The recent protests and riots that have occurred in the wake of the unfortunate death of George Floyd have caused many people in the video game and entertainment worlds to jump on the virtue signaling bandwagon and engage in moral exhibitionism.
In an article about gaming companies who are making social media statements about diversity, inclusion, racism, and using slogans like “black lives matter,” Massively Overpowered’s Bree Royce made a special effort to do some virtue signaling herself.
Some journalists never miss an opportunity to virtue signal about diversity (even when there is no diversity) as David G. Brown reported at Return of Kings.
Apparently this news is of such vital importance to the video gaming community that it required an update to include more tweets from other woke companies in the industry.
In the first comment to her own article she posted the following stern warning:
This entire statement from Bree Royce reeks with the stench of moral superiority and sanctimony. Treating your readers like unruly primary school students who might do something naughty while the teacher is out of the classroom, is condescending and uncalled for.
Sentence 1 Analysis
“As a reminder for our readers and guests, we pride ourselves on a diverse staff and readership, and we aim to keep it that way.“
It’s regrettable that she takes horrible tragedy of a dead black man to “remind readers” about how diverse MOP’s staff and their readers are. It’s shameless boasting and puffery. All that should matter to a serious journalist and to a reader is that the articles are well-written, informative and interesting. The unquestioned high moral character of the MOP staff or the pigmentation of their skin is irrelevant.
I have no idea who Bree Royce is or the color of her skin, her politics, or her sexuality. And, honestly, I don’t care.
But Bree Royce seems to care. She wants everyone to know that MOP staff, and her readers are diverse. What does this mean? Is she talking about racial diversity or sexual diversity or gender diversity?
Bonus marks to Bree for including the word “pride” in Pride month.
MOP Staff Diversity
Let’s talk about the diversity of the MOP staff and the implications.
Does MOP have an affirmative action program? If so, how long has it been in existence?
While we are on the topic, what is the exact makeup of racial, gender, and sexual orientation of the MOP staff anyways?
Are there any conservatives, Republicans, Trump supporters, or traditional Christians on the staff of MOP?
If not, what measures are they taking to remedy this lack of diversity?
Will white straight male authors be denied future employment at Massively Overpowered if not enough black, lesbian, transgender authors exist there?
Ms. Royce seems to know a lot about the diversity of the MOP audience. She takes pride in it. But how does she even know the racial, gender, or sexual orientation of her readers?
Why is having diverse readers a good thing? Please explain.
How does Bree “we aim to keep it this way” Royce intend to enforce the diversity of her readers?
Will she do this by having more stories about identity politics, LGBT issues and so-called “marginalized” people in gaming?
Sentence 2 Analysis
“Racism and disinfo about the current political situation are not welcome here, so don’t waste your or our time.“
No? Really? She forgot to mention that waterboarding, human sacrifice, cannibalism, and discussion about the Dukes of Hazard reruns are not welcome either.
However, I am convinced that having correct opinions that mirror the opinions of Ms. Royce and the MOP staff are most welcome on the forums. So post away loyal and obedient readers!
This sentence is a motherhood statement done for virtue signaling purposes. It goes without saying that racism and disinformation are not welcome at my website either, but I don’t insult the intelligence of my readers by putting a warning on my articles with the intent of pre-silencing readers. Nobody likes trolls and comments that are not constructive. I get that. I’ve been moderating this website for 15 plus years and I’ve been subjected to abusive trolls and inflammatory comments.
As American cities are looted and burned to the ground with rioters and looters killing cops and innocent people, Royce knows full well that the topic of George Floyd and the protests/riots is controversial and highly charged and that her readers are likely to have different opinions on this issue or she would not have felt the need to warn readers about it.
By calling out all those terrible racists and crypto-bigots in her audience, she built up a straw-man and preemptively tore it down before anyone could even respond. How brave!
And what is exactly wrong with having different and diverse opinions?
What’s wrong with viewpoint diversity?
This is a clear attempt on Royce’s part to control comments on the MOP forums by threatening users with some form of punishment if they say anything “racist” or spread disinformation. This is all about controlling the narrative and the Overton Window of MOP’s comments section.
Due to overuse and misuse, the term racism has lost most of its meaning. Saying that “it’s okay to be white” or even “all lives matter” is now considered racist and beyond the pale by the arbiters of morality in our culture.
In addition, by influencing and controlling the content of the comments, it results in group think where everyone has essentially the same opinion.
MOP readers are not children and should not be treated as such by finger wagging staffers. Their readers should be able to speak their minds in a polite and constructive way about this issue without being browbeaten and intimidated in advance by a staff member.
