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3 minutes ago, Mr. Gerbik said:

Context? What happened, who was guest?

 

No idea of context, but this is the blurb....

 

"

The Giant Beastcast: Episode 277

The boys are away so today we have a special episode featuring Mary Kish from Twitch, Riana from What's Good Games, and Merrit K from Fanbyte!"

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Merrit K has a history of abuse allegations from what I can tell. Didn't know anything about it tell people mentioned it in the comments.

 

It's not Abby's fault, somehow Meritt still mingles with all the journalists (think she was still regularly appearing on Waypoint radio) and is twitter followed by Alex Navarro. Wouldn't surprise me if she saw that and thought "nothing wrong here" and just booked them. It's games journalism looking after their own.

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Producer's Note: Hello, Abby here! It has come to my attention that there have been allegations against Merritt K, one of our guests on the podcast today. I didn't learn about these allegations until halfway through the podcast livestream when I looked at chat.

I do my best to bring on diverse voices and guests to GB, while also maintaining an inclusive space for everyone. We try to vet our guests to assure GB is a safe and inclusive space for everyone and I have failed that for this episode. Unfortunately, sometimes with these allegations they may seem very loud in certain circles but are silent in others. In this case, I simply did not know these allegations even existed before today.

If you would like to speak to us directly about these allegations or anything else, you can email beastcast@giantbomb.com. I read every email. Thanks.

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Thanks, now I know what it's about. From the episode notes I just checked:

Quote

Producer's Note: Hello, Abby here! It has come to my attention that there have been allegations against Merritt K, one of our guests on the podcast today. I didn't learn about these allegations until halfway through the podcast livestream when I looked at chat.

I do my best to bring on diverse voices and guests to GB, while also maintaining an inclusive space for everyone. We try to vet our guests to assure GB is a safe and inclusive space for everyone and I have failed that for this episode. Unfortunately, sometimes with these allegations they may seem very loud in certain circles but are silent in others. In this case, I simply did not know these allegations even existed before today.

If you would like to speak to us directly about these allegations or anything else, you can email beastcast@giantbomb.com. I read every email. Thanks.

Fair enough. I follow game news somewhat closely and I had no idea about Merrit K. either.

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It's classic Giantbomb just picking from their circle of associates and missing that one of them is apparently a bit of an arsehole.

 

Which probably looks worse after they threw someone closer to the site under the bus for essentially just being a rubbish boyfriend in a crap relationship.

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To be fair, I've just spent the last 10 minutes wasting my life trying to find out exactly what this person did and there's almost zero information online aside from the odd person mentioning the during an article about someone else being a piece of shit. I don't think this is on Abby when even a cursory google of most shitheads brings up all the info.

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Well maybe one of those people in the chat should have written an article about it that was indexed by google? Even the chat in the comments has no one linking to what was problematic.

 

I'm just very cautious about jumping on someone when there seems to be little evidence anywhere of even an initial claim. Alison Rapp got fucked over by gamergate pricks making up allegations about her, getting a third party involved who then complained to Nintendo who fired her.

 

So I'm gonna need to read something before I believe a bunch of people on the internet yelling that this Merritt K is a bad one.

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I spent some time trying to work out what the allegations were and kept circling back to the same one unverifiable twitter account. There's no way Abby could be expected to know. The most solid accusations seemed to be that she was a bit mean on twitter and didn't like someone's book. Everything else was incredibly vague third hand passing comments, hearsay, or coming from anime avatars, based on the most uncharitable interpretations of other vague tweets. 

 

 

As a side note, why do angry twitter people in these weird niches not know what 'grooming' means? Keep seeing it used in cases like this, you think "holy shit, this person is a paedophile and everyone turned a blind eye to it?". But these people just seem to mean 'this person made me feel bad when I felt a bit vulnerable'. It then gets reported as fact that they're 'a groomer' so people think they're some sort of sexual predator. 

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I don’t know how someone is supposed to navigate the quagmire of vetting people on the basis of unverifiable, often vague, claims hidden in the corners of the internet. They basically hauled their old mate over the coals in that episode a few months ago, for being an awful boyfriend, as far as I can tell. Is someone like that never allowed on the podcast?
 

I’m not saying they should just let anyone on the show, but at least understand it’s not easy.
 

