Until G4 Reckons With Its Past, I'm Not Watching

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ZombiePie

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Edited By ZombiePie  Staff

It's sort of weird that I remember the accompanying sound effect to this image.
It's sort of weird that I remember the accompanying sound effect to this image.

As is the norm on my blogs, I want to start with a disclaimer. Despite my blog's content and tone, I wish everyone who is currently under the employ of the revived G4 channel the best. For example, Ron Funches and Austin Creed are phenomenal hires, and they are rightfully excited to showcase their "best stuff" to a wider audience. Both are bombastic personalities that warrant building a new entertainment platform around and supporting with a production crew and budget, and that sentiment applies to the other new hires. Everyone signed to the label appears to be well-known entertainers with distinct personalities and perspectives that rise above the usual Twitch streamer/influencer. Finally, I want to clarify that I do not want any of what I am about to share to justify unwarranted harassment directed at any person associated with the brand-new G4 network. My issues are mainly with the network's new leadership rather than its latest batch of talent. To everyone who has secured a job as a result of G4's attempted "comeback," I say, more power to you, and GET PAID!

With that in mind, let's go ahead and talk about G4's "A Very Special G4 Holiday Reunion Special." Like many, I streamed the event live because G4 had a presence in my household while I was growing up. The channel's original programming was something I tuned into regularly, whether it be Call For Help, X-Play, Attack Of The Show, Judgment Day, Electric Playground, or many other shows that are on the tip of my tongue. I was young then, still en route to graduate from high school, but willing to watch this content even as I began to seek video game and tech editorial content on the internet. I'll even go one step further and admit I watched a TON of the network's repackaging of Sasuke (i.e., Ninja Warrior) as its original programming began to take a back seat. I'm not going to attempt to diagnose what caused me, and millions of others, to abandon the network, as I feel it's not a secret. Nonetheless, when G4 announced its revival earlier this year, I couldn't help but feel like I had to give it a shot. So, I tuned into its "Holiday Reunion," and in doing so, reached a pretty stark conclusion: I don't think I can watch the new G4.

Before we get into my reasoning for this statement, I feel motivated to share a niggling complaint unrelated to my most significant issues with the rebooted G4. That is to say: I cannot stand how the new network is being advertised and promoted. As you can see in the image below, everything about the new G4 reeks of the same tech-bro smarmy and passive-aggressive upper-management culture that seems to have permeated every multi-media endeavor for the past fifteen years. Their "edgy" use of Twitter has all the authenticity of every "sarcastic" corporate Twitter account that has cropped up the past five years. In fact, it's a weird anachronism to see a network try and bill itself as being "on the cutting edge" of gaming culture while also employing the same social media playbook that Applebees and Sonic the Hedgehog have used time and time again. Honestly, it would not surprise me if G4 took quotes from this blog, mind you, written by an amateur, out of context as part of a shitty viral advertising blitz about how it is "listening to its fans" with the end joke being they are aware of their critics. However, the more significant issue this presents, and this is something we will jump into shortly, is that these leaders have bought into a "myth" that G4's original run was without flaw and will translate perfectly into the year of our Lord, 2020.

bleh
bleh

Speaking of which, let's return to G4's much-ballyhooed "reunion" of old-time staff and its introduction of its new presenters and personalities. As to be expected, this was accompanied by a well-produced mini-documentary annotating the history of the network and its rise. What caught my attention was its attempt to depict G4 as a "trailblazer" in providing women visible opportunities to speak their minds about games and gaming culture when other media platforms supposedly did not. Clearly, I did not buy this for a second. Instead, whole swaths of the documentary pissed me off. First, ignoring the fact Olivia Munn and Morgan Webb endured waves of sexual harassment and personal attacks, at no fault of their own, from their employer's very own online user-base, is shitty. I get it is not a topic you want to bring up, but presenting both as figureheads that came into the G4 fold without issue ignores the toxicity they faced throughout their careers. In fact, it highlights how the new G4 has no clear message on how it intends to moderate and deal with toxic behavior or sexual harassment. Which, in 2020, is a problem. Do these executives honestly think they can jump into the industry, in the middle of a console war, and believe their network can avoid these sorts of issues or topics? If that's the case, good luck with that, but I can say as someone who has been a moderator on a video game website for ten years now, that will only last for a few hours! Likewise, there's a more existential question on whether a gaming television network should only present the happy and bombastic side of gaming culture, without any of its warts.

Second, and this is something even the most ardent of G4's supporters cannot deny, the original network had a pretty heinous reputation for how it depicted women on television. Yes, there are many great examples of female presenters fighting through the noise to share their perspectives on various gaming and tech topics. Nonetheless, suppose you were to tune into G4's original run. In that case, you will find that most of the on-camera female personalities were treated like objects no differently than E3 booth babes. For fuck's sake, Judgement Day had an entire segment wherein they had models awkwardly display third-party gaming accessories, with the male hosts occasionally commenting on their attractiveness. Cutting out this part of G4's past is the right call, but the new leaders of the network should have complemented that with a statement of gender inclusivity. They can't just pretend this sort of sexism never happened during the channel's previous run! Rather, it would help if they guaranteed that the "new" G4 has learned from these mistakes and will endeavor to do better.

However, let's return to the figureheads the renewed G4 welcomed with open arms during its reunion event. Now, look, Adam Sessler probably has to be in this homecoming. And I say that as someone who has been perpetually disappointed in how he has conducted himself on Twitter since the demise of Rev3Games. You can't not include him on this rebooted network, but at the same time, providing him with a platform does not sit well with me. For those unaware, the reason for my squeamishness comes from Adam's track record of being a "grump" on Twitter and not knowing when to stop. Before G4's reboot, the guy would not stop picking fights with random Twitter accounts and being a powder keg for waves of toxic behavior. This includes when he engaged in language, some found to be transphobic and replied to the situation with a proverbial shrug. Regarding that last point, it was incredibly disheartening to see Mr. Sessler refuse to accept any accountability even when his closest allies and friends begged him to do so.

The Ron Funches part of this deal was great.
The Ron Funches part of this deal was great.

Admittedly, whenever I bring up the issue of Adam Sessler's shitty Twitter behavior, his defenders point out that he has been public about dealing with bouts of depression and anxiety since X-Play's cancellation. I get where these comments are coming from, and I certainly sympathize with someone struggling to come to terms with seeing something they worked on get ripped away from them, but that doesn't excuse transphobia. If the new G4 wants me to accept seeing Adam Sessler on camera, then he needs to prove that he understands he's hurt targeted and vulnerable communities in the past. Likewise, G4 could have AT LEAST made a public declaration on it being a safe place for LGBTQIA communities! Look, it's not fucking rocket science, and I say that as someone who has personally fucked up and needed to reflect on the impact of their behavior on others. In this regard, a little humility goes a long way.

