Comment Carnival | The Island of Isolated Egos

The following post is about Internet drama involving two parties. The first is Notch (AKA Markus Persson), creator of the popular game Minecraft (over 4 million copies sold) and founder of the indie game company Mojang. The second is a group of Brits (foremost Simon, Lewis and Hannah) that have a podcast on YouTube called Yogscast. A huge part of their videos are centered around Minecraft, including "Let's Plays" of adventure maps, release updates, mod spotlights, and a long-running adventure series. They've made themselves pretty famous off of these videos, and have introduced plenty of people to Minecraft.

For the official release of Minecraft, Mojang decided to hold a convention in Las Vegas. Minecon sold out their 4500 tickets for the two day convention. One of the events was a panel and signing held by the Yogscast crew. The overall conclusion was that Minecon was fun, though chaotic and disorganized - common for a first-time convention. Right after the con ended, as the Yogscrew was about to board their intercontinental flights back home, Notch let loose a series of Tweets that sparked a massive battle in their respective fanbases:

Fightin' Words

We also learned who not to work with at Minecon. Shame.. :/ - 21 Nov

I'm very sorry about the behavior of the people we won't work with any more. Celebrity or not, you don't f-bomb kids. - 21 Nov

Yes, Yogscast. - 21 Nov

Wow. Hate, insults and threats are flooding in from Yogscast fans. I'll stop biting my tongue now. - 21 Nov

Yogscast repeatedly insulted people, talked behind their backs, refused to cooperate, and acted like total spoiled divas nonstop. - 21 Nov

They called us "a bunch of nerds who don't know how to run a company", demanded that we pay them to come here (nobody else got paid). - 21 Nov

And they claim they're the reason minecraft is big and that we should thank them more than anyone else in the community. They're total dicks - 21 Nov

A kid wanted them to sign something I had signed, and they said they'd cross it out and put "fuck you" there instead. - 21 Nov

Everyone else in the Minecraft community is all about respecting and caring. They're not. They're an isolated island of egos. - 21 Nov

All this said, I'm very tired at the moment, and this will probably pass. I do like the work they do, very much. - 21 Nov

we are about to embark on a 24 hour journey home so will officially respond when back in the UK - Lewis - 21 Nov

I'm sorry about the ugly public airing of dirty laundry. - 22 Nov

we aren't stalling in any way, we merely want to draft a coherent response, instead of raging in a con-flu/jet lagged state - have patience! - 22 Nov

Highlights of their response:

We are very disappointed by these tweets from someone we admire and respect. We can understand that it was the morning after the deadmau5 party and Notch was very tired, but we are still fairly upset. The quotes and actions that Notch attributed to us were not said by us or published anywhere by us. [...]

Regarding dropping f-bombs at the show - we apologise for this, but had rehearsed the whole show in front of the organisers and half of Mojang and they had approved it. [...]

Out of all the tweets that Notch sent out, most hurtful was the accusation that we told a kid to “fuck off” and crossed out another signature – which is something we would never ever do. [...]

We were also unhappy and surprised that a week before Minecon, Mojang informed us that they had sold the rights to livestream our show and content to IGN – they hadn’t asked us, they hadn’t spoken to us – they just sold it. Because of this, we nearly cancelled the trip, but decided to say “balls to it” and come anyway, because we felt we owed it to the fans. Hannah actually spoke with IGN directly earlier, and they agreed to take their video down and let us put the videos up on our channel, so a big thanks to them for that. [...]

We were not paid, and never demanded to be paid. We asked for some support, and Mojang said they could offer us two hotel rooms for the duration of the stay and a small boardroom to rest in. We spent a huge amount of money on flights, rooms, food and equipment for the 10 people that we brought along to support us, act as security, make videos/posts and generally help out. [...] - 23 Nov

It's likely the entire Yogscast scenario is just stress related misunderstanding. I apologize for bringing it online before talking to them. - 23 Nov

We found it hard working with Yogscast, but we regret that this was aired publicly. We will now sort this out with them directly. - 23 Nov

Notch responds to the Yogscast statement:

Fair enough.
edit: I meant this in a positive way.
- 24 Nov

Hey, @yogscast! I'm sorry about being a dick. - 24 Nov

@notch woah woah woah! they swore at kids! - 24 Nov

@_AdmanX sure, but what I did wasn't nice. - 24 Nov

Featured Comments

They are certainly the biggest driving force behind Minecraft at present, you only need to look at the view count. [...] Their videos hit the frontpage of Youtube every day, showing Minecraft off on the second largest search engine in the world time after time. I'm not sure Notch fully grasps just how much that many views on Youtube can do for your product.

@MojangTeam By posting "We found it hard.." you are still airing this publicly. I'm not taking sides, but surely you can see my point. - 23 Nov

I'm still blown away at how people don't understand the whole Youtube celebrity thing. If your daily videos are getting more views then some TV shows, you're a power to be reckoned with in marketing terms.
-Economic Crysis

Just heard from Simon and Lewis, they got back to Gatwick airport and were met by a crazed Notch supporter who repeatedly insulted them, IRL - 22 Nov

You guys are adorable. Watching Notch pick on you is like watching a fat baby throwing feces at a box of kittens.

Note: MinecraftChick is the online handle of Mojang's "Director of Fun." She is the totality of their PR department. She previously did a series of Minecraft Let's Plays. I am pleased to note that the following three posters were probated for these posts:

MinecraftChick is an LPer. I'm quoting twitter when I say her crowning achievement was taking 41 episodes to find diamonds.

