Jimquisition: Fish, FEZ, And Supporting Art Over Artists

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Fish, FEZ, And Supporting Art Over Artists

The past week has seen much discussion concerning FEZ and its creator, Phil Fish. It's struck up some fascinating conversations about whether or not we should support art even if we don't like the artist, and whether someone being an "asshole" ought to factor into the purchase of a product. This week's Jimquisition examines the idea, and attempts to find the middle ground of the debate.

After all, few people are more qualified on the subject of providing content while being a massive dick.

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I also won't support Earthworm Jim. After all the shit Tommy Tallarico said on his show why should I support a racist douchebag?

But yeah, Fish is an ass for what he said but he was right that Braids creator deserves more flak cause at least Fish backtracked and said it was CURRENT games from Japan that suck(which is huge your mileage may vary territory there).

Separating art from the artist can be very tricky, and it mostly comes down to where you draw the line and how much compromise you're willing to give. In some cases I can let some assholish behavior slide as with Alan Moore, and in other cases I cannot, like with Varg Vikernes from the black metal band Burzum. While I love the genre and can at least understand where fans are coming from in regards to the influence he had on adding a sense of atmosphere to black metal, I cannot let that excuse his racist, bigoted, murderous ways.

Hey Jim, is listening to Michael Jackson pedophilia or not?

Has anyone else listened to the Destructoid podcast, if not do it :)

I feel like I should have something to say about this issue since I got Fez and I think it's a great game, but I can't help but find that I'm sitting in the "I don't care" camp. The game is great and very charming, and nothing about the game has any kind of racist tones to it. Fish and his team made a great game, and none of the profits of the game are going to go towards any kind of "anti-Japanese" cause or anything. And to say he's racist just because he said all Japanese games suck is stupid. He didn't say that Japanese people were bad or inferior in any way, he just said their games are rubbish. As stupid as that point of view is, he's allowed to have it. It's not hurting anyone. Giving him money for his game doesn't mean you're contributing to the payment of some kind of torture machine/siege engine that he's going to invade Japan with. His views are completely inconsequential. The game is really fun and interesting, and that's all that should really matter.

ain't played Fez, but my decision when i should or shoult not buy a game is based on the review and the publisher, not what some cliff b wannabe did to piss off some japs

I'd be a lot more angry about what Fish said if Japanese publishers didn't seem so dam set on proving him with every game they withhold from the international market. Also, Out-right racism and homophobia is WAY worse than saying "your videogames suck"

Fish said that "Japanese Games suck".
He didn't say "Japanese games suck because they're made by the Japanese".

The former is a judgement on the state of a country's games output; the latter is racist, as far as I'm concerned.

Phil Fish rubs me up the wrong way. So many of his statements are so amazingly narrow minded and blinkered, it's hard to fathom that he's in a creative position.
Meh.

LoathsomePete:
I cannot, like with Varg Vikernes from the black metal band Burzum. While I love the genre and can at least understand where fans are coming from in regards to the influence he had on adding a sense of atmosphere to black metal, I cannot let that excuse his racist, bigoted, murderous ways.

Seconded, that man genuinely unsettles me.

I'm pretty much with Jim on this, it's entirely subjective what you're willing to put up with. Pretty much everyone I know likes some or all of Bob Marley's work, despite his domestic abuse.

Props for the Spider avatar by the way.

I don't care up to a certain point, but there's a certain "assholishness threshold" I have.

I.e., if someone or a company is TOO much of an asshole, I won't do business with them.

Of course, the best solution is to learn absolutely nothing about anyone who creates anything. That way you can buy whatever you want. Ignorance is bliss and all that.

Scrustle:
I feel like I should have something to say about this issue since I got Fez and I think it's a great game, but I can't help but find that I'm sitting in the "I don't care" camp. The game is great and very charming, and nothing about the game has any kind of racist tones to it. Fish and his team made a great game, and none of the profits of the game are going to go towards any kind of "anti-Japanese" cause or anything. And to say he's racist just because he said all Japanese games suck is stupid. He didn't say that Japanese people were bad or inferior in any way, he just said their games are rubbish. As stupid as that point of view is, he's allowed to have it. It's not hurting anyone. Giving him money for his game doesn't mean you're contributing to the payment of some kind of torture machine/siege engine that he's going to invade Japan with. His views are completely inconsequential. The game is really fun and interesting, and that's all that should really matter.

