Tobold's Blog
Friday, September 24, 2010
 
Thread for personal criticism

If I write a post about some game, news, or game design theory or philosophy, and you post a comment in it calling me an idiot, or questioning my "journalistic integrity", I am going to delete your comment with a visible notice "this comment has been deleted by blog administrator". If you then complain about evil censorship, I'm goint to delete that comment as well.

The reason is not (just) that I don't like being personally criticized, but that personal attacks are the usual way on the internet to say "I don't agree with you, but I can't come up with any viable argument against what you said". Make an outrageous enough ad hominem attack, and any discussion thread will quickly derail into discussing that attack, and the arguments of the original post are forgotten. For this reason I am going to continue deleting personal criticism comments in other threads, and ask you in all those threads to try to formulate only comments which do not contain the words "Tobold" or "you".

But not in this thread. If you really feel the need to launch some personal criticism at me, whether that is about my level of intelligence, my "journalistic integrity", or some element of style (e.g. fake news) I use and that you find inappropriate, this is the place to do it. Just don't be surprised if I answer some insult in a similar manner (somehow people who insult others on the internet are always surprised to be insulted back and then complain that answering back in the same style is inappropriate).
Comments:
I love you Tobold.
 
You're a bastion of hope and intelligence and a good compromise between Gevlon and other, more, for want of a better word, soppy bloggers.

Would you like a home-made blueberry and white chocolate muffin?

(P.S. Is there a way I can get the comment screen to save my google account info?)
 
I frequently disagree with your stated opinions. That's not surprising, really, considering that I tend to disagree with almost everything everyone has to say be it on the internet or elsewhere.

I've never seen that as much of a problem though. Quite the opposite. You have a good nose for bringing up very interesting topics and almost all of your readers who post comments (myself excluded, of course) tend to do so in a constructive and very friendly manner. It's a good read, really.

What does put me off from reading here is that you indeed tend to react quite poorly to criticism. Quite often, you misinterpret a comment then accuse the commenter of not having read what you wrote originally, when the actual situation is often the opposite. Communicating by text is hard, and these types of misunderstandings are very common. But on several occasions you actually exacerbate the situation by lambasting the person for flaming or trolling, etc. That's not necessarily very productive.

This is your (and Google's) blog, and I don't blame you for expressing your views and saying what you want. Call people apes all day if you want, that's certainly your prerogative. But here, you asked for criticism, and – well – this is all I have. Really, it's not that much.

Oh, and engaging in a dialogue with you in the comments section in the future may be very hard if we are supposed to stay away from using "you" or "Tobold"!

Thanks for continuing to provide fun!
 
Tobold, you're a dirty blogger! You, sir, post your opinions for everyone to read. How out of the ordinary!

Ha! Take that!
 
I'm bored, should i go with the ati 5870 or gtx 460 in my new pc?
 
@Zaeni: yes, you should.
 
"journalistic integrity"? since when a blogger is a journalist? :)

No blogger has any duties that i can think of. Not anything more than what would apply if you sticked your posts on a billboard outside your house, in any case. (would be funny, with all the readers coming by plane to read and put postits to answer)
 
If we don't call you Tobold, can we call you T-Bone instead?
 
I don't like the way you always seem to equate popularity with quality as in WoW has 11 million players so it's so much better in every way than the competition.

I also don't like the way you portray PvP'ers as evil sociopaths. I play Darkfall and occasionally Eve and I always found more douchebags in WoW PvE than in any of those games.

And finally I don't like how you sometimes define "personal insult". I've seen you being offensive to jerks, but also to people who just said "i didn't like this post".

For the rest I do enjoy reading your blog and your game design analysis are often quite good and challenging. I also like your reviews and descriptions of gameplay which, unless is a PvP game, paint an accurate picture of the game in question.
 
/hug
 
Damn, Tobold. Are you having your monthly period? You seem to post this same message, with different words, at regular intervals.
 
Obviously you get more of the personal attacks than I do. It comes with a bigger readership I think.

