Southron Swords, Part Two
It’s fun to sit on ice.
The original plan, hazily enunciated, was to have Robert, Mike, and myself all enter the same abattoir and have them done all at once, like what happens when there is a Salon Excursion where ladies might roll deep and nails are buffed to a gleam. The number of participants is really the only commonality, now that I think of it. The Venn Diagram is very sparse in the middle; there is only a tiny sliver of conceptual overlap, vanishingly small.
Steam removed a Greenlight game for content reasons and then reversed their decision more or less in the space of a day. Every twitch of this game has been covered breathlessly by a media which has claimed at each juncture that the game is a vile affront, which has only raised its stature. If it were truly their intention to exile the game, they are the ones with the power to do so; as we have seen, when they want to exile a story, they are more than capable of it. But what they have done instead is to perform this morality play for clicks because that is what they do, even when it is in contradiction of their stated aims.
I don’t care about this specific game. You will see it named nowhere in the piece. But I care with great intensity about the weaknesses it exposes in our systems.
You will go crazy if you try to find a coherent rationale when it comes to these mediastorms. There is no solid beam anywhere in the lattice structure. If it’s bad for [entity.speaker] it’s bad, and if it’s good for them, it’s good. If it’s bad for their opponents, it’s good, and if it’s good for their opponents, it’s bad. It’s not political in the classic sense, the bright, legible two-party distinction which has lost some prescriptive power, though it certainly has political ramifications. The idea that you can believe in a culture strong enough to accept all comers without personally subscribing to the worst ideas of humanity used to be a thing. Remember when it was a thing? It’s like we’ve been playing this rhetorical game so long that all the pieces are now on the opposite sides. And we start again.
Removal from Steam is not removal from Target or K-Mart. I want to make this point very clear: like the metaphor in the introduction, there is only a slight overlap. It reminds me of the thing with Rap Genius, where they were perceived as manipulating traffic and Google essentially kicked them off the fucking Internet. Steam is not “a” store, Steam is “the” store. It cannot be a zone where this kind of prescription and paternalism takes place. When the next war comes, when they hear their own arguments to constrain wild culture thrown back in their face, I trust they will manage it with grace and equanimity.