Shouting At An Abyss That Just Stares Back – A Shower of Bastards

Adam yells about people on the internet, knowing full well the futility of it.

It’s been a while since my last meandering, unfocussed rant hasn’t it? I had the idea for one vaguely themed on what I’ll release the vitriol tap onto a couple of months ago, but when I found the the opportunity to write it didn’t seem timely enough, and more elegant and intelligent things had already been said on the subject. That absolutely is not to say that what I’m about to embark upon will be elegant or intelligent, far from it in fact. It does not mean it isn’t something worth discussing. I’m going to be talking about The Walking Dead TV show, and will make reference to the comic series too, but nothing will be serious spoiler territory.

Two weeks ago The Walking Dead ended with the introduction of Aaron, a representative from a community known as Alexandria, who approached Maggie and Sasha and asked to talk to their leader Rick. In the following episode, Aaron leads Rick and his crazy gang of survivors to the Alexandria stronghold. There are trust issues. as per usual in TWD, and somehow the group gets split up. Team Daryl hook up with Eric, Aaron’s partner in the field and also actual partner, who has been injured. When Team Rick meet back up with them, Aaron is overjoyed to see Eric alive, rushing over to embrace and kiss him. As people who are fond of each other tend to do.

Cue pointless controversy.

The reactions I’ve seen from people across the internet, in particular knee jerk reactions on Twitter, have been egregious to say the least. I would hope that all those that had a problem with Aaron and Eric sharing a kiss are in the minority, but over 13 million viewers of the episode in the US alone, those that took to their keyboards and phones to voice their disgust must represent a minority of a size that I’m not particularly comfortable with. That size being more than zero. Fucking hell people, it is 2015. If we feel the need to complain about two adults showing that they love each other in a basic way, in a story set in a US state where same-sex marriage is actually legal, then there is a serious problem here. Not to mention the fact that this story is set during the fucking zombie apocalypse, civilisation has crumbled around everyone as they struggle to survive, avoid the shuffling dead and rebuild the world. But dudes kissing dudes? Nah bro. Not cool. Why the hell should anyone be allowed to glimpse a single moment of happiness in such a terrible world, regardless of their sexual orientation?

I’ll quote a few of the responses I’ve seen, and address them with the fury with which they deserve. I was slightly heartened to see that some of these people have received a summary dressing down by ‘non-arseholes’, and some have either deleted the original message or their accounts all together. Defences used by those that haven’t revolve around it only being an opinion, or a right to free speech. “Get this faggot ass shit off the walking dead” doesn’t sound like much of an opinion to me, it sounds like hate speech. Blatant and painful discrimination in my book doesn’t really factor in as an opinion, and with how indelible and permanent the internet is it baffles me that people don’t keep this shit to themselves. As for freedom of speech, everyone absolutely should have the freedom to express themselves and opinions, as long as they are happy to have whatever shit they’ve said heavily scrutinised by others exercising their right to free speech by calling them out for being a cunt. I don’t believe that the internet should be censored or heavily policed, and I think people should only be prosecuted for what they say on the internet if they are genuine threats of whatever form they may be, like rape or death threats, doxxing or terrorism. Saying awful shit merely identifies you as part of the dregs of society that hopefully one day will just fuck off, but will probably stick around inexplicably like cancer or the concept of inequality.

Lets start with an oldie but a goodie. “I’m not a homophobic but that gay couple just ruined The Walking Dead“. If you have to start any sentence with ‘I’m not a (blank) but…’, news flash – you are that thing. In the same way that someone will always preface something vaguely insulting or offensive with “no offense, but…”. So putting aside that the start of the statement is basically the same as admitting that the person is a “homophobic”, the rest of the message isn’t exactly brimming with reason or perspective. No single thing can ruin The Walking Dead. Season 2 nearly ruined The Walking Dead. The weird peaks and troughs of quality sometimes threaten The Walking Dead, until they pull some ridiculously good episode out of the bag like the recent ‘What Happened and What’s Going On’. Two men kissing each other can not and will not ruin a whole TV show. The show was staying true to the source material, but even if it wasn’t and had just introduced two brand new gay characters, who the fuck cares? They weren’t forced on the viewer, it wasn’t forwarding some imagined pro-gay liberal agenda, there were just two characters who cared for each other, were happy to see each other and expressed that as any loving couple would. It wasn’t over the top or graphic. It just was. If that is all it takes to ruin a show for you, I feel very sorry for you. But I still want you to fuck off.

