Archive for the 'Responses and Counter-points' Category

Destructive Criticism, or how not to argue your position

This is a post inspired by a slew of recent articles, including discussions of the language used in Batman: Arkham City; critical reviews of a popular game; coverage of a questionable choice of song at Blizzcon; and reports of being treated differently as a journalist because of your sex. A very many of the latter, in fact. Only, it’s not so much inspired by the articles as the responses they’ve garnered.

Responses are important. Arguments demand counter-arguments, and direct comments allow for immediate challenges to be made – challenges which can be important and useful. Unfortunately, the useful, considered arguments that could help develop a dialog are regularly drowned out by the cacophony of mindless prattle that fills comment threads, prattle which serves no purpose beyond boosting the ego of the petty people behind them, and that’s a damned shame. So it’s to these commentators that this piece is addressed. Rather than taking to task individual comments from specific articles, I’m going to tackle the generic forms of, and subjects covered by, these comments.

Continue reading ‘Destructive Criticism, or how not to argue your position’

Blizzard, Diablo 3 and sweatshops – part two

Believe it or not, I’ve had quite a response to my previous piece on Blizzard’s Diablo 3 announcements, what they mean to gold farming, and what gold farming has to do with sweatshops. I say believe it or not, because the responses have been exclusively conveyed to me on other websites and via social media. Rather than, you know, in the comments thread of the actual article. So, as I think that those debates deserve to be aired in public – it’s clear that people disagree with me, and I don’t want my website to pretend otherwise – I’ve collected some of the arguments I’ve heard, and my responses to said arguments.

Continue reading ‘Blizzard, Diablo 3 and sweatshops – part two’

Dialects, accents, and superiority complexes

This is a direct response to Daniel Johnson’s article for GameSetWatch’s Lingua Franca column: Implications Of Dialect In Dragon Quest IV. I’d strongly recommend you read it before getting onto this, which serves mainly as a counter-point to some of his arguments. One major caveat here: I have not played Dragon Quest IV, nor am I likely ever to – it’s just not of a genre I have even the slightest interest in. My knowledge of the game’s script comes from screenshots and commentaries only. 

NB – throughout the article I describe the ‘voice’ of the NPC’s – all of the text in the game, to my knowledge, is unspoken; by voice, I refer to the way in which the text is written to give a distinct voice to the characters.
Continue reading ‘Dialects, accents, and superiority complexes’

Inside the Box

This is an essay a long time in the coming. It gestated somewhere in the 2nd Century AD, was spurred on by the arrival of the printing press, and was kicked back into the foreground on November 14th, 2008. And finally, I got around to actually sodding well writing it.
Continue reading ‘Inside the Box’


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