However, this PALES IN COMPARISON to the most egregious invite the G4 reunion made. That would be the decision to invite Chris Hardwich to reminisce in a roundtable about the "Golden Age of G4" accompanied by Olivia Munn, Kevin Pereira, Adam Sessler, Morgan Webb, Sarah Underwood, and many others. After everything that has come out related to Chris Hardwich's abuse allegations and multiple other media platforms publicly dropping him, this was a choice. I know bringing up this topic will invite the usual suspects that will likely repeat the same soundbites that have been said a thousand times before. Yes, I am aware AMC and other companies closed their investigations related to Hardwich in his favor, citing "lack of evidence" as the primary reason. However, it is important to point out the victim of Hardwich's abuse elected not to cooperate with these investigations. In addition, this victim stated their intent in going public about Hardwich was to open up about a dark part of their life as part of their coping process. And before you ask, I support the victim's right to do this and trust that their testimony is true. As a result of all of this, it's tough to accept many of the new G4's claims that they are "bigger and better than ever," as this alone highlights a massive oversight on their part.

I have been running through various scenarios that involve the new executives in charge of G4 when it comes to Hardwich's resurfacing. My thought experiment has arrived at two possible conclusions. In the first scenario, the executives did no research and invited everyone with an on-screen credit during G4's original run to their holiday event. I find this prospect impossible to believe as Comcast, by the revived G4's own admission, is paying for G4's bills and wouldn't let them book someone they thought hurt their bottom line. In the second scenario, the executives reviewed the contents of Hardwich's investigation, or even conducted one of their own, and decided Hardwich was fit to air and posed no risk to them or the people around him. This is likely the "correct" scenario, and goddamn, do I not know what to say about it. At the very least, it shows a massive gap in the revived network's understanding of media accountability. It suggests they are not up to the task posed by most gaming websites or online forums in guaranteeing a safe working environment.

Finally, this preponderance of the evidence shows a very stark truth about whoever is in charge of the current version of G4: they do not have a proper grapple on the mistakes its original run made. Those mistakes, mind you, played a role in the network's eventual downfall. The new G4 cannot expect that it will get a pass on these sorts of stumbling points as it tries to bill itself as a fun place to consume video game content. Consumers today have higher standards for their media than they have had ever before. One of my criteria is that I will only consume content from a source I know will not engage in homophobic or transphobic language. This is not to suggest that the channel's new signings will engage in such behavior. Nonetheless, given the original network's past, including skits wherein Adam Sessler is publicly "emasculated" or Kevin Pereira engaging in non-stop kink-shaming, all I am asking for are "receipts" that a culture change has occurred at the renewed G4.

As I cannot ascertain if that has happened, I will wish those gainfully employed by the company the best but will refrain from watching G4 until further notice. That said, I will not discount tuning in should the company prove me wrong. If anyone in charge of the network's restoration, including its personalities, come out and do everything I am asking for in this blog, I will give them the appropriate credit. The names tapped to be a part of the revived G4 label are fantastic people, and many have commented on the issues I have brought up in this blog. So, I'm rooting for them; despite everything I have said, I want this to be something that works out for all involved. And if anyone associated with G4 finds this blog, a prospect I highly doubt, all I have to say is to go out there and make the best damn product you can and turn me into a believer.

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sombre

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The games industry is nepotistic as shit, and we tend to "forget" peoples past transgressions because they're flavor of the month. They might be our favourite sons, but lets not forget some of the stuff that Patrick, Danny, Nick Robinson etc have done and said, but for some reason we just sweep it under the rug and pretend it didn't happen.

The games industry is pretty toxic

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LonelySpacePanda

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This reunion made me realize it was really TechTV that I loved. They were all such positive, wholesome role models for nerds growing up. I never saw someone like Kevin Rose or Leo Leporte on TV before. It was a special time, especially seeing stuff like the Xbox launch covered live on TV. Once G4 merger happened, I stuck around but it quickly got sleazy. Kevin Peirera ruled the show and was like the anti-TechTV host, super horny and edgy.

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cooljammer00

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I just think it's weird that there is nostalgia for G4. Maybe it's because I was a TechTV guy, and so G4TechTV/G4 was already the bad version of something I already liked.

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bigsocrates

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This was a lot of words to say that G4 and its presenters had a crappy perspective towards women, sexuality, and minorities in the past and doesn't seem interested in reckoning with that in any way, but I think your conclusions are actually a little bit too gentle on the current formation of G4 (though not necessarily all the talent that's chosen to participate in it.)

The fact of the matter is that "Consumers today have higher standards for their media than they have had ever before" is only true for a certain group of consumers, and it is more and more profitable to niche target. There is also a group of consumers who are very angry about what they term "SJW" decisions and get mad when people are "canceled."

I would not be surprised if the inclusion of Hardwick and the lack of any kind of acknowledgement of the previous toxicity of the product were intentional marketing decisions based on thinking that the number of people who will boycott if Hardwick is not included in some way is greater than the number who will boycott if he is.

I doubt that the new G4 will be nearly as toxic as the old G4 just because that's not a brand that works anymore, but I wouldn't be surprised if it continues to be problematic in a lot of ways. It's possible to make a lot of money while doing crappy things in media these days, and there's no particular reason to think that doing the right thing will be the profitable thing. This is a Comcast joint so I'm sure that doing the profitable thing is what's important here.

Also relevant to remember that a lot of the people in charge of large companies and the media are guilty of doing or at least abetting behavior as bad as or worse than what Hardwick was accused of. Ubisoft got caught, but there were few consequences and there are many companies out there just as bad as Ubisoft. No reason to believe the people in charge of this new venture care at all about the sordid history.

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swthompson

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I think it's less interesting to see G4 reckon with its past than with its present. The behavior of the hosts/presenters in the present tense is the more concerning part to me.

Back when G4/TechTV was on the air, in the early 2000's, culture was in a very different place, and especially nerd/tech culture. I'm not saying it wasn't wrong then, because it's always made me uncomfortable, but pretty much all of games media had an edgy "smarmy misogynistic bros hanging out in the basement" vibe. Just about everyone adopted that character, from writing to video to podcasts. Hell, listen to a gaming podcast from around 2006 and you'll hear how everything is "gay" and plenty of words we now understand to be slurs. Nobody's hands are clean; remember how Portal 2 had an entire chapter full of fat jokes as late as 2011?

