Gamergate can be about what ever it wants - if that is their opinion, then that's not a very good one - my point wasn't defending their points (supposing you are correct), but that the article seems to be confusing two separate things (at least that's how I'm seeing it). My problem isn't "Nuh uh, gamergaters are right", my problem is, "There's more than two sides to this, just because there's an extreme negative reaction to this specific group, we should still be critical of swallowing the opposite message in our rush to not stand for death threats and hatespeech and other nonsense". For a more extreme example: after 9/11 people were so quick to throw away freedom because they wanted to be anti-terrorist, there was a conflation of criticizing the new security measures and not being appalled at what happened - I get a subtle impression that disagreeing with several of the "opposed to gamergaters" group's views is becoming "supports gamergaters", I don't like that - in the same way that I've seen people assume that disagreeing with various feminist arguments is supporting the most stupid of MRA's, and other such. Just because a movement is in the wrong, doesn't make the opposition anymore correct by virtue of that alone, yet there seems to be some instinctual urge that it is so; I think both sides have some merit to some of their claims, but, honestly, there is a lot of bullshit coming from both ends, and the truths are, as usual, somewhere in the middle. (This isn't all aimed at you, or this thread, just a general trend in people arguing that I've noticed and is the reason I'm quick to complain - I don't bitch much about the gg'ers, because the areas they are stupid in are quite apparent already to anyone capable of being convinced).
My point isn't some strawman "Media never influences us ever", but "Media isn't controlling, it is persuasive and reflective". For example, I would argue that CoD exists because of our culture and its interest in war; not that CoD is going to make us more accepting of war by accepting it, but those that are accepting of its message, are so precisely because so many in our culture of accepting of our war that the viewer, probably, is too. And, moreover, that CoD arises from our cultures interest in war - in analogy: rap music doesn't inspire gangs, gangs inspire rap music.
I'm also not dismissing that media can have an effect on the viewer, but I am not accepting that that entails that that effect is a change in attitudes. If watching a movie of someone punching a dog raises my adrenaline level, that is an effect, my mood will be different immediately following viewing that; however, that does not mean that I will suddenly be more receptive to punching dogs, nor that I will want to punch dogs myself. Indeed, it may put me in the mood to want to punch dog punchers - and if it glorified it, it would probably do so all the more - for a few minutes, then I would go back to normal (and, no, I would not suddenly be inclined to violently seek out dog punchers either). Contrived analogy aside: our responses to media are going to include some immediate effect, that's why we watch, but that does not mean that it will shift our attitudes and beliefs, nor does it mean that we will all respond in sync with what is shown (glorified violence in movies doesn't make me think "I want to do that", it makes me think "How horrible that happened, I wish such things were never necessary"; other people may respond entirely differently, there's probably a whole spectrum - it doesn't appear media is persuading us to its depiction, but that it is making us think about our position on what is depicted and how.)
KrytenKoro wrote:I'm kinda confused about this constant insistance that media don't have an effect on how you view the world. Are most of them convincing enough to have you go in "rah rah, peace for the world!" and come out "shoot all the foreigners!"? No, not really. But come on, the entire point of the game is to be immersive. I mean, I read OSC's Ender's Game as a kid, and that philosophy of "do what you have to to not be in danger", if not actually becoming my main viewpoint, was still a facet of how I analyzed situations for a long time after. I read LotR, and the theme of "the brightness is leaving the world, never to return" stuck with me for a long time.
Something being persuasive and having impact are not the same as assuming that all media is somehow propaganda for its content. Being exposed to something will cause you to think, to reflect on it, etc. Of course it is going to have some impact, of course it is going to cause you to acquire new perspectives, that does not mean that it is capable of silently shifting you towards them. That LotR has a compelling theme is because it is compelling to the people reading it - I know plenty of people who plowed through the trilogy and walked away bored, or who thought it was a bunch of droning moralizing nonsense, or who thought it was racist and nationalistic,or thought etc. Everyone was affected differently, in a way that made sense to them; the work presents something, we respond to that something.
Media is unique in that it is both emotional and presenting an argument - and while it is suggestive of such, it is not necessarily the case that those things in tandem will cause us to accept messages we are not receptive towards already. If I spend a day reading Chic Tracts (and I have), I don't walk away suddenly more open to fundamentalist Christianity, I walked away less receptive, a little horrified, and an odd mix of both amused and bemused - put those in the hands of a different audience, and they're more hellfire and brimstone than ever. Did the work have an effect? Absolutely. Did it cause either opinion? Not in a sneaky way; in a direct way, it caused us to think about what we were seeing. It's the same way that subliminal messages don't actually work, but watching an ad can.
Forest Goose: A rare, but wily, form of goose; best known for dropping on unsuspecting hikers, from trees, to steal sweets.