Jim Sterling: "Shove Ethics Up Your Arse"

Jim Sterling: “Shove Ethics Up Your Arse”

Sometimes, a person goes into a rage over something minuscule, and they let their true feelings slip. The small issue they blew up over might only be tangentially related to the larger revealed truth. I can sit back and remember this happening to myself a few times over the years. It’s rarely some positive truth that’s revealed, at least in my case. Jim Sterling and I seem to have that in common.

A few years back, Sterling worked as the reviews editor for Destructoid. He was as irritating and lame then as he is now, but at least he was more honest with his audience, in terms of showing his true character. I don’t think I’m the only one who respects a genuine person more than a fake, even if the fake persona is more outwardly pleasing. But, Jim has made his SJW bed. I guess I’ll let him lie in it.

In any case, people can be as fake as they want to be. That’s fine. The mask is hard to keep up 24/7, is all. Sometimes the persistent and pesky truth gets in the way. That’s what happened to Mr. Sterling. After arguing about a very trival issue, namely, taking screenshots of collector’s editions with tomato sauce on them (?), Sterling let his true feelings on ethics in gaming journalism slip:

“Take your “journalistic ethics” and shove them up your arse. The cool kids are trying to have fun while you flood the Internet with your impotent rage.”

Honestly, I might have held this story, if not for the second line. You could say he was making fun of the people who were up in arms over something so silly. But, the “cool kids” part reveals his true mentality, and also makes me think the part about ethics was meant in general as well. The man seems irritated. He’s fed up with challenges from people who he feels are below him. We see this sort of thing a lot from the game journo crowd, so it’s not too surprising. It is pretty rare to see them state their mentality so clearly, however.

I realize some people are going to try to make excuses for the quote. They’re gonna say it’s old. They’re right, it’s not new. Let’s think of how this would be portrayed if it came from one of us, though. I don’t believe we’d be getting the benefit of the doubt. And rightfully so. There’s no way to explain this comments, except by renouncing them, and declaring yourself a changed man.

Perhaps that’s what Jim Sterling will do. But, If I had to guess, he’s just going to try to laugh off this report. Maybe not, though. He didn’t do a very good job of laughing off our last post about him. In fact, he threatened retirement. Fair enough. I guess putting up with all this impotent nerd-rage can wear a cool kid out. Today, maybe he will instead explain his comments, rather than acting like a huge crybaby.

That’s a big maybe. Needlessly to say, I wouldn’t bet the farm on it.


PRE-STORY UPDATE: This is a first. Here’s an update to my story before I’ve even published it…

UPDATE 2: This thread on Reddit gives more context to this story.


Ethan Ralph

Founder, Owner, & Editor-in-Chief of TheRalphRetort.com. Political fiend, gamer, & anti-bullshit.

  • FakeangeL

    The fat bastard is only pro-consumer when it’s against easy targets like EA. When the chips are down, he is just as big as scumbag as any of his peers.

    • ImJust1Joe .

      I would have assumed he picks ups the chips and eats them.


      • R3ality

        I fully believe he’s dumb enough to confuse the two.


      Dude doesn’t really give 2 shits about ethics or consumers. He just liked having a job that paid him to scream at people and stroke his ego. He’s like if Rush Limbaugh gave up radio to talk about video games.

      • Roland Bjorkman

        Yeah. Bashing EA isn’t exactly going out on a limb.

  • seigar

    I’m REALLY disappointed in Jim. I was following his videos for nearly 3 years and now his behaviour is just…dissapoiting. Good job Jim. You have earned my Adblock.

  • Robot Panda

    Rather, we are trying to have fun. We are the ones celebrating politically incorrect, funny games. I personally was initially drawn by GamerGate because they opposed the narrative. I’ve been hating it for years. I don’t want any narrative being pushed. Which is part of the whole journalistic ethics thing.

    So, Jim – you’re wrong. We’re the ones having fun. You’re the ones trying to stop us. We are the cool kids. You’re merely an opinionated fat fuck with an inflated ego.

  • Ascendence

    guess what we ve been doing on the 4chong all these years …
    we ve been taking random pictures and the community was brilliant enough taking the joke to new heights until reddit and 9gag came around to run them to the ground :^)

    what a dumbass

  • Guest

    He called himself a “cool kid”.

