Journalists' Game Skill, And Why People Think It Matters


I want to challenge the notion that experts in a thing are the best at understanding accessibility, or what a more un-versed player might need to know in the tutorial section of a game. There’s a bunch of little concepts that I just know without having to be told, and in general a lot of these skill-based games are targeted toward that mindset. And oftentimes these games are built to require hours of repetitive, exclusive gameplay to “get gud” and a video producer / writer / reviewer / editor (oftentimes they are all of those) has to get their content out fast.

I think pain points in a game in this instance are interesting and really make me think about accessibility and they make me question what I consider to be “the basics.”


The cuphead video, more than anything, just shows that game has a shit platformer tacked onto a good boss rush. The “struggling” or whatever you want to call it with the mechanics, is because the game teaches you first to expect a platformer and to set your sights accordingly only to throw the actual game at you out of nowhere. People seem to assume every game is innately amazing before accusing those not enjoying it of low skill etc. Its a fucking mediocre platformer not evo grand finals.


A good correlation to this would be sports journalists and announcers. A baseball announcer does not need to have been an all star player but should have a understanding of the game of baseball. That being said, I think players add a unique perspective. We unfortunately really aren’t seeing game developers or professional gamers moving into journalism. So the comparison kind of falls apart in this way. Overall, I don’t think you need to be able to perfectly execute an activity to give each a well researched option.


Here’s another thought: how about gamers ponder why they want to vigorously defend the most popular gamer on YouTube saying the n-word, but think a veteran journalist not being “good” at games is an unforgivable sin.

Not to take this thread on a tangent about PDP and people’s apologias for him. Just that it goes back to the double standard 2Mello spoke of. And it’s reason 5, 763, 289 of why games culture is racist af.


Uh-huh. I’ve been seeing this incredible selective attacking increase and become something that more and more people in games fall into doing, whether they consider themselves to be members of the groups that are well known for it or not.

“Censorship” in games, “collusion”, any whiff of an underrepresented community getting a space of their own, the need to have gaming skill. These are the things that toxic gamers will hit their keyboards for.

Actual collusion (the issue of tons of YouTubers getting paid to positively talk up Shadow of Mordor, right in the midst of gamergate, left completely alone by that group, is only the very starkest example) and clear racism or other hate speech (PDP’s clip only the very latest example) are either ignored or defended.


As a fan of Pdp it disappointing that he keeps making these mistakes. I do defend him on being paid for Shadow of Mordor since he did wrote in the video below it that he was. However, stuff like the hate message on Jews and this recent act shows he not learning from those mistake or doing better setups for jokes. The argument for “It was in the heat of the moment” is silly since you can use better words.


If you make mistakes as awful and with as much frequency as he does, you really start to question whether they’re “mistakes” at all. He has an audience of millions of impressionable young kids for whom he’s normalizing this awful bigoted “humor” for, and that’s deeply concerning to me.


They’re not mistakes. This is who he is.


I learned of PDP few years ago from hearing he does charity runs and despite being silly he was a nice guy. It wasn’t till recently that he started doing these acts that has him getting him into trouble and that no good. when at this point in your career that you better know by now that you shouldn’t being doing that.


Years ago he was making rape jokes constantly. Then he was anti-Semitic. Now he’s just openly being racist. This. Is. Who. He. Is.


he built his career on rape jokes and homophobic and ableist slurs


Well I guess I really fucked up this time. I was not aware that he was making those types of jokes, I only been selective of his video when I started watching. Sorry for the misunderstanding.


[sung to the tune of Disco Duck]
All of a sudden, I was a racist / I was on YouTube, acting fascist
Flapping my gums, I began to suck / Look at me, I’m the milkshake duck
Try your luck / Don’t be a cuck
Milkshake / Milkshake / Milkshake duck

So, uh, anyway. Another thread has already started a discussion on Campo Santo’s DMCA takedown. Relevant to this thread, however, is an article from Kotaku which points out that:

This latest flare-up is actually not the first time Kjellberg has said the n-word on his channel. Actually, on YouTube, hearing a personality with a large following say the n-word isn’t particularly out of the ordinary. The Battlegrounds community is also permissive here: players sometimes scream the n-word before matches start, and in some cases, offensive antics are considered a spectacle by viewers.

