With my blog getting more traffic these days, I’ve been also receiving a lot of e-mails from developers that want me to take a look at their game and write about it. I love it when developers or publishers do that as it shows me that they are confident in their game to the point where they are risking potentially having me not recommend their game… and that’s great.
But a while ago, in June to be exact, I had an interaction with a developer that taught me a valuable lesson: Don’t mix business with your private affairs.
And this is basically just a post on how not act if you approach someone wanting them to review your game.
The E-Mail was alright at first. The person behind the game that I’m not going to name mentioned a few things about himself (like him being Muslim, his background, where he’s from, and that kinda stuff) and about his work. He also mentioned things about the game he worked on and gave me an elevator pitch before linking press materials and links. He didn’t list an embargo but said that he’d like me to review, comment or give feedback on his game to help him out. He also called my blog “awesome”, which… was quite flattering.
The problem with his game was that it plays in a political setting that I have little to no clue about (the middle east) and that it’s a shooter game that takes some obvious sides, to put it frankly. I’m not entirely sure if I’m fine with reviewing a game that is so biased in a way on some things and that kind of plays like a revenge-simulation of sorts… at the same time, I also suck at shooters, so there’s that.
I should have probably left it at that. I was quite conflicted about not choosing to write about it solely because I suck at it and because I’m not confident enough in the political background of the setting… so I tried to make my rather negative response sound less negative by greeting him as a fellow Muslim and wishing him a lot of success with the demo. I then proceeded with the negative stuff. I then still thanked him for reaching out… and I said cheers. As I always do that… from there it went down-hill rather fast.
The developer was very happy about meeting “another Muslim brother who loves gaming” just like him. He then asked questions, told me about his work and how he’s converting people over there… and how proud he is about that. He had no problems with me not reviewing his game as he made a friend… but at the same time, he found out that I’m bisexual and that I’m a proud member and supporter of the LGBTQIA+ community… and he then left me a huge paragraph… trying to convince me about “changing my mind” and bringing up a lot of bullshit arguments that were more than sexist, homophobic, judgemental, and problematic. At that point, I knew… yeah, I’m not going to write anything about this guy even if his game wasn’t problematic.
Receiving a 1,044-words long e-mail filled with the most radical bullshit that a fanatic could ever think of is… disrespectful for sure… but also intimidating… nearly scary. It’s not about him being Muslim or whatever… It’s the fact that he’s thinking that he’s doing me a favour by being like that. What’s funny is that he started it by saying: “Okay, brother. I don’t want to judge you, I want the best for you.” – and then he proceeds with all of that stuff about the media lying about people being born with their sexuality… and Shaytan (the devil) dooming my life and destroying me to take me to the hellfire… Later, he also talks about calling upon the wrath of Allah… which was kind of weird because there isn’t an actual devil in Islam… and why is there wrath coming from Allah when I’m already going to hell for crushing on Tom Ellis?
Uh, I don’t know. It’s just kind of sad and more than scary to see such an extreme reaction from someone who just called me his “new Muslim friend”… It’s funny to see him talk about Islam being the only true religion, which is super radical and extremist… It’s incredibly stupid that he’s bringing up the same stuff that I heard from Christian homophobes…
He also goes on about how “[God] created the male genitalia to have intercourse with the female genitalia”, which brings pleasure to both, apparently… And a woman doesn’t feel any sexual pleasure “whenever a man approaches her from her back passage” (by the way… that phrasing is disgusting). So, there are no women in the world… that enjoy anal sex. And because of that… because of the fact that no women can enjoy anal sex (according to him), men can’t enjoy it either.
There were also a lot more disturbing passages in his e-mail that I won’t talk about since they are deeply unsettling.
After I told him to never ever mail me again and that I’ll never review a game by someone who is as inappropriate and harmful as him, he only sent me this here…
أسأل الله أن يوفقك يا أخي إلى سبيل الهدى
Which is just annoying and petty at best.
I believe in a righteous and kind God that watches over us and sends us signs every now and then… but he never judged me for crushing on Tom Ellis so far. I believe in a God and it just happens that he’s called Allah because of my family being Muslim. I think religion is a rather personal thing, so I can do whatever I want to as long as I believe… and others can do what they wanna do. I’m not gonna judge anyone for their religion or their sexuality because it’s not my job to judge them. It’s nobody’s job really… And as far as religion goes, I’ve been told that there is only one God. And since Christians believe the same and since Jews also do that… I think that we and that’s a hot take believe in the same God and that we all should get along.
And that one developer is a prick but that doesn’t stop me from doing what I wanna do and continue to be myself really. I mean, it’s sad because it gives Muslims a bad name… but what can I do? There are a lot of homophobic Christians as well but that has nothing to do with their religion and only has something to do with them being homophobic, right? Religion has nothing to do with bigotry and just because some ancient guy wrote a book on something, that doesn’t mean that you can’t believe in your own religion or that you can’t make of it what you believe in and change the rules and adapt it to the current times. Move with the time. At least, that’s what I believe in.
But I’m rambling. I should have just rejected his game and moved on. It’s a bummer because of the nightmares that caused me.
So, that’s why I just try to flat-out reject games if they aren’t suitable for my blog. I don’t try to bond too much to people, mostly to protect myself. In the same why I give feedback to games that seem rather bad in an e-mail-response… but I don’t write a post on it if it’s really too bad… and generally, I need to get better at not taking stuff too personal like in that case… Again, this happened ages ago… and I feel like I grew as a person already but I still could have acted differently by just rejecting the game and not trying to soften the blow somehow…
Oh well, Cheers.