News Item

Fez II logo

People have fight on internet, game canceled

By John Teti • July 29, 2013

Over the weekend, a person who bills himself as the “Annoyed Gamer” got into a Twitter fight with the person who made Fez, a beautiful game. As a result of this angry exchange of words in a forum where people are pretty much obligated to speak in half-sentence bleeps and bloops, the maker of Fez decided that the games world is so terrible, he would not make Fez II, which was announced earlier this year in the form of a logo.

“Nyah,” said the Annoyed Gamer person. “Grarr,” said the Fez person, and then he canceled Fez II. I’m paraphrasing somewhat. Kotaku has all the details, although I think you’ll find that my account is pretty accurate.

The person who made Fez is Phil Fish, who is best known for making Fez. He is also known, among a smaller audience, for shooting his mouth off from time to time. Most notably—“notable” being used in relative terms here—he told a Japanese developer at last year’s Game Developers Conference that modern Japanese games “just suck.” This fit of over-the-top rudeness was met with even more outsized horror and vitriol among some especially vocal message-board patrons, as they are the only people who are allowed to say that things suck.

The Annoyed Gamer is Marcus Beer, who commentates for the GameTrailers online website. Beer expressed a reasonable complaint about independent developers’ relationship with the press, except he expressed it in the rudest, most aggrieved manner possible. If this were a romantic comedy, Beer and Fish would pause in the middle of their heated argument, realize they are not so different, and kiss each other deeply. I’m really hoping this is a romantic comedy.

Both sides would like you to believe that this exchange has larger implications for The Fate Of Video Games And Journalism And Art, so they have acted in a way designed to maximize hand-wringing by onlookers. Because otherwise, this is just two people having an ugly moment on the internet, which is what it is. One little teapot can only hold so much tempest.

The real news is that Fez II is canceled (at least for now). That’s bad. But we still have Fez! That’s good. And with time, this snit will dissolve like so much potassium benzoate.

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  • http://starttocrate.tumblr.com/ Http Lovecraft

    Phil Fish is a CLASSIC example of a creative person (perhaps a genius? certainly a talent) who needs a manager to get between himself and his public.

    You see this in the software dev world everywhere, people who are passionate and technologically capable and should NEVER BE ALLOWED IN A PUBLIC FORUM.  At least until they’re older.

    Phil’s also a great example of somebody we’re seeing ‘mature’ in a highly public manner and unfortunately will never be able to live down his various ill-timed, childish outbursts.  Somebody could draw a pretty decent analogy with any number of pop stars and child actors and such, but I’ll leave that to you, gameologicalicians!

    • Fluka

      You could replace the name “Phil Fish” with that of “Mike Krahulik from Penny Arcade” and the statement would still be valid.  This is why Public Relations is an actual job.  Social networking allows you direct access to your fans and community and that is not necessarily a good thing.

      • Spacemonkey Mafia

        What annoys me the most about Krahulik is he’s very open about his own ordeals with mental illness and being bullied and marginalized when he was younger.
           So you went from being bullied and powerless to having a very fortunate position across two industries and this is how you speak out?  Like some shitty Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader nonsense?  Like a character in a Ravenloft campaign?
           He has the wherewithal to apologize after each unnecessary blunder, but maybe he could manage just not being a dingus in the first place.
           Still does some good illustration, tho.

        • Citric

          While I credit Krahulik for realizing that he can sometimes be, ah, a bit of a penis, I can’t help but think by now he should have realized that Twitter is not for him.

          But I don’t think that’s going to happen for a while. There are a lot of people convinced that Twitter is a great platform everyone should use, and they push it hard as something that content creators need lest they get lost to the tides of time and everyone ignores them. I’ve heard a couple presentations on this through work, it has been pushed hard for a while. But while it’s good for some people, there’s definitely a group of people who should not touch it, and a lot of them are content creators.

          I, however, don’t use the twitterator because it felt like a job, except I didn’t get paid and it wasn’t very rewarding. Someone tried to pawn the office twitter off on me, I refused.

        • GaryX

          I have a Twitter, and I still often think it’s sort of the worst thing ever. I hate the blow ups as much as I do the faux-sincerity or the people who make accounts that are nothing more than “LOL my life is such a mess and so sad!”

        • http://www.avclub.com/users/ebuzz-miller,65313/ E.Buzz Miller

          I used to do it all the time, and then realized that 

          1) It’s far too addictive
          2) It’s like yelling random thoughts on a street corner on the off chance someone responds
          3) People take it way too seriously

        • GaryX

          @e_buzz_miller:disqus Yeah, people taking it so seriously is the weirdest part of Twitter to me.

      • Ghostfucker

        The big difference is that Mike Krahulik is definitely not a genius, and him being talented is kind of a hard sell.

        • Fluka

          Was gonna add a caveat to that effect, but then remembered that I did used to enjoy PA quite a bit last decade.  Certainly wouldn’t say “genius,” and the decline of the strip has made not reading it a lot easier, but I have to admit they once produced something I liked.

      • aklab

        There’s a job description that seems like it wouldn’t encourage many applicants: “Phil Fish’s PR person.” 

        • Aurora Boreanaz

          Still better than “Anthony Weiner’s campaign manager”.

        • Knarf Black

          I’ll do it, but I’m going to need pepper spray, a riot shield, several air horns, and that ‘Protocol Icarus’ thing that Batman used to shut down all media when his identity was about to be revealed.

