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Burden of the Silent Majority

by Karl Castaneda - September 4, 2014, 11:56 am PDT
Total comments: 60

The gaming community has taken a toxic and violent turn in recent months, and Karl’s wondering how the rational, compassionate, but ultimately silent majority should react.

I don’t think anyone on the NWR staff has been talking about the continuing harassment or disenfranchisement of women or the transgender or any other subgroup in the gaming sphere that isn’t white, straight and male. And I don’t think it’s because they don’t care - I think it’s the opposite, rather. See, Nintendo World Report, and Planet GameCube before it, was founded on the basis of highlighting the best in the world of Nintendo and the industry at large. It was always meant to be a beacon of fun and joyful discussion. Even when we have heated arguments, it’s boxed around the the ideal of civility, patience and kindness. The video game industry needs more places like NWR, especially lately, because the last year, and especially the last few months, have been pretty awful.

Before I move further, I’ll say that if you’re not interested in this topic, and if you just want to go back to talking about how rad the new Mario Kart tracks will be (SO RAD), then you should most definitely keep reading. Because it’s you that I want to talk to. You’re the silent majority - the guys and gals who play video games because you like them and don’t care one lick about the latest inside-baseball political Twitter-fight that just lit up this past week. You’re all wonderful and I know there are so, so many of you.

So why does it feel like the gaming community is so damn poisonous lately? Why are people like Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn and, most recently, Jenn Frank, concerned about their physical safety after talking about their experiences? You already know the answer - it’s because a vocal minority of misogynists and bigots of all stripes and variations have decided it’s their personal mission in life to drown out the voices of the in-any-way different. That the idea that ladies in video games deserve a fair shake is a tacit condemnation of the current gamer and that the only way to prevent their precious status quo from changing is to tell a “social justice warrior” that you’re going to kill their parents and posting said parents’ address on Twitter.

You already know this is terrible, and inexcusable, and even if these people had a valid point to argue, they gave up any semblance of credibility when they resorted to the most horrendous and violent of tactics. And so you read article after article decrying the gaming community, calling the community a mass of hatred and abuse, and you’re wondering what the hell you did to earn such scorn, anyway.

But see, those articles aren’t talking about you. This whole ongoing debate about how we ought to handle gamers doesn’t have a single thing to do with you. Because you’re the silent majority. You just want to talk about who you’re going to main as in Smash Bros. next month (Toon Link!). And so while all of this back-and-forth is going on, you’ve decided to play the background and simply ignore it. That’s your right, and you’ve decided to rise above it all.

My question is: should you?

That’s not a rhetorical question - I’m honestly asking you. Because I’m constantly asking myself lately what I should do. I think I skew more towards confronting things head on, so when I read about Jenn Frank being forced out of her profession, it makes me unbelievably angry, and it spurs me to speak out against people I see as perpetrators of hatred and bullying. Others have told me that it’s a better tactic to show the gaming industry a better way through my actions, and to be an ambassador of compassion and kindness. I see their point, and I think they have a valid opinion, but it seems too passive for me. If I didn’t speak up and decry the actions of these vicious and callous few, I’d feel sick. It would feel like I’m endorsing them with my silence. That’s just how I feel.

Ultimately, though, I just want gaming to be a safer and more inclusive hobby. I’d like for people to feel safe about sharing their views and opinions without being harassed. I’d like for the big scandal spinning around the blogosphere to be Nintendo’s crazy new business plan again. I’d like to stop seeing people I respect get beaten down into the dirt by lunatics. So I’m asking you - what should we do here, as the gaming majority? How do we foster a better community, and how should we respond to all of this horrible business?

This isn’t a rhetorical question. I’m asking. What do you think?

Talkback

CericSeptember 04, 2014

I know we aren't suppose to post religious stuff in general but there was a really good statement from my building an inclusive church training that would be perfect to go with this article.  Just need to find it.

Though in general unless I'm going to have sex with you or am sizing you up as an opponent in a gender divided competition I honestly don't care what your gender or Race is.  Just a curiosity. Especially in gaming. 

StrikerObiMike Sklens, Podcast EditorSeptember 04, 2014

Here's my tactic.  I think that if you see somebody acting in a way that is counter to equality, they should be publicly shamed. Please read that carefully. I am not saying people should be attacked either verbally or physically. That will only raise their ire, and will result in no progress. I mean they should quite literally be shamed. They should be made to feel humiliated by their outdated beliefs and conscious acts of wrong-doing.


