Because we see what happens when you do.

I posted angry a few days ago.

The only thing I regret is that I posted in anger, and the anger had nothing to do with what I was writing about. Also, because I was angry, I rushed to vent my spleen onto the internet without taking the time to make sure I said everything I wanted to. Sent it out confrontational, aggressive, hurtful and with half the things I wanted to say still swirling around in my head.

When I talk here, I always make the standard internet mistake. I talk like I would to folks who I have known for over seven years of intimate sharing. I assume you know what is in my heart. Poor communicating on my part; you can only know what I say, not what I think.

For the record, I stand by everything I said. I do wish I’d have done it without anger, I didn’t set out to hurting peoples feelings or say things that clearly sounded like I hated or was angry with other people in the community.

I regret the anger. I wasn’t angry about what I wrote. I’m still not.

I was angry for other, completely separate reasons.

Stuff is going on with our son at school, not bullying or anything like that at all, but it’s stuff he has to deal with on his own. There is very little we can actually do to help, and I have a hard time feeling useless, having to stand by and watch and do nothing. I hate it, and the anger and frustration I feel with myself for being useless and unable to help is feeding a really good head of steam.

I didn’t really know what was causing me to be so angry, but I sure as hell was. And when I got irritated at the way it feels people are ganging up on and bullying Blizzard to reveal stuff about the upcoming story to assuage their fears, or to make changes without even knowing what’s going to happen past the first chapter of the prelude to a novel, I let that irritation grow into a full fledged tirade.

I’m still angry about the school stuff with the Cub. That hasn’t changed, but at least now I understand why I’m so quick to take offense at the littlest things right now. I’ll let it go soon, knowing where shit is coming from in my head is the best start to letting it go.

Look, I’ll end this with a few points I wanted to make, and let it be done.

First, I feel that we saw some geeks having a great time in the company of friends at BlizzCon, and I think they focused on the ‘boy’s club’ bullshit because all they can share with us without spoilers is the first chapter of the introduction to a massive novel. I think if PR reps had released carefully worded statements, it wouldn’t have gone out the way it did. But these are geeks, with the over enthusiastic explosion of excitement and all it entails.

Second, I don’t think it’s fair or realistic to go after Blizzard community managers in anger at the story and anyone’s portion of it when we have no facts of what is to come after the beachhead in Draenor. We don’t have any facts on which to base outrage. We just don’t. We only know the very tip of what is to come. Voicing concern is fine and healthy, it helps Blizzard know where we are and what our hopes and dreams for the expansion will be. But attacking in outrage and hate is just wrong. Most didn’t act that way, but enough I saw did that it is what spurred my initial irritation.

Third, Blizzard has a history of making some bad, offensive mistakes when it comes to sexism and other topics in the game. I say other topics, but we’ve got rape culture, torture, racism, bullying… there have been incidents at BlizzCons of the past and coded into the game itself. Most of us know that and we all have a right to be concerned when we think we’re seeing it happen again. I know I don’t want my son exposed to it, that torture quest in Northrend in particular still bothers me, and so does some of the creepy stalking of Ji Firepaw, and those damn Oglers and Mina in Pandaria. And other stuff, when I let my mind roam over the years.

I feel that we have to wait until Blizzard actually makes the mistake before we can register our concern aggressively. They have been very good about recognizing the mistakes when brought to their attention by the community, and fixing them. I wish they wouldn’t make them in the first place, but attacking the game designers now before anything is even in beta for us to see in game feels wrong.

Fourth, I agree that it is a good idea to share those hopes and dreams we have for what we’d like to see in the game with the developers. My objection is when some people phrase it as an attack, an accusation, a pre-emptive strike. Getting in your retaliation first. Say what you expect, get the message out, but accept that in the end the story is in the hands of Blizzard, and is fueled by what they are most excited and passionate about.

Some things they can probably add or change, but I think we’ve all got to remind ourselves, the story they’re telling now was written and decided over a year ago. They’re crafting the story for the next expansion now, and the one after that. All we can hope for now is that they can add subplots if the community asks for things they didn’t think of way back then. But those requests should come with a measure of respect, and failing that, some courtesy. Not outright hostility.

Fifth and last. I truly do apologize to the people who read what I write and felt it was a personal attack. I really do. I’m sorry. I am aware that it was uncalled for and over the top, and none of you deserved to have even a moments confusion as to whether I was talking to you, about you, or felt any anger towards you.

