“the depths of gamer hell.”
October 30, 2019 12:01 PM   Subscribe

The Very Real Person Behind Twitter’s Surreal ‘Shitty Gamer Takes’ Account [Vice Gaming] “You might think you’ve read the worst gamers have to offer. This account argues otherwise. It’s an account both exhausting and cathartic, where the typical response is likely to be the same face as the account’s fatigued Cole Phelps avatar. You’re forced to bear witness to the frustrating hypocrisy and regressive views shared by a surprisingly large swathe of the video game community, but because Shitty Gamer Takes’s following is mostly people there to communally dunk on these people, at its best, it can be a place that feels oddly welcoming. Sometimes, I’ll click through the hilarious responses to a particularly infuriating take and, for a brief and shining moment, be reminded how many good people are out there. There are a lot of joke accounts on Twitter, but Shitty Gamer Takes often achieves more than just humor.” [via: Twitter @GamerTakes] [NSFW Warning: Twitter account is full of screenshots of offensive comments: sexism, racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, threats of violence, etc.]
posted by Fizz (23 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Note: the article and a pinned tweet on the account mention how these are all anonymous screenshots. No one is being doxxed.
posted by Fizz at 12:04 PM on October 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

There is a kind of catharsis to reading these screenshots, especially the responses from good people who dunk on these idiots and their shitty gamer takes. It feels nice ot know that there are still people out there who call out all the awful when they see it. To say, "Yo, this isn't right and this isn't normal." I appreciate that this account exists.
posted by Fizz at 12:35 PM on October 30, 2019 [2 favorites]

I've seen these posts come up on my Twitter feed a lot, and yet there are still ways it can make me doubt humanity anew:
I still think the worst one I ever posted was the person that "debunked" the Holocaust using Minecraft
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:52 PM on October 30, 2019 [3 favorites]

I know there are good, well-defined reasons for anonymity online. But I have moments where I wonder what would (will?) happen when some person (or people) figure out, by hook or by crook, to link a corpus of online comments, tweets, &c to a live person. What sort of reckoning would occur if a person had to publicly own it all?

The idea that the same thing which shields the weak and vulnerable also gives cover for a much larger set of bad actors is just galling sometimes. Like I said - not interested in forcing anything on anybody, I get it 100%. Just wonder what would happen If.
posted by jquinby at 1:13 PM on October 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

What sort of reckoning would occur if a person had to publicly own it all?

I'm reminded of this.

The gaming journalist who tells on her internet trolls – to their mothers [The Guardian]
““A while ago, I realised that a lot of the people who send disgusting or overly sexual comments to me over the internet aren’t adult males,” said Pearce from her company’s Brisbane base.

The journalist had assumed her abusers were middle-aged men. “It turns out that mostly they’re young boys and the problem is they don’t know any better, so responding to them rationally didn’t resolve the situation. And it got to the point where their comments were starting to make me feel really uncomfortable.”

When Pearce sat down to figure out the best way to resolve the situation, she concluded she was best off contacting the boys’ mothers directly, “especially as most of them write to me through their personal Facebook pages. It’s shockingly easy to find out who their families are.”

She wrote to four women and told them what their sons were up to. ”
posted by Fizz at 1:20 PM on October 30, 2019 [25 favorites]

For most people, I'm not sure there would be any type of blowback. There are plenty of people who say absolutely terrible things online right next to their name and picture on Facebook.
posted by No One Ever Does at 1:33 PM on October 30, 2019 [8 favorites]

Fizz - I had that exact same story in mind, but on a much larger scale. I feel more certain every day - and maybe it's just wishful thinking - that someday soon the idea of that no one can figure out who you are online because of a nym is going to be seem quaintly naive, like hiding behind an IP address in the early days.
posted by jquinby at 1:34 PM on October 30, 2019

Alternately, there is @GoodGamerTakes, which is frequently heartwarming, but maybe not quite as entertaining.
posted by subocoyne at 1:37 PM on October 30, 2019 [5 favorites]

subocoyne, thanks for sharing that other account. It's good to have one that is exclusively devoted to positive gaming interactions.
posted by Fizz at 1:58 PM on October 30, 2019

I was going to write a humorous post about a reddit post which apparently is titled "Parallels between Naruto and No fap," but you know what? I'm tired. I'm worn out by what people can do to themselves and each other in these echo chambers.
posted by Countess Elena at 2:07 PM on October 30, 2019 [1 favorite]

How many of these boys' mothers are trolls of the @DeplorableSusieQisReal variety themselves?

And even if they care I'm sure engaging is respectability politics and tone policing is the right response.

