Monday, August 29, 2016

To Any Leeroy Apologists

"I see all the young believers
Your target audience
I see all the old deceivers
We all just sing their song"

Marilyn Manson - Target Audience

Wow... it's a good thing I stopped reading PCGamer back in the mid '90s or I'd have burst an artery by now.
Back when I reminisced about the whole Retrodruid phenomenon I wound up glancing at the wikipedia entry for Leeeerooooyyyyyy nnnJennnkins! (yes, that's how it's spelled) and made a mental note to burst an artery later over a couple of their references.
Look, I happen to be overstocked on arteries. It's a medical thing some of us are prone to and I'll have none of your prejudice you anti-lunatite!

So, once upon a time in a younger, more honest internet, Leeroy Jenkins did a very stupid thing. Or did he? Half the Wikipedia entry on him seems intent on taking the anti-intellectual stance in favor of the slack-jawed yokel who became the emblem of gamer stupidity. Among other waffling, it feeds us the following gem:
"The August 2005 issue of PC Gamer UK featured an article on the video, titled "The Ballad of Leeroy Jenkins". The article took the position that the video was designed as a negative commentary on the kind of "nerd-guilds" that meticulously and statistically plan out raids with all the seriousness of actual military tactics. They added that they felt Leeroy is, in fact, the hero of the piece, acting against the geekiness of his guild."

For the record, I do not give a flying fuck who Ben Schulz is and what else he's done with his life. Half the point of persistent online worlds is the separation between universes. I care about Leeroy and Leeroy's a very important symbol - doubly so in light of statements like the above. Leeroy's a retard. Staged or not (viewing it now after all these years it seems likely staged) the original video makes that much clear. Leeroy's Gilligan, the drooling dunce that ruins everyone's hard work, a reiteration of a simple and time-honored comedy skit that likely goes back to caveman days. That's all he is. That anyone should attempt to justify his stupidity as some sort of meta-gaming commentary against his betters explains much of what has dragged the game industry so hopelessly into the reeking morass of commonality. Gamer culture, to whatever extent it merits such a label, has transitioned from one able to condemn the Leeroys of the world to actually being composed and ruled by the Leeroys of the world. U mad bro? OMG U tryhard!

I'm not going to bother looking up the actual PCGamer article, since I'm more bothered with the lip-service paid it by Wikipedia, our worldwide delusion of consensus. See, whoever cited that little pearl of wisdom doesn't seem to get that, if true, Leeroy's "commentary" would be orders of magnitude worse than we've ever thought. One can laugh at a momentary lapse of gray matter yet still forgive it. However, to champion the cause of stupidity, to make a statement glorifying thoughtlessness in order to take a swipe at "nerds" - and in a realm of the mind, no less - would degrade Leeroy from a mere quaint, episodic emblem of stupidity into the lowest degenerate refuse of the sickening, sub-sentient slime we call the mass market. However inept, misinformed, unworkable or misguided his guildmates' plan might have been, Leeroy's lack of plan is indisputably worse. Leeroy's a cretin, a moron, a retard, an idiot, a mouthbreather, a backbirth, a dimwit, a dunce, a dipshit, an imbecile, a Dubbya. To claim otherwise is to transition from the realm of quaint foolishness to that of unforgivable anti-intellectualism.

Luckily the player in question himself does not seem to have taken that stance as far as I can tell.
Unluckily, PCGamer and Wikipedia seem unable to rise to the ethical and intellectual standards of Leeroy Jenkins.
Then again, "give the lady what she wants" amirite internets?

Hey, don't listen to me. I'm just a pitiful anonymous.

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