    • http://disqus.com/Dikachu Dikachu

      I dunno, I think it’s kind of nice to have such direct access to how horrible fame and fortune make some people (or how horrible some people are, who just happen to have fame or fortune).

      • Spacemonkey Mafia

        Seriously.  I got fooled once by Errol Flynn.  Never again!

        • His_Space_Holiness

          I would follow Errol Flynn’s Twitter account.

        • http://tmaiblog.wordpress.com/ Chalkdust

           @His_Space_Holiness:disqus “Check out ‘The Sun Also Rises’ tonight on TCM! #stilldead”

        • a_scintillating_comment

          Ouch! Too soon, too soon.

    • caspiancomic

       Honestly, the closest pop culture analogy here to be made? Phil Fish and Stephanie Meyer. When the in-progress text of Meyer’s next Twilight thing was leaked to the public, she threw a great big sulk and very publicly claimed she would no longer write it. Her fans jumpstarted a campaign to stroke her ego until she would deign to actually finish it, but I don’t think she ever bothered. I guess it remains to be seen if Fish has generated enough goodwill or blind loyalty in his fans to warrant such a reaction, and if it will do him any good.

      This behaviour is pretty shitty, though. It’s basically a grown-up’s version of threatening to run away from home because they want more attention. Fawning over them just puts all the power in their hands and teaches them that behaving like this will get them what they want. The mature parent approach? Bluff calling. “Oh, Fez II is cancelled because the internet man called you names? Oh, well. Guess I’ll go over here and play something else. Good luck in the service industry!”

      • Malkovich Malkovich

        The moral of both of these stories is: we nerds should probably be nicer to George RR Martin.

      • GaryX

        To be fair though, no one likes being blatantly called a shit and that sucks. I also see/understand the merit of a creative type blowing up because there work was leaked early–see also, lots of musicians and how they discuss and react to early album leaks. 

        At the same time, I’m in a field that straddles both the creative and business worlds, and you know: sometimes people are fucking shitty. You can’t just go “Well, no thanks then, no building for me” because we’re not all Peter Zumthor and because sometimes you care more abou the work than your personal health and sanity and because, shit man, it’s a job and you gotta do it. There’s always going to be an asshole who hates you or is ready to talk nonsense for no apparent reason. It sucks! But you still have to carry on. If you find yourself getting blasted on Twitter: delete it! No one has to use social networking, especially after making a game so universally lauded as Fez.

        The day I make anything of note is the day I go full-Pynchon and purge every account from the web.

        • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

          I think it’s notable that Jonathan Blow was also criticized in the same stupid tirade, and has also been pretty consistently shat upon for his ‘pretentious’ views and dismissal of commercial games, but still manages not to throw embarrassing temper tantrums in public or cancel The Witness.

          Just because Fish isn’t the only one in the wrong doesn’t mean he’s not in the wrong. He pretty consistently behaves like an entitled, petulant child who is incapable of taking any criticism, whether or not it is warranted.

        • http://www.avclub.com/users/ebuzz-miller,65313/ E.Buzz Miller

          I think if you’re the author of Twilight and unaware of just how scorned your work is/has been you should probably avoid feedback from the public online if you have any kind of insecurity.

    • HobbesMkii

      I kind of agree with Beer’s comments about how much Fish and Blow present themselves as auteurs and trailblazers, but resent having to do the tasks we associate with auteurs and trailblazers such as publicity or commentating on trends on-demand, rather than just stating observations when you feel like it (although I strongly disagree with the hyperbolic way in which Beer makes those comments).

      Also, though Beer doesn’t mention it, one bit of celebrity is being able to deal with detractors in the mature, adult way, which is to just pretend they don’t exist.

      • Officer Dog

        Blow kind of bothered me with his whole “No one is getting what I was actually trying to do with Braid.” thing in that documentary.  It just kind of reeked of feeling better than everyone.  People are going to get different things out of art and you made a beautiful piece of art.

        • Chewbacca Abercrombie

          This reminded me of King Missile’s song “Sensitive Artist.” Then I laughed because that song is awesome.

        • djsubversive

          @chewbaccaabercrombie:disqus Once I picked out the guy in the back just yelling “I’M SENSITIVE!” I can’t NOT hear him every time.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=709056007 Matthew Larghi

          It bothered me slightly too, and not just because “death of the author” or anything. I actually believe in some measure of authorial intent, but he’s not just David Simon bemoaning Wire Bracketology— there are plenty of people who really tried to deconstruct Braid. To me it works best as the girlfriend-rescue trope suddenly inverted, but the whole atom bomb thing was there too. Was there another, even more esoteric layer I didn’t notice?

          I loved Braid, and I think I’m pretty intelligent, but at some point, if it’s the part you care about the most, make it the goddamn text, and not the third or fourth layer of subtext. I’m willing to work, but don’t make me work harder than if I’m reading Pale Fire or something. It’s silly, honestly. 

          I kinda wonder if in Blow’s case it’s not a case of overcompensation— a subconscious inferiority based on the fact he’s working in a non-traditionally high-art medium.

      • Matt Gerardi

        I empathize with Fish here. As someone who has to reach out to “experts” for one story or another, you quickly learn (or should quickly learn) that these people are beholden to no one. When they return your query with a comment, it’s a kindness. No one is obligated to answer your silly questions. In this case, it was probably a good call for them not to answer. Game Informer was looking for them to comment on the “Xbox One opening up to self-publishing” story before it was even confirmed. Fish, understandably, didn’t want to comment on what was at that point a rumor.

