With each passing day, members of the sim racing community continuously manage to upstage themselves when it comes to sheer, unrestricted stupidity – and even by PRC standards, this one is exceptionally spectacular. On this day in sim racing, we’ve reached an especially disastrous milestone – one in which sim racers are now openly attacking YouTube personalities for uploading honest reviews of expensive hardware. It’s no longer enough for companies to persuade individuals with a popular YouTube channel into publishing dishonest reviews of their products in exchange for undisclosed perks; we’ve now swung in the complete opposite direction and created a scenario where everyday sim racers are openly stating they do not appreciate honest reviews of a product they want to learn about, and potentially purchase.
Back in September of 2016, Will Marsh – fronting the independent hobbyist website SimRacingPaddock – uploaded an eighteen minute review of Fanatec’s CSL Elite Wheel Base, as well as their P1 Rim. Though the hardware was supplied by Fanatec themselves as a complimentary review copy, Marsh refused to take the safe approach when it comes to establishing a long-term relationship with any sim racing hardware company, and gave a very fair and thorough assessment of each product. While he had mostly positive things to say about the CSL Elite Wheel Base, the P1 rim suffered immense criticism for being cheaply made; constructed primarily via plastic parts that Will believed would struggle to withstand any sort of long-term duress that sim racing endurance events are known for.
I’m not in the market for a new toy steering wheel at the moment, but by the end of the video I came away feeling pretty informed about the hit-or-miss quality some of my buddies have told me about Fanatec in private, and I appreciated that despite Will essentially being gifted a brand new toy steering wheel to review on his show, he had no problem jeopardizing his relationship with Fanatec to talk about their product in an honest fashion, letting sim racers know exactly what was wrong with it in great detail. In fact, by the end of the video, Will can be seen examining the P1 Rim with several close up shots to accurately convey just how much of the wheel is plastic hidden by metal trim – something that a lot of sim racers would by and large want to be made aware of before purchasing the product.
Not everyone shared this same sentiment, however.
Whether it be an elaborate piece of satire, or an online meltdown fueled by a spectrum disorder and an unhealthy obsession with Fanatec products, a user by the name of TooStrongkGamers armed himself with a virtual pitchfork and immediately went to town on SimRacingPaddock, claiming Will’s extensive eighteen minute review on a couple of pieces of Fanatec gear wasn’t a review at all, but instead “ripping on it hard as fuck.” TSG promptly shifts into overdrive before Will even has a chance to respond, leaving several more comments telling Will to kill himself, that the wheel will hold up perfectly fine as long as he doesn’t masturbate with it, and Will shouldn’t be complaining about the price of Fanatec products considering he’s too poor to afford them anyway.
I sat down and watched the entirety of Will’s review just to be sure I didn’t miss anything that would have sent this user into a rage, and I’m still unsure of what set him off. Will’s only complaint about the Fanatec CSL Elite Base was that it constantly booted up in Xbox One mode by default and he was always forced to change it, whereas his issues with the P1 rim centered primarily around a poor build quality that doesn’t justify the asking price – a factor that didn’t even affect him personally (as the hardware was sent to him by Fanatec), but he was gracious enough to include that aspect for other sim racers who do have to pay for it.
To his credit, Will tried his best to reply in a somewhat professional manner, but TSG wasn’t having any of it.
Yes, it’s just one guy being a fucking sperg, but for a lot of upstart sim racing content creators who are just getting off the ground with whatever they’re making, this is exactly the kind of behavior that will turn them away from the community for good. If you can’t even publish a genuinely honest review on your indie YouTube channel without some guy losing his shit at you in the comments section for some perceived wrongdoing thanks to his own mental gymnastics, what incentive would anyone have to keep giving back to the scene? Unless you already have some sort of tangible following, why would you willingly contribute to a community this hostile? Here you have a random sim racer utterly convinced that an honest eighteen minute review of a product where both the positives and negatives are addressed is somehow “just ripping on it” before telling the creator of the review to kill himself, and this is only a day after we told you about an Assetto Corsa forum member trying to say you somehow have no right to ask for the ability to select the car of your choice in an online session.
It’s as if the whole climate of viral marketing has conditioned the simpletons among us to now outright reject any content that isn’t blatant advertising, which is a scary thought when you consider how the sim racing community might look twenty four months into the future if these people aren’t promptly put in their place. Unless you have especially thick skin to deal with the head cases that will ruthlessly attack you for an honest review, YouTube review shows and individual personalities will gradually morph into sim racers trying to remain as politically correct as possible at any given time to avoid upsetting people who shouldn’t be anywhere near social media in the first place.
And that’s pretty shitty, because in a genre with so much hardware and software flying around for consumers to purchase, we need more people to tell it like it is in the face of Fanatec and Vesaro showering personalities with review gear, not less. These people aren’t going to stick around for long if they’re met with such immense hostility.