  • …..cool kid?

  • Sean Northrup

    I love how you have two kinds of geek/nerds in gaming and what have you:

    The well adjusted kinds who realized the cool kids can go fuck themselves and got any needed therapy.


    The whiny echo chamber babies who are trying to create a world of self-righteous hand holding to get what they believe themselves to be owed.

  • ArsenicSundae

    Jim Stirling has never been a consumer advocate. The only thing he’s ever advocated for is Jim Stirling. The man’s always been a colossal, hipster cunt.

  • Sean Northrup

    Also, this is precisely WHY these elitist scum hate gamers and gaming. They aren’t the center of attention and they can’t take it away us; a group of people they don’t like or relate to. They don’t want us to have something we enjoy and a community they don’t control, which is why they’re trying to make it all about them.

  • Jiří Dvořák

    Oh cmon, he used quotes, and it’s obvious that the “journalists ethic” used by him stands for crazy complaints about tomato souce on a box. Don’t create sensations where there is none. This is the exact clickbait journalism we fight against.

    • R3353

      Yeah, there’s somebody grasping for something here. It’s you, but you can’t seem to grasp the fact that when these “journalists” slip, they really don’t see it as an issue. It may seem like some kind of joke, but this is really what they believe. This is what happens when the only people you interact with, all have the same views as you. “You’ll never guess what happened to me today, Jim. A misogynistic pig called me out on not having ethics again.” “Oh that’s a real hoot and a holler, as if ethics are needed in journalism, just send some of our stupid fans after them by sharing that tweet.” Jim has never been on your side, so why do you remain on his?

  • Deadagent

    This whole time has been has been an oppoturnity for Mr.Sterling to put he’s money where his mouth is and prove that he is a consumer advocate and not an SJW as he so very much says. And instead of saying anything, he wanted to wait until this blew over, and when it didn’t he threw a temper tantrum and decided to side with other jourons and their shit.

    So now we know, Jim Sterling is not a consumer advocate. When it came the time to actually stand with the consumer, he flung shit at the consumer, please don’t ever forget that.

    • it’s kinda depressing, really. i thought he was cool :<

      • Deadagent

        He definetly does the easiest possible consumer advocacy there is, ya know “oh fuck EA and their shitty DLC stuff” “Hey this game you never heard terrible, aren’t I brave for attacking bottom feeders” those kinda things. Yet when it comes time for something serious he runs from resposibility.

        I thought he was cool too, but looking back, he did the bare minimum and got famous.

  • Jesus Christ

    This made me lose all respect to Sterling. He postures as a person who is not afraid to say what he thinks but in reality he does just to look “cool”. Cool is overrated.

  • Freeman

    Okay, I’m not exactly keen on Sterling right now, he’s been acting like a royal dick lately, there’s no denying that but this article is grasping at straws. What he said was clearly a joke. He joked like that all the time. He used to joke about checks he was getting from publishers and everyone was in on it. It was faux corruption, he was not standing defiantly against ethics back then. When people got pissed about the Ragu it WAS a stupid thing to get pissed about, you know, like how people do on the internet. Sterling got pissed because the D-toid community was making a mountains out of molehills.

    • Thanatos2k

      Sterling has said multiple times in Jimquisition comments that he refuses to be called a journalist. He really believes this.

      • DrTechnoBabel

        Well hey, at least he’s being honest about that. I mean, why would you expect him to follow ‘journalistic ethics’ when even he doesn’t consider himself a journalist?

        • Thanatos2k

          Because he only says so to avoid having to bear the burden of responsibility of a journalist. Read above. He just wants to “have fun.”

          Everyone wishes they could do whatever they want at their job without restrictions. But adults know they have ethical responsibilities at their job no matter where they work. These journalists need to grow up and realize the creative writing classes in college are over. Time to do your jobs, even if it’s not always fun.

          • Ken

            Ethical responsibilities? He reviews video games, he’s not investigating war crimes. All he does is tell his opinion, and yes, he’s built this “I’m smarter than you” persona around himself. But, do you know who does the same thing, just passive-aggressively instead? Anita Sarkeesian.

