I know what you’re probably thinking: “Why the fuck are you writing about fucking trolls?”. Well, the answer is twofold, because the inspiration for the forthcoming diatribe has a positive and a negative motivator, both of which stem from interactions I had yesterday.
Let me start with the negative, cause Happy Friday!
The Ghost Generation is many things, we like to think of this as our way of curating our world view for public consumption, a way for us to give voice to things that might not be heard anywhere else, and a way to be as fucking creative as we want to be without anyone telling us what we can and can’t do.
Authority & I go together about as well as a “You Have Cancer” singing telegram.
We write about our life, our experience as parents, and things we’re jazzed about. FemaleGG is sharing our “get the fuck out of debt” journey with you, and I’m interviewing people I respect and admire, writing about music, and I also love to write about video games. I got back into them in my 30’s (Thanks, Switch!) and I don’t happen to give a fuck what anyone thinks about it. I’ve actually had someone in close proximity to our life tell me I’m an idiot for playing video games in fact, and shockingly enough we don’t speak to that person anymore. I’ve been a voracious reader, I’ve been writing music since I was 11, and now I’m super-into rad video games. Don’t like it? Tough tits. Thanks for the attack though!
Consider this your crash course in how writing about video games works. In an ideal world, you build a relationship and rapport with the developers and publishers who send you their games to check out for review. You play the game, write about your experience, and life is grand. Sometimes, if you’re like me, you go the extra mile and help them find bugs before the game launches, and if you like the game you talk it up and get the community hyped for their wonderful creation.
Unless you work for a major publication/website you’re not getting paid for that shit. You get the GAME for free, but since you spend HOURS playing it it all pretty much comes out in the wash. If you’re lucky, you’ll get some exposure and a little extra web traffic to your site, and the real bonus is the relationships, community, and experience of it all. Fuck money, we’ve reduced everything in this society to being valued in dollars and it’s gross.
Really, HUMANS are the root of all evil. Money just makes us worse.
Anyway, so I commented online about a game I was going to be writing about the other day, it was made by a small team and I knew it wouldn’t get as much love as I though it deserved so I wanted to bring some attention to it. I mentioned that it was a great game, a little rough around the edges, but that the developers we’re super passionate and I’d been helping them work out the bugs as I found them to make sure they had as successful of a launch as they could. What a dick!
Some dude decided to accuse me of getting “paid to write the review” and he would rather read the opinions of “a real player” instead of whatever he thought I was. I did the stupid thing and commented back, cause I KNOW you’re not supposed to engage but MOTHERFUCKER DO NOT question my integrity or try to fuck up my rep- see, it makes me mad even talking about it now.
Somehow, we live in a world where even our FUCKING PRESIDENT is a troll.
As per usual, he didn’t have SHIT to say to my logical response and it died off, but it was (surprisingly enough) my first significant troll experience since starting The Ghost Generation ast year and it just fuckin’ pissed me off. Here’s the thing too, I don’t write about video games like pretty much everyone else does. I’m a married father of two little kids, I have a fucking day job, and I have this. I don’t always have the time for a deep-dive play through nor do I have the name like “IGN” attached to me to always land the super high-profile shit. I work with a lot of indie devs/publishers and I play a lot of indie games. I write my articles as kind of a mini-review, and I’m doing it for other people like me. Busy-ass adults who don’t give a fuck about aspect ratios, frame rates, and all that shit. We just want to play rad games in our minuscule and fleeting free time, so that’s where I’m coming from.
Do I always 100% finish every fucking thing I write about? No. Does every busy parent 100% finish every game they buy? Fuck no, so I fit in perfectly with the audience I’m trying to speak to. I’m honest and objective, and my goal is to curate shit I think is rad- NOT too review every fucking thing that comes out. I also only seek out games I WANT TO WRITE ABOUT. Why? Because I’m not trying to be a video game website, we’re a blog that happens to write about many things video games being one of those things. I want to curate shit that I LIKE and I want to keep shit positive, so while I’ll point out downsides- the majority of what I write is positive because I only choose to WRITE about shit I think I’ll be reasonably jazzed about.
I’m not PAID to be positive, I CHOOSE to be positive. Don’t like it? Go read fuckin’ Kotaku or some shit- I don’t have time to care. I probably fall somewhere between a critic and an influencer (I hate that fucking word, but it’s for context- I suspect Nindie Spotlight operates in a pretty similar fashion unless that dude has invented the 37 hour day), and I like how I do shit. My rep and my credentials back that up too. Publishers like to work with me because they know I only ask about shit I’m stoked on, and people trust my opinions cause they know I only fuck with games I’m stoked on too. To insinuate that I’m being paid for it is just fuckin’ bananas though, and it frustrates the fuck out of me.
See how this works?
Here’s the thing- The Ghost Generation is ours, and we’re free to do whatever the fuck we want with it. Some of you probably don’t like it, some of you do. That’s life, and that’s especially true when you’re making art. It’s subjective shit, and when you throw in anything like advice, or reviews, or ANYTHING that relates to an opinion you’re GONNA get heat- from fucking SOMEONE. It’s just the world we live in.
Case in point, and the second part of my inspiration for this post. My favorite hip-hop album of all time is Black Star‘s first album. Mos Def (Yasiin Bey) and Talib Kweli crafted a masterpiece that completely changed my musical life back in 1998 and it’s STILL my favorite after all this time. Almost 22 years, shit! I was already SUPER into hip-hop, just as much as I’m into punk and everything else, but something about that record just GRABBED me. For my money, the song cycle of “Definition” into “RE:DEFinition” is about as good as it gets and if anyone can fucking top it I’m all ears. It’s socially conscious, lyrical as fuck, and the interplay between Mos and Talib is un-fucking-touchable. Hip-hop is protest music, hip-hop is music by oppressed people FOR oppressed people, and hip-hop is a voice for the underground and the Black Star album epitomized ALL of those things for me. It was revolutionary, fuck it still IS revolutionary!
