This… isn’t a post I really wanted to make, but I feel that from a certain point I have to. So let’s get down to it. I’m gonna be picking at a critic, which as you most of you should know is one of the easiest ways of getting on a number of folks bad sides. Having said that, I feel there’s a need for at least someone to speak up, outside of comments who dont get their own page or their own spot.
Notice: Header image used under the presumption of Fair Use. I don’t think I should need to state that, but given the thinskinnedness of both the person involved and the persons fanbase, its important to note this fact.
So… SidAlpha. For those of you who don’t know, SidAlpha is the name of a guy who runs a YouTube channel. The channel was relatively unknown, until Jim Sterling got sued by Digital Homicide and SidAlpha started covering the page. His channel grew a bit, but never really grew until he got DMCA’ed by a thinskinned asset flipper on Steam who didn’t like Sid picking on his videos. He then got collar bumped by various other critics and he quickly reached a degree at which he could start working more on his channel than just a hobby. Having said that, recently he has reached a point for me at which I personally believe that I cannot say in good consiousness that I desire for him to continue doing what he does.
That said, let’s get down to it. My problems with SidAlpha I think can best be summarized in a list of headers, with me going over some various bits and bobs as to why I think that.
SidAlpha likes to attract drama
This is one that will likely get me the most piss in my inbox, but I’m gonna say it anyway: Sid likes to attract drama. Now obviously, I get that as someone whose main job constitues critizing video games, one will occasionally get some flak, wheather that be from your readership due to quite clearly sucking off the publisher (re: IGN) or from a developer because you didn’t like their games (re: Jim Sterling).
Having said that, there is a difference between attracting drama and wallowing in it. SidAlpha does the latter. In case you are curious, here’s what happens when Jim Sterling (someone else who tends to attract ire from developers) gets a DMCA: he makes a short, five minute video on it, which as far as I am aware does not run ads and files a counter claim. What happens when SidAlpha gets a DMCA? He makes two different videos, both of them in the nice little money spot of 10 minutes, one of which to complain how crap YouTube is for allowing it and shitting over the developer for another round and then another for gloating how his ability of his video being Fair Use (which I’m not going to argue against, his videos are Fair Use) and showing how he is effectively immune to these attempts. Oh and both videos have monetization turned on.
Now the DMCA system does suck. I’ve seen several folks get slammed with it by people who weaponize it to silence criticism, but there is a difference between explaining you got a DMCA and wallowing in the fact that you got a DMCA and showing how much better you are than these people.
SidAlpha has trouble apologizing
Egotism is one of the biggest problems on the internet. After all, when everyone tells you you made a mistake, it is much easier online to put your fingers in your ears and go LALALALALA. While that isn’t what SidAlpha does, any time he issues an apology for his behavior (if he even makes an apology and doesnt attempt to continue claiming his side was correct), his apologies always are backhanded.
For a concrete example of this, look no further than Gloom. A relatively simplistically made Soulsy game, SidAlpha chose to slam the game for it’s relatively poor controls, the (in his view) lazy artstyle and some other parts. After he slammed the game, the developer choose to fix portions of the criticism SidAlpha leveraged against him and then politely asked SidAlpha for a rereview of the game. In my opinion this is a relatively reasonable request. The developer changed the game after listening to criticism, meaning the criticism on it had a positive influence on the developer, meaning they learnt from their mistakes. Asking for a rereview since the original criticism has since been changed to resolve some the critique leveraged against it to me is a reasonable thing since at that point, a review is outdated, and the average viewer might get the wrong image.
Now to me that is a reasonable thing. To SidAlpha however, it is not. SidAlpha instead chose to throw a tantrum, basically equating the developer to be amongst the scummiest in the industry (at least that is how I read his response). Now after a day or so, SidAlpha did calm down and chose to make a new review of the game, as per the developers request, however to me the entire thing felt as nothing but an afterthought, where he simply realized “Fuck I attracted drama by slamming this game, better go and fix my public image.” instead of learning anything meaningful, since his more global response video to the developers request was littered with “but developers arent supposed to be able to ask for that and I still believe I am in the right, even though I am also attempting to apologize”. You can look up the videos for yourself (no way in hell I am gonna link SidAlpha), but I do feel that this example in particular underlines SidAlphas behavior of not being able to apologize for his own mistakes.
SidAlpha likes playing the victim card
This one mostly relates back to my first point, but it’s quite simple: SidAlpha takes an attitude that mostly appears to be “Me and my fanbase VS. The rest of the world”. There’s a number of things wrong with this attitude, first and foremost being that anyone who disagrees with you on even the slightest matter instantly gets demonized, getting called the worst of the worst out there.
A more prime example of this behavior is his entire behavior in the Alex Mauer situation. While the Alex Mauer situation is pricklier than a fucking thornbush, I do feel it perfectly underlines this particular argument. While most people involved in the case were willing to quit discussing the matter after she was taken to court and left talking about the court case to Imagos’ Softworks’ lawyer and only discuss major advancements, SidAlpha chose to continue making videos on the matter, constantly saying that this could wind up being a savior for both him and others and that Alex Mauer should be knocked down a peg for her behavior and should face serious charges.
While the Alex Mauer situation is again prickly, I do personally feel that she should have received a fine of some sorts, mostly as a scare tactic for other DMCA abusers, there is a difference between simply having that as your opinion and saying it at basically the end of all the ~20 videos you make on the matter while also ripping off Leonard French’s publicly available livestreams on the court documents and adding very little to it other than that we inferred from the first 10 times you said you think should happen to her.
There is a number of other things I could say, but all I will say is this: I believe that SidAlpha is someone who likes to attract drama, has issues apologizing when he is in the wrong and really likes to suggest he is the one who is the good guy in all of this (while I personally think that someone’s good guy status is kinda doubtful if you constantly keep attracting a bad guys ire in the first place). As a result, I’m not going to give SidAlpha any ad-active future watching time from me (fuck it I use adblocker). If you have or are watching SidAlpha and also have had these doubts ever since he started doing this stuff, I’d highly suggest you do the same. This man does not deserve either your money on Patreon or your ad-viewing time. I’m not about to compare him to Keemstar, but I’d say that Sid could see Keem if he were to look down below him in a figurative appartment of people who like to attract drama if you know what I mean.
Either way, it’s been me, Evi, and I’ll hopefully meet you near the end of the year for my little GOTY list. Maybe I’ll even do it in an audio format 👀 . Anyway, I hope all of you have a great day, and I’ll see you all on the next post.