The Weekly Rip on Gotham: Spirit of The Goat

I think I might start doing this in bullet-point form, every week; for as much as I can pick at the themes, story and performances every week – as well as wonder where the programme itself is heading off into – it’s much easier just to pick fault with individual things that are happening on screen, like this:

 why I'm ready to stop watching Gotham

  • At the latest crime scene, ­Detective Bullock flat out calls Dr Nygma, “Enigma”. Did absolutely everyone miss this before it made it to air? Or even off the set that day? Unless Nygma’s trying to hype up some sort of rap name around the office, this was ridiculous.
  • While we’re on the topic, Nygma has more screen time this week, for no reason at all except to tease either a) a romance with Kringle from Records, or b) his turn into the Riddler – which would be completely unwarranted at this point. I just don’t like him very much, there’s no need for that character to be Nygma; a crime lab guy to fulfil the police procedural aspect alone would be just fine; no need to make him a future Bat-villain.
  • A newspaper report on Young Master Bruce’s pinboard says “Rumours swirling of Falcone-Maroni mob war”. If I were either Falcone or Maroni, I’d have that journalist taken ‘off the job’ for good, writing stuff like that. Maybe just me.
  • I jokingly said “she did it” at the first character onscreen who wasn’t immediately summed up with a catch-all description – and she bloody did. I’m not psychic, I just know when the details are being withheld for future plot progression. It’s not good writing.
  • And from the Cliché File: At one point, about Bullock, Dix literally says the line “he’s a loose cannon”. Jesus.

Follows on from ‘Why I’m Ready To Stop Watching Gotham’

Why I’m ready to stop watching Gotham: Part 2

Last time out, I addressed the need for the creators of FOX’s Gotham to slow their roll on the fast and furious character setups in the Batman mythology. Here I look at the other role which it attempts to fill, and why it isn’t doing police procedural properly.

why I'm ready to stop watching Gotham

Gotham as a police procedural

Considering its setting inside the city’s justice system – to expose the weaknesses that a grown-up Bruce Wayne would fight under the hood – Gotham needs to set out its stall as a solid police procedural drama.

And considering that Danny Cannon, whose previous producing credits include the three CSI series to date, is on board as executive producer, you would hope that at least some of the tenets practiced and preached on those programmes would be faithfully drawn from in order to satisfactorily solve each week’s case.

(And I’m not even talking about all the ones that don’t make sense here; y’know, the ones where they can identify the killer by blowing up a grainy photograph of the reflection in someone’s sunglasses – I’m talking about the ones where leads are accrued, followed up on and chased to their natural end both logically and inside a storyline.)

Unfortunately, I don’t think I’ve yet seen a case in Gotham which was solved through good deduction, proper procedure (that’s fair enough though, it brings the conflict) and any semblance of logic. When Gordon and Bullock visit a snitch in prison, he’s more than willing to give up information on the pokey-eye thing killer for no more than two cartons of cigarettes. Is that really all it took to get this info? Or did they simply need to bridge the gap between “we know nothing about Pokey Stick Man” to “we have everything we need on Pokey Stick Man” in as short a span of time as possible? The story development always threatens to make absolutely no logical sense, and that’s my biggest concern for the programme – there’s only so much “because Batman” they can get away with when such things are not even in the frame.

Bullock is my prime example here. When he gives Gordon that look of “relax rookie, I got this” I know that the very next thing we’ll see is Bullock slapping about a suspect who we have either a) no reason to suspect, or b) not even seen prior to this beatdown. There’s no logic, no rhyme or reason as to why we’re seeing Bullock doing his bad cop thing, except only to get over that he’s the one who does the bad cop thing. It doesn’t progress their investigation any, which is why it seems like a waste of screen time and nothing more than a show of ineptitude.

Harvey Bullock Gotham

Speaking of ineptitude, seeing Donal Logue attempt to channel a worn-down, world-weary detective doesn’t inspire any confidence that Bullock’s actually any good at his job. This is where Gotham metaphorically slaps the viewer in the face by saying “see, this is why the city needs Batman”, to which I reply “yeah, but I’m not expecting him to be in this programme for its entire duration, so why am I even watching it?”

As if you needed another example of Gotham’s finest incompetency, when The Balloonman’s second victim, Lt. Cranston, floated into the air, we caught a glimpse of his holster with gun inside. Such was the obviousness of the gun in the camera shot, I absolutely assumed he was going to use it to shoot the balloon and fall safely back to earth. But he didn’t. I was astonished.

