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Artists and their art - seperate entities?

Through something that came up apparently over the last few days and that toally passed me by I had the idea to this blog. It'll get video games related down the line, trust me, but you'll have to sit through some NVGR introduction at first. You see this fucker here? This is Varg Vikernes.

This dude was convicted for burning down at least three churches, for trying to burn down another one, for illegal owning of weapons and explosives (which he wanted to use to blow up the norwegian parliament) and is mostly known for driving over to another musician and stabbing him to death with a number of knifestabs you would be surprised go into a human body. He is a racist, he is a fascist, he is an antisemite and a homophobe. In short: he is batshit bonkers.
And yet... he is a absolute genius. I think it's somewhat known now that I like metal and especially Black Metal and this dude is basically one of the founding fathers of the genre and the scene. He did some really important music for this area. Without him maybe a lot of the music I love today wouldn't exist and I might be a different person altogether.

Fast forward to this weekend, apparently (I say this because, after all, it might be a HUGE setup - which I personally don't believe, but that's not what this is supposed to be about) game maker Zoe Quinn was publically exposed by her now ex-boyfriend for cheating with multiple men on him, also having sex with a Kotaku editor for favorable reviews of her game Depression Quest, which just recently found it's way on Steam.

She first garnered attention with her game for two reasons. First and foremost being that the game exceptionally well covers and brings attention to the topic of depression. The second point was that she was apparently attacked for putting that game on Steam Greenlight in the most despicable ways. I remember Jim Sterling even doing a little rant about it back then. Now it was also "proven" that this thing was total bogus too.
Just by coincidence we know even had a C-Blog promoted to the FP (congrats to ooktar) about that game. Of course these topics where brought up there too and ooktar himself replied, stating he didn't know about all this at the time of writing and that it doesn't effect his opinion of Depression Quest.

Which lead me to the question if artists and the art they produce are separate entities or tied together forever? I mentioned Vikernes before and how I basically love what he did, but I wouldn't want to share a room with him. He is a disgusting human being and I'm still surprised he found a wife. So far I haven't bought anything that would benefit this man, but that doesn't change the fact that he created something that is part of the center of my life at the moment (and for years).

This is how normally handle a situation like this. If there is an artist I don't like as a person, but whose art I like, I usually consume it through "free" ways like YouTube. I don't want to support this person with my money, given the fact that I don't like, for example, shoving my money into a the throat of a racists nutjob asshole.
And yet, for some reason, this whole Depression Quest thing irks me somewhat stronger. Mostly for the reason of treason... and that rhyme wasn't intended. The thing is, and I think everybody who has some experience in life can confirm this: getting betrayed by someone you like hurts, but being betrayed by someone you love is devastating. It's like a sledgehammer right into the brain. And this is where the connection between the artist and the piece of art comes in. Quinn made a game about depression and then did something that could very well cause it. I guess this is the thing that rubs me so much the wrong way here. My reaction with this, unless it will come to light that all of those screenshots etc. are fake, will be the same as before: I won't support this person with my money. Now the game itself is free to begin with, but I will surely watch that I will never support anything she is part of.

"Oh, but Jim, huge companies do also very disgusting things and you buy their games!". A thing that crossed my mind too and I'm willing to offer a simple theory why people jump on this. Because it's a single person that did something here that is generally detested in our society. It wasn't a board of faceless directors and investors, no. It was some single person that can be reached through media like Twitter etc.
Now I still wanna draw a line of sorts here. I see little to no reason to now go after her and shit on her through social media. I find the possible corruption of one of the biggest networks our gaming has (and like Kotaku or not, they get an assload of attention and clicks) and the fact that she did something of this magnitude while on the same fighting for giving Depression more general attention far more interesting (and I would also like to ask possible commentors to stay civil in the comments). That said, vengeful bastard that I am at time, I can't say I feel sorry for her if now people really do shit on her. Because, so far, the evidence that Quinn is a meatbag of assholes are pretty incriminating. Should her game taken off Steam for it? Certainly not. It, apparently, is still as important for depressed people as it was before (even though the Steam reviews aren't really favorable) and asking for that would be moronic.

How is it with you? Do you seperate artists from their art or are they entangled in each other?
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About OpiumHerzone of us since 3:54 AM on 04.10.2013

German Blogger, writing the series "The worst thing about censorship is ███████ " (go check it out!) since I like to write about that topic and am invested in it a whole lot. Also writes some other stuff sometimes. Likes to listen to very strange bands and has the ultimate goal in life to taste every soft drink there is at least once.
Pure Gonzo - and while I thank god for Jim Sterling sometimes, I thank god for Hunter S. Thompson every day.

I'm a bastard. Don't trust me. Always keep asking, don let yourself get fed bullshit - not even by me.

I like good games. Yes, that's quite general, but I don't really like confining myself to certain genres. I like interesting approaches, invention and creativity. But I can enjoy a straight-up shooter as much as a "Bastion". It just has to be done well and appeal to me on some level.

Want to know anything else? Just leave a comment under a blog or write a message. Same goes for corrections (please), as English isn't my native language and thus isn't nearly perfect.

Censorship Blogs so far:
001: The System (Part 1)
002: The System (Part 2)
003: The stupid publishers
004: How Germans get uncensored games
005: Bioshock Infinite
006: Call Of Duty
007: Grand Theft Auto
008: Dead Space
009: Manhunt
010: Sniper Elite V2 (again)
011: Fallout
012: Various Games #1
013: Nazis
014: Mortal Kombat 9 on Steam
015: Contra
016: Halo
017: Saints Row
018: All the other stuff
019: Command & Conquer
020: The Lanzarote Convention
021: Various Games #2
022: Half-Life
023: The Legend Of Zelda
024: Various Games #3
025: Various Games #4

026: What system would you prefer
027: South Park - The Stick Of Truth
028: South Park - The Stick Of Truth (Part 2)
029: Various Games #5
030: Wolfenstein
031: Resident Evil (main series)
032: Resident Evil (spin offs)
033: Various Games #6
034: Turning Point: Fall Of Liberty
035: Blacks and women
036: Pokemon
037: Left 4 Dead
038: Left 4 Dead 2

039: 2015 Predictions
040: Dying Light
041: Coca-Cola
042: Pillars of Eternity
043: The Order: 1886
044: Mortal Kombat X

Stuff I also wrote and you should read:

~ Punish the individuals - not the scene they move in
~ My consoles don't fight each other - what's your excuse?
~ But what about the men?
~ Fake gamer girls and the damage they do
~ The Raid On Castle DToid
~ My little guide to german music (NVGR)
~ You should buy Goat Simulator - no, seriously...
~ Gravelord Nito, I love you more than Vanilla Coke
~ Let's clear up the console wars, shall we?

... und Pan spielt die Fl�te.