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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Simplifying complicated topics

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30 posts found
  Quirhid

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5492

I dare you to pin a label on me.

 
OP  2/01/13 8:31:27 AM#1

I've been following the circus that is called "politics" and I saw the same tactics there that are quite common on these forums aswell. That is, mainly, making a complicated topic seem like a simple one and presenting it as a binary issue with either-or solutions. Topics I've seen this happen include:

  • Pay to Win discussions
  • Free to Play versus Pay to Play discussions
  • Sandbox versus themepark
  • Instances and other issues touching the "purity" of MMOs
  • ...and many others

Have you seen this happen? Do you think simplifying the matter helps finding the answer if there is one? Does the person doing the simplification doing it for some agenda?

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  PsiKahn

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/26/12
Posts: 124

2/01/13 8:59:39 AM#2

I think you have correctly identified a trend, and one that goes far beyond discussion of computer games.  I think creating a dichotomy gives the feeling of simplifying the issue: black and white, good and bad.  That said, most of these are false dichotomies in that they ignore a viable middle ground.  So while we are simplifying the discussion, we are also severely limiting the terms of it and the possible solutions.

EDIT: you'll notice this in play in the simple act of voting in a legislative body.  You either vote for or against.  What if you would vote a percentage, or on a scale of 5?  Would that change the discussion?  In these forums I do think that a number of people actively try to stake out the middle ground, even if the thread starts off trying to create a binary.

  muffins89

Novice Member

Joined: 10/15/12
Posts: 1254

2/01/13 9:03:00 AM#3
i think you're over complicating simple topics.

I think the prostitute mod corrupted your game files man. -elhefen

  Nadia

Elite Member

Joined: 7/26/03
Posts: 11241

2/01/13 9:03:24 AM#4
Originally posted by Quirhid   Does the person doing the simplification doing it for some agenda?

I dont think they have an agenda - they just wear "black or white" glasses

when everything is shades of grey

  MadnessRealm

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/02/09
Posts: 2690

Ignorance is Bliss.

2/01/13 9:14:23 AM#5
Originally posted by PsiKahn

I think you have correctly identified a trend, and one that goes far beyond discussion of computer games.  I think creating a dichotomy gives the feeling of simplifying the issue: black and white, good and bad.  That said, most of these are false dichotomies in that they ignore a viable middle ground.  So while we are simplifying the discussion, we are also severely limiting the terms of it and the possible solutions

I don't think they simply "ignore a viable middle ground", I don't think there's even a dilemma for them. Often it seems they create threads solely for the purpose of reaffirming their own belief. For example "P2P is good, P2W is bad. Discuss" is how I would resume much of the discussion on this forum regarding P2P vs. F2P. Those thread starters already have a preconception against one or the other, so in essence there is no 'dilemma' for the thread starter, only his view is the 'right one'.

------
Your daily dose of common sense since 2009!

  greenreen

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/19/12
Posts: 1390

2/01/13 9:41:14 AM#6

Breaking down a large task into smaller pieces is the foundation of problem solving.

Some things are black and white. There are no reports of people "sort of playing games", they either do or don't and that comes with reasons behind it.

They have polls on the site to try to discover answers, not say everything is grey. A poll with every answer not having a side wouldn't lead to much discussion  - would it.

The topics that you see repeated - good. That means that someone is passionate about them. Which means they are passionate about gaming, which means your games aren't going to be empty, which would inevitably lead to more complaints.

Do we need to get personal about it and call names - no. I'll admit though that if someone attempts to sideline conversation with me and quotes me on an opposing side without reading my type or digesting it, that can quickly turn sour. They knew that though didn't they. In the real world can you have a conversation with someone and ignore everything they say then expect them to continue or perhaps to say, excuse me, I'm going over there now.

  dave6660

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/26/08
Posts: 2320

"Next time I see you, remind me not to talk to you."

2/01/13 9:41:34 AM#7

The popular logical fallacies, such as the False Dilemma, are used a lot because they're effective.  They leave an impression on the audience.