When you see somebody acting improperly, maybe you can be indirect about shaming them. Ask them “How old are you?”. I forget who told me this tactic, but it was in regards to gay rights, as a lot of people who don’t understand and/or support gay rights are old. They might not even realize what they are doing is wrong. They’re simply holding on to “the way things have always been”. Calling somebody out and shaming them by asking how old they are is an instant way to tell them that they aren’t being progressive in their thoughts.

TylerTreeseTyler Treese, Contributing WriterSeptember 04, 2014

First off: Thank you so much for writing this Karl.


I pretty much share the same opinion as you. I tried to be silent for a while but I felt sick after seeing people who I've met and people I respect harassed. I saw them called terrible things, belittled as humans, get threats of rape, death and more. The thing that made me uncontrollably angry was when I saw people celebrating the fact that they got Jenn Frank to quit writing about gaming. It makes me sick. I might not always agree with Jenn on every subject but I always respected what she had to say. She is a fantastic writer and gaming as a whole is crappier without her.


Now onto your question. I'm not sure how people are supposed to respond. I get told often that I shouldn't be dismissing #GamerGate. While I agree that games journalism could be better (not that i'm saying its corrupt or anything ridiculous, I just think that everything has potential to improve except for pizza), i'm not going to dignify this angry mob that harasses people with a response. If you are legitimately concerned with gaming then reach out to some writers while still treating them like humans and don't use some stupid hashtag. I'm sure some will respond. The great thing about the games press is how available they are (maybe even too available in light of recent events).


We're experiencing such an interesting time in gaming right now. Kickstarters, Early-Access games, etc. are all forcing writers to take a look at how they should cover the medium. Are the ethics on that stuff a little sketchy? Sure, there is a debate among journalists on whether or not Kickstarters/Patreons/etc. should be covered/funded. So obviously there is a lot to be figured out.


So yeah, I don't have an answer. I'm not that smart of a guy but hopefully some other people here will be able to give some good ones. I do feel like we have to speak up for those that are being treated horribly though. Or at least make it known that good people like us are the majority and the people harassing people are not.


@StrikerObi I am always shocked when I see people who argue against equality. Just unfathomable to me.

ClexYoshiSeptember 04, 2014

Karl, Karl, Karl... you know, I sent a Mail about this to Johnny and the RFN crew to avoid this exact sort of click-bait editorial. I really am... super disappointed.


This is something I've wanted to talk about for a while, and I've avoided talking about it on other social media. I've stayed silent not out of indifference, but out if wanting to avoid this carefully laid out landmine field where the word "Misogyny" gets tossed about like the term "Terrorist" did 10 years ago.


There are SO many layers to this rabbit hole that go so deep. Repeatedly, editorials have been cropping up, using the word "Toxic" and "Misogynistic" to describe the opposition to their blatant collusion that they cannot hide because it's smeared all the fuck over twitter and other places.


Yes, there's some fucked up voices out there who are being gross. there are also fucked up voices that who would twist a very minor sentiment into something it isn't to push their agenda that then other gaming journalists are obligated to push they want to stay in this very visible video game Illuminati.


To answer your question, Yes, Karl. I should be ignoring this. Otherwise, I'm going to be the one taking the articles for this little non-profit joint that has prospered for 15+ years and dropping them on Pastebin and urging people to boycott Nintendoworldreport.com alongside the other websites and sources of news that have been found to be wrapped up in all this. (NOTE: I am not actually stupid enough to do this, but this is happening with sites like Polygon, Rock Paper Shotgun, Kotaku, Forbes, and other news sites that have been strong-armed by the likes of Zoe Quinn and the people who financially or otherwise support her into putting out articles like this.)


This crap saddens me, on both ends of the spectrum. I'd likely respect these prominent ladies in video gaming's opinions if there weren't others constantly cramming them down my throat. There's actually some episodes of Tropes Vs. Women in video gaming that I think REALLY work and Anita Sarkeesian has really improved those videos by wading through all the shit posts and finding legitimate criticism of her works. Depression Quest is probably pretty great and if I stumble upon it in a humble bundle, I'll give it a shot. What I dislike is the idea that disagreeing with these female role models in this industry gets people blackballed and that we don't have to reclude ourselves any more when we write glowing articles about an indie game and then get exposed as having a relationship with said dev.



If you'll excuse me, I think I'll go back to silence. I do hope this answer satisfies your curiosity, and that this was made PURELY out of your curiosity and not out of friends nudging you to do so.