I can’t ask for forgiveness, but I can at least tell you that I’ll try to only rant and rave like a lunatic when the emotions I feel go with what I’m talking about.

Peace to you all, my friends and to all who sometimes visit for whatever reason.

18 Responses to “Don’t Post Angry!”
  1. El Bearsidente says:

    Posting angry is fine.

    Sometimes you just need to go RAWR! It’s perfectly normal.

    Though this bear? I don’t post angry. I just tazer a random bystander.

  2. Rades says:

    Sorry to hear things are frustrating IRL with the Cub BBB, hope they work themselves out soon! That can’t be easy.

    I’ve definitely got a handful of posts that are in permanent draft status because they were written angry or to vent about things that really annoyed me, about the game, or about the community. It’s tough as a blogger because sometimes those posts – while perhaps not making any friends – are usually really passionate/honest, haha. But yeah, I hear you.

    I think your points here have summed it up well, and I basically feel the same. Eyebrow-raising statements, but they’re not professional PR guys, so grain of salt. Too early to be truly angry, but definitely fair to be worried, or for women to feel a little ignored so far. And you’re very right about Blizzard’s past, they’ve had some missteps so early caution (caution, not outrage) certainly can’t hurt.

    • bigbearbutt says:

      We’ve talked in email to three of his teachers now, and we’re scheduled to meet with his main homeroom teacher in person at the school next Wednesday. For some of them the problem has come as a complete surprise.

      We’ve talked about pulling him out of private school for public school or home schooling, we’re looking at everything we can do, but there is little we can really do ourselves except talk to teachers about how we can all best help the Cub handle this himself. We both feel right now that pulling him out isn’t a good choice, it would disrupt his life a lot.

  3. aramisx says:

    I agree with El Bearsidente. Posting angry is fine. It’s your blog. If you’re censoring yourself on your own blog where this is suppose to be a forum for YOUR expression and thoughts, then why have it?

    People might not agree (and this case, they didn’t), but if they know you or at least have read your blog, they’ll know you’re not attacking them personally.

    Also, when you post, it’s a portrait of how you were thinking and feeling at that moment in time, like taking a picture. It’s interesting to go back to and see how your thoughts and perspectives change (or don’t) as time goes by. Which is why I say don’t censor yourself.

    • bigbearbutt says:

      There IS a fun mini-game I play when I post something stupid and offensive.

      My blog is set to hold for moderation any comment by someone who has never commented before. A simple spam filter. If it’s a real comment, I can approve it and that person will always be auto-approved after that.

      So when I post something horribly offensive like that last post, it’s a fun game to see how many comments are held in moderation, each one representing someone who never, ever visited my blog before or ever had a kind word t say in all the years I’ve been blogging, but who wanted to stop by and post a comment this one time to make sure I know that they hate me.

      Because after all, the opinions of people who have never bothered to say a kind word or offer constructive feedback in the seven years before this post are really going to matter to me.

      No, it’s the feelings of the people I know who I hurt with that post that matter to me, not some total dumbass stranger.

      • bigbearbutt says:

        Oh, and in case there was ever any doubt, I’ve approved every comment left on that previous post. If I can post aggressive, hurtful stuff so can everyone else in reply. Fair is fair.

      • Lassirra says:

        As someone whose comment was held in moderation on the previous post — it wasn’t my first comment here by any means (they’re infrequent, but they’ve been there over the years), and for the most part, I agreed with what you said.

        Every new commentor is a potential new friend; I wouldn’t write people off so easily. Well, unless they’re being blatantly rude and obnoxious, of course. Then, in the words of Mograine… BURN IN RIGHTEOUS FIRE!!

        Just sayin’.

        Keep on keepin’ on, BBB. <3

        • bigbearbutt says:

          You shouldn’t have been in moderation. Supposed to only hold first time comments :(

          I’m sorry you got held up!

      • aramisx says:

        Well I don’t hate you or your blog :(

        I’ve followed it for a long time, just never posted…one of the big things I like about it, is the earnestness with which you write.

  4. Beshara says:

    Sorry to hear things are rough with the Cub. Right now I am on edge just watching my son deal with molars coming in. I can only imagine how you must feel with a harder issue going on with your son. I hope things work out for him and for you.
    This post I agree with. I feel it is way too little information to get worried about these issues. The “boys club” quote was in the same answer as the reassurance that Zaela and Garona would be there. I am almost inclined to believe he was making a bad joke because of that context. I personally will reserve judgement until we can see more.