        At the same time, Fish has had it a lot worse than people hitting him up on Twitter to tell him Fez sucked. The absurd vitriol that went his way was staggering. It’s probably comparable to the stuff that’s being said to this guy, a Call Of Duty dev who was partially responsible for a re-balancing of the game and received death threats, which he’s started collecting here: http://gamerfury.tumblr.com/.

        But it’s one thing for the neanderthals on Twitter to berate you, but when a (admittedly awful) member of the press does it? I can see how that would be the last straw for someone, although I don’t think Fish is as done with games as he’s been saying. 

        • Enkidum

          Wow… that link is just… yeah.

        • TaumpyTearrs

          Holy balls, that CoD guy’s page is bananas. I don’t who its scarier to think that those posts were written by, the maladjusted 12 year old boys who play the game obsessively, or the bro-y military guys in their 20s who play it obsessively.

          Also, as general question how many people here have received an insane and hateful message like this just from playing a game online? I just brush them off because it only happens occasionally when somebody gets upset over a bad loss in Battlefield, but the ones that bother me are when people WIN at a game and send a hateful message. Okay, you whupped my ass while I was trying to relearn how to play MvC 2, do you really have to send a paragraph long message detailing how much of a “faggot bitch” I am?

        • GaryX

          @TaumpyTearrs:disqus No way were those posts written mostly be 20 year olds.

        • http://www.avclub.com/users/merve,96925/ Merve

          @GaryX:disqus: I know that it would be comforting to believe that, but most online abuse comes from adult men who should know better. That’s what’s so depressing.

        • Fluka

          @Merve2:disqus Seriously.  There’s nothing more depressing than reading a horrible, hateful misogyny-and-racism filled rant which you assume is written by a 12 year old, only to have the guy suddenly refer to his wife or mortgage.  

        • HobbesMkii

           @Fluka:disqus Whenever I read something like that, I always go, “Oh, sad. You have more pressing concerns, yet here you are.”

        • George_Liquor

          Is it possible to be both completely surprised and utterly unsurprised that the Internet would go apeshit about changes to how a fake gun fake-shoots?

        • a_scintillating_comment

          Annnnndd that’s why I avoid CoD

      • Uncle Roundy

        The particular assemblage of names in this post makes me giggle.

        • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

          A clever Kotaku commenter (I KNOW!) summed it up in the following hypothetical headline:

          “Beer Batters Fish: Fez II Fried”

      • SisterMaryFrancis

        Beer used to be a PR guy for one of the game publishing companies (I think Eidos) before switching over to Gametrailers. Hyperbole is the only way he talks.

    • Knarf Black

      Everybody likes to play armchair PR guy with Fish. “I would keep my mouth shut.” “I wouldn’t let the haters get to me.”

      It’s one thing to let the cries of “FAG” over XBL roll off your back when you’re a normal, everyday nobody, but this guy’s random tweets make Gaming Blog headlines and everything he’s ever publicly said is mined for hate material. Plus, Fez was clearly a personal labor of love, and it must sting when people bash it, especially when they’re doing so in response to not liking him personally instead of judging the game by its own merit.

      Not to completely exonerate Fish, whom I would charitably describe as ‘contentious’, but he’s also operating in a world of extreme tribal negativity. Folks on the internet are very, very vocal about what they don’t like, and often take it upon themselves to try and convince the rest of the world that said dislike is objectively true. (Bonus troll points for being a failed or struggling creative type who has settled for judging the world of art instead of participating in it.)

      • http://starttocrate.tumblr.com/ Http Lovecraft

        I think we’re arguing the same thing, though, that unfortunately people get painted with a brush that’s colored (fairly or unfairly) by their past behavior. 

        So, I hope I didn’t come off as Phil-negative so much as maturity-positive, and more of ‘that’s a shame, that the world now is denied a follow-up to the EXCELLENT Fez’.

        Though something tells me Fez 2 will still see the light of day.  

      • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

        However, Jonathan Blow gets criticized in much the same way (and indeed, was criticized in this exact instance), yet somehow manages to maintain a certain distance and maturity, and doesn’t engage in embarrassing histrionics.

      • DrZaloski

        You know, I would normally agree with you, but considering who Phil was responding to, how he responded, and what he did after the event, makes this different. He was responding to a man with the mental state of an eighth grader, in a mental state of an eighth grader himself. He already saw WHAT NOT TO DO, he was hurt by the stupidity and thoughtlessness of his offender, yet responds with the same. There’s no point in judging Phil Fish, but I can’t help but conclude that Phil Fish is indeed an ass.

        It doesn’t help that he cancels his entire career, his dream job, because someone doesn’t like him or his work. Frankly, that, to me, shows that maybe he aught not be a creator. This is something more than just “He’s an ass”, it might be that he’s just not mentally cut out for creating things which will inevitably be criticized and judged.

        Ultimately the entire thing is stupid. The only reason that this piece of news should get any attention whatsoever is that Fez 2 is being cancelled.

      • apple_mummy

        I won’t deny that it sucks, but I don’t think it’s fair to even partially excuse him. It can’t roll off you forever, but I’m hard-pressed to say either of us could excusably just throw a childish temper tantrum. You have to grow up and learn to either deal with it, or walk away. Fish stamped off in a huff.