If people are curious as to what's been going on, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Km3DZQp0StE&list=UUWB0dvorHvkQlgfGGJR2yxQ I believe InternetAristocrat puts it rather nicely.

StrikerObiMike Sklens, Podcast EditorSeptember 04, 2014

Shame on you, ClexYoshi.


If people want to take an article like this and misinterpret it on PasteBin, that's their own prerogative. Fear of being blackballed or boycotted-against should not keep people from speaking up about a state of inequality. I don't think anybody working at NWR would be upset if the site got destroyed because it stood up for equal rights.

Triforce HermitSeptember 04, 2014

Quote:

See, Nintendo World Report, and Planet GameCube before it, was founded on the basis of highlighting the best in the world of Nintendo and the industry at large. It was always meant to be a beacon of fun and joyful discussion. Even when we have heated arguments, it’s boxed around the the ideal of civility, patience and kindness. The video game industry needs more places like NWR, especially lately, because the last year, and especially the last few months, have been pretty awful.

Then don't post this kind of article. You just contradicted your statement by doing this. This is not going to have any fun or joyful discussion. These rarely, if ever, have peaceful discussions.

NWR_KarlKarl Castaneda, Contributing EditorSeptember 04, 2014

Clex, I'll be honest - my initial reaction to your post was to be snarky, but that'd be hypocritical. If I truly want the gaming community to be safer and more inclusive, it's only fair that I respond kindly and considerately to criticism. So I'll do that, because it's something you deserve.

Firstly, the clickbait thing. I think that term gets thrown out a bit, and I don't think it really applies here. So let me establish the relationship I have with NWR and why it is in no way in my best interest to write this editorial, or for NWR to publish it.

I am functionally retired from gaming journalism, if I was ever even relevant enough to be considered active in it. It's been years since I wrote anything for NWR, and aside from my annual production role with the Child's Play Telethon, my affiliation is really just having some friends who still write here. So writing an editorial for clickbait purposes doesn't really do anything for me. NWR doesn't pay its contributors, and I'm not invested enough in the journalism industry to care about clout. Also, I'm a terribly lazy man - anyone who I owed reviews to back when I was a staffer will tell you that. For me to come out of the woodwork now for any reason other than genuine concern would be totally against my nature.

Next, let's talk about collusion. If agreeing generally with someone else's views counts as collusion, then your statement is true. Generally speaking, I agree with Sarkeesian, I think what Zoe Quinn's had to deal with has been really sad (regardless of what she may or may not have done in her personal life, which really isn't anyone's business anyway) and reading today about Jenn Frank being bullied into quitting an industry she put 9 years into is really maddening. Jenn Frank was one of my favorite folks when she wrote for 1Up, and I feel bad that she's gone through something so traumatic. So if that means I'm in collusion with the nebulous group you're referring to, yeah, right on. I totally am. I've contributed absolutely zero dollars to any of these people, though, so if that's what you mean, well, no, you're wrong. But again, depends on how you mean it.

I'm glad you agree that some really bad stuff has occurred and has named it as such. Because that's what I'm calling out here as an issue, and that's what I want to start a dialogue about. If you can agree that really awful things have become all-too-normal in the gaming community (and the examples that have been brought up in the larger discussion, I think, prove that they have), then I think you and I see more eye-to-eye than you're suggesting. Because, as I note at the end of my article, and in this response, I think a more welcoming community allows for all kinds of rational, civil discussion. So if you disagree with Anita Sarkeesian or anybody else, I think that's OK, with the condition that it's done in a rational, civil fashion.

I don't really know what you mean by video game Illuminati, so you'll have to enlighten me. I haven't been to any dimly lit rooms where a smoky, oddly FEMININE hand welcomes in a shadow-cabinet, a CABAL IF YOU WILL, to thwart true justice and discussion. But I work late, so maybe they stopped inviting me.

(That was actually pretty snarky, sorry, but as a weak-willed guy, I love a cabal joke - how often do I get that opportunity?)

You continuing to ignore things is a valid answer, and not one I'm trying to dissuade you about. As I say in the article, I'm honestly asking people to share their opinion, and yours is as important as anyone else's. Apologies if you felt led to answer in a different way.

You can post this onto Pastebin or wherever else if you like - just know that the only people who it'll affect are the people who had nothing to do with writing this editorial. Neal said I could write something, so I posted this. My financial situation won't be affected at all if NWR tanks, but it WILL affect a ton of people who didn't do anything. If you think that's fair, then I can't stop you.

