The world’s largest video game convention, PAX, has now become a part of the culture war as progressives are deplatforming conservatives, libertarians, and free-thinking liberals from participating.
While PAX has never been explicitly progressive, panels hosted at the annual Seattle-based event have – in recent years – revolved around leftist politics and social justice in gaming. This week, a month ahead of the upcoming event, PAX removed a panel organized by Colin Moriarty and Chris Maldonado for the duo’s PlayStation Podcast.
“Our panel likely got cut because a small cabal of whiny people complained and got our PlayStation Podcast deplatformed."
Both Moriarty and Maldonado have attained no small amount of notoriety for refusing to align with the growing social justice mob.
Moriarty, a former senior editor at IGN, is an outspoken libertarian whose Twitter avatar is of the Gadsden flag. He was “canceled” by his colleagues and outrage mongers for making an innocuous joke about women. Moriarty spoke about the whole issue at length with Joe Rogan. He has since become a popular target of harassment by leftist activists intent on eroding his continued popularity, including VICE writer Dia Lacina, who is waging a campaign against him.
Maldonado, better known as Chris Ray Gun, is the popular creator of YouTube videos and songs poking fun at the social justice mob. His most watched video, “Social Justice: The Musical,” has over 4.1 million views. Maldonado and his girlfriend and fellow creator Laci Green, have been harassed over their relationship.
The panel, called the “Sacred Symbols” (in reference to the Sony PlayStation’s four icons), had received prior approval from PAX. Moriarty broke the news on Twitter to his followers explaining that PAX West “rescinded” their panel this Wednesday without so much as an explanation.
“Apologies, but we unfortunately have to remove your panel from the PAX West 2019 schedule. We apologize for any confusion and are happy to still issue special guest badges to you and the folks you had designated as speakers, so you will still have access to the show for all four days,” reads the official email.
[caption id="attachment_179944" align="aligncenter" width="1920"] Sacred Symbols Podcast[/caption]
Maldonado also tweeted that the panel was approved weeks ago, and that they had already been given full notice of the room, date, and time at which their panel would take place. Despite repeated inquiries from Moriarty, PAX has yet to offer a response explaining why it cut the panel.
One individual even suggested battering Moriarty by “spilling an entire milkshake on him when his back is turned” should he attend PAX.
Asked why he thought the panel was removed, Moriarty says he was “really not sure,” but shared his suspicions with Human Events.
“I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, because I'm not an incredibly confrontational person. So it would be great if they were like ‘we made a scheduling error’ or something, but that's obviously not what happened,” Moriarty says. “We had the Hydra Theater - one of PAX's biggest venues - given to us. It wasn't an accident we were put in there, as our show has 50,000+ listeners, and it's no accident we were removed from the show completely, on the eve of the finalization of the schedule.”
“Our panel likely got cut because a small cabal of whiny people complained and got our PlayStation Podcast deplatformed,” explains Moriarty. “Again: We're not allowed to do our PlayStation Podcast at a video game convention.”
“It's not that we're not allowed to do the panel. It's not a big deal. It's that they told us we could, we promoted it, people bought passes, people made travel arrangements, and we also invested capital into the panel, and then they took it away from us,” he added. “It is a bait and switch. They pulled the rug out from under us, and it's totally wrong. It's wrong to do to us, but it's exponentially more wrong to do to our audience, and that's who we're advocating for right now.”
Leftists on social media have come out in droves to celebrate the panel’s cancellation, including some of Moriarty and Maldonado’s loudest detractors. One individual even suggested battering Moriarty by “spilling an entire milkshake on him when his back is turned” should he attend PAX.
As publications like Kotaku, Polygon, and other “mainstream” gaming websites remain silent on the issue, conversations about the panel’s removal are also being shut down by moderators on Reddit’s most popular gaming community, r/games.
PAX’s deplatforming of Moriarty and Maldonado is just the latest thing to happen in ongoing efforts by leftist activists to erode any remotely conservative presence in the video game industry, and it won’t be the last.
Ian Miles Cheong is the managing editor of Human Events