Wow, I didn’t expect my last post to kick up such a fuss. In hindsight, I probably should have. Considering I criticised TotalBiscuit, a man infamous for his inability to receive criticism (as a number of incidents in his SC2 shoutcasting career show), I probably shouldn’t be flattered that my post hit home. Regardless of whether it’s really the aforementioned character flaw that drove TotalBiscuit and his flock of fans to frothing fury or this was just a part of intentionally generated drama intended to gain publicity (any kind of publicity is good publicity?), I feel like I should respond to some of the complaints.
First of all I should apologise for not responding sooner. I don’t check this blog as often as I used to since I put it in stasis and I’m not really a fan of twitter either. I did approve most of the sensible comments on the last post and if you feel I’ve deleted any that I shouldn’t have, send me an email.
The general view seems to be that I’m an avid Wrath of Heroes player and a Mythic fanboy (phrased mildly). I really don’t see how anyone who actually bothered to read my post could draw that conclusion. In the text I link to another one of my posts where I criticise (as constructively as I am able) the game I’m supposedly a fanboy of. You could say that the general impression is less than favourable. In the “wall of text” I even explain that after the initial excitement I found the game lacking, strangely enough most of it is similar to TB’s complaints, although I would argue that my post is much more constructive, contains much less bile and still manages to focus on the severity of the problems the game has.
As for being a Mythic fanboy, I really didn’t expect someone to call me that. I’ve never played DAoC. While it’s true that I stuck with WAR for a long time I eventually lost hope in the developer and quit. Currently I don’t consider WAR to be a good MMO and can’t see it ever becoming something I’d want to play again. Needless to say, I don’t have much hope in Mythic as a game developer. Considering the fact that I have never been featured on the Mythic blogroll despite blogging about WAR for a good year, I think it’s safe to assume they feel the same way about my blogging.
With that out of the way, let me give you a rundown of how and why the previous post was created. Firstly, I watched TotalBiscuit’s “WTF is Wrath of Heroes”. Secondly, I got pissed off because of the reasons I mentioned in the controversial “wall of text”. Thirdly, I wrote about it on my blog. It should all be clear up to this point.
The purpose of the post was to express my distaste of TB’s inability (or unwillingness) to distance himself from the game he was previewing and attempt to look at it objectively, instead of “spewing bile and venom”. Two important points have been raised here in the comments that I feel I should address.
A lot of people kept repeating that his previews aren’t reviews and should not be treated as such. I hope the claim being made here isn’t that previews are free from bonds of objectivity (attempted objectivity, that is), because I believe that to be wrong. Even if the WTF series are previews, they shouldn’t be a free form of “anything goes” if the creator wants them to be treated as such. But perhaps I was right in claiming the series is intended purely as entertainment and not as a reviews, previews or any other form of gaming journalism. Even if that were true, I still feel a figure of the community with a sizeable following should at least attempt objectivity when presenting a game to a wider audience. But that’s just me.
That brings me to the next point, the people’s inability or unwillingness to understand my subjectivity regarding TotalBiscuit and my (subjective) opinion that his reviews or previews (perhaps falsely categorised, as I explained above) should be more objective. Let me explain.
I’m not attempting to write an assessment of TB’s work or career. I am merely giving my opinion and explaining my feelings about a creator of Youtube videos. The post was not intended to discuss TotalBiscuit as a person. It was merely a diary type entry by a frustrated gamer, and is as such subjective by nature. I am not a journalist of Gamestop writing an article with the headline “Person A is a terrible reviewer!”. I do not write articles for the general public. I don’t get paid for blogging, this is my hobby. You can look for objectivity in my attempts at game reviews, where I believe it is needed. I’ll be happy about any constructive comments about a lack thereof.
I’ll reiterate to make it clear; I don’t see a problem with me, a hobbyist blogger, being subjective when explaining my dislike of a professional’s bias where I feel that bias is unjustified. Because I don’t want to be misunderstood (although that’s bound to happen), I’ll give you a simple example. “Hello X, I do not like you. I believe you are not objective enough in your work. Sincerely yours, Amateur.”
The above makes me wonder why the hell did TotalBiscuit, after getting reports from his “sources” that a tiny blog is writing about him, feel the need to send droves of his “followers” to defend him. If the answer is to protect his reputation, I fear his reputation would have better been protected if he just ignored my opinion instead of choosing to be offended by it.
Unfortunately for him, I’m not easily offended. I certainly don’t feel offended when someone accuses me of being a fanboy and a biased amateurish blogger (whether directly, through their followers or as implied insults). Because I’m fine with that. If I decide to become a journalist and write a piece on how bad TotalBiscuit is at previewing games, I’ll be sure to send him a copy.
I hope you had fun reading this wall-of-text. I hope you make the best of reading between the lines, developing conspiracy theories, putting words in my mouth, screaming with glee at the drama and generally getting your knickers into a bunch.
As a piece of advice to TotalBiscuit himself; I would suggest you ignore this post. Despite what I said about publicity, you seems to be getting the shorter end of the stick here. Unless it’s all fun and games that is. In which case it’s all right.
PS: I forgot to address the claims that I’m wrong about TotalBiscuit only supporting big developers. I never made that claim. What I wrote was that he only seems to bring out his bag of entertaining bias when he’s playing a game people love to hate (not a favourite of the community) or one that isn’t backed by a big corporation. Given the current favouritism and resurgence of indie projects (which is great, don’t get me wrong) I would be fairly comfortable with putting indie titles into the crowd’s favourites basket, as long as they get noticed. The bottom line is that snarky comments, bias and negativity come out when it suits the creator of the content.