Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Extra ... Credit Rating

There's no question that there's something fundamentally wrong with me ... particularly in that if something is moderately popular, I tend to find it distasteful. At the same time, if something is insanely popular, and the artistic/liberal/intellectual community says I should hate it ... I tend to the contrary. Thus I like Miley Cyrus, though of course everyone screams that I shouldn't, despite her naked ball vid hitting half a billion pageviews ... and I despise, truly despise, Extra Credits.

Now why? It's created by four perfectly reasonable artists, one game designer and one narrator, who never meant any harm to anyone and who have clearly worked diligently and with effort to produce more than 180 short videos about games, the gaming community, politics, social theory as it pertains to gaming and the game industry. They make reasonable requests and stand up for reasonable expectations and supply reasonable advice for people with reasonable needs. How can I possibly fault them.

I really can't. But fuck, do I hate these guys.

It isn't that they're going after me or my way of thinking. I watched the one they did on toxicity, and on the whole I agree that trash talk and abuse without purpose or as a means to 'win' is wrong. I've watched the harrassment episode and yes, there's no question there's a problem and that doing something about it would be a good thing.

So what is it?

Well, two things really. The first is that, particularly at the beginning of their videos, there is a palpable need, conveyed in tone and image, that I should somehow like them. A lot. "Look, aren't we groovy," is sort of the feel I get, which is a lot like those do-gooders on campus who decide that the best way to sell their agenda is to have a big barbecue and Bermuda shorts party just before getting up on a platform and screeching about all the shit you don't care about, and wouldn't be there to hear if you hadn't been sucked in by the stuff you do like. So yes, there's that.

The other side of it is that the particular brand of 'help' they offer sounds an awful lot like corporatism. Take that harrassment video linked above. The first 'solution' they offer is to use the metrics that corporations are compiling about our personal habits and 'use them positively' to help us as a culture. Won't it be wonderful when corporations know more about us so that this information can be used to positively control us for the good of society? Of course it will.

Automuting will be so good for the gaming community, since after all it will 'tag' a percentage of the population with what amounts to a justifiable reason to hate them ... which always works out well, doesn't it? And of course, basing a definition of 'negative message' upon a majority vote ... nope, nothing wrong with that system.

Now this one is nice - what if communication tools have to be 'earned?' the video asks. Why, it's right and proper that you have to PAY more for services that ought to be free. In fact, if the pay service still isn't ending the harassment, the solution is obvious - you're just not paying enough, that's all. Eventually, we'll hit that sweet spot, that price you'll pay to get rid of the harrassment, that doesn't bankrupt you. $500 a month sound good?

Nope, not corporatism at all.

Finally, yes, what we really need is PEER politics keeping you safe and secure in your comfort bubble. PEER influence and PEER structure worked so well in high school. There's no better way to ensure life in a free, open, unmolested community that being respected by one's peers and having one's peers respect you. That is a clear path to solving all human interactive politics. Obviously.

Okay. My teeth are grinding now. You all have a nice day.

1 comment:

Lukas said...

I think one of the questions you can ask about extra credits is their target audience.

Back in the day when I was really in the industry of vidja games I watched them regularly.

My conclusion is not that they are making episodes for the casual Joe. Or for the professional RPGer. Sure there's some good elements to pick up occasionally like you mentioned.

I think their target audience is the corporation, or more specifically the corporate worker who has to pass all their propositions past the corporation.

At least one of the personalities is a consultant for video game companies. This video itself is their opinion piece from experience and whatnot on how to fix the problems with corporate effort. Not via consumer.

That said, I haven't seen their more recent work. Too busy working on websites for more money and being more appreciated.