With the insane popularity of The Walking Dead, the viewership it pulls in is huge and way more than I would have ever expected. I’m always glad when something inherently nerdy, part of the culture I love, does well and more people are exposed to whatever it is. I like our nerd culture to be inclusive, accepting of everyone’s interest whether they just watch a show about a comic book, or use that show as a diving board into a larger world of comics, games, sci-fi and fantasy. But I have no interest in anyone that discriminates or spouts hateful shit like this.

Next up is “I don’t like that the walking dead got faggot shit on here now. Is Nothing Sacred !???” I get that someone was upset by seeing something they don’t like. If it bothers you so much, stop watching. But don’t throw stuff like “faggot shit” on the internet. It is so fucking unnecessary. Also, what is supposed to be “Sacred” in a TV show that is set during a zombie apocalypse? Everyone is completely godless, barely surviving day to day and certainly not giving a single shit about anyone else’s sexual orientation. Even the preacher struggles with his faith.  But even the shambling corpses, the bad guys who try to kill our heroes, or even when the good guys flat out murder people that may or may not be a threat, they still all manage to display more basic fucking humanity and tolerance than the dicks that watch the show.

Possibly my favourite two messages cover basically the same line of idiocy, so I’ll finish up with them. “I have been watching the walking dead for years with my kids, then with no warning u throw gays in there, I’m disappointed” and “I don’t discriminate against gay people. Plenty of my co-workers are gay. I just rather not have young children exposed to that BS on TV“. The Walking Dead is an 18-rated show in the UK. In America it is rated TV-MA, meaning not suitable for anyone under 17 years old. Watching the show with your kids seems insane to me, but I’d probably end up doing the same. So if you decide to allow your kids to watch an intensely violent and graphic TV show, disregarding age-rating advice (which I feel is your choice) and exposing them to more adult themes at an earlier age, you have no fucking right to complain about whatever kids are “exposed to”. And what is that? The 21st century? Is it such a bad thing that kids see this as a totally normal thing, so they don’t perpetuate your backward-ass thinking into the next generation? Take some responsibility and keep your prejudices away from your kids, maybe they’ll be lucky and turn out nothing like you. And what sort of warning were you expecting? WARNING! SOMETHING THAT ACTUALLY OCCURS IN THE REAL WORLD IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN.

Needless to say, The Walking Dead didn’t end. This week’s episode continued without the show being ruined, the world didn’t end (any more than it already has) and the viewers didn’t drop off like they said they would. I don’t really know why I continue to be shocked by how some people react to anything even slightly outside of their world view. All I know is that there are so many better reasons to hate people than their sexual orientation, their race, their gender or religious leanings. Like the fact that they have a terrible personality. Or they are a homophobe. But I’ll bring this incredibly unfocused rant to a close. A rant that can basically be summed up by ‘thing happens, people over react, man can’t understand over reaction and swears about people’.

Rick beard

And anyway, the biggest controversy in The Walking Dead this season should be the fact that Rick shaved off his beard this week. A travesty. AMC, you just ruined The Walking Dead. You have just lost millions of viewers.

 

What I’m playing – Rogue Legacy (PS4), Transistor (PS4)

What I’m reading (Books) – The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood

What I’m reading (Comics) – Gotham Central: Book One by Ed Brubaker, Greg Rucka & Michael Lark

What I’m listening to – Transgender Dysmorphia Blues by Against Me!, Time and Trauma by 36 Crazyfists

What I’m watching – Tokyo Ghoul & Better Call Saul

Comic Review – Thor #1

Adam reads as many comics as he can afford. Every week he is going to attempt a mini review of his favourite one, with potential minor spoilers.

This week I knew what my review would be before I even went to the comic book shop. What with all the hype, perceived controversy and it being a new number one I picked up Thor #1 despite not really reading much Marvel of late, or having followed the preceding run of Thor: God of Thunder and the Original Sin event that led to this new series. Thor was written by Jason Aaron, with art by Russell Dauterman, colours from Matthew Wilson and letters by Joe Sabino, and was published by Marvel comics. Full disclosure, this is the first issue of Thor I have ever bought. I don’t read anywhere near as much Marvel as I would like, occasionally dabbling in things like Avengers, Deadpool, Punisher and Wolverine, because I generally prefer the DC universe and haven’t really been able to afford investing in both major publishers AND whatever indie comics take my fancy.

