Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Please explain why I shouldn't have an opinion

When I buy a newspaper, there are sections that I like, and sections that I don't like. So I'm using a clever trick: I read the news, technology, economy and whatever else section I'm interested in, and I simply skip for example the sports section that I'm not interested in. What I don't do is write angry letters to the Washington Post, telling them that they should stick to politics, that they have no idea about sports, and they should stop printing a sports section, or I'd unsubscribe. But exactly that is what several readers are regularly doing on this blog, whenever I write about anything but games. Funny thing is that a lot of readers writing to the Washington Post to remove their sports section or they'd unsubscribe have a better chance of succeeding as people threatening me with the same if I don't stick to games. I don't know if you noticed, but you aren't actually subscribed to this blog, and I don't actually make a single cent from you reading this. Which means your leverage is pretty much zero. But in the interest of a fair discussion, I'd like to give everyone the opportunity to express their opinion on why I shouldn't be allowed to have an opinion. Why shouldn't I write about politics, religion, culture, current affairs, news, etc., if I feel like it?

One argument I hear is qualification. Some people say that because I'm European, I shouldn't be allowed to write about America. Which in this globalized society isn't really a sustainable argument. All the magazines and newspapers I read, all the TV news, always contain information about America. Just look at the recent financial crisis, and tell me how I could understand why my European stocks tanked without considering America and it's sub-prime mortgages. I'm well informed about American politics too, and I'm pretty certain that there are people living in the United States who know less about the presidential election than I do.

Another point of view would be that me writing about other things is to the detriment of me writing about games. But why would that be? For example I'm interested in real world economics, and my knowledge on real world economics opens up the door to interesting blog post about the economics of virtual worlds. The better educated I am, the broader world view I have, the better I can understand games and what people are doing in games. If I would start to post several posts on politics a day, and none about games, I would understand your concern. But that is certainly not what I am doing. Over 90% of my posts are on games, and I often post several posts a day. There is considerably more games content on this blog than on many other MMORPG blogs. So a post on something else once in a while can't really turn my blog into something other than a games blog.

So, explain me: Why can't you just skip the posts that you don't like? Why do you have to leave a comment to tell me to shut my mouth, whenever I talk about something other than MMORPGs? Why should I not be allowed to express my opinions on world events on my very own blog, free of charge?

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