So a highly anticipated 3D platformer arrived yesterday to Steam and will eventually seek its place on the console platforms. A Hat In Time was going to be (and still is to plenty of folks out there) the next great 3D platformer experience with the full inspiration of N64 classics and the whole premise of saving time itself. What could possibly go wrong with such a promising big indie title where a loved formula is once again revived?
Then people started to remember that a YouTuber named “JonTron” lend his voice as a cameo character, thus creating some political controversy on this cutesy platformer. Why is this so?
JonTron, for those who don’t know, was a famous YouTuber who produced comedy reviews on bad video games and movies, became one of the standout hits in gaming-related YouTube for a long time. I know this because I still recall being done with watching a Panel at SGC 2014, then hearing the hardcore fans call out his name as he entered the room. He was swarmed by affection that I felt a little sorry for that he was unable to move around.
The affection for this guy came to an end (or at least a big dip on his subscribers count) when two gaming YouTubers decided to have a big 2-hour political battle back in March 13th, 2017.
If your specialty is not in politics, don’t even bother. I found out the hard way when saying that I believe we should pull our attention away from ranting about Donald Trump on social media and towards our creative or charitable endeavors that will make us strong as a nation, since Trump will come and go on his presidential terms, regardless of what you say about him.
I was meant with instant hostility and in belief that I support this president just for saying that your voice will not be heard by the government by just sitting there and ranting about how terrible he is and calling doomsday right off the start. At that point, I can only let folks do as they please since my view on politics is pretty much an equivalent to ranting about how Trump is going to destroy us all within this year.
So, the same can be said for both of these guys who decide to divert their talents to argue about the subject of racism, in which JonTron would say some racist things in several points of this live stream. So many would consider this guy as a white supremacist for spouting a ton of racist comments.
Thus a big number of his fans turned on him, demanding blood by unsubscribing, requesting YouTube to remove his entire channel, demanding his apology, probably some death threats too and to top it all off, have the developers of another platformer called “Yooka-Laylee” remove his cameo voice role from the game.
Developer Playtonic Games would then meet the demands of the angered fans by removing JonTron’s voice from the game in a patch update, only to then be met with two other backlashes, one from the fans who are still loyal to JonTron and would not buy the game since his cameo role is gone and another from a group who aren’t racist, but think Playtonic should have stuck with their original plan, not fall into outrage.
I will even call it outrage because while yes, what JonTron said was wrong, I don’t see a racist being in this guy. I don’t know him well personally, but when I saw him, he seemed like a pretty down-to-earth figure towards a diverse race of fans, even had a black friend with him at another point when I passed by. What I saw in the video was Jon putting on his comedy act and not realizing what he was getting to.
Ignorant and stupid are probably better terms than racist from what I can tell, but again, I don’t know him personally so he could be very racist. Now we come down to A Hat In Time, which is under the same heat as Yooka-Laylee was. Jontron since then has not been involved with anymore political ramblings and just focused on making comedy videos, but should he and anyone who lands association with him still be condemned 7 months later?
Honestly, when I think about what Playtonic Games ended up suffering from removing his voice and for knowing that I’m friends with a few folks who have faced jail time in their life, but have later come out as a stronger being, I almost think its best to keep JonTron’s voice in the game and ignore the outrage. Once you get involved in any way, you’ve already lost.
Should someone still be condemned for saying or doing something terrible even after it’s over? I hear he didn’t apologize for the comments, just pretended like it didn’t happen and moved on. If he did apologize, would the upset fans forgive him, or keep the fight going? Whatever the case is, I would still consider playing and reviewing A Hat In Time, regardless of whether or not they decide to keep JonTron’s voice.
I’m pretty certain that playing this game will not make me racist as it hasn’t so far. The developer Gears For Breakfast can do whatever they must, but interacting at all might be the worst option. It’s sad really that out of all crisis in the world, we are getting politically furious about this game…
Perhaps a doomsday might actually be around the corner…