Everyone knows who Thor is and what his deal is. God of Thunder, hero and Avenger, and the son of Odin, the All-Father of Asgard (or Asgardia as it is now, I’m not sure why). The current state of affairs is laid out in an informative synopsis on page six (Marvel comics usually have these), with Odin returning from a self-imposed exile and butting heads with his wife Freyja, who has been ruling Asgardia as All-Mother. These capricious gods bicker over who is now in charge, what to do in response to a later threat, and how to deal with a very mopey Thor. Speaking of Thor, at the end of the Original Sin event, merely by whispering something in his ear (that we still don’t know) Nick Fury caused Thor to deem himself unworthy of wielding his hammer Mjolnir, dropping it during a battle on the moon. This issue finds him still by his hammer, totally unable to lift it, and nor can any of the other Asgardians including Odin. Meanwhile, Midgard (or, Earth) is being attacked by Frost Giants and Malekith the Accursed. Freyja and Odin argue over whether to respond, and Thor heads to the armoury to go and defend his ‘home’, and without Mjolnir he has to bring an axe and face the threat alone. No spoilers, but it does not go well. It isn’t until the final pages however, that we get to see the much anticipated new Thor. The inscription on the hammer is changed, and a new Goddess of Thunder holds Mjolnir aloft on the last page. We’ll have to wait until the next issue to actually see her in action though.

New Thor

There has been a lot of coverage about the new Thor, with the announcement that she would be a woman actually being made on The View in the US. Read any comments thread on an article, Instagram picture about Thor, Twitter argument and any other terrible social media connection and you will see the same thing – rational people futilely trying to argue with people who hate the idea that Thor is changing (generally hate the idea of any change occurring) and insisting it will be terrible without reading the damn comic and finding out. We talked about the news on our podcast, and even though I hadn’t been reading the series my knee-jerk reaction was to say it was stunt-casting and a gimmick. Thinking about it for more than one second and it is clear that it isn’t at all, and even if it was, it worked. I’m reading the series, and I’ve put the rest of Jason Aaron’s Thor right to the top of my list of trades to buy because I enjoyed the hell out of this. Maybe coming in to this cold has made me less bothered by change, but Thor is still Thor, he’s just not got the powers of Thor (that sentence actually made sense in my head). There is a need for someone to step in and take up the powers and mantle, and in this case it just happens to be a woman.

Was it a gimmick to draw in new readers? Who cares? We want more people to read comics and for the medium to keep thriving. In addition, the female contingent of comic fandom is constantly underestimated, so having more balance in some of the biggest series and characters makes absolute sense to better reflect the state of those actually consuming the comics we love. That isn’t to say that now that Thor is a woman, only women will appreciate it, because guess what? It’s a fucking character, a superhero that we can all read and love and gender shouldn’t actually effect whether or not we want to read a book at all. If a story is well written then things like that shouldn’t matter, and it should be written to take into account an entire potential audience and not just 50% of them. Not accepting change is childish, and idiotic to assume that things will be permanent. Remember when every superhero ever died at some point, and how they’re not dead now? Thor will be Thor again eventually I’m sure, this is just a new and hopefully compelling story in which he is not the titular character and not the God of Thunder. Without instigating big changes, like a lot of the other stories happening at Marvel right now, characters become stale and boring. Stakes mean nothing if our hero always comes out on top, and is always the most powerful with nothing to challenge that.

Ultimately, I don’t think Jason Aaron was aiming to create all this controversy. I think he had an idea for a great story, and was trusted to run with it. The closest thing I have to a complaint is that the new Thor barely appears at all, but that has only made me certain I will be back for issue #2 because I want to see who she is, and how much ass she is going to kick. And you can guarantee that she will kick all sorts of ass. The old Thor (nomenclature gets difficult, ‘Original Thor’?) is the focus of the bulk of this issue anyway, and Aaron has indicated that he won’t exactly be taking a back seat. I thought the writing was really strong here, and I loved the Asgardian Shakespearean-style dialogue. My favourite line, from Freyja, was “I spoke with the mortal they call ‘The Captain of America’.”. That especially tickled me. I’ve seen a few comments about the art being good, but not as good as the previous artist on Thor: God of Thunder. The benefit of not having read that at all, is that I don’t have that complaint at all. I thought the art from Dauterman was great and the colours from Wilson were really vibrant.

