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An Apology to Jon Jones

The end of the year, for many, is a time of reflection. Some people write lists about games or reflect on events throughout the year. I tend to think about things I've said or done that I wish I hadn't. This is an apology for one of those things.

The end of the year, for many, is a time of reflection. Some people write lists about games that meant something to them and others will reflect on events throughout the year that were broadly impactful. I tend to think about things I've said or done that I wish I hadn't. I try to learn from them; about myself and about others.

So I'd just like to say sorry to Jon Jones. I don't know Jon and he doesn't know me. In all likelihood he won't read this or even know it exists. But we encountered one another on the Gama boards when he commented on something I wrote back in February after the announcement of Irrational Games' closure. I'm not going to say much about that essay or my word choice. Rather, I'm just going to say this:

Jon, I'm sorry. I could have replied better to you. I could have listened better. You've made me think about my words in important ways.

The thing is, Jon read my words a particular way and connected them in ways that I hadn't anticipated. I got defensive. I didn't really listen. I countered with my own experiences and a defense of my use of a word. If the last few months of social media have taught me anything, it is the dangerous power of privileged defensiveness. You're right that some words are really powerful and that one in particular.

This has been a year with many battles waged on defensive fronts and often fronts fought over words. I saw in my reaction the same defensive reaction that now continues unabated all over social media that often reeks of "but not all X!" Sometimes a better response is to just say, "I hadn't anticipated that reading/perspective and that really complicates my choice of words. I'm sorry. Thanks for helping me think about my words."

Jon, you've changed how I use words. I think a little bit more about my metaphors and choice of words. You're not the only one who has made me more conscious of my words. The word is still in my book. Part of me regrets that it was too late to change that. But it will also remind me doubly the importance of thinking about them before I put pen to paper.

So, thank you and I'm sorry. Even if you don't read this.

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