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What started as a simple allegation of a game creator having exchanged sexual favors spiraled into everyone becoming aware of how terrible people are online. Yes, this is a human problem. I'm not sure if the game developer in question did or didn't do anything wrong.
Here is my opinion:
I love laughing and seek novelty in all things, I'm looking for humor and love video games because they're stupid. Of course I read gaming websites and news outlets, so when stuff like this comes up and I've heard hours of someone involved, I feel like I'm taking it personal. Zoe Quinn's been on Giant Bomb's morning show quite a bit, so when she suddenly became the target of the internet's rage, I kind of feel terrible. This isn't funny at all.
This is a witch hunt that started because of an accustation of an unethical sexual relationship.
Game developers, public relations workers, and journalists are way too chummy. I don't know if they're blowing each other or not, but being a human being myself, it only makes sense that everyone likes sex. At one point in time president Bill Clinton was in some trouble, over a blowjob. I don't know who jammed who or what, the evidence presented by Zoe Quinn's boyfriend would convince me if I was on a jury.
It's the exact same thing as Roy Rice. Yes, it was a crime. There are punishments for a crime. The word "apology" exists so that people can apologize. A pound of flesh isn't necessary for an apology, just like my thoughts on former reviews editor from Destructoid getting in hot water over a transgendered person's finacing gender reassignment surgery with game development.
Shouldn't the punishment fit the crime? If there even was a crime, which I'm not entirely convinced anything crimanal went on.
In my head, the punishment for consumer product press sleeping with someone whose product they're covering, is shame. They apologize. They hang their head. Occasionally dickheads say dickhead things to them in their comment sections, life goes on. As for Zoe? The same thing. She apologizes, admitting it was all a mistake, goes on making games and everyone moves on with their lives except a few dickheads who bring it up during interviews or in comments.
The problem is, it depends on what the meaning of the word 'is,' how few is a "few? A couple dozen really dedicated truth seeking journalists? Maybe a handful of internet trolls laughing it up in their troll holes online, where they assume nobody is watching as they yuk it up to one another with lots of mean jokes. What's a handful? Is it more than a mouthful?
What happens when the few people who would be silly enough, mean enough, and just plain out motivated enough to give someone shit on the internet is a few hundred people? What if it was a few thousand? What if a million people, all day everyday, sent you death threats and called you names online? What if they dug up tasteful nude photographs and posted them, discussing them in their troll holes online?
Living in the world of the internet, your real name and real address aren't that hard to find. It's fun to play like you're a pro-wrestler with this great kayfabe image to hide behind. I'm doing it right now by posting this as randombullseye, that's me. That's who I want to be. This weird character that loves difficult video games and hates hypocraspy in anything. I love transparency. I'll always break the rules when I feel necessary to say what I have to say about something, I'm not an intellegent man at all. I'm very foolish, I feel like I only have half the story and am always behind on everything.
I'm just concerned for humanity if this is what we keep doing over and over again and again.
Prank phone calls are one thing, they're bad. Especially unfunny obscene phone calls, there's no humor to someone just calling with threats at all. Neither is their any humor to prank pizza delivery. Imagine if a million people sent a million pizza delivery men to your house with a million pizzas each. While there is humor to pizza delivery pranks, it's childish. Imagine seemingly the entire world descending on your phone all at once.
I feel sympathy for everyone involved, including the trolls doing the "pranking."
What if they made death threats with your address? That's scary. That crosses the thing line from humor to creep. I'm the creator of Bonerquest, I know what creepy is. I've been online a long time, I've said some terrible things to people as a teenager, but death threats and threats of raping people, that's a line too far for me.
What if everyone involved is simply accussed of unethical behavior that they didn't even commit in the first place?
That's the real issue. I maintain that Michael Jackson could have been innocent. I was a big fan of his work in 1991. He was the man everybody loved. Then he was accussed of something so heinous, it could never be forgiven just that he was accussed of it. Maybe he is a monster.
Also involved in this whole story is Anita Sarkasaan, whom I've written negatively about in my troll hole on Destructoid. The thing is, you assume no one you're talking garbage about with your friends is going to read it. Well, what if she did read my mean comments about her outfits? I feel bad that she could read that, but I'm not pulling down. I stand by what I remember writing, I'm sure it was terrible. She's getting the same nonsense that Zoe Quinn is simply because she's pointing out all the ways video games depict women negatively.
I could argue that her pointing out all these negative depictions of women is depicting women negatively.
Also also, the "everything is racist" game.
I feel like I talk about that. My black friend, who doesn't want to be called African American because he is, an American who is black, loves pointing out how everything is racist. We would flip the TV channels landing on things that were innocent of any crime, but he would then do ten minutes of material about how racist cartoons and tampon commercials are. If he couldn't find anything legitimate, he would then mention black things in the room and how the white people had black curtains just to keep black people hanging in their mind. It was the rantings of a lunatic and I cried laughing everytime. That's funny.
If you can't see the humor in any of this, that's a real issue. The problem is there isn't humor in harassment on this scale. A million people calling you an asshole all day every day would drive the sanest person crazy. How do you beat it? Just don't look. It's why I don't like responding to comments. I block people on twitter who would talk nonsense, if I felt justified giving them a hard fuck you, then I would. I've yelled you fuck you at people in real life. It's great telling people to fuck off.
But what if they're motivated and just keep making proxy accounts, again and again. You'll never know how many people are after you. Years from now, when everyone has forgotten, that kind of person won't forget. It's why I like commenting on something former reviews editor of Destructoid once said about the true community only being in the comment sections of their posts. If you don't call bullshit where you feel it necessary to do so, then why have a voice? I feel being mean with trolling and crossing lines is uncalled for, always.
In the past I said of the poor guy who knowingly sold a broken controller to a Penny-Arcade fan, that I hoped people keep calling him. His phone number was put online and people were calling and asking to buy a controller. That's funny. That guy was mean about something. I bet that guy still gets calls about that.
I'm also concerned about Athiestium, a member of Destructoid's community. Even though she hasn't posted here in a long time, she's still family right? Once we are a group, aren't we a group forever? She was getting heat about tweeting for a game console contest, because she had consulted with a game company years earliar. That happened over a year ago, she's still getting shit for it. I don't think she should be, at least not at the volume she's getting it.
Here is her talking about GamerGate and all her trouble. I feel terrible for her.
That's the real problem with trolling. One troll can have a funny point and really bring something up to someone, but a million is just a swarm of hatred. I don't know how to feel about the mean spirited nature of the internet. My only advice for everybody getting shit on, ignore it. Maybe they'll find something more interesting to do somewhere else, hopefully not to someone else.
TL;DR - This isn't an issue of video gamers being dickheads, this is an issue of people being dickheads. Ever go to a public bathroom and see how people treat that? That's the internet. That's what human beings really are. They're after money, sex, and love. We're also capable of hatred. I hate humanity and ashamed to be alive.
This is some real witch hunt, crucible bullshit. Right down to the fact that there's secret sexual deals going on. Instead of land it's mindshare, advertising, and downright favortism. I doubt any of it is true, but as a spooky Mulder type, I believe the truth is out there and am always going to be skeptical of what anyone tells me.
Realistically, the story should have been easy to cover. Ask Zoe her side of the story, ask the guys accused of exchanging things for sexual favors their side, let people decide what they want. I feel like I would take Zoe's side of the story, an admittance and apology is great, denial is also great. Either way is better than the misinformation swirling around online.
If only enthusist press had journalists.
Maybe whoever buys Destructoid will have balls?
What do you think?