Being “good at video games” apparently means being a white supremacist. I’m all for journalists, and whoever else, continuing to be “bad.”


I also heard it wasn’t the first time he’s said it… and I try not to think too much about the people Battlegrounds is being played with since so many people I love are enjoying it so frequently, but I have heard it EMPHATICALLY said that it is a game for which you really really want to make sure chat is off.

At this point I’m pretty much wary to open up a game related Twitch stream or YouTube video with anyone around, lest there be immediately horrible images or audio. As the people who care turned their eyes away, seems like that side of game culture just embraced and chose to live in the shit, only to come out of it if they hear a journalist has a friend or couldn’t jump over something.


I forgot Battlegrounds even had public mic chat. I think I must have disabled that on Day 1.


In any game with a modicum of competitiveness I disable everything I can. Gun warriors screaming and calling you names is just the apex of video game obnoxiousness.

That far more studios are dedicated to combat cheaters than flamers is beyond me. I’m at a point where there are games I love playing, but I’m ashamed to play because of the community. It makes everything so suffocating for me…


When it comes to the attitude often found in competitive aspects of games, whether it’s complex fighting games, a multiplayer shooter or unconventional multiplayer like PvP Dark Souls, I wonder if it’s not inherently tied to combative people.

The age old tendencies of tea-bagging, “humiliation” kills in Counter Strike (kills with knife), and more recently griefing low level players in Dark Souls and custom emotes in games allowing you to mock other players, it never really stops from game to game.

The notion that game skill somehow makes you better than other people imo is a real toxic way to approach games, and I think that carries over to frustrated commenters who routinely bash casual* players in videos and in-game chats.
*I suspect we all know but I’m not using the term “casual” in a derogatory sense, but in the non-competitive sense. I think it’s a valuable descriptor.


At the risk of being reductive, I’d pin most of that mentality on lack of any policing in those communities allowing the loudest and angriest of them to become the most prevalent. Considering that a person in Overwatch can get reported literally over 2000 times for bad behavior without getting banned, I don’t see this changing anytime soon.

I don’t wanna be the guy saying “yea gaming communities are horrendous and it’s not gonna get better”, it’s just that these things keep happening and we’re seeing an actual manifestation of the “being low skill at games is worse than being outright racist” viewpoint right now.


I don’t think it’s an inherent, natural part of competitive games. This is a thing which is close to my heart, because I love(d) team-based PvP games to bits and they were ruined for me by those kinds of assholes. Saying “just turn off chat/voice chat” is no good, because I am not trying to play “who’s the best at shooting things???”, I’m trying to play a team game where you are working together moment by moment to get the best of the rival team. Comms are vital for that. When comms are rendered inaccessible due to assholes, an entire aspect of the game, every bit as fascinating as the mechanical combat, has been cut out – has been denied. And I know I am not the only person in the world who feels this way.

The problem isn’t that competitive games are inherently toxic or whatever, it’s that 1) even a few toxic people, left unchecked, will dominate the social atmosphere and 2) the culture as is permits using the games equivalent of “boys will be boys”/“it’s the internet what do you expect” to let that kind of behavior slide. I don’t accept this.


This. I used to play in a lot of Counter-Strike servers where the admins had a zero tolerance policy for hate speech and immediately kicked/banned people. That is a great example of a game where people NEED to communicate. Granted, Counter-Strike servers used to be run by a clan that would pay for a dedicated server, so they had a more vested interest in keeping it clean. In most online console games, the games are (as far as I understand it) hosted on a player’s machine, so there are no “admins”, so it’s all dependent on PSN or Xbox Live to take action, which is always long after the fact.