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Opinion

On the Tyler1 debacle

Chiu on This
A short and regular opinion blast from Stephen Chiu

There was a Tyler1 vs. Riot Games debacle that went down Sunday, in which a Riot employee said “honestly.. its fine he’ll die from a coke overdose or testicular cancer from all the steroids.” I’ll go ahead and say this: I’m pretty sure he didn’t literally mean that he wanted tyler1 to die a painful death from a coke overdose or testicular cancer.

As for why I think that, it’s going to be a bit complicated for me to explain, but the first bit you have to understand is that there is an online gaming culture. This is something a lot of people who come into the space don’t quite understand. The humor, particularly of competitive gaming communities, generally deviates toward absurdity, shock value, and novelty. I won’t say everything someone says online is acceptable, but there is a grey area when it comes to judgement as it’s a different environment and there are subcultures within subcultures.

So generally things become relative. You have to know the person on some level as to whether or not they are joking. For instance, IdrA was infamous for the things he’d write online as inflammatory, but it was clear from his online personality/interviews/podcasts that it was his sense of humor. So when he types something like “rape David Kim with a tire iron” it’s shocking, but anyone within the space knows he does not literally want to rape David Kim with a tire iron.

I said earlier that there are subcultures within subcultures, and Riot is one such subculture. In this case, they’ve gone out of their way to be righteous and sanctimonious. This is a company that collectively tries to police people’s behavior online, that has fined/punished pros for being toxic, that literally decided a sandbox mode was bad because it could bring too much toxicity into the game. In which case, if we judge what this guy said within the subculture of Riot, he should be fired or forced to resign.

Having said all of that, Riot talks a giant game, but aren’t people I’d consider moral people. This is the same crew that fined Tainted Minds for a paltry 5,000 AUD for treating players grossly.

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