Fruzsina Eordogh is a terrible journalist


Fruzsina Eordogh is a freelance reporter. She wrote an article for Forbes about John “TotalBiscuit” Bain. In the article, she wrote things that were not true and factually not correct. For example, in the very first sentence, she wrote TotalBiscuit died from cancer “about a month ago.” He died on May 24, 2018. Forbes published the article on July 10, 2018. That works out to be 47 days. On what planet are 47 days “about” a month? It’s closer to two months than one month, but since when do facts matter?

The article goes downhill from there.

Fruzsina Eordogh falsely claimed TotalBiscuit was connected to harassment

John “TotalBiscuit” Bain

Eordogh spends a lot of the article connecting TotalBiscuit to the GamerGate movement, which would be fine, except she repeats the same old canard that GamerGate was an organized harassment campaign against women. From the article:

The reason Gamergate will always and forever be characterized as a sexist movement and not a genuine ethics in video game journalism crusade, despite long-standing shadiness in video game related media and Bain’s efforts, is precisely because the ethics issue flew under the radar for many years … until it involved a woman. Who happened to be a feminist… being accused of sexual misconduct by an angry ex, no less. It was the actions of the mob, engaging in a sexist agenda, that made headlines, not that a developer slept with someone — that’s not news. The hashtag #Gamergate was coined by a conservative actor reacting to the previously mentioned slut-shaming video — changing its meaning to something after the fact is impossible. If the ethics issue had been raised in any other way, Bain wouldn’t have been crowned the king of an infamous harassment campaign and committer of all the crimes associated with it.

The developer didn’t sleep with someone. She slept with five people, including a video games journalist from Kotaku, a video game news website owned by Gawker.

The birth of GamerGate

GamerGate was born after leaked transcripts from a private game journalist email list showed journalists discussed what they would collectively report on. The transcripts showed they agreed not to report on the supposed sexual misconduct of the developer. In fact, they agreed they would do what the could to help the developer.

You might think game journalists wouldn’t report on claims of sexual misconduct. You would be wrong. On September 6, 2012, Kotaku published an article accusing Stardock CEO Brad Wardell of sexual misconduct towards a former employee. The accusation of sexual misconduct was false. Brad Wardell later wrote the following on his blog:

Within days of the article hitting, forum posts, follow-up articles and abuse started flooding the net. I received numerous death threats including one so specific (it was clear they had driven up close to our house) that we called the police.  The death threats included rape threats against my wife and disgusting vile threats against my children.

For the past two years since, not a week goes by where someone doesn’t send me a hate message or ensure that one of our products or services being covered somewhere doesn’t get tarnished with the disgusting allegations that were made. Any time I speak on a given topic, this comes up.

In 2013, the case was dismissed with prejudice and the plaintiff had to issue a public apology.  By any reasonable standard, this should have been the end of it.  And yet, years later, I still am expected to somehow prove a negative.

Why would video game journalists report on one case of supposed sexual misconduct, but not another? Because they colluded together and agreed not to, that’s why.

GamerGate was never about harassment

GamerGate was about harassment as much as the Civil War was about state’s rights. Repeat it enough and people will begin to believe it.

Why has no one connected to GamerGate ever been charged with a crime connected to harassment? Why has no one connected to GamerGate ever been sued in civil court for harassment? The burden of proof in civil court is far less than criminal court. Ask O.J. Simpson about that. If you insist on claiming GamerGate was an organized harassment campaign, you’ve got to admit it was weak and ineffective. If GamerGate was truly a harassment campaign against women, I would expect to see some arrests and criminal convictions. I would expect to see lawsuits filled in civil court.

None of that happened.

GamerGate was always about ethics in game journalism

I always thought GamerGate was kind of silly. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe game journalists were unethical, I just didn’t see how they were any more unethical than other journalists. Reporters report things they know are not true. They have inappropriate relationships with people they report on. Opinion pieces are disguised as news stories. Reporters lie and they commit plagiarism. Are they ever held accountable for these unethical acts? It depends on what you think being held accountable means. Reporters are rarely fired for their unethical acts. Most only receive suspensions.

Fruzsina Eordogh’s article in Forbes is very much an opinion piece pretending to be a news article. She reports her opinions as facts. She’s entitled to her own opinions, but not her own facts. If she wants to report that GamerGate was a sexist harassment campaign, she owes it to the reader to substantiate that claim with facts.

That’s not to say Fruzsina Eordogh’s article doesn’t serve a purpose. It’s a good example of unethical journalism. It serves as an example of what not to do. If you want to besmirch a dead man, it’s important to substantiate your allegations with verifiable facts. She didn’t do that.

