Two pieces I wrote came up this week for people read on MMORPG.com. One was a discussion on progression via levels and skills for Devil’s Advocate, and the other was my explanation for why Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn might very well be a defining moment in MMO history.

On the one hand, commenters on my Devil’s Advocate Post mentioned Asheron’s Call as a game that sort of fulfills the melding of Levels and Skills, and due to my never having played it, I completely skipped it as a talking point.

I felt embarassed. At the same time, I was thankful. Someone had pointed out an issue with my article and it had given me an idea to sort of compare Asheron’s Call and Project Gorgon. It was a good angle to take, and one that I’ll explore for the next Devil’s Advocate.

On the other hand, I also received a comment on the FFXIV post that reads:

You sure did gush a lot for a non biased column.

How much does one of these columns cost a company?

For me, I can read this as trolling, but after the Eurogamer issue that occurred recently, it touched a nerve. As I’m also starting a job at Rappler, a social news site in the Philippines, on November 1, it made me anxious to have my ethics as a writer put into question. Basically, it really stung.

I responded thus,

Just so you know, this isn’t the Devil’s Advocate for this week, and as far as I can remember when I wrote it, I did not mention that I was unbiased.

I like the Final Fantasy brand. At the same time, I will admit that I was disappointed by FFXIII and FFXIV. The information given so far for the game gives me hope, and the potential of a game like this to be a defining moment in MMO history makes me pause, because it can cost tons of jobs and change lives if it fails.

I am enthusiastic for the game based on its potential, but at the same time, I’ve played enough games to know that the potential for something to be good does not make it good unless I try it and make that distinction for myself, based on my personal opinion and my understanding of the situation.

The idea that I am some sort of paid shill is a hurtful insinutation on your part, and while I would defend your ability to say it on this forum if push came to shove, I will not stand by and accept your accusation. Frankly, as a fellow person on this planet, I am hurt by your words, and I honestly hope that you would actually consider the gravity of what you’re saying to me or to anyone else in the future.

In any case, this is just sharing on my part. I take great pains to make sure my pieces are well-written and meaningful, but there are really a ton of variables I can’t account for. I know I should let it pass, but it really soured an otherwise happy day.


About the Author

Victor "Stillwater" Barreiro Jr. is a Twitter-loving, game-playing, stuff-thinking writer who enjoys conversing with people online without inciting rioting or summoning trolls. Also, he loves his mom dearly. :) You can also find him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/iamstillwater

9 Responses to Feeling a Little Thankful, and a Little Hurt

  1. I know easier said than done, but don’t let it get to ya, Vic. You got a lot of great comments on that article, I wouldn’t sweat one from a random person who threw out an ignorant and baseless accusation! :D

  2. Yeebo says:

    It’s really easy to let your emotions run away once folks start commenting on something you have invested in. It seems like a criticism of you as much as what you have written. Add to that a troll that was trying to criticize you directly, and chose to completely ignore whether what you had written was accurate or not…well hell I’d have been tweaked out by that.

    • Just approved your comment. I believe you’re the fellow with the Project Gorgon post I commented on, am I correct? :)

      Anyway, thank you for the comment. I will admit that I’m a little more sensitive to that sort of trolling… but my not having a thicker skin should not be a problem on my part if people were more considerate when talking to other folks.

  3. rowan says:

    Hugs. The guy was a turd, and you responded perfectly. Besides, you were hired by MMORPG.com, not to provide reportage, but to express your opinion, no? Most of the comments were on topic, whether positive or negative, and it was a well-written article.

  4. I think it’s clear that the scandal is going to be a tender spot for all video game journalists and that any accusation of unethical journalism is going to be taken rather seriously. The fact that you responded the way you did wasn’t a sign of you being overly sensitive. In fact, I think that it’s important such accusations are confronted before they run off.

    • Thank you for your input. I think part of the issue is that I am now forced to be more of a public personality. I can’t exist in my little social media vacuum anymore where only friends get to talk to me. Instead, I have to be open to accepting more criticism and at the same addressing comments of that sort in a more professional manner than I did when I made my comment.

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