Bree’s statement about disinformation is also troubling. By saying this, she is implying that somehow she is privy to all the facts and has the correct opinion of the circumstances of George Floyd’s tragic death and the resulting protests and riots. Therefore, any reader that challenges her version of events will not be welcome and it would be natural to assume any problematic comments would be deleted by her or the MOP staff.
This kind of paternalistic attitude on the part of MOP toward their forum posters unintentionally shields them from being exposed to new ideas and different perspectives. If the only purpose of allowing readers to post comments is to create an echo chamber so they can agree with you, then why bother having them at all?
More Facts About George Floyd are Coming to Light
Before video game studios engage in moral preening by tweeting hollow platitudes about diversity and “Black Lives Matter” it would be helpful for them to at least do some basic research but they do not, it’s far easier to repeat vapid slogans.
Unlike the mainstream media which has given its readers no context and background on this story, I have done some digging into what is going on.
One fact is certain: we still do not have all the facts in the George Floyd case.
In the past few days, we learned that Mr. Floyd and the police officer charged with his death knew each other as they worked off-duty at the same bar. Many people have made a dangerous assumption that the police officer held him down because of racism. There is no proof of this. Given their previous relationship as co-workers, the assumption that the cop had racist motivations may be false.
We also just learned from the medical examiner that George Floyd died of a heart attack and was high on fentanyl and had other health problems:
The ME gave the manner of death as “Homicide,” saying, “Decedent experienced a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement officer(s).” They listed other significant conditions as “Arteriosclerotic and hypertensive heart disease; fentanyl intoxication; recent methamphetamine use.”
Of course, this does not justify him being being the recipient of police brutality which I strongly abhor.
More information about Mr. Floyd’s criminal past has come to light and it’s not pretty. Here’s an image of a Facebook post by a black woman named Cicilia Regina who shared some information:
Nobody Protested for Tony Timpa
By now, everyone knows the name of George Floyd but I bet most people have never heard the name of Tony Timpa. Tony was a white man and schizophrenic off his meds who called the police for help but instead was held down by white police officers, while one put his knee on his neck for 14 minutes.
Tony could not breathe. Tony pleaded for his life. The police officers laughed while Tony was dying.
After Tony died, there were no protests. There were no riots. American cities were not burned and looted. The video game industry didn’t tweet in support of him and his bereaved mother. After Tony died, there was just silence.
Why? It was because Tony was white. His tragic death at the hands of the police didn’t fit the diversity and inclusion narrative.
I am pleading with everyone to stop and wait for all the facts to come out. But the video game industry, big tech and the corrupt media would rather scare Americans and whip them into a frenzy to virtue signal in order to distract you from the terrible job they are doing.
Western civilization needs a robust but honest free press. Sadly, today’s breed of journalists have lost respect for the incalculable value of free speech, dissent, and inquiry in our society. They believe in free speech but just for speech they agree with. Speech they do not agree with is labeled as “hate speech.”
Modern journalism is primarily about political and social advocacy. Journalists are now the self-appointed guardians of morality, truth, and cultural orthodoxy. Wrong think must not be tolerated.
Many websites no longer even allow comments. To their credit, a least MOP still allows comments, but I’m very worried about the chilling effect of disclaimers that we just saw in Royce’s article.
PRO TIP: When you publish a controversial article, you can reasonably expect controversial replies to that article.
If both MOP and Bree Royce didn’t want their readers to share their opinions on this issue they could have easily avoided doing a story about it. But no, Bree Royce wanted to show solidarity with the leftist video game industry and virtue signal, so they ran this puff piece article to generate some organic SEO, and goodwill from the industry that they cover.
Reciprocity and virtue signaling on social media is a powerful tool that helps individuals and gaming websites build influence with video game studios. Now that MOP has shown they are supportive of big tech’s cultural Marxist agenda, they will most certainly get more exclusive interviews and previews of future video games.
Over the years, MOP has shied away from controversy. They refused to alert their readers about the menace of identity politics grifting that has infiltrated the video game industry. When gaming journalists conspired to attack gamer culture with a coordinated series of gamers are dead articles, MOP was nowhere to be found.
Conversely, when video game studios indulge in diversity and LGBT virtue signaling, it seems MOP is always there to lend a hand with the publication of promotional “news” articles. I think it’s very obvious what side of the political and cultural fence that the MOP staff is on.
MOP has some talented writers that I respect. There is no doubt that we as MMORPG gamers owe a debt to MOP for continuing to publish news and opinion articles that have helped to keep this genre alive. I’m just saddened to see how identity politics and virtue signaling has incrementally infiltrated this venerable site. Massively Overpowered, you are better than this.