So as you may or may not be aware, I look for my stories on multiple fronts. 4chan, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, and even right here on WordPress. And one hot-button issue that was sticking out to me for a long time was this indie video game called “The Arkh Project.” Now, it’s not in my nature to “write off” an indie title, so to speak, but I do have strong feelings when it comes to gaming of all kinds. So naturally I looked into their work, their business practices, their attitude, the quality of their product, and did my best to soak in as much information as I could. Now, normally this is nothing to report on, but I took it as far as I could and had a long exchange with the face of the Arkh Project, operator of the “Dumb Things White People Say” blog, a gender-neutral party called “Riley.” I won’t paste the entire exchange here, because my journalistic integrity prevents me from superficially bloating my article, and while I dislike the notion of giving their blog hits, I much prefer sharing the information at its source than I do wasting space on my own site. Instead, I’ll provide you with the cliffnotes, to spare you the arduous task of having required reading to understand this article.
(Warning: Clumsy pronouns. “Riley” is described as gender-neutral, and therefore is referred to as “they” instead of “he” or “she.” I’m not much for it because it sounds off, but for the sake of politeness I can’t object.)
Stage One: I submit an “ask” on their blog, requesting simply that they explain why they respond with negativity to new and sincere questions, when their blog is designed to welcome inquiry. They direct me to the comments on the post, instead of answering the question on their own. The comments do not serve to answer my question, and instead the nature of questions is discussed, and how people dislike what they call “loaded” questions, despite my sincere desire to receive an honest answer.
Stage Two: A mutually long-winded discourse followed after I posted a follow-up question. At every turn I am asked to define words that I use. Not because they misunderstand these words, but because- as will be obvious to you, I’m sure- they wish to direct the conversation away from the original point using something that isn’t quite infinite regression, but certainly felt like it.
Stage Three: After various instances of verbal riposte on my end, and as their side of the discussion became more and more adamant about inconclusive instances- for instance, to paraphrase, “how do you know you can trust someone?” or “what gives these people any special insight on my particular situation?”- the conversation began to break down on their end. While I remained stalwart in my generous responses, doing precisely as they asked and defining every word at every turn, they did their best to attack the credibility of any party that was not them. Does this remind you of anyone?
Stage Four: The discussion dissolved, and they did not post my final response, instead opting to make passive aggressive post-discussion remarks about how the definitions I provided were “arbitrary.” Despite them being paraphrased or cohesively derived from longstanding dictionary definitions.
But that doesn’t approach the technical nitty-gritty of what I discovered. Let’s start with low poly models. Now, I know all about alpha graphics. Double Fine Adventure, Bastion, I’ve seen how bad they can be. But let’s pair this with their concept art. And let’s combine the two of those with their abandoning Kickstarter for Indiegogo- presumably because Kickstarter forces a refund if you don’t get the appropriate funding within the allotted window, and they couldn’t take the heat of pitching an not-engaging-whatsoever concept and not getting money thrown at them for it.
From this whole exchange, and all this information, we can discern that The Arkh Project is a do not buy, past, present, and future. Doing so supports bigoted individuals who do not maintain interests beyond themselves, and those kinds of people are the exact individuals doing major damage to the games industry. I urge you, reader, to ignore this product outright beyond this post. No boycott, no outcry, but most importantly, no financial attention. Voting with your wallet is the most powerful message you can send. Pull funding, put a stop on your transactions, devote your resources toward a project that actually cares about people, like a relief fund, or maybe something to feed the starving and destitute. Not this. Not a slap in the face to gaming, the LGBT*Q community at large, and to social progress everywhere with this backward attempt at personifying
reverse plain ol’ racism in a digital, interactive form.
That’s anti-gaming, anti-social, and anti-decency. And that, obviously, is bad.