|A message I just received suggests that maybe a public service announcement is in order.|
Before I say anything else, let me first thank all of you who frequent this site, whether you contribute reader reviews or not. I am grateful for your support, and I hope that it will continue. I don't want any of you to remove your reviews, especially because reviews are the lifeblood of this community and clearly the primary component that makes it great (with the other component being the discussion that reviews promote, so perhaps you can see why I consider reviews so vital).
With that said, I'd also like to remind you that when you submit a reader review and it is posted on the site, you can remove it at any time you like, without any need to contact site staff. If you don't like the way it looks, if you've become a better writer and/or it no longer reflects your opinions on the game, you can take it down without involving any third party. Just head to your blog and you'll find a list of your reviews. It's easy to proceed from there, and the site is designed that way for a reason.
Site staff and freelancers don't have the same option once content is posted, because that content more directly represents the site and removing it later creates a variety of issues.
I'm writing this note now because I just received an HG Mail contact from a former contributor/reader who wrote to let me know that he no longer wants his content featured on a site that includes the "Hitler Exploded" avatar, which is available on the site and used by one of our site staff members. The person contacting me asked me to remove his reviews (which I have done) and noted that he will not be logging into the site again, even to check whether or not I have removed the content as requested.
Of course I removed the content. I don't want anyone's content hosted here against his or her will. I want you all to be proud of what you've written and happy to see it offered on the site alongside great content from other contributors. I'm sorry that this particular contributor felt the site had crossed an unacceptable line.
One note: he had submitted two reviews, one of them being a review for another extremely violent Capcom title. As you might realize, the Hitler Exploded avatar is taken from Bionic Commando. Like the reader, I don't endorse violence against any group of people or individuals. However, an avatar taken from a classic 8-bit NES game doesn't feel to me like something that should be pointed to as anyone on this site crossing a line. Violence and video games have been inextricably woven together since very nearly the dawn of the medium. Most people--gamers in particular--realize that making, talking about, and enjoying games is not the same thing as advocating violence or even accepting it as reasonable in the real world.
If you ever have a problem with content featured on this site and you'd like to talk about it, I hope you'll feel comfortable contacting me before you nuke your reviews or ask for them to be taken down on your behalf. Give me a chance to make it right, or to explain my position in the event that I can't. You are important and so are your contributions, but freedom of speech and expression--within reasonable bounds--are and always will be hallmarks of this site.
|Most recent blog posts from Jason Venter...|
|JoeTheDestroyer - August 20, 2015 (12:03 AM)
Oh, for the love of...
|jerec - August 20, 2015 (07:25 AM)
I've been Hitler all my life and I find that avatar *HIGHLY* offensive.
|Suskie - August 20, 2015 (07:53 AM)
I bet it was bluberry. That guy was always so easily offended.
|JoeTheDestroyer - August 20, 2015 (09:33 AM)
Geez, OD.... Scaring people away with your intimidating avatar. You should adopt a friendlier face, like my cuddly dog picture.
|Suskie - August 20, 2015 (09:53 AM)
Or my alien husk being possessed by a machine god that wants to harvest all intelligent life in the galaxy.
|overdrive - August 20, 2015 (02:41 PM)
Whoa. Of all the things I DIDN'T expect to see as a complaint against me. I mean, what happened? Some dude just woke up and was like, "Wait a minute...I just decided I don't like this avatar. GET ME OUT OF HERE!!!!"
|sashanan - August 20, 2015 (02:42 PM)
Avatars and Godwin aside, I have at times considered pulling some of my older reviews - mostly GameFAQs, as the ones I have in mind primarily haven't even made it to this site - as I was no longer that happy with them, but in the end did not go that route. I figure if I want to rewrite, I can, and then it can replace the old one, but so long as I am not doing so, a review is better than no review.
|overdrive - August 20, 2015 (02:43 PM)
I mean, if the avatar is that bad, I'll change it. Change it to something like Diablo, so someone will wind up deleting all their stuff because Satan. But it'd be the thought that counted!
|JoeTheDestroyer - August 20, 2015 (03:23 PM)
I'm still confused about what the contributor found offensive. Was it the gore? Did he find the avatar anti-Semitic, regardless of its depiction of a dying Hitler? Was he a neo-Nazi who was bothered by his hero being blown to bits?
|overdrive - August 20, 2015 (05:31 PM)
Indeed. If there was one damn thing in this world I thought we all could agree on, it's that the heroic jumping rocket-launcher-through-the-heli-window murder of Hitler by the Bionic Commando was a feat to celebrate.
Apparently some Debbie Downer wanted Hitler to succeed...my faith in humanity is waning once again.
|pickhut - August 20, 2015 (06:40 PM)
Not to drag this out any further, but... Considering I submitted a review of a game centered around killing Nazi zombies ten days ago, I.....
Oh, and Hitler's in that game, too.
|EmP - August 20, 2015 (07:28 PM)
I reviewed a game about basketball. And space. My avatar is an adorable zero-level random encounter from a slightly obscure 1991 dungeon crawler.
Just putting that out there in case anyone anyone doubted that I have forever been the nice guy of the site. Officially.
|JoeTheDestroyer - August 20, 2015 (08:04 PM)
I'm stealing your quote for a moment, OD.
|sashanan - August 20, 2015 (08:24 PM)
Every time I see the Slimy Ooze in EmP's avatar, I am reminded that I really, really need to review Shining in the Darkness. Given my love for this title, it's a travesty that I haven't.
|wolfqueen001 - August 21, 2015 (01:18 AM)
Haha. Seriously? Wow. Of all the stupid things to get offended about. Well, to each his own, I suppose. From the sound of it, it doesn't sound like anyone we would've known for too long here... if he/she only had two reviews. And, while I think Suskie was kidding about Boo, I can safely say it wasn't him because he and OD were like BFFs. :P
|Germ - August 21, 2015 (02:39 PM)
I had a feeling this was the guy who used the word "videoludic" in a review. I googled HonestGamers.com videoludic. Clicked the first result. Hmmmm, it doesn't load! Also, I hope no one feels offended by my banana gore avatar.