Fast forward to now, Talib Kweli has become an extremely fierce warrior for the truth and social justice, and he spends a staggering amount of time on Twitter shutting down trolls of ALL kinds. Racists, homophobes, sexists- you name it, they find him and he shuts them the fuck down. Talib is insanely smart, and he was raised by extremely smart parents, so your garden-variety troll hasn’t got SHIT on Talib and it’s dizzying and fucking incredible to see a person so dedicated to being a voice for the truth. Another thing that makes it so amazing, and he spoke about this on his podcast the other day (the EXCELLENT People’s Party which you DAMN sure need to be listening to) when he was talking to Michael Rapaport. He was explaining how he’s learned how to shut people down without getting down to their level, without punching down, and with his integrity fully intact and I respect that mindset SO much. I’m a lot like Michael Rapaport was in that conversation (not to mention a HUGE fucking fan of his work), because my instinct when someone comes at me is to strike the fuck BACK- but Talib is 100% right, you gotta take a breath, check your ego, and hit back in a way that doesn’t cast a shadow over your good intentions.
The high road SUCKS sometimes, dammit.
Thanks to social media we’re able to interact with people on a much bigger level than ever before, that’s probably the nicest thing you’ll ever hear me say about it so enjoy it while it lasts. With what is becoming quite a bit more frequency, I’m finding myself joining Talib in some of these debates/interactions because I’m also passionate about stomping out racism, sexism, homophobia- and all the rest of the shitty isms and phobias too. If I see it, I call it out, and I’ll do it as long as there is air in my lungs. It’s also getting to interact with an artist and human I have such a huge respect for in a common purpose. It’s not about music, or fame, or any of that shit- it’s about us being people of a similar mind, with vastly different life experiences, shutting some fucking trolls down. I figure by now I’m at least a teeny notch above “schmuck on the internet” and maybe Talib considers me an acquaintance, so I figure he doesn’t mind too much having me assist with the troll hunting expeditions- and I’m honored to think someone so knowledgeable might respect even a fraction of my thoughts or opinions.
Anyway, like I said- my inspiration for writing this was twofold, I was inspired by BEING trolled and also by being incredibly impressed with how level-headed Talib explained how he handles shit like this. I figured Id give a little background and then, what I wanted to do is provide a little instruction manual for all the trolls out there who will now inevitably start to creep out of the woodwork. I guess that means we’re doing something right, cause you’re not doing SHIT until SOMEONE hates you for it so I suppose I should be stoked.
So, without further ado, consider this “The Troll’s Guide To The Ghost Generation”:
- I hate to burst your bubble, but The Ghost Generation will officially no longer engage with any trolls or anyone exhibiting troll-like behavior directed towards us. We will ignore, and we will move on. The end. We have better shit to do, and we’ll just delete your shit, block you, whatever.
- The Ghost Generation is a 100% hate-free place. Come one, come all, this is a safe space for people who use their hearts and minds in equal measure. We are an anti-fascist, anti-racist, anti-sexist, pro-LGBTQ, left-as-a-motherfucker, non-religious entity and proud of it. Don’t like any of that shit? This probably isn’t the place for you.
- I, AFHGhost1, will write about video games in whatever manner I WANT to write about them, and as long as my relationships in the community are solid I don’t give a FUCK what a troll thinks about it. I shouldn’t have engaged the first time and I won’t again. Ask around, my name is good, my credentials are solid. Same goes with music and anything else I write about. If I fuck with it, its cause I LIVE it.
- We will write about, interview, talk about, interact with, whoever and whatever we choose as well. This is ours, we do it for us and hopefully you guys like it to but it’s not the other way around. We don’t do shit for clicks- hell, I nearly never post game reviews on fucking LAUNCH day which would guarantee me tons of clicks-clikcs- cause I do it when I’m good and ready. We don’t do shit for clout, we don’t do shit to bait anyone, we just do shit OUR WAY.
- We will never violate your trust in any way, we will never lie to you, we will never cheat you, and we will NEVER work with, promote, or align ourselves with anything or anyone that doesn’t fit with our ideals. We will NOT sell out, we will not buy in, we will do what we do with integrity. Our convictions are of paramount importance in this life and nothing will shake them from us, ever.
- Just assume that if any of the above bothers you in ANY way you can very likely go fuck yourself. Have nice day, and go enjoy some Fox News. Wanna have an intelligent conversation or debate? Our Twitter is all me, so come on over!
Frankly, I’m amazed I expressed that with such minimal venom. Go me! Do Nobel Prizes come in the mail, or…?
Now, I could probably keep going at length but Im fucking SICK AGAIN and its a sore throat which I hate the most- so I’m all out. I’m gonna work on some games for one of my shitty paid reviews, work on some other Ghost Generation related shit, and try to get some fucking rest. Be kind, Ghosties- and remember not to take the fuckin’ bait. From ANYONE. That’s what they want, to take your energy cause theirs is shitty. Keep it, it looks much better on you.
A blog/website where these happily married, 30-something parents of 2 little minions rant, rave, and speak in tongues. Raw, honest, and riddled with profanity. Get on board and let’s make The Ghost Generation awesome together! http://theghostgeneration.com Twitter.com/Gh0stGeneration