So Phil Fish had a self-destructive Twitter meltdown. Again.
This time around, he got so mad that he decided to go "fuck this," shut down his Twitter, completely cancel the development of Fez II, and completely quit video games entirely. Just because of some shit people said about him on Twitter that he only helped worsen. Oh, and Jonathan Blow was involved, but he somehow knew better than to let things escalate to absurd levels.
It's often said that Fish is the best example of the "prima-donna game designer" that has grown increasingly common in this age of twitterings and faces in books. He's highly opinionated, which isn't bad in of itself, but he refuses to consider the validity of other people's arguments, arrogantly believing that he is the only sane one here. He also has the absurd notion that responding to trolls instead of simply ignoring them will make things better or more amusing, which has basically been his own undoing. His antics suggest that of a needy child who does ridiculous things to get attention, only he's a grown ass adult and nobody thinks that it's cute.
However, I'm here to present an alternative argument. That Phil may not even actually act like that, but is using these antics to play the usually gullible press like a violin and simply generate more publicity for his fledgling company. He's quite possibly the Andy Kaufman of video games.
Now, I'll say this. I'm pretty sure that Mr. Fish isn't as clever as he probably thinks he is, and certainly not as clever as the man he probably not coincidentally decided to make his profile pic. But the similarities are there.
Kaufman's act was the epitome of "anti-comedy," acting up in public and using a host of characters and pranks to facilitate that, and even the person who was long thought to be the real Andy Kaufman was an act too. He never told actual jokes, and instead resorted to confusing and making fun of his audience, his peers and the press, and they couldn't get enough of him(well, some of them). More importantly, he was more comfortable hiding behind one of his characters, rarely breaking character as he portrayed horribly unfunny foreign men who could do a dead-on Elvis impression and tone-deaf lounge singers, while occasionally breaking out into a Mighty Mouse singalong. He was often said to have some kind of mental disorder, but that may just be another one of his tricks. The fact that his very real death from cancer was long considered fake speaks volumes about him.
Fish is a bit more ambiguous. His behavior is not out of the ordinary, unfortunately, as displayed by the likes of Cliffy B. and Jonathan Blow, who regularly resort to Twitter to voice their self-righteous "I'm right and everyone else can suck it" crap. But certain aspects of his persona just seem too
exaggerated. He loves to stir the pot and poke hornet's nests, playing into the average gamer's mob mentality, and instead of letting it blow over like most internet drama does, he intentionally elevates it to absurd degrees for his own amusement. This creates a variety of amusing little exchanges, and between all the drama, Mr. Fish is probably laughing behind his computer. This isn't limited to Twitter, though. His infamous and very very public "Japanese games suck" outburst seems too similar to your average GameFAQs post to be taken seriously. Or, maybe, this is what he thought he was doing. Not to mention that it's widely thought that he has more than a few mental problems of his own.
Is Phil Fish really faking it? Well, maybe. It would be amusing if he really was playing the comically serious press like a violin, but on the other hand, this is Phil Fish that we're talking about. He may actually have serious problems or is at least a glutton for attention. Or, he could simply be a Kaufman wannabe with delusions of genius. Anything is possible at this point. For all we know, he could be working on Fez II right now, away from the prying eyes of a ravenous press, or currently in the process of getting an early retirement plan from Fez's lifetime sales.
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