The benefits of online interaction, and a letter to PCGamer

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The benefits of online interaction, and a letter to PCGamer

Postby Rkiver » Wed May 19, 2004 2:02 pm

Yes I've decided to start yet another topic that can be debated. I like debates, what can I say? To see other people views on certain subjects, especially when they come from different walks of life, be it cultural or religious, is something I love reading. As most of the debates/discussions that take place here are normally somewhat mature, with the odd joke thrown in I felt perhaps I would do something about it.

I'm sure you are aware, and if you aren't you should be, that PC Gamer UK has requested more people to write in with regards to anything gaming or pc related, so I submitted the following letter.

Letter submitted to PC Gamer UK

I remember when I was in my teenage years that pc gaming was finally beginning to take off, and online gaming looked to be the way forward. No longer would I have to be content with defeating a computer controlled opponent. Finally I could match wits with those across the globe. At first that was all anyone, at least for most of us, wanted. But something else happened. My father was one to say why are you staying in playing games, why aren't you out meeting new people? He is, like quite a few people today, under the impression that those who spend time playing online games are loners, with no friends really. Well perhaps no friends in his immediate neighborhood, but what about those he meets online? A few years back I bought a game after seeing it reviewed in this very magazine. Uplink by Introversion Software properly introduced me to the online community. slowly the community changed the game to me, creating add-ons and mods but slowly the community changed and the discussion changed also. No longer was it just this game and that game, but it was about the world at large, with topics ranging from "Media Bias Against Israel", "Should Gay marriages be legal?" and even just the downright odd. I have debated things from religion and sexuality with people from across the globe, Ireland, England, USA, India, China, Australia, Palestine, Israel. Nothing is considered too taboo, and while like any online forum and irc based community we have our local trolls and idiots, for the most part the discussion is interesting. Age is not a consideration, neither is sexuality or gender. If you have something to say, and can do it in a clear constructive manner, we will read and then respond. Those who say gaming is the cause of violence have no idea what really can happen online. Hardly a week goes by that someone, usually in the American media goes and blames games for some form of violence, but do they ever look at what actually does happen to those who are part of a gaming community? Like any community we will have our (thankfully few) nut jobs, but for the most part gamers are not violent outside of their games. Even in your very issue did you comment that games increase reaction speed and hand eye co-ordination (Eye witness Gobbets page 16 in PCG 136). And of course game playing is not restricted to any one country. And as a result the exposure to other views from outside when not actually playing the game and just conversing can only be a good thing. If more people bothered to talk as much as those in online communities did I would be convinced that we would have a lot less problems then we have today.
So I say thank you for online gaming. Thank you for allowing me to talk with people around the world, to hear their side of the story on numerous topics, for letting me fly to other countries and meet those I have debated topics with. The online gaming community may well bridge the cultural gap and lead the way for a more peaceful future, where the only real violence is online violence. A beautiful dream? Maybe, but perhaps it's not as fanciful as one thinks. The online world is bringing us together, and even if it is for blowing each other up, that's only the game. The friendships made online can last a long time.


So......what are your views on it?
Last edited by Rkiver on Wed May 19, 2004 6:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Darksun » Wed May 19, 2004 2:42 pm

A very well written letter, let me know if (when) it gets printed. I agree with it the points made in it. Plus it's advertisement for Introversion ;)
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Postby sweaty bob » Wed May 19, 2004 3:57 pm

/me agrees too

would be nice to see what pcg say!
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Postby Rkiver » Wed May 19, 2004 4:02 pm

There is no guarantee they will print the letter at all, though it would be nice if they did. Imagine if it was letter of the month, I could win a nice new gfx card. Still even if it's just printed I would be honoured.
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Postby edd8990 » Wed May 19, 2004 5:34 pm

Brillian letter, and I think that compared with the trash most people send in, that will have a good chance of going to print.

1 error. This forum can inspire violence. If I ever met the Jaygees (Any of them) well...
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Postby einstein » Wed May 19, 2004 6:23 pm

Good letter Rkiver...

Darksun believes it was well written... i personally think it was pretty well written... there are a few mistakes and terms of phrase which don't work...

I'm not sure something can be "too taboo" - it seems like "very unique" to me... even if it's not technically gramatically incorrect, it doesn't read well...

"Maybe, but perhaps it's not as fanciful as one thinks." - should be "Maybe, but perhaps it's not as fanciful as one might think". "one thinks" says someone thinks it... and changes the subject of the sentence.

The first sentence also reads akwardly, some punctuation would fix it... "I remember, when I was in my teenage years, that pc gaming was finally beginning to take off, and online gaming looked to be the way forward."

"At first that was all anyone, at least for most of us, wanted".... the part in parenthesis reads wrongly... it should be "At first that was all anyone, at least most of us, wanted."

and... "But something else happened. My father was one to say why are you staying in playing games, why aren't you out meeting new people?" should be.... 'But something else happened. My father was one to say, "why are you staying in playing games, why aren't you out meeting new people?"'

