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HipHopGamer Deserves a Second Chance
The other day I was browsing Facebook and noticed a post from the ECA announcing their new ambassador. It was HipHopGamer. I’m proud of him for making moves and slowly making changes in his life. But others in this gaming industry are not happy with this decision.
I don’t blame them at all.
There are things HipHopGamer has done in the past that I don’t agree with at all. Every time I see him in person at a gaming event. I always give him advice and my feedback about certain things. He has a big following, which is a great thing, but he needs to be careful with the things he says and posts online. Of course, we’ve all made mistakes and learned from them. We’re humans. And it’s sad to see well-known journalists bash HipHop for things he’s done in the past.
I went through something similar a few years ago when I got an award from the Xbox MVP program. I got all these interviews and did so much on my own. But in June 2007, Aaron Greenberg (Microsoft) gave me the scoop about a big announcement that would make “gaming history.” Once this was announced, not many people were satisfied with the news (featured on Joystiq, Destructoid, Sarcastic Gamer, G4TV, 1up, IGN). Some were bashing GTR for reporting it. I won’t lie; this had me feeling depressed and unhappy with everything. I felt like the world was hating on me for something that I love to do, which is podcasting. Eventually, despite all the negativity, I kept busting my ass, working hard for years without pay to make some amazing things happen in my life and for Gamertag Radio.
This blog post isn’t about taking sides. I just feel that people should give HipHopGamer a chance. There are lots of folks we like in this industry who were not necessarily angels in the past. Eventually, most of them change for the better. That’s how it is with life, and it’s why I think everyone deserves a second chance.
AnnoyedGamer released this video on Gametrailers and talked about the ECA’s announcement (fast forward to 6:38). He said having HipHopGamer as an ambassador is a bad idea. He mentioned the reasons why HipHopGamer doesn’t represent this industry: claiming to be the number one games journalist, calling people “faggots” online, starting fights at press events, grabbing a dozen gift bags at gaming PR events, and plagiarism. Still, though, he says he’s giving HipHopGamer a chance to change. I do agree with AnnoyedGamer that we need to be careful with the things we do or say within our communities because major media outlets can and will use our negative actions against us to try and give us a bad reputation. And that’s exactly what’s happening with HipHopGamer: gaming journalists pointing to all the negative things he’s done in the past, using it against him.
So, HipHopGamer, it’s time for you to change. I will still support you.
Here’s the convoversation between AnnoyedGamer and HipHopGamer on Twitter:
This is the official response from the ECA about this drama:
Gerard approached us wanting to know what he could do to help the cause. He’s in the process of turning his life around, becoming more professional and inspirational to his friends and followers. It’s exceedingly rare that we have individuals approach the organization laying it all out there, offering to do whatever they can, and asking for nothing in return. While we weren’t aware of any of his perceived transgressions online, we choose to embrace his support, his efforts and his selflessness. If we were all judged solely upon the negatives in our past we would all be damned. We would like to give him the opportunity to be a voice for gamers and a positive role model for gaming.
So, again, HipHopGamer, I will give you a chance. Just be smart and careful with what you do. Those who don’t like you will use it to shut you down. You are representing us– the minorities–in this industry. The only way for all of us to be successful is when people like you open the doors for others. But do it the right way. There are young people that look up to you all over the world. Don’t let them feel that this is a let down. Show others that dreams do come true.
Keep doing your thing, and make us proud.