I guess from my view I just assume that stuff has been left in the past, as the culture has moved. The modern G4 would be exceedingly stupid to try and aim for that edgy sliver of viewers. What I am more concerned about are the issues with the people they're bringing in. Presenters who haven't changed their schtick since 2009 won't be appealing to pretty much anyone (aside from folks who just eat up "not politically correct" material uncritically).

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SchrodngrsFalco

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Just on a surface level, even, the presentation of that reunion felt super cringe. Felt like watching a classmate's cheesy school project.

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tonal

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A lot that you say is very different to how I would say and think about the things you've analyzed... but I can definitely see that you are coming from a place where you want to do something good and help people in someway, so even though we might look at it pretty differently I hear ya struggling to make a difference, so stay true to yourself, keep thinking deeply in to things and make the best decisions that you can!

Some quick random thoughts that come up when I read your post: Shouldn't everyone if they know about what's going on with the network and/or the choices that are made be held to some level of responsibility? Aren't you by these standards complicit at some level if you are willing to be any part of something that is questionable to someone? Where is it that we draw lines in the sand? I'm serious when I say, life is basically one big contradiction that continually plays out over and over when you dig in and simplify it's constituent parts...

You gotta draw the line for yourself... but where's the line for drawing lines for others? I don't know, I just sound like an A**hole when I say crap like this, but I'm going to take my own advice and be me regardless...

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Efesell

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@sombre said:

The games industry is nepotistic as shit, and we tend to "forget" peoples past transgressions because they're flavor of the month. They might be our favourite sons, but lets not forget some of the stuff that Patrick, Danny, Nick Robinson etc have done and said, but for some reason we just sweep it under the rug and pretend it didn't happen.

The games industry is pretty toxic

Maybe I'm out of the loop on something but putting those two in with Nick Robinson feels Rough.

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wollywoo

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#9  Edited By wollywoo

Funny, I have no nostalgia for G4. It was good gaming-entertainment at the time when that kind of thing was unique and rare, but now we have a deluge of much more intelligent gaming-related content on youtube such as Mark Brown, etc, and GB/IGN/etc. etc. provide much better reviews etc. than G4 ever did. In my memory G4 was pretty sophomoric. That said, I really enjoyed Icons for its look into gaming history and I would love to see a revival of that show in particular. (Although "War Stories" on youtube is pretty close and also great.)

edit: wow, I managed to use 'etc' four times in a single sentence. I would normally edit this to improve it, but this time I'll just let everyone absorb the shamefulness of my writing style.

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BladeOfCreation

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I discovered G4 in 2006. I watched it pretty religiously for the next year. When I was deployed from 2007-2008, I would spend many hours downloading episodes of X-Play on iTunes on shitty satellite internet.

I'm finally getting around to watching this now and this is cringey as fuck. I can't believe Olivia Munn agreed to show up. These jokes hit different in 2020, and they hit different when the people making them are in their late 30s/early 40s. A couple of short acknowledgements of the network's past ain't shit when the rest of the show is just nostalgia for nostalgia's sake.

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Gundato

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#11  Edited By Gundato

@swthompson said:

I think it's less interesting to see G4 reckon with its past than with its present. The behavior of the hosts/presenters in the present tense is the more concerning part to me.

Back when G4/TechTV was on the air, in the early 2000's, culture was in a very different place, and especially nerd/tech culture. I'm not saying it wasn't wrong then, because it's always made me uncomfortable, but pretty much all of games media had an edgy "smarmy misogynistic bros hanging out in the basement" vibe. Just about everyone adopted that character, from writing to video to podcasts. Hell, listen to a gaming podcast from around 2006 and you'll hear how everything is "gay" and plenty of words we now understand to be slurs. Nobody's hands are clean; remember how Portal 2 had an entire chapter full of fat jokes as late as 2011?

In general I will agree with that. But as was brought up: They intentionally marketed themselves on that "Golden Age"

I think Nick Frost and Simon Pegg doing that covid PSA callback to Shaun of the Dead was a perfect example. "Nobody" was clamoring for them to apologize for using homophobic language over a decade ago. But since they referenced a movie/scene where they did, there was a quick bit on how it was not meant to be homophobic and was really about making fun of toxic masculinity but it is still wrong and they feel bad about it. It simultaneously says "Hey, we messed up, sorry" while ALSO being humorous and enhancing the scene.

Instead, G4 actively ignored their sins while trying to rewrite history. All while platforming a toxic shitbag and an abuser. REALLY hard to give benefit of the doubt there.

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Humanity

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@bladeofcreation: I’ll blame the writing cause typically I like Ron but this whole thing was as you said cringey as fuck. Except I can totally believe Olivia Munn showed up for it as it’s all very much in her wheelhouse. On the other hand I thought Morgan Web would know better but I guess a paycheck is a paycheck. Either way G4 was pretty embarrassing most of the time even during its heyday. Women in games media were treated basically like objects to display and ogle instead of the more “refined” ways they are discriminated now. Games were still a thing for children that no one took seriously. So all in all I’m not sure what we’re trying to go back to here. Those were not good times for the industry.

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jmath19

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For all the reasons you listed, and many more, I’m pretty sure G4 will implode within a year. There just isn’t room for this kind of content on a legacy platform like cable. I just really hope people like Ron and Austin walk away from it clean.

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devise22

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Great read Zombie, totally agree on a lot of the points made. Even as an old G4 viewer it was pretty easy to spot the rampant sexism that wasn't just huge in games at the time but platformed largely by G4 as a Network. Attack of the Show had it's moments but yeah Olivia Munn and several other ladies were pretty much just objects for the show to sexualize for several bits. It's rise came right as that Comic Con ardent Nerd Fandom era that was really coming up strong, and you could totally tell then and even more so now how hard the network leaned into that attitude.

It's rough because G4 for me was my introduction to the games industry more seriously. Thankfully I found their Feedback show which was far less of the toxic shit and more just Bombcast style earnest dialogue on games. Where I first discovered Klepek, and eventually found my way to GB. But even with fond memories of some G4 related things I'm totally right with you. You can't move on from the past without being earnest and transparent about it. Trying to sweep it under the rug, likely in an attempt to not "pick a side" when it comes to their audience base is super disappointing to see. Yes not everyone in every fandom is bad, but it's very clear a huge part of the old G4 ways is pretty much toxic gamer culture 101 right now. G4's lack of clarity on these type of stances will only fuel the vocal minority of those troll movements to push for shitty content. They'd be much better off to just accept their lumps and spotlight the problems from the old days. Taking this stance may alienate a few of the hardcore but it'll be much worth it in the long run.