          • Thanatos2k

            We’re not talking about her, we’re talking about Jim. He attends trade shows. He does interviews. His job and the things he does can be conducted ethically, or not.

          • Ken

            Like I said, he’s not reporting on crime or terrorism, or corruption in political office, or celebrity rapists, he’s reporting on video games. As far as I’ve ever seen, Jim only very rarely fails to post proof to backup any claims he makes. His personality is abrasive but that is, at best, unprofessional, not unethical behavior. So he put a tube of tomato paste on top of a novelty lunchbox. Where’s the issue? There isn’t one. It’s a non-issue that the author of this article dug up from four years ago in an effort to criticize someone who annoys him.

          • Thanatos2k

            Who cares what he’s reporting on. Video games are far more important to many people than politics or celebrities. Either you care about ethics in your profession, or you don’t. Clearly he does not, while professing hypocritically that he doesn’t need to. Over the last few months he’s taken years of goodwill he’s built up and tossed them into the dumpster through his actions and behavior.

      • isn’t that good?

        • Thanatos2k

          No, because he is a game journalist, and needs to act like one.

    • Roland Bjorkman

      Considering other things he’s said, I think he probably does feel that way, and not just about the silly complaints about that picture. It’s his attitude about journalistic ethics in general. Otherwise, I’d say you’re probably right.

      His moral indignation at the beginning of the post is what I really thought was funny. How dare people complain about trivial things while there’s rape, etc….

      Uh, Sterling, you spend huge amounts of time playing video games and analyzing them, arguing about them, dickhead. Now people are criticizing you and people in your profession, and you want to start talking about how there are more important things going on?

  • Renaissance_nerd

    Jim is such a piece of trash, I can’t believe he is in the position he is now.. maybe all i need to do to be a successful jurno is to be a giant dick to everyone.

  • realgamer07

    FUCK jim sterling

  • chromecommando

    He sure has putting things up to ass a lot of times in his mind. I mean he constantly talks about doing a masturbation show with his dragon dildo and whatnot. Will he be start doing gay porn after his retirement from gaming industry? Who knows. Probably will.

    And that is fine if he is gay and likes being in the receiving end. By all means, if you are gay then embrace your sexuality as it is beautiful as it is. Just be honest to yourself and to your audience and come out. Nobody will think badly of you Jim Sterling.

  • Topgeartony

    Dammit. Jim’s one of my idols and all this is just so fucking depressing. He made me feel like my voice mattered. I guess only when it benefits him.

    Never meet your heroes folks.

    • C G Saturation

      It often seems to me that the true heroes are the people that nobody cares about.

      • Nick Culmer
        Seth Putnam
        Wattie Buchan
        Keith Ball
        and the boyz of Cock Sparrer.
        There’s some heroes who’ll never let you down!
        Also Al Jourgensen, when he can get his hands on some heroin.
        Commentator wise, there’s always Bill Maher of course.
        For a lefty he sure is a lot more redpilled than someone on Fox!

        • Kain Yusanagi

          ….Bill Maher? No thanks.

    • N00B

      I know how you feel. I used to have lots of respect for him for calling out AAA developers on their nonsense and standing up for consumer rights like selling used games. But ever since he defended Leigh Alexander it’s obvious whose side he’s on.

      • Cyberxion

        Jim was never a consumer advocate, though. He never offered up any meaningful insight and/or analysis on any given subject, nor did he offer solutions. He just tossed off opinions that rarely deviated all that far from the general consensus. It was all just sound and fury, and if his videos were popular in spite of that, it was because they were approximately ten minute-long chunks of oh-so-sweet validation once a week, every week.

        Simply put, the dude was successful because he figured out how to use our natural confirmation bias to his advantage. Now that the chips are down, Mr. Sterling has shown us his true colors. He was only ever willing to appear to take a stand on our behalf when it was relatively safe and beneficial to him to do so, and now that he’s got something to lose, he’s shown himself to be all too quick to turn on his former audience like a rabid dog just to keep his own considerable fat out of the fryer.

        Y’all deserve better than that.