It wasn't just that, it was the fact that he said ALL games from Japan suck, including classic games. He wasn't even asked about Japanese games, he was asked by a Japanese developer some other question about that movie he was involved with and his response was "Your countrys games suck."

Plus, it has a chance of hurting localization, if you were a big wig at a Japanese country and all you were hearing was about how US developers were bashing your games, would you want to localize them?

He did backtrack and said current Japanese games suck (which to a degree they do but so does some American games) so I might get this. Also, a lot of people pointed out the gameplay is a lot like Super Paper Mario, a current Japanese game.

I honestly could give an 'F with who is involved in a product. As he said their really are not games made by one person anymore. All I care about is whether the game in question is good and/or fun to play. 'Course and attitude like tat has caused me to be under flak for 'Supporting the big evil companies over the little guys'. Let me set the record straight. Being 'Indie' or from a big company is not an indicator of whether a game is good or not. Their are games made by big companies that are really good and their are games made by Indies that sucks.

That is the reason I ever got 'Amy' the game isn't good enough for me to consider buying it.

RaikuFA:
I also won't support Earthworm Jim. After all the shit Tommy Tallarico said on his show why should I support a racist douchebag?

Wait. What did Tommy ever say, or is this a sarcastic counterpoint?

Yeah, I hadn't even heard of this controversy. And I really don't care about the game because I've detested platformers since I was a child (early nineties, for the record).

Interesting that you highlighted Peter Molyneux and Fable. His involvement never made me less inclined to buy those games (I happen to love the Fable series), I just wished he'd shut up and stop promising things he couldn't deliver.

Once that silly Fable game revolving around the Kinect has been released to the bargain bin, I want to see a Fable game set in a World War II-esque setting. And then I want the next one to be in SPAAAACE!

I'm sorry, what was your video about again?

ManupBatman:
Hey Jim, is listening to Michael Jackson pedophilia or not?

It's not pedophilia, but one could questionably argue that it was support of pedophilia.

Of course, this brings up an interesting problem, since virtually none of the products we buy are untainted.

RaikuFA:

Scrustle:
I feel like I should have something to say about this issue since I got Fez and I think it's a great game, but I can't help but find that I'm sitting in the "I don't care" camp. The game is great and very charming, and nothing about the game has any kind of racist tones to it. Fish and his team made a great game, and none of the profits of the game are going to go towards any kind of "anti-Japanese" cause or anything. And to say he's racist just because he said all Japanese games suck is stupid. He didn't say that Japanese people were bad or inferior in any way, he just said their games are rubbish. As stupid as that point of view is, he's allowed to have it. It's not hurting anyone. Giving him money for his game doesn't mean you're contributing to the payment of some kind of torture machine/siege engine that he's going to invade Japan with. His views are completely inconsequential. The game is really fun and interesting, and that's all that should really matter.

It wasn't just that, it was the fact that he said ALL games from Japan suck, including classic games. He wasn't even asked about Japanese games, he was asked by a Japanese developer some other question about that movie he was involved with and his response was "Your countrys games suck."

Plus, it has a chance of hurting localization, if you were a big wig at a Japanese country and all you were hearing was about how US developers were bashing your games, would you want to localize them?

He did backtrack and said current Japanese games suck (which to a degree they do but so does some American games) so I might get this. Also, a lot of people pointed out the gameplay is a lot like Super Paper Mario, a current Japanese game.

I know he said all Japanese games suck, that's what I said. And so what if he did? I still don't think it matters that much. And I hardly think that any Japanese publisher who isn't already coming out with retarded reasons not to release their games in the West is going to do it just because one pretentious arrogant dick says he doesn't like their games.

I play games made by homophobes, misogynists and other types of assholes anyway, because I know I would piss off some of them by enjoying something they made :3

Saulkar:

RaikuFA:
I also won't support Earthworm Jim. After all the shit Tommy Tallarico said on his show why should I support a racist douchebag?

Wait. What did Tommy ever say, or is this a sarcastic counterpoint?

His JD show, he would bash games just based on what country they were made from, he bashed the Rave Master game not because of its gameplay(which from what I heard was bad) and the like, but because it was based off of an anime he never heard of and it was Gamecube exclusive. Then he went to a tangent on how any game based off of an anime should never be made no matter what.

He also gave Brawl a 3 out of 10 not because of how it played or whatnot, but because Kirby was in it.

For me, it isn't so much what he said but how he said it. His arrogance is what puts me off. Telling people to suck his dick on Twitter is very childish.