This was really more of a poorly assembled rant than an actual review. Basically, you can’t know you are going to dislike something unless you actually try it out. Change has to occur for things to stay interesting, and to decide you hate something just because something has changed without giving the actual story a chance is misguided. In the letters section, Jason Aaron actually responds to a letter from a reader that genuinely says (before the issue has come out) “Now you have me seriously considering leaving comics altogether.”, coming back by stating that this is all part of the story he’s been building for the past two years, and pointing out the various others who have wielded the hammer in Thor’s stead. This sort of reaction is totally insane to me, especially as it is presumably from an actual adult rather than the child it sounds like. Aaron responds gracefully, whereas I probably would have called the guy a dick.

I loved this, and am genuinely interested in what will happen with this new Thor, what will happen to the old/original/Thor Odinsson/Thor-Classic Thor and especially in how they will interact with each other. I’ll carry on with this, find room in my budget for more Marvel, and start picking up the rest of Aaron’s run on Thor.

Buy this.

 

Score: 9 Ravens out of 10

Shouting At An Abyss That Just Stares Back – Infighting and Nerd Elitism

Adam yells about people on the internet, knowing full well the futility of it.

Not censoring this time, so for those of an offended disposition avoid accordingly as there are some hurtful words I guess.

When I did the first of these Abyss articles, I thought they would be more regular. You may think this reflects a reduction in the things that make me angry. You would be wrong. The case is really that I have simply not had enough time of late to keep up with things, and most of the things that have made me angry have been work-related (or living-broke-in-London-related) so aren’t really relevant to the sort of things we cover on the site. I did end up writing one about how much I hate kids, but turned out to be pointless and I came off sounding like even more of a dick than I usually do.

So this rant is really directed at nerd infighting and elitism, something that has frankly pissed me off for years. This takes many forms. On the simplest level you get fanboy-ism. We saw this all over the internet at an increased level following the release of PS4 and Xbox One (and a little bit after last week’s E3). General comments threads about Xbox of Playstation tend to go “unlucky butthurt Xbox/Playstation gamers, your console is shit and ours is better” “too bad your resolution/exclusives are worse and your console is therefore totally useless” “some random insult against Nintendo who had nothing to do with the story”, and then finally from a PC gamer saying something along the lines of “console gaming is trash, we have been able to do that for years with PC, everyone should only play PC because consoles are shit and dying”. No one is going to take your console away if you don’t defend it with terminal ferocity at every opportunity and non-opportunity. If someone you have never and will never meet prefers something to what you love, you don’t need to tell them how wrong they are or how stupid you think they are. Don’t be a prick.

It is a sort of behaviour that is rife across a lot of different nerdy interests, and I don’t really get it because for a group that has historically tended to be fringe and can be mocked and ridiculed for their interests, there sure are a lot of shits within that who like to ostracise other folk because they don’t like the exact same thing or aren’t a ‘hardcore enough nerd’, whatever that means. When I was an undergraduate, eons ago, I decided to join the anime society. Two things drove this decision really, first being that I really like anime and the second being that given half a chance I will always choose a lazy option. Sport? Pfft! Sit and watch anime then go to the pub? Much better. Whenever I went off to soc I would be met with brief derision from other friends (to the point where I told one of them to fuck off for being such a smug arsehole once when very irritable from coursework and sleep deprivation. He knows who he is). But at that soc I met some of my best friends from uni, and Ian, so I don’t regret it. A new experience that stemmed from this was attending a few anime conventions with some cosplayers, and even trying it myself a few times (more derision, and yes if you carry a prop of Nicholas D. Wolfwood’s Punisher weapon through Bristol town centre on a Thursday night people will drunkenly yell at you asking if you are Jesus).

nicholas

The thing that bothered me at these cons, something I soon found out is pervasive in general nerd culture (plenty of stories on the internet from folk being treated like shit for daring to walk into a comic book shop for the first time not knowing everything about everything, mercifully I never experienced this) was the realisation that there were some who held a sort of insipid elitism against perceived fair weather fans or people who like more popular series. Calling people ‘Narutards’ because they like the ninja series Naruto is fucking ridiculous. Just because someone hasn’t heard of your favourite obscure 90’s OVA that was only available to the very coolest of nerds does not give them any less of a right to attend and hang out with like minded people for a bit of fun. So the fuck what if they bought their Ichigo Kurosaki costume from eBay and you sewed yours together out of your own blood and hair using frozen tears as needles? People will be more impressed when you say you did that. That’s enough, you won (disclaimer – I once unthinkingly mocked a friend because someone else made his Cyclops visor. Because I am a fucking terrible hypocrite. I am sorry).

