The Tao of Notch - Beyond Twitter

brad_glasgow

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The Tao of Notch - Beyond Twitter

The public has not heard much outside of Twitter lately from Markus "Notch" Persson, the famed creator of Minecraft, but he spoke with us on a wide range of topics.

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Barbas

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Fascinating. I'd love to read more of these interviews - the circus of social media can give you a completely different and often deeply erroneous view of people, which is a great shame.
 

gigastar

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This is way better than the Blizzard news feed and the stuff that reposted from imgur the other day.
 

Silent Protagonist

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I really enjoyed reading this interview. Not really sure why, since it wasn't particularly informative and it mostly seemed like small talk. Though that might just be because I've seen enough twitter outrage and inaccurate hit pieces to know people are rarely what they are made out to be by the internet mob.

Definitely going to have to remember "ovary-acting" for the future though
 

Achelexus

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I never cared much about Minecraft, but Notch as a person is awesome, definitely gained my respect.
 

LysanderNemoinis

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That was an amazing, insightful interview. I really hope The Escapist does more of these in the future, because that was a great read. And while I don't agree with Notch on everything, and it was great to see someone ask interesting questions and not just do a big hit piece. And for the record, I could give two shits about Minecraft.
 

Jake Martinez

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What an awesome interview and fantastic scoop. Notch seems like he has a real good head on his shoulders for all this internet drama and bull.
 

The Enquirer

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Very well written. Only read the first page so far as I need to get back to life but definitely plan on reading more. We could use more of these interviews. Just don't make them click-bait. For the love of Grodd don't make them click bait.
 

UberPubert

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Good, long interview. Read it through to the end and I'd love to see more.

Nice work, Brad!
 

Fat Hippo

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That was a really cool look into Notch as a real person, rather than how he's often portrayed (or has sometimes portrayed himself). He actually has some pretty balanced thoughts into the various strange conflicts plaguing modern western society, though I didn't agree with everything he said. He's also a good example of how people will try to hang you if you don't pick a side and agree with everything they say. Luckily, he seems in a better emotional state than maybe a few years ago, and no longer seems as affected by this kind of haranguing as he used to be.
 

brad_glasgow

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Pretty much what I expected. Maybe it's the northern blood coursing through his veins along with a healthy dose of being a down to earth scandinavian (jantelov/jantelagen); He's definitely not scared of cutting through the bullshit and speaking his mind, while absolutely being open to new possibilities or simply admitting being wrong about something.

Now if only more people were able to do the same...
 

Tiamat666

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I seem to have many personality traits in common with Notch. Except the part about being allergic to cats and dogs.

I'm even working on my own Java game. They say history repeats itself, so I'm fully expecting to be a billionaire in 5 years or so.
 

brad_glasgow

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Thanks for all the kind words! It was such a fun interview and I'm glad Notch gave me a chance with it.
 

brad_glasgow

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Yeah, impressive get Brad. Good interview, too. Especially considering how elusive he is about interviews. His twitter is one of the more amusing and randomly educational feeds I have read. Nice to see him get a chance to give himself some context in a longer format.

I wonder if the Escapist would be interested in doing articles where they interview a dev and go over their Game Design Documents in depth. It may sound dry at first, but insights into the GDD would most likely be insights about the entire development process as well as the intentions behind it.

Instead of a game review or a book review, it would be the game design document review. Perhaps I am just deluded because of how badass and informative and just exemplary the Planescape Torment GDD was. Having to read the GDD for a class showed me an angle I did not previously see. Playing a game and reading the GDD imparts way more than playing the game by itself. Then again, others may find that idea boring.
 

JustAnotherAardvark

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Too often people have to choose between what they love and making their living; always cool to hear more from people who've been so successful at the former that they've taken care of the later. :)

Tiamat666 said:
Except the part about being allergic to cats and dogs.
Ick ... I couldn't live with that either. :(
 

StatusNil

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Welcome to The Escapist, Mr. Glasgow.

