Feb 23, 2021Liked by Erik Kain

We seem to share similar views and values.

For years I was a proud libertarian, equally disgusted with right and left, quick to disparage the extremes of both sides, but also finding some common ground with folks from both sides of the spectrum as well.

Trumps administration, and the abject arrogance of his followers pushed me further left to the point that I am likely more akin to a liberal viewpoint than a conservative one (though a number of right leaning issues still resonate with me).

I mention this to help illustrate that as I began to become more left, I found that there was an expectation that simply leaning left wasn't enough for many of those ideals. For many you cannot simply stand up for sexual and racial rights. There is no room for moderation of any sort, and to claim you believe in just one tenant of the right, devalues you to them no matter your claims to beliefs on the left. You are only as good to some of these people as the strength of your commitment to their personal causes, and frankly, that's f'd up, and does much to fuel contempt for the very cause they are espousing.

More to the point of your article, You used the term social media activist and that is dead on accurate. Many of the people pushing cancel culture do it from a place of cultural moral superiority. They find the tiniest evidence that someone does not (or at some point in the past did not) jive with the level of cultural acceptance they have determined is acceptable, and therefore are worthy of excoriation - not for the purposes of education, discussion, or even to reform their beliefs, but to completely punish them, ruin them and diminish any opportunity for dialogue they may ever have again.

And it is done so gleefully.

That's the nefarious part of all of this.

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Feb 23, 2021Liked by Erik Kain

Thanks for this, Erik. This seems like an incident that could have been prevented - if the relevant publications had more opinion/political diversity. (Or maybe not - perhaps these things are just driven by social media.)

So, see you after next week's cancellation? I'm sure it will be diabolical.

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Yup. Great read. Dunno if there's anything I can add beyond that.

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Your comment of none of the articles seemingly having watched any videos is spot on and a point that I challenged on Twitter (where I usually avoid any argument because it's Twitter and utterly pointless). But in this case, people were saying it was good he quit and the videos were abhorrent, so I simply asked which ones? Which videos were the offenders as I'd like to evaluate them myself, could they name one vs did they just accept what they were told.

The one I asked simply deflected with a dismissive "oh I got owned" but no video. Someone else linked the "Celebration of Cultural Appropriation" which I was glad they at least picked an example.

I watched it and asked them what points were troubling. Specifically, I was curious:

Was a young black girl wearing full Scottish regalia and playing drums cultural appropriation?

Does Troy have a point that there is a difference in cultural appreciation, as he believes with the Utah College emblem being in homage to the local native American tribe, versus cultural appropriation? My specific question was whether the Utah college is respectful vs Cleveland Indians emblem being a caricature?

Wouldn't the UN's definition of criminalizing "cultural appropriation" extremely limit creatives of all cultures?

I was asking the person who presented this horrific video what they thought on these points.

Their response?

1. My definition of cultural appropriation wasn't even accurate, but they didn't expect me to argue in good faith. I noted it wasn't my definition, Troy's video takes the language direct from the UN's document. They deflected saying the UN doesn't have a say in it.

2. Everything I said was racist and gross. I pointed out I didn't say anything, I was asking them their opinion on Troy's points.

3. Shouting "debate me" doesn't make me right. I concluded wasting my time at this point noting that I was asking questions to have a conversation, not a debate.

So you're spot on and not only do the articles not examine Troy's videos, nor do I suspect the authors have viewed them with any intent to evaluate them, but the readers then take up the torches and pitchforks and set out to find the monster without doing an ounce of evaluation themselves.

Troy's latest comments are resoundingly important: Don't let others think for you. But that's exactly what people are doing.

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Hey there. I'm very much the left wing 'Bernie Sanders fan' type. And I've seen multiple videos of Troy Leavitt in the past. And as much as I disagree with him politically - he's clearly in the right wing libertarian field - in no way can that be used as an argument to shut him down or campaign for him to lose his job in this industry. I repeat, I disagree with him a lot. But he's not the quartering. He's not a troll. He advocates his point of view. And if anyone has a problem with that, we all have freedom to talk back, give our own points of view, criticize, discuss. And, btw, Troy Leavitt is a guy that actually responds to feedback. Unlike the fake progressive Resetera, where a mildly dissenting point of view will get you expelled. That's stupid, and in no way should we allow that to represent the left. Peace.

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Feb 24, 2021·edited Apr 20, 2022

Hey Erik. I am a fan of Troy Leavitt and have seen most of his videos. I want to thank you for this article. Just to let you know that all Troy did was criticise people for holding anti-gamer views and for attacking people being accused of sexual harassment/assault without listening to both sides. Troy has never said anything sexist, racist, homophobic or transphobic. Anyone who says that he does never watched a single video and only went off what Kotaku says, and Kotaku is known to do outrage clicks alot. And from what I've seen from other gamers that I've met and talked too, no one sees Kotaku seriously at all. After all, this is the SAME publication that went after Nintendo and Atlus over a lyric in a Persona 5 song, accusing it of being ableist and refusing to take the article down when fans called them out on it until a voice actress who worked on said game called them out for being terrible people. No one trust gaming journalists and everyday they prove exactly WHY no one outside of the truly ignorant folks trust them.

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Thanks, Erik. I have not watched anything from Leavitt’s channel, but I did read the Kotaku piece and it felt kind of... scary to me. Burn the witch for his opinions differ from ours.

The worst part of this attack is that the guy seems so genuinely excited about the game he’s making. And his politics aren’t anywhere in his social media posts related to it. Imagine if we started doing that in our own lives? Cathy from accounting is REALLY good at her job, but she’s a vocal Flat Earther so...

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I really, really dislike a lot of major news sources, gaming or otherwise. It's refreshing finding someone that looks at everything and can think clearly about a situation. I know there are more out there but trudging through all the rocks to find a gem is frustrating. I'm glad I found you though. Hope to read many more of your articles.

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this article is stupid. there is a valid position to be in where you hate Anita and Resetera, but also think running a quartering-wannabe youtube channel is cringe-worthy and unbecoming of someone in such a notable position. I doubt this HP game is even going to be good, as this guy has never worked on a good game. So I don't know why he was given the Lead Designer role despite being mediocre and an out-of-touch boomer. tldr fck off erik

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