Just as I was when Gordon found a piece of paper in the next episode with the letters “C, L, M” written on it. Because it’s a police procedural, we were treated to a shot of him having a really good hard think about that piece of paper. It may be just that I watch a lot of cop shows but I immediately assumed it was a list of surname initials. And it was. Fair enough, I didn’t know whose, but I definitely would’ve started looking for a match sooner than Jim did.

My argument here is this: if Gotham is a police procedural, then it’s one of the most watered-down and ineffectual ones I’ve ever watched. But if it isn’t, then what the hell else is it supposed to be?

Gotham has fast dropped to the bottom of my priority list of viewing. Business really needs to pick up soon if I’m to continue watching. And by that I mean, it needs to know which tone to concentrate on. More Batman villains? Great, chuck ‘em in, but set them up properly. Police drama? Great, but give them something more difficult to crack and don’t set the entire police force up as incompetent. I know Gotham needs a hero, but it’s going to need one sooner than I thought at this rate – which is contrary to the whole point of its existence.

CM Punk to write Thor for Marvel

CM Punk and Marvel Comics are to team up on a Thor issue out in January.

Not content with being one of the most popular and talented WWE Superstars and pro wrestlers in living history, the man formally known as Phil Brooks will write an upcoming story for Marvel Comics’ Thor annual.

CM Punk Marvel Comics Thor

According to the story on Marvel.com, Punk will be teaming up with fellow Marvel debutant and Eisner Award winner Rob Guillory (Chew, Image Comics) on a contribution to Thor Annual #1, out early next year.

Fans of CM Punk the wrestler will know of the five-time World Champion’s love for comics; having also written the foreword for the hardback edition of the Avengers vs X-Men crossover, for years he borrowed a catchphrase from Ben Grimm aka The Thing – “it’s clobberin’ time!” – during his ring entrance.

When asked by Ryan Penagos how all this came about, Punk confessed to having “pester[ed] people at Marvel” during the 2011 San Diego Comic-Con – where he also appeared at a WWE-Mattel press conference during his storyline of unemployment between contracts – where he met Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso among others.

Being so busy on a full-time wrestling schedule prevented Punk from taking up the opportunity sooner, but now that he’s retired from the ring, Punk has been able to work on his very first comics commission.

Thor Annual 2015 #1

Thor Annual #1 cover by Rafael Albuquerque

“So the idea was, let’s do a story about young Thor as kind of a brash, bratty teenager who’s like, ‘I’m totally worthy of this hammer…’ And it’s more or less like a drinking story. He’s gonna be sitting around with a few choice characters…and they’re all gonna be drinking, and Thor’s gonna basically be complaining about essentially why his dad won’t give him the keys to the car.”

Punk wants The Punisher

Any aspiring comics writer would kill for the chance that Punk’s got here, but as one of comic fandom’s most famed proponents (think Kevin Smith but with decades of physical graft to show for it) Marvel will definitely benefit from the opportunity to bring in new readers. It’s certainly the case for me; I’ve got very few Thor stories in my collection but I’ll certainly be interested to see what flavour CM Punk brings to the God of Thunder.

But according to Punk, Thor wasn’t the first character on his list.

“In my mind, for some odd reason, I’ve just got this Punisher story in my head, and I think it’s super, super awesome…I think that my Punisher story is pretty badass. So everything I do for Marvel is going to be leading up to, “Please just let me write my Punisher story.” So until they let me do that, you’re gonna get all kinds of other stories about all kinds of other characters until they satisfy this need I have to write Frank Castle.”

Now that will be something.

A Tune For Tuesday – from Mirror’s Edge

This week’s Tune For Tuesday is by a Swedish singer named Lisa Miskovsky. She’s an established Swedish musician who, among other achievements, performed at the final of Melodifestivalen 2012 – the national qualifier for Sweden’s Eurovision entry.

Her song, Why Start a Fire?, finished ninth while the winning entry, Euphoria by Loreen, went on to win the Eurovision Song Contest that year with the highest number of 12-point awards given by the judges in history.

But this one’s better anyway; it’s the official song to EA’s Mirror’s Edge soundtrack, sung with passion and drive, and itself with almost a million YouTube views. Not too shabby I’m sure you’ll agree, considering the game’s worldwide success.

Why I’m ready to stop watching Gotham: Part 1

Why the police-led Batman prequel fails on both counts.

When I found out that FOX was going to create a TV series chronicling the early career of detective James Gordon in Gotham City, I was initially sort of okay with it.

why I'm ready to stop watching Gotham

With DC already enjoying a lot of success through Smallville and Arrow, and The Flash into its first season, TV is the one place in which Marvel is forced to play catch-up.

