Forget the headline of this article, just listen to this thought experiment for a moment. What if I told you about a company that made the most amazing cartoons for years? Cartoons that were entertaining for kids, but also smart enough for the adults to get something out of them. You anticipate almost every movie and series that comes from them because they are quality art. In fact, they revolutionize entertainment.
Now what if I told you that the creator of this cartoon studio had some shady practices? Practices like running their competition out of business despite the competition making just as quality entertainment. Practices such as manipulating copyright law to keep their main shining star under their control for the rest of eternity. Practically running a sweat shop of animators and eventually buying everything that was worth it for the profit.
Well, that’s Disney, if you couldn’t already tell.
In a previous article, I talked about the problem the video game industry has in terms of its reporting and the history video games have with its dishonest media. However, there is a smaller, more unheard of issue that needs to be addressed. This E3 it was mentioned that one game developer by the name of Tim Soret (the director of “The Last Night” at Odd Tales studios) once considered himself a member of #GamerGate, and like you’d expect it to, the story exploded.
That’s just the half of it though, becase a lot of Anti-GG people were posting tweets (and whatnot) calling him garbage, and telling people to boycott his game and for his publisher to not publish the game just due to his involvement with GG. So this led up to Soret having to apologizing for his affiliation with GG (which he did on site during E3 2017), and say that the game does not represent antifeminism or anything of the like, that his game and his personal opinions are separate. Fair enough, I suppose. As it was Soret’s decision to do so (keep in mind that he was under a lot of pressure from SJW’s and Anti-GG folks to make this statement). Nevertheless, did he really need to say that publicly?
I ask this because I believe one’s personal life and their professional lives can be, and should be, separate. Simply put, he shouldn’t have to apologize because I know that no matter what side of the fence he’s on, his game should stand for itself. If his game is garbage, let it be garbage, and if it’s good, let it succeed. In this way, we let the creator succeed or fail on the merits of his ability to create a work of art.
Even so, for some reason, a large group of people cannot see past that. In fact, several people (who, let’s be real, probably weren’t going to buy the game anyways) say that they’re not going to buy the game based purely on a tweet he made three years ago (it wasn’t until after the first explosion that people started looking through more recent tweets to suggest continued involvement). How petty can one person get? Even after he apologized in public and on Twitter, they stated they would never support him (as seen in the picture down below).
I think this is because it comes from the same group of people who say that they won’t support this developer cannot separate politics from anything. To these people, politics are everything. For some reason, people cannot separate a work of art from the individual who made it, and that’s an issue.
So just as one can enjoy and appreciate the art of Disney movies and series while separating and disapproving of the company practices, one should be able to separate a game developer from their work and be able to enjoy the game and love it as a work of art while disliking the opinions of the developer. It’s especially important to point out that the effects Disney had on history are vastly larger and more menacing than saying that one believes in egalitarianism over feminism because feminism is becoming more skewed and saying that one believes that video game journalism needs to be fixed. Unfortunately, there are people who take everything personally, even if it has nothing to do with themselves.
It’s really gotten out of hand, and the publishing company feeling the need to call the developer naïve for his previous opinions is absolutely ridiculous. I do feel that the developer should have a disclaimer in his bio, just to show some distance between his personal life and his professional life. However, to my knowledge, I’m not entirely sure if he made those comments before he started a deal with his publisher, which would make it almost pointless. Nevertheless, I still have a lot of respect for Tim Soret for his ability to keep moving forward. So I wish I had a PC that could effectively run his game, because I’d love to play it for myself to support him (I am very motivated to do so since “The Last Night” looks like an awesome game that I could appreciate).
I do believe that developers themselves should also be able to approach an idea with care, being able to introduce a concept into a work of art without forcing it down the audiences’ throats. The forceful shoving of politics for the sake of representing that side of politics in games is completely unacceptable, and I wouldn’t knowingly buy a game that I knew was trying to force its politics on me even if I agree with it, due to the nature of how it generally turns out in-game. If a game can set up a world that represents a political idea and it is well-written and handles the idea maturely, then I have no problem with the game. I’m sure that “The Last Night” is capable of this.
Even so, some of the reactions people have had to the reveal are atrocious. Such as the Ubisoft developer (Louis Gauthier ) who stated that he will be pirating The Last Night to prevent Tim Soret from getting “monies”. That’s a completely immature way to handle someone having a different opinion to yourself, and it makes me wonder if he’d be okay with someone pirating his game to also prevent him from getting any “monies”. I do not condone pirating of games, and urge that no one pirates Louis Gauthier’s games, not that I have to say that. As it’s simply common sense not to do so.
So in essence, if there is anything I want the reader to get from this it’s this: A person’s professional life does not necessarily reflect on their private life, and refusing a new experience to yourself specifically due to disagreement with a person is the wrong way to go about the situation. If the quality of the work is good, it’s good despite of the opinions of the creator. Just as a bad work is bad no matter what the developer personally believes.
And with that said, what’s your take on this matter? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section down below!
Robin Ek – Editor and co-writer
This is a personal opinion of the writer, and it doesn’t necessarily represent the other writers (nor The Gaming Ground´s) opinions.
I consider myself a supporter of GamerGate.
The Gaming Ground
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