Chris Kluwe violated Wizards of the Coast’s Code of Conduct

Former punter of footballs and aficionado of geeky things Chris Kluwe is a Magic: The Gathering game ambassador. Unfortunately, he doesn’t appear to have been representing the game very well. He recently posted the following tweet about deceased video game critic John “TotalBiscuit” Bain:

Chris Kluwe violated Wizards of the Coast's Code of Conduct - Bent Corner

Magic: The Gathering is produced by Wizards of the Coast (WotC). Like a lot of large companies, they have a code of conduct. Unlike other large companies with a code of conduct, their code of conduct applies to people 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year. It doesn’t even matter where you are, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or anywhere else on the Internet, the WotC code of conduct applies to you. People have received lifetime bans from WotC for breaking the code of conduct on YouTube and Facebook.

From the official WotC Code of Conduct:

Chris Kluwe violated Wizards of the Coast's Code of Conduct - Bent Corner

I’ve taken the liberty of highlighting the important parts, the parts Ambassador Chris Kluwe is in violation of.

Can you harass a dead person?

Even though TotalBiscuit is no longer with us and cannot read the hateful words written by Ambassador Chris Kluwe, TotalBiscuit left behind a wife, Genna and a son, Orion. Imagine the pain they will feel when they read Ambassador Chris Kluwe’s tweet. Even if they don’t know who Chris Kluwe is, all they will have to do is a Google search of TotalBiscuit to read his hateful words.

Chris Kluwe violated Wizards of the Coast's Code of Conduct - Bent Corner
Genna Bain, wife of John “TotalBiscuit” Bain.

What does it even mean to be a Magic: The Gathering Ambassador?

Chris Kluwe violated Wizards of the Coast's Code of Conduct - Bent Corner

I have no idea what it means to be an ambassador of Magic: That Gathering. That’s something that’s up to Wizards of the Coast to work out. I do know that anyone representing the game should at the very least conduct themselves in a way others can safely emulate. Has Chris Kluwe done that? Hardly. In fact, if anyone else acted out the way Chris Kluwe acted towards TotalBiscuit, they’d be looking at disciplinary action by WotC for violating their code of conduct.

Chris Kluwe is an example of who not to be

That’s not to say Chris Kluwe isn’t a good example for others. He is, just not in the traditional, conventional sense. If you’d like to know how you should conduct yourself in the public square, just imagine how Ambassador Chris Kluwe would act and then try to do the complete opposite.

Will Wizards of the Coast ban Chris Kluwe?

Former NFL punter and celebrated nerd gamer Chris Kluwe is still around and is still a terrible, awful person. I had not thought about this guy for quite a while, but then I saw the following tweet of his:

TotalBiscuit (government name John Bain) was a YouTube video game critic. He died from colon cancer on May 24, 2018. He left behind a wife and a child.

A lot of the social justice types didn’t like TotalBiscuit. I don’t even know why. I know he was a supporter of gay and trans people, as well as other minorities. Why people like Chris Kluwe would celebrate his untimely death is something I don’t understand, nor is it something I even want to understand.

Chris Kluwe is still a terrible human being - Bent Corner
TotalBiscuit (government name John Bain).

I can’t imagine disliking someone so much that I would publicly celebrate their death. The only person I can think of who would provoke a similar response from me is Osama bin Laden. TotalBiscuit was no Osama bin Laden. He never killed anyone or did anything even remotely evil.

As much as I dislike Chris Kluwe, I would never celebrate his death, publicly or privately.

How will Wizards of the Coast respond?

Will Wizards of the Coast ban Chris Kluwe? - Bent Corner

It will be interesting how Wizards of the Coast (WotC) responds to Chris Kluwe’s tweet. If they follow their own precedence, they will give Chris Kluwe a lifetime ban from Magic: The Gathering. That’s what they did to YouTube creator Jeremy Hambly for making a negative comment about Magic: The Gathering cosplayer Christine Sprankle.

What Chris Kluwe said about TotalBiscuit is far worse than anything Jeremy Hambly said about Christine Sprankle. If WotC doesn’t ban Chris Kluwe for what he said about TotalBiscuit, then they’re guilty of weapons-grade hypocrisy.

Update

Since writing this post, I was able to watch the video made by Hambly about Sprankle. Now that I’ve watched the video, I think what Hambly did was far worse than what Kluwe did.  I still believe Kluewe is a terrible human being, Just not as terrible as Hambly.

Hambly deserved his lifetime ban. I only wish it could be longer.