        The random assortment of people being jackasses aren’t representing themselves professionally. The jackasses are just as bad, but this (assumedly) kid was still responsible for what he did. In my mind, it’s not far off from somebody slapping their terrible boss. Repeatedly.

        And cancelling Fez 2 in that manner was just the nail in the coffin. Is it so hard to not be pompous for this one statement? At least for the sake of your fans?All you’d need to type is something like, “Unfortunately, the pressures of the gaming industry are no longer enjoyable and etcetc”
        But that snarky-ass way makes it sound like he’s taking his ball and going home. Like he’s been wronged by the universe, and is now denying it some great gift.Just, ugh. Hopefully this doesn’t have any impact on other folks’ idea of professionalism.

    • huge_jacked_man

      Phil Fish and Fez are both overrated. Fez is a tedious bore of a game that exhausts the possibilities of its gimmick within the first hour and it is a bit rich for him to talk shit on modern Japanese games when his own so poorly apes Cave Story. 

      He is also a massive asshole with zero respect for his customers who refused to patch his own game because apparently Microsoft’s patch fees shouldn’t apply to Phil Fish.

      Just because someone talks a big game and behaves like a diva doesn’t make him a genius.

  • Aurora Boreanaz

    And this, my friends, is why it’s pointless to get angry at stupid people on the internet.  The more angry you get, the more likely you are to say something just as stupid as the other guy, making you both look stupid, and end up quitting your job.

    Good thing I *never* get mad at anyone on the internet!

    Nope, never!

    • Boonehams

      Neither do I.  Anyone who says otherwise gets a punch in the face.  Got it?

      I SAID, GOT IT!?

    • signsofrain

      I would never throw a fit on the internet, and certainly not on Boing Boing where their absurd egocentric self-fellatio sometimes causes all my arm muscles to seize up as I practice the incredible self-restraint it takes not to bang out an ALL CAPS HATEGASM of a post.

      • zebbart

        Oh, brother, life is so much better after leaving BoingBoing behind. I go back about once a month to just scroll through the headlines and think, “why did I ever hang out here so much?” And if I go to the comments I laugh about my good fortune of not having to look at them anymore.

      • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

        Luckily, they recently replaced their Disqus-based comment system with something a jillion times worse (somehow), so you needn’t ever feel remotely tempted to comment there again!

    • a_scintillating_comment

      It’s okay. You can let it out Borey

  • Dave Dalrymple

    So, Phil Fish and Marcus Beer are both jonny boys.

    • http://starttocrate.tumblr.com/ Http Lovecraft

      woah there Hitler

    • HobbesMkii

      jonny boys ruin everything.

    • Pandas_please

       I’m glad to see that after returning from few months jonny boy is still a thing. I was worried everything had changed!

      • George_Liquor

        I to an extent agree.

      • http://www.avclub.com/users/merve,96925/ Merve

        FANBOY! WE GOTTA A MEME-LOVIN FANBOY OVER HERE!!!

      • HobbesMkii

         It’s judiciously used. This is the first time I’ve seen it in a few months.

        • GaryX

          Yeah, we like our memes to age for taste. None of that Dawes shit over here.

          Though, maybe, if they made a game…

  • http://twitter.com/vowelsagogo Kilzor

    How many times do people need to hear “Fezzes are cool” before it finally takes hold?

    • Aurora Boreanaz

      I thought we’d moved on to bow ties and/or Stetsons?

      Either way I’m still (perpetually) 6 months to a year behind in Who fashion.

  • Mike Mariano

    Is Phil Fish still alive?  I’m concerned.

  • Sudden_Valley

    Am I the only one marveling at the (relative) thinskinnedness Fish seems to be displaying? Granted, it seems like the decision to cancel Fez II stems from slightly more than a silly Twitter beef, but as employees of the arts industry, game designers HAVE to expect some subset of their audience to not like their work, especially when that audience is ALREADY notorious for its…vociferousness.

    At what point does having to deal with petulant game designers outweigh the benefits of having sequels to indie games like Fez (which, I will say, was a fantastic game)?

    • caspiancomic

      I think Fish is acting in a pretty typically “childish” fashion. That is, somebody hurt his feelings, he doesn’t feel sufficiently adored by those around him, so he threw a great big tantrum and is now holding his own game hostage until he feels his ass receives the kissing he thinks it deserves.

      • uselessyss

        To be fair, he has admitted to being bipolar, which could explain at least some of his outbursts/sulk-fests.

        Still, it’s probably a good thing for him to stay off the internet for a while.

        And the things he said were pretty rude – not even in an amusing, witty way.

        • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

          Honestly, that would explain a lot.

      • HobbesMkii

        Yeah, he’s pretty much taking the ball and going home. In the Kotaku article, Fish says he’s not doing it just because of Beer, but because he’s leaving games due to the abuse, such as Beer’s, that pervades the industry. So, straw that broke the camel’s back, maybe?

        • Sudden_Valley

          Right. The camel metaphor shouldn’t apply for game designers, or any artist worth their salt! It’s like Kanye West refusing to release “Yeezus” because some B-list journalist throws down a poorly written critique of it. 
           

        • George_Liquor

          I’d like to know if anyone else was involved in Fez 2′s development and if so, how they feel about its untimely murder-by-temper-tantrum. 

