Kotaku’s Jason Schreier Bullies a Gamer Over ‘Call of Duty: WWII’ Authenticity

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By Ian Miles Cheong | 11:02 pm, May 3, 2017
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Jason Schreier is a bully, and he doesn’t really know when to shut up.

Jason Schreier, Kotaku news editor

Among many instances of controversy, the Kotaku writer raised public ire in 2013 when he insulted George Kamitani, the artist of Dragon’s Crown, by saying he “must be 14 years old” because he liked drawing sexy video game characters. A year later, Schreier published a scaremongering piece about a drunk journalist who made sexually inappropriate comments to a female game developer, only to backpedal on his stance about what is newsworthy when he casually dismissed the controversy over an alleged sexual relationship between a game developer and a colleague of his at Kotaku—an event that would come to be known as GamerGate.

This week, the Kotaku writer composed a tweet consisting of a single word, “Gamers.” Schreier took a Call of Duty fan’s comments out of context, presenting them in a way that made the gamer look stupid. In less than a day, the tweet received over 57,000 likes and 29,000 shares, and subjected the user, @Cpt_Rutger, to a barrage of insults on Twitter.

In the tweet he quoted, a user asks Michael Condrey, one of the leads on the newly announced Call of Duty: WWII if there would be female combatants in its multiplayer mode. The developer responded in the affirmative, to which @Cpt_Rutger pointed out that female combatants were not really present in World War 2 outside of Russia and as members of the Resistance in Europe. A second tweet, presented side-by-side, has @Cpt_Rutger stating that the game is set to offer a Zombies mode.

Jason Schreier’s tweet intends to showcase an instance of cognitive dissonance, with the presence of women being declared “unrealistic,” with no mind at all for zombies—perpetuating the common myth that gamers concerned with “authenticity” merely hate women and people of color.

It’s a disingenuous claim, as the user wrote in a separate series of tweets that he had no interest in zombies. @Cpt_Rutger’s initial statements were in the context of Sledgehammer Games’ claim that the upcoming game is an authentic look at the war, and a departure from the series’ most recent forays into science fiction.

He stated that if the developers claim to be creating a historically authentic experience, then “this is the wrong way to do it.”

Verifiable statistics for how many women were present as fighters in the Resistance are difficult to come by, largely because no one knows exactly how many people were part of the movement. Wikipedia doesn’t have any citations for the claim that women made up at least a fifth of combatants in the unstructured army.

Regardless of the actual numbers, many women took up arms alongside male resistance fighters to disrupt the German army long before the Americans arrived on D-Day in 1944 and drove the Nazis all the way back to Berlin.

Contrary to Jason Schreier’s portrayal of @Cpt_Rutger, the gamer has expressed strong enthusiasm for female soldiers in previous entries to the series. The gamer’s request for communication fell on deaf ears.

For being a supposed journalist, Jason Schreier is a hack.

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