Zachary Amaranth:

ManupBatman:
Hey Jim, is listening to Michael Jackson pedophilia or not?

It's not pedophilia, but one could questionably argue that it was support of pedophilia.

That's not even an issue any more. Now you're just supporting Jackson's young children. And the bigwigs at Sony Music, of course.

Bobic:
Of course, the best solution is to learn absolutely nothing about anyone who creates anything. That way you can buy whatever you want. Ignorance is bliss and all that.

I'm not sure I'd agree. For better or worse, I always find it interesting to learn more about the mind behind a product,their inspirations and whatnot.

I followed Fish on twitter for quite a while before the Japan stuff, and he always seemed like a pretty abrasive jerk (earliest tweet I remember was something like "People keep saying Fez would look great on 3DS. Nothing looks good on 3DS, you idiots"), but I never considered not buying his game, because it seemed so sweet and fun.

I've always been one for compartmentalising when it comes to issues like this, due to an attitude I describe as the relevancy test. If I don't feel an issue is relevant to the product I wont let it affect my decision as to whether or not I will buy that product.

Take Fez for example, why would I buy the game [Fez]? For entertainment and on the basis of the presumed quality of the product. Is Fish's attitude relevant to that criteria? No, therefore it will not affect my decision.

Scrustle:

RaikuFA:

Scrustle:
I feel like I should have something to say about this issue since I got Fez and I think it's a great game, but I can't help but find that I'm sitting in the "I don't care" camp. The game is great and very charming, and nothing about the game has any kind of racist tones to it. Fish and his team made a great game, and none of the profits of the game are going to go towards any kind of "anti-Japanese" cause or anything. And to say he's racist just because he said all Japanese games suck is stupid. He didn't say that Japanese people were bad or inferior in any way, he just said their games are rubbish. As stupid as that point of view is, he's allowed to have it. It's not hurting anyone. Giving him money for his game doesn't mean you're contributing to the payment of some kind of torture machine/siege engine that he's going to invade Japan with. His views are completely inconsequential. The game is really fun and interesting, and that's all that should really matter.

It wasn't just that, it was the fact that he said ALL games from Japan suck, including classic games. He wasn't even asked about Japanese games, he was asked by a Japanese developer some other question about that movie he was involved with and his response was "Your countrys games suck."

Plus, it has a chance of hurting localization, if you were a big wig at a Japanese country and all you were hearing was about how US developers were bashing your games, would you want to localize them?

He did backtrack and said current Japanese games suck (which to a degree they do but so does some American games) so I might get this. Also, a lot of people pointed out the gameplay is a lot like Super Paper Mario, a current Japanese game.

I know he said all Japanese games suck, that's what I said. And so what if he did? I still don't think it matters that much. And I hardly think that any Japanese publisher who isn't already coming out with retarded reasons not to release their games in the West is going to do it just because one pretentious arrogant dick says he doesn't like their games.

Its not just him, its Bioware, Tommy Tallarico, the people from X-Play and the guy who made Braid who have also said it.

In fact, I'm still harrased over what Bioware said whenever I say I like JRPGs I get flak for it and the reason is "Bioware says that they're bad, so you have shitty taste in games."

RaikuFA:

Its not just him, its Bioware, Tommy Tallarico, the people from X-Play and the guy who made Braid who have also said it.

In fact, I'm still harrased over what Bioware said whenever I say I like JRPGs I get flak for it and the reason is "Bioware says that they're bad, so you have shitty taste in games."

Ok, I never heard of any of it. I have my own reasons to think that jRPG are crap, none of the above has something to do with it.

Also, I don't give a fuck about japanese bigwigs who not only don't give a fuck about the west, they also don't give a fuck about my platform of choice.

Note to self: never use a pop culture reference you dimly remember from childhood as an internet ID unless you actually know something about it.

Not that I've ever financially supported the thing, except maybe by watching that god-awful cartoon a couple of times, but yeah.. principle.

In other news, I think I agree. Creative people can sometimes be dicks, and visa versa. Precisely how much dickishness it takes to invalidate any good qualities a person or their creation has should probably be up to consumer judgement, and unless a product openly promotes racism, homophobia or any other kind of hatred, I don't think you can really draw the line and say people shouldn't buy something.

However, it is worth thinking about, which is why I'm off to change my avatar.

Huh. Somehow this particular kerfaffle went right over my head.

Given the number of Japanese game industry folks who have been saying that everything coming out of Japan sucks lately, though, it seems like dinging Fish for doing so is a bit of a double standard.