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monkeyking1969

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After reading what was here I have to agree. I did not know some of this, some fo teh worst bits, but I knew G4 and Tech TV combined was not exactly the fusion of two great places.

So, yeah, I think you have the right of it - this might not be a safe space they are making. The producers and owner of the new G4 have to show some good faith first. The talents so far seem like good choices at least as far as Ron -whom I have the most experiences with.

I will end with, "Do I even need G4 in 2021?" When both Tech TV and G4 started there were no other choices for talk about gaming and to see video footage of games. Video on teh Internet in 2004 was garbage - low resolution, highly compressed videos that you needed RealTime©™ and QuickTime©™ programs to watch in a tiny window. The power of a big cable tv networks was NEEDED to see the games from 2000 to 2012. Today we don't need it...and need is what a show lives and breaths upon - filing a niche not satisficed elsewhere.


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Willy105

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I don't really even understand a business model that will allow G4 to work.

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MrGreenMan

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I tried watching that special, and really respect a lot of the people who tried to put that G4 special together, but boy did it try way to hard and was very cringe. It just came off exactly like I expected. A weird shell of its former self trying to be relevant while still thinking its 2004, while most if really just feeling awkward, falling flat and overall just pointless.

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bobafettjm

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As someone who used to have TechTV going on my TV damn near 24 hours a day, I have always had a dislike for G4. I remember once they merged thinking how bad a lot of the G4 shows were, especially compared to what they got rid of. I also disliked how they ruined some of the shows I already liked with what was essentially humor for high school kids.

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deactivated-5fe944c2b23b6

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Great post. I used to love G4 when I was in my very early 20's, but even then some of the sexist crap was cringey.

This whole thing feels like a scam for tax write-offs or something. No logical person would want to put this kind of content on a platform as expensive and old as television. The content isn't general enough for large audiences and not specific enough for the nerds like us who want more depth.

What an odd way to burn money.

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B0nd07

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I didn't watch the special and have almost no interest in watching the new G4. In a way, I'm similar to many here, but on the opposite side of the coin. I loved G4 before the TechTV merger. To me, it was TechTV that ruined G4. So if it's more of the post merger style programming, then yeah, I'm out.

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Retris

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@efesell: I've tried to puzzle it out why anyone would group Patrick and Danny with fucking Nick Robinson and I just don't get it either.

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bacongames

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#22  Edited By bacongames

If you told me G4 coming back as part of Quibi I would have believed it.

Everything about it was ill-considered from the start, from the nostalgia play to some of the people featured. But of course, if people tried to actually revive G4 in a meaningful way by focusing on new and marginalized talent, then a bunch of bigoted nerds would come out of the woodwork to defend the "sanctity" of G4 that never existed as a racist dog whistle.

Anyway, eff Adam Sessler and double eff Chris Hardwick.

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Noises

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Really glad to see you mention the Hardwick stuff specifically, ever since Ron Funches promoted the show he was making with Hardwick on the Beastcast with zero comment from the crew before during or after I've been a little unnerved by it

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Gundato

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#24  Edited By Gundato

@noises: Don't recall that one but I know a lot of outlets have had a hard time handling the Hardwick situation. As has been pointed out, that is a very murky situation. Speaking as an outlet about things can have negative outcomes starting with an 'l' and ending with an 'awsuit'. Like, isn't Vic Mignolia still suing people for whatever he can think of (or is it just one long ongoing one that keeps getting appealed?)?

So I am not necessarily going to hold it against people for taking the awkward silence route (again, I have no recollection of this so I don't know exactly what the beastcast did).

But I do hold it against companies for not finding even the most bullshit of excuses to not platform an abuser. Like, tv networks and the like have a LOT of experience rejecting any woman over 40 and as many people of color as possible. Let's use that creative rejecting for a good cause. "We'd love to have Chris back but he just doesn't test well with our target demographic. Uhm, which one you ask? Its in the report. Just tell him no"

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dudeglove

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Further lending proof that the only acceptable format of games coverage on TV is the projection of an elderly man with a monacle talking to a scotsman in a poorly lit factory. It's been downhill ever since.

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AV_Gamer

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#26  Edited By AV_Gamer

Nice read, ZombiePie. You have a right to feel the way you do. The sad truth is, the video game industry and the tech industry in general is filled with racism and sexism. That has always been a problem and people for decades have always pretended that there is nothing to see, outside of the video games or some new fancy gadget. However, the unfortunate truth about G4 is the reason it failed the first time, wasn't because of toxic behavior in the work place. It was because of ratings. Many viewers outside of serious video game and tech fans didn't see a reason to have a channel fully dedicated to those things, so they didn't get the ratings to compete with other cable networks. This is why the channel overtime got mostly away from the video games and was showing reruns of television shows, movies and the like. They were desperately trying to find a way to stay relevant.

However, times have changed. Now video games have become a main form of entertainment, like watching a movie, or a sports broadcast. Now you pretty much have everyone playing some type of video game: From children, to grown adults, to even grandparents. Its now become embedded in human culture and not just seen as a kids thing or a thing for nerds like it was in the 90s and early 2000s. This is why G4 TV this time might actually succeed. They are getting off to a good start by hiring well known personalities that have a following. Their first impression will decide if it has a chance to last or not, because the audience is now there. And sadly, most people don't care about how Morgan Webb was trolled for being a woman and too pretty to play video games, or how toxic Victor Lucas and Tommy Tallarico were on Judgement Day in a sad attempt to be the edgy video game show the cool kids watched. Most people who loved X-Play back in the day, don't care how much of a douche bag Adam Sessler is on twitter. I could go on, but you get the idea.

Funny thing is, outside of X-Play and Judgement Day, the main reason I watched G4 was because I was getting into Anime back during that time, and G4's late night Anime showcase was pretty good.

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The_Nubster

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Nobody's hands are clean; remember how Portal 2 had an entire chapter full of fat jokes as late as 2011?

