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I read an article that was linked to from Slashdot, written by Brian Boyko. He is apparently an avid Slashdotter, and also now an elected official. Here is the article:
He was speaking on textbooks in Texas, and the discussion over what to include or exclude from the textbooks concerning the very early history of the world and mankind.
Being a gamer, and an MMORPG player, I of course related this to gaming, and discussions on this website. :-) Because that's what happens when you play a lot of video games for a long time. It'll happen to you eventually too.
Now, keep in mind that this post is from my perspective. My examples will be from my perspective. If your opinion is different from mine, just imagine that I'm saying the opposite of what I'm saying. The point isn't my opinions, the point is what follows.
People will often hold an opinion, tenaciously, with no factual evidence to support that opinion. By factual evidence, I mean some reference to information or events that occurred in the world, and which was recorded in the world. The evidence doesn't rely on any sort of internal logic or belief system.
So, what are some examples?
There is a long running discussion about "Old School" games on this site. A recurring theme is that if a developer would make an "Old School" game, possibly with updated graphics, that there is an audience large enough to support the game. There is no actual evidence in the world to support this idea, and evidence to support the idea that a developer could not create such a game in today's environment and make money. There is the shrinking audience for all of the "Old School" games and the out right abandonment of those "Old School" games as soon as newer games were released that did not adhere to the "Old School" style. There is the very lackluster sales of any new game that sticks to the "Old School" game style. Finally, there is the increasing cost of video game development in general, and MMORPGs in particular. These three things are evidence, in the world, that has been documented. On the other side of this discussion, the evidence seems to depend wholly on the opinions of the people involved. The quality of games, anecdotal discussions with other gamers and discussions on the logic of the idea are the evidence in support of the idea, but none of these things contain any proof in support of the idea. It looks a lot like faith.
Again, if you are on the other side of the discussion from me, just imagine I am in support of "Old School" game development, and the evidence I listed was in support of the idea. I'm using this example because I can fill a paragraph with it. It's not the point of this thread.
Why is the faith held by people, even about video games, held so tenaciously?
I think Brian Boyko has the answer. Facts are, by their nature very secure in themselves. Two will always be two. Shrinking or growing populations for a particular kind of game will not change, regardless of how you think of them. Faith on the other hand, is fragile. If you test it, it might break. If faith breaks, then the cause is lost. It's better to be not test faith and simply protect it, than it is to test it, and maybe lose it.
I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.