I have listened to the old Podtoids Jim was a part of where he talked about all of this on "Shadow Complex", and if it bothers you, you can always counteract everything they say by doing something else.

Phil Fish says Japanese Games suck, so buy Fez, probably because it is a good game (As long as Fish doesn't say he hates PS3 so that I might get to play Fez, that'd be wonderful, because it looks like of awesome) and then buy something from Atlus or whatever particularly Japanese, which says "Hey, I appreciate your game, not necessarily you, but I'm buying a game from the Japanese that I know/heard is good."

Now, I have heard about the Doug TenNapel thing, but I truly took that as a trolling thing, and less of a homosexual slam. However, if that is true (Let's take it as real for the sake of this conversation), I love Earthworm Jim. I own it on PSN, I own both 1 and 2 on SNES, and I own EWJ 3D for the N64. To suddenly take everything I love and invalidate it as "He hates something, now it sucks" is incredibly childish.

If he made an Earthworm Jim game with Shiny at the helm, I would play it. If a movie came out with EWJ (or by Proxy, TenNapel's name on it), I'd see it. I have seen Sockbaby more times then I care to imagine, and it's brilliant all the way around. I'm not going to avoid a 5th episode should it ever come because of something the Creator said. He just doesn't like Gay people, and that's his prerogative, I can counteract his ways by giving money to a gay rights group, then they make money and I get to have a good time with a game or movie.

I simply cannot distance the art and the artist. As Jim Sterling mentioned Doug TenNapel is an utter twat, totally homophobic. It's a pity too, I dug his comic's. The Christian element was a little overbearing at times but asides from that...

lolariffic:
Has anyone else listened to the Destructoid podcast, if not do it :)

I agree, it really is a fantastic podcast.

RaikuFA:

Its not just him, its Bioware, Tommy Tallarico, the people from X-Play and the guy who made Braid who have also said it.

In fact, I'm still harrased over what Bioware said whenever I say I like JRPGs I get flak for it and the reason is "Bioware says that they're bad, so you have shitty taste in games."

When did those people say stuff like that? I knew Jonathan Blow (Braid guy) has said some controversial things but I've not heard him slag off Japanese games. Never heard any of the other people say anything like it at all. I'm not calling you a liar, I'm just interested to see what these people said.

Callate:
Huh. Somehow this particular kerfaffle went right over my head.

Given the number of Japanese game industry folks who have been saying that everything coming out of Japan sucks lately, though, it seems like dinging Fish for doing so is a bit of a double standard.

It is. In general a white guy can't be critical of another group of people as a whole, in any contect, due to the leftward leaning elements of the western world's morality. It's fine to insult, mock, and chastise the white "mainstream", but not okay for it to happen in reverse. This is simply one paticularly ridiculous example of the dual standard, others include dicussions of say black america and it's counter culture, where pretty much saying you agree with someone like Bill Cosby (who has a PHD in children's education)on the subject of how it's gone wrong and needs to be adjusted radically, frequently leads to accusations of racism. Basically while he might get negative attention, he won't be attacked to the same extent a white guy saying the same things will. This can be applied to just about any social issue up to and including gay rights, which seems to be a sticking point with video games.

Overall it's a standard that needs to change, and needs to change now, because delcaring what are perceived to be minorities (even if on a global stage whites themselves are perhaps the biggest minority there is) sacred cows, prevents a lot of things from getting done. I'll also say that when it comes to the garbage you see thrown at various creators for daring to (*GASP*) dislike a group of people or (*BIGGER GASP*) dare to express it, it's not only counter productive given that a lot of the greatest artists, writers, and creators in history were complete dillweeds both by modern standards AND the standards of their time (artists being on the fringes of society is a stereotype for a reason) which menas your liable to render yourself a hippocrit for judging anyone from Phil Fish, to the Earthworm Jim creator, but your also priming yourself for ridiculous amounts of backlash when the social pendelum swings back the other way... which it always does. In the US for example the country is polarized pretty much 50-50 between the left and right wings, and the more the left wing plays "poke the badger" while it perceives to have a lead, the worse things are going to be when things swing back the other way. Some of the guys being criticized now are young enough where when that does happen, ironically your probably going to wind up having to answer to them in some way. Of course people never seem to "get" that which is why human society is such a cycle of constant strife and upheavals.

So, here's a question for Jim. How can I give you money if you don't sell me stuff?

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