This is a bit strange of an inclusion for me because Glados' fat jokes were pretty clearly being used to illustrate how petty and childish it was. Schell killed Glados because Glados tried to kill her, and the fat jokes were a pathetic attempt from Glados to try and claim some sort of power over Schell. The joke was not "haha schell FAT" but rather about how insignificant Glados actually was in their comparison to Schell's repeated and indisputable triumphs over Glados' obstacles. It's made all the more clear when Wheatley comes into control of the facility and is honestly just a total dogshit loser of a boss, just a real smear of ass who can't do anything right, using similar insults but painting clearly how fucking pathetic and impotent they are. They are acting in ways that they think are harmful but in reality are ineffectual and honestly just sad.

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ryudo

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#28  Edited By ryudo

G4 sucked. Tech TV was great and Extended Play was miles better than Xplay. I loved Fresh Gear. Call For Help. Screen Savers with Leo and pat and Morgan and Kate and Kevin and more on TSS. Tech TV was fantastic and they stripped that all away to appeal to horny idiot 14-year-old males. Spike TV did the same thing when they stopped being TNN. The 2000s was an awful cringe decade.

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slaughts

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#29  Edited By slaughts

@av_gamer said:

However, times have changed. Now video games have become a main form of entertainment, like watching a movie, or a sports broadcast. Now you pretty much have everyone playing some type of video game: From children, to grown adults, to even grandparents. Its now become embedded in human culture and not just seen as a kids thing or a thing for nerds like it was in the 90s and early 2000s. This is why G4 TV this time might actually succeed. They are getting off to a good start by hiring well known personalities that have a following. Their first impression will decide if it has a chance to last or not, because the audience is now there. And sadly, most people don't care about how Morgan Webb was trolled for being a woman and too pretty to play video games, or how toxic Victor Lucas and Tommy Tallarico were on Judgement Day in a sad attempt to be the edgy video game show the cool kids watched. Most people who loved X-Play back in the day, don't care how much of a douche bag Adam Sessler is on twitter. I could go on, but you get the idea.

It is true that videogames and their general mainstream status isn't in the place it was in the early 2000s so in theory a platform dedicated to videogames is sound.

However, it is the type of platform that makes it suspect even if you don't factor in the clearly undeniable toxic history of G4. While I do not have hard data in front of me, I suspect the majority of videogame audiences that want video content be it lets plays, commentaries, podcasts, etc. have already found their preferred platforms whether it be Twitch streamers, YouTube channels, or dedicated sites like Giant Bomb/IGN/Rooster Teeth/etc. They're getting their content from internet sources and even if say they watch the rare times e-sports comes on ESPN or whatever, cable TV is not ever going to be their prime venue anymore. There is no infrastructural reason to watch a G4 TV channel. At least in the early 2000s as another user stated, internet video was still new and sluggish, magazines were there but it's not an accessible venue for the mainstream, and there wasn't ANYONE on mass TV dedicated to video games so a G4 channel was viable.

Then when you add all the history on top of it, what is the draw for someone in 2021 outside of nostalgia, a nostalgia that they may not hold as dearly too as they might've had a decade ago? Ryan Fuentes and Austin Creed are good personalities, but unless they hit it so out of the park, it is difficult for me to see a situation where they're not be overshadowed by G4's history and the expectations that come with that history. "Hey bring back the X-Play skits!", "Where's the weirdo sections that Attack of the Show had?" "WHAT ABOUT THE HOT BABES OF GAMES SPECIALS?!", that kind of shit.

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MostlySquares

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The whole Hardwick situation you spoke of makes me wince... Like, sure, we don't _know_ that he is guilty, but also we don't really know he's NOT guilty.. He couldn't get convicted in a court of law by this, but when you invite a person like that you essentially vouch for his innocence, or at the very least proclaim him to be a safe guest, which is insane to me. Only way he would be a safe guest is if the accusations were false. Right now there are easily as many who believe he is guilty as believe he is not. As you said, it was a choice they made to include him. Would they have if he was a proven rapist? Nah. Very, VERY unlikely.. So why did they? Cause they believe there's zero chance evidence will ever surface, cause they believe it to be a false accusation. Logix be easy.

If they saw it as 10% chance that what was claimed is true, Hardwich would never have been on this show again, ever. But as it is right now, too many people just believe him over her... and when they make important business decisions that very much signal their inability to read the room/understand our time, that's not a great signal.

This smacks of gen-x business people thinking they know the youths. 100% they'll have a show with the word XTREME in it.

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AV_Gamer

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#31  Edited By AV_Gamer

@slaughts said:
@av_gamer said:

However, times have changed. Now video games have become a main form of entertainment, like watching a movie, or a sports broadcast. Now you pretty much have everyone playing some type of video game: From children, to grown adults, to even grandparents. Its now become embedded in human culture and not just seen as a kids thing or a thing for nerds like it was in the 90s and early 2000s. This is why G4 TV this time might actually succeed. They are getting off to a good start by hiring well known personalities that have a following. Their first impression will decide if it has a chance to last or not, because the audience is now there. And sadly, most people don't care about how Morgan Webb was trolled for being a woman and too pretty to play video games, or how toxic Victor Lucas and Tommy Tallarico were on Judgement Day in a sad attempt to be the edgy video game show the cool kids watched. Most people who loved X-Play back in the day, don't care how much of a douche bag Adam Sessler is on twitter. I could go on, but you get the idea.

It is true that videogames and their general mainstream status isn't in the place it was in the early 2000s so in theory a platform dedicated to videogames is sound.

However, it is the type of platform that makes it suspect even if you don't factor in the clearly undeniable toxic history of G4. While I do not have hard data in front of me, I suspect the majority of videogame audiences that want video content be it lets plays, commentaries, podcasts, etc. have already found their preferred platforms whether it be Twitch streamers, YouTube channels, or dedicated sites like Giant Bomb/IGN/Rooster Teeth/etc. They're getting their content from internet sources and even if say they watch the rare times e-sports comes on ESPN or whatever, cable TV is not ever going to be their prime venue anymore. There is no infrastructural reason to watch a G4 TV channel. At least in the early 2000s as another user stated, internet video was still new and sluggish, magazines were there but it's not an accessible venue for the mainstream, and there wasn't ANYONE on mass TV dedicated to video games so a G4 channel was viable.

Then when you add all the history on top of it, what is the draw for someone in 2021 outside of nostalgia, a nostalgia that they may not hold as dearly too as they might've had a decade ago? Ryan Fuentes and Austin Creed are good personalities, but unless they hit it so out of the park, it is difficult for me to see a situation where they're not be overshadowed by G4's history and the expectations that come with that history. "Hey bring back the X-Play skits!", "Where's the weirdo sections that Attack of the Show had?" "WHAT ABOUT THE HOT BABES OF GAMES SPECIALS?!", that kind of shit.