Strange to read an interview on a gaming site with someone who ISN'T promoting a current product. But strange in a good way, catching an obviously thoughtful person in a reflective mood for a non-confrontational chat. A few more of these instead of the usual "Game Journo" drive-by trash lobbing exercises, alleging various -isms of monstrous proportions, would hopefully offer a model of healthier conversation as an alternative to the pathological controversy-mongering we're currently afflicted with. Nice read, good job.
 

brad_glasgow

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StatusNil said:
Welcome to The Escapist, Mr. Glasgow.

Strange to read an interview on a gaming site with someone who ISN'T promoting a current product. But strange in a good way, catching an obviously thoughtful person in a reflective mood for a non-confrontational chat. A few more of these instead of the usual "Game Journo" drive-by trash lobbing exercises, alleging various -isms of monstrous proportions, would hopefully offer a model of healthier conversation as an alternative to the pathological controversy-mongering we're currently afflicted with. Nice read, good job.
Thanks!

Much, much credit has to go to The Escapist for their willingness to publish this kind of content. Not only that, but I had a condition that the interview had to be left intact, without selective editing. There are some very minor grammar edits here and there, but other than that, this is the entire interview, verbatim. Not every publisher was willing to do that. The Escapist was a joy to work with and I hope to do more interviews like this for them.
 
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Typo on pg. 6
MP: No, the reason I to do it was because I saw Cortex Command doing it and they got it from someone else as well.
Fat_Hippo said:
That was a really cool look into Notch as a real person, rather than how he's often portrayed (or has sometimes portrayed himself). He actually has some pretty balanced thoughts into the various strange conflicts plaguing modern western society, though I didn't agree with everything he said. He's also a good example of how people will try to hang you if you don't pick a side and agree with everything they say. Luckily, he seems in a better emotional state than maybe a few years ago, and no longer seems as affected by this kind of haranguing as he used to be.
If you asked around, though, I'm sure you'd find a majority opinion that Notch has picked a side- even if he doesn't speak up about every little thing, he is vocal enough and consistent enough that most people who pay attention to him on Twitter would feel comfortable drawing a line between Notch+his supporters vs. his opponents.


As a side note to the article, I'm glad that Glasgow and/or the editors went through the piece afterwards. Seeing a note about a quote being historically misattributed to Henry Ford pleases me, because it tells me that they didn't just feed the interview into a speech-to-text machine and publish it- they actually read what they had gathered and were writing down, edited and annotated it with care, then published it.
 

Barbas

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brad_glasgow said:
Much, much credit has to go to The Escapist for their willingness to publish this kind of content. Not only that, but I had a condition that the interview had to be left intact, without selective editing. There are some very minor grammar edits here and there, but other than that, this is the entire interview, verbatim. Not every publisher was willing to do that. The Escapist was a joy to work with and I hope to do more interviews like this for them.
Oh. That might be why it seemed a bit...lengthy. It might have benefited from a few less "like"s, but on the other hand I think I can understand being hesitant to do an more heavily edited interview after the Destructoid...incident.

I think this was one article that might've done better in two pages, or broken up more on the page somehow. I lost track of where I was once or twice. Pretty good stuff overall, though, and I'd love to see more.
 

Mazinger-Z

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Wow, what a natural, organic interview. Very candid. No messaging, no brevity due to rejecting pre-screened questions or editing out responses. No attempts to catch the person being interviewed in an uncomfortable moment to drum up drama. A real breath of fresh air. And Notch probably wouldn't have agreed to anything less.
 

lacktheknack

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"I can buy them frozen and put them in a pan until they're no longer frozen."

This is how I'm going to describe my cooking to anyone who asks me now.
 

darkrage6

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Can't take anyone seriously who uses stupid terms like SJW. He's dead fucking wrong about Kotaku, it seems like he's ignorant about a lot of things going on, just goes to show you being rich doesn't automatically mean you are smarter then everyone else.
 

Czann

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What I took from this is that Notch is a no-nonsense guy and also very, very lazy.
 

dreng3

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darkrage6 said:
Can't take anyone seriously who uses stupid terms like SJW. He's dead fucking wrong about Kotaku, it seems like he's ignorant about a lot of things going on, just goes to show you being rich doesn't automatically mean you are smarter then everyone else.
It seems there might be a small misunderstanding, not once in the interview does Notch mention Kotaku, there is a quote from a tweet, but he actually goes on to explain his problems with the kind of journalism he believes kotaku practices. Additionally he explains his views on what SJW actually means, and he doesn't seem to hold the word, or those who use it seriously, in high esteem.
 