And while Agents of SHIELD took a good few episodes of its first season to really settle into a good groove – and did it ever after the initial teething problems – I thought we’d be safe with a Gordon-led police procedural that shows glimpses of the world it will become.

After all, with Gotham being specifically pitched as “the early days”, the programme makers would’ve simply built up the life and career of an honest cop fighting corruption in the city where a hero would eventually rise – years down the line – to try and end it for good.

But only four episodes into its run on Channel 5 and I’m almost ready to bin Gotham, for two main reasons in which it fails to keep me interested – the two main areas in which it attempts to hook viewers.

As a precursor to Batman’s mythology it’s not only failing to set up its future supervillains properly, but in the police procedural side of things it barely even holds together believably – which can’t all be down to the somewhat supernatural roots of Batman’s universe because – like I said – they’re not being planted properly.

Batman mythology

Cobblepot. Falcone. Kyle. Nigma. Ivy. Five episodes in and we’ve already seen five pretty big components of Batman’s universe, even though Batman himself is years away. Even the introduction of young Bruce Wayne – whose parents’ murder is admittedly a good place to kick things off in the timeline – feels somewhat crammed in just to put over the city’s plight.

It being a Batman prequel, we do need to be made aware of the universe this takes place in. However, and more importantly, we’ve begun watching with full knowledge that it’s a Batman prequel, which makes cramming ALL these people in such a needless task.

Gotham is running roughshod over all the intricacies of setting up long-running character development in favour of some absolutely appalling telegraphing just to stitch it all together at far too brisk a pace. Without a gradual and cohesive set-up to and build-up of the universe – just like we got with Shield, and at the risk of boring viewers – it’s not going to make a lick of sense somewhere down the line. Not far down the line, at that.

The line “we don’t have time for your riddles, Nigma” was one of the very first – and very worst – offenders here. Dr Nigma is one of “the boys in the lab” at Gotham PD, the equivalent of NCIS’ Abby Sciuto or Greg Sanders in the first few seasons of the original CSI. It’s Nigma’s job to come in at certain points and break down to detectives Gordon and Bullock exactly what fibres were found on the vic, or what substances can be added to the chemicals at the factory they’ve busted to make explosives. It’s a component of most police procedurals and would’ve been filled by any new character if Nigma hadn’t assumed the role.

However, with the offending line being uttered minutes into Episode One, there’s no mystery left about him. Anyone who knows who Edward E. Nigma is, knows that one day he’ll be The Riddler, which means he may as well have a question mark drawn on a sign hung around his neck for all future appearances, in which he’s actually performing a key function of modern cop shows. It’s a horrible signposting of what’s to come.

Oswald Cobblepot

Oswald Cobblepot Gotham

Oswald Cobblepot’s entry into the universe was somehow even less subtle; he doesn’t like being called Penguin – not that we’ve got any reason why he even has that unfortunate nickname when introduced. And part of Gordon’s initiation into the seedy dealings of GCPD was to kill Cobblepot – his not doing so signifies that he’s a good man, and telling Cobblepot never to come back to Gotham was a good thing to do.

And had the storyliners had Cobblepot re-emerge at the end of the season as a wronged man seeking revenge with various criminal elements in tow, it would’ve been a good gap and worth the wait for his return as a fully-turned Penguin, ready for a good skirmish in the future. But oh look, there he is. In Episode Two. Being an over-the-top psychopath because he doesn’t like being called Penguin.

Cobblepot’s murdering the men who he hired to rob Maroni’s restaurant was a nice twist, but a move which would take some nerve and considerable resources to pull off. Given that Cobblepot has not been offscreen for more than two seconds per episode, we have no idea where he acquired either of those things – just that he’s a bit of a nutter. This would’ve worked beautifully with The Joker – precisely because he is a lot of a nutter and we can forgive the lack of foreshadowing for him – but did not square at all with Cobblepot’s victimised demeanour.

(Oh god, they’re going to absolutely ruin the Joker, aren’t they.)

Gotham’s creators must have been extremely worried about an early cancellation, so crammed as much in as they could to ensure that viewers would return for subsequent episodes.

The only danger now is that, as they run out of characters, even more of Batman’s future foes will need to be brought in to face off against Gordon. But as long as Gordon’s trying to stay alive in his own job thanks to endless corruption and mob violence, the villains will have even less time for their own character development.