I agree. Which is why I said they need to make a good first impression. Because with Twitch, Youtube Gaming, and social media in general, you do have gaming personalities people like to watch online whom have established themselves for years, which gives them an advantage and a head start over a revamp G4 TV cable channel. There is also the generation gap. Most of the generation that remembers the channel fondly are now in their late 30s and 40s, while the younger generation once again got their gaming personality fix by following someone on social media.

I believe their best bet if they don't want a repeat of what happened in the early 2000s, is to showcase as many of the popular and up and coming video game personalities they can, and keep it diverse. Seeing, Adam, Morgan, and the like is nice, but they should never be the center of attention again. Their time came and went. They should broadcast major tournaments, assuming this Covid thing is dealt with next year and be one if not the major network showing all the 2021 Gaming Olympic events at the Tokyo Olympics which will still happen whether there is Covid or not. Simply put, they need to get with the current times and not make the same mistake the Great Gasby did and try to bring back the past.

Of course, if ZombiePie boycotting the channel is something that a good enough number of people are also doing because of past wrong doings, combine with them stumbling out the gate, then the whole thing will be dead on arrival anyway and won't last a year.

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sombre

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#32  Edited By sombre

@retris said:

@efesell: I've tried to puzzle it out why anyone would group Patrick and Danny with fucking Nick Robinson and I just don't get it either.

You have seen the kinds of stuff the two former people posted in the past right?

I'm just saying nobody is whiter than white in the digital age

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unreal999

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". In the second scenario, the executives reviewed the contents of Hardwich's investigation, or even conducted one of their own, and decided Hardwich was fit to air and posed no risk to them or the people around him."

It's all speculation on your part but this seems right. There is 0 evidence against Hardwick at this point to make them even think twice about including him.

Anyway this whole G4 thing will fail within a year.

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NameRedacted

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I have no affection for G4 / AotS. To me, it's emblematic of the most problematic gaming zeitgeist of sexist "dude-bro" gaming culture (anyone remember how liberally they advertised their female on-talent as "gaming goddesses" in lads' mags?)

I'll admit to still liking some things on X-Play, and on-air talent, like Morgan Webb, but... holy f*ck, it's super cringey, looking back on it.

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development

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Thanks for the reminder. Didn't know about Chris Hardwick either. All of this is unforgiveable and, yeah, props to the survivors of that total nightmare and props to Funches, but fuck I'm never watching that.

Also Sessler does NOT look good. Does he need help?

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development

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@sombre said:
@retris said:

@efesell: I've tried to puzzle it out why anyone would group Patrick and Danny with fucking Nick Robinson and I just don't get it either.

You have seen the kinds of stuff the two former people posted in the past right?

I'm just saying nobody is whiter than white in the digital age

That's very disingenuous. What's your angle here? Minimizing the actual harm of the worst abusers? Patrick and Danny said shit that they regret, that they learned not to say as they grew up. Yes I know Danny's is just from a few years ago but he's clearly evolved a lot since then. Patrick's bad comments are from like 10+ years ago and he said they were stupid. Nick Robinson used his power and influence to prey on fans and coerce nude pictures from them. Spot the difference. It's not "no one is innocent in the digital age." Fuck that bullshit meaningless comment.

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Lots of good discussion in here... but I did notice one thing: "We're doubling down on reruns of COPS and Cheaters." Um. What?

Maybe that's an attempt at a joke there at the end and it really means "Yeah, no, y'all didn't go for that last time." But... I'm not sure.

Cheaters. Ugh. COPS. Double UGH!

For me I only watched Extended Play/XPlay and Sasuke so I skipped past the slime...

Which reminds me I do wish there was an easy way to see Sasuke here in the US (I mean American Ninja Warrior is alright, but it's no reason to completely hide new seasons of the original)...

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@oldguy: That part is a joke and it says it's a joke right afterwards on their website.

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VisariLoyalist

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I'm with you on not caring about G4 revamp. But mostly because I'm just not interested in "exclusive" coverage of games there is plenty of much more interesting content available for free on youtube.

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slaughts

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I have no affection for G4 / AotS. To me, it's emblematic of the most problematic gaming zeitgeist of sexist "dude-bro" gaming culture (anyone remember how liberally they advertised their female on-talent as "gaming goddesses" in lads' mags?)

I'll admit to still liking some things on X-Play, and on-air talent, like Morgan Webb, but... holy f*ck, it's super cringey, looking back on it.

I remember the big specials about the "Hottest Babes of Video Games". There's also a couple of AotS segments that really stick out that were the peakest male gaze sexual bullshit, all involving Olivia showing skin and the like.

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Whitestripes09

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It seems like G4 died for a reason.

Geek/tech culture has shifted so much into mainstream media and the format has evolved over the last few years that people demand something entirely different now.

There's no doubt in my mind that people like Adam Sessler and Morgan Webb are professional individuals that have a unique talent to go out on national TV and commentate on something that excites them. It seems like towards the end that is what we were getting more of with X-Play than the skits. X Play on it's own? Probably could survive as a web show or a twitch stream with guest interviews and coverage.

I don't see how something like AOTS could survive though. Yes, it's a very niche and there's nothing else like it, but I feel like that is for a reason. The edgy non-pc humor and oversexualizing of women just won't really cut it I think today with viewers. I don't really see Kevin Pereira or Olivia Munn carrying that show especially since it seemed like they depended on other people like Chris Hardwick to play the "semi-professional" nerd.

I also wonder what else is going to fill the block? That was one part that killed the channel was that they really didn't have a lot of interesting content besides their two flagship shows.

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@nameredacted said:

I have no affection for G4 / AotS. To me, it's emblematic of the most problematic gaming zeitgeist of sexist "dude-bro" gaming culture (anyone remember how liberally they advertised their female on-talent as "gaming goddesses" in lads' mags?)

I'll admit to still liking some things on X-Play, and on-air talent, like Morgan Webb, but... holy f*ck, it's super cringey, looking back on it.

You're exactly right. I've been watching episodes of X-Play on Youtube and from the first few episodes to even recent ones, they use some questionable language and words to describe video games. And knowing how bad the corporate culture got to be when they moved to Los Angeles with the E! network, I realized how bad and odious the G4 staff would be handled at that time.

