[quote=“Zephro, post:1278, topic:13”]
I’m almost entirely baffled whenever this happens honestly as it’s been the RPS style forever pretty much. shrug. I liked the article and found the attempt to look at the code to dig around in what’s going on quite a refreshing and interesting perspective. No problems with how it was written either.
[/quote]I suspect a lot of the people declaring that they’re “leaving forever” were either very casual readers who didn’t interact much with RPS in the first place, or haven’t really been reading it much at all.
The thing is that articles like this get linked in a bunch of places:
On the game’s Steam news page, which naturally attracts attention from people who don’t usually follow RPS that closely or who have previously only seen occasional things. Many of the people who read RPS before and didn’t get that it does cultural analysis articles like this are ones whose experience has been heavily through that.
On the game’s official Reddit and other places where its fans congregate, which naturally attracts a bunch of its hardcore fans - people for whom this particular piece is more likely to push their buttons.
On Reddit’s alt-right hangouts, since many of them have come to see videogames as a recruiting opportunity for their culture wars. (These people in particular, unlike the previous two groups, tend to be very big on thinking of themselves as tactical geniuses and are eager to say or do whatever they feel will win them their ridiculous culture wars. They are not stupid and know that “as a longtime reader, I’m outraged!” is going to be more impressive than “as some rando linked here by an angry thread in an alt-right subreddit, I’m outraged!”)
This is why articles like that (especially ones that touch on gender politics, which is a major obsession for the alt-right in videogames) tend to have a sudden flood of comments from mostly-unfamiliar names angry about it in indistinct meme-filled terms or declaring that they’re leaving forever. This is also why many of the people writing those sorts of comments don’t seem to have read the article at all - the angriest ones are there because they were linked in by posts that either gave them an inflammatory framing, or outright framed it as a chance to strike a blow on the forefront of their video game culture wars. To the most extreme ones, reading the article would be betraying the cause by allowing the enemy a foothold in your brain, after all; and the fact that it was written by someone in gender studies already tells them everything they feel they need to know.
Aside: I’m amused by the fact that the angry-ranty sorts of comments are simultaneously accusing the article of being driven by a sinister agenda and of being crude money-grabbing clickbait. One or the other, you know? If RPS is publishing these things because of John Walker’s sinister agenda, then by definition it’s not money-grabbing clickbait, right? Either they’re posting articles due to their deeply-held beliefs, or they’re posting them purely out of a cynical desire for clicks and cash - the two extremes aren’t compatible.
(Of course, the agenda thing, f you strip it of the hostile framing, isn’t really entirely untrue, in the sense that “analyze up sociological implications of games and the choices developers make, including ones related to gender” is legitimately on the site’s agenda.)