My Cracked article on #gamergate went up last week, and it was glorious. The comment section was Conan’s best in life streamlined for the internet age. “Crush your enemies. See them driven before you. Hear the lamentations of their women.” That stuff gets pretty easy when they flock to drive themselves past you in a whining parade, pre-crushed, and there’s a 33% time-saving with nary a lamentation to be had.
The only thing that could have made it better would be if I was on a cruise across a caldera in the Mediterranean at the time. Which was actually the case. Nothing like basking in the beauty of the world while ignoring the “asshole alert” in your pocket.
The piece got over five thousand comments. Well over a hundred thousand words. I usually enjoy reading the comments, one way or another, but that pushed it over the Commentasekhar limit of collapsing into a one-way hole of sucking, an infinitely compressed ball of hatred from which no useful information can be extracted with modern science.
The length of the posts I did see was insane. And the sheer number of people who had no preconceptions or real interest in the issue, but just coincidentally happened to drop by to point out a few things at short story length, wow. It was enough coincidence to power at least three lottery jackpot wins. Which is even-more-coincidentally the amount you’d have to pay me to read them all.
It’s inverse SEO. Hordes of idiots searching for certain words which are already online and then writing volumes of repetitve bullshit. But SEO is a reversible process, because no matter which direction you run it in the results aren’t good. And it’s a thermodynamic process, because no matter which route you take it makes everything worse.
What these War and Peace-of-their-mind dumping gaters don’t get is that quality still counts over quality. All their thousands of words don’t cancel out even one comment from someone whose opinion I respect. Related: holy hell:
If you don’t know those names, great, you’ve just found lots more good stuff to read. Gaters trying to astroturf over people who actually make and think might as well be wallpapering Jupiter.
But since they’re trying so hard, I will give them one bit of helpful advice: seriously, if your username or icon is about bitches or the choking thereof, you really aren’t getting read.
Games are fun! Other things aren’t!