Next time, I’ll look at the police procedural side of Gotham and ask whether it’s even supposed to be one.

2nd Blogging Birthday Q&A – Submit Your Questions #AskAS5

My second anniversary of writing a geek culture blog is 23rd November.

One of the most common traits of my geeky nature is my ridiculously short attention span, but later on this month I’ll be celebrating the second anniversary of my current run as a geek blogger; something I’ve been immensely proud of between the former Guide To Geekdom and this here site.

Alpha Signal Five - a Geek Culture Blog

I started blogging for two main reasons:

To get more involved in geek culture

Not that I felt I needed to start writing regularly in order to fit in – it’s a fairly common viewpoint that geeks go out of their way not to fit in sometimes – but writing for Alpha Signal Five (and on Geekocracy too!) has really allowed me to get more involved in seeing what’s out there, and who’s making it.

During the past two years I’ve had some great conversations with some great people, and I like to think I’ve boosted my own geek cred too, just a bit. Not to mention all the amazing stuff I’ve had the pleasure of reading, watching and playing with half an eye on praising once I’m back at the keyboard. It’s been a way to develop my interests and remind me of the things I want to get stuck into in future.

And with that, the other main reason:

To improve my writing

Because writing is the main thing I’d like to get stuck into. Aside from being lucky enough to write for a living at a marketing firm, keeping a blog has helped me sharpen my own skills of criticism and analysis. I now feel like I’ve got a good eye for what’ll get my readers interested and, more important to keep coming back.

But it’s as a way of expressing myself that I think I love it even more. God knows I love it when I get a nice comment on here, or get a good chat going on Twitter, but all that aside I think I’d still love blogging as a form of self-expression.

And with that in mind, I’ve had an idea for how best to celebrate my blogging birthday.

To bump my About page A Readers’ Q&A

So if there’s anything you want to ask me about my take on geek culture, or just something you’d like to know about me, go ahead:

I’ll pick and answer the best questions in a full Q&A post later on in the month. Happy asking!

A Tune For Tuesday Returns – Wrestling Anthem

In a swerve worthy of Vince Russo, the WWE waited until approximately two minutes before the expected debut of the Network last night to tell us UK fans that the switch on was delayed “until further notice”.

What a swizz.

640px-WWF_Champion_Bret_Hart

But never fear, because we’re going to have ourselves a bit of a relaunch on this very site.

Back again on Tuesdays, it’s the as-yet unnamed weekly music video, celebrating the best of geek culture.

And in honour of that Russoesque storyline turn, we’ll begin with one of the world’s finest wrestling anthems.*

*This might be a lie, but DAMN it’s 90s.

Bret Hart is one of the best wrestlers I’ve ever seen, but it’s a good job he could wrestle cos he never was much cop on the microphone – this song included. The line at the end where he says “there’s a new gun in town” – well, unless you won the WWF Championship in your very first match, you’re hardly a new gun are you?

Then again, everyone on there is a bit rubbish. There’s only the Big Boss Man who looks remotely comfortable, and that’s cos he gets to swing his nightstick about while he talks.

And if that didn’t cheer you up, let’s have an actual bonus wrestling match from 2000. The debut of…

insipid-taz-commentary

From Royal Rumble 2000. Let’s treat ourselves to Tazz throwing Kurt Angle about like a ragdoll.

Hope that cheered you up. Now I’m off to work on my promos.

WWE Network UK launch details

Monday 3 November launch date for WWE Network – mystery monthly fee ($9.99) applies.

I’ve long been wondering about the UK launch of the WWE Network – the video on demand service from the WWE.

WWE Network UK launch details

Basically it’s a monthly subscription service which, alongside a lot of original programming, allows viewers access to two main arms of entertainment. This Monday it launches in the UK – through the usual PCs, tablets and phones – before jumping onto XBox and other devices on the 18th November – just in time to see the Survivor Series live.

Best of all, new customers can get full WWE Network coverage throughout November for FREE- much cheaper than paying the £14.95 to get it from Sky Box Office – and taking up their monthly subscription of $9.99 (£6.25) from December. Best of all, an upfront commitment is no longer required; you can cancel any time.

So what’s in store for WWE Network subscribers?

Streaming live WWE monthly events

Firstly, each monthly pay-per-view can be streamed live, starting in the UK with November’s Survivor Series which is shaping up nicely despite it being pretty much safe that we won’t see Brock Lesnar make a WWE title defence.

The only match announced so far will see Lesnar’s number one contender, John Cena, captain a team against Triple H’s Authority, which will likely feature Kane, Randy Orton and Seth Rollins.

