Saturday, March 29, 2014

Ludonarrative Dissonance: A Primer

In conventional terms, there are two parts of a "game", or "interactive experience". There is the mechanical aspect ("the game") and the narrative aspect ("the story"). Some people are confused about the relation between these two things and I have a lot of time on my hands after writing literally every possible thing about believability that I could, so here we are again, doing this old song and dance one last time before I do it again next week. To start with, let's identify the two major parts of an "interactive experience", or "game". The first part, the mechanical game aspect, is what we'll call "the sport". The second part, the narrative story aspect, is what we'll call "the story".

Sport is a term I am using not only because of its structural connotations (sports have rules and regulations that exist on their own terms) but also because of the implications of its etymology. While today we associate "sports" with a highly structured team experience connected to physical exertion and capabilities, the origins of the word are actually much simpler. The word comes from the French desporter, meaning diversion or amusement. No seriously, look it up. This definition dates back to the 1400s, and as "play" became more structured it took on the modern meaning. The point here is that "sport" is a term I am using because sports are done for fun or for enjoyment. This relates in turn to the role of "sport" in a game. Sport is the rules for playing a game. Sometimes these rules intersect with the greater rules of the game slash joke that we call "reality". Sometimes they don't.

Story is the simulation of actions in a usually-consistent universe. Characters, events and settings make up the foundation of a "story", which is reinforced with dialogue, graphics, sound, etc. Story serves as the horrific, misshapen skinsuit crudely fashioned to cover the Sport Experience. It is a tattered and baggy object that nonetheless adds appeal to the Sport Experience despite clearly not fitting on it and ultimately being a terrifying funhouse mirror of real life. An example of Story is a reflexive point-and-click experience being converted into a murder simulator where players pretend to kill other human beings while gun companies make actual real-life profits from their guns being represented in the game as largely unrelated numbers and objects. If the story was not there, the players would simply be launching projectiles at each other, and players hit by the projectiles would be briefly removed from play for several seconds. Without the facade of shooting human beings until they die it's impossible to see this sport as being appealing.

Hey, do you remember that time that a fictional movie was made and it was so convincing that it drove up membership for the Ku Klux Klan to the degree that it was more influential and dangerous than it had been at the height of Reconstruction? No, forget about it, I'm just thinking out loud.

Some games that are all sport and no story include all sports that have no story, such as rugby, hockey, jai alai, and badminton. These experiences do not offer justifications for their mechanics, or even context - the rules are the rules and that's all that they are. A Ping-Pong player is simply a player of Ping-Pong; they are not representative of, for example, a mighty hero vanquishing an ancient evil. They are not recreating the battle of Stalingrad via paddle and ball. They are not pretending to explode civilians with every swing. They are not learning valuable lessons about the cruel nature of war when the ball hits the tiny net. They may have existential crises about why they are playing Ping-Pong, re: the pointlessness of learning to become extremely skilled at hitting a small ball back and forth, but this is within the realm of real life not the simulated reality of a Ping-Pong Narrative.

Some interactive experiences (or "games") that are all story and no sport include Bell Park, Youth Detective, Oren Moverman's Rampart, John Gardner's Grendel, and Eduardo Galeano's Days and Nights of Love and War. In these events there is no "skill" or "rules" that determine forward progress apart from the act of pressing play or turning pages or clicking one of several choice options. However, despite this simple setup, these stories are comparable in choice-levels to more advanced Sportgames such as Uncharted or Bioshock. Despite the more intensive sport setup, the narrative advancement is basically the same for these games as it is for the sport-free games. Also, the writing is worse. Like, Jesus, seriously, have you actually played an Uncharted game? Are they kidding us with that dialogue?

You might ask yourself at this point: what makes a game a game, objectively speaking? The answer is nothing. Classifications like that are entirely a human invention and the universe really doesn't give a shit about whether something is a game or is art or whatever. Their definitions come from the notoriously shoddy English language, which some people think is a near-infallible source of categorization when in reality it was cobbled together from like five different languages over the course of a millenium or so, and that's not including all the loanwords. Fuck Art. Fuck Games. Who gives a shit. Uncharted is a movie where you have to pretend to shoot people with shitty guns to unlock new sections of the movie. Who gives a shit. Fuck it. Another important part of games is level design.

