Cartoon Twitter avatars strike again.
Cancel culture has reached unprecedented heights, and the latest battleground is Twitter's animation fandom community.
The seed of war was planted when popular animator Sr Pelo released his newest video, "Every StoryTime Animation." The video parodies StoryTime Animations (or "STA"), a genre of YouTube cartoons whereby someone tells a personal story alongside animation. Pelo makes fun of almost every major YouTuber in the genre, but it ultimately seems pretty lighthearted.
Every StoryTime Animation www.youtube.com
Pelo's video drew a lot of praise from the YouTube animation community, many of whom dislike the STA genre.
But Arin Hanson (otherwise known as "Egoraptor"), a well-known animator who currently hosts the Game Grumps web-series, had a different opinion.
"This is mean," Tweeted Hanson, expressing his feeling that making fun of other artists isn't in good fun and actually just hurts feelings.
Whether or not Pelo's video was intentionally mean-spirited or actually offended any of the people it parodied, Hanson was basically just saying that similar experiences hurt him in the past. Apparently, this opinion was enough to set off an angry Twitter mob, leading to "Arin" trending in the US with a constant stream of toxicity pushed by mostly cartoon avatars (naturally).
A lot of the anger directed at Hanson revolved around perceived hypocrisy. Hanson started his career by making animated videos on Newgrounds.com, a popular hub for independent animation in the late 2000s. Much of Hanson's early content was also incendiary, and posters dredged up the absolute worst of it.
One video from 8 years ago shows Hanson and his wife laughing about the n-word.
Another comment Hanson made 8 years ago to another animator wasn't particularly nice.
Obviously, Hanson's prior behavior was problematic; nobody is denying that. But people change a lot over the course of a decade, and Hanson has clearly grown as a person. For some reason, these posters think Hanson being an a**hole when he was younger and changing as he got older is throwing shade at his roots.
Arin had defenders too, of course. Many people viewed everyone making fun of a guy over trying to get people not to make fun of others as awful.
On Pelo's end, he didn't even understand why people were attacking Arin over a pretty innocuous opinion in the first place.
So why did a guy basically saying "bullying isn't cool" lead to people dog-piling him? Because as cancel culture, drama hounds, and the animation fandom community in particular have proven time and time again, they have absolutely no barometer for nuance. Everything is black and white to them. They seem incapable of looking at a situation and thinking, "I thought this video was funny, but someone else didn't and that's okay too."
Many of them seem young, so perhaps their venom is just a sign of immaturity. It's a lot easier to view people's personalities as immutable at 15 years old than it is at 30. Maybe they just don't realize that there's nothing hypocritical about someone being different than they were 10 years ago.
But regardless of their reasoning, these people (not Pelo, but rather his fanbase) are absolutely proving Arin Hanson's point. They are mean. They are bullies. And hopefully, one day, they can change.
- Arin Hanson - 16 Character Images | Behind The Voice Actors ›
- Game Grumps' Arin Hanson under fire for criticizing YouTube animator ›
- Arin Hanson (@egofaptor) • Instagram photos and videos ›
- The Sr. Pelo-Arin Hanson Squabble : rantgrumps ›
- Egoraptor | A very popular nobody ›
- Arin | Game Grumps Wiki | FANDOM powered by Wikia ›
- Egoraptor - YouTube ›
- Arin Hanson - IMDb ›
- Arin Hanson, you say? (@egoraptor) | Twitter ›
Shows like Brooklyn Nine-Nine make cops seem harmless, an illusion tainted with centuries of racism.
Two summers ago, during one of the darkest periods in my personal life, I found solace in Brooklyn Nine-Nine.
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is a sitcom that stars Andy Samberg as Jake Peralta, an NYPD detective with an impressive track record of solved cases despite his goofy, unsophisticated demeanor. Since its premiere in 2013, the show has been commended for its representation of LGBTQ+ and BIPOC people; the recurring cast includes two very smart (and never overtly sexualized) Latina women, as well as two Black men in the precinct's top roles. In 2018, the show received a GLAAD Media Award for its depiction of queer characters. Throughout its seven seasons, Brooklyn Nine-Nine has addressed serious issues like workplace sexual harassment, reconciling with an absent parent, and coming out to disapproving family members, all while retaining a sharp, tasteful sense of silly humor. Rotten Tomatoes has given multiple seasons of Brooklyn Nine-Nine a perfect 100% rating, likening it to "comfort food."
