Ah…as the old song says, It’s the “Most Wonderful Time, Of the Year!”
A time when all people set aside their differences, and work toward a happier, jollier feeling, when they can be unified in the joy of the season. A season when we all agree that the trivial differences that separate us, can be put aside toward a unified wish of “Peace on Earth, Good Will to All Mankind!”
So, EA has certainly “done it this time,” in creating a “Winter Update” that has been without question, one of the most divisive of all time (and that is saying a lot!). Part I of our experiment has been enlightening, to say the least. Our little one-sided poll has produced results that are predictably slanted, while offering some insight into the feelings of the community.
The results speak for themselves…
Because like any poll these days, the answers were indeed weighted in a very specific way, which produced results that were relatively predictable.
Because I made it clear in the post, that you were only allowed to type “I agree” with my statement to EA, and that posts that did not follow that format could/would be deleted, there were actually a great number of posts that agreed, but were deleted because they went on to give long-winded opinions about WHY they agreed.
Even so, the response was, and continues to be close to a `10/1 margin of “Agree” to “Disagree.”
But, as I am someone who has done literally THOUSANDS of surveys, polls, and product studies in a lifetime of marketing, I also know that for every person who takes the time to post/write, there are probably 100 who do not. So, you can extrapolate the numbers as you choose.
I was asked in one of the comments I had to delete, why I didn’t just do a poll with radio buttons that said, “Agree or Disagree.” The answer is simple. You can’t trust them. Someone can keep clicking them over and over, invalidating the intent. However, in this case, you actually have to come “out of the shadows” to play along.
This was a VERY difficult situation to moderate. For a couple of reasons…
1. I myself did not wholly agree with what I wrote. These issues are broader and more nuanced than a simple “yes/no” answer, and solutions are born from compromise.
2. I clearly intended to do another post, allowing the same opportunity for the opposing side, but did not want to tip my hand, until a majority of people had a chance to respond.
But this leaves the question, “Why do it at all?”
The answer to this is simple. Alissa and I, who have been doing the vast majority of the moderation (as in all?) could tell that the update was creating a pressure cooker of emotion that was spilling out onto the pages of our regularly relaxed, tolerant, and friendly community. For the first time in years, we saw “Forum-Like” posts that had become vitriolic, personal, and aggressive in the defense of one position or another.
Religion and politics. There is a reason that they are the number one topics to avoid at a polite dinner discussion. And boy, did the discussion get impolite quickly.
And for SOME of you...it seemed to be a way for you to post, and post, and post and post, your position, in some sort of emotional exorcism that had seemingly been pent up for weeks, or months. Don’t believe me? You should see some of the comments we had to delete from the “Let Cooler Heads Prevail” post. Cooler head? Pfffftttt… close to 400 comments, with loads that didn’t make it through moderation would beg to differ. (And, we moderate in our “spare time!” LOL!)
So…by allowing only a TWO WORD RESPONSE, it was a way to try and let you get it out of your system, without turning it into the kind of insanity that is currently prevailing on the EA/TSTO Forum.
Yes. I knew I’d take the heat for this. But, I did it because Alissa is truly one of the nicest people in the world, and all of her attempts to “make peace in the family” had resulted in shout-downs and attacks that left her raw and upset, and very literally close to PULLING THE PLUG.
But, I also knew that unless I gave the “other side” a fair chance to participate, I was no better than all of the “Fake Polls” and “Fake News” outlets that drove the last election cycle.
But, remember….the intention was, and continues to be, a chance to finally put this thing to bed, so we can all get back to playing the update that we have been given, or NOT playing the update we have been given.
AS BEFORE…The only rule is that you type the words “I agree” in your response. Anything more may be edited, or put your post in jeopardy of being deleted.
So…here goes my “OTHER SIDE” letter to EA. Because, frankly…I do have a ton of “Get over it…it’s just a game!” sitting in my frontal cortex every time I see people taking TSTO too seriously. BUT, the dialogue was inflammatory, and is ONLY GOING TO GET WORSE (sorry to say) before this update is over. EA/Gracie have really outdone themselves as equal opportunity offenders on this one. But, we are better than this. We CAN move on…
Let the healing begin…
We as a TSTO Community are voicing our support for the current Winter 2016 event for the following reasons:
1. We appreciate you “changing things up” and keeping the game “fresh” with new ways to celebrate the season.
2. We acknowledge that humor is subjective, and not everyone is going to “get the joke” when having a bit of fun with diverse forms of religion and culture. But, as the Simpsons have ALWAYS made fun of religion in an “equal opportunity to offend everyone while keeping a smile on your face” we “Get It!” and appreciate your efforts.
3. We understand that in a game based on a cartoon show that has made us laugh at ourselves through 600 episodes of parody and lampooning, that some cultures, religions, faith-based organizations, or political figures may not always find humor in your TSTO Update dialogue, but that “no target is safe” and we all just need to “get over it” when our emotions get ruffled.
We the undersigned, choose to support TSTO and the writers and programmers of our “favorite freemium game,” in their efforts to keep bringing us great content, that is fun, challenging, and entertaining. We will play the game, no matter what you throw at us, as we are all a community of players who love what you do and appreciate your efforts!
A TSTO Addict
Again folks…this was a tough experiment for me. Deleting a ton of heartfelt opinions on both sides of the debate was rEAlly hard…because for the most part, I agree with bits of both sides of the argument.
But…it is time to GET OVER IT…and MOVE ON. Alissa and I just want to have something resembling a “normal weekend,” and as always, you will have plenty of space and time to write whatever you want in the “Addicts Open” post on Sunday. And yes…we will discuss this on “Addicts Live.” So Tune In Tomorrow!
If you agree with the the spirit of the letter above…type “I agree” in the comments below…and nothing more!
Again…I warn you…anything else may/will result in your comment being removed.
If you don’t agree, you can go to the other “open letter” and agree there… or write EA Headquarters yourself. Again, as before, here is the address.
EA Corporate Office Headquarters
Electronic Arts Inc.
209 Redwood Shores Parkway
Redwood City, CA 94065 USA