Thursday, 3 March 2016

Your Controversy Is Bullshit

Just who the fuck is this sexy sideways beast?  Well his name is Mark Ankucic and he has quite the story to tell.

Basically, he's an Aussie games writer that got fired from his gig for showing some kind of support for GamerGate, a can of worms I'm not about to get into.  Anyway, after being dropped from his job he set up a pen name known as Sandy Beaches and starting contacting a number of publications to try and get his pieces published.  What kind of pieces was he trying to get published? Well stuff regarding sexism in games and gaming feminism and his shit was ate up by a site called The Mary Sue. 

Despite much frustration with his pieces due to being misinformed and over exaggerated it turns out that everything he wrote for The Mary Sue was complete and utter bullshit.  Sandy Beaches was his little experiment to see how much bullshit he could get away with as long as he was posting as a feminist gamer and the results are pretty staggering.  You can read his story in much more detail here

One of my favorite lines from his article is this

"And that’s where the rub is. You write a hundred headlines claiming something, and people who don’t know anything about the actual topic will believe it."

That right that there has been the problem with any gaming controversy.  It doesn't matter if it's sexism in games, violence in games or table top being satanic, it all stems from the fact that the people writing and commenting on these things don't know JACK SHIT about the topic they are writing about.  They just read what other people have written and then parrot those misinformed opinions without doing any actual research of their own.

But what about these people writing the first few headlines?  The ones that all the idiots go ahead an believe without doing any research of their own?  Well it's one of two things.  One is that they are actually fucking stupid enough to believe their own shit or the second is money.  Writing click-bait controversy because they KNOW that there are enough uninformed idiots in gaming that will eat that shit up and happily jump on a bandwagon.  All those clicks will generate plenty of dosh and give the writer a nice fat paycheck .

Let's say you're writing a review for a game, this goes double true if you're writing a review of some obscure JRPG or something.  You COULD review it straight up but unless it's a big name game, chances are you aren't going to get all that many clicks due to a general lack of mainstream interest.  Throw in some controversy though and BAM! clicks for days as people flock to your review in order to find out just how "terrible" the game is.  Call it sexist or claim that it will one day fuel the next big school shooting and people will be retweeting, commenting and sharing out the asshole.  KA-CHING.

So next time you read an article about how X game is sexist or Y game is too violent, just stop and remember the story of Sandy Beaches.  Just think how much that shit is being spun to fit a current controversy for clicks.  If you do however just genuinely believe that shit, please go and educate yourself, the truth behind these gaming controversy's are never as terrible as certain publications make them out to be. 

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