Smells Like Theses

« July 2006 »

Memo to GameSpot backtalkers: YOU ARE DUMB.

I may have mentioned, from time to time, that the single biggest mistake websites have made for the past, oh, three or four years is letting their readers express their opinion. Especially in "talkback" sections, where nerds can spout off about a news story right below the news story.

It's the worst of both worlds. First you get to read a news story written by someone who can only manage to write for a, shall we say, "enthusiast" website. And then you get to read the even more retarded musings of anyone with a keyboard, an account, and a pulse. Pulse optional.

And few places are as pulse-optional as GameSpot, the video gaming website. Their message boards are legendary for their awfulness, and their talkbacks make shit-chucking baboons seem like the Algonquin Round Table*

Normally, I'm content to let them post "f1rst p0st woot sorny suxx0rz" twenty four / seven. But the other day, they reacted so ridiculously, so predictably, and so retardedly to a particular story that they earned a mention.

The story involved a Canadian college student, Robert Parungao, who did his honors thesis on the subject of racism in video games. He looked at four games, and found, unsurprisingly, that some games have used a lot of stupid stereotypes. He looked at Grand Theft Auto III, the NES classic "Kung Fu", the PC strategy game Warcraft III, and "Shadow Warrior", an old PC FPS.

Which is fine. He cherry-picked, but it's a student thesis, for fuck's sake. Many of you have been there, many of you have done that, so you understand. GamsSpot even went the extra mile and actually interviewed him, and he came across as calm, reasonable, and thoughtful. But the GameSpot readers, being apparently largely unfamiliar with college, decided en masse that Parungao was out to get their beloved art form. ACTUAL QUOTES TIME!

"its jut a game!! A GAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" - Edward1211, who, at 28 exclamation points to 12 actual message letters, has a Brain Mass Index of... zero.

"Lame, get off the racist crap. The guy is about as insightful and perceptive as an amoeba with a headache. I hate loudmouthed, short-sighted wanna-be intellects like that." - lunaticsynapse, who not only failed to actually read the interview, but also... "an amoeba with a headache"? OK. I've been developing an array of ridiculous analogies for stupid people for a long time. And I've never had to resort with "amoeba with a headache". Please. "Bacillum with a traumatic head injury" at the very least.

"Stereotypes arn't racist because they are just that; stereotypes. This means that the majority of people of whatever culture or religion etc. do not act that way... I seriously hope this person doesn't spread this ignorant view of the gaming industry far. We are mature gamers, and we can deal with the real world. In the real world there is racism and so a realistic game should also encompass such themes. But to pick out racism when it isn't even there is just foolish. - "LoqGor", whose name I hope and pray is a Klingon thing and not a John Norman reference**.

Stereotypes aren't racist because they depict behavior that most of the stereotyped people don't display? This dorkwad sounds like the love child of Michael Savage and a bacillum with a traumatic head injury.

I cannot stress this enough. If you're out there reading this, I want you to know something very important. If you're reading some nerdy news site, and that site lets you post comments, STOP YOURSELF. Nobody wants to know what you have to say. Nobody wants to see how many exclamation points you can type in a minute. Just let it drop, and back away slowly from the keyboard. Someday, you'll be glad you did, and more importantly, I'll be glad you did right now.

*Little known fact - Dorothy Parker could hit a womp rat with a turd at 30 paces, and they're not much bigger than two meters.

**Trust me, don't Google this. Go to Wikipedia first.