She must have sucked some dick at E3 because she managed to spin it into a job in Sweden. Good for her, I guess.
-The Leif

Minecraft chick is insufferable. Anyone who thinks she got the job for reasons other than she has a vagina and won't stop sucking minecraft's collective dick is an idiot. All the people bitching about misogyny must find the real world a dark and scary place!
- Senator Woofington

Oh, something with a vagina that the developer gets fixated on because she can't shut the fuck up about his game?
- Lord Solitare

Sadly, Yogscast, it looks as if Markus is... -shades- Notch ya' friend anymore. YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH - 21 Nov

we could as a result of this lose invitations to other peoples' conventions. The hate mail has certainly stopped (hurray!), but the media sites aren't reporting at all on our response, so it is a bit concerning that this is all that will be seen by companies scouting us out - Google was showing them as results last night instead of our site, Youtube etc - especially since Mojang are still adamant that we're difficult to work with.
Hexidecimal Gnome (AKA Hannah)

Didn't half the modding community lose their shit because someone wrote a script to bypass adfly links?- 48 Hour Boner

That's why he said island of egos. The Minecraft community as a whole is a continent sized landmass of egos, and Yogscast is an isolated island just off the coast of that continent. - Bolian Blues

In @notch's defense, Lewis wore sunglasses the whole time. Inside. - 21 Nov

Dear Notch,

Look, I don't care how much distaste you have for "celebrity," it's not a matter of pride or honor that all your panelists were volunteers. That actually reflects very poorly on your company and your personal relations. The only con hosts who try to skimp the travel, hotel and food expenses of their guest panelists are scumbags. "Pay your guests" is like, convention-running 101. I know that, and I'm not the one running a convention.

You hosted a for-profit convention celebrating the official launch of your game. You aren't a charity. You aren't a not-for-profit organization. That you would expect a group of people to shell out over seven thousand dollars for the " privilege " of helping market your game is, to put it lightly, disgusting. That those people make most - if not all - of their income through ad revenue off of Youtube videos is something that seems to have escaped your notice - even though you asked them to attend because of their work. They took a huge hit to their personal finances to attend your convention, worked their asses off entertaining the fans, only to return home and see your slandering their name with unverifiable claims.

You chose to air your grievances to the whole Internet before mentioning anything to the folks involved. You spoke without thinking, and it's them who have to pay for it. You slandered their reputation, and timed your complaints in such a way that it didn't give them any opportunity to respond before the damage was done. Their websites and forums were taken down by your fans, acting on the misinformation you fed them. They were assaulted in real life by a fan of yours who blindly believed everything you wrote. You permanently marred their reputation because you were feeling sulky.

And, lastly, the best you can do is, "Sorry you had to see that," "Welp, fair enough," and "It wasn't nice of my to set my rabid fanbase on them while they were in a plane over the Atlantic. But they're still insufferable divas who swear at small children." Excuse me? that's not an apology. That's a passive-aggressive attempt to cover your ass when you're called out on the hysterical lies you wrote. Yes, I called them lies because that's what they are - things that are untrue.

You know who has the right to be angry about this? the Yogscast crew does. You sell the rights to their content to a third party. You refuse to cover the considerable expense of intercontinental flights for them to attend to be a featured speaker at your convention. You fail to properly organize the event, so it's utter chaos. And yet, after all this, the Yogs team still gets up on stage and tells everyone how much they love the game and the community. You then get in a huff and do permanent damage to their reputation (that's legal slander, by the way. They have grounds to sue you), declare you're on vacation and leave them to deal with the mess you made. And then, when they extend the olive branch, you issue a half-assed passive-aggressive apology.

You are lucky that they happen to be extremely mature, honest people. You can't even imagine how much better they are than you. Yes, they were playfully critical of your design choices. They have every right to be! You have demonstrated again and again that you are little more than a nerd who got lucky. You have zero business skills, zero design skills and zero people skills, as evidenced by this fiasco. I can only hope that you get a kick in the nads from the people you work with, for being an inconsiderate cunt.

It is YOU. YOU are the isolated island of ego.

6 things about

Comment Carnival | The Island of Isolated Egos
  1. Holy shit what a douche bag! I do not play this game, and doubt I ever will now.

  2. I found a great quote but couldn't find the attribution: "If Hitler made this game it wouldn't change the fact that it's the best game ever." I already paid for the game so I'll keep playing. Plus, I bought it when it was in Alpha, and the terms were that anyone who bought it in Alpha would "get all future game versions for free."

    So, it's like, my duty to keep playing so that I can get free stuff from the penny-pincher.

    I had already known he was pretty childish and didn't have a lot of business/PR knowledge, but this whole thing was crazy. 0_o

  3. If I already bought the game hell yes I would still be playing it. The money is gone after all. I might pirate a free copy though without feeling bad:D

  4. What the fuck is up with the amount of misogyny on display online? It really shits me.

  5. I tend to keep away from arguments and drama like this, so I often forget how quickly people can resort to misogamy... it's quite a shock.

    A woman who is VERY tangentially related to the drama got hit by a lot of hatred for being... well, for being a cutesy, upbeat girl who dares record herself playing a video game. She happened to be at the right place at the right time to get a job.

    One of the asshats tried to defend themselves when people started calling them out on it, saying, "I meant she sucked figurative dick!"

    Yeah, I'm sure that's exactly what you meant, asshole.

  6. *misogyny


    Apparently "misogamy" is the hatred of marriage.


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