Phil Fish is gone now. I’m actually kinda sad.
(Formerly on a different site)
If you don’t know, I hate Phil Fish. I hate his mutton chops. I hate his glasses. I hate his smug “better than you, more important you, now and forever” god complex he has going on. I have had several chances to just deck him at events and parties I’ve been at, and well, I should have. I disagreed with his opinions on just about everything. I hated the fact that he released Fez on Steam after talking smack all day about how PCs were glorified spreadsheet machines. I hated every section of Indie Game: The Movie he’s in, as if he reminded me of his self-centered “you’re not worthy of my works” attitude with every second of film.
I will never doubt his total obsession and dedication to his works. I will not disagree with his rights to be the asshat I hated. I never will purchase his games, but I didn’t want him to disappear. Because he gave me someone to strive to never be as a game dev as far as social interactions went. He gave me someone to try and topple in the game world. To me, it was a matter of “Screw you Phil Fish, I’m better than you. I will make a game greater than yours. And you will cease to be the ‘face of indie gaming’.”
I am legitimately upset that he has left the gaming world. Because let’s face it, Phil’s brash opinions were at least honest. He was the personification of the worst of the video game community turned into a single game dev. He wasn’t afraid to speak his mind, tell people to fuck off, and do whatever the hell he wanted. He may have done some things for attention, and well, it worked. He was the closest thing to a masterful troll that modern video game creators had. He talked some shit, but he backed it up, and didn’t back down.
I admired that.
His leaving of video games truly sheds more light on the awfulness of our community. It wasn’t just the blowup from over the weekend. That was just the straw that broke the camel’s back and such. No, this was quite a long time coming. Because of people like me, people more vocal about their opinions of him than me. Because holy snaps gamers are a sickening bunch sometimes.
I’m not necessarily talking about you or even me most of the time. But you know who I’m talking about. The ones who threaten developers, the ones who give them nonstop shit. The ones with a sense of entitlement. We all know them. We all have been them at one point in time. I’ll admit it. And the journalists who thrive on sensationalism and taking things out of context. Oh man, again, I’ll throw myself into that group. Because dammit, we’re right. We love telling others they are wrong. That their works don’t amount to shit. You know what, though? We’re not owed anything, and we sure as hell aren’t always right.
It’s hard to be a game dev, or an author, or an artist, or anything where the public at large will interact with your works. Look at Jonathan Blow and his upset at people not understanding Braid the way he intended. Or imagine how the people behind Mass Effect 3 felt when there were protests over the ending. Something you put your heart and soul into, torn apart, you ridiculed, and you, your family, your friends, threatened with violence.
I honestly don’t blame Phil Fish for acting in grand Phil Fish fashion, and just leaving video games in general. It’s less stressful. He’ll be out of the spotlight for a bit. He’ll get some peace and quiet. Do I still think it was kinda childish? Yeah, but now that clarification has come about, it’s justifiable. Love him or hate him, Phil Fish leaving gaming is pretty saddening. Without him, at the very least I don’t have someone to disagree with on just about everything. I think he’ll be back, because I still feel part of him loved the attention, good or bad. And deep down he wants to make Fez 2, at least for himself. But he did need a break. He’s absolutely right on one thing: you win, haters.
It’s a hollow victory.