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Why Non-Gaming Debates Have a Place Here

by Joshua Maciel

Recently, many people have asked me questions regarding RPGamer and why I allowed Brad to post his editorial, and why I allowed the editorial he rebutted to be posted. I would like to take this time to explain why I personally think that they have a place in the editorial section.

Brad put it very succinctly in his column once when he said something to the extent of, "The name of the site is RPGamer.com, not RPG.com." I believe that this point makes perfect sense. If this were RPG.com, then why would we need interaction at all? Why would we need a poll? All we'd need was new media, news, and the information on games.

The fact is that we have those things, and this is not RPG.com. The fact that people who read interaction make these comments is a little bit of hypocrisy in itself -- they just want to know about RPGs, but all the RPG information is sitting somewhere in RPGamer.com's server already (with rare exceptions).

Interaction is there for gamers to communicate with gamers in some detached sense. People ask questions about what others like, we have opinion polls, we have feedback. Therefore I feel that feedback and communication on issues other than flat out RPG issues is valid, and important. Knowing the demographics of who are RPG-obsessive can be quite helpful to companies, and to future game makers.

By knowing the people that are fanatic about RPGs, people can cater more to their interests, and understand the community better. Demographics consist of race, education, geographical location, religion, sexual orientation, etc. Therefore editorials about those things actually have a place in a forum for RPGamers.

I wish I could say that promoting the educational value of the website was the only reason I posted those editorials -- but who would I be kidding. I also posted them because they entertain some people, get others to think, and get people to read them. For all the people complaining that they were posted, you read them, so to some strange degree, it worked.

I've separated those editorials in the current setup so that people who don't want to read them can just ignore them if they choose. If I keep the current setup, debates of that nature will stay in the bottom, and not be stuck in the "New Editorials" section with the on-topic ones. That way those who want to find them know where they are, and those who hate them can ignore them.

I hope this clears up why I've posted what I've posted, and possibly changed a mind or two about why off-topic debates are not the work of the Devil (pardon the pun). I'd also like to point out that these opinions should in no way be taken to be the opinions of any other member of the RPGamer.com staff. I am representing them as mine, and mine alone. Thank you for your time.

-Joshua Maciel

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