What is the "endgame" of a game? What is the innate purpose that games should strive towards? Once again we must look towards the gaping abyss of existential purposelessness to give us our answer. A great eye opens in the swirling, incomprehensible vortex, and as you stare into it you realize that in 100 years you will be dead, and your role in this universe will be negligible. The only beings who will mourn you are just as fragile as you are. You were born into this universe to die and the insubstantial things that you do during your cosmically brief time here are of no concern to anyone other than beings as flawed and pointless as you are. As you take pleasure from breaking society's taboos, as you drive on the sidewalk in Grand Theft Auto or molest a 14 year old in SNATCHER or improperly stack crates in Shenmue, remember that the fleeting pleasure you derive from these experiences are in essence acknowledging the worthlessness not only of the simulation but also of the real thing. Without the firm hand of the law most of you wouldn't have enough empathy to even consider not doing it in real life because people like you aren't motivated by things like human kindness, are you? Bonus Question: What would Jean Calvin think of video games?

REVIEW QUESTIONS
1) Why?
2) Why bother?
3) Objectively explain why murder is wrong. Do not use the human definition of "wrong".
4) If it feels good, should you do it?
5)

6) Explain ludonarrative dissonance.
7) Do you think racists and sexists are allowed to post on the internet? Do you think that if someone commits a rape or abuses their spouse, their internet rights are revoked? Do you think that when you laugh at off-color humor, that every single person who laughs along with you is doing so ironically? Do you think that violence is real? Do you think that all this is just a game? Do you think you're winning? Explain why, objectively.
8) The Office was only funny in the first season. Explain why I'm right.

28 comments:

  1. Is 5) supposed to be "Only God Forgives"? I recognize the lightning effects and the actor since i watched the trailer. It seems that no one liked the movie and some even walked out before anyone could know what was the bloody point of it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. "Without the firm hand of the law most of you wouldn't have enough empathy to even consider not doing it in real life because people like you aren't motivated by things like human kindness, are you?"

    I take you have been reading Thomas Hobbes lately (and with shades of Schopenhauer). Also, are you trying to prove that Altruism doesn't exist? wasn't that proven to be true by science already around 1973 or something?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://i.imgur.com/4jp1VP7.gif

      Delete
    2. I guess I might as well answer your insipid question since it's pretty easy:

      "Also, are you trying to prove that Altruism doesn't exist? "

      Re-examine the passage you quoted, specifically the phrase "people like you". This isn't a generalized statement about human nature. This is a generalized statement about The Videojuego Experience. It's a statement about people who engage in escapism, and define "escapism" as the miseries of other people's lives. It's about people who deserve to know fear.

      Delete
    3. "This isn't a generalized statement about human nature."

      A shame since it could have been fun to read. And be honest with me, wouldn't you like to generalize everyone, not just gamers? you know deep in your heart that gamers are not the only ones doing this shit, so why hold back?

      "It's about people who deserve to know fear."

      And what happens after they know about that? They might deserve it, but does it work? Do they become immune to mistakes? I dont see how being the victim of oppression will make them learn to respect the oppressed, either by having them suffer through it in real life, or even in a videogame where they are the ones being shot at or whatever.

      In fact, aren't the Jews (the first thing one thinks as "someone really fucking oppressed") doing the very thing they were victims from? They constantly remind everyone that they were victims of a Holocaust WHILE inflicting and encouraging a Holocaust in Israel. What about the other example of people oppressed that comes to mind? Black people. They too can be just as racist as the so called "white trash", so in the end they didn't learn their lesson born of fear.
      http://benswann.com/black-activitists-and-politicians-force-trader-joes-grocery-out-claim-it-would-attract-too-many-whites/

      Isn't this an example of how even being oppressed doesn't make you self aware or humble enough to recognize when you are doing what you hate? Cognitive Dissonance is in all of us, and doesn't differentiates between races.

      So again, what happens after that? can you objectively guarantee that fear will be enough to set them straight, even when the lesson is universally forgotten by everyone who went through this fear? What is the endgame?.

      Delete
    4. >In fact, aren't the Jews (the first thing one thinks as "someone really fucking oppressed") doing the very thing they were victims from?

      You know, I'm not exactly pro-Israel, but if this is the best you got, man...

      > What about the other example of people oppressed that comes to mind? Black people.

      Haha okay here we go, here is what I was expecting from you. A+. Congrats. You did it. Reverse Racism. Misandry is real. You Did It.

      Delete
    5. And yet, in the same way you wrote the blog expecting for no one to answer your questions, you cant answer my questions in an objective way, as expected.

