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Fez 2 Petition Showcases The Best And Worst Of Internet
Fez creator Phil Fish announced this weekend he was cancelling the puzzle-platformer's sequel and quitting development altogether due to the abuse he's taken over the Internet. Fans have launched a petition in an effort to bring him back to the gaming industry. As if to prove Fish's point, the petition has been attacked by trolls.
Take a gander at the list of gamers who have signed the petition. The signatures include Choke Onit, Charlie from Vietnam and "Delete this sig Asshole." The spam signatures have led petition creator Dan Khan to include a polite note at the top of the site.
"Youíve been at it all day, Iíve been at it all day deleting. Youíve had your fun now right? Can we call it a day? I ask you politely to stop now as this is getting quite tiring. So how about it? Peace?"
Out of curiosity, I reloaded the page and saw the latest signature: "YOU KEEP DELETING MY NAME YOU SHIT BAG."
Anyone who's surprised by the current state of the petition probably hasn't used the Internet before. I mean, the damn thing runs on abuse. As Penny Arcade stated many years ago: "Normal Person - Consequences + Audience = Total Fuckwad." The anonymity of the Internet makes it very easy to be a dick.
Most of the responses to Phil Fish's abrupt retirement from game development can be split into two rough categories: "LOOK WHAT YOU STUPID KIDS DID", and "put up or shut up." When I first heard about this whole dust-up, I was leaning toward the latter reaction. The Internet has always been a brutal place, even to people far less confrontational than Fish. If you write a comment or post a picture of yourself or do anything that proclaims to the Internet that you exist, you're opening yourself up to abuse. That's the cover charge of the Internet, right?
Still, admitting that the Internet is a constant stream of dickery is different than saying that anyone deserves to be abused. There's no amount of hatred that you're obligated to tolerate. Everyone's threshold for pain is different. Donald Trump probably gets sworn at on an hourly basis on Twitter but he keeps doing...whatever the hell he does. Other people might be willing to call it quits the first time they're called the N-word on Xbox Live. Fish seemed to tolerate more than most people but he's apparently hit his breaking point.
Fortunately, Internet abuse is the easiest type of negativity to avoid. You can stop looking at Twitter or Facebook or comments sections and cut off 99% of the trash you have to see. I really hope Fish takes a lengthy break from all of the above. Whatever pleasure he was deriving from interacting with fans seems to be greatly outweighed by the aggravation he was getting from nay-sayers.
Maybe Fish will make Fez 2 someday and maybe he won't. Either way, I hope he takes a look at that petition sometime and that, instead of noticing "Caesar Salad" and "N*gger McF*ggotdicks," he sees the names of all the fans genuinely wishing for his return.
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