Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The infinite idiocy feedback loop

So, first I said Kevin McCullough was not worth responding to, and then today Tycho of Penny Arcade said much the same thing. But not before writing a comic about him.

The point is well-taken that page views are the fuel that drives this man's infernal idiocy engine, and that we only encourage this sort of behavior by giving him more of them. Not to mention that finding himself besieged by a horde of frothing gamers will only serve to further convince Kevin McCullough that game players really are a bunch of trogs driven wholly by their baser impulses. It hardly matters that on the subject at hand, hot alien sex in Mass Effect, he is empirically wrong and we are right.

Still: Should we simply let these insults pass? I would agree that there is probably a better way to reach Mr. McCullough than the way most people chose, but I guarantee you that he also received a fair number of thoughtful and considered responses from people who showed him the respect he never afforded them. I further guarantee that McCullough disregarded the substance of these emails, except for his admission that, okay, you can't really make your character's boobs whatever size you want.

I tend to think that a hard truth is more valuable than a beautiful lie, and so while it would have been easy to let this moronic column die as McCullough himself one day will, alone and unloved, the fact is that the record needed to be corrected. That so many felt it necessary to stoop to his level does not undercut their essential rightness.

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