Gamers: Stop Misusing the Word BIAS
(This is another edition of </RANT>, a weekly opinion piece column on GameFront. Check back every week for more)
I am never not surprised by the overwhelming stupidity of some gamers on the Internet. I’m often asked why I’m still shocked when somebody makes a stupid comment about a news post or a videogame review, questioning my inability to be desensitized to imbecilic behavior, but I suppose it’s due to my naive desire to see humanity become more than the braying animals we falsely believe to have risen above. Every idiotic comment, every clueless conspiracy theory, every demand that a 9/10 review score be a 10/10 because it’s too low, reconfirms how similar we still are to simple cattle.
Nothing crushes my soul, however, more than the word “bias.” This word is everything that is wrong with the gamer community. I realize that, to anybody with a shred of rudimentary intelligence, I’m preaching to the choir. Unfortunately, there are still thousands of mewling manchildren infesting the Internet, and I feel compelled to rant.
Let me make it very plain — if you’ve ever used the word “bias” in response to a gaming writer’s opinion, without the requisite hint of irony, then you’re a f***ing idiot. There’s no two ways about it. Writing off an opinion as biased without explaining what you mean is the dumbest thing a gamer can do, short of cutting off his own di*k and shoving it up his arse. I’m not sure why the word became so popular amongst gamers, to the point where doing a Google search for the word on N4G brings up over 27,700 results, but that’s the situation we’re in. The word “bias” has become such a pillar of gaming language that it’s become a joke among the smarter gamers and a crutch for the dumber ones who need to quick go-to word to express their angst over a publication’s latest article.
People who use the word seriously almost always completely misunderstand what the word actually means. All too often, I’ve seen angry commenters call a review “biased” without explaining what the review is supposed to be biased against. Listen up, d*ckworms — the word “bias” does not mean, “Something I disagree with or think is stupid.” In order for something to be biased, you need to demonstrate how the reviewer in question has used his personal feelings to make a systematic error, placing his emotional thought process over facts. Nine times out of ten, it’s impossible to prove this because the review is inherently based in subjective f***ing opinion. When reviewing a videogame, human feeling is inherently part of the rating process. Reviews aren’t dictated by statistical spreadsheets and unwavering, unalterable algorithms. Reviews are based on what a writer feels about a game. If you want pure objectivity, just read the game’s manual or a bulleted list of simple facts. You won’t find objectivity in a review. The search for such a thing is futile.
Similarly, many news stories are called biased if the writer’s opinion does not match that of the reader. For instance, when I wrote my article about dumb arguments concerning the PSN outage, I was accused around the Internet of being “biased.” Unfortunately for such accusers, the only way a blog story can be fairly accused of bias is if the story in question is presented as a factual, impartial piece of information. Anybody who called my PSN article “biased” was a complete moron because it was very clearly an editorial opinion piece, not meant to be taken as impartial news.
Many blogs employ punditry over dry news publication. The very nature of such blogs makes prejudice an inescapable thing. It’s human to have preferences and bugbears, and in pundit-led blogs, these human quirks come out to play. You can’t just call it “bias” and expect that to be a valid criticism of the writing, because it isn’t. You may think somebody’s opinion is stupid, or you may think they misinterpreted some information, but using the word “bias” with absolutely nothing to qualify the sentiment is nothing but pathetic drivel from a retard who has no business being listened to.
There are certain words that should not be thrown around without further explanation to back them up, and “bias” is most certainly one of them. The moment you accuse a writer of bias, the onus is on you to demonstrate how the writer has been willfully selective and attempted to censor vital information, or how he/she’s ignored facts in order to focus on their gut feelings. You also have to prove whether or not it’s even wrong for the writer to have done such a thing, given the context of the publication that the article appears in. I am confident that 99% of the “bias” accusations made by gamers cannot be backed up in this way.
It would be nice for the shrill shriekers among the gaming community to have an original f***ing thought for once. That’s clearly the problem with the word “bias” today. It speaks of a gamer who hasn’t thought for himself, who is just rattling off a word like some sort of brainless parrot, simply because somebody else said it. All writers could stand to be held accountable, but that’s never going to happen when people just regurgitate words out of context, with no respect for their actual meaning or the gravity of what’s been said. Maybe it’s because I am a writer, but I cannot stand to see good words disrespect and devalued. It happens all the time online, where a word becomes so overused that it loses all meaning. For another example, just type the name of your favorite comedian along with the word “racist” and you’re sure to see some sort of accusation of racial hatred.
What kind of society is it that we have, where being accused of racism doesn’t even mean anything anymore?
Of course, next to that suggestion, the abuse of the word “bias” is only a small thing, but it’s an annoying thing nonetheless, and indicative of the same problem we seem to have in a culture where there are so few real problems, we have to invent things to be mad about. That’s all accusations of bias are, at the end of the day. An invented problem, dreamed up by an idiot with too much time and not enough real issues to deal with.
The only thing dumber could be someone taking time out of their afternoon to write a rant about it.