I've been making an effort recently to bring my signal-to-noise ratio within healthy limits. This means generally avoiding watching the news, visiting news websites and forums, and steering clear of the internet in general as much as possible. (Sport news and my The Economist subscription being the major exceptions.) My basis for doing this is the idea, advanced by Nassim Taleb and others, that the really valuable information will find its way to me eventually, and I can cut out distractions and false/irrelevant news.
It seems to have been working, in that most of the things that find their ways to my ears seem worth knowing, and I don't appear to be missing out on anything by not learning what all the fevered egos on Twitter or rpg.net think about issue X or Y.
I have today learned about all the drama that G+ has been afflicted with recently regarding the release of D&D 5th Edition and how it seems to be bad that Wizards of the Coast have employed Zak Smith as a consultant because, er, jazz hands. (The reason appears to be that Zak has been involved in making porn and for a certain breed of politically correct nerd that must implicate him in something awful, for no defined reason other than that it simply must.) So that must qualify it as signal. And that makes it worthy of a blog post - at least indirectly.
For some reason, for a sizeable portion of the population of Western societies, being offended has become something to luxuriate in: self-righteousness is addictive and provides our brains with a kick that is more powerful than any drug known to man. You see it in religious fundamentalists, you see it in liberals, you see it in conservatives, you see it everywhere. People get off on anger because it makes them feel good about themselves - it reassures them that they are good and that awful person over there is bad and they can rank themselves in the hierarchy of goodness accordingly.
This is nothing new. Jesus spent considerable energies fighting Pharisee-ism but not even the Son of God could sort it out: the people who are today trawling the internet searching for things to be offended by in the name of their liberal/conservative sensibilities are the exact same people who were watching Jesus curing lepers on the sabbath and muttering "Tut, tut" into their beards because he was working on the holy day. Times change but human impulses are as old and immutable as solid granite.
The thing about Pharisees is that they are insecure; they hated and feared Jesus because of what he represented and what he was delivering - freedom, love, etc. He was showing them up. And internet Pharisees are no different: what they hate most of all is other people creating things, doing things, enjoying themselves, having fun. Because their own inflated sense of self-importance is threatened by it - they are so sure of their own brilliance and access to universal truth that they feel that more successful and happy people are showing them up. They should be the ones everybody looks to, but they're not. It frustrates them and they rage against it.
If you feel you are an internet Pharisee, here is a three step plan to easy cure:
1. Start creating a game or game-related product
2. Put it on your blog
3. Play it any enjoy it
The drug of being offended by what other people say and do is distracting you and robbing you of your creativity and passion. Put it to one side and your life and games will be so much better for it.