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- TV Cops Donate Money to Fight Police Brutality | Vanity Fair ›
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I wasn't one for dating sims... but then Dream Daddy had to go and exist.
Listen, if you had told me that the Game Grumps, noted Let's Players and Youtube gaming personalities, were going to publish a gay dating simulator about dads - I would have just laughed and been like, "Okay, sure." If you went even further and said that it was actually really good and surprisingly validating and unlike anything else on the market, I would have just slapped you and called you crazy. Because, honestly, how crazy does that all sound?
But it happened. It's real. It's a real thing that exists in our timeline - and honestly, it's one of the few things that make me think that maybe we're not in the bad timeline after all.
In Dream Daddy, you take control of a new dad in the cul-de-sac of much handsomer dads (seriously, you like a 6 and they're all 10s). Throughout the game, are you able to date the dads and eventually commit to one and get their specific ending. All the while, you also navigate the struggles of being a single father after having last your husband/wife a while ago. It's a simple dating sim that packs a surprising amount of of heart - and honestly, look at those dads. How can you not have a good time?
WHY DO THESE DADS MATTER?
So, these dads are very near and dear to my heart for a number reasons. The first and foremost obviously being the incredible amount of diversity in their designs. You have some dads of color, you have an overweight dad, you have a nerdy dad, a goth dad - there's just so many good, good dads! And that's really important for the gay community these days - with racism and body shaming still being a major issue.
Not to mention, their BUILD THAT DAD character creator has a surprising amount of diverse options. I was able to make a dad that was more or less the same body type as me. Another very important plus is the ability to give your dad a binder, which means that you can actually have a trans dad. This is so important for trans gamers! So few games actually allow you to have trans protagonists, and Dream Daddy actually delivered that - it's honestly one of the best, most shocking parts of them game thus far.
The thicker binder bod option!Steam
The game also does a good job in showing positive gay parental representation. Every single character in this game has children, and most of these children are shown to be happy and loving towards their parents. The ones that aren't are usually rebellious teens or are estranged for reasons beyond sexuality. It's not every day that a dating sim shows how positive LGBTQ+ parents can be, right?
There's also the fact that not all of these dads are gay - and some of them are bi, or pan? No one's sexuality is explicitly stated, but some have been married to women previously. It's not perfect in terms of actual representation, but the experience is still a very queer one. There isn't any room for straight characters in this game, except for one wife here and a daughter there - but even then, they're side characters compared to the rest of the dads.
We even have a trans dad! I'm not going to spoil it for you, because I think it's best to play the path on your own - but a trans dad does exist in the game. And that's above and beyond anything I expected in this Game Grumps-made gem.
IS THIS GAME PERFECT?
The Title ScreenSteam
No. There's no such thing as perfect. As I said before, none of the characters' sexualities are explicitly stated. This isn't a huge issue, but in a time where so many sexualities are facing erasure by the gay and lesbian communities - labels tend to be very important. I'm not saying it had to be in there in a dramatic fashion - we didn't need a coming out story or anything - but I think a casual mention of who swings what and where would have been nice?
Still, if that's my only criticism then I think the game has to be doing something right!
THE BOTTOM LINE
Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator is a brilliant example of what being truly inclusive is. Dream Daddy didn't need to have overdramatic plotpoints, or melodramatic arguments. It's a fun, simple game about a dad trying to get back into the dating scene and finding love! It's also about a single, queer father, doing his best to help his daughter overcome the struggles of friendship and going off to college.
Honestly, this entire game is a positive experience. It's a small beacon of light in cis-straight world, and you should all give it play through when you get the chance!
- Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator on Steam ›
- Dream Daddy Wiki ›
- Dream Daddy (A Game From Game Grumps) - Trailer - Available Now! ›
- Steam Community :: Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator ›
- Dream Daddy (@dreamdaddygame) | Twitter ›
- Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator - Wikipedia ›
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- Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator review | PC Gamer ›
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