Obviously anime cons are just a small scale example of something I have found to be much more widespread (and these people are definitely a minority at cons, most of the people there are fucking lovely) both on and offline about everything from comics and video games to TV and movies. I think some of this perceived superiority comes from those who think that our “little” out group is under threat of becoming mainstream and too popular. I once heard someone at one of these cons say that he did not like how busy it was that year, or that they were becoming more popular. I do not get this at all. It reminds me of when I was a kid and I was told about a band, who I later started to like. When I met up with the same person again, eager to chat abut the band that person had gone off them because they were ‘too popular’. My child brain couldn’t understand it. My adult brain still doesn’t understand it (though maybe that is because it is pickling in whisky). I think it is great that more people are interested in comics recently. I love that not only are we getting so many Marvel films, but they are really decent. Plus for once I get to appear a (relative) expert on something when people turn to me after a post credits scene to ask what the hell is going on. I’m not even sick of explaining to people why Batman or Superman won’t be in the Avengers movies, though I am sick of explaining why Wolverine and Spider-man won’t be. Because the reason is boring.

Maybe instead of getting upset that so many people are wearing Green Lantern or Star Wars t-shirts when they are so very clearly a ‘fake nerd’ guy or girl (probably a separate rant about what a fucking stupid thing that is), try being happy that we are getting a Guardians of the Galaxy film and we had a fucking Winter Soldier film adaptation this year which was great. Don’t like The Big Bang Theory? Don’t watch it then, and definitely don’t start saying that everyone who does watch it must be stupid, because that makes you a cunt. And definitely don’t start throwing around terms like ‘nerd blackface‘ (look it up, probably another rant coming later too) because that makes you a remarkably narrow minded, culturally insensitive cunt.

I definitely ended on a different topic than I started at. Rant ends.

 

What I’m playing – Replaying Bioshock Infinite Burial at Sea Chapters 1 & 2

What I’m reading (Books) – Perdido Street Station – China Miéville (actually just finished. Fucking brilliant, read it)

What I’m reading (Comics) – Judge Dredd The Complete Case Files 02 – Various writers and artists (2000AD)

What I’m listening to – Möngöl Hörde – Möngöl Hörde, Till Midnight – Chuck Ragan, From Parts Unknown – Every Time I Die

What I’m watching – Orange is the New Black Season 2 (Netflix)

The Anti-Nintendo Attitude

Kii tells us why Nintendo is still a great and relevant games company.

Even though all of us here at The Lost Lighthouse like games, I am the ‘Nintendo Fan’ due to the fact I actually own a Wii-U and 3DS. I’ve written about games on the Nintendo consoles before, but what I wanted to address this time is the ‘Nintendo is shit’ attitude that many gamers have developed. This isn’t Nintendo propaganda or bashing on Sony and Microsoft but more a genuine confusion as to why many people feel this way about what is one of the most successful games companies around.

For example, I was privy to many a Facebook status about how amazing Sony is due to the free games provided by Playstation Plus. It’s a great service that provides more up to date games in comparison to Microsoft’s Fable 3 freebie a while ago. When, Nintendo released that you would receive a free game when registering Mario Kart 8 with Nintendo Club (a free service might I add) I again saw an increase in game related Facebook posts. This time however, there was a lot of mocking about how Nintendo giving out free games meant that they were in the red and failing as a company. When it was pointed out that the Nintendo and Sony system was the same thing, replies were along the lines of ‘It isn’t, Nintendo are failing’. Cue my frustration at a name on the screen and yelling “BUT IT’S THE SAME FUCKING THING”. It’s become cool to hate on Nintendo and shit on their franchises without ever actually looking at what’s going on with them. There needs to be an attitude change.