DudeistBelieve

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I want to not give a fuck about other people the way Notch doesn't. He sounds so free doesn't he?

darkrage6 said:
Can't take anyone seriously who uses stupid terms like SJW. He's dead fucking wrong about Kotaku, it seems like he's ignorant about a lot of things going on, just goes to show you being rich doesn't automatically mean you are smarter then everyone else.
Well this is news to me. I blindly assumed every man, woman, and child making more than $100,000 grand a year was fucking eienstein.

Give Kelly Clarkson a gun and 24 hours, she'll have the israel palestine conflict solved by morning..
 

Fat Hippo

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Thunderous Cacophony said:
Fat_Hippo said:
If you asked around, though, I'm sure you'd find a majority opinion that Notch has picked a side- even if he doesn't speak up about every little thing, he is vocal enough and consistent enough that most people who pay attention to him on Twitter would feel comfortable drawing a line between Notch+his supporters vs. his opponents.
Hmm, I don't pay enough attention to Twitter to be able to judge this. But I meant he hasn't really picked a side on the whole SJW/GamerGate thing, and refuses to take one. He will argue with feminists about certain things, and agree with them about others. Which seems very reasonable to me, but some people will of course get incredibly pissed off at him and accuse him of being sexist.
As a side note to the article, I'm glad that Glasgow and/or the editors went through the piece afterwards. Seeing a note about a quote being historically misattributed to Henry Ford pleases me, because it tells me that they didn't just feed the interview into a speech-to-text machine and publish it- they actually read what they had gathered and were writing down, edited and annotated it with care, then published it.
Agreed. For me, this was the best article on the Escapist, and frankly one the best gaming-related interviews on the internet, I've read in a long time. Kudos!
 

lord synfel

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darkrage6 said:
Can't take anyone seriously who uses stupid terms like SJW. He's dead fucking wrong about Kotaku, it seems like he's ignorant about a lot of things going on, just goes to show you being rich doesn't automatically mean you are smarter then everyone else.
when the hell did he mentioned kotaku?
 

darkrage6

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DudeistBelieve said:
I want to not give a fuck about other people the way Notch doesn't. He sounds so free doesn't he?

darkrage6 said:
Can't take anyone seriously who uses stupid terms like SJW. He's dead fucking wrong about Kotaku, it seems like he's ignorant about a lot of things going on, just goes to show you being rich doesn't automatically mean you are smarter then everyone else.
Well this is news to me. I blindly assumed every man, woman, and child making more than $100,000 grand a year was fucking eienstein.

Give Kelly Clarkson a gun and 24 hours, she'll have the israel palestine conflict solved by morning..
I think Clarkson actually is pretty smart, Justin Bieber and Kanye West not so much.
 

ScaredIndie

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lord synfel said:
darkrage6 said:
Can't take anyone seriously who uses stupid terms like SJW. He's dead fucking wrong about Kotaku, it seems like he's ignorant about a lot of things going on, just goes to show you being rich doesn't automatically mean you are smarter then everyone else.
when the hell did he mentioned kotaku?
Page 4 of the interview. Mostly about Markus tweeting negatively about them after a bunch of "journalists" wrote hit pieces on him for not capitulating to their world views when they demanded he do so.

Luckily there are still sites like The Escapist (not perfect of definitely cleaning the bullies out of their house)
 

lord synfel

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ScaredIndie said:
lord synfel said:
darkrage6 said:
Can't take anyone seriously who uses stupid terms like SJW. He's dead fucking wrong about Kotaku, it seems like he's ignorant about a lot of things going on, just goes to show you being rich doesn't automatically mean you are smarter then everyone else.
when the hell did he mentioned kotaku?
Page 4 of the interview. Mostly about Markus tweeting negatively about them after a bunch of "journalists" wrote hit pieces on him for not capitulating to their world views when they demanded he do so.

Luckily there are still sites like The Escapist (not perfect of definitely cleaning the bullies out of their house)
but it wasnt notch who said it the article only referred to a tweet from his account than putting the answer to the question
 

maninahat

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Good to see some juicy content coming out of the escapist, after what feels like a long time. That said, it perhaps is a little preoccupied with framing the interview in line with this site's now open hatred of "bad" "SJW" "Editorialisque" journalism.
 