      Answer the question(s): If "Live In Fear" is the solution for White people to stop being dickeads, how can it be that other people that suffered through it do not show changes in their behavior that would suggest it was effective? It simply seems that living in fear does jack shit for the human condition, and doesn't prevent the victim from victimizing others. And if the Jews argument is too....shall we say...small or insignificant for you it still doesn't matter because they are committing this crime they once despised and were victims from. The scale of it means jack shit, because it still defeats the lessons learned in the horrors they faced by doing what they are doing regardless of how small or big is. Hate is hate no matter how you slice it. Its face-palming to see the heroes, the underdogs, to become monsters they fought before. Lets be cliche and use that trope:
      http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HeWhoFightsMonsters

      To suggest a solution we know the results from, and expect something different to happen this time, in insanity. What is your evidence that would suggest otherwise? How do you know the "live in fear" is going to work? did you wish upon a star and now its going to work?

      ---

      Reverse Racism?

      rac·ism
      [rey-siz-uhm]
      noun
      1.a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others.
      2.a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.
      3.hatred or intolerance of another race or other races.

      There is no such thing as "reverse" version of it, it just is the definition of Racism.
      http://clearlycaneda.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/ayaanhirsiali_whiteguiltracism.jpg

      And why i am having MovieBob flashbacks all of sudden?
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cc73oe-ocRE

      I dont know why you brough up up misandry, but if you insist. BRB, Googling. And if you have a problem with this by saying i am playing Bingo with you, then remember to not bring it up next time.

      ...

      Here we go. Lets just say there are studies that suggest tampering of data to make women more of a victim in the statistics. The most egregious case was done by Mary Koss as presented here:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ncjGFIFPJI

      And for completion sake, here are the other studies that noticed the bullshit:

      Processes Explaining the Concealment and Distortion
      of Evidence on Gender Symmetry in Partner Violence
      V74
      Murray A. Straus
      http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2/V74-gender-symmetry-with-gramham-Kevan-Method%208-.pdf

      CURRENT CONTROVERSIES AND PREVALENCE
      CONCERNING FEMALE OFFENDERS
      OF INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE
      Why the Overwhehning Evidence on Partner
      Physical Violence Has Not Been
      Perceived and Is Often Denied
      MURRAY A. STRAUS
      Universi(y o/New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire, USA
      http://pubpages.unh.edu/~mas2/V75-Straus-09.pdf

      THE POLITICS OF RESEARCH: THE USE, ABUSE, AND MISUSE
      OF SOCIAL SCIENCE DATA—THE CASES OF INTIMATE
      PARTNER VIOLENCE
      Richard J. Gelles
      http://www.familieslink.co.uk/download/july07/Politics%20of%20research.pdf

      http://www.ipt-forensics.com/journal/volume6/j6_2_4.htm

      And that is just a fraction that might suggest that, you know, men have the short end of the stick. If you want the full meal then i suggest you talk with Karen:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cV3KSUakd5Q
      http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/WebVideo/GirlWritesWhat

      And yes, there are videos on my language as well. Ain't that neat?

      Delete
  3. You know, I know Al's going to read this eventually. And when he does, I'll find him. Anyways, this post's directed at him, but I think everyone else can learn something from it, too!

    Firstly, I watched your video on diegesis. Honestly? It was pretty much everything I thought your videos would be like. Overtly concerned with jerking off theory concepts and less connected to the reality of what games actually do. Yes, I know it's fun to build an intricate web of concepts so you can pretend your medium is this big, dark monolith that's just Too Deep for the average person to understand, but the sooner you rid yourself of that kind of poisonous thought, the better off you'll be. Trust me.

    Secondly, I noticed on your now-open Twitter (perhaps you feel safe? I assure you this is a mistake on your part) that you were saying that GTA and Colbert are both Protected Satire. Well, you didn't use the term, but you expected to forgive things being said hatefully under the BASIS of satire. I thought I'd use this opportunity to give you a short lesson on "directed satire" and why people are justified in complaints.

    You see, GTA is what we call "middle-class whitebread cynicism". It is not an all-engulfing humanist appeal to empathy. It is the South Park of video games, claiming to be located somewhere in the rational, reasonable middle while actually floating somewhere in a void of unprincipled, arbitrary behavior. GTA's "satire" has always been lower-class, directed at cheap targets like pop culture, social media, and cartoonish political extremists.

