tweet thread transcript
Tweet thread by Tom Scott: In the last few days, there's been a trend of kids photoshopping me into video games. It's uncomfortable for me: I'd really prefer it wasn't a thing. But I know it's in good faith, it's likely legal under fair use, and I made similar things when I was young. Here's the odd thing: I was actually planning to do a video in Minecraft a couple of months ago. It would have been about publicity stunts, media fact-checking, and how a good story can often have a great impact even if it's not true. The video failed because of the players. The Minecraft world in question was set up by a charity — I won't name them for obvious reasons. So I got a copy of Minecraft, set a screen recorder going, and joined the server. 15 seconds after I connected, the first racial slur appeared in the server chat. I spent about 45 minutes connected, and I saw every stereotype about unsupervised kids on video games, every cliché about what happens when you give anonymity and an audience to people with undeveloped empathy. All on this charity's server, which they claimed was "moderated". I can't ignore that. I can't point people to a server where that's happening. So the whole video fell apart. I did ask the charity about it, and they said — rather brusquely — that they had a limited budget and couldn't be expected to moderate their server all the time. Which raises the question: why do they still have the server? Well, I'd guess most of the people writing about it won't have bothered to log in, so it continues to be a good source of publicity for them. Which would have worked perfectly for my story, but couldn't use it. So no, I'm not making anything about video games soon, and that's also why being co-opted by the kids who play them feels uncomfortable. I don't want to be even tangentially associated with that. If you're a parent, make sure you keep an eye on what your kids are playing.