Friday, 20 November 2015
(SATIRE) Blacklisted website, Kotaku, resorts to reviewing Snakes and Ladders board game
As web traffic on the Kotaku videogaming blog mimics the unchecked descent of a mountaineer plummeting the length of the Kangshung Face, MODE 5 has uncovered evidence that the site is passing off reviews of boardgames as appraisals of the latest AAA videogame titles.
Editors for the beleaguered weblog were reportedly strong-armed by readers into an embarrassing apology after it was discovered that a Kotaku journalist had been dosed with 800mg of the psychedelic drug mescaline and instructed to review a copy of the traditional tabletop game - Snakes and Ladders - as if it was Assassin's Creed: Syndicate.
The deception, which was quickly spotted by visitors to the site, discusses at length the symbolism implied by the proximity of serpents to “human tools of ascent” and the connotations with the biblical fall. The writer later compares his brain to a 20-sided die that can be rolled by means of a somersault, and references a shadowy tormentor known as 'The Hare' who lurks just beyond the corner of his vision, like something from a shit bottle episode of Doctor Who.
Kotaku reader, Giles Lowe, who visits the site for two hours everyday as part of a mandatory three year community service order, told MODE 5:
“I have gazed into every tedious nook and cranny of the Victorian abyss that is Assassin's Creed: Syndicate and can confirm that, with the exception of a few ladders, very little mentioned in the Kotaku article is actually present in the game. Make no mistake: The Kotaku piece is a review of the board game - Snakes and Ladders, penned by someone who is higher than god's tits on synthetic peyote.”
A statement published on the Kotaku website reads:
“When a preview copy for Assassin's Creed: Syndicate was not forthcoming from Ubisoft we panicked and followed what we thought, at the time, was the only logical course of action: Shovelling hallucinogenics down the throat of one of our barely literate staffwriters, before turning his attention to the only game we haven't already pawned to pay our bandwidth costs.
“In hindsight, by fixating our review of Assassin's Creed on a game of Snakes and Ladders, experienced through the swirling, mind-bending prism of a drug-induced vision quest, we ignored the game that we intended to review but did not own.
“When we did this, we let down the stagnant gene pool of mouth-breathing basement dwellers, who we feel comprises our readership, and whom our writers and editors hold in such lowly contempt. We would like to extend a whithering, half-baked apology to these fucking arseholes.
“During his journey across the astral plane, from which he has not fully returned, our reviewer met the ghost of the former Doors front man, Jim Morrison, and jammed with ex-Toto drummer, Jeff Porcaro. He also encountered the canine spirit guide of the mysticetian anti-harrassment activist, Randi Harper, who had gone into hiding after she dyed his aura blue. He requested that we did not disclose his location, but our silence is not for sale.”
At the time of this article's publication, Kotaku's psychotropic review of Assassin's Creed remains on the website with one minor amendment: Where the original piece repeats the mantra “We are all of one consciousness” 33 times, the edited version reproduces the phrase: “We are better than our readers, who are dead to us.”
Kotaku can take some consolation in the knowledge that they have not quite sunk to the depths of the gaming site VG247, whose editors mistook a tray of roast potatoes for the ending of the upcoming Playstation title: Uncharted 4.
Nonetheless, this latest link in a chain of blunders has come at the end of a difficult year, which has seen the website's editorial staff struggling to escape what one industry insider described as “a bloody great hole of their own making, slowly filling up with piss and shit.”
In an embittered message on Twitter, Kotaku claimed to have been blacklisted by AAA games publishers Bethseda and Ubisoft. This is thought to be in response to the site leaking plot details for Fallout 4 and Assassin's Creed: Syndicate.
Staff at the blog have reported that attempts to contact these publishers and smooth things over have resulted in their calls being redirected to the sales department of the Smith and Owen Global Salt Exporting Company.
“I don't understand it at all,” said Kotaku Editor, Stephen Tortoise. “We are effectively being penalised for being too good at games journalism. It's like we're the ones who are being held accountable for loose-lipped employees from Ubisoft and Bethseda.
“If these companies invested less resources in the games themselves and spent more on security, then leaks of this kind wouldn't happen and Kotaku wouldn't be in the mess it is now.”
Tortoise accepts that re-establishing the former market position of the website is likely to be an uphill struggle. This is despite the universal public high regard for Kotaku's parent company - Gawker Media:
“At the moment it's very hard. Sam Biddle's [Gawker Media's Social Media Relations Guru] insistence that all our problems could be resolved by punching some nerds has resulted in few, if any, real-term gains in site traffic and unique users.
“For a while, earlier this year, our brand was so toxic our writers had to resort to paying teenagers to visit Game Stop and make purchases on our behalf. The store managers have got wise to that now so we can't do it anymore.”
MODE 5 can reveal that the primary source of new games for review by Kotaku is a 14 year old Silver Lake, LA, resident, named Kyle Raffel, who was befriended on the internet by staff writer Nathan Grayson.
“What's so rad about Kyle is that his parents just got divorced and his dad's a hedge fund manager, so he pretty much gets any game or console he asks for!” gushed the widely loathed videogames journalist.
In a Kotaku-sponsored gaming review session attended by MODE 5, Raffel played Fallout 4 for eight consecutive hours while Grayson perched on the edge of his host's racing car bed making notes.
“Kyle doesn't let me play any games but I am allowed to watch as long as I don't distract him with the noise of my pen,” he said.
Our reporter later witnessed Raffel spontaneously driving the protruding knuckle of his right index finger into Grayson's scalp while yelling “BALD EAGLE!”
“I'm alright, its cool,” said Grayson, dazed and blinking back tears as he retreated to the corner of the room, while avoiding the concerned gaze of our reporter.
“Later Douche Nozzle,” said Raffel.
“That's my nickname,” confided Grayson, later. “For a while it was 'Reek.' Now I'm Douche Nozzle.'”
News of Kotaku's diminished circumstances has been warmly greeted with scenes of jubilation on a scale last witnessed at the end of the digitally remastered cinema classic - Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.
Ben K Nobi – a Nigerian prince, turned internet philanthropist – said:
"I felt a great disturbance on the internet, as if millions of gamers had joined together to laugh at the deserved misfortune of Kotaku. I believe something incredible has just happened."
Meanwhile a holy monastic order has vowed to break their 700 year vow of celibacy with a “million monk fap” should Kotaku close down, with the sect's leaders pledging to donate the gallons of spilled semen to sperm banks.
Abbott Graham Foster told MODE 5:
“We will infiltrate secular society with a new generation of monks grown from our blessed seed. But only if Kotaku falls. If the site stays up then we will carry on our solitary life of ice-cold showers, fervent prayer and unrelenting turnip farming.”