Defending your friends is a sure-fire way to get into trouble. I guess that's true IRL as well but there's nothing as immediate or as anonymous as the internet, where everyone is unafraid to express their opinion no matter how aggressively and are more often the kind of people that can dish it out but not take it. Such was the case of SCReddit this morning after SC2 player Goswser lamented that the "community" (that mythical non-existent term, but the shortest and easiest way to get your point across) was demoralising him by aggressively criticising his play. Naturally these comments were upvoted and of course, spread amongst the Twitch chat liberally, a cancerous place that few fear to tread and fewer still should. A few messages of support follow on Twitter from various people of some sort of influence within the SC2 scene, all to the tune of "screw those guys, they don't know what they're talking about, chin-up", in whatever form that might take. The reaction from SCReddit was predictable, as it always is every time a lens is focussed on the vocal component of the various forums that support this game.
"I fucking hate how they all respond to him, including nathanias, TB, huk... saying FUCK REDDIT like if one comment with 14 net upvotes represent the whole reddit community."
This always happens, every time. "Reddit isn't one person!", inevitably followed by yet more negativity, focussed on how we as personalities/players or whatever should be grateful to the community because without them we would be nothing. Pay no mind to the absurdity of that idea, or that communities gather around the foundations of scenes not the other way around. It seems that the vocal component of these forums (which is a damn sight longer to type than "community" or "Reddit" or "scene", which is why y'know, we don't) can criticise everybody but itself and reacts violently when that occurs. Members of Reddit, TL or other similar sites make the claim that they are not all one whole that the actions of a few do not represent them all, yet they are always so defensive about the whole thing, acting as a collective pack in defense of the hive, which puts out a pretty confusing message. Yeah you're right, you're not all one person, Reddit or TL etc. is not just one collective voice, so why are you so upset? I mean we'd have to be idiots to assume that it's all one voice coming from there, so surely you can see that when we say "Reddit" we mean "those vocal minority dicks on Reddit", right? Well apparently not, because this goes the same way every time and always exposes even more venomous attitudes.
The whole "we're not toxic guys, honest!" is almost always followed by toxicity. Whatever word you want to use, because apparently toxic has been hijacked so we can't use that term anymore. Let's go with "nobsacks", that's a good word, a good strong British word. You're acting like a bunch of nobsacks, quit it. Some select quotes.
"Also, those 3 same names I named above are a bunch of hypocrites"
This is of course coming from someone who was heavily upvoted on Reddit after he got upset that someone called out Reddit for nobsack behavior. He then proceeds to be a nobsack, calling HuK a 1-trick all-in player and claiming Nathanias' success is "probably" all because of Reddit, not because y'know he put in the work and got up to 4am to cast tournaments for no pay and dedicated his life to the game. There's little more irritating than devaluing someone who's actually done something and I'm a bit sensitive to that, it's got me in trouble before. You remember the Reddit blowup about a year ago where people claimed I hated all my fans? Yeah that all came from that same attitude, someone trying to devalue my work and claiming I didn't build my career, a bunch of people I've never met on the internet built it for me.
I have a lot of respect for anyone that does something within this scene because I've seen first hand how loud, vocal people (the minority apparently) will try and tear you down for it. Investing in this scene is 99% of the time a net loss, either monetarily or in terms of time. What you get back out of it is almost exclusively self-fulfillment and little more than that. There are a handful of people aside from pro-players that make some sort of a living here and it's always far less than they would in another field doing a similar job. They do it because they love it. They do it out of passion and y'know what? Sometimes the whole "vocal minority" thing becomes hard to believe.
"The pro scene is just one big old boy's club. Jobs for mates, and they all rally around if anyone criticises them."
Ahh yes that good old Land of Broken Promises. All the "old boys" live in the grand castle in that land while the community crawls around in the mud waiting for scraps from the table. Nobody in this scene was ever hired based on merit and none of them earned their place, that could have been me damnit, me! That's what I imagine some people saying and no doubt it's happened before. What an old boys club it is too! Most of those old boys work for minimum wage or less and all of em had humble beginnings in some way. "B-b-b-b-b-but, someone told me Day9 made $20k for that one Dreamhack one time". Bolloccksssss. People don't work in this scene to get paid, they work in it for YOU. All of you. Yes even the nobsacks. All everyone here wants to do is a good job so you guys can have fun. It's really that simple. So you're going to have to forgive them if every now and again they make an emotional tweet after a loss because some guy with permanent ladder anxiety decided to shit all over THEIR LIFE. That's what you're doing when you say things like that btw. You react defensively when we criticise "Reddit"? Alright cool, we said something mean about a forum that is more often than not full of mean things, some of you shit on someones career. Which is worse? It would be nice if neither of us were doing that but apparently the willingness to sit down around a fire and kumbaya is in short supply these days.
Here's the lowdown. The only "old-boying" that's going on in this scene is respect for the work that others have done. That's what the "old boys" network is, it's a group of people that actually give a shit about each other and recognise that this is a pretty hard industry to make something of yourself in. Nobody here is coasting and nobody here forgot where they came from and how easily things can just slip away. Personally I'm always going to respect and value the opinion of someone who does something worthwhile in this scene and I'll go out of my way to defend them when they're in a bad spot. That I guess is the difference, the "old boys" network rallied around someone who was in a bad spot and tried to build them up again, the nobsacks tried to tear them down.
If you find these kind of tweets offensive you might want to ask yourself why. Do you actually think we're calling each and every one of you out? I mean really? You're smarter than that right? Or is it a little guilt? Have you taken part in that tearing down in the past, are you doing it right now? Plenty of you are and the upvotes never lie. That's the worst thing about Reddit I suppose, that "vocal minority?" well, it got upvoted a lot, so it's not much of a minority anymore.
We love you, we really do, but we're all also real people. There's a real person in that booth that just lost and is feeling bad about it and yeah, he probably shouldn't got straight to Reddit but then again Reddit, sorry.. "the nobsacks" shouldn't go after him either. By the same token, you're all real people too, so what you say means something. There may be only a few saying it, but there's an awful lot more tolerating it, or even supporting it silently through that little orange arrow. It shouldn't mean much, it shouldn't affect people as much as it does, but hey, none of us are perfect and some have thicker skin than others.... or just get worn down quicker through more attrition.
Looking forward to the inevitable criticism this will bring. Why did I even post this, it'll only lead to trouble. Well I guess that's what Twitter is for, sharing "feels"