Seeing as some people have a hard time understanding what went on in the fandom and why over the last couple of days, here’s a summary, straight from the horse’s mouth. I am telling the story the way I saw things pan out on my end, and you have every right to see things differently, but believe me when I say we did everything with sincerity.
- Out of the blue, Bernie Su wanted to know what was bugging me about EA after I sent a tweet in frustration at PD’s ongoing lack of communication (which, fair enough, I later find out is because they’re understaffed). I asked to email him later instead because 140 characters isn’t really enough.
- Whilst I am mostly apathetic about the show, my friends on the other hand have been actively trying to be heard and have their concerns addressed for ages. It seems unfair I suddenly have a platform without even trying.
I figure that since he’s apparently ready to listen to me, and by extension, some of the fandom, at last, people on my Twitter feed might help me collate the main points of dissatisfaction and possible solutions to these problems together to outline to him in that email I’m about to send him (and also because my memory’s terrible and my thoughts about it are all over the place). This is the point that one innocent email starts to become larger than I anticipated.
Bernie had managed to miss all the discussions going on due to being overworked, so he was asking for my views and thus placing a lot of responsibility in my hands. My views are not necessarily everyone else’s and as this was the first time he was hearing any of this, I made the executive decision to gather a consensus of some of the main critiques I’ve heard people discussing for weeks so he could get a feel for what some of the fandom is feeling.
However, as more and more people find out as this is the first proper time in ages PD is communicating, they add to the document, eventually stretching it out to 22 pages and making it impossible to sum up in one tiny email. There are lots of good points made as well that do not deserve to be diluted, and after some more discussion with the people who contributed, it is decided I will send him the document, after editing, in place of the email.
I will forever stand by my point that he asked for my views, and he got them… As well as [insert some number here I can’t remember but it was a lot] other views from people who are passionate about the show and the things they’d been saying for weeks to back me up on it.
Instead of getting just one person’s messy opinions, he got some of his most dedicated fans’ ones too, and everyone else reading got a nice easy roundup of the main criticisms in one place.
So, Bernie can argue until the cows come home that he didn’t want this document and only wanted my views, but the instant he asked me, it was already a done deal. I didn’t want this one communication opportunity, and my opinions (while nothing on their own, I knew to be shared by many others) to be brushed off as “But it’s just you! No one else has said anything like this before!” I’m not narcissistic enough to believe my opinions are any more important or hold more power than anyone else’s.
- I manage to send the completed and edited document to Bernie just after he announces he’s going to hold a public hangout to address some fandom concerns. Some other fans who disagree with our criticism post a “positive open letter." By the time the hangout begins, I don’t know how much he’s managed to absorb our document (but I helpfully included a tl;dr version at the top of the page as I was editing).
- An hour into the hangout (after the show hiatus is announced and more), I am asked to ‘take one for the team’ and go in by some people who have contributed as they feel their questions are not being answered or are being evaded.
- I get the link, I go in, and somewhat become the ‘voice of the EA critics.’ I spend my time in there fielding questions from my Twitter, saying relevant things I can see being livetweeted, and bringing up some of the previously written criticisms in the document that I feel should be addressed.
Yes, it was 2AM - 5AM local time for me. Yes, I know I’m a terrible public speaker and I have problems with interrupting, but I tried to represent my friends’ views to the best of my ability. I’m known for being too blunt and harsh, and I know that showed (protip: don’t tell someone you don’t think they’re checking their tags properly because you called them a dickhead in glitter text and it went unnoticed), so I wish I could change the way I phrased some things, but never the content and topics I was discussing.
As for all the drama that resulted after the hangout and the division between the fans, I do not feel qualified to comment on any of that as a) I went to sleep straight afterwards, and b) some of that is still ongoing today. But please know that everything was done with the best of intentions, and because we all feel passionately and want people who make things we love to succeed.
If you have any more questions, please feel free to contact me either on here or over on Twitter and I’ll try to answer as best I can. Back to your randomly scheduled glitter text and faces shortly!
tl;dr: I send a tweet, Bernie replies to the tweet wanting to know reasons, I send him my reasons as requested (as well as a lot of other people’s), fandom divided, hangout, shit hits the fan.