Yesterday, PC Gamer ran an article about the term PC Master Race. I am not going to link you to that article because If I have to be completely honest, I do not want to give them any links from my site. Not even an archived one. You are free to go to their site or load up a cached version on your own leisure, but instead I implore you to read this piece on TechRaptor about it, taking in opinions from the staff.
I’ll go further in depth about it a bit later on.
Before that, in case you are reading this:
I feel sorry for you, Tyler Wilde.
I know chances are pretty slim you are reading this, but I really do. I don’t know where things became the way they did for you, but somehow you ended up in a job you are most certainly not qualified for, writing for an audience you don’t understand, covering something you have a hard time appreciating. That must be hard on a young guy like you, so just keep in mind that everything following in this blog post is said not out of spite or anger, but in a feeling of tough lough.
I want you to do better than this. I want you to feel happier about both the material you present, but also the audience you present it to. I want you to gain some basic confidence in yourself and feel good about things again.
— Remy van Ruiten
Fuck Tyler Wilde. Seriously.
It seems to be downright impossible for journalists to not find something to be outraged about. Making trivial posts whining about political ideologies they barely understand is one thing, and it’s a thing that happens all too frequently, but taking a seven-year old joke from a viral video series seriously and getting your panties up in a twist over it is downright absurd. Just by doing basic research, which in this case is watching less than a minute of a six minute long video and it’s clear what the PC Master Race refers to.
PC Master Race is a joke. It was an insult in a comedic video series that wasn’t trying to be taken seriousy to begin with, and one that actual PC gamers appreciated enough to make their own, ironically using the phrase to describe themselves. I seriously wonder how our Lord and Savior Gabe Newell feels about anyone taking that seriously.
That was a joke by the way. If you got that, congratulations! You are more in tune with gamers, their sense of humor, and the culture surrounding it to be a media representative than Tyler Wilde!
So why is there so much outrage about something so minor? It’s just a joke, right? So what if someone overstepped himself and took it too seriously? Where’s the problem with that?
Easy. It’s another sign that the same group of people who repeatedly drag the gamer identity through the mud, the same people who are supposed to not only represent gamers in our media, but also inform us, gamers, about our choices as consumers, are absolutely not in touch with gamers in any way whatsoever. Which is incredibly disheartening, because the PC Master Race meme has been one that’s endured longer than most memes, as it not only strikes to the core of both sides of the PC gaming scale, Console Peasant or PC Master Race, we both get that it’s all a big joke, nothing to be taken at face value. But it also makes light of the absurdity of console wars and platform superiority.
But no, strong language is scary because reasons.
When I came across the article, I wasn’t surprised at who wrote it. I used to be a long-time listener of the podcast Tyler Wilde is a regular on, Lasertime. A podcast that started out strong, but the cast grew bitter and self-absorbed as it went on. Henry Gilbert would get riled up about social justice issues, strawmanning all other possible viewpoints as he spew venom all over the airwaves, Chris Antista would go on tangent about whiny entitled crybaby audiences ruining his precious media, and they’d all collectively shit all over everyone’s gaming choices to make more room for Ubisoft coverage, as Ubisoft employee Anne Lewis tried to link it back to her company of employment as often as possible.
I totally get that it’s their own platform, made in their spare time, and that they can do whatever the hell they want to do with it, but boy does it give some insight into the mindset of that group of people. The fact that they get so worked up about minor things despite nobody challenging their views in those conversations, and the way that it always seems to come back to how the collective group of gamers and geekdom are wrong and need to be lectured about how wrong they are because of their lack of understanding or ignorance at every twist and turn shows a lot about the natures of those hosts, which is why I genuinely feel sorry for them.
Listening to podcasts like that, and then seeing articles where they try to squish jokes that they don’t feel comfortable about because they don’t get it shows a lack of emotional maturity that you would hope anyone in their position would have long since come overcome. It actively makes me feel sorry for them, working a job for an audience that they don’t understand.
It gives me a picture of someone who got their dream job only to realize that it was actually work. They never expected video games to actually become work, and the feeling overwhelms them. That’s why they have such a hard time dealing with criticism, deflecting it with cries of sexism, racism, misogyny, and doing everything in their power to tear apart the public identity of the gaming identity, just because they’re not secure in theirs.
Even scoffing at the notion of having more technical game reviews properly outlining the mechanics that make up a game as if it was unfeasible, just because they’re not capable of doing that, relying on vague non-statements as a game’s controls being “tight”, there being an “array of whatevers at your disposal.”, or the graphics being “lush.” These statements don’t mean anything. You might as well say “Controls. Weapons.” to convey the same level of information in fewer words as there’s nothing said outside of padding. People on YouTube have done better jobs of taking apart the various mechanics that make up the bigger game and explaining them in clear language that is easily understandable. Why isn’t it normal to expect that level of understanding from an actual professional? Instead many professional journalists have trouble understanding very basic concepts that are important to their line of work like what the framerate does, spreading misinformation to add fuel to pointless console wars instead of informing their audience about what’s what.
What is the basis for being a professional in terms of games coverage anymore? Mocking an identity? Not understanding the culture? Being offended at every little thing?
Those are the questions that the PC Gamer article raised in the eyes of every gamer reading it. Not just for the Glorious PC Master Race, but also for the Dirty Console Peasants, and The Handheld Advisors. How can anyone fundamentally misunderstanding an idea shared by everyone within the gaming community write in an authoritative voice about anything regarding the community? Who hired this guy?