The gaming world spiraled in a cycle of outrage earlier this month when Indiana “Froskurinn” Black, host of Comcast’s popular gaming network, G4, lectured viewers in a now-viral rant on their misogyny in finding her less “bangable” than previous hosts.
The lecture is so shrill and destructive, it must be seen to be believed.
“In joining G4, I was ecstatic to be part of something I grew up watching as a child. But every time G4 is brought up in various channels, without a doubt there will be backlash because I’m not as ‘bangable’ as the previous host,” Froskurinn complained.
“It has somehow been expected that you can talk about how much you jerked off to women as a compliment. It’s not a compliment, it’s dehumanizing, and it’s weird. Morgan Webb and Olivia Munn did not exist to be nice on the eyes for you. That’s just obvious sexism. You don’t need to declare that you hate women to be sexist,” she said.
The outburst racked up millions of views across social media and gaming outlets covering the story. Old fans of G4, unaware the network that catapulted aforementioned Munn to fame, had relaunched, were blasted with the decadent state of their old favorites. Where once there were friendly programs led by everyman hosts, they’ve been replaced with meaner, cruder social-justice versions that tweet how they want their Republican family members to drink urine and die.
This moment may seem strange, but it is very instructive. How did we go from such a friendly platform to a vindictive one? Here we have evidence of everything wrong with our modern cultural gatekeepers. Properties, institutions, and even video commentators becoming corrupted by our toxic politics is proof that radical cultural decadence masquerading as progressivism destroys everything it touches.
The G4 Backstory
Launched in 2002 with Comcast, G4 was the first and only 24/7 television network dedicated to gaming. For the disconnected, socially ambivalent nerds of the 2000s, G4 was a revelation.
During the high watermark years of 2004 to 2009, G4 was the celebration destination for all forms of geek niche culture, created for and by nerds. Top programs included “Xplay,” a funny yet, reliable video game review show, and the hilariously irreverent meta-nerd news program, “Attack of the Show.“
Hosted by the sly Kevin Pereira and his actress co-host, Munn, the show was unashamedly eccentric, sexy, and fun. They would do an episode covering a big new game release with a famous guest-host like Jimmy Fallon playing tic-tac-toe. The program might move onto a news segment about anime body pillows and conclude the show with a stunt, like a school-girl uniform-clad Munn diving head-first into a giant custard pie.
By 2012 the media landscape had changed drastically, as social media and YouTube took off. With no money left and all their best programs finished, G4 closed shop permanently. Or so it seemed.
Two months ago, Comcast Spectator relaunched the network with a focus on esports and content designed for YouTube and Twitch audiences. Comcast dumped millions of dollars into the relaunch, including the purchase of a 67,000 square-foot facility in Burbank, California.
But as Froskurinn’s lecture shows, the fun has not returned. You will not find Morgan Webb nor Munn in this iteration of G4. Both women are as attractive and fun as they were knowledgeable about gaming. Instead, they’ve been replaced with cringey YouTubers and failed esports commentators with gaming expertise only a puddle deep.
Even the beloved hosts of the original network have morphed into the angry woke husks of their former selves. G4’s key talent, Adam Sessler, the humble everyman gamer and a knowledgeable professional is now the kind of Twitter troll that tweets missives about how all Republicans are terrorists and will cancel anyone for even the slightest criticism.
A Cover-Up for Incompetence
Froskurinn’s rant is as unhinged as it is enlightening of the state of our cultural gatekeepers.
Her fainting couch tirade on how G4 female hosts weren’t there to be ogled is ahistorical nonsense. G4 female hosts like Munn, who produced all her own stunts, would do interviews in bikinis and run segments where she ripped off her underwear from underneath her leggings and threw it into the official “Olivia’s panty pile.”
As is often the case, woke soap-box moments aren’t about any genuine grievance, that’s only flattering camouflage. Instead, they are for getting attention and deflecting criticism. This is nowhere truer than in gaming journalism.
Stories like this one perfectly illustrate how a substantial proportion of those calling themselves journalists have minimal experience or interest in playing video games. Loyal viewers are not interested in being lectured for their imaginary misogyny, and are even less enamored when hosts like Froskurinn admit they don’t play the games they are reviewing.
If you scour G4 and “Xplay” chats on Twitch and Youtube, you won’t find many people mocking Froskurinn’s appearance. You will find that people pointing out this highly paid esports expert who loves to mock viewers doesn’t know what she is talking about. It is highly likely the rant was meant to deter attention away from their incompetence and to weaponize gaming journos for views.
Woke Turtles All the Way Down
Every attempt for more ethical journalism in gaming, including the much-maligned Gamergate, has been met with the worst kind of internal witch hunts to ensure no gamer or a right-winger work there. When the Escapist magazine founder Alexander Macris said in 2014 that maybe the Gamergate haters had a point about conflicts of interest in gaming journalism, he got pushed out of his organization.
Like so many in our media these days, G4 is banking on the power of woke politics and infinite regression. That playing to the press will protect them from any potential criticism. But it won’t work. You can’t create more viewers by flaming your existing audience. According to Social Blade, the industry-standard analysis website for social media metrics, G4, for its millions of dollars in investment, is rarely breaking 100,000 views per video and is bleeding subscribers.
When the investment dollars have dried up and Comcast realizes they made a huge mistake, this four-minute rant will go down as one of the all-time worst business decisions in the history of geekery. G4 and its “unbangable” host be forever remembered in gaming circles as a laughingstock. Going “Frosk” will become a verb, an object lesson about the failings of a woke-Kazi and the danger of insulting your audience for too long.
Eventually, the pendulum always swings back in the other direction.