I’ve been meaning for a while now to write a little post sticking up for Jervis Johnson. I am a big fan of generally treating other people with respect (something that more often than not finds me at odds with internet culture), and I’m pretty much totally disgusted with the online vitriol that is directed towards games designers, in particular Jervis and some of the other GW people.
In my opinion the sorts of things people say about him are not the sorts of things any decent person should say about another human being. And that’s the problem – the internet can make certain people (by which I mean idiots) forget that game designers are people: actual human beings like you and me with feelings and families, who do what they do for reasons that they probably sincerely think are good ones. No-one should have to suffer death-threats, curses and spite from cretinous moral infants because they tried to make a game for people to share and enjoy.
Well, Lexington over at GAME OVER has written a post sticking up for the Dark Angels codex, and more particularly has said some nice stuff about Jervis. I’d just like to draw everyone’s attention to it if you haven’t seen it already. The only thing I’d like to add is that Jervis is clearly not a brainless chimp throwing rules at the wall like so much monkey shit. Read his Standard Bearer articles and you’ll see he has a clear vision honed over three decades of game design. If you can’t see that, or you don’t like his vision, then don’t play his games. He’s not a bad designer, he’s a good designer designing games that you don’t happen to like. Have some fucking human empathy.
Anyone who’s been in an industry as volatile as game design for as long as he has deserves respect. No matter what you think about his games, thinking about games is his job. If it’s not yours (and for most of us it isn’t) then shut the fuck up. Talk about him with respect if you’re going to talk about him at all.