But even those few I get wears me down and affects me more than I'd like them to do and I can totally understand why you chose to simply delete them. I know you have to develop a thick skin as a blogger but sometimes the skin just isn't thick enough. When I quit blogging, the personal attacks will probably be one of the contributing reasons. In the end it's a hobby, I'm not payed to do it (as opposed to you ;)) and if the attacks and personal criticism become too much, well then it's just not worth it anymore.

And like most others I refuse to use this comment thread to attack you. There's nothing to attack. The blogopshere would be very empty without your presence.

<3 Tobold.
 
I present to you the most vicious personal attack I could, in good conscious, muster.

You are old Tobold. You are old as hell. You are from a dying generation. I bet you even smell like old people. How does it feel knowing you aren't cool?

Do you ever wish that you could recover even a small amount of your youth? To have that energy and passion again? Well, you can't. You never will either, time doesn't work that way. You will just continue to age and break down, mentally and physically.

There are little jerks out there that are constantly WASTING their youth as you cling to that shattered remains of yours, cognizant of it's value.
 
Oh God, I can't take the guilt. I'm so sorry! Argh, I didn't mean it. Please forgive me.
 
Tobold,

I like your blog I really do. It makes me think. Your ideas about games make me think.

This blog is a better place of discourse because you police the comments. When CERN invented the web I'm sure they had blogs like yours as a future ideal. Frankly if you found the need to delete one of my comments I would feel it a fair judgement.


Your place... your rules
 
Nice one. Or GG, as I believe the cool kids say.
 
Tobold you big meanie head!

Seemed like the place to say it...
 
Hey Tobold I came across a great article about blogging and journalistic integrity. You're not a journalist, you're a blogger!

http://www.chrisg.com/bloggers-mean-business/

On topic... criticism wise I think the only thing you're doing wrong is not guest posting for me... I kid I kid. /love

Seriously though, your content is always a fresh look at topics which sometimes are old but your outlook makes them interesting. If you're looking for negative criticism there really isn't much that your regular readers are going to have for you.
 
Tobold, I hate your blog. You have horrible body odor, play with dice, and quite likely have hair on your forehead.

;-)
 
You're a dirty European who nearly every day and often multiple times in a day spreads dirty European ideas. You should be ashamed of your very existence.

Also you're old, boring, and would probably spend all day playing Bingo if you weren't banned for whining about the randomness.
 
this comment has been deleted by blog administrator
 
I find your posts interesting, readable, and worth reading. In general, you are open about your outside influences and biases.

The only time when I think you've "dropped the ball" was about your participation in Eve. The leader of the guild (or corporation, or whatever Eve calls them) commented on some of your posts, and rebutted what you were saying. I didn't read a clear resolution of what the differences were between your view of the game and theirs.
 
You destroy any faith I have in the notion that people become reasonable as they age.

I can excuse much of Keen's and Syncaine's simplified world view due to their inexperience. After all, I remember being a stupid little kid.

However, you -- along with Darren at commonsensegamer, and, to a lesser extent, Andrew at Systemic Babble -- are just as obstinate and entrenched in your perception of the world that it interferes with the ability to have a constructive discussion on your site.
 
I mostly want to know how to turn my blog from one read by 50 people into one read by 3000 people. My 50 people constantly disagree with me but never resort to name calling and I will trade a few insults for 2950 readers!

I also actually find the people that really disagree with me and post huge responses detailing how wrong I am to be much more challenging personally. I don't give a crap if someone wants to sling mud but I cannot *stand* to be wrong.
 
Tobold's mother were a hamster, and his father done smells of elderberries.
 
I second wanting to call you T-Bone.
 
Sky you could look at the post I did today for some insight into using social media to double your readership.

http://www.justmytwocopper.org/2010/09/listening-instead-of-monitoring.html

It's called "listening instead of monitoring" and I hope it helps you.
 
Tobold,

You offer a great read and an enjoyable debate.