    • Matt Koester

      The Kotaku story says Fish wants out of games in general. I think if it wasn’t this, something else would have ended Fez II’s development. My only hope is that he goes into a field where his creativity is appreciated and applicable.

    • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

      I would be marveling more if this kind of behavior weren’t par for the course with him.

  • http://twitter.com/zhandlen Zack Handlen

    And the moral of the story is: it’s assholes all the way down.

    • His_Space_Holiness

      Somehow that particular creation myth never caught on.

      • Enkidum

        It does explain why everything’s so shitty.

      • http://tmaiblog.wordpress.com/ Chalkdust

         Ah yes, the ‘cosmic centipede’.

  • JokersNuts

    I felt for his frustrations during the Indie Game movie.  I haven’t played Fez but it looks good and I’ve heard from friends that its a really cool game. 

    I also sympothize with his frustrations over a-holes on the internet.  Hopefully he can distance himself from that, or get a management team to help him out. 

  • TheInternetSaid

    That “kiss each other deeply” bit took me back to the Project Runway reviews in the best way.

    • Destroy Him My Robots

      You tell me that you need me
      Then you go and cut me down, but wait
      You tell me that you’re sorry
      Didn’t think I’d turn around and say

      That it’s too late to apologize, it’s too late
      I said it’s too late to apologize, it’s too late
      Too late, oh

  • Gougagna

    “We” are terrible people, us internet commentators.  Our anonymity protects us from any responsibility for what we say.  Except here, Beer wasn’t anonymous and Fish is also a bit of a jerk.  

    Critics have a duty to comment on things, often critically (by that, I mean saying things that are not positive, with thought and reason). However, Beer tossed of some goofy things, what with the hipster comments and such that were not particularly productive or useful

    Fish, on the other hand, has the right not to comment.  But he seems a bit of a dick, too.  I hate to say it, but everyone involved here is wrong: not one seems to have displayed the slightest bit of humanity or sympathy, including us, the fans.  

    I don’t care if video games are considered art, or even mature.  I do, however wish the general public perception was at worst indifferent. Things like this just keep the negative light shining, and will ensure that public perception stays awful.

    (Mind you, literature had its share of this nonsense.  Hemingway and Fitzgerald, anyone?)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=663669914 Sean Richardson

      “However, Beer tossed of some goofy things, what with the hipster comments and such that were not particularly productive or useful”

      This is an interesting point — Internet critics want to be taken seriously as critics, but they simultaneously want to be popular on the Internet.  The two impulses pull them in diametrically opposed directions — the Internet wants to read snarky shit, whereas critics have to avoid snarkiness at almost all costs because artists tend to be thin-skinned about criticism.

    • DrKumAndGo

      I agree with almost everything you wrote, except “Our anonymity protects us from any responsibility for what we say.”

      Look at any newspaper comments section where they require real names. Look at people twittering under their own, real-name twit accounts. And, as you pointed out, look at this here situation. The problem is not anonymity – there is something baked into the way we communicate online that makes it just astonishingly easy to be an asshole*. Anyone who attracts any attention at all online, for almost any reason, is going to have to put up with a mountain of frothing dickishness. Some people – including Fish, clearly – just aren’t capable of handling that.

      Of course, Fish’s dickishness means he’s just as much a part of the problem here. And … hey! Look at that! I was just a dismissive prick to someone on the internet! Dicks all around!

      *It bears some strong similarities to the way we communicate with other drivers in traffic, I suspect.

      • Aurora Boreanaz

        (Kudos on the username – my wife is from Iowa and she couldn’t wait to show me that convenience store chain when we visited the state last year.  That is second only to the local “Rabobank” in incredibly stupid business names on my list!)

    • Labrat85

      Oh oh, or Isaac Newton and Leibniz or Thomas Edison and AC

      • Fluka

        “I’m sick of you assholes!  Integral calculus is CANCELLED!”

    • Pandas_please

       For the most part, other than some vague sense of unease concerning “violent videogames”, I do think the public is mostly indifferent to games. Gaming as a hobby probably less so, but I’d still say that most things gaming are looking up in the public eye due to the enormous proliferation of games these days. If someone isn’t playing games themselves they know someone who is. It’s hard to make caricatures out of the average person.

  • caspiancomic

    Hooray! Not “hooray” for the contents of the story, but “hooray, Gameological covered one of my favourite games stories from this year.” I love stories like this because absolutely everybody is wrong. It isn’t like we have a clear aggressor and a victim, in which case only one person would be to blame and we could all dogpile on him or her. Nor is it this situation’s more noble opposite, in which everyone is basically right in their own way, and consensus is going to be hard earned and will improve the culture at large by broadening its borders. No, this is just all dickhead, all the time.

    (Although, if I had to turn my nose up at one party more than the other, I think I hold Marcus Beer in slightly more contempt. Partly because I’ve seen his show, and it’s terrible, and he’s an asshole. Partly because he seems to think that being a “gamer” and being “annoyed” makes him in any way different from the jabbering hoardes of annoyed gamers that make up 90% of the hobby’s enthusiasts. Partly because he’s clearly the instigator in the situation, even if Fish could have dismantled the situation by ignoring him instead of having a conniption. Mostly, though, because of the asshole thing.)

    • George_Liquor

      I’m torn between wanting to dig deeper into this little debacle in order to learn what everyone’s talking about, and fearing the massive cerebral hemorrhaging that I will undoubtedly suffer as a result.

    • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

      Both Fish and Beer are assholes, but at least Fish made a genuinely cool thing, while Beer seems to mostly make dispensable, annoying, videos or something.

      Blow seems to be the only implicated party that doesn’t come out looking like a total ass.

      • huge_jacked_man

        Blow is also the only talented person involved.

  • Citric

    Beer and Fish is a great name for a buddy cop comedy. They have names that sound delicious together, but they don’t get along! Hijinxs! 

    • PaganPoet

      It also sounds like a pretty decent meal I wish I could have for lunch. They need a canine sidekick named “Chips.”

    • Boonehams

      And then they passionately kiss.

      With tongue.

      • Pandas_please

         A new take on an old classic. One half buddy cop show, one half will they or won’t they sitcom.

  • VS

    The Annoyed Gamer person sounds like they would have made a great paparazzi if they weren’t into video games. “Show us your pussy, Britney! You know you want to! What? You’re not going to?! Then I must take the moral high ground and object to your hypocritical relationship with the press!”

  • ShrikeTheAvatar

    Give me my ball, I’m going home.

    FINE, I NEVER LIKED YOU ANYWAY, YOU’RE NOT MY REAL DAD ANYWAY

  • Labrat85

    “im not cancelling FEZ II because some boorish fuck said something
    stupid, im doing it to get out of games … and im getting out of games
    because i choose not to put up with this abuse anymore.”

    Is he being funny or is that a weird non statement?

  • ChicaneryTheYounger

    GameTrailers commentator/even worse AVGN knock-off Annoyed Gamer better get ready for 10 views per video. It’ll be quite an increase.

  • c_bot

    In my experience, people who very publicly quit things (Facebook, email lists, etc) tend to just want people to apologize and beg them to come back and almost always end up returning. The ones who mean it are the ones who just quietly sign off and disappear. It’ll be interesting to see if this spat fits that pattern.

    • NakedSnake

      Yea, especially an artistic type like Fish. I would imagine that he is utterly compelled to make game and would have no choice but to make them. This is a tantrum, but he doesn’t really want to run away from home. Not to be stereotypical about this, but I feel like extreme emotional behavior is often another expression of the same compulsion that drives an artist to create art. There is a the notion that your personal feeling are important. Important enough that the general public should spend time with your personal world and come to understand you personally (i.e. your vision). But having a burning desire to be understood is not the same thing as being comfortable having your inner life judged and criticized. Sometimes those attributes overlap and sometimes they don’t. Returning to @httplovecraft:disqus’s point above, sometimes the artist shouldn’t be in the public forum at all. It’s one thing to release art into the world, and it’s another thing to have to defend it.

      • hageesheart

        I think you’re right, re: artists (wannabe and pro) not participating in public forums. The only ones that seem to be able to manage this are the ones that are able to create characters to interact in their stead.

  • http://www.facebook.com/awizardofuncannypowers Andrew Humphrey

    “Beer expressed a reasonable complaint about independent developers’ relationship with the press.”
    I don’t agree. Phil was complaining about being asked to comment on a story with no substance. We *still* don’t most of the actually important details about self-publishing on XB1. Microsoft was willfully blowing smoke up everybody’s ass and Game Informer is like “Phil! Hey Phil! What do you think of this smoke?”

  • TheMostPopularCommenter

    This Quick Brown Fox will jump no more.

  • Brainstrain

    Really glad Gameo wrote this up. Fish has been trending on Twitter for days now, and I saw that Fez II was canceled, but I couldn’t ever figure out what had happened (or if I should feel sorry for Fish). I guess the answer is no. Thanks, Gameo!

  • Officer Dog

    I love Fez, I love it a lot.  But after watching Indie Game: The Movie I am not surprised about this.  Dude really really needs to chill out, or at least, get a partner who can help him dea.

    • GaryX

      Yeah, I think it’s one thing to have “negative criticism” and another to have personal attacks like this. 

      Yet, in an industry where everyone is typically so fawning in terms of criticism, you have to wonder how Fish would react to music or film criticism if that was his medium: those reviews can get downright brutal.

  • NakedSnake

    Beer rarely expresses well. Especially when NakedSnake is involved.

    • His_Space_Holiness

      For once, someone can legitimately excuse saying something awful with “It was just the Beer talking.”

  • Pandas_please

    Two people behaving badly on the internet who should know better. The frequency at which this happens makes me forget about all the good things to come out of the internet. Sometimes it feels like it was made as a scientific experiment to get adults to behave like children. 

  • SirExal

    “If celebrities didn’t want people pawing through their garbage and
    saying they’re gay, they shouldn’t have tried to express themselves
    creatively.”
    –Homer Simpson

    It’s not fair, but it’s true.  It’s a societal fact now that people go various degrees of nuts on well-known (and lesser-known) figures.  If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the area where people are throwing ovens at you.

    • Pandas_please

       For some reason I took that quote the exact opposite way.

  • PhilWal0

    “How can we be lovers if we can’t be friends?
    How can we start over when the fighting never ends, baby?
    How can we make love if we can’t make amends?
    How can we be lovers if we can’t be happy friends?”

    • Aurora Boreanaz

      Avatar/comment synergy achieved!

  • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

    Yeah, I’m torn on this. Phil Fish has said horrible stereotypical “gamer” things, but the “gamer” community actually IS fucking awful and I can easily sympathize with not wanting anything to do with it anymore. Fuck ‘em.

