Speaking Out

12 Feb

So I’ve been swamped with personal and work-related business and haven’t posted here in a little bit… but also because I had a piece out for consideration with the “real media,” and wanted to hold off on repeating myself too much more until I knew whether it would be appearing in public or not.

It is. The Christian Science Monitor picked it up and has posted it today: “Stop blaming video games for America’s gun violence.” (Their title, not mine. I like cute titles. News sites do not. It’s a genre thing.) It’s a discussion that’s got a lot of attention today: Daniel Greenberg has a piece in The Atlantic offering support for the same position, a Louisville news site, on the other hand, attempts to leave the proverbial door open on that question, and over on DiabloInc, a poster asks fellow players if they view gaming as catharsis or “anger management.”

So now I sit back and hope that the internet is nicer to me than they were to Anita Sarkeesian. I have the feeling that most of them are going to be on my side (at least the ones that went after Sarkeesian will be), but there’s always a sense of trepidation when you broadcast yourself on public channels as opposed to these small, semi-private ones.

The whole experience has been interesting. I post here, and get a few friends to like it or share it,  and I post over at The Learned Fangirl from time to time, but even though they certainly have a broader reader-base than my little blog does, neither venue is anything like the CSM. So this is a little scary for me. I’m talking, loudly and on top of a very real media soapbox, about something highly controversial that not even my mother would agree with (no, really, my mother thinks I’m wrong – I wasn’t allowed videogames growing up, and especially not ones that included guns). I’m pretty sure I’m in the right here, but that doesn’t mean there might not be repercussions. And repercussions can be scary.

So I’m hoping that the internet is kinder to me than it has been to a lot of people. I’m hoping it will be reasonable (“hoping,” not “counting on”), and I’m hoping that tonight’s State of the Union will be similarly reasonable. I’m hoping that we aren’t entering a new 1980s-era age of paranoia and implicit censorship. I’m hoping that we’re able, as a society, to recognize the value in dissent of all kinds, in free speech, but also temper that with the acknowledgment that we need to base our treasured opinions in study and fact rather than paranoia and knee-jerk reactions.