Above: How I would apologize for anything.
This is a post about Jay Wilson’s apology. Everyone reading knows the circumstances about it.
Some people have asked, “Is this how Blizzard normally talks?” As someone who knows and was playing games with some Blizzard people when they joined the company before the original Starcraft, the answer is yes. Being diplomatic is for diplomats. Their job is to get stuff done. A very rough and tumble behavior tends to come from achievers. Michael Jordan cussed people out all the time on the court. CEOs do not act like Sunday school teachers.
“Why are you defending him, Malstrom? Huh? Huh?”
I’m not. But there is something about this that has me uneasy. I’ve been trying to place my finger on it. I think I finally figured it out.
Why are gamers such wusses?
I’m serious. It is like they all are wearing skirts or something. Let me illustrate the issue in another way…
Every gamer complains that gaming has become too ‘corporate’. I find it actually refreshing seeing Blizzard employee comments in the public like this. As someone who does write a ton on the Internet, I treat the Internet as a type of police state. I never share any personal information. There are many reasons for that. One of them is to protect myself if I ever need a future employer. What if someone, who doesn’t like you, writes nasty and hateful things online using your name and picture? This is done often with political writers. Thomas Paine may not have been on the Internet, but I can see why his Common Sense was not initially linked to him. I rather liked people saying what they wanted, in public, without fear.
You know what I want in life? I want people to be able to brawl, fight club style, without being arrested or something stupid like that. If I said a disparaging remark about a man’s wife, I expect him to punch me. If he doesn’t, I think he’s a wuss. Sometimes, it is good to have an old fashioned fight. But in our current legal environment, that is not possible. It is like masculinity has been legislated out of existence.
Of course, back then, they would give the offender a punch. But today, people get upset at words. Over my years of doing this site, I’ve had people email me at how upset they were with my words. I tell them, “Hey, it’s just words. And it is words over a video game.” But they take it very seriously. Why? Perhaps they have no life? I don’t know. I find it scary that more and more people haven’t grown up yet. One of the great things about the Internet is that if you don’t like something, you don’t have to look at it. When the Internet was first becoming popular, I put up pictures of flamingos on a website and said something snarky like: “Look at my flamingos! I got flamingos on the web! Hahaha!” And, surprisingly, there would be people very upset over my flamingos and demanded they be put down. I just left them up there.
I want less corporate walls between gamers and the game developers, not more. And this incident will likely raise more corporate walls inside Blizzard. I also don’t understand the hate-wagon on Blizzard brigade. If you don’t like their games, don’t play them. It is so ridiculous going to a World of Warcraft thread, where people are trying to talk about the game, and there will be a poster or several saying how much they hate the game, how awful the game is, and repeat ad nauseum. If you don’t like the game, why go into that game’s thread? How do these people have so much time to waste?
“But Malstrom, but Malstrom,” says a reader, “I grew up with Diablo and it has been ruined. I seek vengeance.” No, you seek adolescence. I know bad games, and Diablo 3 isn’t a bad game. Did I stop playing it after hundreds of hours? Sure. But I also stopped playing Starcraft 2 after hundreds of hours. I’m far more disappointed with Starcraft 2 with its multiplayer being more based around APM than strategy and the game’s lousy story. But then again, I also didn’t like Starcraft until Brood War came out. Changes happen in the game. Do you want to know what disappointment is? Reader, you can’t actually handle true disappointment.
Above: What a disappointing game actually is…
So this is my apology to the Internet:
I’m sorry people are so neutered with electronic entertainment as to allow their emotions to be controlled by words and actions of people they have never met. I’m sorry forum dwellers are turning into little pot bellied game tyrants thinking that their ‘consumer’ status gives them license to developer harassment. I’m sorry that these people spend more time on Gaming Message Forums than actually play games. And I’m sorry I waited as long as I did to make this post to tell them to go Hell.
After all, it’s the thought that counts.