They’d been hiding their secret pain for years. Instead of withering beneath the leering gaze of their presumed demographic, they resolutely stiffened their trembling lips and marched forward, spine-straight, regal and determined like true survivors. On November 19, they proclaimed their righteousness to the world. They are Kotaku, the wounded warriors of social justice.
If that sounds disingenuous, consider it a running theme. Kotaku, famous alongside Polygon for the disdain they show their audience, is finally starting to collapse. When posturing and bullying began to wear thin, they turned to whining and proclamations of solidarity with the audience they view so contemptuously. Problem is, no one really cares.
Actually, I take that back. People seem pretty happy about the whole thing.
For years, talking about stunning-and-brave Kotaku in anything less than glowing tones has been a surefire way to turn the internet’s biggest gang on you. People who hated it just avoided it altogether, because voicing dissent would get you labeled as an intolerant bigot. Not that tolerance had much of anything to do with it; the movement has always been more about the ideologues than the ideals.
But now there’s blood in the water, and denizens of the web can smell it. The internet is becoming a Safe Space to talk about Kotaku’s cyberbullying.
Penny Arcade painted a vivid image of the event in a typically brilliant manner. Jerry “Tycho” Holkins supported it with a blog post that took no prisoners, and helped to galvanize other internet personalities to do the same.
Having been the cowering creature beneath enthusiast media’s Eye of Sauron on more than one occasion, the object of their tender ministrations, their ostensible populism and their eerily synchronized perspective, I have no sympathy for these creatures. Which is to say, I have the same sympathy they express for those outside their cloister. You may feel very confident that there are conversations at every publisher now, wondering to what extent they are required to eat shit from these people. — Tycho Brahe
The floodgates opened.
Jim Sterling fired back at Kotaku’s blacklisting complaints with a video that was immediately censored by Reddit’s infamous /r/games subreddit. “…I think its parent company, Gawker, is the online equivalent of a screaming pile of liquid sh–…” apparently left very little room for ambiguity.
But it wasn’t over. Not by half.
Everyone is dancing on Kotaku’s grave, from every corner of the games industry at large. What’s more, some of them are victims of actual blacklisting by Kotaku themselves.
Having been a recipient of a blacklisting by the folks at Kotaku, it's amusing to hear them complain about being blacklisted. It hurts, eh?
— Steven Williams (@Boogie2988) November 19, 2015
I didn't immediately and emtirely roll over on gamers during that whole gamergate thing, as I was instructed to do. https://t.co/PWhiTfFYef
— Steven Williams (@Boogie2988) November 20, 2015
But blatant hypocrisy aside, there are some very pertinent reasons for publishers disdaining Kotaku in general. Our own Richard Lewis added his voice to the mix, with a comprehensive indictment of Kotaku’s practices and philosophy.
The most fun to be had, however, is in the peanut gallery. Whether it’s the HuniePop team publicly blacklisting Kotaku on Twitter…
lol, sorry. I don't talk to Kotaku. https://t.co/gsQcvsy40p
— HuniePot (@HuniePotDev) November 25, 2015
…or online software market Direct2Drive turning to memes…
Love our Mac fans, but even they had to shake their heads at this. Hope everyone enjoyed the sale! Till next time. pic.twitter.com/fCG5s1esUM
— Direct2Drive.com (@Direct2Drive) November 23, 2015
…this is becoming the most entertaining wake I’ve ever attended. Breitbart Tech is happy to play funeral parlor; the mourners in attendance aren’t paying their respects so much as getting payback. If there’s one thing gamers know about, it’s catharsis.
I was going to wrap this up with a delightful sequence of Mortal Kombat finishers, but Milo Yiannopoulos is my editor. So here’s some Mariah Carey instead.
… err, is Kotaku hiring?
Nate Church is @Get2Church on Twitter, and he can’t become a wildly overhyped internet celebrity without your help. Follow, retweet, and favorite everything he says. It’s the Right Thing To Do™!