I recently guested on Matt Forney’s podcast about Reaxxion’s closure with my fellow writers, but really didn’t get to say much. Between the staggering verbosity of some of the others, Skype being Skype and my butthole The Internets connection reeking havoc, I just sat back and listened.
As I stated when I got the chance to talk, I never found my footing as a writer on Reaxxion. I was brought on fully at the beginning of June, and hit the ground slipping and sliding as hard as I could. My output looked a lot like one of Billy’s maps from Family Circus, it was ALL OVER the place. Due mostly to the lack of direction, which I appreciated, I kind of had to feel things out for my self.
I never got a real good bead on the reader of Reaxxion. Were they just Return of Kings readers that liked video games? Were there actual gamers reading the site? Was #GamerGate even bothering with patronizing the site? I mean, the site was founded as an outlet for masculine gamers…but I don’t think it was married to the concept.
So I just did whatever the fuck I felt like doing, which turned out pretty well. I turned out only of couple of duds in the two months I wrote for Reaxxion.
If I could relate the failings of Reaxxion, there are several. Least of which being that it’s summertime and ALL the video game related sites are pretty much content bare at this point. It’s why having that stable of personalities is really helpful for those dark days where no game dare roam. Did Reaxxion have any breakout stars? Author’s content you just HAD to see?
That’s not to say that there wasn’t some great, awesome writing being done. There was plenty of it, we just weren’t finding any way in to that vaunted gamer purview.
Personally, Reaxxion was the biggest venue I had worked for up to now, so ANY views were great. I’ve always written like no one is reading my shit anyways. You have to be somewhat fearless in your work, the reader always sniffs you out if you aren’t.
Reaxxion needed more time to find it’s OWN voice. It was still mostly cribbing from it’s sister site Return of Kings, both in tone and incestuously content-wise with it’s writers. Reaxxion always felt like it was perpetually on the back burner. and serving too many masters.
The site moved from mostly gaming to focusing on pop culture media (movie, music, television), but I don’t think anyone told the readers. Several of my articles were hit with the “What does this have to do with video games?” comment.
Another aspect was the politics of the site. Since there wasn’t really a constant stable of writers the tone and politics of Reaxxion were all over the map. I would read an article from early on in the site where an author would praise the ideological neutrality of the site, then click on another author only to read about how leftists were ruining game culture through one thing or another.
#GamerGate proved that it was an amorphous apolitical mob long ago and wasn’t going to be drawn one way or another ideologically. Sure, you’ll grab a few dozen curious onlookers, but you’ll never grab the whole of #GamerGate. It’s the quality that makes the movement so great but so infuriating all in the same breath.
Gamers themselves tend to be apolitical, or at the very least internet libertarians. You’re not going to trick them by writing about video games and then jamming in rhetoric, they’re just too savvy for that. Reaxxion’s readers proved that out.
The one thing I could continuously count on for views was sharing my own rage at social justice buffoonery. Something I’ve always loathed about the media and it’s pundits were the peddling of ignorance as truth. I’ve always had a problem with the hubris of those who have a soapbox and use it for ill. As video games have gotten bigger so too have the people that cover it in the games press, and so we have the rise of a pundit class of sorts, and lo, there are found wanting.
In an article I hope to write one day, I would submit that video games should never be classified as art because our critics are too stupid to properly critique anything intelligently. I wouldn’t even trust them to tell me what restaurant has anything worth eating.
The games press could be filled with shaved apes in hipster glasses and I don’t think anyone would notice. #GamerGate gave rise to this fact when thousands of gamers said “No.” and games writers turned to hysterics, having lost their authority to tell people how to think and act when it comes to video games.
In their boredom for ANYTHING new, the games press allowed social justice and politics to enter their writing. Slowly as a trickle and then a full torrent, and gamers who spoke out were silenced and shooed away. Disenfranchisement within the gaming community has been brewing for years.
The games press allowed SJWs to take an argument about ethics and turn in in to a narrative about sexism and harassment. For that, they will NEVER be forgiven.
Most of my work at Reaxxion was coming to terms with a games press I no longer enjoyed. Though valiant efforts were made to upend them, it became readily apparent that the games press we currently have is deeply rooted and connected. They aren’t going anywhere, and it seems as though no one has the time (and honestly the money) to form new outlets and foster new writers for all those gamers who want to start anew.
I also wrote about people that clearly weren’t gamers, who were less interested in learning the games culture, and more interested in changing it wholesale through a twisted worldview and their own biases. This constant notion from them that only “monsters”, “misogynists” and “bigots” would be against social justice became absurd. And when they were told to get fucked by gamers, they tried to burn the games culture to the ground with their bullshit narratives.
I knew these SJW gamers were not real gamers because I read their bullshit writings. At first to understand them, then later to be able to refute them at every turn. It’s why SJW gamers are starting to tiptoe away from social justice topics in their gaming output, or just leaving games culture altogether. There’s no cache in it anymore, arguably ever, that’s why I constantly wrote that #GamerGate had won. If any SJW games writers “moved up”, it was only laterally to sites where they don’t write about games as much or at all. I’ll take that any day.
I’m still unimpressed with what has risen up in the aftermath of #GamerGate. I’ve been following more YouTubers as of late, but find the rat race of their need to keep up with other YouTubers to be arduous viewing material.
I’m very unimpressed with the abuse of crowdfunding that has also become the norm as of late. The sheer audaciousness of some talentless, worthless, shallow “creative types” to ask for money from people to do LESS than what they were doing at any point in time is ludicrous to me. The quality of said content has only gotten worse, not better, as if the sheer quantity of lackluster content more than makes up for its shoddiness.
That being said, I am very proud of what I accomplished at Reaxxion, as I was unhindered in doing what I wanted to do. There was only one time where something I wrote was questioned and that is why I started this site. I am very certain that even more things will find their way here as I tend to use satire to cut as close to the bone as possible when I write. I find that sacred cows make the best burgers.
There is tentative talk of a goodly amount of Reaxxion staffers forming a new outlet to continue the work we started not so long ago. If I am brought on, I will bring my same sardonic nature and general lack of seriousness to the things that people take WAY too seriously.