Friday, May 23, 2014

Conversation As Advertisement

Person A--let's call them Piggwinkle--says a thing, starting a conversation.
Person B--let's call them Grobbles--goes "Oh let's talk about that thing"

(So far, so good.)

Then Pigglywinkle suddenly realizes that:
-What they think might be controversial
-Saying what they think could cost them money because they're professionally employed in a field where their audience reads their opinions...

…so they bug off with some vague, smug send-off --"I see the time to mute the post has come upon us," for example.

Now, while distasteful, that could happen to any poor Pigglywinkle who has to feed his or her family. And it could occasionally accidentally happen to a Pigglywinkle who just gets bored realizing they're talking to internet psychopaths. No problem.

The hateful thing comes next when and if Pigglywinkle claims to want or be part of a conversation about the field (RPGs in our case) or claims there should be a debate or complains that there isn't a debate or, in general, claims to be on the side of Healthy Debate or asks Why Aren't We Talking About…?....and then repeatedly bugs off when asked what they really think.

Because, essentially, if Pigglywinkle does this then Pigglywinkle is using the idea of debate as advertisement for themself. While avoiding the debate. It's hypocritical.

Easiest example I can think of is when Fred Hicks attacked the game Kingdom Death for being sexist, then went back and erased his own post on it once he realized how many people were calling him on it and pointing out he was wrong. He replaced it with something snarky like "Oh sorry I had an opinion" instead of, y'know, having the debate he started.

If you are worried your real opinion will get you in too much trouble to pay the rent: just say "I need to pay the rent, I must be quiet" and relax. People will understand. Let other people do the talking if you are afraid. Don't start debates, don't pretend you like them or care about them.

And no, I'm not thinking of any one particular Pigglywinkle today (I can name at least 5 off the top of my head in RPGs). It's just a stupid thing I was reminded of and it'd be nice if there was less of it. Don't Pigglywinkle. Nothing good can come of Pigglywinkling.


  1. If I make the first comment about my opinion, it's because I've made the commitment to have the debate.

    I make the comment much less frequently lately.

  2. You are right. I am amazed that, considering what you wrote, there IS a possibility to make a living out of rpgs. I thought the mid-2000s left only burned ground beyond them.

  3. @unknown--
    I was banned from RPGnet ages ago, dunno what you're talking about.

    1. I know you were, I was too. I thought we were having fun. no? ok, I know when to quit.