I wonder how people expect her to do it?  Start the work day by googling “Guest X allegations,” “Guest X abuser,” and so on? 

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25 minutes ago, HarryBizzle said:

I  Start the work day by googling “Guest X allegations,” “Guest X abuser,” and so on? 

I saw someone on the subreddit suggesting this exact thing. Mad. 

 

Even then, I did do that today and found nothing remotely concrete beyond 'she said someone's book was childish' and 'someone thought she was subtweeting them'. Everything else was circular and vague third party gossip. 

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ViacomCBS is selling off CNET and Gamespot. Looks like Giant Bomb is staying though? 

 

https://variety.com/2020/digital/news/cnet-viacomcbs-sells-red-ventures-1234768810/

 

Be a shame if Bakalar couldn't be on the Beastcast any more. Longer term I wonder what this means for GB.

 

Edit: GB is part of the sale

 

https://jeff.zone/post/629248131375169536/we-all-have-our-radios-tuned-to-the-jeff-zone

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I wonder how successful a business it is these days. For the last year or so it seems they’ve got a little more desperate with the advertising or lack of it and the calls for premium subs have definitely been more frequent. 
 

Then there’s the staff. People moan about Jeff but a lot of the original crew seem jaded now and are clinging on for the pay check (sic). 
 

Vinny and others will often talk about how they’ve been too busy for games and I think, hang on, isn’t this your job?

 

I enjoy the chit chat between Vinny, Alex and Jeff B. I’m not going to start slagging off Abby too much because she’s probably not there to appeal to 40 year old men but yeah, can’t stand her. Too much ‘I feel like, like.... Interesting. Anyway, me me me’. Her growth in confidence has made her go from annoying to unbearable. Maybe I’m just a massive sexist though, I dunno. 
 

I find I’m not really listening for the game chat, it’s just the common interest that originally brought me there. It seems they’re kind of the same and begrudge it when they remember that’s what they’re meant to talk about. 
 

Who, exactly, are they appealing to beyond the ageing hardcore that were maybe in their 20s when they started?

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47 minutes ago, Pockets said:

Who, exactly, are they appealing to beyond the ageing hardcore that were maybe in their 20s when they started?

Are they even appealing to that demographic any more? I have pretty much given up on it since I could no longer tolerate Ben. I now listen to maybe 1 episode every 3 months. 

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47 minutes ago, Stoppy2000 said:

Are they even appealing to that demographic any more? I have pretty much given up on it since I could no longer tolerate Ben. I now listen to maybe 1 episode every 3 months. 


Well, I’m clinging onto the Beastcast for the moment but I get the feeling that’s all they’re doing too. I’m not sure they’d all still be there if the pandemic hadn’t made finding a different job impossible. Even Dan went. 

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I used to really enjoy their content, kinda in a way that you're getting to know these guys and feel like you're checking in on them. Even when a bunch of fun personalities left and Ryan died ( :( ) I thought I would keep listening to the podcast until the very end, just because it was my default form of entertainment while doing chores, menial stuff. But Ben eventually wore me down, I just could not stand it anymore. (I think I lasted two years, maybe longer, until I had to accept Ben was never ever going to improve at his job) I cancelled my premium sub and now I use this thread to get an update now and again, together with the occasional tweet from one of old staff I still follow. And it feels like either the site is plodding along towards it's inevitable demise with just Ben left to turn off the lights, or else at the very least it's in dire need of a complete revamp. Maybe they'll end up in a better place after the sale and that leads to said revamp, or maybe it's just another step towards the inglorious end.

 

I remember when CBS bought Giant Bomb from Whiskey Media. Below is Jeff's comment on the current sale. Anyone else remember him saying damn near the exact same thing back then:

Quote

Anyway, we’re part of the sale, in case there was any question around that. I’m tentatively excited, I guess I’d say? There’s potential in the site that’s never been realized and I think some new owners might be able to help with that.

 

CBS was going to realize that potential and further growth back then because they had the resources and the means and the reach Jeff said. Now apparently CBS is stiffling? Wonder how he feels looking back. As a fan of the site I feel like they lost a lot of the fun atmosphere going to CBS, doing whatever the hell they wanted with whatever the hell they could get their hands on. We got Random PC Game because Dave was bored maintaining or updating the servers or some such so he called Vinny over to play and stream Daggerfall while waiting. Those kinds of things disappeared

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The problem is that most of the audience don’t want a revamp, or don’t think they do anyway even if they know it’s needed. Add to that an ageing staff, at least those in charge, who are probably on comfortable salaries and wary of fiddling too much even if they’re bored out of their minds. 
 

