|In case you don't think there's a problem.|
1. The Border House
2. Gamers Are Embarrassing
I find it interesting that I resonate more with the second approach. Why?
Short answer: I go more for irony than earnestness, though over the years I've learned to write with both hands.
Long answer: I read The Border House as appealing to morality. The emotions that come through are outrage, anger, disgust. There's the care and the desire to be fair, to avoid harm. When it's seen by the people whose behavior it's aimed at, that moral appeal in theory should produce guilt, through empathy with the people their ways have harmed.
(I also recognize that this may not be the primary function of the blog. Indeed, it says right up front who it's for - the people who are collectively harmed. For them, a moral appeal can energize and give clarity. But inevitably, that style of argument will be exposed to the outside world.)
The problem with this theory is that this kind of guilt response requires empathy. Which is in definite short supply on the internet. The moralizing earnestness they project is a weak attack against a well-fortified place, the caring position easily subverted by mockery. It's only a game. Get a life.
How do you hit someone without empathy? Make it about themselves. This is where the "embarrassment" emotion comes in. If anger is about morality, embarrassment for someone else is about appearance. It's a contemptuous stance that shames the person you're embarrassed of, rather than guilting them. They don't need empathy or even a sense of morality to respond to shame, because it's in their self-interest to improve how they look.
Shallow? Maybe. But a lot of the cheap talk about "fags" or disparaging women out there is just that - people who think it's cool or edgy or establishing to do that, but don't have any real deep motive to. So if the shoe fits ...