Anti gamerGate outlet Joystiq, currently owned by AOL, is reportedly going to be shut down as part of an initiative to cut loose underperforming content properties. Joystiq published a fairly scathing editorial on GamerGate, and also provided positive coverage for Anita Sarkeesian’s appearance on The Colbert Report and the ABC Nightline segment on #GamerGate.
Closing for being a money pit
Re/Code, an anti-GamerGate outlet who genuinely believes that the idea that GamerGate isn’t about sexism can be debunked, was put in the awkward position of reporting on the demise of a fellow anti-GamerGate site. They report that AOL is likely to shutter Joystiq, which they purchased in 2005, due to underperformance, which is business-speak for being a money pit. This also put Joystiq in an awkward position, as they were obligated to report on their impending demise.
In a move that I’m sure does not reflect their usual journalistic process (HINT: THIS IS SARCASM), Alexander Sliwinski, the News Content Director for Joystiq, cited “unnamed sources” from his own website. All this to say they have heard the rumors, but not the official word from AOL.
Of course, then Mr. Sliwinski tweeted the following…
I wouldn’t openly weep for their plight just yet, though. Recent history has shown us that whenever an SJW writer is fired, they are almost immediately rehired at a more SJW-friendly outlet. Just ask Patrick Klepik, who was fired from Giant Bomb following blacklisting allegations, and had a job as Kotaku before he could lick the envelope on his resume. Gawker Media, of course, owns Kotaku, and did their own little shuffling act when they moved Sam “Bring Back Bullying” Biddle from Valleywag to Gawker proper. And let us not forget Ben “Tetris is Commie Propaganda” Kuchera, who got an entire online publication (the Penny Arcade Report) wiped off the web before resurfacing at Polygon.
If anything, history proves that these journalistic cockroaches, once flushed from one nook, are adept at scurrying to another.
A fate well deserved
Of course, the pending obituaries make no conclusion about why Joystiq is going the way of the dodo, so allow me. Might their intentional alienation of the bulk of their audience have something to do with it? Because it’s damn hard to make that internet advertising money if you aren’t getting views.
In an editorial form of seppuku, editor Ludwig Kietzmann stated the following:
The only story I’ve seen fished out with the GamerGate hashtag is legitimate harassment. I have seen absolutely vile, irredeemable messages delivered to women who have dared to make games, critique games and, you know, BE ON THE INTERNET in the vicinity of games. And by stating this, I am not inviting you to tell me, now, whether or not you agree with the views of industry critics like Anita Sarkeesian – that’s irrelevant.
Isn’t it interesting, that in the same paragraph that Mr. Kietzmann makes a vile and unprovable accusation about #GamerGate, he essentially dictates to anyone that would refute him that their viewpoint is “irrelevant”?
If you feel defensive or angry right now, it’s because you’re being mentioned in the same breath as: those who send death threats to developers; those who launch volleys of sexist remarks at women reviewing games; those who threaten school shootings in order to shut down a woman’s speech (about video games!) at a university.
If this refrain seems tired at this point, it should. SJWs are not very creative in their accusations, so it makes sense that we should hear the same accusations over and over again. And just remember, if you ask them for proof, you’re a misogynist.
If you’re interested, Joystiq also gave favorable coverage to Anita Sarkeesian’s softball interview with Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report, and that’s just one of numerous articles Joystiq has written praising Ms. Sarkeesian. But what do you expect from an outlet that employs Jessica Conditt, who wrote the article “Gaming While Black“? Whoops, she’s white, and openly dismissive of her black interview subjects when their views on harassment and racism do not align with hers.
Joystiq also provided positive coverage to the ABC Nightline segment on GamerGate, a video that has more than 30,000 dislikes and is now the 85th most disliked video in the history of YouTube. That’s an appropriate measure of how out of touch Joystiq is with their target audience, wouldn’t you say?
A failing business model
As if it needed to be stated—alienating and condescending to your audience is not a good business model. Just because your liberal arts professor did it, doesn’t mean you can get away with it. Writers who think they can dismiss their audience should start working on their resumes, particularly if their websites are owned by companies who are actually interested in making money (i.e. not Gawker Media). The rise of GamerGate friendly outlets has already begun.