I could go on a massive rant (well, more than I already have) and quote numbers of loss and sales to compare the Big Three console companies and prove that it is indeed a Three and not Two but that may label me as a fanatic with more love than sense. But let me ask you this, when was the last time you saw a twenty-something year-old become childishly excited because their favourite character has been added to a cross-over game? Or a franchise that has so much legacy that people will buy it just because they love it and they KNOW that it will be good without seeing anything about it? Nintendo’s power isn’t in having the biggest hardware in a console war, it’s in the utter joy that they can ignite in people just because the characters that have been in their childhood are still going strong. It’s the idea that multiplayer games can be played with your friends and family all cramming into your living room and playing for hours instead of having an American toddler call you a noob over mic. It’s not having the highest specs or the most gritty shooter, it’s having a great time. Except when you’re about to win and your FUCKING BROTHER USES A SODDING BLUE SHELL RIGHT AT THE LAST MINUTE AND THEN DRIVES PAST YOU, YOU LITTLE SHIT.

Kii

Why Aren’t There 22 Million Serial Killers on the Loose?

Nath has a go at folks who blame real world violence on the video game industry

I’ve gone and done it. I wasn’t going to write an article on it, but I feel as if something needs to be said about video game violence. It is a topic I have debated with friends and family over the years, and in the modern day of gaming, it is a very touchy subject.

First things first though, lets not argue against something that is painfully obvious. Video games are violent. Of course they’re violent. You’d be stupid to argue that they weren’t violent. How do you kill enemies in Dead Space? Shoot off their limbs. How do you get the “Judge, Jury and Executioner” achievement in Gears 3? By executing enemies with all the weapons. Case and point.

Now you’re probably wondering why I’ve even bothered to write this article when I’m agreeing that video games are violent, it’s because it’s not the violence I’m trying to defend, it’s the accusations against the industry itself. I literally hate people who sit there and say people who play video games are more violent than people who don’t. If you are one of these people, then I really can’t respect your opinion, because it so freaking ridiculous.

One example would be Michael Bloomberg on the release of Grand Theft Auto 4. He said “I do not support any video game where you earn points for injuring or killing police officers.” First of all Mike, if you had played the game, you would’ve known that you probably would’ve got points for killing police officers, but your wanted level would’ve gone up almost immediately, and eventually you would be arrested or killed. Secondly, ever heard of Die Hard With A Vengeance? Or CSI:NY? Maybe even the Godfather? Let’s face it, it’s not just Grand Theft Auto 4 which is making New York look unsafe. Die Hard has a lot of people dying throughout the film, CSI:NY is based upon murders that occur in New York and The Godfather has mob wars and shootings across the city. How can you be so blind and immediately point the finger at Rockstar? You were mayor of New York City, how could you be so blind?

Another classic example is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and the infamous Moscow airport level.

Let’s not beat around the bush, it is a pretty gruesome and violent level, however what people seem to forget is that you have 3 options:

1. Play the level, shoot a fuck load of civilians, upset some people, get branded a serial killer.

2. Play the level, don’t shoot your gun, get called a pussy.

3. Skip the level at the start, never play it, live your life wondering what you could’ve missed.

There you go people, you have a choice, but say you went with option 1, does that make you a serial killer? If that were the case, there would be, at maximum, 22 million serial killers in the world right now and I’d be one of them. I haven’t killed anyone and I don’t plan to. I’m pretty certain that can be said of most people. People will claim that the Norway attacks in 2001 were because of Call of Duty, but apparently it was used for training more than anything else.

I will say though that the language used online in this game is definitely some of the worst I’ve ever heard. I’ve upset a lot of people with some of the things I’ve said, but I have to turn my headset off and shut off all conversations with other online players as they are just awful, annoying little racists who apparently have sex with my mum all the time. Parents are often complaining about the language they hear online and I won’t lie, I have 2 complaints against me for foul language. But what really annoys me is, why are you letting your 10-year-old child play a game that is clearly made and rated for adults? If you let them play online, of course they are going to hear all this swearing from other players and you wonder why they start swearing.

Also let’s face it, it’s not just adults that are swearing online either. I have been called every name under the sun when playing online, especially from teenagers. And you’re now swearing at me and I imagine your parents are sitting there listening to your foul language and letting you carry on. It’s a good thing that my headset is now muted, because you have no idea how many profanities I can throw back at you. Seriously parents of the world, if you’re going to let your kids play games like this, then either mute the headset or play with them and punish them or others who swear at your children.

When it comes down to it though, video games are violent, but you can’t blame the industry for the violent behaviour of single individuals. There are too many other factors to consider into whether why someone is violent. You could argue that violent video games don’t help the cause, so why do you let those individuals play them? There needs to be less finger pointing at the video industry and more fingers directed towards the people that are playing them. The video game industry is constantly trying to find ways to tackle violence in games, even introducing the similar certification classification for films. Maybe more needs to be done, who knows? But what I’m going to say is think about every aspect before you blame video games, because the video game community is not a violent place. If it were, then the title of this article will be worryingly true.

