You’d hardly think our little YouTube channel and twitter ramblings could be polarising, would you. I mean, who would block two ladies who joke around, play retro games, and generally want to spread fun and joy?
Quite a few people, it seems!
Yes folks, we’ve been blocked by more than one person who promotes retro related stuff on the twitters, because we wouldn’t put up with sexist rubbish, and said that it hurts the retro gaming community.
We didn’t even say who was doing the sexist rubbish when we tweeted about it. Just that there was some bad sexism and it was bad. They saw, and either they wanted to carry on doing sexism, or it hit a nerve.
But this post isn’t about that. It’s about how we’re actually quite happy that there are people who want us to shut up, and people who want us to keep going.
We’re becoming a pasta sauce.
Mmmm, pasta sauce, yum yum yum. I like to eat it with pasta, obviously, and cheese. And sometimes, bits of bacon. Lovely lovely pasta sauce. All the different pasta sauces. There’s… tomato… and… all the different sauces. And some people hate some of the sauces and love the others AND THAT’S FINE. Even if sometimes, the people who hate mushroom sauce see it and yell “Ugh!, Mushroom sauce! I hate that!” to their friends. They might even write a letter to the manufacturer and say, “Please stop making mushroom pasta sauce, you’re trying to stop me enjoying my tomato sauce, and you weren’t there at the beginning when there was only one type of pasta sauce and IT SHOULD ALL BE TOMATO NOW PLEASE STOP YOU ARE BAD.”
And other people love the sauce.
If you’re putting out “content” and you’re seeing that type of polarised response, this is a good thing. It means that you’re appealing to a specific audience, that you’re different, and that the people who love your particular brand of stuff will keep coming back.
What you don’t want to do is give the complainers what they want – confirmation that their noise is distracting you from doing what you do.
It can be very harmful.
Let’s branch out into the second clumsy metaphor of this post!
“Mother, mother! There was a wasp buzzing around in the garden!”
“Oh dear, my darling child! Are you OK?”
“Yes, mother! It buzzed loudly, and then flew off!”
“Well, we can’t have that. Let’s invite all of our friends round and find the wasps nest, and then aggressively rub our faces on it! That will surely make us feel better.”
Of course there’s a difference between people who harass and those who just don’t like what you do. The former warrants some action. The latter? If you concentrate on those specific people, calling them out, you risk turning your fans into harassers, too.
Of course, repeated worthless criticism can be draining. Here’s the best response I’ve ever seen to ridiculous “you are bad” claims, from Octav1us Kitten.
Anyway, back to the sauce.
Howard Moskowitz was hired by Prego, the pasta sauce people, to find out why their competitors sauces were selling better than theirs, and he said that Prego’s mistake was trying to come up with the perfect pasta sauce.
There is no such thing as a perfect pasta sauce. There are only perfect pasta sauces.
Variability and diversity matters. You might not know that you’ll love two queer women playing retro games badly until you watch.
We know we’re smol at the moment. But we seem to be bringing some laughter to the people that join us, and that’s what we want. If we grow, we know that the polarisation will continue. And we’re happy about that. It contributes to a wonderful kaleidoscope of people – that group of perfect pasta sauces. Something for everyone, not one thing for everyone.