    • Karbin

      Oh no we’re going to lose out on another casual babyfest 2D Platformer with shitty music. What a loss.

      Please come back Phil. The Tumblr community is lost without a pretentious “Indie Game” to wank off to.

      • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

        “casual babyfest.” You are the reason i’m embarrassed to talk about videogames with people in the real world.

        • Cloks

          If there was a genre of games called “casual babyfests” I would play most of them.

        • http://tmaiblog.wordpress.com/ Chalkdust
        • Cloks

          @Chalkdust_TMAI:disqus At least it’s better than God Hand.

        • Karbin

          Good, then gaming still has a chance to be saved and not be overtaken by hipster gaming.

          Seriously though I’m just very disturbed that games like Fez and Braid are given such high regard when they basically amount to being Novelty Games. I laugh whenever Jon Blow talked about how deep Braid was, or when Fish speaks so highly about Fez. The only thing these games have is the features of Perspective Shifting and Time Manipulation, and that alone can’t make a game great, much less art.

          If those two games are art then a game with far more developed visuals, an actual combat system, and one that presents an actual challenge to the player would be high art. And thus Comix Zone is the Battleship Potemkin of video games.

          Of course very few think so highly of Comix Zone, because Comix Zone is notoriously hard and is full of 1990s cheese artstyle. Fez and Braid get their acclaim because they market themselves as intellectually stimulating games while having no punishment for making mistakes. So anyone who’s just capable of doing basic Trial and Error can complete them. This is why I refer to them as “casual babygames.”

          So when you write a post about how Phil Fish should say “Fuck Em” to the video game audience, the audience that rewarded him handsomely for his pseudo retro throwback I get a little sick.  Phil Fish should be grateful that people were so willing to throw him 10 bucks for Fez while happily pirating/ignoring all the stellar games of the 8 and 16-bit generation. Because the best of the NES Library blows indie shit like Fez out of the water. Now if you excuse I’m going to be playing Strider on the NES.

        • BuddhaBox

           ”If those two games are art then a game with far more developed visuals,
          an actual combat system, and one that presents an actual challenge to
          the player would be high art.”

          I’m curious how you went from “games which are critically acclaimed and heralded as ‘art’ tend to not punish the player to their mistakes” to “games which test a player’s reflexes are the best and everything is diaperbabby games.”

          Just because a game doesn’t involve dying every time you screw doesn’t make it easy; Braid’s puzzles can being incredibly trying and require a great deal of thought to actually solve.

          While I’m aware that the idea of “art” is deeply personal, I’m wondering what definition you’re using for your comments. Because as I’m reading it, you’re saying “hard/punishing things = art.” I just want to be clear is all.

        • George_Liquor

          @karbin:disqus Few points:
          1. Comix Zone is indeed a terrific game, and I doubt you’d find much dissent among those who’ve played it. However, its level of difficulty isn’t what made it great. Comix Zone is hard to beat precisely because it has a crappy combat system, not because it’s some hardcore gaming masterpiece.
          2. On the other hand, Strider for NES is a pale imitation of the Genesis version, to say nothing of the arcade original.
          3. Trial-and-error gameplay defined the 8- and 16-bit era. One became good at most NES games through constant repetition. (I fired up Super C for the first time in almost 20 years last night, and muscle memory alone guided me all the way to the game’s end.) Braid may remove the spectre of death, but it’s no less challenging for the loss; just less frustrating. 

        • http://www.avclub.com/users/merve,96925/ Merve

          @Cloks:disqus: I wonder what a hardcore babyfest would look like.

          Parent 1: My kid just fucking pwns at Infant Quest. He’s got the fine motor skills of a fucking two-year-old.
          Parent 2: You let your kid play that pansy-ass piece of shit? My kid plays fucking Toddler Throwdown. He can fucking recognize the shit out of patterns, ass-tard.
          Parent 1:Toddler Throwdown isn’t a game. You can’t even fail at it. What? Is your baby a pussy or something?
          Parent 2: My baby could fucking kick your baby’s ass at Infant Quest. He could own that shit with a bottle in one hand and a pacifier in the other.
          Parent 1: Fuck off, man. You’re just a Toddler Throwdown fanboy. Way to be one of the sheeple.
          Parent 2: Come at me, bro!
          Parent 3: SHUT UP YOU COCKSUCKING BITCHES YOUR KIDS PLAY SHITTY CASUAL BABY “GAMES”
          Parent 1: dafuq are you talking about, n00b?
          Parent 3: MY KID PLAYS FUCKING KIDDY SING-A-LONG. 16-BIT SNES MOTHERFUCKER. MY KID CAN USE A FUCKING CARTRIDGE
          Parent 2: gtfo, dickstain.
          Parent 1: I bet your kid can’t even sing, lol.
          Parent 3: MY KID WILL KNIFE YOUR KIDS IN THEIR SLEEP YOU SHITHEADS
          Parent 2: Oh yeah? Bring it, bitch!
          Parent 4: Wow, daycare nowadays is really different from when I was growing up.

        • Electric Dragon

          I’m kind of frightened to click on any links in this subthread for fear that “casual babyfest” will set off big red flashing lights on the Great British Firewall.

        • Fyodor Douchetoevsky

          @karbin:disqus My “fuck ‘em” was in regards to all involved in this kerfuffle, including Fish. I perhaps could have been more clear in my wording.