Nath

Shouting At An Abyss That Just Stares Back – Contrarian Commenters

1

Adam yells about people on the internet, knowing full well the futility of it.

I am an individual pretty much consistently consumed with rage. Anger is the only basic emotion I have mastered, and I am known for my misanthropy and fury. I’ve decided to turn this into a semi regular article called ‘Shouting At An Abyss That Just Stares Back’ in which I will discuss something that has irked me particularly that comes under the umbrella of topics that The Lost Lighthouse covers, really as an outlet. I won’t as a general rule rant about every day occurrences, mainly because I live in London and really don’t have time to write a new article every time something pisses me off, which averages out about once every 37 minutes. I’ll also round off each instalment with a list of the things I’m enjoying at the moment, to end on a positive.

So the thing that has been p*****g me off this week is people that are intentionally contrary or combative in comments threads for no f*****g reason. I know comments are a wretched hive of scum and villainy at the best of times, and a shower of c***s the rest of the time, but for now I specifically mean someone who reads an article or a comment from someone else, then contradicts or points out something totally f*****g pointless for no other reason than making themselves look better or to p**s people off. I’m not just talking general internet trolls either (though I f*****g hate those time and space wasters too).

One example of what I mean was when finishing a recent game, there was a particularly great story moment that was both natural and unique in its own way, for which the developers received a fair few deserved pats on the back including from the LGBT community for the particular story elements involved. Even the majority of the comments were particularly positive for once, nothing heinously homophobic. But then some d**k starts saying how it isn’t a big deal at all saying (paraphrasing) “Oh my god, why are people praising this? This should be something that is happening everywhere already, this isn’t newsworthy”. Correct, it should be something that should be accepted. It would be great if one day we don’t need a news report about LGBT issues in games (or other media too really, gay superheroes make news headlines) highlighting the achievements of those willing to push the boundaries to include this stuff, because those boundaries will have already been pushed and this will be as acceptable and expected as anything else in the media we consume. But we aren’t there yet, so the people that get us closer to that absolutely should get the props they deserve. It just struck me as someone being contrary ostensibly just to show how much more progressive they are, so progressive in fact that they don’t even care about the issue.

Another recent example was following the very sad news of Harold Ramis passing away, on a retrospective piece looking at his career. The piece was on a relatively nerdy website, so there was a focus on Ghostbusters and his role as Egon Spengler in both the article and the comments. Then some p***k decides to intentionally rile people up/try to make themselves look more knowledgeable or insightful by pointing out that Ghostbusters wasn’t the only thing he ever did (something clearly discussed in the article) and that it wasn’t that great anyway. It being that sort of site, of course there would be an Egon focus because that is the role that meant the most to people like us. That is what people will miss the most. Being contrary and arsey about it specifically in that forum doesn’t achieve anything. I guess I don’t post opinions often enough in comments threads, but I really see it in the same way as in normal conversation. If I don’t have something positive or interesting to add to a discussion, on or offline, I just don’t f*****g say anything! Just because you don’t have to open your mouth to say something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give the same level of basic thought about what you are saying as you would if you were verbalising it

Maybe my problem is just a larger one with comment threads. They can be full of pointless little fan-boy wars that don’t hurt anyone, or they can be minefields of the most deplorable arseholes that use the anonymity of the internet and hide behind cowardly little prefaces like “I’m not (blank) but…” to be disgustingly prejudiced against people they have never and will never meet based on their gender, race, sexuality or religion. Spouting toxic s**t about any of that stuff isn’t acceptable in a group conversation, why should it be OK just because you’ve got a witty username concealing your real identity? Anyway there are much better reasons to hate someone, like their personality. Or how s**t their witty username is.

*Disclaimer – rants can and will stray off topic, and then end abruptly.*

What I’m playing – Mass Effect 3 Insanity playthrough

What I’m reading – Bad Pharma by Ben Goldacre

The Last of Us: American Dreams by Neil Druckmann, Faith Erin Hicks and Rachelle Rosenberg

What I’m listening to – Altered State by Tesseract, Something Witchy (new He Is Legend track), Howlin’ Wolf: The Collection

What I’m watching – Star Trek the Next Generation Season 2