Mazinger-Z

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maninahat said:
Good to see some juicy content coming out of the escapist, after what feels like a long time. That said, it perhaps is a little preoccupied with framing the interview in line with this site's now open hatred of "bad" "SJW" "Editorialisque" journalism.
This is largely a side-effect of other outlets refusing to give that type of opposing viewpoint any oxygen. You're going to see any capitalistic publication seeing a niche market and filling the void.

If one wants to avoid the construction of echo chambers from without or within, they have to be willing to let opposing ideas be discussed and give a platform to them.'

Sunlight is the best disinfectant.
 

brad_glasgow

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Mazinger-Z said:
maninahat said:
Good to see some juicy content coming out of the escapist, after what feels like a long time. That said, it perhaps is a little preoccupied with framing the interview in line with this site's now open hatred of "bad" "SJW" "Editorialisque" journalism.
This is largely a side-effect of other outlets refusing to give that type of opposing viewpoint any oxygen. You're going to see any capitalistic publication seeing a niche market and filling the void.

If one wants to avoid the construction of echo chambers from without or within, they have to be willing to let opposing ideas be discussed and give a platform to them.'

Sunlight is the best disinfectant.
Yeah, my formal logic prof used to harangue us to expose ourselves to different points of view, especially politically. The left wingers were asked to listen to Rush Limbaugh occasionally(the memories of having to listen to that self-righteous pill popper talking crap about drug use) and the right wingers were asked to listen to certain NPR programs. Exposure to alien ideas allows you to see how the other side thinks and feels as well as expand and strengthen your viewpoint. Not tolerating people that don't think exactly the way you do was my issue with the right for years and has now become my issue with the left as they obtained more clout. Those "journalists" who merely pushed their views and agenda instead of their love for the medium on which they were paid to report didn't do their job properly. When called on it they demonized those who called them out. Perhaps if they had more exposure to other points of view they wouldn't have been so smug and superior about the idea of forcing those views down everyone else's throats. It is harder to demonize someone if you understand them. That applies to almost all points on the spectrum.

Would love to see more interviews like this.
 

brad_glasgow

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maninahat said:
That said, it perhaps is a little preoccupied with framing the interview in line with this site's now open hatred of "bad" "SJW" "Editorialisque" journalism.
Keep in mind that I'm a freelance writer. The interview was completed before The Escapist was involved. I talked about his views of journalism and editorializing because that's one of the main sources of his controversies on Twitter. When you have game journalists calling him a "massive arsehole" on Twitter and writing hit pieces like that Destructoid article, then yeah, that's going to be a big part of our conversation.
 

maninahat

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Terminalchaos said:
Mazinger-Z said:
maninahat said:
Good to see some juicy content coming out of the escapist, after what feels like a long time. That said, it perhaps is a little preoccupied with framing the interview in line with this site's now open hatred of "bad" "SJW" "Editorialisque" journalism.
This is largely a side-effect of other outlets refusing to give that type of opposing viewpoint any oxygen. You're going to see any capitalistic publication seeing a niche market and filling the void.

If one wants to avoid the construction of echo chambers from without or within, they have to be willing to let opposing ideas be discussed and give a platform to them.'

Sunlight is the best disinfectant.
Yeah, my formal logic prof used to harangue us to expose ourselves to different points of view, especially politically. The left wingers were asked to listen to Rush Limbaugh occasionally(the memories of having to listen to that self-righteous pill popper talking crap about drug use) and the right wingers were asked to listen to certain NPR programs. Exposure to alien ideas allows you to see how the other side thinks and feels as well as expand and strengthen your viewpoint. Not tolerating people that don't think exactly the way you do was my issue with the right for years and has now become my issue with the left as they obtained more clout. Those "journalists" who merely pushed their views and agenda instead of their love for the medium on which they were paid to report didn't do their job properly. When called on it they demonized those who called them out. Perhaps if they had more exposure to other points of view they wouldn't have been so smug and superior about the idea of forcing those views down everyone else's throats. It is harder to demonize someone if you understand them. That applies to almost all points on the spectrum.

