[Yesterday, I mused a bit about the state of self-sufficient games writing. I didn't really go anywhere with it, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Today however, I do want to pose a few questions with a more subversive purpose.]
The Payback? ~ ['fork in the toaster' by M.H. Mason]
1: Hmmm, what do you write for?
2: What do you write about?
3: Just how do you expect your audience to react to it?
...Seriously, answer those in the comments if you feel obliged to. If you can't answer them for yourself however, you have a bigger problem than I thought.
Those are just a few of the fundamental questions off the top of my head. Matt Mason pointed out yesterday that there is a difference between those of 'us' who get paid and those that don't. The broke(er) of us tend to yank videogames on to our playground of perception, to judge them under the flag of what we would or wouldn't deem as fair on our part. The cash-checkers however have a much more difficult task at hand though. They've been formally integrated into the system that they're writing about. Trying to change things from the inside would cause a lot of unnecessary trouble for all parties involved. I imagine that this is why you won't see too many rebels inside that bubble; just decent people advocating decent writing (at the very worst). Now I'm not saying they aren't fuckups on both sides of the fence (or bubble) here, but we do have a tendency to whimsically demonize things we don't like. To what end do those crusades go though? If we dethroned every voice in the industry that we found unnecessary, what would that do for us in the end? Whether you're primarily after comments, money, or even self-satiation from being seen is irrelevant. The trick is to truly know where you stand and act accordingly. I guess that's harder for some than most because the list of different answers for those questions above can be answered in all sorts of ways.
The Internet ~ ['fork in the toaster' by M.H. Mason & Ben Abraham]
The net was like an explosion of power for how people relate games to one another, so it's no surprise that it suffered the mandatory abuse people are so adept at doling out (I now annoit this 'The Digital Apocalypse'). There's simply so much freedom in cyberspace now, that I'd relate it to the Capital Wasteland on an infinitely larger scale. We're all wandering around in a decayed setting of what could and should be, but that will never change what is. Occasionally our quests will take us across the paths of people we can side with to some extent, but those are often short lived and not meant to last. This is all while oppresive and nigh-propagandist establishments attempt delegate a futile attempt of control. Those cliques I referred to yesterday? Well they have their place here too. What would the landscape for things be without the existence of Megaton, Rivet City, and yes...even the Republic of fucking Dave.
Cognitive Dissonance ~ ['fork in the toaster' by Ben Abraham and Michael Abbot]
With all the diversity and opinions flaring up left and right, we have to question this as well. What falls to the wind is any possibility of true objectivity. Ben proposed yesterday that more people are aware of this than I'm willing to give credit for. While I still don't think many people know this, I can follow the track of logic here because it leads to the same place. That place is the productive nature of how we relate our experiences, period. With all those voices yelling things, the prospect of choice begins to become a resource to which we must utilize to the best of our ability. See the irony there? The entire thing becomes a circular argument because then we have to choose what town or clique we want to live within from that point on. It's just not possible to internalize everyone's viewpoint on any matter and games are no different.
To close this one, I'll ask three more questions...
~> For Mason's Fork: Where does 'independence' disappear, is it simply with just money (even as a catalyst) or a more complicated reason?
~> For Masons and Abraham's Fork: How to we 'rebuild Washington D.C.?'
~> For Abraham and Abbot's Fork: How do we kill the Ouroboros? Should we?