    So when GTA has transsexual characters hanging out on street corners, and the protagonists walk up to them and say insulting things, what is that satirizing? Well, judging by the content of their dialogue, wherein the transsexuals say things like:

    "They won’t let me on the ladies’ basketball league at the rec center. This is crazy! I think I’m going to sue or something."

    Obviously this is SATIRE, yes. But it's satirizing trans-people - their views are presented as crazy, and they are depicted as being irrational for desiring to be treated as their chosen gender or sex.

    The protecting grace of satire is supposed to be that SECRETLY, the author is on your side. Jonathan Swift did not ACTUALLY want to eat Irish children, he was exaggerating the real cruelties of the British government to make a point. But, conversely, the devs behind GTA5 actually DO hate trans people, treating them the same way they treat the vapid pop stars and political caricatures. The "satire" is aimed at them, despite the fact that they are a marginalized group. You see, people want to pretend humor is sacred, but humor's just like any other kind of speech - if you tell someone they're a piece of shit who should die, they might get upset! The only person who would say that they shouldn't is the kind of person who's never actually had to live in fear Live In Fear LIVE IN FEAR

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diegesis is a narratological concept, it's not medium-specific, it's in anything that tells stories. I wasn't applying the thought process to games to big-up games, I was simply exploring what application the concept could probably have toward mechanics.

      Also, I'm pretty sure Colbert doesn't hate everyone from Asia, and I'm pretty sure some off-color jokes in GTA don't mean that Dan Houser hates trans people. Intent is easy to apply but difficult to quantify.

      Anyway, much love, my friend. Glad you remembered me.

      Delete
    2. Actually, Al, intent is pretty easy to quantify when the "joke" makes no sense without contempt. If the transwomen in GTA5 weren't meant as the butt of a joke, then why would they say the kinds of statements that gamers would laugh at, like "I deserve to be treated like a woman"? Why would they say those things, Al? See, it's like the whole "OP's a fag" thing. Without the implication that being gay is bad, it's just a nonsensical statement. Contrast: "OP's a white man". "OP's tall". Devoid of context, those things wouldn't make sense as a joke. The idea of OP being a fag, or of Richard Dawkins being a dick, are perceived universally as insults. "Intent" doesn't factor into it - it's already evidenced by the context of being an insult.

      Again, this is one of those things where you have all these words you want to fit into your videos and your ideas, but you really just don't grasp basic human interaction. I'm kind of wondering - are you on the autism spectrum at all?

      Delete
    3. And while we're here, I just wanted to give a heads up to whichever one of your acquaintances used the "full retard" term. See, I know it gets used unironically to describe something "really dumb", but it's a weird choice to use. In the context of Tropic Thunder, the term "full retard" describes the phenomenon of a shallow, self-indulgent "critical culture" who wants to hear social issues discussed but only when they aren't made uncomfortable by them. The term full or semi-retard refers to the idea that people want a character who SEEMS retarded, but doesn't exhibit the full range of behaviors that accompany them. They want to be able to empathize with a character, but they don't want the character to be unappealing or standoffish or gross or weird.

      The long and short of this explanation is that using "full retard" to describe a post about how pointless the accolades of society are is, well, honestly it's pretty amazing in its own way. It's like a prism.

      Delete
    4. Contempt, I doubt the game has much genuine contempt for anyone. What it does have, though, is a desire to offend, and offend it does, and the people offended at the alleged racism, homophobia, transphobia, etc. are mostly white guys - upper-middle-class white guys (and one notable transwoman, Carolyn Petit). People who are completely fine with their characters being horrible mass-murderers, and revel in the virtual violence and crime, but can't deal with the fact that the game world contains elements of diegetic misogyny/homophobia. Why do you think that is?

      Also, no, I'm not autistic, are you? Autism isn't a bad thing, you know.

      Anyway, would you like to Skype? Perhaps collaborate on a video sometime? I'm theallosaurusrex.

      Delete
    5. Oh my god did you seriously just list off the people who were on that /v/ "SJW game journos" list in lieu of an actual list of people who objected to the content of GTA5? Did you just use a fucking 4chan image as your definitive guide to the millions of people who hold opinions about a video game product?

      Man, you know what? It's just like that time where you were like "objectification can only happen to real people". It's like I just have to let you talk and you eventually just stumble over yourself to show how reliant you are on other people's inaccurate, unprovable talking points. No, I don't think I'll take you up on that Skype offer. I think you've told me everything I wanted to hear.