"Why so serious?"
-- The Joker

  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

2/01/13 10:02:37 AM#8
Originally posted by Quirhid

I've been following the circus that is called "politics" and I saw the same tactics there that are quite common on these forums aswell. That is, mainly, making a complicated topic seem like a simple one and presenting it as a binary issue with either-or solutions. Topics I've seen this happen include:

  • Pay to Win discussions
  • Free to Play versus Pay to Play discussions
  • Sandbox versus themepark
  • Instances and other issues touching the "purity" of MMOs
  • ...and many others

Have you seen this happen? Do you think simplifying the matter helps finding the answer if there is one? Does the person doing the simplification doing it for some agenda?

You should always state the premises of the argument explicitly; this is the principle of audiatur et altera pars.

The premises of an argument are often introduced with words such as "Assume," "Since," "Obviously," and "Because."

"True" is one of my personal favorites. "Everyone knows" means it just isn't so, by at least 10000 to 1. A hundred types of gamer slang. "Hardcore"-what do YOU mean when you say that? "Sandbox", what do YOU mean when you say that? "Classic MMOs"-which title (specifically) do you envision when you say that?

People, I believe, just find it difficult to grasp that what's omgobvious to them may not be true, or the least bit obvious, to other readers.

Why do people seek simple arguments? The same reason they seek binary answers.

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  BadSpock

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/21/04
Posts: 7677

Logic be damned!

2/01/13 10:14:16 AM#9

Even the most "simple" Themepark MMO is a collection of systems that interact and intertwine in exceedingly complex ways.

I'm often reminded of the GW2 arguement of "just make a PvP server" as a good vessel for portraying how so many people on this site actually understand so very little.

 

Now Playing: D3:RoS, Watch Dogs
Looking Towards: Destiny

  ignore_me

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/04/11
Posts: 2034

2/01/13 10:20:43 AM#10
Great thread. I agree with you and I think that this is something worth noting. I think that there is an agenda, even if it's as simple as just engaging in sophistry for the sport of it.

Survivor of the great MMORPG Famine of 2011

  Aeonblades

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/12/12
Posts: 1773

2/01/13 10:22:25 AM#11

Good thread.

I agree with ya OP.

But I will say this can go either way, people around here also like to take a simple topic and make a 4 paragraph post about something that could be summed up in one sentence.

 

Currently Playing: ESO,FFXIV, various betas
Have played: You name it.

  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

2/01/13 10:31:16 AM#12
Originally posted by ignore_me
Great thread. I agree with you and I think that this is something worth noting. I think that there is an agenda, even if it's as simple as just engaging in sophistry for the sport of it.

Wouldn't simplification be anti-sophistry? Not necesssarily, I suppose. Just informality. :shrug:

We know why politicians do it. Cynical belief that Americans can't digest anything longer than a sound bite.

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  dave6660

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/26/08
Posts: 2320

"Next time I see you, remind me not to talk to you."

2/01/13 11:19:03 AM#13
Originally posted by Icewhite
Originally posted by ignore_me
Great thread. I agree with you and I think that this is something worth noting. I think that there is an agenda, even if it's as simple as just engaging in sophistry for the sport of it.

Wouldn't simplification be anti-sophistry? Not necesssarily, I suppose. Just informality. :shrug:

We know why politicians do it. Cynical belief that Americans can't digest anything longer than a sound bite.

Is it really cynical?  We live in a country where 75% of Americans can name the Three Stooges but only 42% could name the three branches of our government.

"Why so serious?"
-- The Joker

  Quirhid

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5492

I dare you to pin a label on me.

 
OP  2/01/13 11:41:20 AM#14
Originally posted by BadSpock

Even the most "simple" Themepark MMO is a collection of systems that interact and intertwine in exceedingly complex ways.

I'm often reminded of the GW2 arguement of "just make a PvP server" as a good vessel for portraying how so many people on this site actually understand so very little.