Sometimes I'm disappointed because you avoid games which you think you wouldn't enjoy, rather than reviewing them and telling us why we might/might not enjoy them and what we could learn from them.

But it's your personal opinion and you often (rightly) remind us - it's your entitlement.
 
So we have here a grand opportunity to insult Tobold and I can't think of a thing. Drat.

Oh well, I would suppose that simply being referred to regularly as a blogger would be sufficient insult. At least that is what the mainstream propogan... er, journalists would have us believe.

Ooo, ooo, I got it, I got an insult. You sir, play a WoW Priest. Gotcha!

Ok, I confess, my first 60, 70 and 80 was my holy priest. Ah, the mistakes of our youth. And my other 80 is a protection warrior. So arguably I have twice picked the red headed step child of WoW. Why do they have to, so consistently, make these backbone classes suck?

But in the interest of balance. The compliment is that you have one of the very few blogs in the world on any topic at all that is worth reading every day. There is probably fewer than 1 blog in a 1000 that can claim this. Possibly few than 1 in 10,000.
 
Good on ya, mate! I have no interest in reading trashy attacks anyway.

So brazen are they who hide behind anonymity!
 
It takes balls to be a blogger, to put your opinion out there for everyone to take sides on. But is this true then that for now on as long as people can vehemently disagree with you, in a non-personal attack, you will not remove their post from the comments thread? Because that hasn't seemed to be the case in the past (I went for attacks against your intelligence myself, so exclude my comments as an example).

The Wiki version:
"A journalist collects and disseminates information about current events, people, trends, and issues. His or her work is acknowledged as journalism."
 
I just wish that comments were hidden instead of deleted so that I could read the deleted comments myself and make my own judgement about the content of the poster's message and character. Was that poster being an asshat or was Tobold censoring? The world may never know.
 
Argh, another post about blogging. It's like you run up a good head of steam (you've had some cracking posts lately) and then it all suddenly becomes too much and there comes another self referential blogging post :P
 
Tobold you suck monkey balls!

Kidding, i find your blogs very interesting to read even if i dont always agree with what im reading - however i do not have the personal intellegence to usually come up with a counter argument

/hug!

/Alez
 
But is this true then that for now on as long as people can vehemently disagree with you, in a non-personal attack, you will not remove their post from the comments thread? Because that hasn't seemed to be the case in the past (I went for attacks against your intelligence myself, so exclude my comments as an example).

I might have a wider definition of what constitutes a personal attack, which e.g. includes comments on my "journalistic integrity". And being European I have a far harsher reaction to swear words like "grow some balls" than most Americans would. But I never deleted comments just for disagreeing with me.

That is extremely easy to prove: Just open a random thread of mine where I say something controversial, e.g. the recent thread where I complained about Starcraft 2 and the semantics of the term "RTS". The large majority of commenters disagreed with me on that one, and I didn't delete a single comment.

I'm bored, should i go with the ati 5870 or gtx 460 in my new pc?

I'm quite happy with my GTX 460, which is currently the optimum bang for buck ratio, and provides both DirectX 11 and PhysX support for those who need them.

I don't like the way you always seem to equate popularity with quality as in WoW has 11 million players so it's so much better in every way than the competition.

I'd say popularity isn't equal to quality, but often is a RESULT of quality. And I'm far from saying that WoW is perfect, in fact I spend quite a lot of time criticizing it. But what you'll always find me speaking out against is people judging WoW negatively on a single issue, e.g. "its too easy" or "its not a sandbox". I don't think you can fairly judge a game like that.

Thought experiment: Imagine you'd have to devise a rating scheme for a game testing magazine. You need to list 10 parameters on which each game can be scored on a 0 to 10 scale, giving an overall 0 to 100 score. I think it would be extremely difficult to come up with any reasonable scale on which World of Warcraft didn't score quite high. You'd need to define 10 very narrow and specialized criteria for WoW to score worse than most other games.

When I quit blogging, the personal attacks will probably be one of the contributing reasons.

