A Civilized Disagreement

, , , , , , | Learning | July 10, 2020

I was never much into sports and preferred video games, even back in the nineties when they hadn’t quite reached the mainstream. In high school, this brings me into some conflict with one of the journalism teachers, whose other job is writing in the sports pages for the local newspaper. 

Despite our minor and mostly jocular disagreements on what constitutes news, he supports my interest in a video game review column, leading to one memorable clash. 

Teacher: “The column seems fine, except for one thing. You refer to the maker as ‘legendary’ and your column needs to be written from a neutral stance.”

Me: “He’s founded two separate game companies, and when he makes a game, they put his name on the box above the title. It’s a solid mark of quality.”

Teacher: “I get that he has some presence in the industry, but I still believe that your personal opinion on his work is coloring the piece inappropriately.”

Me: “I have an idea.”

I call out across the classroom to the only other gamer in the class, who — importantly — has NOT read my article or heard us talking.

Me: “[Classmate], I’m reviewing Alpha Centauri. What’s a good adjective to describe Sid Meier?”

Classmate: *Without hesitation* “Legendary.”

That teacher and I did not see eye to eye all the time, but I give him credit for working with me despite our differences. The column was published as written, and Sid Meier was actually inducted into the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences later that same year. He was only the second person inducted, after Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of, among others, Super Mario. Twenty-one years later, Sid Meier is still making award-winning games.

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