Deciphering the Importance of Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality is a word which, up until a few years ago, didn't mean much to the majority of the United States. The word internet assumed that the internet was also neutral meaning, anyone could and still can say anything on the internet and for the most part, your shit out of luck stopping them. This is both a blessing and a curse. With Net Neutrality, people have been able to popularise thoughts which were never given the time of day by traditional media.

For instance, the definition of microaggressions and the many faces of Queer existence. With the internet as it's been, we've been able to plug into populations and amplify voices which have been historically silenced. Modern day activism depends on the fact that the information disseminated on the internet without external interference. It allows activists an unchecked voice and allows more variation in message than ever before. Anyone under the correct circumstances can have their voice heard widely and it is far easier than ever before.

Net Neutrality is good for the economy. Right now anyone has an okay chance writing something or having a website and being able to reach an audience. You can showcase your work and create business opportunities for themselves. Make no mistake, the only reason why people can make their livings off of the internet is that the general populous can both find it and access it with great ease. Without neutrality,  The strongest dollar could become the single greatest factor in who gets noticed rather than the strongest content. Good work could be buried by throttling (slowing down connection speeds). It implication of such actions is vast.

Finally, because this is a gaming blog, as an extension of the economic impact of the loss of Net Neutrality is the hit the indie scene would incur if this happened. Currently, the indie market in the gaming industry is shouldering the entirety of concepts of innovation and creativity for the entire industry. The AAA industry has been in a period of stagnation for years at this point and indies have been able to pick up the slack because of the conditions that have been put into place. It has been easier to be a free agent over the last 4 or 5 years than it has been for a long, long time in no small part due to the certain assurances these companies and individuals have that they will be able to communicate with their fans directly and be heard. When Stardew Valley was first hitting public development about 5 years ago, I discovered this game with a dev team of one through a google search. For the next four years, I followed that game's development month by month because Eric Barone was able to speak directly to fans via social media and his blog. 

Without this ability, I'm not sure that Stardew Valley would even have existed and if it did, what form it would live in today. This goes for any popular indie you can think of. The loss of Net Neutrality would have killed them all before they had a chance to live. If net neutrality hadn't existed when Google was just getting its start, consider it dead as well.

I despise a lot of the things that go on online. It seems there's a constant flood of isms that simply allowed to dribble out of bigot's mouths. Most of the time I wish there were tools to disallow people from taking actions online which harm others but the tools the loss of net neutrality would free up for use, are not the answer for solving these issues. Furthermore, in my most desperate of moments, I can't fool myself into believing that these tools wouldn't be used to silence those who need a voice. with everything happening in the world it can be difficult to divert attention to things that don't directly cause the death of another. We are struggling to get our country to believe in feeding and providing adequate health care to its own citizens. But I encourage you to think about the number of things you have become aware of in the last few years because of the internet and the amount of aid that has been offered through the internet over the years and imagine the consequences of if these people had no tools to plug into the resources which helped them.

That's what we're fighting for. The link below will take you to a website that has more information but I encourage you to do your own research as well.