When you love something a lot, it can sometimes turn into a kind of passion that is overwhelming to other people. When you express that on the internet, it becomes fodder for jokes. Now, one man’s passion for not cheating in video games has become grist for the internet joke mill.
The debate about whether games should have easy modes has been going on for decades, or at least since I personally ate shit at Super Smash Bros. while playing against my older brother and his friends. Some people feel that easy or assist modes provide greater accessibility to players who are disabled or otherwise wouldn’t be able to enjoy a particular game. Others are less tolerant of that argument, positing that the sheer existence of an “easy” mode would taint a developer’s vision or cheapen the accomplishment of beating a tough game. These two camps tend not to see eye to eye.
The current subject of this round of that debate is the latest game from From Software, Sekiro. From Software specializes in making punishing games that reward you for paying attention and being persistent, but there are players who are physically unable to play the game as intended, or want to know why their friends are all screaming about umbrellas but don’t have the time to devote to learning Sekiro’s complex combat systems.
Debating things on the internet usually does not end with people coming away with a greater empathy for the other side’s position. But this debate has reached a kind of Christmas Truce over a single tweet.
Last week, PC Gamer associate editor James Davenport wrote an article about cheating in Sekiro and not feeling bad about it. “Some might say I missed out on the intended catharsis, sidestepping the ‘artist’s intent.’ So what?” Davenport wrote. “There’s nothing to preserve for the greater good in Sekiro’s design. I’ll get what I can from it. And I got a lot from Sekiro.” Twitter user Fetusberry took issue with that position, and retweeted the outlet’s tweet with some commentary of his own.
Fetusberry clearly feels very strongly about the issue of cheating in video games. Unfortunately for him, there is nothing that the internet at large finds funnier than people’s unvarnished, passionately held opinions expressed in a hyperbolic way. To wit, internet jokesters have started copying and pasting the text of Fetusberry’s tweet into videos of using minor cheats in games and modifying the text for other social situations.
While all this is funny, and allows for some levity during a debate where people on either side have dug in their heels hard, you have to wonder what it must be like for the person who kicked it all off, now getting resoundly dunked on across the web. Fetusberry has since said that they find the jokes hilarious, tweeting, “I feel like there’s no point in getting upset about it, ‘cause what am I gonna do to change anything?” Kotaku reached out for comment, but didn’t get a response in time for publication.
UPDATE - 4/11, 11:21am: Fetusberry got back to Kotaku last night to give his thoughts on this whole affair.
“[Davenport] was talking about cheating to beat the boss and then saying ‘and I feel fine’ bothered me; saying ‘I feel fine’ is basically saying, ‘I did this wrong, and I know I did, but I don’t care. And you shouldn’t either.’ Yuck,” Fetusberry continued. While he said that he hasn’t played Sekiro, his friends said that while it is hard, it’s rewarding, and he believes that overcoming obstacles in games by applying yourself and being patient is a good avenue for self improvement.
Regarding how popular he meme about his tweet has become, he’s says that mostly he’s impressed by the creativity of what people are making out of it.
“Here we are, five days later, 22k likes, lots of people still doing their best to assure themselves that I’m angry and that I’m hating the attention, but no. I’m still having a good time,” Fetusberry said. “I’m actually laughing about a lot of these memes and more than anything I’m amazed it has gone as far as it has. I had no idea what I was doing at the time; I was just tweeting and now we’re here. I think it’s really cool that this meme gets to become part of the internet tapestry, so to speak, and I kinda hope it doesn’t stop (though I know there’s gotta be an ending sometime).”