By Vaughn Fry / July 1 , 20122 Comments
An amazing thing happened just the other night. A man pissed off the entertainment industry, and it wasn’t me. Ryan Perez, video gaming journalist for the independent video game-focused blog Destructoid and Twitter newbie, took it upon himself to call out Felicia Day, the creator of the popular web series The Guild and beloved online figure.
Before long Day’s friends, such as Wil Wheaton of Star Trek: The Next Generation fame, outed Perez’s antics to their followings of millions of Twitter users. Subsequently Perez was drug through the mud and Destructoid pressured into firing him.
I must disclose that as a proponent of opinionated thought, and one who has been through this—essentially fired by YouTube (Google) for expressing angst against the film industry—I side with Perez wholeheartedly and admire the manner in which he stood his ground, trading blows like a pro. If you’re going down, have fun doing it. Perez offered reasonable points for his humble audience to draw their own conclusions, and more importantly refused to buy into what is being sold to him and consumers as a whole.
My knowledge on Felicia Day and Ryan Perez is about equal at very little. I know she’s the creator of this series, I’ve seen her on the few of episodes of Syfy’s Eureka I’ve come across. I have no doubts of her abilities, and I’ll grant her the benefit of any doubt that she’s deserving of recognition. What troubles me is her inherit inclusion into the video gaming industry as a face, or rather voice. It’s like hosting a dinner for sci-fi writers only to have Steven Spielberg show up and headline the news. If, as I’m lead to believe is the case, Day’s direct role in the production of video games is limited to voice acting, then my conclusion is that her fame unnecessarily takes jobs away from voice talents—just as Disney/Pixar has all but killed the occupation in animated movies, relying on celebrities to pitch and in turn reap the credit. If the problem Day’s colleagues have is with the comparison of an E3 booth babe, then they need to rethink the culture. Day’s geek prominence comes from selling sex through cosplay via internet video, a surefire solution for engaging the stereotypical gamer. If there’s anyone in need of an apology, it’s the scantly clad women hired to promote games at conventions. They are no less a woman, no less a promoter of the industry. Day, and her friends, should take no issue to their inclusion alongside her.
There is a bigger picture to be seen. The Perez/Destructoid situation is a microcosm of what is being established as the norm for the relationship between entertainment and editorial. You have witnessed what happens when the merits of an entertainment figure are questioned: total ruin for the inquisitor. There is no right or wrong to this Twitter battle, but is it right for those covering an industry to accept and spew forth a message? If no one of even the tiniest voice is allowed to state his or her thoughts, then we do not progress. So what is more wrong, a writer questioning a figure in the industry he covers or a celebrity leveraging his fame, like a weapon, to destroy a man doing his job?