We should be able to shun these shitheads without making more work for their mothers, especially if they're not picking it up at home. And if they are, what good will it do?
posted by snuffleupagus at 2:08 PM on October 30, 2019 [2 favorites]

One nice thing about the bad takes account is that it always uses the same clown face to obscure the poster's avatar, so I can pretend it's all the same guy who's just really prolific.

I have to hope that at least one person saw their own take on there, saw the responses to it, and thought hard about their perspective and values, or at least what they share choose to share online.
posted by subocoyne at 2:39 PM on October 30, 2019 [2 favorites]

It's been a few days since I read the interview, but IIRC Dawnya mentions at least one person who did exactly that and contacted her to let her know.
posted by tobascodagama at 2:47 PM on October 30, 2019 [5 favorites]

Oh, so it does! I must have just filed that in my subconscious instantly. In that case, I hope that at least two people have that experience.
posted by subocoyne at 2:53 PM on October 30, 2019 [2 favorites]

Why in the world are people pinning it on the mothers?? Report bad behavior of minors to the parents/guardians, sure, but putting the onus on the female parent is just a different type of sexism!
posted by nirblegee at 5:02 PM on October 30, 2019 [5 favorites]

I'm glad to say that the issues that come up aren't too terrible. I have some people that bother me in my DMs or tag me to insult me, but it's tame for the most part. I can't say that it doesn't bother me when I see some people pretty viciously mocking me as a person (including my identity and my appearance), but I also feel I don't have the right to complain because I know it could be so much worse, all things considered. I am very lucky and I am happy to have that comfort, at the very least.
I think maybe this paragraph is meant to mean something vaguely positive, but to me it reads as one of the saddest commentaries on our culture, that her attitude is "it isn't as bad as it could be so that's a comfort". It shouldn't be happening at all.
posted by hippybear at 6:30 PM on October 30, 2019 [3 favorites]

It highlights the (sometimes correct, but broadly unjust and sexist) idea that if a son is being terrible, of course the father was terrible, and would just rah rah the little monster.
posted by LucretiusJones at 6:32 PM on October 30, 2019 [2 favorites]

I couldn't get past the quoted tweet before I started swearing at the computer screen. It's some asshole talking about the whites only mod for Stellaris. (Some dipshit coded a mod so that the human beings would only be white, instead of the default multi-racial that they are in the game. I love Paradox games, I wish they didn't attract so many MAGA-heads.)

Given just how pissed that made me, I don't know if I could brave this account without throwing my computer or phone across the room.
posted by Hactar at 9:14 PM on October 30, 2019 [2 favorites]

> Why in the world are people pinning it on the mothers??

I think the assumption was that the moms didn't know about this behavior, and if they did they'd have a serious talk with little Johnnie. Not that they were negligent and needed to be set straight about their parenting.
posted by Ansible at 5:46 AM on October 31, 2019 [3 favorites]

I don't hold with blaming women for the problems of men in their lives, but if these are really boys--minors--then a parent does need to know about it. Of course we tend to assume that there is one feelings-oriented parent, the parent most likely to feel and teach empathy for others, and that it's the mother; and that is often bullshit. But there we are. (There is also, of course, the assumption that, all things being equal, an unknown woman is less likely to be dangerous than an unknown man, which, again, is not necessarily true, but it makes them easier to contemplate connecting with.)
posted by Countess Elena at 8:20 AM on October 31, 2019

VICE Games: Do you have an all-time favorite take?

It's a tie between the one implying that Anita Sarkeesian couldn't be a "real gamer" if she didn't beat the Ruby Weapon in FF7 and the one that said Untitled Goose Game catered to SJWs. They're both hilarious to me in their own special ways. Sometimes the words "Did you kill the Ruby Weapon, Anita?" pop into my head and I can't help but laugh. It's so ridiculous.

This one is great because Ruby Weapon is a horseshit fight you essentially only beat by cheesing the game, and the main way to learn how to cheese the game is to look up a guide and follow it -- so much so that it's basically a waste of time to even do it, just read the instructions or watch a video. It doesn't take skill, strategy, or something to be proud of, it's an obtuse, optional fight that if anything, only goes to show how shallow and broken the combat system is -- and how aggressively you are willing to waste your own time.
posted by GoblinHoney at 9:53 AM on October 31, 2019 [2 favorites]

Real Gamers are all about wasting their own time, I think.
posted by egypturnash at 10:02 AM on October 31, 2019 [1 favorite]

> Why in the world are people pinning it on the mothers??

I think the assumption was that the moms didn't know about this behavior, and if they did they'd have a serious talk with little Johnnie.

You missed the point. The *parents* may not know about this behavior, so it is reasonable to tell them both, or whomever you find to contact. Presuming that the mother is the one you should contact is sexist. And not in an innocuous way. It's not her sole job to raise the child.
posted by nirblegee at 1:05 AM on November 3, 2019 [1 favorite]

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