Now, the cramming things down your throat bit. I'd like for you to expand on that, because it's another phrase that I see a lot, and it's one I'm always curious about. Do you feel that coverage like this is somehow limiting other kinds of coverage and topics? Do you feel as if you're being guilted into feeling a certain way, and ostracized for believing what you believe? Because that's not my intention, and at least in terms of NWR (the only outlet where I have the authority to give you an honest answer), this didn't go up in place of a review or another editorial or even a bit of news talking about a cat who can play Rainbow Road on 150cc (you GOTTA see it). This replaced nothing at all. There just would be one less article on this website.

As for your last comment, it was made purely out of concern (though I guess curiosity plays into it somehow, as well). Nobody forced or even asked me to write this. This certainly wasn't commissioned by a video game Illuminati. Unless they have me so hypnotized with their boob-rays that not even I know what's going on anymore. I suppose you'll have to take that into consideration, as well.

StrikerObiMike Sklens, Podcast EditorSeptember 04, 2014

Quote from: Triforce

Quote:

See, Nintendo World Report, and Planet GameCube before it, was founded on the basis of highlighting the best in the world of Nintendo and the industry at large. It was always meant to be a beacon of fun and joyful discussion. Even when we have heated arguments, it’s boxed around the the ideal of civility, patience and kindness. The video game industry needs more places like NWR, especially lately, because the last year, and especially the last few months, have been pretty awful.

Then don't post this kind of article. You just contradicted your statement by doing this. This is not going to have any fun or joyful discussion. These rarely, if ever, have peaceful discussions.

Quit trying to poke holes in the argument. That's not what this is about, and by doing so you are not contributing to a peaceful discussion. Karl uses that founding basis as a jumping off point to describe why we must step up and speak out about these types of situations, even if they are uncomfortable and no fun.

ClexYoshiSeptember 04, 2014

Quote from: StrikerObi

Shame on you, ClexYoshi.


If people want to take an article like this and misinterpret it on PasteBin, that's their own prerogative. Fear of being blackballed or boycotted-against should not keep people from speaking up about a state of inequality. I don't think anybody working at NWR would be upset if the site got destroyed because it stood up for equal rights.

My apologies for how I worded that. Didn't mean for it to have such a mafia shakedown-esque tone.

The point I was trying to get across is that an awful lot of this sort of editorial has cropped up, and not for the noble purpose of gaming inequality. Not entirely at least.

I'm saying that Gender Equality is being used as a smokescreen to avoid one journalist having to call out another on the question of ethical reporting.

Also, at one point in my post, I typoed the word "recuse". Can't edit that 'cuz of the talkback thing.

I still respect that this even has a talkback thread, as most of these editorials that have cropped up disable the comments.

Also, I just noticed Karl typed a reply. I'm looking forward to this and will address it's talking points in a separate post.

StrikerObiMike Sklens, Podcast EditorSeptember 04, 2014

Quote from: ClexYoshi

My apologies for how I worded that. Didn't mean for it to have such a mafia shakedown-esque tone.

The point I was trying to get across is that an awful lot of this sort of editorial has cropped up, and not for the noble purpose of gaming inequality. Not entirely at least.

I'm saying that Gender Equality is being used as a smokescreen to avoid one journalist having to call out another on the question of ethical reporting.

Also, at one point in my post, I typoed the word "recuse". Can't edit that 'cuz of the talkback thing.

I still respect that this even has a talkback thread, as most of these editorials that have cropped up disable the comments.

Also, I just noticed Karl typed a reply. I'm looking forward to this and will address it's talking points in a separate post.

Thanks for the reply. I'm glad you weren't really threatening anybody.

I don't disagree at all that a lot of these editorials have cropped up specifically to generate clicks. It's sad that the Internet is beholden to the almighty click. I really wish it wasn't. But I think we should take our progressiveness however we can get it. I think we can all agree that this isn't click-bait. But even if it were click-bait, if this article (or any other) gets somebody to change their view on how they treat others, that's a victory in my book.

I also don't entirely disagree about the ethical reporting thing. It's in a highly gray area, given the relationships between parties involved. But shifting the discussion to ethical reporting is itself a smokescreen. If those personal relationships did not exist, the assholes making death threats would have just found another way to rationalize their hate. It's ingrained in their base level psychology. For some reason they feel threatened by Zoe Quinn and will use whatever they can dig up for character assassination purposes, and also to create a false sense of superiority over her. This is a very common tactic among sexists/racists/homophobes/etc.

