Nathan Grayson, the Kotaku writer whose infidelities with Zoe Quinn sparked the events surrounding GamerGate, has once again been hiding his connections to his reporting subjects. Earlier this week, Grayson published a Kotaku article about some sort of game where you jerk off a car. This stunning example of modern “game” design is the work of one Robert Yang, progenitor of a whole series of literally homosexual games.
I’m sure Mr. Yang is a perfectly competent creator, but the salient point Mr. Grayson failed to mention in between promoting Yang’s work and calling it (I shit you not) “meaningful,” was that he was a former colleague of Yang’s at Rock Paper Shotgun.
A History Of Corruption And Negligence
This is at least the second time Nathan has promoted one of these “socially aware,” 2 deep 4 you, masturbatory “games” when he was supposed to be reporting on industry news for his readers.
Before GamerGate was even a glimmer in our eyes, Grayson wrote about Zoe Quinn’s Depression Quest, a glorified choose-your-own-adventure meant to make you feel sorry about not having a mental disorder. Grayson gave this snooze-worthy wankfest top billing on an article for RPS about games which had recently been greenlit on Steam. Out of fifty games featured, Depression Quest not only comprised the first mentioned and most praised game there, but got the header image slot as well. It’s a text-based game! Grayson even made the article title a play on the X-Quest theme, pulling out every stop to make sure this particular game would get noticed.
Oh, and let’s not forget that Grayson himself was a tester on Depression Quest, and is in fact noted in it’s credits. Is that enough to draw a connection maybe?
Either Nathan Grayson is totally willing to promote the work of his cohorts above and beyond what they deserve, or his taste is so totally and unbelievably skewed in favor of these yawn-inducing, lukewarm, “inclusive” pseudo-games that he is unworthy to be in a position of any importance in the industry. No doubt why he works at Kotaku.
The fact of Nathan’s incompetence isn’t the crux of this issue though; he’s allowed to have shit taste if he wants to. The thing we’re concerned for is that he never discloses that he knows the people whose work he’s pimping. He’s even had confirmed financial ties with these people, sometimes going so far as literally being in bed with the subject of his reporting.
The Face That Sank A Thousand Ships
I can only hope we all know how Grayson is tied up in the origin of the Gamergate hashtag: his favoritism towards Quinn was one of the puzzle pieces tied together by “The Zoe Post,” the sordid tell-all warning written by Quinn’s cuckolded former boyfriend. With the intent of alerting future potential lovers that Quinn is an emotionally manipulative liar, Eron Gjoni accidentally revealed several salient facts that early GamerGaters used to discover loose threads that all tied into corruption in the games media. Above and beyond Grayson’s time at RPS, he was known to have promoted Quinn and her associates in the social justice sphere long before “The Zoe Post” put it all in perspective.
The fact that Grayson, and to a larger extent the mainstream games media, continues to exhibit this behavior, this image of themselves as a pulpit from which to promote their friends, this blatant disregard toward information relevant to their readers and constituents, shows that there remains a need for reform.
These people don’t understand that real gamers don’t want to hear about their pal’s latest touch-feely, emotions-are-better-than-fun, whackoff garbage. We want them to report accurate news about relevant developments in the industry, provide balanced information about independent titles, and give unbiased reviews of new releases untainted by anything like a connection to the creators, cash payouts from the publishers, or some political bias toward “progressive” themes.
All told, this car game snafu is only the latest misstep in a games media chronically beset by poor management and rife with corruption. Time and again we find evidence, and even hear it from they themselves, that the people who are in charge of telling us about games don’t actually even like gaming. They are at best just interested in the medium, and at worst just in it for the money. They can’t understand that enjoying moving pictures on a screen doesn’t constitute gaming culture, and their efforts to reform it to align with their ideological visions are misguided and unwanted.
And if they’re in it for the money, we should stop giving it to them. Stop going to sites that lie to you and only promote their hidden agendas. We can work together to make a change in this industry, but actually for the better.
What do you think about this whole mess? Give it to us straight in the comments.