Giles Whittell Attacks Gamers, Loses

The Internet never fails to amuse me with its funny way of delivering retribution, from the Xbox 360 thief who ended up with his whole identity posted online to that ongoing battle between Scientology and Anonymous (both as nuts as each other). It’s like it’s a big instrument of karma, capable of great solidarity when it’s not calling you a ‘faggot’ on Xbox Live.

The latest victim is a Times journalist, Giles Whittell. In a recent column, he says:

“I hate video games, on or offline. I hate the way they suck real people into fake worlds and hold on to them for decades at a time. I hate being made to feel hateful for saying so, and I hate being told to immerse myself in them before passing judgment, because it feels like being told to immerse myself in smack and teenage pregnancy before passing judgment on them.

Maybe I’m editorialising, but I think that can be translated as: “I’ve made my mind up, and I shouldn’t have to inform my opinion.” Don’t even get me started on that utterly ridiculous equation that he makes. Good journalism, then.

Thankfully, the wrath of Internet gamers has been both swift and (occasionally) witty. Giles Whittell has written several books, which are available on Amazon (I’m posting some of the reviews below so as to avoid having to publicise the books by linking to them), and Amazon has the handy feature of allowing people to post reviews, whether or not the readers have immersed themselves in the book. Let the games commence:

[On ‘Spitfire Women of World War II’] “Reading this book, it’s clear the author researched this book without immersing himself in the topic. He has clearly never been near a spitfire, World War II or indeed women.”

“I can say that, without a doubt, this is the most colossal waste of time I have ever partaken in. And, in the true style of the author, I didn’t even have to read it to make that judgement. I’ll get back to my smack now.”

“First off, I can’t really claim to have read this book. To be honest I don’t think I need to in order to pass judgement on it. No, let me go further, I find it quite dispicable that Giles Whittel would expect me to read this worthless, time consuming book before expressing my opinions on it. Without reading it I can already tell that Central Asia isn’t worth my time.”

“I tried to read this book, on more than one occasion, but my brain is fried from all the crack, and I’m tired all the time from my teenage pregnancy. I wish I would have involved myself in something safe like video games, I guess it is to late for that now…”

“I’ve never been to Central Asia nor have I read this book, But luckly we dont need to in order to pass judgment on it. This book is full of lies such as Asia being located north of Canada and that all Polar bears are from Asia. If you enjoyed wasting your time with Crack and getting teens pregnant then this is the book for you!”

Given that the reviewers have as much experience with Whittell’s books as he does with games, that must make them just as relevant. Oh, how I love the Internet…

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