Alfrid Lickspittle: The Patron Saint of Devknights
Firstly, what is a devknight? Anyone who defends a developer’s interests above and beyond even their own is like a vassal. A knight. That is, a warrior servant tasked mainly with suppressing a large but relatively weaker population. (Weaker only by virtue of peacefulness, and disproportionate backing of an exploitative owners class.)
Devknights are slaves in many senses of the word. They are essentially owned, they worked for free or very very little, and they have essentially zero chance of ever becoming a lord or king themselves. They are also wildly dogmatic. Think the real historic version of chivalry. (Sexist, hypocritical, racist, classist, etc. You know, fox news.) Not the romantic version of Arthurian legend.
Devknights rush to the defense of developers regardless of their behavior or role in the conflict. This is exactly how a knight was required to behave. A knight was essentially a walking sword. No thought, no questions. Just obedience, propaganda, and mercenary combat.
Obviously this is an exploitative role. And just like in history, the knight’s gain in this was further exploitation of a larger group. The serfs. Like a trustee in a prison. They exchange their soul and integrity for a slightly better ranking in the pecking order amongst the rabble. Like today’s right wing rank and file or middle echelons, they think by kissing lordly ass they’ll meaningfully better their own position.
Rank and file gamers are the serfs here. Typically exploited by a monopolistic owner to one degree or another.
They buy in with our small individual software fee, instead of working the land etc. Our collective small fees pay for the castles of the devs and publishers. And somehow, just like in those times, knights and lords and kings think that their role as administrators makes them producers, when in fact they are parasitic middle men and it is the cooperative principle that is the actual productive multiplier.
By virtue of an economic monopoly. (IPL and ultimately software patents.) We have established a new feudalism. There’s no class mobility in this system. (That is why it badly need reform.)
So, why do devknights even exist? Well, that’s a simple question with a complex answer having to do, for a start, with the basic ways a child responds to threats. (Fight, flight, appease.) I conjecture that they are essentially people who when faced with a giant monolithic seemingly unbeatable foe, have internalized their world view to say sane.
Sort of a psychologically callow version of if you can’t beat’m, join’m.
Of course there’s more to it then that. Mostly extending from the fact that the vast majority of engaged gamers, especially on the English speaking western world side, are monied young white men. And the speaking online portion of that crowd is disproportionately right wing types.
We’re essentially dealing with the gamer version of the tea party here. They in a very literal sense worship greed and psychopathy enabled entrepreneurialism.
Somehow these people have got it into their head that being a thief makes them producers. No doubt a consequence of the totally bogus “job creators” myth of trickle down fame.
Their economic religion essentially asserts that anyone who wants an economy with anything like integrity or consumer protections is an entitled socialist weak greedy parasite whiner.
I oppose these people in virtually every ideological arena since they were essentially manufactured to be trustees in a massive economic prison.
If you don’t like being called a devknight, then stand with your fellow gamers for once.