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    PQ | Features | Mailbag | Aug 9, 1999
   

PQ Mailbag
Week of: 08/9/99

We're Fans and Fanatics!

In response to Cozmo's editorial, "Are We Fans or Fanatics?"

From : BiGPhil]SFA[
Subject :
Re: Are We Fans or Fanatics?

After reading through Cozmo's article, one line caught my eye:

"However we (as a species) have started wars, slaughtered thousands over religion, age notwithstanding......"

Then you have the quake players. People who will "kill" dozens of opponents in mere hours, regardless of race, religion, sex, physical forms, etc. People who will sit for an entire night gleefully whupping the virtual ass of anyone who happens to be handy at the time, then wake up and go to their jobs in the morning. Students. Teachers. Psychologists. Local law enforcement officers. Bums wandering into the public libraries to sneak in some computer time. All (ok, most) are normal, stable, competant contributors to society who do not have hidden urges for mass murder streaks, robbery, violence, or whatever else the media and other finger-pointers seem to be, for lack of a better word, blaming on Quake and other video games.

Quakers killing and dying on the internet for pure enjoyment, only to respawn and do it again. And we'll keep on doing it, dammit. Without ragging on or harassing other gamers. Why? Because its fun and noone gets hurt, killed, or otherwise mishandled.

And if i want to sacrifice a goat to keep my aim true and skills honed, thats ok too.

It's our goat, we'll sacrifice it if we want to!

From : Maximus
Subject :
Quake as a Religion editorial

First, I'de like to say that the author of this editorial is a generally ignorant man. I say this because he refered to "jewish" as a splinter group of Christianity. It was in face the exact oppisite, but I already feel bad insulting your intelligence by saying that. I, obviously wrongly, assumed that was common knowledge.

Next, it's very easy to say that Quake is more popular the Allah when you're looking on the internet. The internet is based on computers, as is quake. Quakers are all on the computer, and are all online (most of them anyway). Quakers make web-pages. Muslims are busy practicing their religion. Most muslims live in the Middle East and Asia. I think it's safe to say it's less likely that they would be the most common web-page makers. This example follows for most other religions.

In Conclusion, this editorial merely takes random examples(half of which are heavily interpreted by the author), and warps them into a rather unconvincing whole. His main point boils down to "look at this, Ha, i'm right." And the search engine bit is totally ludicrous If I were a conservative southerner, i'd be offended. But, I'm a nothern liberal jew, so hardly care.

Yeah, there were a few people that were offended by that. Cozmo obviously does not have the fine religious upbringing that I do (I went to Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, MO, a Jesuit school). My teachings there can be summed up in the following:

  • The book of Ezekiel was really weird
  • Toilet paper streamers look cool when attached to overhead fans.

There was some other stuff about Jesus or somebody like that, but I think I forgot it in college.

From : Jon "Claw" Melenson
Subject :
Fans or Fanatics - A correction

Good article, I agree with what is said, but Cozmo made one mistake. Judaism isn't part of Christianity. I'm don't get offended easily, so I'm not going to write a solid 3 line stream of curses at you guys or anything. However, I think that some form of revision or correction needs to be made known. Hey, not many people know much about the Jews (the article speaks for itself), and I think that whatever people read should be represented as accurately as possible. The article reads as follows:

Let's compare Quake to Christianity for instance, with it's having broken down into different "splinter" factions (Catholicism, Jewish, Protestant, Baptist, Methodist, etc.).

I'm not a relgious freak or anything (in fact I'd say I don't have much of a religion at all, other than Quake) but I know that Judaism is older than Christianity, in fact, Christianity can be considered an offshoot of Judism.

Just thought you guys would like to know. Oh yeah. If you happen to post this letter at all for some reason, (no, that isn't a request) don't show my e-mail. I don't need a slew of angry e-mails from the religious nuts out there.

Actually, we haven't had much raving, religious nuts mail. This is what's called "a good thing".

From : Athiest
Subject :
Quake Bible

In the beginning Carmack created the heavens and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and DooM was upon the face of the deep. And Carmack said, Let there be dynamic lighting: and there was OpenGL. And Carmack saw the light, that it was good: and Carmack divided the pixels from the polys. And Carmack said, Let there be transparent water, so that it would look cool. And Carmack created the transparent water, and it was cool. And Carmack said, Let there be lava, so that the railgun would be much harder to get. And Carmack made the lava, and the railgun was harder to get. [The rest of the bible is boring, so I gave up]

How about, "And then Carmack said 'Let there be multiplayer' and lo, there was. And there were also strange clown honking noises whenever anybody was shot."

From : Frank
Subject :
reply to "Fans or Fanactics" article

I've got to say, this is one of the most thought-provoking pieces I've read for quite some time. In answer to your question, no, I don't think we are fanatics. Allow me to explain.

First up, some background. I'm an undergraduate studying "software engineering" (fancy title eh). I'm 20 years of age, and one of these damn whippersnappers that had a computer from a very early age. Over the years, I've asked myself questions about this habit before.

Modern life seems to be a collection of seperate (and sometimes overlapping) spheres. Work, family life, hobbies and friends all try to carve themselves into a bigger part of our lives. In some religious text (I dont remember which one - they're all the same to me), I remember seeing the words "nothing in excess". As long as there is a healthy balance between spheres, you're basically okay.

Quaking (and MUDding, where VERY similar questions arise), and gaming generally are just a fun and challenging way to spend time. Religion is naturally something people are going to become unusually fired up over, due to its importance in believer's lives (continuing the analogy, it's a very large sphere in their life). When gaming starts to become an excess, and its sphere is 'bloated', then the bad aspects of it are going to become apparant. Any drug, type of gambling, rock climbing, fishing, sex, hell - even something as 'innocent' as train collecting can become an unhealthy area of your life if you let it.

That's the key here. If You Let It. Western culture is way overrated. Sure, America is an important place in world affairs, but look at all the horror inside it. Is this the price you have to pay for being somewhere "important" ?

The bottom line, is each individual is responsible for their own actions. The world needs to stop watching the 7 o'clock news and hearing about how violent movies (or comic books, or thickshakes, or whatever) have caused some 15 year old to go kill someone. Its so easy to say that these evil forces are taking control of our helpless kids. In reality, the only reason these things happen is because we let them. You want to stop kids shooting each other? Remove their access to guns. It's pretty fucking simple. Banning natural born killers may be a great knee-jerk reaction, but how much is blaming it actually going to get done?

By writing this article, you're looking for something to blame. If you want to fix the world, go do it.

Very good points, I couldn't agree more.

From : Glover, Andy B
Subject :
Try this on for size:

Linux:

Webcrawler 7176
Infoseek 290,153
Linux 3,807,629
Total 4,104,958

Does this mean Linus Torvalds is more popular that God? I don't think so.

Your analogy is flawed.

I don't think the analogy's point was to make the article, just to support it. But I do see what you're saying.


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