          And then you brought up “hipster gaming” and oh man i don’t even want to get into that. It’s remarkably similar to those “girls can’t like videogames” arguments that are utterly bullshit. Gaming isn’t some elite club that’s being tainted because people who aren’t exactly like you are playing games.

          I’m as much a hardcore gamer as anyone. I’m not going to list my videogame resume, because fuck that. Comix Zone is kind of a hilarious game to bring up because while it looks awesome its gameplay is actually pretty shitty. I still like the game, but I like Braid a lot more. 

          There’s just so much in your comment I disagree with I don’t know what to respond to next! The implication that for games to be art they have to be challenging from a gameplay perspective? Saying that modern indie game rely on trial and error while somehow NES and SNES era games don’t? 

          What makes games art is the ideas and emotions they can bring out in us. Using theme (and whatever other artistic devices) and gameplay and visuals and sound together to make something that couldn’t be done in another medium. 

          What do you care if Fez and Braid exist? They are still making Modern Manshooter and Zombie Killing games all the time. Why does it matter that more than one type of game exists? Or do you even like modern games at all? If you don’t then why bother complaining about the small indies when surely your beef should be with the Activisions and EAs.

        • djsubversive

          @Merve2:disqus ”hardcore babyfest” makes me think of spiked pacifiers and black diapers covered in studs. also, babies with neon mohawks.
          I’ve only ever seen one of those things, and I don’t think looking for the other two would be pleasant.

        • ItsTheShadsy

          @Douchetoevsky:disqus Thank you for posting that. Thank you.

      • ElFuegoDiablo

        You must be new here Karbin, most of the people here are really into casual babyfests.

        I think you’re looking for the gaming blog about Those Games Where You Rip A Still Beating Heart Out Of Some Guy Then Take A Shit In His Bleeding Chest Cavity. In other words, every other gaming blog out there.

      • Pandas_please

         Casual babyfest? Please, it was at least a semi-formal babyfest, didn’t you see the fez? Casual indeed!

      • Victor Prime

        Hipster calls hipsters hipsters. Film at 11.

  • Malkovich Malkovich

    Is Marcus Beer the main guy who does reviews for GT? I’ve always enjoyed the video reviews over there, and I’d hate to think they’re the product of a giant douche.

  • Karbin

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMPIcV6zsPw

    Phil Fish is a piece of shit, he’s a prime example of a Bully who cries foul when someone attacks him back. Frankly he can take his indie game and shove it up his ass. 

    • Pandas_please

       I think Fez has only been released digitally. Maybe he could put it on a flash drive…

      • http://www.avclub.com/users/merve,96925/ Merve

        USB Enemas: The wave of the future! Just plug in and purge!

  • http://www.facebook.com/danny.carrol Danny Carrol

    Beer expressed a reasonable complaint about independent developers’ relationship with the press

  • STOP_RIGHT_THERE_CRIMINAL_SCUM

    the butthurt is strong with this one 

  • Gougagna

    For an antidote to the relentlessly bitter gaming press (other than Gameological, obviously), I find occasional contributor Scott C. Jones’ other employer Victor Lucas of EP Daily and Reviews on the Run a ray of sunshine.  Almost too shiny, sometimes…

    I don’t know if I’ve ever heard him not see the bright side of every terrible gaming story.

  • Matt Koester

    So basically this is the gaming industry equivalent of Kanye punching the reporter, except punching that reporter also stops Yeezus from coming out.

    • caspiancomic

      This feels more to me like an all-Kanye cage match.

  • ItsTheShadsy

    He went Vincent Gallo, man. Never go full Gallo.

  • Victor Prime

    Phil Fish is an asshole and the worship he gets astounds me. Separate the man from the work, you ass-kissers.

    • http://tmaiblog.wordpress.com/ Chalkdust

      Yeah, all the Phil Fish worship in these comments (???)

  • The Bamboo Curtain

    k

  • LeGrandSigh

    Dear Teti,  I want to give you a big kiss on the lips for that last sentence.

  • Electric Dragon

    The immediacy and terseness of Twitter/Facebook, combined with “Someone is WRONG on the INTERNET” and “I personally dislike this game and/or other piece of content, therefore it (and by extension its creator and anyone who likes it) must be inherently bad” lends itself to escalating these spats out of all proportion, especially when the people using it most are ipso facto the ones most likely to react rapidly and in the heat of the monent. I fear we are too often losing thoughtfulness and moderation from public debate when it gets framed by Twit storms and Facebook wars and so forth.

  • DrZaloski

    I always hoped I’d never see the day “People have a fight on internet” in a news headline. I see now I was just too innocent, I underestimated what the internet and internet celebrities would do. After the whole “let’s just admit Justin Bieber is obviously suffering from Schizophrenia and just let him pee in buckets” incident, I should’ve known that no news outlet is safe from the petty activities of celebs. 

    Today is a sad day, the day when one person said “Nyah,” and another person said “Grarr,” and it makes gaming news.

    • Pandas_please

       Well, I mean the sequel to a very highly regarded game did get canceled I’d say it makes sense to cover that and give it context.

  • DudewitdaK

    Really, Beer was an asshole here. As was Fish. Fish, though, has been an asshole for a long time, considering he’s basically always acted like Fez was God’s gift to the world. He acted like this before it came out, when it looked like yet another indie puzzle platformer, and after it came out, when it turned out it was yet another indie puzzle platformer.

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