GameTheory Ableism- A Supplementary Response
Okay, okay. Alright, I’ve read the comments. People are squinting a bit at my MatPat video. And I understand why. When you’re a fan of someone, it can be hard as fuck to hear someone criticize them for something, especially something as intense as being offensive and hurtful to disabled folks. I expected there would be some backlash.
What I didn’t expect was to lose a friend I knew in the real world over that video, who got so angry they deadnamed me over it.
That fucking hurt.
But in truth, the backlash only secured my resolve in criticizing Matpat. So, I did more research and found a few more examples of MatPat’s ableism to further cement my point. I’m going to do what it takes to have this addressed. I know he can do better than this.
I’m going to start again with an older video- this time about Princess Peach. And oh god, it’s… it’s horrible.
Yet again, here we are with Matpat diagnosing fictional characters without the credentials needed to do so. Let’s go over the DSM-5 diagnostic criterion for Bipolar Disorder, ay guys?
- Abnormally upbeat, jumpy or wired
- Increased activity, energy or agitation
- Exaggerated sense of well-being and self-confidence (euphoria)
- Decreased need for sleep
- Unusual talkativeness
- Racing thoughts
- Poor decision-making
- Depressed mood- feeling sad, empty, hopeless or tearful (can appear as irritability)
- Marked loss of interest or feeling no pleasure in all — or almost all — activities
- Significant weight loss when not dieting, weight gain, or decrease or increase in appetite ( failure to gain weight as expected can be a sign of depression)
- Either insomnia or sleeping too much
- Either restlessness or slowed behavior
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt
- Decreased ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness
- Thinking about, planning or attempting suicide
To prove that Princess Peach is Bipolar, you have to prove she has at least three symptoms from each category, as well as give a physical exam- which you can’t, because she isn’t fucking real- and do a series of psychiatric assessments and mood charting. None of which you are qualified to do, because- I repeat- You are not. A. Professional.
Mood swings are a stereotype of Bipolar disorder, not a symptom. The assertion that the emotion centric powers in Super Princess Peach and some mild emotional fluctuation in the nintendo sports and racing games makes her bipolar is a deeply ableist stereotype used in media to mock and stigmatize the disorder.
You may be saying ‘But Patch, the DSM-5 came out the year after the video came out!’
The DSM-4 Diagnostic criteria is almost identical to the DSM-5.
And, more importantly- Matpat has never corrected or apologized for this video. He has never acknowledged the misinformation it provides, nor has he amended the harm spreading that misinformation has posed.
So we’re up to a great start.
Next up, let’s talk about this lovely Shrek episode about Donkey being a human in secret! I’m sure it’s harmless and totally unproblemati-
I…. Are you fucking kidding me?
Noone. Absolutely noone. Is entitled to know about your trauma. If you have a history as a victim of abuse, you do not owe anyone an explanation, nor do you have to share or publicize your history.
In the real world, there are plenty of reasons abuse survivors choose not to disclose their history to others.
- Being afraid that no one will believe them
- Fearing retaliation from the abuser
- Were told pets, siblings, or parents would be injured or killed if they told
- Were told they would be in trouble if they told
- Questioned if what happened was really sexual abuse
- Were told it was their fault because they were bad, or a manipulative abuser told them they agreed to it
- Were ashamed they might have ‘let’ it happen or didn’t say no
- Hoped someone would find out and help
- Told before, and no one helped
- Feared something bad would happen to their abuser, who they loved and depended upon
And yes, Donkey isn’t real- but much like the Dory videos, the problem here is normalizing the behavior, teaching his audience that shaming victims for not disclosing their abuse as normal and totally okay.
He’s setting a bad example.
Oh, and speaking of setting a bad example- let’s talk about the Wilbursoot Had DID theory.
Dissociative identity Disorder is a deeply stigmatized disorder and highly demonized in modern media- a thing Matpat knows and acknowledges in the video. So.. if he knows that this is a harmful and bigoted stereotype, why does he contribute to it?
