Articles & Editorials: Perceptions Of The Intolerant

Indignation. A good word to start with, and certainly one that describes the community ethos over the last few years. But why? And furthermore the question arises, why does it incite the need for scepticism, consistent complaints, and the almost compulsive need for defamation?

I, myself can be accused of such acts. My articles over the last few years have certainly caused uproar. All to the point where I’m not only provoking others in the community with my attacks, but also to the point where EA are in the firing line as well. Am I right? Is it a justified response? When in a calm state of mind, I must say, no it isn’t. But in an intensified state of antagonism, it does feel justified, and without a doubt in my mind it feels almost good to be doing it.

No community, (or if you wish to broaden those horizons), no civilisation is without its critics. Critics who respond justifiably in a constructive fashion. They give reasons why they disagree with the concepts presented to them, and everything remains at equilibrium. The community is not like this for some reason. Instead what is represented are critics who furthermore act like they are fighting for a cause which doesn’t exist, or fight for their own individual beliefs.

So where does it originate from? Is it community based? Or is it a vex from some external source such as poor lifestyle, work, the wife or girlfriend, or even the devil?
Or does it boil down to the one event that shook the community to its core and left it rotten, the takeover of Westwood Studios?

I would say yes, but only to a certain degree. This event was a catalyst for what we see today. But it seemingly only takes care of those who have an anti-EA attitude. These are the people who will gripe at every single piece of released information for C&C 3, scrutinize it, and then throw it back in EA’s face. There is no clear cause for the effect given other than the takeover itself. Maybe these Westwood worshippers want C&C canon, but also want a game specifically tailored to the structure of Tiberian Dawn and Tiberian Sun. Evolution of the franchise is perhaps the last thing on their mind, what matters is being 100% canon focussed. And if it isn’t, there’s hell to pay and changes to be made, because we as a community (not all I might add) demand it to be so.

While I understand this logic, it truly isn’t the way forward. Canon is important, but so is evolution. For example, if you are not happy with the zone trooper, which in my opinion is the next generation wolverine coupled with the jump jet infantry, then why? Expressing that their heads are exposed, or they look too much like Starcraft units isn’t good enough. There must be a more in depth reason why you don’t like it. I could go on explaining different angst type scenarios here, but it just seems to me that these particular people will not let go. Since this is not a C&C being made by Westwood, every inch of this game must be checked. And this is because EA are the ones developing it.

But this is a group. In theory we have all been in that very position. Complaining about something that EA have said or done. It’s natural. We have been given 101 promises, and some never came. Others were far from being what the promises said them to be. Fine, we’ve had Mike Verdu apologise for some of these aspects. Others have just been forgotten about. But we have a very hard working community manager APOC, who works his ass off for us. Yet we still don’t give the guy a break. Maybe we should, maybe it’ll change a few things if we came to him when we really needed to instead of whenever we feel like it. But we’re stubborn and we won’t, so I’m not gonna argue over it.

So what about the individual? What goes on in their minds that allows them to be hostile in nature? You could go back to the Westwood consolidation, but it holds as much weight as a balloon. It’s an old, tired excuse and really when you try to search for any community specific problems to search for the anger within an individual, there’s nothing to be found. So that means that the community members who are upset with something, boils down to their lifestyle.

Statistically the majority of the community is made up of 11-19 year olds. With the majority of Veterans and more mature newcomers ranging from 20-50 years old. Now, what gets up every teenager’s ass in life? Life itself, and now we’re beginning to understand the nature of the community. If you can’t take it out on your parents, and your friends think you’re a recluse sociopath. Where better to take it out on people than C&C Forums or myself. Myself indeed because now because, I’ve just stereotypically labelled you. The only thing that’ll matter in your life for the next hour or so is commenting on this very article. You have to ask yourself, is that pathetic? Do I really need to complain to some 23 year old guy who’s trying to understand what the hell you’re thinking? Whatever turns you guys on I suppose!

I’ll take an example from our very site. The news item where APOC gets kidnapped in the Podcast and a new manager assumes the role. Many of you people have bought into this, seemingly thinking it’s almost a real occurrence, or a cover up to where APOC has gone on holiday or fallen sick. Fine, I’m happy for you to get involved in this. But I have spoken to APOC on AOL instant Messenger just as all this went underway. He explained this event to me, and to be honest with you, it’s a clever concept. But I’m not going ruin it for you with details, I’m just going let you live this PR stunt cos’ you’ll love the end.

What I wrote above was something along the lines of what I wrote in our news comments section. Cue anonymous community member. He’s upset! Why? Because previously, (as he explained in the most accurately substantial English that all these upset community members use to sound important) I’ve said to the community in my last article that getting hold of Aaron was becoming a challenge. There were therefore some inconsistencies in my statements. *Cue dramatic music*

I’ve been foiled, I’m ashamed! No I haven’t and no I’m not, why? Because this was actually the first time in a quite some time that I managed to get hold of Mr Aaron “APOC” Kaufman when he wasn’t so busy. We discussed the community, C&C 3 and other matters at hand. It was a long conversation. But despite my explanation of this matter, I am not to be believed! I was wrong from the start! Despite being (as one of my staff put it) “one of the most respected advisors to the Community Manager of EA games there is out there.” I was in the wrong! And I had “magically found him so that he could tell all the stuff he’s working on.”

This guy knows who he is. And the fact that I’m targeting this individual anonymous figure proves my point. People have to dig at other individuals because something isn’t right. Or they’ve said something wrong that doesn’t agree with them. That is the only thing that matters in their life at that point in time. Why? Are you grounded from going out? Are you a rebel? Are you a sociopath? Do you hate your life? Or are you just trying to attack a respected webmaster because it makes you feel big and proud of yourself? Please, enlighten me here, post a comment in our forums and let me know.

But anyway, let us focus on the more mature people. Why do these people get upset? Well since I fall into this group I can sum it up in one word I mentioned earlier. “antagonism”. And antagonism is the fabrication of a chain reaction. Not chemically but socially and communally. Whether its from an anti-EA zealot or an article such as this one, it’s a cause to an effect. This effect will usually be a disagreement, but in the more constructive terms. And while some will argue that even though I’ve taken time over this particular article, it’s still not being intelligent or analytical enough and will wander off on a tangent becoming mindless tirade. Thus completing the circle and rendering this very article useless. By doing so, I’ll end up looking stupid for such contradictions.

It’s an amusing argument that does hold some weight. But why the more mature have to use language to debate that would require a thesaurus to understand is beyond me. Maybe it does make them sound intelligent, maybe they are intelligent, but the last time I checked wasn’t writing articles about freedom of expression rather than a homework assignment to where the community are the teachers? It should not be about the structure of the article, but the information within that’s important. And those who are more mature minded need to realise that someone’s article is not a chance to belittle people just because they can write better.

But the mature minded do not bite, until they, themselves are bitten. I get bitten a lot, and usually I ignore it. Maybe I am the webmaster you all love to hate, but I also gain a lot of respect from the people who read my material. It is swings and roundabouts, but one thing I’ve learnt since the beginning of this article is that as a community, we are all like nations on planet earth. We will argue, we will trade information, we will declare wars. But like some countries on earth, we’re not very good at being diplomatic.

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