Doom Eternal‘s debut gameplay trailer featured a joke that, according to certain sections of the internet, incited “outrage” among liberals and “social justice warriors.” After the trailer landed, various YouTubers popped up with videos explaining how left-wingers were supposedly up in arms over the joke. However, in a video titled ‘Doom: The Fake Outrage,’ YouTube creator Shaun explained how the controversy surrounding the upcoming game has been manufactured in order to generate views.
In the video, Shaun explains how YouTubers have over-exaggerated the supposed outrage surrounding Doom Eternal in order to capitalize on a non-existent controversy. While there has certainly been some discussion surrounding the joke — GameRevolution’s Astrid Johnson discussed how it was “offensively boring” in a recent feature — Shaun notes how the majority of the “backlash” stems from a few tweets.
Despite GameRevolution having been the only outlet to publish a post placing the joke in the spotlight, this hasn’t prevented a variety of YouTubers from pushing ahead with the claim that left-leaning types are trying to tear down the game. This has inevitably led to the GR feature being used as an example of this outrage, despite the entirety of said outrage consisting of our article and a collection of tweets with low engagement.
In the video, Shaun points out how a variety of videos had sprouted up discussing a backlash against Doom Eternal, though most of these videos have made use of a dozen tweets lifted from a post on Funny Junk. The tweets in question have low engagement, only garnering a few retweets each, yet along with the GR article they’ve created a launching pad for a slew of reactionary videos on YouTube.
“They’ve all made the same fucking video,” Shaun says. “There were more YouTube videos made about these tweets than there were tweets. This outrage isn’t real, it was constructed to get clicks using the oldest advertising trick in the book: ‘Do what I say because someone you don’t like doesn’t want you to do it.'”
Watch Shaun’s video below:
For those who create online content, Shaun’s video will come as no surprise. Many highly politicized gaming channels have popped up in recent years, with a surplus of creators mass-producing videos that jump between the controversies surrounding video games, rather than focusing on the games themselves. Shaun points to the debacle surrounding last year’s Cuphead as an example of this manufactured anger, when a video of a journalist struggling to play the game was used as evidence against the competency of games media as a whole.
However, while YouTube has long been the domain of reactionary, anti-progressive videomakers, it seems that many are catching onto this particular method of outrage-baiting. With Shaun’s video having gained plenty of traction online, topping the r/Games subreddit and being widely shared across social media, those seeking to monetize narratives they’ve created may need to do more than simply gather up a few low-hanging tweets in the future.