Game Journalists Behaved Badly on Social Media in 2016

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By Ian Miles Cheong | 3:13 pm, January 3, 2017

Social media invites people to share their unfiltered thoughts with the world. For game journalists, this means acting like complete jerks towards anyone who criticizes their work, talking down to gamers, and admonishing game developers for having “problematic” opinions.

If you disagree with their social justice outrage and offend their sensibilities, they won’t hesitate to treat you as something less than human. Let’s look at what they said in 2016.

Attacks on Katsuhiro Harada

Tekken creator Katsuhiro Harada made fun of social justice warriors in a response to a fan who asked him if the game’s female characters would be getting bikini outfits in the Western version. This offended the game critics—many of whom identify as SJWs. They didn’t hesitate to call him a “garbage man” and attack his game. The outrage prompted him to delete his tweet.

Tracer’s butt pose is compared to rape

Tensions ran high when Blizzard acquiesced to complaints about an Overwatch character’s “butt pose.” Game journalists who often insist that the medium be considered “art” were more than happy to demand the pose’s removal.

Former GameSpot editor Danny O’Dwyer’s was by far the worst, insisting that the sexually attractive character’s pose was demeaning to women. Never mind that several male characters in the game have the same pose.


Nintendo fires an employee. Gamers get blamed.

When Nintendo fired one of their PR specialists for moonlighting as a prostitute, Gamasutra and Feminist Frequency contributor Katherine Cross immediately launched a tirade about gamers.

The incoherent rant fails to acknowledge that perhaps Nintendo only fired the employee because she was a liability to the company’s family-friendly image.

First Person Scholar’s personal attack on a game developer

A blog funded by the University of Waterloo encouraged game enthusiasts to avoid games published by Stardock Entertainment. Their reason? The staff disagreed with the politics of its CEO, Brad Wardell.

When Wardell responded, the website told him to “leave a comment on the piece.”

The referenced article was an open letter to the developer of one of the games Stardock published, telling him that Wardell’s support for GamerGate, the movement for ethics in game journalism, was “something I have a lot of trouble with.”

The writer claims that Wardell was in part responsible for the “raging torrent of pain, anguish and confusion” that followed in the wake of GamerGate. It feels terrible to be called out, but hyperbole doesn’t help, especially when you try to hurt someone with it.

K.Thor Jensen brags about his job in wake of criticism

Unable to accept criticism by another writer, an NY Mag contributor K. Thor Jensen bragged about how he wrote for the magazine and how his critic writes for the “Bumf**k Post-Gazette.”

It wasn’t the first time Jensen behaved badly on Twitter. Two years prior, Jensen called it a “duty” to “stamp out gamer scum,” declaring games players subhumans who “left the human race.”

“All gamers are trash,” he wrote. “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: gamers aren’t human. They’re sacks of atrophying meat slowly dying.”

“Anybody who calls themselves a gamer should be put to death,” he declared.

Polygon writer tries to bully Max Landis and fails

When acclaimed screenwriter Max Landis tweeted a joke to his close friend Kumail Nanjiani about the Pakistani actor in Rogue One, Polygon contributor Carli Velocci took it very, very seriously. Her tweets drew attention to Landis, and the rest of the social justice outrage mob joined in.

When Landis publicly criticized her attempt to bully him, Velocci played the victim.

Stay classy, Carli.

Leigh Alexander encourages violence over Brexit

In response to Brexit passing in the UK, game journalist Leigh Alexander encouraged her followers to “pick up a f**king brick.”

Alexander is known for penning the now-infamous “Gamers are over, gamers don’t have to be your audience” article, in which she described video game players as “these obtuse s***slingers, these wailing hyper-consumers, these childish internet-arguers.”

“holy god, it turns out the world is actually ruled by f**king monsters,” wrote Alexander, who described Brexit supporters as “ignorant rich f**king right wing fascists.”

Stay salty, Leigh.

Gravestanding Over Orlando

In the wake of the 2016 Orlando terrorist attack, game journalists sensed the opportunity to virtue signal and scream their outrage at violent video games and gamers.

The bodies were not even cold.

Ian Miles Cheong is a journalist and outspoken game critic. You can reach him through social media at @stillgray on Twitter and on Facebook.