  5. Dahakha says:

    I largely agree with what you’ve said here, BBB. I am starting to get the feeling that you saw different posts than I have, and I can imagine that if any of them were on the forums…well, I avoid those forums because it is too much effort to hunt through the hate and vitriol for the thoughtful, rational posts.

    I still fundamentally disagree with the argument that they couldn’t reveal much without spoiling the whole expansion story, or that we don’t have any facts on which to base any outrage. As I said last time, they have had the issue of representation brought to their attention many times by many people over the years. They have had plenty of time to write their story with a good mix of both male and female protagonists, if they cared enough about the issue. I don’t know what the makeup of their writing team is like, but they have had plenty of time to bring in more female writers to influence the story and the way women are portrayed.

    If the issue was important to them, they’d have made an effort to highlight their progress. This isn’t about containing yourself for fear of revealing too much of the story. They could have simply mentioned that Jaina, or Sylvanas, or “several new female characters” would have a pivotal role in the new expansion. That simple statement, offered freely and without being dragged from them by a Q&A inquisition, would have nipped this whole drama in the bud. A decent PR person would have highlighted that statement as a *YOU MUST MENTION THIS* when they were deciding what to reveal.

    We have several facts upon which to base our concern (which may lead to outrage in some). The fact that they highlighted a token female as important to the story tells us that either they don’t know the demographics of their playerbase (unlikely), or that they thought said token would be enough to satisfy that playerbase. It also tells us that they are aware of the issue of representation, but that they don’t care enough about it to make a serious effort in that regard. The fact that no other major female character was mentioned as being prominent in the story (for the record, I don’t think “Zaela and Garona will be there” qualifies for prominence) tells us that the story they have at the moment is overly dominated by males. The fact that the videogame industry is as hostile towards women as it is, and – as you said – Blizzard is guilty of making those kinds of blunders in the past, tells us that without specific reassurances to the contrary, the probability is extremely high that they are making another blunder. It’s all very well to say that we don’t know what the writers have planned, but unfortunately history shows that the good stuff (such as the solo scenarios to unlock the Isle of Thunder) is the very rare exception. In short, all of these facts point to the conclusion that there is absolutely no reason to believe that women are going to be well represented in the story. It’s up to Blizzard to give us reason to believe, and they failed in that at Blizzcon.

    You are right that personal attacks on the CMs, the panellists, or the devs at Blizz is unacceptable. I think you are right that they have been fairly good at recognising and fixing *specific* mistakes when they are brought to their attention, but I am not so sure that they have grasped that most of the criticism they are receiving this time is about an entrenched, systemic way of thinking. I am encouraged that AppleCiderMage seems to have the ear of at least two prominent CMs, and hopefully Blizz will get the constructive criticism they need through that channel.

  6. Jicama says:

    Ah, I’m sorry to hear that your child is having trouble. That must fray the nerves. But I’ve no doubt they’ll be able to overcome, one way or another.

    Also, now that I more clearly see your intended point, I absolutely agree. People *should* remember that devs and CMs are people and should be treated with respect (especially if one wants them to respect one’s own opinion). I haven’t seen it regarding the issue at hand, but I have seen them treated with truly appalling levels of disrespect.

    I find it somewhat funny that any criticism of the story is both too early, in that we only know a fraction of it so far, and too late; as I’ve no doubt that which characters will be appearing in WoD and what they’ll do (though not necessarily what they’ll say), up until the first patch at least, is largely decided already. Though that’s no reason to say nothing, as there’s always a better future to work towards.

    On the other hand, I’d say that a critique of the *marketing* of the story, which several folks have provided, is undeniably reasonable. As we have received a single, complete example.

    Anyway, thanks for the food for thought.

  7. lissanna says:

    For my part, I was never angry. I wasn’t angry at Blizzard in general. I wasn’t angry at BBB for posting. I wasn’t angry at Neth. I was just sad and feeling left out from a game that I had dedicated almost 10 years of my life to. On my blog, I wanted to have a safe place for people to write about how they also felt sad and left out. I decided to make the post after finding a lot of smaller bloggers expressing the same concerns. I waited an entire week to make sure I could give the post the attention it deserved, and to make sure I didn’t post out of anger. I also provided a week for Blizzard to figure it out and do something on their own.

    Arcadia’s comment on my blog (the very last comment) really breaks my heart, where she says: “When Blizzard doesn’t write stories featuring female characters at all, it tells me and others that I am not worthy of stories. If I am not worthy of stories, then I am not human.”