Same here.

I didn't read a clear resolution of what the differences were between your view of the game and theirs.

I don't even think that would be possible, as the differences were pretty much articles of faith. You'll read my clear resolution of views with theirs the day after you read the clear resolution of different views between the pope and the ayatollah.

You destroy any faith I have in the notion that people become reasonable as they age.

I'm pretty certain everybody becomes more obstinate with age.

I just wish that comments were hidden instead of deleted so that I could read the deleted comments myself and make my own judgement about the content of the poster's message and character. Was that poster being an asshat or was Tobold censoring? The world may never know.

There are a lot of features that I wish Blogger would have, and some I wish it wouldn't have. But moving a blog with 3,500 posts somewhere else isn't trivial, and I'd lose all of the page rank the blogspot.com address has accumulated.

Argh, another post about blogging. It's like you run up a good head of steam (you've had some cracking posts lately) and then it all suddenly becomes too much and there comes another self referential blogging post :P

In this case it was a much simpler case: I just had 5 minutes this morning to write something, before a long day at work with no interuption to access the internet. It is always easier to let your readers provide the content in situations like these. :)
 
Tobold, perhaps I can help you understand why many people become frustrated with you.

You are quite intelligent and have an excellent analytical mind. But you are also very stubborn once you have made up your mind.

There are lots of other commenters here that are also very intelligent and offer some excellent points on any given topic. However, if those points conflict with your existing views, you fight them as if this were a judged debate.

Discourse is good, but occasionally you have degraded into some fairly bad arguments because a commenter made a great point and you wouldn't give up your position. On top of that, your worst arguments are usually accompanied with a condescending attitude of "I don't have anything more to say because you just don't get it."
 
OMG, I REALLY hate LOTRO

Hey...THATS a personal criticism!
 
I'm sorry I don't read your blog... Wait... Ok I lied. I give you criticism: Don't worry your Tobold
 
Tobold;

You're fucking awesome and I approve of this thread. BTW, the best part about internet assholes who level ad hominems is that it's totally OK for them to do it, but you're the biggest fucking douchebag on earth for replaying in kind.
 
I don't really read your blog, unless some bit of interesting trends or an article leads me here.

Also, I never knew you were European, that explains some things.

Take that for what you will.
 
Tobold
Tobold
Tobold

Just getting it out of my system. ;)
 
my criticisms, as they are:

- You have a tendency to be pretty thin-skinned. This used to be a bigger problem during all the angsting about forum commenting/moderation that went on here.

- You're quick to jump all over people who disagree with you, but cry foul if the same thing happens to you

- Stop equating real world success with quality! They aren't co-dependent variables! If you want to defend a particular feature, game, whatever, it needs to stand on its own merits not its sales receipts.
 
+1 insightful to Ben's post.
 
First time on this blog. Want to but must resist the urge for f-bombs and trolling ... aaahhh!!!
 
Also you don't respond directly to all my comments, thereby failing to massage my ego while I ruthlessly attack you. Way to be a hypocrite!
 
Chopper Read says it best:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iw5kH7civTo
 
Can I make personal criticism's at syncaine instead?

There is just a whole lot more to work with there than you Tobold.
 
I generally really enjoy the blog. My one criticism is you seem to have already made up your mind about an upcoming game, and despite your usual policy of not commenting on a game still in Beta, you have made post after post lambasting the fundamental concepts of this game.

I don't have a problem with you liking or not like a particular game, and most of what you have criticized are things that are well documented. It just seems to this reader that you really have an issue with this game long before its even in open Beta.

I will be first to admit that this only bothers me because I am very much looking forward to playing this game. I have already passed judgment on it, too. Only I can't wait to play the bloody thing.

While I have refrained from making any comment like this in the past, I felt this would be a good opportunity to voice this opinion.
 
As someone new to blogging I can say that you're a model of what a blogger should be, be it a gaming or any other kind of blog.

Keep it up.
 
