Nanbu's Dear Destructoid blog the other day seemed to touch a nerve, I think we should talk about it.
I don't know if Dtoid really has changed. Yeah they don't call upvotes "faps" anymore and the famous "Also, cocks" tagline has disappeared off the front page. Some of our favourite writers have come and gone it's true - but Jim's still out there being the most boisterous voice in "gaymes juurnalism", Holmes keeps talking about Wii games, and Conrad's still grooming his fine moustache.
But the real problem I have with Nabu's arguement and the Dtoid she, and some of the other people in those comments described, is that I'm not sure that place ever really existed.
To hear people talk about "old Destructoid" you'd think it was the wild fucking West. Some backwoods rodeo where nobody talked about anything BUT games, people were free to be as big of an asshole as they liked, and there was nary a mod in sight. A Shangri-La where core gamers never had to hear about industry or social issues, never had to be critical of their own hobbies or ask any questions. A blasted out wasteland of cock jokes and insular defensiveness.
The place these people are wistfully describing doesn't sound like a place I'd ever want to hang out in. It certainly doesn't sound like the Dtoid that hooked me in 4 or 5 years ago. A gaming site that managed to balance a fun, open, and occasionally abrasive discussion while still tackling every aspect of the industry. A site that successfully floated both humour and intelligence.
People say there is way more emphasis on industry and social issues these days. Did they somehow miss the years Anthony Burch wrote here? Have they been ignoring Johnathan Holmes for his entire career? Jim's opinions may have changed in recent years, but he NEVER shyed away from addressing these issues in the past. The fact that Dtoid takes on these topics is nothing new.
People say "I only want to talk about the games, none of this political crap!" (and then go and write 4000 word blogs espousing their own political views of course). Well, if you don't want to deal with that kind of stuff, that's fine, you don't have to. In fact you have a couple of great choices. 1) Don't read or comment in articles you don't want to read or comment in. 2) Join GameFAQs.
I keep seeing that somehow Dtoid has been neutered, that comments are gagged. I don't buy it. Dtoid is still the best big-name gaming site for open and frank discussion. This site posts opinion articles you'd never see on IGN or Kotaku. Our mods are handpicked from the community and include some of our most bizarre and beloved contributors. Folks that will write short horror fiction about Murphy Brown's demon baby, or post a blog with tits flying free in the breeze and suggesting that top rank CoD players should fight in panties and a knife. Our community moderator keeps has a caricature of himself as a giant bathrobe wearing penis on his blog. These are our heavy handed oppressors running around as the PC Police? Give me a break. If they delete your comment, your comment was probably shit.
This is a site that will promote blogs like Handy's Gaming's Greatest Cocks one day, and the next something like BrotherDon's thoughtful ruminations about race. I think we still have the mix of humour and serious discussion that made Dtoid interesting and different from all the other gaming sites on the market.
I don't know or understand what some people are asking for. They want games taken seriously, they want games to be considered as worthy works of art, or at least a legitimate way for an adult to pass the time. But as soon as anyone applies the kind of criticism that kind of respectability requires, they pull an about-face and start caterwauling that they're "just games" or "don't take it so seriously!"
To me, it sounds like they want a site with nothing but cock jokes and no attempt at anything more. That's all well and good if that's what you want. But that's not Destructoid, and it never was.