Remember the Entitled Gamer? Yeah, me neither. Not too long ago in real world time, but roughly 35 million years ago in Internet time, the press was having a field day mocking the so-called Entitled Gamer. Since the games media is trend-driven and behaves like a herd to an almost embarrassing degree, the Entitled Gamer has long since been relegated to Internet oblivion. Misogyny is the bogeyman of the day, though already it seems to be fading away.
Back when the Entitled Gamer was the day's menu, I mostly remember chuckling at some of the more hypocritical rants, but it never occurred to me how incredibly entitled some of those railing against Entitled Gamers could be themselves.
Enter Phil Fish and some random dude called Marcus Beer, apparently known as the "Annoyed Gamer". Before I continue, I'm going to take a deep breath and reveal my darkest, most shameful secret: I don't worship indies. I don't pretend to despise AAA or claim that "graphics don't matter" (amusingly, such statements are sometimes followed by shows of excitement about the gorgeous games of the next generation, but I digress). I don't play indies often. I don't think anything that looks like a rudimentary NES game is beautiful by default. I don't see indies as "the future", the salvation of the industry or god's gift to videogames, and (*puts on body armor*) I'll take Assassin's Creed over Braid any day.
It's not like I hate indies either, and I've played a few. Braid was mind-numbingly boring, but Limbo was incredible. Bastion was pretty good, if nothing terribly special, and I have a bunch of Humble Bundles in my backlog. I just don't worship them just because INDIE, and I don't pretend to hate AAA because AAA.
I probably made a terrible mistake in coming clean on the World Wide Web, but hopefully nobody will threaten to kill my family
So, back to the Annoyed Gamer. I don't watch podcasts, but I read somewhere the rant against the "BlowFish" was in the very beginning, so I decided to see what it was about, and I just couldn't believe what I saw. If you want to see for yourself, feel free to look it up, I'd feel dirty linking to it, like Sterling likes to say.
The gist of it is that Mr. Annoyed Gamer, a middle-aged guy constantly throwing around "fucks", "hipsters" and "BlowFish" in a Mattrick-like attempt to look like a cool kid, was absolutely outraged that Jonathan Blow and Phil Fish refused to comment when contacted by Gameinformer about the then rumor Microsoft would allow indies to self-publish. For whatever reason they didn't want to give them a quote, and that royally pissed off Mr. Annoyed.
He goes on that they should be GRATEFUL the press shows such an interest in their work, starkly reminds them it's a two-way street, and advises "snubbed" websites to boycott the BlowFish next time they come "begging" for promotion of their next game.
I just... wow. I don't hate indies, but it looks like he does. Can you imagine him telling Activision to be "grateful" that oh-so-mighty game sites are nice enough to give press coverage to Call of Duty? I doubt it. But because the creators of two widely beloved games are just two "hipsters", they'd better be at the beck and call of the press, like dogs on a leash. Or else. Press members always behave like they have the moral high ground, rendering judgment on everyone and everything while being unassailable themselves, but they can be just as petty and "evil" as any EA.
When I saw that, I remembered when Entitled Gamers were all the rage, and I imagined press members with this unbelievable level of entitlement and a hubris the size of two Microsofts ranting against evil Entitled Gamers. It's just hilarious.
I've never played Fez, and if the press wasn't constantly on the lookout for his latest tantrum, I wouldn't know anything about Fish either, so I don't feel strongly about him or his games, but as a gaming enthusiast, it's clear to me that Fish's exit is a net loss for the industry, whereas Mr. Annoyed Gamer is a nobody. If he vanished today, he'd have about as much impact on the industry as I'd have if I decided never to play another game. That a guy like him believes game creators owe him and people like him anything is just...
Phil Fish has always gone out of his way to portray himself in the worst possible light, but this guy actually managed to make me sympathetic to him. Fish stated that he's not canceling Fez 2 "because some boorish fuck said something stupid", and while that's clearly not all there is to it, it obviously influenced his rash decision. While I won't lose any sleep over Fez 2, I wish Fish has a change of heart (hopefully while learning to behave like a decent human being and staying the hell away from Twitter), both because of his incredible talent, and because it would be a crying shame if he let the "boorish fuck" get the best of him.