Thursday, 25 April 2013

The Power of Silence ... It's Not a Good Thing, For Us That Is

Just another brick in the (stone)wall.

Rage. I definitely can't say that I'm a stranger to rage. Hell, the week before last was probably a low point for me as I utterly despaired over some of the stupidity that was going on at the time. From the EA stuff to "Deal With It" and all that entailed, it seemed that there was no end to the amount of garbage that was flying around. Now, it's quieted down, at least for the moment. Time to relax, maybe get on to some other news, definitely not a bad thing right?

Well, maybe the time has come to potentially re-evaluate that assessment.

You see, rage is an ephemeral thing on the Internet. It burns hot, and fast; it's explosive, but like an explosion it rarely lasts for long unless there are multiple things for it to feed off of and react to, and what Jim is talking about and alluding to in that article, is best summed up in one simple sentence therein: "Being indignant, no matter how righteously, is a game of diminishing returns, one that always ends in silence."

It's sad, and even in itself maddening, but also unfortunately true. No one right now, perhaps the most wronged and the most indignant, are still harping on the SimCity issue. Hell, is anyone even talking about the "Deal With It" thing anymore? It's the double-edged side effect of living with the Internet: people can react pretty much instantaneously, but tend to grow tired and apathetic regarding things nearly as fast unless they are feed a steady stream of new things about the situation to be angry about.

Even though they haven't failed to give us ammo in the past, companies aren't stupid enough to ignore this fact: "As soon as EA and Maxis keep their heads down, however, the story largely goes away, almost instantly. After all, most of the information comes directly from the companies, so if they stop giving out, there's nothing to take."

Even if there are legitimate reasons to keep the story alive, even if the complaints are completely legitimate, as time goes on this is what you're going to hear more and more of in one way or another:

There's no point in complaining anymore. There's other things to cover. Why are you still hung up on this? There's nothing more to be done.

And if you insist on keeping the story alive, then what? As part of the increasing minority, you "earn" the dubious honor of being shunned by the more mainstream outlets, and ignored by those that are simply tired of talking about it with no results. It's a no-win scenario, and it's one that seems to occur more often than I'd like to think it does.

It would be nice if what Jim says could actually get applied:

"So what can be done? Nothing, probably. Just keep on keeping on. However, I do hope that those who do "get over" these things, and angrily demand others join them, understand that they're essentially a brick in the publisher's stonewall. Nobody is obligated to be angry and indignant -- I would not be so arrogant as to demand any reader or fellow writer take up arms for a cause they don't believe in, and more than likely don't think matters. However, I do ask for an understanding equal to mine -- an understanding that it's equally arrogant to demand others stop caring about something, just because you don't care."

I realize that these aren't issues where people are getting killed, or ones of public safety, but in an industry where the future is looking more and more uncertain regarding certain aspects, they are still issues of concern nonetheless. If the companies keep taking advantage of the fact that if they clam up then things are pretty much guaranteed to just blow over, then they can pretty much just keep treating any complaints they get like trivial matters. That's not something that does anyone but them any favors.

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