KisakiProjectSeptember 04, 2014

I just wanna post 2 article I sent to Karl on Twitter.

First.  I think most people want games to be inclusive.  Their problem, certainly mine, is more so the tone people argue for it with.  I think this read http://dish.andrewsullivan.com/2014/08/21/where-online-social-liberalism-lost-the-script/ in many ways illustrates how I feel.

Secondly.  There is way too much false dichotomy being presented here.  There are more points of view than "SJW" and internet troll threatening people. I agree with some of the points made in the tropes V women articles and disagree with others?  What does that make me?  I ultimately think the solution isn't twitter lynch mobs or boycotts.  I think people should make what they want to and purchase what they want too.  I think if a tenth the effort was spent making more "inclusive" games then complaining about other peoples games the problem could be more effective resolved.  Where would I fit into this false dichotomy?  I'm all for being tolerant but I'm also for absolute free speech and expression.  Including things others find offensive.  But I also would never myself say half that stuff.  Anyways I think this blog post better expresses this than I can.  http://blueplz.blogspot.com/2014/08/this-game-supports-more-than-two-players.html

I think the best solution to all this is two fold.  First, lead by example.  IE be respectful too people who disagree with your POV and try to understand why they feel the way do about any topic.  Then in a non-emotional way try to logically refute their points.  Do not use ad hominem.  Like "you're just a SJW"  "you're just a misogynist."  Second, nobody likes to hear this but you just gotta ignore the trolls.  There always have been trolls and always will be.  Stop feeding them. 

I also think after stuff like "gertsmanngate" and "Doritosgate" put game enthusiasts are one edge.  I don't think it unreasonable for people to be frustrated.  I also think its not unreasonable to excuse yourself from writing on a topic where you are personally involved.  Remember on Weekend Confirmed when Garnett Lee stopped having his GF on because he couldn't be objective about her games?  I think that was a reasonable solution.

NWR_KarlKarl Castaneda, Contributing EditorSeptember 04, 2014

Kisaki, I think you'd fit firmly in the camp of people who I outline at the beginning of my article - the fair and compassionate people who are interested in healthy discussion in a civilized format. I think the way you approach the topic and the way you've worded your post proves that.

The fact that I leave the issue open-ended and inviting comments is specifically because I don't think there's a one-or-the-other approach. I outlined a couple in my article because those are the two approaches I've seen most in my conversations with friends and others on Twitter, but the fact that I'm asking the audience for different ways to approach what I see as a major issue is meant to show that I'm interested in seeing other opinions or approaches from (once again) compassionate and rational people.

Leading by example is specifically one of the approaches I mentioned, and it's completely valid. It's not totally in line with how I feel, but engaging the way you do, I'm interested in talking about it more and learning from your perspective. I'm all about broadening perspectives.

As for your last comment about being more honest and open about conflicts of interest, yeah, I totally agree. I think Kotaku is fumbling for a way to re-establish their credibility after a really embarrassing month, and that they're probably now over-compensating. But again, I think you're being totally reasonable, and I agree that the more transparency we have into journalists and their affiliations with what they're covering, the better.

ClexYoshiSeptember 04, 2014

I'm glad you were honest here and able to at least able to stow your snark. I realize that I came off as a bit harsh at first, and now it's time for me to explain my suspicion.


This recent harshness that has flared in the community is in response to a youtube takedown of a guy talking over a publicly available image of Depression Quest, talking about Zoe Quinn's Ex talking about his recent break-up and at least 5 different people she had supposedly shown equal infidelity to. In particular, Nathan Greyson who writes for Kotaku and Rock Paper Shotgun was named as one of these 5 dudes she was cheating on.

Nathan Greyson wrote a pretty glowing preview of depression quest in march and has marketed her game without any sort of disclosure, and talk of it all over the internet was being silenced. nobody would report this if they were associated with any sort of greater media outlet. It took several days before anybody finally adressed it on Kotaku,a nd they handwaved it saying the article was written at the end of march and Zoe Quinn and Nathan Greyson were not having any sort of affair until early April.

http://puu.sh/blFBh/5f76500cba.jpg

http://puu.sh/blFIC/e1c57902df.jpg

More and more accounts such as these tarted popping up. Indie game devs and journalists came to the save via twitter and were discovered to either be supporting Zoe's Rebel Game Jam financially, http://www.rebelgamejam.com/ or have some other close tie with her that calls for recusion. The Quinnspiracy theory video I linked in my initial post does an infinitely better job going over these events, the meaning behind the #GamerGate hash tag and will likely be covering the #NotMyShield hash tag that female gamers and developers have been using as of late.