Make a "Skyrim MMO" would be another.

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  waynejr2

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/12/11
Posts: 3705

RIP City of Heroes!

2/01/13 12:32:50 PM#15
Originally posted by Nadia
Originally posted by Quirhid   Does the person doing the simplification doing it for some agenda?

I dont think they have an agenda - they just wear "black or white" glasses

when everything is shades of grey

 I agree with this.  A lot of asperger/nerdie types tend to have black and white thinking.  It makes it hard to deal with those people. 

  Quirhid

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5492

I dare you to pin a label on me.

 
OP  2/01/13 5:50:53 PM#16
Perhaps simple things bring comfort to some people. Do we have varying tolerance of uncertainty?

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  ignore_me

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/04/11
Posts: 2034

2/01/13 8:47:03 PM#17
Originally posted by Icewhite
Originally posted by ignore_me
Great thread. I agree with you and I think that this is something worth noting. I think that there is an agenda, even if it's as simple as just engaging in sophistry for the sport of it.

Wouldn't simplification be anti-sophistry? Not necesssarily, I suppose. Just informality. :shrug:

We know why politicians do it. Cynical belief that Americans can't digest anything longer than a sound bite.

Hmm, I was going off of the definition I remembered, sophistry being the art of making the lesser argument sound like the greater argument independent of veracity. That could be wrong though :)

As for the second part, it seems accurate to say that they can understand more than a sound bite, but don't spare the attention for anything greater.

Survivor of the great MMORPG Famine of 2011

  wormywyrm

Novice Member

Joined: 11/01/04
Posts: 1719

2/01/13 9:49:01 PM#18

Nice thead.  Yeah one reason people simplify things is to hide problems because they have an agenda.  For instance, star trek always had some simplified explaination to the nonsense technobabble.

Fox news <3 simplification of issues.

But sometimes its necessary for obvious reasons...

Play as your fav retro characters: cnd-online.net. My site: www.lysle.net. Blog: creatingaworld.blogspot.com.

  greenreen

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/19/12
Posts: 1390

2/01/13 10:32:12 PM#19

Came back to read other posts. I can't understand why people don't claim to see things black and white.

My concern is that if you can't see purely good or bad that you are susceptible to fence straddling which could lead to being swayed according to personal gain since your world is all grey.

Example - Stealing is bad, but if I steal for me, it's not bad if I can't get caught and no one gets hurt. The person you stole from gets hurt. Oh no, I stole from a business, they don't need the money. They have employees that need the money. But they can write it off on taxes as a loss and still pay their employees with other funds. Now, you just gave yourself the justification to steal because you don't see stealing as wrong no matter the situation. If you don't have black and white, you have an eraser and a pencil at the same time in your head, you erase what is low risk and draw lines towards what is attainable. Let someone in management embezzle funds then I'll bet you see black and white when you don't get paid and the company shuts down.

Then you get the people complaining about when we give people the death penalty. Oh boohoo, you are killing people and giving them a date to die. Hey, that was usually more than their victims got, why all the boohoo after they did something worse is shocking to me. Tell me people don't have good and bad thoughts when it comes to actions like pedophiles. Anyone ever say what they did is ok or that it's a grey area.

The pitch forks are black and white all the time, why expect gaming views to not be. It's still humans behind the keyboard or in your face during conversations. Every one of you see some black and white though you aren't admitting it.

Fence straddling isn't an enlightened view, it's being mutable and wavering per moment. Reminds me of this song. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_s-Qk07KxA Pick a side :P

  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

2/01/13 10:32:43 PM#20

I feel that deep down, most people here have a fairly sophisticated understanding of the issues.  It's just that when a large number of people all try to talk to each other at once, simplications happen.  We don't have an unlimited amount of each others' attention in which to make our points.   When regulars get involved in the same discussions over and over, they get tired of going through all the details (both while writing and while reading) - eventually dropping everything down to buzzwords. 

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