5 Stories That Prove Gaming Has The Dumbest Scandals
Video games have given us a lot of entertainment over the years, what with engaging gameplay, impressive graphics, and occasionally semi-coherent storylines. But there's one underrated part of the package: stupid-ass controversies. Something about gaming generates the dumbest scandals humanly possible. Like the time when ...
A YouTuber Comes Back Three Years After Faking His Death
A weird thing about YouTube personalities is that we have no idea who the hell most of these people are. That account posting funny gameplay videos could belong to a Vietnamese grandma, or a dog who learned to use a computer, or someone dealing with a terminal illness. The latter, unfortunately, seemed to be the case with Sketchek, a popular YouTuber making Team Fortress 2 videos.
In 2015, Sketchek announced he had about a year left to live, due to some sort of disease ("a problem with my nervous system"). So he'd understandably decided to spend his final days doing something other than recording himself playing video games. He dropped one last video ...
... and vanished. Fans, teammates, and random people on the internet mourned him. Team Fortress 2's developers even named a new ability after him. Years later, fans were still leaving comments under his old videos just to say how sad they were that he was dead. But don't worry, he got better!
-- Jesus, 33 CE
Wow, did he beat his illness?! Nope, because he never had it. As Sketchek confessed in a February 2019 video, he decided to fake his death because he'd grown bored of TF2 and gaming in general, and none of his other ideas for a final video were attention-grabbing enough. A "best of" montage simply doesn't have the same punch as making your fans admit they cried, you know?
He decided to un-kill himself after three and a half years because he'd started missing the game, and also to say sorry for the whole "making thousands of people feel shitty for absolutely no good reason" thing. Hey, we've all been there, buddy.
Fans took this turn of events ... disturbingly well. It's 2019. "My favorite YouTuber is no longer dead" is what passes for normal now.
A "Sixth-Grader" E-Sports Star Turns Out To Be In High School
No matter how good you are at a game, somewhere in the world is a little kid ready to end you. There's no better example of this than RizArt, a Japanese grade-schooler who drew international attention last November when he broke the Fortnite world record for kills. Usually people with over 30 kills get their own Netflix series and a film starring Zac Efron, but all RizArt got was 100,000 new YouTube subscribers and an invitation to a $500,000 Fortnite tournament. He was fully set up to be the poster child for 12-year-olds trying to convince mom that gaming all day is a good career move.
The only problem was that RizArt wasn't actually 12. For the first time in non-entrapment history, someone on the internet was pretending to be under 13 instead of the other way around.
It all started when other players mistook RizArt for a child, instead of the fresh-faced, high-voiced 16-year-old he was. RizArt didn't correct them, figuring it would be a good gimmick for his YouTube channel. But then the lie snowballed as he got more famous and became known as "the strongest grade schooler in Japan." RizArt says his teammates on his e-sports team, Crazy Raccoon, helped him decide to come clean. Which probably had something to do with the fact that they'll be at tournaments soon, and the inevitable Shazam!-type explanations probably aren't gonna fly.
In his apology video, RizArt promised to donate three months of his earnings to charity and pledged to shave his head. That last part runs the risk of making him look like an actual baby and just making the problem worse, but it's the thought that counts.
PUBG Developers Remove Accidental Nudity, Gamers Lose Their Shit
The characters in PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds aren't really intended to look sexy, as evidenced by the fact that there's a Jared Leto Joker costume. That changed when players noticed the female character model had suddenly gone from having a smooth, Barbie-style bathing suit area to something distractingly realistic.
Game developer (and PUBG player) Jennifer Scheurle politely pointed out the change on Twitter, and the game's director was quick to say that it was a mistake caused by the use of an old model made by an artist from outside the studio. It's weird that an old model would pop up again out of nowhere, but we find it hard to believe that no players had so much as glanced at a female character's crotch in several months. The devs then quickly, and without any sort of friction, reverted to the more discreet model. Pretty cool to have the community talk about a problem that was then swiftly solved, and that was that ... until the sweatiest part of the internet caught wind of it.
Someone must have lit up the Incel Signal, because the short Twitter exchange which led to the correction was swiftly flooded with people upset that their precious digital camel toe had been CENSORED. How dare a woman point out a move that was at best weird, and at worst a mistake the devs would obviously want fixed?
Some of the complainers were dumb enough to admit that they didn't even play the game. They just heard about other people possibly getting outraged and thought, "Oh HELL no, not on my watch." Welcome to the internet, where irony is dead and nothing matters!
Metal Gear Solid Fans Mistake A Real Person For Viral Marketing
In 2015, a neurosurgeon named Sergio Canavero claimed he would become the first doctor to successfully conduct a human head transplant. And it would totally happen by the year 2017, just you wait! Crazy as that already sounds, everything can be made crazier with the addition of gamers. It all started when someone noticed an uncanny resemblance between Dr. Canavero and a doctor seen in the trailer for Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
Coincidence? No, impossible. Fans went down the rabbit hole to find more and more undeniable connections between this real-world scientist and MGSV. The game deals with the loss of limbs and phantom pain -- a subject Canavero has written about. Canavero did a TED talk at Limassol, Cyprus, and "TED Limassol" is an anagram for "Solid Metals" (or "Metal Solids"). Also, a logo shown during the talk resembles a scar on Solid Snake's head. Head scar. Head transplant. It all fits!
And then there's the time Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima tweeted the words "Heading off" with a picture of a helicopter. Clearly, the game is about Snake losing his head in a helicopter incident, and Dr. Canavero puts him back together. There's no other explanation.
Oh, except for the actual explanation.
The character was modeled after actor Ian Moore, who happens to look like Canavero from certain angles. Eventually, the rumor reached Dr. Canavero himself, who was like, "What the hell is a Metal Gear?" (We've been playing these games for 20 years, and we don't know.) He even floated the idea of suing Kojima. We're guessing he never got around to doing that head transplant because he learned there's way more money in game development.
"Bully Hunters" Goes From Noble Idea To Embarrassing Mess
The concept behind the Bully Hunters seemed sound. It would be a group of elite female gamers devoted to tracking down and schooling the dickwads who harass others in online games. Add a sassy robot mascot, and that's a hit '90s TV series. The idea was that you could ask for help through their website, and a Hunter would join your game and utterly annihilate the harassers. Then everyone starts clapping, the bullies abandon their evil ways, and the Bully Hunter logs off into the sunset.
Of course, that's not how it worked in real life.
Let's start with the fact that the first thing you see in their stream is a giant ASCII dick.
Their first (and only) livestream was supposed to show real examples of the Bully Hunters helping casual players, but viewers quickly realized it was all staged. There was a Q&A with two psychologists about online harassment, but it wasn't clear how this project would do anything to mitigate the problem. Is it fun to humiliate bullies? Hell yeah. But remember that most men who harass women in online games are already shitty players. You're only leaving them angrier and more frustrated, and they'll take that out on someone else.
It also turned out that the group's spokesperson, a popular Twitch streamer, was spreading some misleading stats and had used abusive language herself a few months earlier. Then there's the small fact that the whole project was completely impractical. What about games where you can't join others mid-match? Do you help them beat someone else in the next match to make them feel better? How do you make sure the harassed parties aren't merely random jackasses trying to level up?
After the cringeworthy stream, sponsors began backing into the bushes Homer-Simpson-style, and the marketing agency behind everything pulled the plug. On the upside, toxic dudes who lose matches to all-girl teams now have one less excuse to tell themselves.
For more, check out 6 Ways Gamers Have Taken The Fun Out Of Gaming - Destiny Parody:
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