Runescape Declares a Pogrom Against Venezuelans
Runescape players have been labelled as racists this week by salty gold farmers and Reddit shitlibs. Things have not been right in Venezuela for a very long time, and just recently their economy has gone into meltdown. Hugo Chavez made a habit of ransacking the livelihoods of wealthy Venezuelan citizens in order to fund the gibemedats of Venezuelan peasants, and supplemented this through the country’s abundance of petro-shekels. It turns out that this is not much of a sustainable policy, as raiding wealthy citizens quickly results in them all moving to other countries, and then relying on the petro-dollar alone leaves the country massively exposed to any shift in the OPEC landscape.
Now the Venezuelan economy has crashed, president Nicolas Maduro has mobilised the army to thwart Venezuelan courts and his own citizens, and the plummeting Venezuelan minimum wage is now the equivalent of about $5 a month. Funnily enough this has led to an epidemic of Venezuelan gold farmers in the 2001 MMORPG Runescape. Venezuelans are able to generate an income in excess of 50c a day by farming green dragons. This may sound like a pittance, but it currently outstrips the earning potential of a university educated professional in Venezuela.
This would all be good and fine if not for the fact that gold farming is against the rules of the game, on account of the fact that gold farming distorts the economy of the game, and having swarms of gold farmers just makes for a generally shitty gaming experience for all involved. And so the internet took to addressing this problem in the only way the internet knows how: by Runescape players forming lynch mobs to slaughter the groups of Venezuelan gold farmers that had been fouling up the game. Runescapers are like the Polish – they do not fuck around!
All of this likely would have gone unnoticed by anybody outside of the Runescape community were it not for a helpful guide posted to Reddit, helping players to identify Venezuelan gold farmers and where they may be found. This led to a Reddit mod shutting the the topic down and lamenting:
“It’s not this post that disappoints me, its the blatant racist and ‘edgy’ comments left by people that have no idea what it must be like to live in a situation were your economy is collapsing.”
This then set the tone for the self-righteous editorials penned by Polygon et al., denouncing Runescape players for their super triggering racism for going after the poor defenseless gold farmers.
Are these fucking people for real? Yes it is sad that the Venezuelan people have shitted up their own country, but for year after year they voted for ever increasing amounts of socialism, and so they have essentially done this to themselves. Now that their country is falling apart, Venezuelans have taken to shitting up the economy of Runescape, and the players of the game are refusing to accommodate this deleterious behaviour. They are not wrong for doing this. Nobody would give two shits if the players of Runescape launched a crusade against Chinese gold farmers, yet the would-be socialists of Polygon seem to identify just a tad too much with the failed socialist utopia of Venezuela, leading to this cringy knee-jerk reaction against no-nonsense gamers.
Bungie Chastised for Kek Armour
Bungie has been labelled as racist this week, as the mad frog god smiles down on them in mercurial whimsy. Whether it be through the esoteric intervention of the internet’s dankest meme magicians, or whether it be through pure happenstance, Destiny 2 is now on sale, and players quickly discovered a piece of armour that looks to have been styled after 4chan’s patron frog god of chaos, Kek. No sooner did this come to light before Vice shrilly accused Bungie of racism, who in turn dropped the armour as though it were made out of glowing hot Goebbels:
“It’s come to our attention that a gauntlet in Destiny 2 shares elements with a hate symbol. It is not intentional. We are removing it. Our deepest apologies. This does NOT represent our values, and we are working quickly to correct this. We renounce hate in all forms.
Although the design wasn’t emulative of the meme in question, the armor piece was eventually flagged by another team responsible for reviewing content for cultural, geographical, and other sensitive issues. Unfortunately, that review was conducted to explore whether or not we were comfortable with the connection to the original, innocuous “kek” internet meme. The more contemporary, vile derivation that has been repurposed by hate groups was not surfaced through this process, and therefore, the armor was approved for ship.”
One wonders what kind of review process could have taken place when Kek has been the patron deity of /pol/ since November of 2015, and featured heavily in 2016’s presidential election. More to the point, it would have been decidedly odd for Bungie to have been made aware of the armour’s relation to an older meaning of ‘kek’ without reference to the modern usage of Kek, seeing as the similarity is only really evident in relation to the Kek meme flag, which is styled after the Nazi battle flag. There would be no reason to associate the armour with a previous variant of the kek meme, because it is only the armour’s similarity to the recent artistic stylisation of Kek which creates an association. In short, Bungie is lying here. This may have been accidental, or it may have been deliberate on the part of just one of their artists, but it is unlikely that its alleged memetic origins were in any way scrutinised before getting the go ahead.
Regardless, much like with Pepe, progressive bloggers have once again reacted to a funny internet meme with far more seriousness than it warrants. This guilt by association stuff is the reason that drinking milk is now regarded as racist by some people. As for Bungie, this homogenisation of content is the reason that one hardly ever plays Western-made vidya anymore.
Pewdiepie has been labelled as a racist this week, and has had a disgruntled developer attack his Youtube channel through fraudulent use of DMCA. Sean Vanaman, co-founder of the studio that shat out the insipid walking simulator Firewatch, decided to maliciously go after Pewds because he did not like the way that he spoke during a livestream. A few days ago Pewds was mired in some minor controversy when during a stream he happened to call his opponent a “nigger“. Following this Sean Vanaman’s studio Campo Santo promptly filed a DMCA takedown against Pewds’ Firewatch playthrough, issuing him with a strike against his account in the process. This in spite of the fact that Campo Santo welcomes all streamers to produce videos based on Firewatch:
“Can I stream this game? Can I make money off of those streams?
Yes. We love that people stream and share their experiences in the game. You are free to monetize your videos as well.”
OK, so Campo Santo clearly invite all people to produce videos based on Firewatch – but here is where things get especially fucked. If Pewds had said something controversial during his playthrough of Firewatch then it may seem understandable that a developer might have a knee-jerk reaction and try to get it pulled to avoid the association, only Pewds was not playing Firewatch when he offended the moral puritans of the internet. He was playing something completely unrelated, and then Sean Vanaman got so ass-blasted that he looked through Pewd’s back-catalogue for a video he could weaponise, and then found an old playthrough of his shitty pseudo game Firewatch.
“We’re filing a DMCA takedown of PewDiePie’s Firewatch content and any future Campo Santo games.
There is a bit of leeway you have to have with the internet when u wake up every day and make video games. There’s also a breaking point.
I am sick of this child getting more and more chances to make money off of what we make.
He’s worse than a closeted racist: he’s a propagator of despicable garbage that does real damage to the culture around this industry.
I’d urge other developers & will be reaching out to folks much larger than us to cut him off from the content that has made him a milionaire
Freedom of speech is freedom of prosecution His stream is not commentary, it is ad growth for his brand Our game on his channel =endorsement”
Pewdiepie has already signalled that he will not fight Campo Santo on this, and one can only regard that as a huge missed opportunity. For a while now Youtube content producers have talked of the real need for a legal precedent to be set regarding the fair use of video game content, yet most are not in the position to fight the publishers who DMCA their content. And yet here is a situation where Campo Santo is an indy developer, Pewds is a multi-millionaire, and the case is about as open and shut as one could hope for. Campo Santo made abusive use of DMCA to issue a strike against Pewdiepie’s channel for something he said on a completely unrelated video, and this in spite of their offer to all and sundry to freely use their game to produce content. This could have lead to something really great.
Regardless, this sure is exactly what one would expect from the developers of Firewatch!