On Friday, Giant Bomb’s Ryan Davis angrily uttered “faggot” at no one in particular during a livestream of Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet’s Lantern Run mode. He immediately apologized for it, and wrote up a blog post afterwards, apologizing further. However, unless you are a Giant Bomb subscriber or follow Davis on Twitter, this is likely the first time you’ve heard of this. Inappropriate comments and livestreams have clashed before, making quite a ruckus. Maybe Giant Bomb’s audience is smaller than I suspected, but they’ve made news before; recently they were bought by CBS Interactive, and their news editor Patrick Klepek was partially responsible for organizing the “What Would Molydeux” Game Jam. No, I think this moment represents a strength of their special brand of journalism.
Giant Bomb is primarily a video site. The crew there is almost constantly in front of a camera, or at least on mic. When they’re not, they’re writing traditional reviews and tweeting like everyone else. To their fans, the site is about more than video game information; It’s about personality. Davis was forgiven for his slip-up because of this closeness. His whole record is out there, and people know he would never intend to offend anyone in that way. To allow someone this kind of mistake (with appropriate recompense) means that they are understood as an individual with personal highs and lows, rather than some manufactured persona. Most game sites now have video content, and the industry overall seems headed in a similar direction, but it’s Giant Bomb’s long history that has smoothed this over.
Here is the archived video of the stream (subscribers only, unfortunately). The moment comes at 1:22:40, although it has been edited. To my knowledge, this marks the first time anything has been censored down to “motherfucker.”