Gaming Editor James Law questions the recent decision THQ Nordic made to host an AMA on 8chan, despite the site's controversial notorietyWritten by James Law on 16th March 2019
Console Wars: Revenge of the Manbabies
War! The games industry is crumbling under attacks by the ruthless Fanboys. There are heroes on both sides. Evil is everywhere.
What is fandom?
“There’s nothing inherently wrong with fandom
When fandom becomes toxic, however, is when it impairs the ability of others to live their lives unimpeded. When racist football fans take their false sense of entitlement and superiority and express it with their chuckling, equally horrendous little friends, fandom’s ugly side rears its head. When you go on Twitter and see stan accounts dogpiling the ex-partner of their favourite celebrity, when you see actors bullied off of social media by harassers under the facade of criticism; this is when fandom gets ugly.
“Our industry is plagued with the worst aspects of fandom there are
Not so, unfortunately. Xbox Spain’s Community Manager has been the latest in a long line of targets. Alejandra Pernias has been in her role since October, and had showcased in previous social media posts that she was a fan of all things gaming. This sounds great, apart from one thing: she owns a PS4.
No, seriously, that was the issue a lot of people ran with. Showing her new obsession, Overwatch on PS4, on Twitter, a number of fans took to the platform to voice their discontent with what she was doing in her free time, publicised on a personal account. These Xbox fans are so obsessed that they are willing to take down an important member of staff, the most customer-facing role there is, in defence of their beloved piece of plastic and wires. That’s what the Console Wars is all about. I do see similar beats in this case compared to ‘gamer’ culture as a whole - casting oneself as a minority character in your own story with enemies to fight against, only this time, the enemy is those who prefer a different form of hardware, rather than more common foes like progressivism and feminism. Given Pernias’ position as CM, fans decided that she should be on their side, an ally against those who would prefer the PS4 to the Xbox One, and playing a multiplatform game on PlayStation feels like treachery to these fans.
There’s even missed context in the tweet - Pernias tags people, claiming she has fallen into an Overwatch rabbit hole thanks to them. Perhaps her friends all had the game on that platform, and understandably couldn’t be all expected to switch? Not that there’s any excuse. Context or not, there’s no excuse for painting her as ‘the enemy at home’, with so many unwanted inputs that her entire account has been deleted. It would be remiss not to mention that Pernias is a woman, something a significant portion of the gaming community finds scary, and we often see this harassment directed at women with the express goal of making gaming an unwelcoming place for people who aren’t straight, white and male. It’s symptomatic of a wider issue of course, but no more acceptable.
“It would be remiss not to mention that Pernias is a woman, something a significant portion of the gaming community finds scary
The fandom will lash out at the drop of a hat. Just please, don’t be them. Don’t support corporate bodies whose only goal is profit. Don’t become a vehicle to be used by ungrateful shareholders, rich thanks to your validation. They’ve done nothing to deserve your tribalistic, undying backing.
Be better. Support people in the industry. Show your appreciation for their work. Tell a developer they’re fab. Other fandoms can at least manage that.