And yes, seeing Chris Hardwick made me double cringe. Even that game show The Wall, he looks dead. It's awful and now reading this article, I don't know if I can still stomach the network again, even though I don't mind their humor that isn't hurting anyone else, to a point.

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#44  Edited By zgwpn

This is primarily me playing Devils Advocate but I feel the need to examine the 'Chris Hardwick' aspect of this as I saw no dissenting opinions on his potential employment being anything but objectionable. I just happen to have an unintended amount of context of his career as a 'listener' since the old Love Line days (mid-to-late 90s), as well as a generally informed awareness of the situation due to his associations (Geek and Sundry, comedy podcasts et al) and my personal interest in examining the situation.

First some prefaces:

- I find him terribly unfunny, especially his standup. I did for a span listen to The Nerdist, but it was primarily due to Jonah Rays music tastes and Chris' ability to be blandly affable and allow whatever guest being interviewed to have a positive environment to shill or express themselves. I find him at best conversationally funny...like perhaps a coworker who occasionally makes you smile amid the monotony of your work day but you would ghost on their invite to an Open Mic Night.

- I am old enough to still be a disgruntled TechTV fan so G4 can restart their network at the center of the Sun for all I care.

- I am also a disgruntled pragmatist that thinks a lot of people are too quick to reduce things to the dichotomous 'right or wrong' conclusion. I also think emotion is (at times) the death of reason in a lot of charged topics.

- This is not a shadow play to undermine peoples opinions on this matter, I just want to better understand them. If my rhetorical reads to you as being so PLEASE call it out so I can restate or correct myself.

- I'm not going to source any of this at time of writing, but if I make reference to something feel free to ask for sources and I'll try to provide them. Doing this dirty style and finding things as I go to refresh things so I don't mind doing that again for whoever else.

- This is not meant to be a rebuttal of Zombie or their opinions. They are valid and understandable.

With that said, I think Hardwicks situation is one of the more interesting 'MeToo' cases to examine regardless of your conclusions thereof. It also illustrated a clearer picture of the absolutism involved in the greater discussion on these matters, from myself in fact.

The MeToo movement as a whole was HUGE for me in evolving my perspective on womens issues. I had already thought myself a feminist/general progressive and it helped make me aware of a LOT of blindspots I had built up. In a weird way It was like I thought to myself 'well I listen to the Slits so Im good on all this shit' and stopped evolving on those issues. The naked misogyny of GamerGate and the MeToo movement really helped spur me into putting more work into those areas of thought.

When Dykstra made the accusations (June 14th) I found myself IMMEDIATELY condemning Hardwick in my mind. This rung a little critical thought bell in my head that hadn't rung in previous cases. When I get that alert in my head it usually means my position is propelled dis-proportionally by emotion rather than reason and I need to be aware of possible bias to fight against falling into assumed positions. Examining further I found that I was...rushing to that conclusion as a defense against having been a consumer of his work? At some level I felt some sort of complicity. I wondered how that may be skewing my perspective, and how or why I hadn't acknowledged this feeling in cases prior. So I tempered that initial reaction to see how he would respond. He responded on June 15th with a fairly expected 'I acknowledge this but maintain my innocence'. Not much to go on so back to wait-and-see mode. Then came the reaction from Chris Campbell on Shield of Tomorrow (a GREAT DM and a great realplay show, check them both out) later that night and redoubled my examination of presumption of guilt:

10:05 Eric Campbell: “And lastly, I’ve got something I’d like to read. I wrote this up this afternoon and got the thumbs up that I could say this, so I’m going to say it. So, if you’ll bear with me for a second. This is in regard to some of the stuff that a lot of you guys have been privy to that’s been happening on the internet today, specifically with our sister company Nerdist, and the people that used to be associated with Nerdist. So, this is what I got for you.

"First, I want to say that Geek & Sundry/Nerdist owe what we are today to the people who are here now, today. We’ve changed shape, we’ve evolved, we’ve changed hands, and each time changes happen, what comes next has been the responsibility of the creative, inclusive, supportive, and wonderful people who are taking the task of writing the next chapter of these companies. G&S and Nerdist are who we are today because of the people, the men and women and the enbies, who enter this building each day, and work so that they can continue to make this a safe haven for a community of fans who come together to celebrate not just the things they love, but each other. And that’s who the fuck we will continue to be. The fuck wasn’t in there, but I’m angry.”

“And lastly, we believe women, end of line.”

His anger mirrored my own. I felt the same sense that some of that anger was coming from an association with the accused. A feeling of being at some level complicit in allowing it to happen/not seeing it before the accusation came. His delivery of that final line was powerful and genuine and completely understandable. It was also troubling for me. I believed in the rhetorical value of 'we believe women' but his delivery of that message highlighted the intense emotion behind it's practical use. Highlighted the thin line that exists within it that I'd become accustomed to not acknowledging. What comes after? Yes, believe women. What's step 2?

As previously stated, my opinions on the issues women faced stagnated and blinded me to a lot of nuance involved with those issues. I had become intellectually lazy. With the Hardwick case I began to wonder if I had done the same in reverse. That perhaps I was trying to wash away my culpability (blindness to the nuance and severity) with hardline stances of presumed guilt. This felt like a perfect balance of being very aware of the accused professionally but having little emotional stake attached to their guilt or innocence that made it easy to view it almost in a purely academic sense. So I followed things closely and used it as a case study for myself and how I formed my opinions.

A lot of the work of following was fairly easy in that there wasn't a lot to follow. Outside of statements from both parties, companies involved, and speculation from friends and peers of Hardwick. Speculation only goes so far so I'll first do a basic timeline rundown of factual events:

- Accusation (June 14th)

- First response of accused (June 15th)

- Legendary/Nerdist scrubs mention of Hardwick from site (June 15th)

- NBC holds production on 'The Wall' while they 'assess' (June 16th)

- AMC pulls 'Talking Dead' and begins 'investigation' and relays that Hardwick has 'decided to step back from Comic Con panels' (June 16th)

- *investigations and assessments*

- AMC announces Hardwick return to the network (July 25th)

- NBC announces Hardwick will appear on network (July 31st)

- Legendary/Nerdist reinstate Hardwick mentions on site (August 10th)

There is a lot of nuance to those events but that is the broad timeline. Both parties (the people not the corporations) maintained their stances and expressed a desire to 'move on' at this point.

