2.6 Beardyboys


About 19 minutes later, MrBeardy99 fed his followers with a spicy post about a new game he had access to. The biteback came thick and fast.

“Another exclusive for the beardyboys! Let’s gooooo!”

Kennymorte20 was desperate to be a part of the community. They craved likes and thumbs up and if they got a positive reply, it suddenly felt like they were popular. The feeling didn’t last, so they kept posting.

“MrBeardy99 got paid again lol nobody cares.”

Anri0bunchofnumbers just wanted to get a reaction, or start a fight. They were extremely bored and dissatisfied. All these popular streamers sucked, they were so boring, so vanilla, so safe, it was like children’s TV. The older gobblers ignored this type of post.  Anri0 sat in front of the screen, watching their message scroll away without a response.  They were sure someone had seen it, that was good enough. They continued watching the stream and waited for an appropriate moment to criticise, again.

“What kind of game is it? Will you stream it?”

JUsO_the_one was a real one, of many ones, a real fan of watching MrBeardy99 playing games. MrBeardy99 was entertaining, after all,  making jokes, laughing with his viewers, sharing news about his family, and his pet macaw would often parrot opinions as well, to the delight of the chatters, many of which would do the same.

The trough was soon filling up with news and then clips of the beta of Sword Man 7. 

The Coach looked through his inbox. Still no key. Wow. Had he really been forsaken? He started to notice the people with keys were pretty big influencers. He understood clearly what was going on. He could see how this would benefit the brand. It didn’t stop him becoming increasingly angry about it. 

“What the fuck are they doing?” The Coach wailed as he wrote, “there’s just random bullshit being posted, no combos, no technical information, no actual thought going into these clips! It’s shameful!”

He got a few likes and was feeling satisfied until he saw a response that read “jelly much?” 

He wasn’t jealous, not at all, he replied, he just would have done this differently. Posted useful information. That’s what the community needed. 

There was no reply, which meant he had won the argument, or the other person had left the conversation. He was kind of satisfied, in a hollow way, as much as you can be over arguments on the Internet.

MrBeardy99 was sweating as he hurriedly looked through the footage of his private match with a friend. This just isn’t interesting. This game was freaking hard, too. There are so many moves and characters, it would take forever to review. What would be good feed? A ‘first look’ review? Nah, too much work. A combo video… hmm maybe, but that’s still work and he had to get something out there now. He looked over the character roster again.  Ah, of course. He selected the character, rolled up a long ninja, lit it up and took a few hits, then started recording. 

The Coach sent another message to GAFY’s community manager. It didn’t really portray how bitter he felt, but there was nothing else he could do. He considered the options which were either beg or wait for the full release of the game like everybody else. But hold on, hold on, he wasn’t the same as everyone else, he was a super fan, he would end up buying the premium edition, make actual useful content, and praise the game. Ah, or maybe not. But who was he kidding. Of course he would praise the game. Sword Man was his life. He loved the series utterly, it could do no wrong. He recalled how he supported this game when everyone else left it to play the new Call of Duty. He remembered queueing up to take photos with the GAFY team at the game show when everyone else was queueing up to play the newest Final Fantasy.  He had christmas cards and birthday wishes. But all this meant nothing in the face of these fucking mainstream influencers. It made sense really. But it still hurt. And the more he thought about it, the more frustrated he got. He was gonna do something. Something bad. That’s right. He turned on his playstation and started playing final fantasy. Fuck Sword Man, fuck all this shit. Fuck it all.

A few minutes later, with teeth clenched, the Coach checked the feed, while he was running around in circles, levelling up his character.  MrBeardy99 had posted a clip of the SwordMan7 beta, titled “SW7’s Horniest Waifu!” where he simply exhibited the new female character, a tall knight that had a bikini instead of a breastplate. The camera zoomed in on the jiggling breasts as she swung the famous dark excalibur sword.  “Look at this”, said MrBeardy99, “wow, just wowwwww! (Lol)” It wasn’t clear if this was a criticism or an endorsement but his laughter was genuine and infectious. Behind his sunglasses, nobody could see his bloodshot eyes that could barely stay open.  At any rate, the clip was gaining bites, gobbles, and the feed was regurgitated far and wide. Some criticised the “blatant attempt to cash in on objectified women” which was “cringe from the 90s” while others applauded the “strong and sexy type” and how GAFY hadn’t succumbed to “SJW politics that were ruining games”. And so the fighting continued. Many other content creators and commentators jumped onto the topic, many of whom had never heard of the game and would never play it, but had plenty to say. 

GAFY’s community manager, aka Charles, certainly noticed the feed, and started sweating. But this was good, that was the point. SW7 was in the spotlight. It was trending. This could only be good. He sweated anyway, knowing that there was a chance of a boycott. He checked his messages, et voila, a whole load of begging. There were some interesting influencers and apparently ‘real’ fans crawling out of the woodwork, but sadly there were no keys left at the moment, he replied, to some of them. He felt bad for the actual fans, but the exclusivity of the keys was working, and there was quality content, unlike the time when GAFY gave a key to practically everyone and the videos flooded the market but the quality was so low, and the product simply lost value.  Some people played the beta and then lost interest in the final release, they were busy looking for another “free” game. Some players made fun of the game and the company.  These people were just so irritating.  Ah, there was a message from someone he recognised, it was his contact from Microsoft. The dude was asking for a key. Wow, just wow. He immediately forwarded the request to Hideki.  The never-resting manager saw the request with disdain, and was about to write a rebuking response when he saw who it was for, and quickly retrieved a key from his list of 1000 spares and sent it off, very happily.

As Hideki sat to eat with his family, his teenage daughter got up and excused herself. He looked up for a moment and then at the empty spot at the table. It was hamburg steak night and the pan-fried then briefly steamed beef pattie sat upon the warm bed of fluffy rice, moist and tender, the scent of worcester sauce rising through the air.  He said nothing, and turned to his wife with an accusing glare, who returned the glare right back at him.  Surprised, he decided to dismiss it all, and started digging in. The beef was indeed succulent, the sauce sugary sour, and the air hung around their temples, suffocating.

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