  • Gavin David

    Only needed to see his antics once at a conference to know this guy is a total clown, he finally found a job where people patted him on the back for being the fat mouthy moron he has always been, now talk of ethics is threatening his way of life, and the thought of having to get a real job upsets him.

  • Eralun

    I invariably agree with Mr Sterling, however, he always sides with games “journalists”. For example, the controversy over Mass Effect 3’s ending.

    As with many games “journalists”, I feel this has more to do with cowardice than actual belief.

  • GuitarAnthony

    I wasn’t totally sure on Sterling’s stance. I thought he may have been afraid to get blackballed in the “game journalism” industry like Pinsof was. He’s certainly not the tool moviebob is. How the fuck does that guy still have a job after the bigoted things he’s tweeted?

  • Vice

    All that this is proving is the Sterling talk about consumer advocacy being complete and utter bullshit,good to see that this gargantuan butterball is finally showing his true colours,and they´re pretty anti consumer.

  • C G Saturation

    Well, now we don’t have to feel bad when he gets thrown back onto the street, penniless.

  • destroy_all_monsters

    I don’t think dredging things out from 4 years ago – or 3 in the previous article back before Sterling switched from normal person to sjw – makes our side look good. You’re taking things out of context to smear the guy. I’m no fan of his either, but if he’s corrupt then prove it and do so in the present but whatever you do – don’t do a Gawker and write clickbait hit pieces.

    • DrTechnoBabel

      Yeah, I have to agree. This whole article seems to be a response to the people who got angry about the tomato sauce for whatever inane reason, and the ‘journalistic ethics’ jab seems like it was more about making fun of people who took it too seriously. I don’t think this really has anything to do with what’s going on now.

  • David Reynolds

    And I actually liked Jim… 🙁

  • Will_Z_Macht

    Jim is just as corrupt -if not moreso- than any other games “journalist” out there. He’s unabashedly pro-swag (not the YOLO variety) and crowed about being featured in Retro City Rampage (along with other “journalists”).

    I will admit he’s made some good videos over at the Escapist… some good thinking and analysis. But a person’s thoughts and a person’s character are not the same thing. A rotten apple that occasionally makes a decent point is still a rotten apple. You shouldn’t dismiss a person’s ideas based on their character… but feel free to discard the person for being unpleasant.

  • Lars Anderson

    Well, fuck you Mr. Sterling. How will you continue to feed that ponderous, sweaty mass you call a body when everyone quits watching your show?

  • ZURATAMA1324

    I find myself hard to hate Jim since I was his subscriber.
    Not hate, only disappointment.

  • Richard Drakos

    Sterling is and has always been a joke. His fire and brimstone “pro-consumer” stuff was his way to make some money. It’s like FakeangeL says, he’s pro-consumer when going after an easy target like EA. His “Consumer Advocate for the Gamers” person has been stale for years.

  • Cyberxion

    Hey. Once D-Toids reviews editor accidentally e-mailed me his Halo 4 review notes. It was odd.

  • Cyberxion

    Impotent rage, eh? Pretty ironic thing to say for a dude whose recent popularity is derived from a weekly video series wherein he yells loudly at publishers, who, if they’re even watching those videos, choose to continue to do the EXACT same shit they’ve always done.

  • HisShadowX

    As a right wing gamer I’ve never been fond of Jim but The Ralph Retort is no different from Gawker or Jim. Hell you personally call people traitors Ralph when they expose a famous GamerGate member saying something stupid or going against the grain.

    You also went against Boogie for staying on the fence and trying to seek peace. But I remember reading an article talking about its good now he came around which smelled of something a kotaku writer would write after someone came around to their side.

  • Ken

    Wow, I’ve never seen so much hate over such a non-issue. It was clearly meant as a joke, and Jim’s as irreverent as it gets. This neither surprises nor offends me. But haters gonna hate, and I’m sure Jim doesn’t care, so he’s right, your hate is impotent.

  • 5pb

    Jim is an elitist cunt.

  • Celerity

    It’s at least a year later and Jimmity Shilling hasn’t changed. He goes after low hanging fruit, and when presented with more serious corrupt companies he defends them.