Intellectual bankruptcy, gaming, and schmuckbait

Sometimes, I wonder if it’s possible to create a schmuckbait-to-thinkpiece conversion ratio. It plays to both sides of the cultural political debate: Just find one thing that triggers a person, and they write some longform piece that is all about “THIS IS WHAT IS WRONG WITH EVERYTHING.” Sometimes, they even throw in some intellectual criticism as though to settle the score in a smart way. It’s fun, fascinating, and you can probably make a drinking game or bingo or both about whatever cultural tragedy du jour is a meme. And really, that’s what memes that trigger emotions are: Schmuckbait. We’ll be getting to our colleague and latest victim to this in a moment.

Given that I’ve recently acquired a Nintendo DS and have been playing the Zelda games on there with some enthusiasm after having been consoleless since 2007, you might think I have some opinions on #GamerGate/#GameOverGate/Zoe Quinn. I actually don’t, really. Been too busy living off Twitter lately (though a rebirth is in order). But more importantly, I’ve come to understand that once you bring gamers into an argument, you might as well take your ball and go play elsewhere before they start calling you a faggot who likes to be fudgepacked by niggers in the ass (redundancy intentional) or a camwhore slut who deserves to be raped and murdered (and lord help you if you’re non-white or TG). Why? Simple:

A group gathering on the Internet + anonymity and/or lack of consequences = High chance someone’s going to act like a fuckwad.

We who have had enough experience in the gaming business refer to this as the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory, or the GIFT. Supposedly devised either by Jerry Holkins or Mike Krahuliak (I think the former, since the latter just seems to have intellectual Tourette’s), it explains why most Internet discourse ends up turning into a shitstorm, more than anything else.  Gamers just happen to be specialists at this because, well, hormones + competitiveness + overstimulation = mental vomit. While this matter has long been limited to the forums and other dank locations of the Internet, Twitter and Tumblr and other social outlets have caused the GIFT to be amplified by 1800 decibels. It’s enough to punch out a black hole the size of the Solar System. Why? Our inane propensity to share things as though they were shiny. Even if it’s our own dick pix.