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Self-Entitlement, Steam Black Outs, and You: Why This is Silly

File this one under “Holy self entitlement, Batman”: But apparently some of Anita Sarkeesian’s supports/friends/whatever have started an online petition to get Steam shut down for an hour in a show of protest for Anita’s recent cyber-bullying. Wow.

By now you probably know of the supposed harassment Anita Sarkeesian received for her recent Tropes video and the ensuing fallout, so I won’t waste time repeating it here…since the entire gaming internet has fallen over itself in a mad rush to paint her as the injured, suffering victim. You can’t shake a digital stick right now without bumping into some depressingly apologetic article that grovels at her feet like a wounded dog begging for mercy. As it stands now, you, reading this article, are being told you have to be ashamed to be a gamer and that your hobby is either dead or deserves to die.

All because a fake sockpuppet troll on twitter cyber-bullied Anita Sarkeesian.

Yes, let’s talk about that before we go on, shall we?

Notice anything about this threat maker?

Anyone with a modicum of intelligence can see this isn’t even real. Ten tweets? Default “egg” avatar? Every tweet solely devoted to Anita? Smells like a typical sockpuppet troll to me.

But no, Anita, like every other emotionally stunted internet neophyte, thinks this is real. She thinks someone is going to broadcast over the internet their intent to do her harm and that they’ll actually follow through with it. You know, like every single one of us got stabbed when some angry jerk-off on twitter/IRC/4chan/Gfaqs/Gamespot/IGN/ICQ/AOL/Instant Messenger/Facebook/Myspace/Ebaums/Newgrounds/Yahoo/ messaged us and told us they’d kill us. I mean, yeah, we were so totally dead right? I mean, after all, the internet is as real as real life, so if someone says they’ll do something to you online, they will so totally do it in real life, right? It’s like that really hot blonde I met on Yahoo ten years ago who said she had a model body and wanted to “do me all night”. She totally wasn’t a guy with a beard and severe acne who just turned 53 and lived with his ailing mother. Definitely not. Because, you know, everything on the internet should totally be taken at face value.

Is Anita this dense? Are her supporters that dense? How long have these people been online, anyway? If I went and hid under my bed every time someone told me they were going to kill me online, I would have shriveled up and died behind a locked door ages ago. Newsflash Anita & friends: This is the internet. Saying you’ll rip someone open is pretty much a term of endearment here. Heck, the first time I got on IRC back in 1996, the very first private message I received was from someone telling me he hated (slang term for homosexuals) and that he’d kick my (slang term for rear-end) for coming into his chat room. It’s just how the net is. Even someone as unimportant as me gets crap like that thrown at them on twitter. It’s meaningless. To actually give it power over you is to basically admit you’re too sensitive to be here in the first place.

I know what people will say to that though. But…But…They had her real address! They knew her family!

Ever hear of Google?

It’s shocking what you can find out about someone on Google. Googling my own name revealed an online document detailing the purchase I made of my old house in NJ back in 1999. From that, you could have gotten my address (If I still lived there) the name of my grandmother whom I bought the house from, and how much I paid. Further digging, which wouldn’t take too long, would get you my age, current address, marriage documents and loads of other info…all from easily obtainable public sources. You also wouldn’t be the first person to do it to me either.

Though imagine what a highly visible public internet figure like Anita has sitting out there. Especially if you get one of these highly motivated 4chan types who want to “dox” her. You’d have names of family members, addresses and god knows what else.

So does merely copy-pasting some googled info with some really poorly written almost joke-quality threats require a call to the FBI and the purchase of a dog? Didn’t we stop taking online death threats seriously back in the late 90s? Isn’t it considered passé by now? Do people actually think they are real? In 2014? Will that 14 year old kid on battle.net sending me hateful messages kill me? Yeah, I’m sure he’ll show up at my house with his noodle arms and try to stab me for doing something to him in a video game.

No, and the real reason Anita made such a big deal of this is due to two things:

#1: It now makes her a sympathetic victim instead of the rabble-rousing negative attention seeker she truly is, and…

#2: It moves all the internet attention away from Zoe Quinn and the scandal involving gaming journalist’s lack of integrity.

It’s really a masterful move on her part, to be honest. I am willing to bet you that when she saw those threats pop up in her @mentions she was jumping up and down for joy and triumphantly texting her pals at Kotaku because she finally had a way to make gamers look like the bad guy again. Sort of like how we found out Adam Sessler and his buddies were in a bar watching Phil get “hacked” in “real-time”.

Actually, I wouldn’t be shocked if she purposely created that account and posted the threats herself. If Phil fish can “hack” himself and pretend the “leader” of “Capital letter /V/” got him, then it makes absolutely perfect sense that Anita would borrow the same tactic to make herself look victimized and gain sympathy as well.

It didn’t work for Phil because Phil was a dude. Anita, well, the internet always cries for a girl in danger, so she knew she could rely on people leaving their bullshit detectors at home and jumping to easy (read: incorrect) conclusions.

Maybe I’m wearing too much tinfoil, but I think this was all planned. The SJW crew has been looking for a way to spin this whole fiasco back in everyone else’s faces and get the spotlight away from their own highly suspect shenanigans, and this is the perfect way to do it. Me? I’m not buying it. Two decades of internet use taught me a lot, and the most important lesson is that people lie to gain sympathy. All the time.

And nobody wants/needs sympathy right now in the gaming hobby more than the SJW movement.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of, and should not be attributed to, Niche Gamer as an organization.

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Carl Batchelor

About

Carl is both a JRPG fan and a CRPG'er who especially loves European PC games. Even with more than three decades of gaming under his belt, he feels the best of the hobby is yet to come.