Survivor Series was one of the WWE’s Big Four PPV events since it launched in 1987, and has provided some of the company’s biggest moments, both scripted and unscripted. It saw The Undertaker debut in 1990 and win the WWF title from Hulk Hogan a year later; it also had the Montreal Screwjob.

All of this history is what makes Survivor Series one of the better-subscribed events of the WWE calendar, which makes their decision to offer new WWE subscribers – both here in the UK and in the US – the month of November for free, very intriguing indeed.

A massive library of WWE, WCW, ECW events

More interestingly for me than the chance to get the current product live every month is the decades and decades’ worth of footage available from former WWE rivals ECW and WCW among others.

ECW boomed in the mid-to-late 90s as the hardcore answer to the hokey WWF product, mentioned in my last post; while WCW was the main game in town for long stretches of the 90s.

The chance to see key events from these periods in wrestling, the Monday Night Wars and each and every PPV by these three huge wrestling companies has me drooling at the prospect of forking over my $9.99 per month – for some reason they didn’t bother changing that into £6.25 during their announcement – an absolute steal for someone who’s as passionate about ‘sports entertainment’ as I am.

BACKSTABBERY UPDATE:

Mere MINUTES before the 8pm launch, WWENetwork tweeted that the UK rollout has been delayed “until further notice”.

Who even knows why this happened – perhaps their servers melted from the demand, or barely even warmed up due to the lack of demand. But this is the second time they’ve held off now. Maybe if the fans start chanting “9.99″ on this month’s UK tour they’ll have second thoughts.

New Generation Project Podcast

The New Generation Project Podcast softens the blow of you ever having seen a WWF New Generation PPV; with humorous insight, amiable hosts and plenty of decent wrestling trivia.

Ask any wrestling fan when the dark days of the WWF were, and they’ll very likely spin you a yarn of the very dark days; when gimmicks were awful and the lack of roster depth was immense.

When Hulk Hogan left the WWF in 1993 having pretty much refused to ‘pass the torch’ to someone else (a feat he would repeat many times over), the company was in the bad position of having no heir to the throne. And with the company reeling from the steroid trial, the bad publicity heaped upon the WWF in the mid-90s was enough to see it fall down a hole both creatively and financially.

And of course, that’s when I happened across and started watching wrestling. And at the age of 8 I didn’t see all that much wrong with dentists, farmers and binmen all doubling up with a career inside the ring, but fortunately the guys from the New Generation Project Podcast have come to see me right.

new generation project podcast

Hosted by Stewart Brookes, Paul Scrivens and Adam Wykes, The New Generation Project Podcast sets out in each episode to “honour the heroes of Hulkamania and analyse the architects of Attitude” by examining the WWF pay-per-views between King of the Ring 1993 (Hulk Hogan’s final appearance in the 90s) and Wrestlemania XIV (Stone Cold Steve Austin’s first World title win).

The usual format has Stewart running down each match and angle within the show in question, while Paul and Adam chip in with their own thoughts, which often take the form of their specialist subjects: being a maths whiz, Paul grapples with the mathematical problems posed by the in-ring action and commentary (a recent one involved working out the circumference of a sumo wrestling ring) while Adam rates and reviews the beautiful 90s haircuts on display – and some of the ladies too.

The guys have just passed through the period I remember most clearly – between Wrestlemania X in 94 and In Your House 5, which took place in December 95. Of course that means we’ve had their thoughts on King of the Ring 1995; the infamous disaster of a show which saw a brave Savio Vega wrestle four times in one night and get all the way to the final, only to fall to the new King Mabel who wrestled just twice thanks to various screwy booking.

As a ten-year old I rallied behind brave Savio Vega; the plucky underdog. Now, having listened to the New Gen Podcast’s very insightful and very funny take on it, I’m stunned to have any good memories of it at all. It sounds diabolically bad, and I feel sorry for them for going through that torture in the name of entertainment.

(On the other hand, there are shows featuring Bret Hart; still one of my favourite ever wrestlers, and I’m still dumbstruck that they gave him such silly feuds when he should’ve been challenging for, or holding, the World title for a good long time; such was his talent in comparison to others who got more of the rub around this time.)

And entertaining it really is. Stewart’s in-depth research nicely plugs the gap between PPVs, ensuring we’re all up to date with the various angles played out on Monday Night Raw and Superstars (ah, Superstars…) while all three provide some great insights on hair, maths and more throughout. Their easy-going conversational style is something special, and it’s very much in keeping with the content: when something particularly bad or silly occurs in the show, you may as well just go with it right?

