I Accept Your Apology (A response to Ian Miles Cheong)

Want to read something written by someone who is beyond fashionably late to a party?  Good!  Because I just recently saw this, and you know what, I actually felt a little bit pleased.  Because so much of what I have seen and believed has been challenged, and you know what – good!  I am glad that I was able to have something I believed challenged and see someone who is part of a group of unapologetically pro-censorship and anti-free speech come out and admit that he made mistakes and own up to them.  And in a way where he can’t wiggle out of them.  He fell on the sword, and he was able to show me that an SJW is able to grow and learn from their experiences.  This gives me a lot of hope.  For real, a ton.  I am, of course, talking about Ian Miles Cheong and a very public apology he made to gamers about having the site he is the Editor in Chief of pile on with the “gamers are dead” bullshit.

I said recently that there will come a point here where we are going to have to extend an olive branch to the others side of the GamerGate debate, because the reality is that we need to stop the fighting.  The SJWs, at this point, want the battle.  It is validating their bullshit in the eyes of the mainstream media.  Or, at least, it was.  You see, the mainstream media is a fickle bitch.  It moves on from things fast.  SJWs were fun and drove views and clicks, but the reality is that the news realized how toxic all of the controversy surrounding GamerGate was, and after the shit-spewing that Nightline got, they just wanted it to end.

Some SJWs couldn’t let it end.  Brianna Wu has desperately been trying to get whatever publication will listen to her lies to print her story.  Unlike the professional con artist, Sarkeesian, Wu is just a sad, talentless hack who needs validation.  But the gaming news industry is finally coming around.  After several publications lost ad revenue in the seven digits, and large gaming publications are closing, games media is doing whatever it can to keep its viewership.  And the SJWs who are sick of the fighting are being willing to talk.  One of them is Cheong.  Here’s a link to what he wrote.  Let’s talk about it.

Reading all of this may disappoint you or it may not. But it is what I believe.

Some of my recent tweets about not dehumanizing gamers got a lot of attention in the past few days. I’ve been asked a lot of questions on where I stand on several important issues. I’ve decided to write this post to clarify where I stand now because I’ve spent the past couple months thinking about my beliefs, where I stand, and what gaming means to me.

Alright, Ian, I’m listening.  What does gaming mean to you?

I lost sight of what I cared about the most: writing about gaming experiences. I let myself get absorbed by Twitter drama and ideological warfare, forgetting about the games that inspired me. When I saw the two reviews of The Witcher 3 that fixated on how it was misogynist and sexist, I started thinking more about representations in the media. I’ve always believed in critiquing media instead of condemning it. I believe it’s possible to enjoy any media without demonizing those who do, or its creators.

I kind of disagree with you on that last point, but it’s good that you had some real time to think about this issue, and that you took that seriously.  The ideological warfare got blown WAY out of proportion, partly by people like you, who choose to make this about towing the ideological line, rather than talking about real issues, like collusion and dishonesty in games media.

To go along that vein, I read reviews and op-eds condemning Life is Strange for being written by male writers. Life is Strange is a great, well-written game–I’ve said as much in my own review of the game’s first episode. Among the condemnation I read of the game was that men are incapable of writing good women characters. In addition to Life is Strange, the recently released Mad Max: Fury Road proves otherwise yet still received similar complaints. I just can’t endorse these complaints: Imperator Furiosa may well go down in history as one of the best-written female characters in the past 20 years, and she was written by a man, George Miller.

I am willing to accept Ian’s apology just for his endorsement of Life is Strange.  I think I may have misjudged you, good sir.  I read that review he posted a link to.  Not as good as mine (shameless self-promotion!), but still good.  But seriously, it’s an alright review.  Check it out.  And play the game, if it seems like something you’d like.  I get that it’s not for everyone.  But yeah.

Also, that whole deal with people thinking that MRAs don’t like the new Mad Max movie is just stupid.  I heard about that, and I hit up some guys and gals I know who consider themselves MRAs, and they were just as confused as I was.  Overall, like me, the MRAs believe that that was an awesome movie.  Insane, violent, out of control, and totally awesome.  This belief that SJWs have just made no god-damn sense.

By the way, to all the SJWs who believe that Life is Strange is bad because men wrote it, fuck you!  That is an awesome game, with interesting, well-though and well-played characters.  Don’t go spitting on something simply because a man wrote it.  If that’s all it takes for you to condemn something, then you OBVIOUSLY didn’t play the game in the first place.

Over the past few years I got swept up in the social justice movement. I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with social justice as an idea, but as a movement, it’s a different story. Despite having ideals, it’s easy to get lost in a mire of insults and dehumanizing attacks when engaged in a heated “battle” over social media. It’s nice to feel like you’re winning an argument by pounding the opposition into dust, but in doing so, we often dehumanize others destroying any opportunity for discourse. This is my sin.

Yes, it is.  I’m glad that you recognize that.

I contributed to an atmosphere of intolerance and aggression.  It may seem hypocritical for me to rail against “outrage” in recent tweets. I sought something to oppose. I found a variety of issues to be outraged by because it gave me a sense of purpose. I was crusading for a cause, fighting for a noble goal. Wherever I saw “injustice” and microaggressions, I pounced–even in situations where there was nothing to pounce upon. It was the principle (of whatever issue I was opposing at the time) that mattered, I’d lead myself to believe. And yet, I find myself asking now how these issues even matter when it caused hurt to others. I am sorry If I’ve ever hurt you.

This is a really mature way to respond to the people that you have potentially hurt.  No joke, I hope that nobody mocks what he is saying, because everything that he has written here seems genuine.  This seems like a lot of soul-searching was done, and that’s a great thing.  If only more social justice types could do that.

It’s common for my personality to seek something to oppose–something to rally against, to be in opposition to. That’s who I am, and it’s not something that’ll likely ever change. However, coming to terms with myself and recognizing this as a facet of my personality allows me to channel my drive into more constructive endeavors. Instead of attacking people and dehumanizing them in the process, I will strive to be more positive in my approach and engage with others on a human level, seeing them not as problems to be tackled but people to work with. After all, we’re all stuck here together on this planet and no amount of wishful thinking about going to Mars is ever going to change that.

The first step to growing as a person is when you can acknowledge your flaws and work to improve them.  When you can see a part of yourself that isn’t what you want it to be, and work to become better.  That’s the sign of a mature person.  Everything that I have seen in Cheong’s apology seems like he has actually done the work, to grow and learn.

From what I have seen, the rest of GamerGate has been pretty good about either accepting his apology, or at least acknowledging that it was made.  Some have also been apprehensive, but there is another part of maturity that I believe I can exemplify – that sometimes, you have to be the bigger person.  I have been willing to listen and grow.  Cheong challenged my belief that SJWs can’t learn and grow. That’s a good thing.  I’m glad that I got to see it.  I hope he continues to learn from it, and maybe he will be able to sit down with people like myself and have a cup of coffee.  Although, Brianna did that once, and look how it turned out for her.  Of course, the day I see her apologize for ANY of her bullshit is the day that pigs not only fly, but also make weapons and declare war on humanity.

Until next time, a quote,

“No man in public position can, under penalty of forfeiting the right to the respect of those whose regard he most values, fail as the opportunity comes to do all that in him lies for peace.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Peace out,

Maverick

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