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Objectivity vs. Subjectivity – The never-ending debate

Gamingtodaynews1b - Objectivity vs. Subjectivity - The never-ending debate

TL;DR: Words are difficult. We can try to explain them but there will always be someone who either wants to misunderstand or just misunderstands.

I want to start this off by talking about MMORPGs. Roughly everyone has an idea what a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game is but could anybody really define it? Most likely not.

The word Massive alone is difficult to define. What does it mean? 1000 players on a server 2000, 5000, 1mil players on one server at the same time? Is it on a spectrum? Does it have a cut-off point? I think it is easier to say 2 players are definitely not massive. 100 players are also definitely not massive since that is the population of a Battle Royal. So more than 100 players at the same time, right? 101? 150? 200? Sounds still like a small amount. Nor really massive.

This is just an example of how difficult it is to define one singular word who many people have a general idea of what it could maybe mean.

Objectivity vs. Subjectivity: Trying to define it

Objectivity opinion: Judging something by its own merits.

Subjectivity opinion: Judging something through your personal perception.

Both have to be still be based on something that is either observable in the material that is being examined and/or can be confirmed by outside sources.

I will try to show it with an example. "White Text on very bright Background"

Objective opinion: "I don't like this because the text is difficult to read because it is light text on a light background."

Subjective opinion: "I like the light text on a light background because it makes the whole thing mysterious like someone doesn't want me to read it."

Same thing two different perspectives. It is not right or wrong here. Both things are valid. There is no correct or incorrect. Light text is harder to read on a light background and someone can still like the light text on a light background if it makes them feel something.

The difference is that we can't really discuss subjective observations. Even though it is observing the same exact thing there is nothing to discuss. The person likes it. That's it. Both things can exist alongside each other and yet it seems like there is a constant war going on with subjectivity and objectivity. Where does the friction come from?

Can Opinions be wrong?

Yes, yes absolutely. Looking at the previous example. Liking white text on bright background. The reason why that hypothetical person likes the example is that it makes the whole thing seems mysterious. Let's assume that text is just an oversight by the people who made it and there is there was no intention to make it mysterious. What now? Even though that person likes it the whole reasoning why they like it is not based on anything that can be observed or confirmed by outside sources. The reason why that person likes the thing they like is based on something that doesn't exist. Is their opinion wrong?

Yes/No/Kinda. While they can still like the white text on the bright background the reason why they like it doesn't exist. It is completely based on perception which goes in line with my definition but the reason can't be found inside the material that is being examined nor can it be confirmed by outside sources. In fact, in our example, the people who made it confirm that it was an oversight. You are not wrong for liking a thing but since there is no reason your opinion is wrong.

Going to the Objective Opinion. Independently if the creators wanted the light text on a light background or not the opinion is still correct either way. If they wanted it to be difficult to read they succeed. If not they failed.


Objective opinion and Facts? What's the difference?

The previous example sounds awfully like the objective opinion is just stating a fact, right? Ofc it is hard to read white text on a mofo bright background, duh?

I think the major difference between a fact and an objective opinion is that it needs an observer for the opinion to mean anything. Ofc, everything we do as humans need an observer to make sense but there is a difference.

Water, on earth, as long as our planet is being pulled by the sun and is spinning, will always try to find the path of least resistance towards the earth's core. It happens with our without humans.

The white text on a bright background is not a fact. All its meaning can only be derived if there is someone looking at it.

Who cares? Why care? Is this even a fruitful discussion?

Nobody. You shouldn't. Absolutely maybe!

I don't think anybody really cares except that people who are stating the opinion and the opposite side. Most people enjoy their stuff passively and either like it or dislike it. Most people just do something to be entertained and that's it. Most people don't even have the vocabulary to express themselves. No hate and no shaming. These things take time and dedication to develop.

Where this whole thing becomes important is when we are talking about reviews, essays, and general media adjacent to the prime medium.

Especially as a reviewer you can go full ham and discard everything you see and just dream up the wildest thing about a medium without having anything to back it up in the medium itself. It is meaningless drivel. Of course, you can also try to be 100% objective and fail at it because it is almost impossible to do that.

I think it is important to talk about it because "in my opinion" as in "subjective opinion" is very often if not always used to deflect from criticism.

"In my opinion" often just ends an argument and doesn't go beyond "I like/dislike it". Objective opinions need a base to stand on and can be discussed if it is correct or incorrect. If it makes sense or it doesn't. It is a conversation starter, not a conversation ender. It gets switched around often.

Opinions goes brrrrrr

Just to undermine everything I said. At the end of the day, I have no idea if what I am writing can be taken seriously. It is a philosophical debate that is based on the most unreliable human trait "perception". Depending on who you talk to, where you grew up, hold old you are and so on my words will make total sense or ring absolutely hollow and that is why I had the TL;DR in the beginning.

Words can mean many things and even if we are saying the same words it can mean something completely different. While these are my definitions of those words someone could for example think that objective opinions are interchangeable with facts even though they aren't. They wouldn't be wrong though because there is no "correct" definition of objective. Humans have been debating this topic since antique Greece and we will continue to do so until the heat death of the universe because all this is a question without an answer.

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