When Gamers Attack: The Bioware/Erik Kain Story
This week an article on Forbes proved how quickly the tables can turn on you when writing about the gaming industry.
Since starting my writing career at the fresh young age of 14 I have recieved no less than two death threats, a threat of violence against my family and about a billion insults. These have all come from disagreeing with the vocal minority. Eight years on, I'm still fairly shocked by the fact that people get so passionate about things that matter so little and the proof, I'm afraid, comes along far too often.
Take the Bioware/Mass Effect 3 debacle, for instance. Whatever you thought of the last few minutes of Mass Effect 3, did it really make the game any less enjoyable? It was a fantastic experience, to the point where I'd say even without the ending it was a fitting conclusion to the series. Was it really necessary to get so wound up about such a small thing? Erik Kain, a writer at Forbes, was one of those quite vocal about how unhappy they were with how things ended. I can only imagine the amount of praise he got, no doubt people were voting him for game journalist of the year.
Except this week he wrote an article about how Bioware deserve a second chance, that they might have learnt their lesson after Mass Effect 3. It caused quite a reaction, to say the least. There are people who now refuse to read future articles by him, entirely down to the fact that he doesn't hate Bioware. In a follow-up article, he spoke about how he'd like things to change.
“I mean, those readers and commenters who are so disappointed in me and who will never read my column again, do you really disagree with me that much? Is my ‘wait-and-see’ approach to BioWare really so horrible that I’m just a joke now?
“This strikes me as almost religious in its fervor and rigidity, this unwillingness to engage in debate over ideas with people who may not share each of your opinions.
“The perils of writing about video games become glaringly obvious at times like these, though no less dispiriting. I want this space to be a place where we can vehemently disagree, and still respect one another enough to keep talking honestly about the issues of gaming and the gaming industry.”