Let’s look at the thumbnail. ‘Face of a killer?’ Before we ever even turn on the video, we’re already being set up to believe that whatever is wrong with Wilbur’s ARG character makes them inherently dangerous.
And the theory itself- dear God- revolves around Wilbur’s character splitting into plurality from a manslaughter event. Which isn’t how Dissociative Identity Disorder works.
There will be resources in the at this link to help this make more sense for Singlets- people without DID- in the audience. But the way it works is like this. Early in life, usually childhood and early adolescence, the patient undergoes either a single severe trauma, or multiple repeated small traumas- often both- which cause a fracture in the consciousness. This fracture exists to help repress the memories the brain just.. Can’t process. This is similar to the amnestic symptoms of PTSD.
As the patient gets older and continues to be traumatized by further abuses or serious events, the fractures- known as Fragments- will become personalities. They all serve a different purpose. Gatekeepers who control who has the driver’s seat of the body. Memory Holders who keep all the trauma. Protectors who shield the system from harm, Persecutors who attack threats and push them out of the host’s life.
Everyone in a system has a job.
This disorder just does not work the way MatPat thinks it does. For this to work, wilbur would have to already be plural at the time Mystery Girl was killed.
And even ignoring all that, it becomes another discussion of the fact Matpat does not have the disorder in question, nor does he have the credentials to diagnose someone with it.
The last thing I want to talk about is the Color the Spectrum fundraiser. Color the Spectrum is a charitable group operated by NEXT for Autism, an Autism Speaks Affiliated Organization that Autistic people have been openly and wildly critical of for years.
There are a decent number of reasons why NFA is criticized- talking over autistic experiences, their association with Autism Speaks, the distressing lack of Autistic representatives within their board of directors. But I want to focus on the most grievous part- the sheer amount of people on the board who support ABA- a form of therapy that is believed to contribute to the high suicide risk of Autistic people, including autistic children.
Applied Behavioral analysis, or ABA, is a form of pseudo-therapy that involves demonizing autistic traits to the patient and slowly forcing them to suppress their sensory responses and autistic behaviors and symptoms. They will intentionally put the patient into sensory overload repeatedly to try and desensitize them to the sensation- which is physically painful to the point of meltdowns- and then punish them for having those meltdowns.
The philosophy of this therapy is that all Autistic people need to conceal their autism to be less of an inconvenience to Neurotypical society. Having sensory news makes you a burden in the eyes of ABA therapists and those who promote it. And we know very well how damaging it is.
Soooo why is this important? Well, NEXT for Autism seems to be partially run by people who not only support, but profit off of ABA therapy and the abuse of Autistic people.
Dr. Patricia Wright (Senior Vice President, Strategic Initiatives) , Alison Bush (Senior Manager, Strategic Initiatives) , and Brad Walker (Vice President, Strategic Adult Initiatives), all have public connections to ABA therapy and a history of supporting it rather vocally. And considering that the Board has no Autistic members to call them out for this? It’s a problem.
This is an organization Matpat and his fanbase gave money to. Take a moment and consider that. Despite the outcry Mr Beast and Mark Rober were subject to for supporting these jackboot shitheels, Matpat and his fans gave them financial and verbal support.
So we’ve got-
Stigmatizing two more traumagenic disorders, victimshaming a potential ptsd patient, making light of bipolar disorder, and donating to a charity run by people who profit off a form of therapy that increases its patient’s risk of suicide.
Combine that with the stigmatizing of autism, demonizing of ASPD, clout chasing with Etika’s suicide, and normalizing speculation on the wellness of others from the last video and we’ve got quite a track record of Matthew’s lack of tact and complete lack of responsibility as a creator.
Content creators have a duty of care to our fanbases. And Matpat continually fails to meet that. He needs to do better. He owes it to himself and his platform.