    While Blizzard has usually been better than other game companies at making at least some females be featured in their stories, their presentation at Blizzcon really didn’t show their normal level of sensitivity. In that respect, it becomes my responsibility to make sure that other female gamers are heard. Once WOD is on the shelves, it is too late to fix a lack of female representation in their stories – because that would be asking for undeveloped token females to be added after release. So, now is the only time to comment on it.

  8. Seren says:

    It’s your blog Bear, I say post how you want to post. That includes posting angry IMO.

    But the title of this post has me picturing a groundhog typing furiously at computer and Bill Murray is behind him going “Don’t post angry.”

  9. KaraSmalls says:

    Greetings BBB,

    Some of the hardest things I’ve had to do in my life were recognizing when I needed to step back and let my sons experience the pain and joy of growing up. Some of those learning experiences were tougher on me than on them…and I think that’s just a universal parenting experience. My sons are 23 and 25…and it’s still painful for me at times to see them stumble in their lives…but I’ve learned to hold my tongue and only offer advice when asked. They are living their lives now…and that’s as it should be. I can say, it’s not any easier for me to watch, but I have come to a point of acceptance. It’s just life.

    You’re not alone in this BBB, every parent who cares has felt these feelings of anger and helplessness as their children grow up. It’s part and parcel of the experience.

    —–

    Now, about female characters in the World of Warcraft. In my opinion, and yes, I’m a female; some of the strongest characters in Warcraft are female. I’ve read several of Christie Golden’s Warcraft books, so I’m certain that has shaped my opinions as well.

    Moira Thaurissan – Leader of the Dark Irons and protector of her son’s future. She showed the Bronzebeards and the Wildhammers what trust means. She left her son in Ironforge, trusting those who didn’t trust her, to respond to a threat to all dwarves. This is a dwarf, a female dwarf, with moxy.

    Sylvanas Windrunner — Dark Lady, Queen of the Forsaken…The Banshee Queen. Arthas learned that you can’t keep a strong woman down, even if you kill her and raise her from the dead as an act of whimsy. She regained her freewill, took over Lordaeron and kicked demon butt.

    Jaina Proudmoore – Daughter of an Admiral, Arthas’s one time betrothed, founder of Theramore, friend to Thrall (this has changed due to Garrosh’s actions), love interest of Kael’thas and Kalecgos, stands firm against the wishes of a powerful king to do war (Varian Wyrnn), current leader of the Kirin Tor. How much stronger of a female character could there be in any saga? She has it all.

    Aggra — a Shaman, a leader among her people, helpmate to Thrall, mother to their child. I would like to see her story fleshed out. It’s so strong; I hope the writers do see fit to continue it.

    Tyrande Whisperwind – High Priestess of Elune, soulmate to Malfurion, Illidian’s unrequited love, protector of the Kaldorei.

    Vereesa Windrunner – Sylvanas’s sister, survived the scrouge of Lordaeron, Rohnin’s wife, mother to twin boys. I would like to see her story continue.

    Shandris Feathermoon – at 16 years old, she lost her entire family to the burning legion. She met Tyrande Whisperwind and learned the arts of divine magic and healing. Oh, and she’s a crack shot with a bow. My hunter could use some lessons from her.

    Personally, I’m ok with how women are portrayed in game at the moment. I think folks forget at times that WoW is a “role playing game”. If you want to see a strong female character, role-play one. That’s what I do.

    **laughs** BBB, you have Bear Walls of Text, and this comment is getting to an epic length. You’ve gotten me to thinking once again with one of your posts. Good job that.

  10. Ernost says:

    What the hell are you apologizing for? This is YOUR blog, for voicing YOUR opinions. Hell, half the reason I like reading it is because of your honesty. You don’t pull punches, you tell it like you see it.

    IMO most of the commenters seem to have missed the core truth you post was trying to make: when someone creates a story, it is THEIR story. Some random douche on the internet who has never created anything like it, & does not have the talent to do so, has NO RIGHT to tell them they are doing it wrong. If you don’t like it, don’t watch/read/play it.

    It irritates me greatly to see stuff like this: http://torwars.com/star-wars-series-ifs/

  11. gus says:

    The second I saw your anger post I knew you would be attacked it surprised me a bit to see some of your fellow bloggers go at it as hard as they did
    maybe a few references to the posts you found more offensive would have helped still I believe the PC’s are the strongest protagonist of the story

    In the end it can be how your pc be it male or female brought down the lich king saved Azeroth from Deathwing and stopped Garrosh Hellscream.

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