Wednesday, July 31, 2013

It's been a while, I know (or: Going Fishing)

It's been a year ago last April since I posted here. I had a lot of things go on in the meantime, and I totally forgot about blogging. So, what made me restart my blog? It was some drama over the weekend involving Phil Fish, Montreal native and the creator of the Xbox Live Arcade/Steam platform puzzler Fez.

Long story short, he has a habit of being a jerk on the internet. Someone was an even bigger jerk to him. After a heated back and forth, he decides to cancel a planned sequel to Fez and gives up on game development. Kotaku has the details.

So, this is getting me thinking. I've seen internet meltdowns before. I've been at the center of them on occasion. But I've never seen one explode as badly as it did last Saturday. Marcus got things heated by calling Phil an asshole, and Phil replied that Marcus should go kill himself. He tried to backtrack on the suicide request, saying that it was a Futurama reference, but still, it got out of hand on both sides, and I'm certain that both sides want to take back the things they said.

But this isn't the first time it has happened. Phil has a history of being belligerent on the internet. And he's taken a lot of grief, too. Just take a look at the comments here. Would you blame him, especially after all the snide remarks and whatnot he's taken? (And I'm guilty of throwing a snide remark his way, and I didn't feel good about it, even before all this went down.)

It has me conflicted. Do I feel sorry for Phil, even if he's a jerk? My gut feeling says yes. I mean, he spent five years of his life making Fez, having to go through those trials and tribulations, and I can certainly feel like he reserves the right to defend his work. On the other hand, he doesn't have to be a jerk about it, throw temper tantrums, and burn bridges. Actually, Phil brings to mind a quote from a former ESPN exec about Keith Olbermann: he doesn't just burn bridges, he napalms them.

But my gut feeling is telling me, hey, everyone likes a story of redemption. Much like the ballplayer who has one last run in him, gets his team to the World Series, and goes out on top, or that band who you haven't heard from in 15 years and comes back and makes a great album and surprises everyone. I'm convinced that when things cool down, he'll be back, wiser and more mature, and make peace with the leper colonies of the internet.

Phil, if you're reading this, do us all a favor and breathe. Inhale, exhale. Go take some time off from the internet. Recharge your creative batteries. Go see the world. And realize that not everything's worth taking offense to. Don't give up on your dreams because of all the jerks on the internet.

And you might want to apologize to Marcus for your comments. He probably feels sorry for instigating this whole thing. But that's just my Monday morning (or early Wednesday morning) quarterbacking talking. Sometimes, being a man means knowing that you're wrong, and this is probably one of those times. Make peace with Marcus, and realize that the world isn't out to get you. The world wants a reason to love and respect you and your game.

Now I'm just being all mushy, but that's the truth. And that's my two cents on the whole matter. Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

  1. Things like this are why from what I've seen, most game developers don't get involved this directly with their fanbase online. They usually don't reply to hateful comments or tweets, and I've heard that most major game designers get death threats or other nasty insults, and just choose to ignore them. Sadly, that's the internet.

    I'm not saying the guy shouldn't be as outspoken and opinionated as he is, but he shouldn't take death threats and suicide comments too seriously either. In fact, probably every creative personality get's shit like that from the internet, in every industry.