You’re the Victim Here? Really? (A response to Stephen Totilo)

The people at Kotaku have decided to raise a stink recently.  See, according to them, they have been blacklisted by the likes of Ubisoft and Bethesda, and they want everyone to know what victims they are.  All the while making sure that GamerGate is known to be such an enemy, and how they are nothing but the victim of a massive conspiracy against them.  Here’s a link to an article written by Stephen Totilo, where he is crying the blues about what he calls “the price of games journalism.”  Yeah, because you are totally the victim here, Stephen.  You and Kotaku did nothing wrong, and us evil gamers are the ones who screwed you.  Of course.

Stephen, I am going to go through a list of things that your publication has done, and you tell me how sympathetic you are.

  • You were totally fine with one of your writers having a casual, sexual relationship with someone he had written about, and only saw fit to disclose it after it went public.  What’s more, in your disclosure, you said that the sexual relationship happened the day after the article was published.  That sure is convenient.  For you.  And your publication’s “ethics” principles.
  • You wrote a series of article demonizing gamers and taking up the “gamers are dead” party line.  Then, when the gaming community rightly gave you the finger, you try and white-wash history by saying that us gamers are just tops, and how we are super, and acting like what you said never happened at all.  Because a few months was all it took for everyone to forget about it, right?
  • You wrote an article where you talked about a sexual harassment claim, in great detail, without getting a single counterpoint.  Say, did Sabrina Ruben Erdely work for you guys?  That would explain a lot.
  • You reported the outright lie that Brianna Wu was forced to leave her home, while it was shown that she was doing TV interviews from her office.  Which is in her home.  Go figure.
  • Time and time again, you and your publication has ignored corruption and gamer dissatisfaction, such as after the “Doritogate” scandal.
  • Your writers have established relationships with people working for publishers like Ubisoft and Bethesda.  Relationships that got them to a point where they were under an embargo about releasing information about their latest games that were coming out.  An embargo which you then subsequently broke.  The irony is that you are crying the blues about something that was, quite clearly, your fault.  Something you did wrong, because…
  • Your entire publication is nothing but a click-bait machine that has been shown, time and time again, to lack ethical standards, objectivity, and a desire to improve.  Any publication that tries to white-wash its own history such as after the “gamers are dead” incident obviously has no sense of shame, and does not deserve any respect.

Stephen, I’m gonna give this to you straight – the people who write for you aren’t journalists. They’re salesmen/women.  Any publication that is as dependent on click-bait as you are is trying to sell to people.  What is your product?  Simple – sensationalism.  You want to make the most stink and the most fuss out of anything that comes to your doorstep.  Given that your parent company is Gawker, this isn’t a surprise.  Just look at the hot water they are in because of them leaking the Hulk Hogan sex tape.  That case is getting so ugly for them that they may very well not survive it, which will mean that you and everyone who works for you will be out of a job.  I’d feel bad for the people losing money, except I actually do have a degree in journalism, Stephen.  And I think that anyone who uses the Yuppie Nuremberg Defense to do the kind of work you do does not deserve even the slightest amount of sympathy.  After all, if you didn’t know that your position was wrong when you did the “gamers are dead” articles, then why did you feel the need to whitewash it?  You knew, and you tried to make it go away.  Just admit it, and let’s stop this pathetic charade of you being the victim, when it is so obvious that what is happening to you is years of unethical retribution that is being meted out on your company.

And since you are merely a product of how broken games journalism is, of course people are coming to your defense.  Naturally.  Games journalism has become nothing but a giant circle-jerk, after all.  The “gamers are dead” saga was coordinated.  It all happened at the same time.  You all were connected via the Google+ group “Gamejournopros.”  Everything about you and our industry is crooked and corrupt.  But you are the victim.  Who do you think buys this?  Who do you honestly think is listening to you?  Why, your friends in the various companies, of course.  Part of me can’t help but wonder if this whole article was you covering your ass now that Gawker is looking to fall apart, with Hulk Hogan on the war path and tons of lost revenue, which has led them to restructure around political commentary.  In other words, SJW bullshit.

If you ask me, what happened to you should only be the start.  This should be the beginning of every major game publisher cutting click-bait publications like you off.  I hope to see the likes of Square Enix and EA throwing you to the wolves.  It would be a fitting end to you and your publication, Stephen.  To watch as your coverage gets so bad that you actually have to step up and do REAL journalism, where you make a ton of calls and get interviews and coordinate with people.  It’s hard work, but it can only be good for the industry.  But let’s be honest, you won’t survive to that point.  You’ll just shrivel up and die, or move onto Polygon or whoever else will take you.  This article felt like your resume pitch, to whoever wants you there.

I don’t feel any sympathy for you, Stephen.  None whatsoever.  I think I’ll end with a quote that you might be familiar with.

“You made your gamergate bed, now get fucked in it.”  – Randi Harper

Peace out,

Maverick

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