I had wanted to post this up last weekend, but, better late than never. There were some interesting comments and discussion that occurred on my “Shake Your ‘InsertNounHere' Maker” post. I have a few final points to wrap up, which are mostly in response to the last comment on that post. I also do want to thank everyone that participated in the comments.
1. When an opinion is expressed, there is no claim of neutrality.
When I wrote that post, I did not start it with the intention of neutrality. I posted it with the intent to share my opinion and offer up some food for thought. At the very beginning of the post, I made it quite clear that it was full of my opinion. Granted, I don't post a lot of opinion pieces, but I can and will when I choose to do so. Sure, I posed questions and tried to look at some different perspectives on the achievement, but I did not intend to be neutral or claim to be neutral.
2. Everyone has a right to be heard.
Absolutely everyone, and I do mean that. It should not matter what your opinion is, you can share it and should not be told you cannot. I understand that not everyone agrees with me. The world would be a boring place if that was the case. But, for someone to suggest that only those that oppose my viewpoint have a right to be heard is moving into dangerous territory.
For one thing, I was sharing my opinion on my blog. I know there are other bloggers that found an issue with the achievement. I read their posts and respected them for sharing their viewpoint. I decided not to post my disagreements in their comments and wrote my thoughts out here instead.
As I stated in my original post, I am sorry to hear that people found it offensive, were offended, felt uncomfortable… however they choose to word it. I still do not think those people are “wrong.” I do not think people should be put in an uncomfortable situation. Just because I don't agree, that doesn't make either of us right or wrong. Kimberly posted her concerns about the achievement and commented about taking some action. Honestly, I think that is great. I support her writing a letter to Blizzard detailing her concerns about the achievement even if I don't share the same position.
3. It's a game, although it's not “just” a game.
As real as the people are behind the characters, World of Warcraft is still a game. But, because of the real people we interact with, it is more than simply “just a game.” To elaborate on this, I would prefer to refer everyone to Elnia's post, the new barkeep at the Pink Pigtail Inn.
4. Discussion vs. Argument
While I was not taking a neutral stance on the achievement, what I sought was discussion about it. I wanted to hear from people that agreed and disagreed with my opinion. I wanted to ask questions and delve into it a bit more. Even though I was not in agreement with bloggers that were offended, I didn't find the flaming, attacking, and trollish comments on their posts to add any value. Posing questions and discussing those answers are more valuable, in my opinion.
One of the key points I was trying to emphasis in the comments was that I was not looking to “win.” If I was arguing, then I'd be looking for a win or to convince others to change their views. This was not my intention and honestly, that doesn't tend to go well anyway. When people feel strongly about an issue, it is quite unlikely to change their mind, as it is for them to change yours.
It's ok to disagree, that makes discussions more interesting and enlightening. Although Temitope and I did not share the same views, he brought up some interesting points I hadn't considered and hopefully I did the same for him. However, asking questions or requesting elaboration of a statement does not mean people who disagree are being attacked or belittled. A discussion can still be had when one person feels very strongly about the subject. If we both agreed, there's not much to be said, really.
So, there ya have it. The above points really could apply to any opinion piece I may post in the future or that others post. The key is respect in how we respond to one another.
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