Would love to see more interviews like this.
I think the danger though is that by giving the opportunity, you potentially treat two opposing views as a level playing field, even when they shouldn't. It's why, say, people like Richard Dawkins refuse to publicly debate creationists; because by even presenting it as a two sided debate, they have given creationists a level of legitimacy their argument doesn't deserve.

Also, this website has lost a lot of its more outspoken - dare I say lefty - content producers; if it is ideal to open the doors and get more view points, the escapist is going in the opposite direction.
 

Mazinger-Z

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maninahat said:
I think the danger though is that by giving the opportunity, you potentially treat two opposing views as a level playing field, even when they shouldn't. It's why, say, people like Richard Dawkins refuse to publicly debate creationists; because by even presenting it as a two sided debate, they have given creationists a level of legitimacy their argument doesn't deserve.

Also, this website has lost a lot of its more outspoken - dare I say lefty - content producers; if it is ideal to open the doors and get more view points, the escapist is going in the opposite direction.
Such is the consequence of free speech. In a society that values critical thinking and logic, such concerns should fall the wayside as evidence proves one side more correct than the other. Dawkins not debating creationists is a personal choice, but he hasn't called for them to be no-platformed or that others shouldn'the debate them for fear of legitimizing them.

And again, in a capitalist system, the Escapist is making a logical choice. With a surfeit of left-leaning publications, the Escapist is less likely to get the same return on a similar investment with left-leaning content.

Tho I'm really curious how an interview with the creator of Mine craft is somehow anti-left and not just public interest for gamers.

What I really enjoy is the idea of Brad selling this story to the Escapist as a freelance writer rather than as a staff writer like on other publications who have to dream up clickbait regularly for their income. A publication picking up stories based on their quality might help the industry.
 

JamesStone

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Mazinger-Z said:
maninahat said:
I think the danger though is that by giving the opportunity, you potentially treat two opposing views as a level playing field, even when they shouldn't. It's why, say, people like Richard Dawkins refuse to publicly debate creationists; because by even presenting it as a two sided debate, they have given creationists a level of legitimacy their argument doesn't deserve.

Also, this website has lost a lot of its more outspoken - dare I say lefty - content producers; if it is ideal to open the doors and get more view points, the escapist is going in the opposite direction.
Such is the consequence of free speech. In a society that values critical thinking and logic, such concerns should fall the wayside as evidence proves one side more correct than the other. Dawkins not debating creationists is a personal choice, but he hasn't called for them to be no-platformed or that others shouldn'the debate them for fear of legitimizing them.

And again, in a capitalist system, the Escapist is making a logical choice. With a surfeit of left-leaning publications, the Escapist is less likely to get the same return on a similar investment with left-leaning content.

Tho I'm really curious how an interview with the creator of Mine craft is somehow anti-left and not just public interest for gamers.

What I really enjoy is the idea of Brad selling this story to the Escapist as a freelance writer rather than as a staff writer like on other publications who have to dream up clickbait regularly for their income. A publication picking up stories based on their quality might help the industry.

Maybe this is just an american issue, although I don't wanna assume anything, but it's likely a result of a bipartisan system that divides left and right as if there were only two points of view.

As an example, here in Portugal we have 2 right wing parties, CDS - Essentially Ted Cruz-lite, very few supporters and then to ally with others to break majority ties) and PSD (Social Democratic Party, aka American Left.), one center party, PS (AKA Socialists but mostly in name), and two left parties, BE (Left Block) and PCP ("Dirty Communists", as one might know them. They have a political alliance with our green party, forming the CDU). Point being, although parties of the respective political spectrum tend to be in agreement, there's a lot of differing opinions.


For example, even though BE and CDU tend to have the same opinion when it comes to voting, they don't get along much, because BE is seen as a bunch of PR-loving bullshitters who only exist to rob PCP of votes, while the CDU are seen as bleeding hearts and Dirty Communists, plus extremists in some cases.

