NO Man’s Sky, a game about searching for intelligent life on faraway planets, has been delayed. The news, however, has made us question the status of intelligent life on Earth — both journalists and the developer have received death threats because of the delay.
Once or twice a year, behaviour like this emerges that reminds us why gaming is still associated with angry young men, using the internet to vent their rage at the world.
No Man’s Sky, originally marked down for a release in late June, has been delayed until August instead, after developer Sean Murray realised “some key moments needed extra polish to bring them up to our standards — I have had to make the tough choice to delay the game for a few weeks to allow us to deliver something special”.
A perfectly reasonable announcement, by any standards.
The story was first broken by Kotaku writer Jason Schreier, who received the following private message on Twitter, from a user called Beach Clashers: “Your little article about No Man’s Sky being delayed has made me hate you to my very core. It’s the only thing I live for and you go and write that bullshit about a delay. Instead of visiting London later this month, I think I’ll come by and say hello to you, and f**k you up. You think you can get away with this that easy? Making fun of our Reddit page also? Sounds like you have a death wish. We will find you.”
Schreier released the threat for everyone to see on his Twitter feed, along with his own caption: “What it’s like to write about video games on the internet.”
Later, No Man Sky creator Sean Murray confirmed he, too, had received multiple death threats, writing: “I have had loads of death threats this week but don’t worry, Hello Games now looks like the house from Home Alone.” That’s what you get, Sean, for having the nerve to create entertainment products.
It’s important to note that this kind of behaviour represents a tiny, very misguided proportion of gamers, but it’s a disturbing trend that doesn’t seem to be going away.
We saw similar reactions to Facebook’s acquisition of Oculus Rift and, more famously, we saw a dedicated group of idiots initiative a sustained campaign of threats against journalist Anita Sarkeesian because she spoke up about female voices in gaming.
To paraphrase Obi Wan Kenobi, the internet is a hive of scum villainy, but nowhere are the ails of modern youth more apparent than in the video game community.
It’s hard to tell if that’s because so many young people gravitate towards gaming, and so angry voices inevitably group together, or whether gaming itself is a part of the problem – not because of the games themselves, but because of the culture of commentary and entitlement that has developed around it online.
Whatever the case, Sean Murray is doing the only thing he can — trying to laugh it off: “Tell me when it’s safe to remove the marbles and oil from the stairs. It’s getting really cumbersome, and I need the toilet.”
On a more positive note, video games fans are usually passionate in all the right ways.
That’s why Mirror’s Edge, first released in 2007, is being revived this summer by EA — the fanbase kept interest in the game alive through online petitions.
So passionate were the fans, in fact, that a production company has now acquired the rights to make a Mirror’s Edge TV show, a highly unusual move.
Mirror’s Edge is a parkour game set in a dystopian future where ‘runners’ act as messengers, while trying to avoid government surveillance.
“We clearly see Mirror’s Edge as a franchise for the global TV audience,” said Sharon Hall, president of Endemol Shine Studios, the acquisition company.”
Finally, some people are so passionate about a game that they express their love in more unusual fashion.
Characters from Blizzard’s megahit Overwatch, a game featuring animated heroes have been ‘adapted’ for more adult purposes by a section of fans online.
Website PCGAmeN is reporting that those fans, who are using game animation assets to create, ahem, love scenes, have been hit with copyright infringement notices.
Well, it’s better than death threats, right?
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