PlayStation Employee Tries to Cancel RGT 85

The entirely too familiar relationship between video game companies and games journalists is becoming clearer. YouTuber and gamer RGT 85, whose real name is Shawn (which he says in the video), recently discovered that PlayStation and Kotaku tried to deplatform him because he disagreed with – I’m sure you’ve guessed by now – Kotaku’s Sweet Baby Inc. article. When he left a critical comment on an X post made by the Kotaku article’s author, Alyssa Mercante (which amounted to a gif saying she was seeking attention and playing the victim), a man named Mike Diver took a screenshot of the post and suggested that retro gamers “not follow” RGT 85 because his comment was indicative of “the kind of audience he wants.” Well, it turns out Mike Diver is a PlayStation employee (he does “web things” for them, which I guess includes attacking critics of entertainment journalists, at least in his estimation). You can hear the whole story from RGT 85 in the video below:

This is what the conflict over Kabrutus and his Sweet Baby Inc. Detected curator was about from the beginning: the gaming industry and its media henchmen/sycophants/ideological comrades are trying to silence critics of the obnoxious games the companies want to push. A PlayStation employee trying to ruin a YouTuber’s career because he made fun of a games journalist is a clear demonstration of the rot in that culture, the “one hand washes the other” mentality of video game companies and the outlets who are supposed to report on them impartially. This is the reverse of the Sweet Baby Inc. article Mercante wrote for Kotaku; the industry she defended from people who didn’t like some video games is now reciprocating by running interference for her when gamers don’t like her practices. And they’re doing it out in the open, making veiled threats (“Obviously, follow if you like,” hardy-har-har, “it’s just disappointing”) and accusing RGT 85 of hating women. Why do it so openly? Because this is a message, just as all of the tactics Sweet Baby Inc., Kotaku, and now PlayStation have used have been. They’re saying, “It’s us against you, and we’ve got a longer reach.”

But do they, really? I don’t think so because RGT 85  has 61,600+ followers on X, while Alyssa Mercante has 6,576, and Mike Driver has just under 13,000. Compared to the guy they’re trying to cancel, those are rookie numbers. RGT 85 also has 494,000 subscribers on YouTube, and while I don’t know what his numbers were before this, I’d wager he hasn’t lost anyone. Look at his videos page; I doubt his subscribers didn’t know what he thought about Sweet Baby Inc. and Kotaku, among other opinions the video game industry doesn’t like. It’s the same with the Sweet Baby Inc. Detected curator that some Sweet Baby Inc. employee tried to get mass-reported; it only got more popular, with 302,496 followers as of this writing. And Kabrutus has become famous, making appearances and giving interviews all over the place, including right here at Geeks + Gamers.  The Streisand Effect is belting out “The Way We Were,” and the video game industry (let’s not be redundant and say “and gaming journalists”) are either willfully ignorant of their inability to influence gamers or so frustrated that they’re trying to will themselves back the relevancy they’ve lost.

That’s why the pushback is so important. That nonsense about Sweet Baby Inc. and Kotaku being harassed never landed because people knew it wasn’t true,  just like they knew Sweet Baby Inc. did attempt harassment tactics because it was done so brazenly. And they saw what kind of person Alyssa Mercante was when she said some ugly things about race under her X post sharing that very article. And the pushback is multi-tiered now, with X becoming a platform where people aren’t banned for voicing “unapproved” opinions, guys like Kabrutus and now RGT 85 sticking to their guns, and Stuttering Craig’s recently announced Take Games Back initiative creating alternatives to the mainstream and industry-accepted press. That a PlayStation employee tried to cancel RGT 85 – that it would even occur to him to weigh in on something like this, especially as his job is “web things” and he should know better – is awful, but that it won’t work and will likely result in even more people supporting RGT 85 is like watching the last five minutes of It’s a Wonderful Life on repeat. Nobody knows what will happen to the video game industry or the broader culture in the long run, but there’s a real, tangible pushback to the forces that once seemed inevitable, and the bad guys are scared.

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