Gaming and “Jimmy Kimmel Live” rarely cross paths, but on Friday, August 28th, Jimmy’s nightly two minute bit at the top of each show took a few joking jabs at YouTube Gaming. He poked fun at the idea of watching people play games, as can be seen in the video uploaded to the official Jimmy Kimmel Live YouTube channel.
Jimmy spoke of streaming, the income streamers make, and the fans of those streamers in much the same manner he speaks of anything he doesn’t agree with: in a joking and sarcastic tone. While this works great with topics the audience can mutually look down on, any joke can offend anybody. It would be wrong to deny that truth, but the mature response to any joke, even in instances where the listener is personally offended, is to accept it simply as that: a joke. The above video and the bit it shows did not in any way attack the character of any streamer or streaming fan, but that’s not how the “gaming community” perceived it.
The video above was posted following Kimmel’s Monday night show on September 1st and, as Jimmy stated, the video prior had, by that point, become his channel’s most disliked video. In response, Kimmel’s bit on Monday was four minutes in length, twice as long as the usual two, in order to address the overwhelming response. As demonstrated, the gaming community turned out to be foaming at the mouth with hate, malice, and vitriol, with individuals going so far as to suggest he kill himself in exotic ways and then claiming to speak for the whole of the community. This response from Kimmel was a way of pointing out that this community clearly cannot take a joke, and, lo and behold…
…the toxicity compounded, as if to prove him right. Tweets and comments got darker and dove head-first into death-threat territory, as Kimmel explained above, stooping to threats aimed at his wife and child. Kimmel seems to have caved in and has agreed to humor the immature masses that harassed him by giving streaming a chance and agreeing to be shown the highlights of the phenomenon, though many question if people capable of such ill-intent deserve the time of day.
Regardless, Kimmel appears, for the most part, unscathed and unafraid of any real harm coming to him or his family. He will continue to joke about whatever he and his writers decide is worth joking about, as well he should. Hopefully in the future, members of the gaming community will meet this sort of failure to understand with the compassion of someone who wants to share a joyous hobby, not as a cornered child reeling from a personal attack.