The last time I wrote about The Big N, I mentioned that I paid no attention to their E3 conference aside from news regarding The Legend of Zelda. In doing so, I missed this wonderful load of bullshit:
No, this is not photoshopped. Not some cruel prank. Nintendo made an incredibly crass Gamergate reference in the new Paper Mario. Because, you know, when I think of what’s missing from Super Mario, I think of mocking someone for being the victim in a domestic violence case, leading to brand new hate movement that the industry did its best to ignore (despite fostering by telling its audience that their entitlement and tribal-like treatment of exclusives were a good thing) until Dateline and Law and Order finally made them mumble out a base acknowledgement. The very same Nintendo that scapegoated and fired Alison Rapp over a localization decision she had fuck-all to do with, while Gamergate harassed and doxxed her and members of her family, is now taking shots at Zoe Quinn in a fucking Mario game. A new bottom in the continual low Nintendo is nose-diving into.
The immediate party line from Gamergate (which you can see is complete bullshit, if there were any doubt), which Nintendo would adopt earlier today after enough people called them on their shit, is that this is a reference to the Watergate scandal. Because it has “-gate” in it, and it killed Richard Nixon’s political career. Let’s pretend for a moment that isn’t complete and total bullshit to not look like woman-hating monsters, and that the games industry hasn’t been plagued by another -gate for two years now that’s fresh in everyone’s mind, or that the whole thing begins with a remark about “Five Guys,” it still doesn’t work. Somehow, for whatever reason, the localisers at Nintendo of America sat down and decided that their hot new video game, aimed at children, would be the appropriate place to reference a forty year old political scandal. But hey, maybe someone over there is a big history buff? Maybe they wanted kids to be curious about this historic event, turn off the Wii U, crack open a history book or watch one of the many films and documentaries made on this subject, and find out that it was actually seven people who were arrested and tried as a result of Watergate. Not five, you dumb motherfuckers! Your asinine, ass-covering excuse fucking sucks, and really shows just how little you think of your own fans.
HOW FUCKING STUPID DO YOU THINK WE ARE?
Judging by how quickly places like Kotaku were willing to take Nintendo at their word, absolving Nintendo’s guilt in the court of public opinion (despite their defense being completely see-through) and helping to spread Gamergate’s wonderful gaslighting of Zoe; that she’s “overreacting” and that a reference to a group of people who obsess over her every move and are currently starting up new Twitter accounts to rub it in her face is definitely Not About Her, and the amount of (coincidental, I’m fucking sure) outspoken men in games pondering if this was all an accident or a tone-deaf mistake; because dialog is never purposefully written, merely spawned, we are incredibly fucking stupid.
Also, Kotaku, good show of class with this bullshit. Thank you, Patrick “I definitely DIDN’T log onto Kiwi Farms so I could jerk off to lewd pictures that MIGHT be Alison Rapp” Klepek!
And like with Rapp, Nintendo isn’t going to face any consequences. It took twelve hours for everyone to stop caring about Rapp’s termination. It took about two for people to defend this. I mean, fuck, there’s a new Pokemon, a new Zelda, even a new Paper Mario! Reggie will show up at a Nintendo Direct holding a bunch of bananas, say “do a barrel roll,” people will laugh and make animated gif’s, and all will be forgiven. Shiny new toys and a businessman’s cult of personality are far more important than your supposed Social Justice. We all know this all too fucking well.
Whenever I write about stuff like this, I try my best to avoid making it all about me. I would much rather yell and carry on in a way where I’m not trying to put myself over people affected by things. But Gamergate has gone after more than just Zoe and Alison (and many others, I’m only mentioning them because of Nintendo). I’ve been hit too. And you know what? Fuck it. This is my blog, where I write down my thoughts and my feelings: I’m going to make things about me for once. My home address sits merrily on one of their hangouts. My work, my appearance, my every word and action, even otherwise innocuous shit like jokes or discussions of video games and music, is subject to armchair psychology and descriptions of violent fantasies of beating and killing me motivated by transphobia (the few times I’m addressed by the proper pronouns, at least). I have to second-guess every public interaction I have, so as not to paint a target on anyone for merely talking to or supporting me in some capacity. And I get to deal with this all while being blamed, by multiple groups, some of whom you follow and regularly interact with, for my own victimhood. And there’s nothing I can do about it; there’s no special port on my PC that I can stick my hand into and slap someone on the other end. All I can do is live with the fact that the background noise in my life is an unending series of bigoted harassment and demands that I kill myself. I can’t fucking talk to anyone about it, either. When you’re in a situation like this, you have to maintain an iron facade. Everything is cool and okay. Showing vulnerability or weakness for even a moment is an invitation for your enemies to eat you alive. Not to say that I have it worse than anyone else, but my experiences and feelings are valid too, regardless of what you, Nintendo, or Kotaku may think.
Validating this group of soulless sociopaths with a “cute” reference is Nintendo metaphorically spitting in my face. Whether this “joke” was the work of a single writer or not, this was aired on their official stream. They approved this! This was their plan to introduce Paper Mario to the world. So to hell with them! And to hell with any mealy-mouthed douchebag still willing to go to bat for them! Play with your fucking toys all you want, but don’t consider yourself a friend or a fan of mine if you do; I don’t have time for your half-hearted concept of activism anymore. And to hell with the disgusting excuses for humanity Nintendo is gagging to appeal to! If the games industry is so hell-bent on circling a toilet drain, more power to them. I look forward to the inevitable failure of the NX.