It was at a very young age that someone made the decision to put an NES controller into my hands. At my whim, Super Mario would run, jump, and shoot fireballs. From that point on, video games became my life and it was amazing. I grew up rescuing princesses, slaying dragons, and flying spaceships. I have a massive collection of games and consoles. I even have a guild tattoo on my shoulder. However- these days, a wave of shame would wash over me if I were to pick up a controller.
One thing to never do, for the love of God, is to accuse me of being a gamer. I would be forced to lash out, reacting as though you had just uttered a smear of the most hateful intensity one could imagine. I would scream “you take that back!” as I lunged at you. Hopefully a friend would intervene and help me to collect my calm. Why is that?
It turns out that gamers are horrible people. All of them. The word gamer has come to mean “a terrible person who also happens to plays video games.” It is not a nice thing to accuse someone of being. It used to be that calling someone a gamer was a quick way to say that they were a basement dweller with poor hygiene and no social skills. While that is still mostly true, it now also carries even worse connotations.
Thanks to the bubbling river of ass holes that is the internet and a so-called scandal named “Gamergate,” gamers are something akin to rapists and terrorists. These lousy people are carrying on a crusade against women because of their innate, burning need for “ethics in video game journalism.”
An accusation had been made that a female independent game developer had an inappropriate relationship with someone who writes video game reviews for a living. Said reviewer did not review games by said developer. Gamers reacted in an insane fashion, posting private and personal information of women in the gaming industry on the internet, and a seemingly endless wave of death and/or rape threats. A planned lecture at Utah State University had to be cancelled because of threats- actual terrorism.
Let’s take a god damned step back here. ETHICS IN VIDEO GAME JOURNALISM?
Let’s get something straight right now. “Video Game Journalism” is not a thing. Absolutely zero information of any significance can come from reading about video games. The fact that there are people out there who make a living writing about video games is simply an example of the disgusting, gluttonous society in which we live. There are two things that every gamergate idiot should think about before they utter a word on the subject.
1. Video Games are not art and they never will be.
It pains me to say it but it’s true. Video games are toys, plain and simple. Point out to me the greatest examples of video games and not one of them comes close to art. Ocarina of Time is widely regarded to be one of the greatest video games of all time. I have incredibly fond memories of the hundreds of hours I invested into playing it time and time again. However, the story doesn’t even make sense. In a fantasy world where magic can be used to explain anything, there is not a cohesive story that explains all the elements. The “story” is merely a track on which the player rides to move from puzzle to puzzle. Games that have big stories tend to forget they are games, and become nothing but slide shows (I’m looking at you, Square Soft.)
2. Video Game Journalism is thoroughly stupid.
Video game reviews are not important. I have never read a video game review and had my decision to play or purchase be swayed in the slightest. Gamers argue that gaming is a multi-billion dollar industry. So is film, and the same holds true for the movies. I have never read a professional review of a film and said “oh, I’m definitely seeing that, now!” or “that sounds awful and I am no longer going to see it for myself!” A person with even half of a functioning brain stem can look at an ad and decide if they want to try out what is being offered to them.
Gamers will then go on to argue about how reviews are important because of the rising price of video games. This is absolute garbage. When you adjust for inflation, the cost of the average game was nearly double what it is today when you look back to the Super NES era. (As a side note, unlike modern games, SNES era games were actually fun to play, as opposed to the “perceived future enjoyment” that video games sell themselves on these days.)
A final argument for the validity of game reviews falls to the time investment involved in playing games. Maybe gamers are right in this regard. I would hate to be tricked into doing my favorite thing in the world! That would be the absolute worst thing that ever happened. I would never be able to forgive myself were a pizza maker to deceive me into getting a pizza that turned out not to be the perfect pizza for me. When my favorite TV show has a bad episode, I spend weeks locked in my bedroom, refusing to come out, God forbid anyone find out I watched the bad episode of the show. No, wait, none of that is true.
If you NEED a review to decide whether or not to try a video game, you are admitting that you are stupid to the whole world. Reviews aren’t even really useful for parents trying to decide whether or not a video game is appropriate for their children. That information is evident right on the packaging with a clear cut ratings system that lists the sensitive content within the game.
Long story short, this is not a cause worth fighting for. Even if you somehow successfully lobbied to create a governing body that watches over the ethics of people who review toys for a living, you would have won an utterly pointless battle. There is no reason for you to be one of these Gamergate people other than your thinly veiled contempt for women.
Gamers disgust me and I imagine all of the decent people in the world; and it’s no longer just because they smell bad. I’d say to them “put your efforts in to a better cause” but their tactics are shameful and I wouldn’t want their help to save my own life. Gamers should go back to their subterranean lairs and keep paying subscription fees for games they already paid for. It was better when they hid their vile presence from the world.