They probably hoped hiring younger members would help but going for similarly lazy, cynical types hasn’t worked.  Dan was the only one trying to really do anything there and I think he must have become frustrated and took the opportunity to move on when it came. 

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If the worst does happen they could always rebuild like the GameTrailers guys did with Easy Allies and even the most annoying man in videogames managed with Kinda Funny. The question then is does Jeff still own the Giantbomb name and branding and just how much appetite is their for the site anymore to get people to donate to run it especially if their sub numbers are declining. 

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I think they’re stuck with what’s left of the audience they had but there’s probably not enough cash there as they age out. 
 

Anyone new has a favourite Twitch streamer or YouTube personality and tend to be after more personal interactions. (What do I know? Just what I see). 
 

They could try to double down on the middle-aged gamer angle which might actually be fairly fertile ground as no one else is that dedicated to it as far as I can tell. There’s money there, but it’s a generation that didn’t grow up with patreon and its like. 

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Ben is fine. Everyone was just as annoyed at Dan when he joined and he was the worst thing ever, now it's his leaving that has doomed the site.

 

I just wish the millennials wouldn't be so shouty during streams. They're clearly part of that streamer generation because everything is the most exciting thing ever.

 

I don't want everyone to be as relaxed as Alex but that's a real chill level they should aim for.

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I think this is the beginning of the end for the site, it's been on this downward spiral for the past year really; where they seem to be putting in as little effort in as possible. GOTY last year was such a rush job, the group doesn't seem to all play the latest release so they have something to talk about and during the pandemic (which is a tough situation) they are producing the same 4 or 5 bits of content over and over. You've got 4 full time 'producers' on staff and yet there are one man bands on youtube producing higher quality content off of their own back. I can't see the new owners looking at what the site does, stacking it up against a brand like Gamespot, and then deciding not to roll them in to that site.

 

I think it's just run it's course now, the appeal of the site was the 4 friends working together and talking about games; they had a natural chemistry and it was their personalities which made the site appealling. That is gone. Ryan died and left a hole that couldn't be filled, ever. Vinny went East and was the only person Jeff could play off of other than Ryan. Hiring Dan was the exact type of person they needed when the site was at the lowest point and that extended the life of the site, he brought new ideas and enthusiam to the table. Generally speaking I think they've done a good job hiring people over the years, no one has been a disaster that they have had to quietly push them out the door 6 months later, even the most recent additions; they've all brought something to the table. Unfortunately though I can't stand Ben or Abby anymore, their personalities have become more prominent as their confidence has grown and I just don't like them as people. I liked a lot of the features they were in originally, Aftermath, 13 Deadly Sims etc but now I skip any content they are in, even more so if they are the only people in it. I do hope Abby/Vinny get to do the Halloween feature this year in some capacity though because that has been fun.

 

When it comes down to it my problem is this: I like Jeff, Brad & Vinny; they've got older, are on differen't coasts, become jaded or at least not as interested in the industry anymore and the vibe of the site before is gone. I don't care about the rest of the crew, they are all additional baggage to the original reason I followed the site. The Hotspot is what I am after and I'll continue to enjoy that content for now but I can't see myself upping my sub (if that's even an option by the time it ends).

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That's a good point actually. They have so many people on staff, their site is all about games and the playing thereof. Which begs the question; if they never ever have time to play anything then what are they doing. Back in the Whiskey Media basement they had to do everything themselves with almost zero budget and back then they had no problems playing all the latest releases. Now, with a lot more behind the scenes support staff, the infrastructure of CBS, and recently doing everything from home - they barely have time to play the first twenty minutes of one game in two to three weeks.

 

But who knows, I'm just speculating from the outside looking in. The main attraction of the site used to be the chemistry between the original team. Even if you love Ben and Abby, there isn't anything remotely like that in the current team. The only time you see something like that in the last 5 or so years is when Vinny visits and he does some content with just him and Jeff.

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