      Anyways, re: the article, please consider answering question 3.

      Delete
    6. I have seen that 4chan image, it's moronic in the context it's used. And no, I didn't list off anyone, but you're white, correct? I'd say most people who are privileged enough to afford a console, and internet connection, and GTA V, but still make room to be offended by it are just as ridiculous, white or not. Buying a GTA game now without being aware of the content is kind of moronic.

      Anyway, friend, why do you keep on trying to push me away? Are you struggling with your feelings for me? I need you to be real with yourself now, do you need something? Would you like me to sing you a song?

      Delete
    7. "See, I know it gets used unironically to describe something "really dumb", but it's a weird choice to use."

      Its not when you know that words evolve (or get mangled) to mean other things.
      http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/HaveAGayOldTime

      And with the Internet speeding up the process, its easy to see how "full retard" went completely off rails of its intended meaning to something "new" (so to speak) in less than 6 years.

      You also make assumptions of negative connotations went they say you went "full retard". How do you know they dont mean it in a positive or admiring way? For example, in a cliche romantic comedy or whatever, the lead will usually have some kind of Race for Your Love situation, where the Protagonist desperately has to chase after the person they love before they walk out of his / her life forever. But thanks to Hollywood writing, he/she cant do that without doing something that destroys its career or something for this love. So basically its has to do something really dumb and technically going "full retard". But since the intent behind this dumb thing is to admire* the protagonist for doing this for a noble/heroic/romantic cause like love, its going full retard in a good way.

      Now, it could be that you are going full retard in a good way as well, since you are tackling games (and other mediums) inane bullshit and advancing the discussion by doing so, but it is STILL a full retard move since you just HAD to comment on these things and have shit rain over your blog for it. A well intentional dumb move.

      Oh, and more importantly, WTF are you 2 talking about? what 4Chan image?

      *In theory anyway, since most of those films fail miserably in giving the audience a reason to give a shit about anyone. Let alone being able to make something monumentally full retard into something worth emphasizing. What is the closest approximation to what the audience REALLY feels towards those badly written full retard moments? .... OH I KNOW!
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EddX9hnhDS4

      Delete
    8. @Allosaurus
      "I need you to be real with yourself now, do you need something?"

      Just answer Nº3 and see what happens.

      BTW, is that 4Chan image thing something presented on a twitter conversation or something? i still feel i am missing a chunk of conversation.

      Delete
    9. @Armando

      Did you seriously just jump from "well black people are racist too!!" to "well words don't mean what they used to mean!!"? Jesus, it's like you're trying to fill out a bingo card for me.

      Delete
    10. @Al

      "I'd say most people who are privileged enough to afford a console, and internet connection, and GTA V, but still make room to be offended by it are just as ridiculous, white or not."

      1) Why do you assume trans people can't afford consoles? Also, why do you assume someone needs to own a console AND have played the game in order to be upset about the content of it? See, you're doing the Gamer Thing, and I know you hate Gamer Stereotypes but it's basically the thing you all do where you say you can't judge a game unless you've played it to completion, but then also say "if you hated it so much why did you buy it"?

      2) There are plenty of trans people who are upset about it. Do you know why you don't know about them? Because you don't read things written by trans people.

      3) Seriously, answer Question 3.

      Delete
    11. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    12. [You really should move to a provider with a comment editing system.]

      I'm not assuming trans people can't afford consoles, that's ridiculous. Anyway, I'd extend that to anyone who gets offended by GTA in this day an age being a complete idiot, especially if they hadn't played it. Anyone who takes to their little Tumblr blog, pitchfork in hand, about how those nasty Housers totally crossed the line this time (but likely not all those other times since like 1998 because that's different somehow) is just kind of a mongoloid.

      Anyway, friend, I think there's another thing you need to understand: as worked-up as you get, I hope you understand that you'll never actually get anything genuinely argumentative out of me, you're a means of entertainment for me and my equally toxic internet buddies, you're good for comedy. Also, have you ever spoken to MrBTongue? I know your rump is still raw from those hot opinions he shared those few times, but if so, I'd like his number. I'll say J. Shea sent me.

      Delete
    13. @Shea
      "See, you're doing the Gamer Thing, and I know you hate Gamer Stereotypes but it's basically the thing you all do where you say you can't judge a game unless you've played it to completion, but then also say "if you hated it so much why did you buy it"?"

