Monday, June 22, 2015

Tabletop, Wil Wheaton, and Internet Judgment

(Language warning)

Incidents with Wil Wheaton's blog last week created an uproar on the net of tidal proportions. Who doesn't know that Wil Wheaton runs the coolest game demoing show on the net? If you haven't watched Tabletop, you are missing out. Alas, his third season has had some problems that he comes out to explain in the following of his blog posts:

TABLETOP, KINGDOM BUILDER AND SCREWING UP THE RULES

CRITICAL FAILURE

Before I get too far, I'm going to quote Wil on that second blog post where he says something that hits remarkably close to home for me and my project.

Note that first sentence. It's of incredible importance. It's a solemn reminder that we are human. Something that people seem to want to cast aside when it comes to the internet. You aren't allowed to be human on the internet. The entirety of both those blog posts show that Wil is just that, human. It shows that he deals with all the same bull that someone new to the industry can deal with.

It's also an important lesson in dealing with people who aren't going to like what you do. It's a lesson I learned, but I wasn't prepared for the level of gross "shitting on" I was going to receive. It honestly took me by surprise. As Wil said in his second blog post, he may not have responded to the issues in the best way he could. Same goes for me. But there are points for everyone when the needling just hits that nerve one too many times.

You're supposed to always be positive and always wear a happy face. But that's not the human thing to do when people are taking that gratuitous dump on your work.

When my art work was attacked; hold on, let me explain that. It felt like being attacked because the feedback consisted of unhelpful negative remarks given in force of numbers. When 8-15 people line up in one comment thread to say things like:

"Your work looks like a five year old did it."
"It looks purposely bad."
"It's abysmal."
"My kid could do better on MS Paint."
"Hire someone else to do it."

It's only natural to feel  outnumbered and it shook me up. Then I had people ask me questions that they clearly didn't want the answers to. When they got the answer they said I was full of excuses. But you know what all that really means? Two things.

-I'll never impress those people with anything. No, Nothing. Accept it.
-Those are the absolute wrong people for me to show my work to.

My artwork is my achievement. Do I expect it to be the permanent face of my project. No I don't. But it's still my achievement. These people have no idea how  hard it was for me to do what I did, and frankly, they don't give two shits.

So I have to get this going in my mind. When someone lines up to shit on my work, I need to dismiss them. I have too much to do to worry about their woes. If they have a constructive idea to toss my way, I'm all cool with that. If they just don't like my games or stories. That's fine too.

But even in the practice of that, I'm human. Has being human alienated me? Probably to some degree. I feel bad about that, but I just have to dust myself off and keep working.

I think Wil Wheaton is going to bounce back from this and keep doing amazing things. I'm sure I can follow that example.

I have to stick with the facts that matter too. People who have played my game have enjoyed it. I have published two books. I have actually fully developed and designed a prototype in solid cardboard. These are my achievements. Let no amount of elitist shit ever tarnish them.
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