The idiots who threatened Call of Duty: Black Ops II developers are not the only problem in the gaming community. You also have people who cynically excuse such threats (see examples in the comments sections here and here). What’s the common thread? Irrational hatred toward Call of Duty developers.
People who tell developers they should die in a fire, for example, are the lowest scum. People who suggest that Activision developers deserved these threats are not far behind, though. Some people might have a problem with me saying that. Here’s my message to such people: grow a pair of moral balls.
How could anyone say that developers deserve violent threats? The comments I reference offer a multitude of idiotic reasons. First, there’s the idea that since Call of Duty is accessible to a very broad audience, Activision developers are simply asking to be threatened by jackasses. I’m still trying to wrap my brain around this moronic idea. The implication here is that Activision shouldn’t have made a game accessible to such a wide audience. How does making a game accessible mean that you deserve to be threatened by those who buy your game? Of course, this idea is also tinged with hatred for “casual gamers” or people who aren’t “real gamers.” There are a lot of stuffy, elitist gamers who think they’re hot shit and that people who play Call of Duty and the like are inherently stupid and immature. You would think that these intelligence police could deduce that people who threaten others over a game are a very vocal minority. You would also think that these intelligence police could realize that playing a certain game has little bearing on one’s overall smarts and maturity.
Then there are the comments about children. How only children would make such threats toward Call of Duty developers. Don’t be so sure of that. There are a lot of people over the age of 18 who are extremely capable of saying incredibly immature and Neanderthalic things. The evidence is all over Twitter and Facebook. Check ‘em out if you haven’t. Better yet, don’t attribute the remarks to any group of people until you have evidence that directly connects the threats to the group. Offering anecdotal evidence about 13-year-olds yelling obscenities online doesn’t cut it.
These violent threats are, unfortunately, not limited to the gaming community. When The Dark Knight Rises received its first negative review on Rotten Tomatoes, some Batman and movie fans threatened the life of the critic who wrote the review. Amazingly, director Christopher Nolan excused the remarks, suggesting that some people are just really passionate about Batman.
That’s the problem with our society. Some people do something wrong and dumb, such as threatening someone over a damn game or review, then others excuse it based on almost equally wrong and dumb logic that makes everyone look like a bunch of raving lunatics.
Quite frankly, it’s time for anyone with half a brain to start calling out those who excuse violent threats. Perhaps if we can get all of the sane people on the same moral page, something can be done about the threats that are being made.