Gamers reactions causes culture to turn morbid

John Schmidt Web Editor

Video game culture and its relation to video game media and business are manifesting itself into something disgusting, plain and simple.

I’m not attacking video games. This weekend, I sat on a friend’s couch and we both played an unhealthy amount of Diablo 3 over the course of the weekend. In no way do I hate video games, I just want to air out some things wrong with the way people react to other peoples reactions.

And yeah, I get that a lot of it has to do with trolling and the anonymous shroud of the Internet. But the behavior of people in relation to video game media is horrid.

If you’re still reading, you probably know about the several petitions gamers have filed in an attempt to fix things they think are wrong with the medium. Such as a petition to have Electronic Arts fix the ending to Mass Effect 3, and to have Grand Theft Auto 5 released on PCs.

It’s stuff like this that bugs me because when I was a child, there was none of that. If I didn’t like the ending of a game, I didn’t demand it to be fixed and when I couldn’t play a game because I didn’t have the proper hardware, I didn’t demand the game be made so I could play it.

In December 1982, a little company called Atari, Inc. released a game called E.T. That game was a then new media take on the well-known movie. Total production of the game was $125 million (I’m not sure if this is before or after inflation which after inflation is roughly $300 million, GTAV’s budget was $250 million just for some comparison.) And the game was quickly made and single handedly crashed the video game market with critical backlash and poor sales. It was a bad game. However, my research yielded no petitions for Atari, Inc. to do anything about it, there were no mass refunds. Nothing was done to the people about the product that destroyed gaming in the 80’s.

But in 2013, if you go check online you usually see a petition or a forum of people discussing why a company sucks and that they should listen to the customers and give them what they want. And if they don’t give them what they want they need to be sued or give refunds or fire individuals.

Now, you’re probably thinking that I think gamers feel they’re entitled to particular things. I really don’t like to use the word entitlement but there is a gamer bill of rights. indicates that the masses that partake in video game culture are entitled. Having a list of demands to designers and publishers is not right at all. It’s attributing to the hellfire that is modern video game culture and degrading it as an art form. 

That’s the business side of things; the more media related things are people’s responses to critics and people in video game media. Just recently a petition to fire GameSpot staff writer Carolyn Petit surfaced on the Internet. William Goessman filed the petition on asking the game media company to fire her over the fact that “Carolyn Petit has involved her political views for far too long in every review or article she has written,” according to Goessman. 

Goessman goes on to proclaim that Pettit critically reviews games to push her agenda as a feminist. 

“DO NOT use well made characters as a means for you to show your views on topics of controversy. Which is all you did. And you were even wrong for it,” Goessman said. 

For the record, Pettit used the word “misogyny” in the last fourth of her review of GTAV, the other three-fourths of it was a view on the game itself, which she actually enjoyed and gave a 9 out of 10.

As of 3 p.m. on Sept. 16, the petition was taken down on 

Which brings me to my main point, the idea of being a critic is that you’re able to put your own view into what is considered a good game or not. If video games are actually art, then what Petit said is valid. If a painting is morbid, people will obviously call it morbid and use their platform as critics to do so to reach as many people as they can. She shouldn’t be fired because Goessman disagrees with her. His whole point is that she’s essentially biased, however I’m willing to argue that there is no such thing as biased, or pushing an agenda in being an art critic.

If Petit feels a game is misogynistic and doesn’t really agree with it and puts it in her review, there isn’t any bias at all. She’s simply saying how she feels about a game. In the same breath, a company of developers can do what they want with a game.

The problem with video game culture isn’t video games or the critics; it’s the people who respond to the companies and critics, or as Donald Trump would call them, the haters.

Carolyn, forget what those people say. You’re an excellent writer and journalist and you can challenge game developers and their misogynistic additions to games without having it backfire on you with a silly petition. 


John Schmidt is the Web Editor at The Collegian. He can be reached at [email protected]