I’m a big fan of the episodes where they change the channel to see what’s happening down south in WCW – where Hogan and failed Hogan 2.0 Lex Luger are bedding in nicely to make WWF’s financial woes even stronger by throwing the company’s money around.

(It’s also been the place where the guys provided my standout moment of the show so far: introducing Bunkhouse Buck for a match, before one of the guys misheard and thought we were being treated to a ‘Bunkhouse Bob Monkhouse’ match. I want that on a shirt.)

So if you were as unlucky as me to have tuned into wrestling in precisely the period that represented a massive slump in the fortunes of its biggest supplier, you’ll feel better after listening to the New Generation Podcast. And you’ll stay for Scrivens’ karaoke. Superb stuff all around.

You can find the NGP Facebook page here. Or find them on Twitter at the slightly simpler @newgenpodcast, and on iTunes.

Microsoft buys Minecraft – part 3

In the final part of his examination of Mojang’s sale to Microsoft, Anton takes in the geek culture reaction.

Read part one here.

Read part two here.

Now that the business side of it is all discussed, I feel it is time to move on to talking about what may be the most important part of the whole equation.

People sometimes overreact. Hair-trigger geeks tend to overreact slightly more than average. I think that this is because they feel almost totally invested in the idea/show/film/comic/game/character/book, and have attached some part of themselves to it. If that changes, they change. They cannot possibly be the same person if this part of their life is different.

geek culture blog minecraft

Image by Anton Krasauskas – and it’s a doozy!

So when such-and-such gets killed off in whatever series of books, or whatsisface turns heel and powerbombs thingybob through a table, it has not only affected the story, it has actually affected their life. By becoming affiliated with Microsoft, Notch, Mojang and Minecraft have, to some people, ceased to exist in their true form and will forever more be tainted.

Granted, this doesn’t make any logical sense. Looking at it from this angle, it’s difficult to understand why anyone could get upset about anything like this. But the internet, as hard as we try to see it differently, is an illogical place. Rage motivated by hard-lined opinions will always look ridiculous to the outsider. But Minecraft is, understandably, just that important to some people.

I wonder whether there would have been the same volume of displeasure if Notch had left the company before the sale went ahead. Notch, for the last few years, has been an icon to many people. He has been the definitive archetype of the little guy; the underdog. He has surpassed anything that anyone could have expected from him, and through the whole thing he has stayed that humble independent game creator archetype.

But when something becomes big enough that it crosses language barriers, cultural barriers, age gaps and gender differences, there are inevitably going to be a lot of people who want to attach a name or a label to you. He has been called both a hack and a saviour countless times, usually in the same comments thread. To some he is the man who restarted the Indie Games movement and brought it out into the mainstream. To some he is a fraud who took an idea that someone else had and made it his own. But to none of these people is he a human male who made a game that was well liked and critically acclaimed.

And that appears to be the problem. For all of this vitriol and venom to make sense, Notch cannot possibly be just a man who made a game. Either he has had this plan in mind all along and was just stringing along the punters until he could sell out, or he has been tricked out of his beloved baby by the evil MegaCorporation who will destroy and devour everything good about the game they love.

At the root of it all you can find the main reason that internet rage exists: because people are scared about their toys being taken away from them. It sounds trite and oversimplified, but in any of the major trolling scandals of the last five years the basic argument has always been that my opinion means more and if you disagree then I will publish your details on the internet and order fifty pizzas to be delivered to your house, which is then followed by torrents of abuse. These things really do mean that much to some people. If Minecraft had no intrinsic value to someone who was playing it, they would not care so much. If they hadn’t poured weeks of their life into building a cathedral or a village with temples and pyramids then literally no one would care. But because it has become such a huge part of who they are, they feel the need to defend it. Otherwise those weeks and months of building a farm and amassing a huge collection of wolves would be rendered pointless.

To some people, it really does matter that much. Enough to write a two and a half thousand word essay on why it matters at all. And there are not many games that could do that. Gaming as a whole is such a broad subject because it encompasses all sorts of things, from the people who play games to concepts of level design and risk vs reward. But Minecraft is one of the few games that is almost a subject of its own. It is so many different things to so many different people. That is something that has not been achieved on such a scale in as long as I can remember. And as long as people continue to play it, it will survive.

Thanks so much to Anton Krasauskas for his take on the Mine-crosoft situation. You can find Anton on Twitter @ajkrasauskas