"My father was one to say why are you staying in playing games, why aren't you out meeting new people? He is, like quite a few people today, under the impression that those who spend time playing online games are loners, with no friends really. Well perhaps no friends in his immediate neighborhood, but what about those he meets online?" - continued use of "his" and "he" after the sentence about the father confuses who the "his"/"he" is referring to... it only becomes clear at the very end of the 3 sentence.....

"I have debated things from religion and sexuality with people from across the globe, Ireland, England, USA, India, China, Australia, Palestine, Israel." - You say you've debated things from... but then you don't say "to" anything.... like "I have debated things from religion to sexuality" or "I have debated things from religion and sexuality to <insert other subject here>" Also, you didn't end a list with a "and" in place of the last comma - with people from across the globe; including Ireland, England, USA, India, China, Australia, Palestine and Israel.

This sentence needs a third comma.... "Hardly a week goes by that someone, usually in the American media, goes and blames games for some form of violence, but do they ever look at what actually does happen to those who are part of a gaming community?"

You very effectively, at the beginning of the concluding paragraph, utilise repitition to build up to a climax - but your last sentence loses the punch. While it's sentiment is excellent and definetly should be expressed somewhere else in your letter, you need something stronger for your last sentence if you want to benefit from the excellent piece of writing that builds up to it.

Seriously, do not take these comments as plain criticism i love that letter... and I think it's fantastic you are trying to get published... I just thought i would point out some of the technical errors in the hope you could fix them, and that way impress the people over at PC Gamer not only with your thoughts but you expression too.

Well good luck! :D
Last edited by einstein on Wed May 19, 2004 6:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Rkiver » Wed May 19, 2004 6:28 pm

Thanks einstein, always nice to have constructive criticism, even if it's just for my puncuation and grammar. I would include those corrections if I hadn't had emailed the letter of earlier today. But, considering some of the letters I have seen in PCGamer before, I doubt that the somewhat muddled grammar will count against me.
Maybe I'll re-write it and re-submit it........
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Postby Flamekebab » Wed May 19, 2004 6:56 pm

I had a letter printed in PCG a while back, and there were a few glaring grammatical errors in it..

It was about how online/multiplayer gaming is alien to many of us as our net connections are too shit and decent connections aren't available..

I'll find out which issue it was in a while..
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Postby Hektik sniper » Wed May 19, 2004 7:16 pm

yah MH2 got one posted in the shorts bit, he got called an ungrateful Cad too ;)
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Re: The benefits of online interaction, and a letter to PCGa

Postby Ozymandias IV » Sun May 23, 2004 2:11 am

Rkiver wrote:Those who say gaming is the cause of violence have no idea what really can happen online. Hardly a week goes by that someone, usually in the American media goes and blames games for some form of violence, but do they ever look at what actually does happen to those who are part of a gaming community?


I read a small article in the New York Times recently which said that the reason things like Columbine happen is because in small towns with small schools, if you are somewhat different or just a misfit, either smart or sort of weird, there's no one like you. In a city school such as Stuyvesant where the ninth grade alone is 3000 kids, you're bound to meet at least someone who shares the same interests as you. Even if you were outcast in elementary school, you can always transfer and even if you don't elementary school ends in 5th grade and everyone gets jumbled. In small suburban and rural towns where everyone knows everyone else's name, once you're labeled, it's tough. Online communities are helpful because you can find people like you who share the same interests. Hopefully that will keep you from going insane.
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Postby Darkshine » Sun May 23, 2004 2:28 am

Not a lot I can say that your letter hasn't.

Well done Rkiver!
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Re: The benefits of online interaction, and a letter to PCGa

Postby Stewsburntmonkey » Sun May 23, 2004 2:48 am

Ozymandias IV wrote:
Rkiver wrote:Those who say gaming is the cause of violence have no idea what really can happen online. Hardly a week goes by that someone, usually in the American media goes and blames games for some form of violence, but do they ever look at what actually does happen to those who are part of a gaming community?


I read a small article in the New York Times recently which said that the reason things like Columbine happen is because in small towns with small schools, if you are somewhat different or just a misfit, either smart or sort of weird, there's no one like you. In a city school such as Stuyvesant where the ninth grade alone is 3000 kids, you're bound to meet at least someone who shares the same interests as you. Even if you were outcast in elementary school, you can always transfer and even if you don't elementary school ends in 5th grade and everyone gets jumbled. In small suburban and rural towns where everyone knows everyone else's name, once you're labeled, it's tough. Online communities are helpful because you can find people like you who share the same interests. Hopefully that will keep you from going insane.


Columbine was not a small school (~2000 students). . . Large schools can be much clique-y which can make uniqueness even worse.
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Postby Me300 » Sun May 23, 2004 4:01 am

A rather nice letter indeed, Rkiver.
And My school has ~1700 students, and there are people there that like just about everything.
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Postby menancer » Sun May 23, 2004 9:04 am

a very good one Rkiver!!
just the very thing i wanted to tell my parents,
*runs to show the letter to mom*
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Postby Flamekebab » Sun May 23, 2004 9:20 am

My school has ~350 students.

Menancer? Why?

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