I personally disagree with your method of handling criticism by having a specific rant space, but damn, I will defend your right to have your peace of mind.

Take care! :)

Victor Stillwater
 
"Stop equating real world success with quality! They aren't co-dependent variables! If you want to defend a particular feature, game, whatever, it needs to stand on its own merits not its sales receipts."

Which objective measure of merit do you suppose to gauge quality on rather than supply and demand?

Individual opinions of merit get you nowhere.
 
Tobold You, You... You!!! YOU!!! Tobold YOU ... YOU!! Ahhhh.. Tobold, YOU.. you little you.. you Toboldy tobolibilili toboldian toboldness. You you.. kochi kochi kochi koooo.. cute little thing you.. oh Toboldy toboldy.. Youuuuuu you you you you!
 
I agree with your approach to comment control, though if I were you I wouldn't make a post about it. That way, when you get a particularly persistent person with an entitlement complex, you can count how many comments you delete before they finally give up and gnaw their own fingers off.

The simplest and most effective way to deal with comment trolls is to starve them. Wipe out their comments and make no reference to them or what they do. Since they live for attention and for the feeling that they're having an effect on people, this serves to frustrate them and they leave.

And if it's just a genuine "angry idiot" you get the additional satisfaction of knowing that your actions are driving them absolutely insane.
 
>Which objective measure of merit do you suppose to gauge quality on rather than supply and demand?

why must it be objective? Use the powers of persuasive argument to demonstrate why (for example) nonconsensual PVP is worse than Battlegrounds. Sales receipts aren't an "objective" measure because the feature may not be the cause of success. Maybe it's advertising, or circumstances, or a million other things.

Britney Spears isn't the greatest artist of all time, it's really not that hard to understand the discrepancy b/w sales and quality.
 
why must it be objective?

So what you are saying is that while no objective measure is able to tell us what a good game is, God Almighty has blessed YOU, and only you, with the gift of the one true subjective measure?

So, pray tell us, which one IS the greatest artist of all time?

I think it just happens that you like a smaller game more. That is okay. But trying to tell everybody that they are wrong, they are stupid, and only you can identify a good game is total bullshit.

MMORPGs are not songs. People pay for monthly subscriptions continuously, and often for years. If a large number of players does that, it is proof that the game is good.
 
McDonalds is also the most successful restaurant of all times but that doesn't make their food the best food ever. They are the most successful for a lot more reasons than just the food.
 
But I would agree that WoW is a good game. You don't get to the top with a completely faulty product. It is solidly likable.

I just disagree with those who equate best success with best game.
 
And I disagree with those who automatically equate success with bad quality.
 
I wish you were less intelligent!

Seriously some of your arguments for/against things are too complicated and long-winded. So much that I'm not sure what's going on by the end and trying to formulate an adequate response is an exercise in brain strain and futility.

or perhaps this is an elite intellectual MMO blog and I'm totally out of my league.
 
sorry for the late reply.

So what you are saying is that while no objective measure is able to tell us what a good game is, God Almighty has blessed YOU, and only you, with the gift of the one true subjective measure?

So, pray tell us, which one IS the greatest artist of all time?

I think it just happens that you like a smaller game more. That is okay. But trying to tell everybody that they are wrong, they are stupid, and only you can identify a good game is total bullshit.

MMORPGs are not songs. People pay for monthly subscriptions continuously, and often for years. If a large number of players does that, it is proof that the game is good.


Yes, I am saying that sales is not an objective measure of quality. I am not claiming to know what is the best game of all time. What I am saying is that sales is a terrible argument to make in a subjective argument. It could be advertising, or historical circumstances, or brand loyalty, or a million reasons why something gets high sales numbers and none of this has anything to do with intrinsic value.

You're also bringing a lot of pre-conceived notions into this argument. I only play WoW and enjoy the game a lot, but I wouldn't tell my friend "it sold like, a MILLION copies!" as a reason for him or her to try it.

But whatever you think makes a game good, you should argue that. Believe in the transformative power of narrative!
 
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