (or write material for the game in this case). It's people today full of ignorance that is a "cancer" to Earth. I feel the people that enjoy watching Spike TV's Video Game Awards are the same trolls that post memes regularly. The same people that harassed this lady. Well read article, Links.
     
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  6. LinksOcarina

    LinksOcarina Rookie

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    I get the point that its a losing battle, but the problem is we are so much better than this.

    Other industries who are on the internet, they can get free passes because their fanbase doesn't go around calling people obese cunts all the time. Sure they may make fun of them and call them liars, but thats small potatoes. It just gets my goat to see someone basically be bullied because some moron decided to do it. And it reflects badly on the industry as a whole.

    I don't know. Like I said I may just be pissing in the wind, but it doesn't mean I shouldn't comment on it.
     
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  7. NecroWolf

    NecroWolf Regular

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    It's the 4chan community, links. It's what they do, I can't go around the 4chan boards without being dragged into the cesspool of hatred, sexism, bigotry, racism, and elitism that the 4chan boards encourage.

    4chan has the mob mentality, and it is of the worst sort. This mostly started on 4chan, you know that? Though amusing memes come from 4chan, so does most of the derisive comments, wonderful things like TORtanic, Biofail, Hamburger Hepler. Once someone on 4chan makes a comment, the rest jump in like a bunch of chuckleheads. Soon, the comment spirals in a movement, a movement made up of idiots protecting themselves with anonymity.

    I've seen petitions come out of 4chan, petitions to do things like remove Femshep from the cover of Mass Effect 3, because it "encourages females to act independent, and undermines the male caregiver role that society is based on." I've seen arguements, several dozen pages long, over whether females should be selectable in RPGs, namely tabletops, based on sexism. I've seen people do the same thing for race, creed, and everything in between. I've seen people advocate rape, murder, genocide, and stand behind their statements. It isn't trolling, its the worst sort of vomit that humanity pukes up, and 4chan lets them hide behind their anonymity.

    This level of hatred, ignorance and such did not exist except in small pockets of the internet prior to 4chans popularity. Now, it is spiraling out of control, and there isn't a damn thing we can do about it except weather the storm, and hope to emerge, unscathed, as a community at the end of it all.

    It isn't 4chans fault, though the admins do nothing to stop this behavior or discourage it, all in the name of "internet freedom", and all that hooey.

    It's enough to make my head hurt.
     
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  8. GRColin

    GRColin Rookie

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    Worse things have happened to people for even less of a reason.

    And please don't take this the wrong way as I'm not criticizing your article but...Would you care as much if this wasn't about a Bioware writer and someone who was pushing heavily for a gay storyline in ME3? Honest, non-flaming question. No pun intended with the flaming bit.

    Oh and btw..4Chaners would say this over Mohammed or Jesus. Getting worked up over a bunch of 4Chaners is like getting angry that your puppy pissed on the floor.
     
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  9. LinksOcarina

    LinksOcarina Rookie

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    Yes I would. Doesn't matter who works where, its still a bit much.

    And she is not on the Mass Effect 3 writing team. At all. In fact the writing team for that I believe is headed by Mac Walters. David Gaider, Jennifer Hepler, and Sheryl Chee and several others were the guys working on Dragon Age.
     
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  10. danielrbischoff

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    I have to admit I am so sick of hearing about this. It's the internet. It WILL happen. It will CONTINUE to happen. Getting bent out of shape is a waste of time and energy. No they shouldn't attack her, but people are eating up attention and tears like they're the most delicious substances on the planet.


    And you're one of them Links.
     
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  11. NecroWolf

    NecroWolf Regular

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    That's a little harsh, Daniel. Not entirely unwarranted, but a little harsh nonetheless.

    The reason its a big 'thing', and whatnot, is it reflects on the gaming community. It should be discussed, and remembered, so in the future when it inevitably happens again, we can say "Yeah remember the Bioware thing? It wasn't cool then, it isn't cool now." We can say we did speak up against it, to set precedence.

    They already thing we're a bunch of basement dwelling, sociopath failures, and this adds fuel to the fire. Stupid as it may be, as childish as 'still talking about it" is (And yeah, its already getting old, I do agree), we are kind of obligated too. Just so the rest of world knows we aren't all like that, because if you tune into any major news channel, they pretty think we are all like these people.

    But what do I know? I'm usually wrong.
     
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  12. danielrbischoff

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    You're not usually wrong, and I don't disagree with anything you've said, but I think people have crossed a line from "We shouldn't let people represent gamers this way" into exploitation.

    Bioware, it's community, and outlets like Blistered Thumbs have gone from "oh shit, someone said something" to "how can we make something off of this?"

    Bioware's self-victimization (like how they edit their own forums) has been justified because of this incident. The community members who originally started the hate-and-vitriol snowball have rolled it down the mountain and are now pointing to it like an accomplishment. Blister Thumbs is getting page views (more now that Links has posted it here, and even more when it sits on our front page as a "Recent Forum Topic").

    Everyone's making something off of some comment that was taken out of context and raised on everything stupid. The End.


    and in regards to "representing gamers" this is much more reflective on "Internet culture" than it is on "gamers." 90% of the gaming population buys two games a year (a sports game and Call of Duty) and that's it. That's who's representing us. Not 4chan or Reddit or even GameRevolution. (which I'll note, just before anyone says anything otherwise, has not reported on this any where on our front page because, again, it's so fucking stupid.)

    Locked.
     
    #12
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