Punching Down from The Right Side of History

Margaret Gel
Jun 24, 2016 · 3 min read

Having been somewhat unwittingly embroiled in video game industry drama for the past few years, I’ve come to a strange conclusion: there are a bunch of people who are actively trying to make it worse, no matter what the cost is. And their trick is, they either believe that they are making it “better,” or they are merely pretending that they’re there to make it better.

It’s the silliest thing I’ve ever seen: there are groups of people online who sit and lie in wait for others to make a single mistake, so that they can pounce on it. Right now, I’m seeing it happen again and again with the video game industry: developers, companies, publishers, translators; doesn’t matter who it is, as long as they’re in the industry and they can attempt to humiliate the person or entity, these people will pounce.

And it’s simple, really: the people who do this, who seek to pounce on others and humiliate them, they do it to gain more power, more fame, more fortune. They seek out those who have commited “sins” in the eyes of the attacker’s personal ideologies, and they seek to humble them. I’ve seen one person who does nothing but attempt to publically humiliate people, and then, after extracting an apology from them, attempts to sell their consultation services to their victim, claiming that they’re merely trying to help the person not commit the same sin again.

The people who do this in the video game industry have actively stated that they think public shaming — humiliation — is acceptable, if not sometimes only as a “last resort,” to “correct behavior.” I do not name names, as I am not a bully, nor will I allow myself to indulge in their tactics.

Some would call these tactics “extortion.” I am not interested in such a term. What these people are doing is merely bullying, and, most pathetically, it is bullying done over the Internet by people who are adults, who should, but do not, know any better. (Or perhaps they know better, yet they do not care.)

I’m not going to waste your time. I am sick of the negativity I keep seeing everywhere. I am sick of people who cannot enjoy anything, who insist on making everything as bad as it can possibly be, who insist on using others for their advantage, who do nothing but try to destroy instead of create. I am sick of this place, this Internet, what it has become. I will not lament the “glory days” of the Internet right now because it is simply not relevant.

Instead, I would like to teach you about something.

There are people who claim that they are helping. They may claim that they help children, or they help victims, or they help other vulnerable individuals. They may claim that they are “here to help,” but all they do is look for people to abuse. They may claim they’re “punching up,” that they are attacking people high-up, in order to protect the people down below, who can’t attack. Yet they always attack those weaker than they.

No matter what, it is an attack. From people who claim they are civilized. Since when has the act of starting a fight been virtuous? Since when has terrorizing anyone been considered a righteous act? These are the same people who claim that they’re here to “make the Internet nice again,” and all they do is publicly shame, humiliate, dox, and threaten people, their families, and their careers. This is not right. None of this is right.

People chastise others for their actions, saying that they’re not on “the right side of history.” But all the people I see claiming to be on the “right” side are actively malicious, always doing the wrong thing and claiming it was for the right reason.

When you see people who do wrong, and claim they do it in the name of right, run. These are the tactics of an abuser. These are the tactics of a bully.

These people claim they’re abusing others in order to “teach” them how to behave.

Why would a person trying to help someone, knowingly abuse them?

Margaret Gel

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