I read all kinds of bloggers and posts. And for the most part, I only really connect with maybe 20% of them. I’m off the wall, I’m crude, and even in a stylistic manner, very jagged around the edges. To bring me to the point of my post, I got around to reading someone today that I’m not fluent with, in a consistent manner. Mainly, because we don’t have a thing in common. Gaming, writing, audience and for the most part, just our vast difference in followings. He probably has 100 readers for each of mine, but that doesn’t keep me from completely disagreeing with him.
Tobold’s latest post presents two ideas that I don’t agree with.
(One) is the remark on journalism and to which I have always whole heartedly disagreed with: Bloggers = Journalist. Blogging is called blogging because it is that. I can write, but it doesn’t grant me integrity. It further more doesn’t obligate me to any code of conduct or does it demand my ability to properly present information through analysis. No, blogging is just what it is. You can take it seriously, but you aren’t a journalist. You can have journalistic values, but until you are working for a publication, guess what?
I relate this to another hobby of mine. And that’s painting and sketching. I’m decent, but I’m no artist. As in, I’m not quitting my day job because I can’t live off of selling this crap. It’s a hobby for me. This fact that I’m not an artist doesn’t keep 98% of the people who see anything I do from calling me one. I just recently argued this point to someone who said, “My sister is an artist, she has made all kinds of work”.
“Very nice. Where’s her gallery?”
“Oh, she just can draw. You should have seen the drawing she did of my cat last weekend.”
This annoys me. One, drawing is a terrible word. You might as well say “I’m taking a dump” instead of “I must use the laboratory”. It’s just about as proper. “Oh, nice drawing”. No one fucking draws, you southern twit. You sketch, you can etch, you can chalk, you can even doodle on a napkin. You don’t draw.
Two, she’s not an artist. An Artist is a professional person that does something very specific, which just so happens to be professional art. She must either sell a piece of art, or perhaps present art in a manner that is critically examined, or some other effect beyond random pencil marks on a paper for family members to enjoy, to which she can be recognized with for such a profession.
I have had sex. I have sex. I will have more and more sex. I don’t do it for money and no one but me enjoys it (zing). I am not a Porn Star. That simple.
The same applies to being a journalist. Blogging is masturbation in public at best. Only few weirdos stop and watch you.
(Two) is Tobold wonders why bloggers and game reviewers spend some much time relating to prior games and have these bitter review processes. He presents the idea of “… consideration of how long it would entertain the hardcore veterans, and very little about whether it is a fun game for new players”. This is odd to me. I think you can only read a review that has experience. Or at least give it merit.
I mean really, are you going to buy a car because you read 3 posts from 16-year-old girls that were highly impressed with the Miata’s cuteness? This just can’t be me, but I don’t give a shit what 17-year-old Billy the Blogger thought of Star Wars: The Old Republic. His top desire was “uberness” and his least favorite criticism was the “girl toons’ boobs aren’t very big”. I don’t give a shit what Billy, Only Touched One Set of Breast Blogger thinks. I give a shit what angry Mark the Rager, the 38-year-old Gamer that can remember when MUDs were cool, thinks about the progression about the developement and his opinions of why he thinks the game will make and break.
Experience and bitterness are what grant the opinionated a resolution.
Billy can say “I think SWTOR will last a really long time, because … ummmm … I want it to and I enjoy it”.
But Mark, he can say “The inevitable success and demise of SWTOR simply lies within the developers ability to deliver timely improvement patches and highly invested content updates. The game has a strong and rewarding leveling RPG aspect on your way to 50. Compare this to WOW’s “what’s RPG mean, here’s a top-level toon right now” system, old players are going to feel at home as they level on their own time with an in-depth storyline we would expect from BioWare. I can say I see a future here, but that really depends on the developers actions in the next year”.
I can’t prove to you why my review has merit unless we have something to relate to. And that goes into not only is the blogger or reviewer experienced, but his readers are as well.
A first time player didn’t happen stance on someone’s blog review and buy a game. That just didn’t happen. A new player to the MMO world is the exact same as a new car buyer. The 19-year-old bought his/her first Honda with no review or checks in mind. At best he/she picked up a crappy Consumer Reports and decided that a random Red Dot system was an effective resource for decision making on the first big purchase of your life.
Compare this to the 30-year-old buying his/her 4th or 5th car now. These people are checking the awards, the enthusiast reviews, the lemon checks. Really, if you want to know if the car has lemon defects, any twit can join an enthusiast forum and read around. Let’s face it, if you are reading around for non-mainstream reviews, then chances are, you probably aren’t a novice yourself. On that same note, I expect bloggers to write at an Experienced Comparative Level, because that’s what they offer. And that’s their audience.
P.S. I’m only ranting in general. Tobold is a great writer. I just don’t agree with his points, and decided to use them to make many other string of points I have been holding in. Mainly the segway to Artist.