I was scrolling through tweets and then couldn’t not notice this one comment below. I was there gawking because it’s truly amazing:
well at least we can stop making shit for them eh? ‘Hi guys!!’ More like ‘bye guys’
— Leigh Alexander (@leighalexander) March 7, 2019
if the top 10 “influencers” aren’t featuring your indie game because they are featuring Fortnite, then who are you ‘bye-ing’ to? They did that to you, that’s the problem the article is supposedly bringing up.
They DON’T WANT your game.
Influencers aren’t charities whose job is to help a struggling indie developer. They are caught in the same cynical machine where they need the money to justify their work. And they have to build and please their public, otherwise they’re done. But then, I (maybe wrongly) assume that the tweet is so full with spite that you probably don’t consider that a legitimate “job.” That would be curious, because you can then easily find other groups of people that likely won’t consider *yours* a serious “job.” So that would be at least hypocritical, but also presumptuous on my side, since it’s just an interpretation of what was written in that tweet.
But what I find irritating in that tweet is that implicit self-assigned role as a spokesperson. She’s inciting other developers to rebel from the tyranny of these influences. A call for independence from these pathetic kids who get paid for playing games, so speculating on work done by others, and then even betraying the indie hand that gave them their status. That’s of course the rhetoric.
It’s because it’s an emphatic “we” that the message is political in the WORST way. And that’s also why games in general are being flooded by politics. Not real, deep political meaning, that absolutely belongs to gaming as every other field, since politics is important and pervasive, but its worst part that already infects the main political field: shallow rhetoric, meant to be abrasive toward some out-group, while grooming for consensus.
That one message is filled with resentment and rhetoric. It tries to rile the public and find consensus from its side. It’s purely leverage, tactics, posture.
Because what are you gonna do?
Those top 10 influencers don’t care about your game. Buh-bye. Go cry somewhere else.
Let’s say instead there’s a top-80 one that actually asks you the game. He does want to feature your game, and he might still have some significant numbers to give your $10 game a not so irrelevant publicity. But nope. You said fuck them, right? Burn those bridges out of immature resentment.
Who cares, right? You aren’t the “we” who do make games and live or die by the success of that endeavor. You are the “you” who profits on riling the public through rhetoric and pretends to teach how it’s done. You are posturing. A (pretend) Pied Piper of the indie industry that drives them to drown, and then comes back to get paid.
We have on one side the big AAA publishers who administer their business so that only who’s obsequious is allowed review copies. Tending their garden through an elegant blackmailing practice. And how are indie developers instructed to behave? *Exactly the same*.
Oh, that will surely work so well.
It’s so disingenuous.