***WARNING: FANBOY RANT INCOMING***
Somebody should write a space opera about a fandom caught in the stranglehold of a megalomaniacal Emperor who’s screwed the whole thing up and refuses to fix it or allow anyone else to fix it. The fandom remains loyal nonetheless, only becoming angry when the Emperor finally has a good idea but then fails to deliver in full. The story ends when a potential hero appears, but he’s too stupid to present himself in an unabrasive manner and the fandom attempts to destroy his spaceship before it can even take flight, causing him to flee and never return.
What title could we give this space opera? Let’s follow in the footsteps of the incompetent Emperor and just steal one from something else. I know, we’ll call it ROBOTECH.
If you’re not enthusiastic about this space opera I just wrote, maybe it’s just because writing space operas isn’t my forte. But, I think I’ve got allegory nailed down. You see, that story is just the latest chapter is the saga of the ROBOTECH franchise. More specifically, it’s the latest turn of events regarding the ROBOTECH tactical wargame and the failure of its producer, Palladium, to follow through on Wave 2 of their Kickstarter rewards.
“But, who’s this potential hero,” you ask? Well that would be the well-meaning Carmen Bellaire. Bellaire was involved in several past Palladium projects, including a small role in ROBOTECH Tactics, and is now running his own company Rogue Heroes which is attempting to raise money via Kickstarter to create another tabletop wargame using Palladium’s RIFTS property. That’s a pretty big deal for RIFTS fans, but it doesn’t have anything to do with ROBOTECH directly. So, how does Bellaire enter the picture?
Earlier today Bellaire made a post to the ROBOTECH Tactices Kickstarter to introduce himself and announce his own Kickstarter. He admits it has nothing to do with ROBOTECH directly, and proceeds to explain that, if his own Kickstarter succeeds, he may be in a position to help resolve the issues with Wave 2 of ROBOTECH Tactics. To this end, he asks the (rightfully) disgruntled supporters of the ROBOTECH Tactics Kickstarter to not attack and sink his Kickstarter for no reason.
Before I continue to what happens next, I want to dwell for just a second. Because, at this point, Bellaire sounds like a pretty upstanding guy. I mean, he’s literally asking these people to do nothing, and in return he’ll try to help them. That’s it.
I’d shake the guy’s hand.
Except, then he gives them a reason to mess with him. It’s not even a big reason, he just turns his own message up to eleven, saying that if his own Kickstarter fails then he hopes ROBOTECH Tactics “burns” and if it succeeds then he’ll do his “damnest [SIC] to fix these delays.”
That’s like going up to your neighbor and saying “Hey, if you don’t stop me from mowing my lawn then I’ll talk to the city about fixing that pothole in front of your driveway. But if you do stop me, I hope your dog dies.”
It’s not exactly a friendly statement, and it shouldn’t come as any surprise that people on the internet reacted negatively. And because we’re talking about people on the internet, you can guess what they’re doing now about Bellaire’s Kickstarter. Well, you did read the story at the start, right?
So what’s the message here? What’s the moral of our allegory? It might be “people are stupid and emotional, treat them gently.” It could be “when discussing business, be professional.” It very possibly could be “don’t refuse help from a jerk when you could really use the help, even if it’s from a jerk. Definitely don’t be a bigger jerk and attack him just for offering to help.”
Personally, I’m starting to wonder if the message is “this fandom is too damaged, it’s time to move on.” I mean, I’ve put up with decades of Harmony Gold. It’s always been frustrating, but at least they only attempted to destroy stuff that was directly related to ROBOTECH. The fans of ROBOTECH have always been a kind of bastion of sanity, hope, and well deserved cynicism. But they’ve gone off the rails, and sadly Carmen Bellaire has gone with them.
And I’m just sitting here like “geez guys, we could’a had Wave 2 sped up and all we had to do was nothing. I mean, this guy actually wants to go to bat for us. We just had to do nothing…”
And they say Millennials are lazy.
The good news is that it might not be too late. Somebody could say “sorry.” We could all chill out a bit and realize that some of the language getting thrown around is only making things worse. I can start.
Hey guys, Carmen specifically, I’m sorry I called you all stupid. You’re not. You’ve just made some mistakes today, and it’s frustrating.
OK, who’s next?