      Or it could be that, because old habits die hard, most* people who complain about these games have not even SEEN the fucking game on a Lets Play**, and thus know jack shit about it context in order to complain in the first place. They dont need to play it, they just need to see the whole scene and at LEAST know what its the intend behind such scene.

      But they wont do that. They never did since the 90's and never will. They just need to say "WILL SOMEONE THINK OF THE CHILDREN!" or "A WOMAN GOT RAPED IN THIS GAME!" and they will insta-win. Facts are never part of the...hehe..."discussion" with these idiots.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KA0MgAdX_k4

      And not just videogames, comic books had to deal with this shit and lose as well. The power of political correctness gone wrong remains strong:
      http://io9.com/5985199/how-one-mans-lies-almost-destroyed-the-comics-industry

      So its not surprise that gamers have learn to find all kind of defenses towards their games, because they know that if these idiots get in a position of power with their half assed "research" then THEY WILL WIN! PERIOD.

      Gamers are asking for the common decency of at least have an argument backed by SOME degree of logic and facts. But since Social Justice Warrior can only play "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" for the 9.542.537 time, dont get sad when the farmers just shoot the boy before he inhales air to shout.

      So, do the transexual people have a case? or its just ANOTHER Suey Park*** who doesnt get the satire? Its just a Parody Retcon all along? or its just one badly executed joke compared to the rest of the other satirical jokes?

      *A generalization, yes. But still holds up due to the sheer numbers of idiots that do just that.

      **And yes, i know the Internet didn't exist back then (not as big as today anyway) let alone Let's Plays, but that doesn't justify the stupidity of refusing to have the game played in a store for the first 5 minutes to see that all their claims are completely baseless. All they had to do is ask the clerk to do it and it will.

      ***https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTJZKCh7NQ8

      Delete
  4. J. Shea, you need to change the name of this blog from "Exploring Believability" to "Why Life Is Fucking Horrible." You used to make focused, insightful points about believability in fiction. Now, you're an anguished lunatic who I wouldn't want to speak to in person. I find no value in this wretched howling-into-the-void that has replaced your writing. You've lost a reader.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He reminds me of the Pictures for Sad Children guy, his writing style's similar to his one big insane Kickstarter update, too.

      Delete
  5. James, it's time to stop. This last post of yours is such a horrifying mess that begs validation with every single bolded word, each of them crying for a victim foolish enough to engage you in a debate so that you could have a shot at feeling superior. I would expect more from a person with a degree in psychology. This is an attempt to seek validity, but it is doomed to fail again and again, and this cycle has continued for a good time now, because the foundation of this validity is as consistent as smoke.

    What people think, say and do is not in your control. Your body is not in your control either, not entirely. Your thoughts, your views, your desires and the ability to avoid - only these are truly in your control. (Had you actually read about some of the men whose names you have been throwing around in an attempt to appear better than you are, you would recognize whom I am talking about). When I first discovered your blog, you were a man that was simply doing analysis and thinking about fiction. Now you have become a slave to what someone else might think, and already desperately trying to form a counterargument long before someone has even said anything. You have grown paranoid over things that do not matter. You have become obsessed over the thoughts of others, and by doing this, have lost the sight on what is important in life.

    Wake up. You are losing your connection with reality (or at the very least, appear so here). Instead of continuing this psychosis, find help and create something physical with your two hands. Then do it again, and again. Perhaps this way you will find a way back to the man you once were, before this void you have created within you swallows you whole.

    Only you can change your life. It would be a shame if you were the one to ruin it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had considered posting something along the lines of this for a while, but I think you've said all that really needs to be said. I followed Shea for years, and for the longest time I looked to him as a media critic deserving nothing short of my utmost respect - someone who was capable of capturing so succinctly so many of the small gripes I had with the media I engaged with and unraveling them into tangible concepts to be analyzed and critiqued. It was only as time went on that all of that tact and passion give way to paranoia fueled by vitriol, and it was a painful thing to watch happen.

      Shea, every time someone back on twitter tried to say that they had respected you up until a certain point, your response was always that they only stopped liking you when they realized your criticism applied to them. I think, then, it's important to stress this as someone who never felt targeted by your posts - your behavior is frightening. And not in the way you seem to intend, where individuals who apparently "deserve fear" are shown the folly of their ways by your words. What's frightening is your behavior, and what you've been doing to yourself.