While we in Portugal, generally speaking, consider this whole genderist/feminist discussion a bunch of bollocks, and most people, save for the "radical" right supporters (IE: About 1/3 of PSD and a fair bunch of CDS supporters) fail to see why such an obvious thing is discussed with such fervour in the States, have some disagreements. For example, a recent bill was subjected for approval to allow for "rent bellies" (I believe it's called surrogate mothers - when you rent someone else's uterus to have your child), and while BE voted for it, the CDU abstained, saying the proposal left too many holes open for exploitation.


Why all of this explanation? Simple: Because we're not bipartisan, we can actually have a discussion without resorting to an Us vs Them mentality (Or at least it's much harder to do it when the Us and Them can change wildly for each topic). America considers feminist to be a left issue (even though most modern feminists, in my opinion, are a bunch of bigots that bring shame to the very people who's names they claim and attract attention from actual issues women face), so a site that has an opinion against it is automatically anti-left. And because of the polarizing nature of politics, only accentuated with the retarded system the USA have and refuse to change, any person with enough of a public voice which DARES have an opinion is immediately branded in the US or THEM category, and marked as a nonperson for the THEM, which means, you guessed it, harrass them freely. It's easy to insult you and your mother in 140 characters or less. It's harder to defend and explain a complex opinion of yours in the same number of words.
 

Valiance

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Easily the best interview I've read on this site in a long time.

Great job.
 

maninahat

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Mazinger-Z said:
And again, in a capitalist system, the Escapist is making a logical choice. With a surfeit of left-leaning publications, the Escapist is less likely to get the same return on a similar investment with left-leaning content.
It remains to be seen if that's going to be successful. I'd hope the escapist is driven more by sincerity, than exploiting a market niche.

Tho I'm really curious how an interview with the creator of Mine craft is somehow anti-left and not just public interest for gamers.
I was more referring to the content of the interview, in which the interviewer guides Notch to talk a lot on things like SJWs and the left-leaning sites that criticised him. Fair enough on the interviewer if that's what Notch is most known for at the moment, but the results neatly coincide with the escapist's views in its recent articles; I suspect that helped the escapist decide to pay to publish the interview.

What I really enjoy is the idea of Brad selling this story to the Escapist as a freelance writer rather than as a staff writer like on other publications who have to dream up clickbait regularly for their income. A publication picking up stories based on their quality might help the industry.
Don't get me wrong, it is great that the escapist is getting outside voices and new content, but all these publications are in the same business of trying to grab an audience with eye-catching stories; which of those are considered clickbait seems more to do with a beholder's political persuasion rather than story presentation.
 

Mazinger-Z

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JamesStone said:
It's very much an Us vs Them mentality. It'd go off-topic, so if you want I can share with you my insights in PMs if you want.

maninahat said:
It remains to be seen if that's going to be successful. I'd hope the escapist is driven more by sincerity, than exploiting a market niche.

I was more referring to the content of the interview, in which the interviewer guides Notch to talk a lot on things like SJWs and the left-leaning sites that criticised him. Fair enough on the interviewer if that's what Notch is most known for at the moment, but the results neatly coincide with the escapist's views in its recent articles; I suspect that helped the escapist decide to pay to publish the interview.

Don't get me wrong, it is great that the escapist is getting outside voices and new content, but all these publications are in the same business of trying to grab an audience with eye-catching stories; which of those are considered clickbait seems more to do with a beholder's political persuasion rather than story presentation.
To the first two paragraphs, I believe you may be reading too much into the timing as specious rather than the idea that Notch did something that was considered controversial, a ton of sites made hay out of it without his input (whether they reached out and he turned them down or didn't send off an obligatory 'request for comment' is up to the imagination).

So when a journalist who has a better reputation on independent research and fact-checking comes along and asks for an interview, why would Notch turn it down? And since all the sites that ran for the clickbait already have their narrative of "Notch is a rich asshole misogynist", why would they publish an interview that is directly critical of that?

Moederation begets more moderation. This would look in no way 'right-wing'-ish if other sites hadn't already constructed their own narrative on the Twitter thing.
 

JamesStone

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Mazinger-Z said:
JamesStone said:
It's very much an Us vs Them mentality. It'd go off-topic, so if you want I can share with you my insights in PMs if you want.
That'd be nice. My point was in European countries there's usually a lot of different "Us"'s and "Them"'s, so we can usually avoid the polarizing effects of US culture.