A Week In Comments

A Link In Google's Street View
Comment by: hhbx
Nominated by: BPMΣ

Holy crap! Google actually found the Link I was looking for!

Making the Case for Games Journalism
Comment by: freakout
Nominated by: kylo4

What I love about Kotaku is that the writers are allowed to be biased. It's no slight on you guys; everyone is biased, including vaunted print journalists, but bloggers generally don't even attempt to hide it. For the educated reader - as I so humbly consider myself :P - this is a blessing.

Journalism as a whole - especially political journalism - is often nothing but the reporting of rumours and opinion in an authoritive voice. The use of anonymous sources who might as well be ficititious is treated as a stamp of credibility on even the most specious of articles. In the false pursuit of "balance" dissenting voices are given an equal leg-up, even if it's just a few discredited hacks vs. an entire scientific community (best example: the global warming "debate").

Why is The Onion so hilarious? Because it savagely mocks that "editorial voice" by employing it in articles on completely inappropriate topics, demonstrating how you can be led to believe something that's untrue simply because it's presented in a falsely authoritive style.

Blogs such as Kotaku avoid this trap by allowing their writers to be conversational rather than dictatorial in their reporting. Even the regular feature articles have a more human approach than the stuck-up presentation you see in print.

There's still a great need for factual reporting out there - Kotaku is, after all, mostly an aggregator of news from such sources - but we could all do without the pretensions that come along with it. A straight presentation of the "facts" is practically impossible. We should stop acting like it is.


Vexed by Online Bigots' Language? Psychologists Say They Want You to Be
Comment by: Charlie Kerfelds Jetsons Tee
Nominated by: geekgrrl

C'mon. I'm the only one who gets a chuckle out of being called a "niggerfaggot" by someone with the gamertag "XxPiMpStYlZz420xX?"

You may have one this round of Halo 3, Mr. Pimpstylzz...

...but I win at life.

And yes, I would like to super-size that.

Of note: I've been referred to by that particular word by MULTIPLE XBox Live players. I wasn't aware it was, you know, an actual word.

Cooking Mama Kills Animals - Happy Thanksgiving From PETA
Comment by: Soldier_CLE scratches himself,...
Nominated by: EnigmaNemesis

If I had the time, I'd probably have one for a pet.

Till it got fat.

Then I'd start basting it and defeathering it.

Then gut it out.

Season it more.

Put it in the oven.

And then remember said pet while eating it, while watching the Thanksgiving Football game on TV!

That was a good pet.

Kotaku Originals: Holy Sh—
Comment by: Antiterra
Nominated by: Đipic

To all those bringing up the Church of Manchester incident as a valid analogy: where the fuck have you been for the past 15 years? Stop thinking in absolute terms: "Christians are OK with it, so Muslims should be too." Yes, there is a double standard here, and no, it's not the end of the world.

You can't lump all religions together and expect them to follow the same path (i.e. yours) towards secularism.

Toasticus is perfectly right: sure, his example is extreme, but to a Muslim, hearing the words of the Quran incorporated into a song is just as offensive as hearing "kill all the babies and pregnant mothers", and it is not for anyone to decide whether that's "valid" or not.

It sometimes feels like many people in the "Christian West" suddenly discovered Islam in 2001, and are expecting the religion to instantly evolve into a replica of Christianity with a different coat of paint, so that it will be palatable to them. Not - going - to - happen.

Do I wish such things weren't offensive to Muslims? Yes. Is it "wrong" that they are? No. Do I wish, for example, that women were treated more fairly in the more racidal parts of the Islamic world? Of fucking course! But do I think that eventually, the religion will be secular enough to make incidents like this one a thing of the past? Yes, most definitely yes. Give it time!

If I interviewed third-generation French Muslims around me, I'm sure most of them wouldn't have much of a problem with the song. In many regards, Islam evolved faster than Christianity (which is several centuries older, by the way, and spent hundreds of years actively and often violently enforcing positions that we would nowadays consider radical and unacceptable).

And please, for fuck's sake, do not turn this into an "Muslims are fundamentalist nutjobs" argument, because some of the more ignorant comments are bordering on that.

In the end, everything I just rambled on about (and will probably shake my head at once I've hit the "submit" button) means jack shit. This is nothing more than a multinational company looking after their image and commercial interest, period. Don't think for a second that there is but one company out there that wouldn't have done the same.

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Also know: Dip into tool territory and we'll ban yer ass. And quick!



"Religion being secular enough"? Its kind of like hoping for Ice Tea to get hot. It defeats the purpose.

And secular religion is a little terrifying.