      The last time we spoke was following what I can only describe as your breakdown following the VGX awards last year, when you alienated yourself from a lot of people who had up to that point supported you in spite of your increasingly problematic behavior. You said a lot of loaded things to a lot of different people, but the tipping point for me was your decision to single out and attack a victim of sexual abuse because you disagreed with her means of coping with that stress through fantasy - and then you had the audacity to insist that, if I truly agreed with you in regards to your opinions on "nerds" and the toxicity of their culture I wouldn't object to that. You made it very clear that for all your skill in engaging with media, your obsession with your ongoing war against gamers and their culture had forced your worldview to exist in a vacuum, filtering everything and everyone through a lens where only the media they consumed quantified the caliber of their person. Speaking as a fellow psychology major, the fact that you chose and presumably still would choose to value the propagation of your own rigid standards of media analysis as the measure of human decency over the coping mechanisms of abuse victims is not just indicative of your unhealthy outlook, but a frightening sign of a willingness to disregard the health of others to ensure that your worldview remains unchallenged.

      You’re a psychology major for christ’s sake. You know what’s wrong with this picture. You've become so wrapped up in your own bubble and your own personal crusade that you’ve lost focus of everything you originally stood for. Just for a moment, ignore the people here trying to engage in a fruitless back-and-forth about reverse racism or social justice and please take a good look at yourself.

      I’m asking this as someone who once had a lot of respect for you and what you did. As someone who truly connects with the core of your ideological pursuit for believability in media. As someone who started actively posting on twitter for the sole purpose of engaging with your ideas. I can tell from the way you write that you’re hurting, and you need some serious introspection before you make it a lot worse.

      Delete
  6. I posted a response video your blogpost here. It's not flattering, but I thought you should know. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JK-ETJ0v8Ko

    Leave dislikes on all my videos and blow up the comments. I won't mind.

    Also, while I respect Al and his work, it's a huge coincidence that I know of him and mention him in the video. I just noticed he's been in your comments.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hey idiot! are you still alive? I am bored of "The Nanny" and "Xica da Silva" and i need comedy.

    "3) Objectively explain why murder is wrong. Do not use the human definition of "wrong"."
    There isn't a reason other than we are told constantly that it is wrong and we believe it because "why not?". Everyone can more or less tell its full of shit but since they are too lazy to try they wont do it. Either that or killing is too impractical or has many disadvantages:
    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PragmaticVillainy

    Or maybe this trope is at work along with Self Serving Evolutionary Altruism:
    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheMindIsAPlaythingOfTheBody
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_R._Price
    "Price reasoned that in the same way as an organism may sacrifice itself and further its genes (altruism) an organism may sacrifice itself to eliminate others of the same species if it enabled closely related organisms to better propagate their related genes. This negative altruism was described in a paper published by W. D. Hamilton and is termed Hamiltonian spite.

    Price’s 'mathematical' theory of altruism reasons that organisms are more likely to show altruism toward each other as they become more genetically similar to each other. As such, in a species that requires two parents to reproduce, an organism is most likely to show altruistic behavior to a biological parent, full sibling, or direct offspring. The reason for this is that each of these relatives’ genetic make up contains (on average in the case of siblings) 50% of the genes that are found in the original organism. So if the original organism dies as a result of an altruistic act it can still manage to propagate its full genetic heritage as long as two or more of these close relatives are saved. Consequently an organism is less likely to show altruistic behavior to a biological grandparent, grandchild, aunt/uncle, niece/nephew or half-sibling (each contain one-fourth of the genes found in the original organism); and even less likely to show altruism to a first cousin (contains one-eighth of the genes found in the original organism). The theory then holds that the further genetically removed two organisms are from each other the less likely they are to show altruism to each other. If true then altruistic (kind) behavior is not truly selfless and is instead an adaptation that organisms have in order to promote their own genetic heritage."

    So...maybe the reason we dont kill each other right now is because we are wired to not kill VERY close relatives? Know that is what i call a good argument for Incest because if we are ALL related then we wont kill each other, amaright? WORLD PEACE CAN ONLY BE ACHIEVED WHEN WE ARE ALL IN THE SAME FAMILY!

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheyCalledMeMad

    Ever considered reading some of Immanuel Kant and Nietzsche works? The former admits that people will jump the gun and start killing each other as soon we stop pretending that there is a man in the sky that exist to be the "Absolute Good" in which all actions must be judged, that it is a moral necessity to pretend it exist. The latter just says that you make up your own reason as for why X is wrong/right since no absolutes exist.

    ReplyDelete