1. Someone has been compiling an archive of Giant Bomb videos, including premium content, on archive.org. There's a lot that isn't up yet, and to find some videos, you'll have to know the date of recording (cross-reference site info with the archive.org video title), but it's a useful, drive space-saving resource if you're worried about your favorite video going down with the ship.

  2. A few months ago, I wrote up a long piece about feeling there was nowhere to go for video game discussion that wasn't rah-rah fanboyish toxic faux-positivity or a Gamergate-ish cesspool, a large part of which was dedicated to leaving Giant Bomb's content following its headache-inducing reactions to allegations of worker abuse at Naughty Dog. I didn't post it because it didn't seem timely by the time I came back from hiatus, but hey! It looks like the broken clock is right again.

    Regardless of my own viewing habits, I don't want to see anybody lose their job, but if this does end up being the end, a lot of the crew seem ready for it. Real-life circumstances have not helped in that regard - 2020, COVID and the forced switch to streaming-only content, wildfires in their area, a general disinterest in modern games that may to a degree stem from much of the crew reaching middle age - but by the end of my time as a fan, they really had gotten outright antagonistic toward their viewership, and not (exclusively) for reasons such as boorish Gamergate-type behavior. Save for the truly execrable NeoGAF thread, outlets for discussing Giant Bomb's content have followed suit, refusing to entertain anything but slavish adoration toward GB, either in reaction to this turn by the staff, or perhaps just coincidentally, or perhaps - and this was part of that unpublished post - as part of a larger unfortunate turn in the political left, of which I am firmly part, toward lockstep intolerance of disagreement in any form.

    I'm not parroting the "get woke, go broke" idiots: the ideas games communicate and how they represent people merit examination and discussion. I'm addressing the cancel culture-type politicization that's primarily concerned with tribalistically rallying around one's own in an unthinking manner and yelling at people. Giant Bomb's treatment of the notoriously apolitical Dan, for example, got pretty bad by the end of his tenure and was a big factor in my choosing to disengage with site content. It wasn't that he opposed his coworkers at Giant Bomb East politically (he didn't); he just didn't engage with politics as much as the rest and, by his own explanation, wouldn't stick his oar into discussions where he wasn't fully aware of what was going on (an attitude more should adopt). He just wanted to enjoy video games in a relatively simple, innocent manner, and that was enough to lump him in with the troglodytes: for the others increasingly to dismiss him as anything but the Goofus foil to their enlightened Gallants. I stopped listening to the Beastcast, for instance, as a result of their bizarre treatment of Dan during their Death Stranding coverage, where, despite Dan being the site's leading authority on Kojima and despite them sharing his negative opinion of the game, Alex and Vinny were constantly interrupting Dan and putting him down, refusing to allow him to finish a single thought. This behavior was defended by fans on the site based on the assertion that listeners could "guess" what Dan thought and didn't need him to speak: it was unreasonable to expect to hear his opinion on a podcast dedicated to video game opinions on which he had been hired to appear.

    Yes, we're all familiar with Dan and pirates and egg whites - but he's an entertaining, interesting, and, yes, knowledgeable voice in games criticism (that why he was hired, after all). Near the end, though, his coworkers found it more valuable to malign him reflexively and not engage with anything he had to say. I think that attitude - that kind of poisonous, excessive political antagonism that's more in the service of honing a personal image; where you have to dismiss more and more people as the lowest common denominator in order to keep building yourself up - has combined with an exhaustion for the medium to yield the aforementioned impatience for their audience among Giant Bomb's staff.

    Giant Bomb's made some terrific content that's made my days better, but they didn't want me, or seemingly anyone else, around by the apparent end. I watched the Bombcast today for the first time in a long while to hear the staff's reaction to the news; instead, they ignored it and pretended the deal wasn't happening - not even a "hey, we can't comment on this, sorry" bread crumb for the viewers. Dan, meanwhile, tackled the issue head-on at the top of his stream, and, while making it clear that he was working with limited information and could offer no definitive conclusions, gave a straight-shooting, honest appraisal of the situation for his audience. I made this remark upon Dan's departure, and it looks like it's gonna stand the test of time: he may end up being the wisest of them all.

Add comment

Security code