Now we come to my primary reason for this post. It now falls to the consumer to make judgements based on the accusations, the statements and further responses of parties (people and corporate), and lastly the speculative input from third-parties. As ZombiePie stated (and I agree) the corporate investigations mean almost nothing. Depending on your view of how they may be acting based on 1 - potential liability 2 - potential consumer fallout 3 - pressure/influence of parties involved, there's too many variables and too much volatility there to take much away. Dykstra (rightfully) decided not to be involved in the AMC investigation. The responses from Dykstra and Hardwick varied in detail and hard copy validation but was maintained from both sides and primarily reflected in their initial Accusation and Response. Speculation was...well most of the people with platforms and opinions either danced around it or expressed support for their respective sides based on friendship and personal history. As most speculation goes there isn't a lot to glean there that isn't fueled by personal bias and skewed by assuming people act the same way with everyone regardless of relation or context (which is NOT how people work).

You, the consumer, now choose. Will you consume future content from this person? Why? Why not? Will you boycott the platforms that host said content?

@zombiepie said:

However, this PALES IN COMPARISON to the most egregious invite the G4 reunion made. That would be the decision to invite Chris Hardwich to reminisce in a roundtable about the "Golden Age of G4" accompanied by Olivia Munn, Kevin Pereira, Adam Sessler, Morgan Webb, Sarah Underwood, and many others. After everything that has come out related to Chris Hardwich's abuse allegations and multiple other media platforms publicly dropping him, this was a choice. I know bringing up this topic will invite the usual suspects that will likely repeat the same soundbites that have been said a thousand times before. Yes, I am aware AMC and other companies closed their investigations related to Hardwich in his favor, citing "lack of evidence" as the primary reason. However, it is important to point out the victim of Hardwich's abuse elected not to cooperate with these investigations. In addition, this victim stated their intent in going public about Hardwich was to open up about a dark part of their life as part of their coping process. And before you ask, I support the victim's right to do this and trust that their testimony is true. As a result of all of this, it's tough to accept many of the new G4's claims that they are "bigger and better than ever," as this alone highlights a massive oversight on their part.

I have been running through various scenarios that involve the new executives in charge of G4 when it comes to Hardwich's resurfacing. My thought experiment has arrived at two possible conclusions. In the first scenario, the executives did no research and invited everyone with an on-screen credit during G4's original run to their holiday event. I find this prospect impossible to believe as Comcast, by the revived G4's own admission, is paying for G4's bills and wouldn't let them book someone they thought hurt their bottom line. In the second scenario, the executives reviewed the contents of Hardwich's investigation, or even conducted one of their own, and decided Hardwich was fit to air and posed no risk to them or the people around him. This is likely the "correct" scenario, and goddamn, do I not know what to say about it. At the very least, it shows a massive gap in the revived network's understanding of media accountability. It suggests they are not up to the task posed by most gaming websites or online forums in guaranteeing a safe working environment.

This is absolutely a valid position to hold. It is every consumers right to make value judgements of people and products and spend their time and money accordingly. I simply want to go back to what comes after an accusation? What was step 2?

Please correct me if I'm framing this incorrectly, but ZombiePie seems to be stating here that their original position of believing the accuser wholly remains in the face of 'investigations' and further expressed it as a central reason for not supporting Nu G4. I'm not here to debate that assessment but to ask the hypothetical: What does a world where you change that position look like? Does the scenario even exist? What is a plausible step 2 for the accused that would have traction for you to adjust your position outside of their denial? This is not a gotcha rhetorical I'm legitimately asking. I don't have the answer...which is what made me so uncomfortable with my original anger upon reading the accusations. What could possibly abate that initial reaction? My ambivalence towards Hardwicks work itself hasn't put me in a position to have to come to any sort of conclusion on all of it...but it struck me how cut and dry all off the opinions in this post have been. Feels like a good opportunity for me to learn.

I believe women. But is that where it stops? For a lot of people it seems to and it just doesn't sit right with me.

I had more to write but I suppose I'll cut it short (HA!) here and come back upon responses. Thanks to anyone who made it this far.

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CurseOfTheWise

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@development: His angle is to "BOTH SIDES" disingenuously in every single topic with the same smug tone of someone who thinks ANYONE is believing them when they say they play DOA XTREME BEACH VOLLEYBALL for the volleyball simulation.

@zgwpn:An actual investigation and consequences. Part of the problem is, indeed, to avoid putting any effort in, most monoliths WILL just cut ties with actionable accusations (an overcorrection from when they did NOTHING even WITH actionable accusations). Great example is WWE's treatment of Velveteen Dream: accused of sexually propositioning kids online, WWE concluded "We investigated and found nothing." Then survivors came forward to say they were NEVER CONTACTED as part of any investigation, and it became, "What, exactly, did you investigate?" but by then, the accusations had moved on and none of these people were rich enough to hire a lawyer and apply pressure. So generally what should be done is a transparent investigation, and if nothing is found: move on from there. If something is found: more than a slap on the wrist and a warm welcome back 3 years later without any mea culpa beyond a Tweet that's apologizing "IF YOU WERE OFFENDED LOLOLOLO."

Also believe accusers, not just women.

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Onemanarmyy

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If a frontfacing person is accused of something horrible and your internal investigation ends with the conclusion that the accused can be reinstated in their role, you probably need to be open and transparant about how that conclusion was reached. If your organization can't or aren't willing to do that, it probably makes more sense to cut ties with this person. After all, if people feel uncomfortable about this person, that's not good for anyone in the process.

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BladeOfCreation

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Well then. Both the G4 website and the Thanksgiving reunion special have put in the effort to talk about how inclusive and diverse the new G4 is going to be.

At G4, they are committed to diversity. For example, for their two headlining shows, they've hired a white man in his late 40s and a white man in his late 30s!

Nothing says a commitment to moving forward like re-hiring the aging talent from 10+ years ago.

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buzz_killington

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This is fake wokeness applied to the lowest hanging fruit with not-even-remotely-a-thing "scandals". There's real sexism and transphobia in the world and these guys aren't even in the same galaxy.

What would canceling the G4 revival accomplish in the fight to make the world more just?

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csl316

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Whenever I hear about G4, I think of games on TV, and I come to realize that I really just have nostalgia for the original Electric Playground on TV. Both Tommy and Vic have been doing a ton of varied stuff since then, and it warms might heart to know that they're still friends.

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habster3

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Never got into G4's dudebro, chauvinist, trying-way-to-hard aesthetic when I was a kid (which is surprising because I was a little shit back then). Can't say I feel compelled to get into it now either.

I hope some of the people you mentioned get out clean. Otherwise, I wouldn't mind seeing it crater. It's just so... obnoxious.