http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/events/gamergate

Because censorship didn't work thanks to the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect Streisand Effect, the thing that Gawker Media and the other media outlets that have ties to this mess have been doing is posting lots of editorials, calling Gamers Toxic, Misogynistic man-children who don't know what in the hell they are talking about and that the public shouldn't give us any credit because we're not the ones with Masters degrees in journalism and we obviously want women to go to the kitchen and make 'dat sammich! (FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AND ALL THAT IS HOLY DO NOT TAKE THAT QUOTE OUT OF CONTEXT! XD)


I'm sorry that I had to take the defensive and assume that you were wrapped up in this stupid web of lies and deciet, Karl. I trust you because you have been out of the game for quite some time. It's still good to hear from you every now and then, and I didn't mean to immediatley going to discrediting your article and assuming the worst. I have made an ass of myself and I reiterate, I am sorry.


I'm also unfamiliar with Jenn Frank, I'm afraid. There actually are people out there who will always bring out the worst in a community, and in my current uneducated bliss, I'm inclined to believe she got doxxed or something awful happened as she got caught in the crossfire between gamers and the press. That is the real shame here is that people who are innocent are going to get caught in the flame.

Triforce HermitSeptember 04, 2014

Quote from: StrikerObi

Quote from: Triforce

Quote:

See, Nintendo World Report, and Planet GameCube before it, was founded on the basis of highlighting the best in the world of Nintendo and the industry at large. It was always meant to be a beacon of fun and joyful discussion. Even when we have heated arguments, it’s boxed around the the ideal of civility, patience and kindness. The video game industry needs more places like NWR, especially lately, because the last year, and especially the last few months, have been pretty awful.

Then don't post this kind of article. You just contradicted your statement by doing this. This is not going to have any fun or joyful discussion. These rarely, if ever, have peaceful discussions.

Quit trying to poke holes in the argument. That's not what this is about, and by doing so you are not contributing to a peaceful discussion. Karl uses that founding basisas a jumping off point to describe why we must step up and speak out about these types of situations, even if they are uncomfortable and no fun.

Your argument is that we should shame people who don't like the way you think and that you need to make them accept your beliefs because that is the "right way to think". I'm sorry, but what part of your original post fostered anymore peaceful discussion then mine? So don't go lecturing me about it.

Most gamers play games to avoid the stupidity of reality. So most are not going to want to argue this unless is affects them directly. The biggest concern of the gaming community right now is Destiny. And nothing is going to stop that train. So yeah, this editorial could have been written at a better time if results were intended. Not saying this is clickbait, but that it was just bad timing.

Quote from: KisakiProject

...I think people should make what they want to and purchase what they want too.  I think if a tenth the effort was spent making more "inclusive" games then complaining about other peoples games the problem could be more effective resolved.  Where would I fit into this false dichotomy?  I'm all for being tolerant but I'm also for absolute free speech and expression.  Including things others find offensive.  But I also would never myself say half that stuff.

...Second, nobody likes to hear this but you just gotta ignore the trolls.  There always have been trolls and always will be.  Stop feeding them. 

Perfectly worded. I agree 100%

KisakiProjectSeptember 04, 2014

I mean.  Don't toot my horn too much.  I've certainly been overly reactionary at times and done my fair share of trolling.  Especially when we I was younger.  I think people have forgotten you learn most from people you disagree the most with.  Even those who offend.  But I stand by my don't feed the trolls comment.  I also think part of the problem is this.  Gaming was very much an exclusively male thing when we were younger.  And you say things to your guy friends that you would never say to girls (speaking in generalities).  But when games went online people kind of forgot that.  Just troll your friends if you know they are fine with it and do it back.  But when competing with strangers don't until you know they are comfortable with it.  Like, I play WiiU with my gf and I would never say the stuff to her I say to my high school buddies when we play halo or something.  Just use common sense.  Treat each personal individually.  Use language appropriate to who they are as a person.

Also I think you guys run one of the best websites.  I also met a bunch of you at PAX 2012 briefly.  You're all very nice.  I don't think this article was clickbait or that you don't genuinely care.

SorenSeptember 04, 2014

Funny thing about that "glowing preview" Nathan Grayson wrote about Depression Quest. People said at first that it was a review and for the life of me no internet sleuth has found it.


Probably because that "glowing preview" never existed.


SorenSeptember 04, 2014

Quote from: Triforce

Most gamers play games to avoid the stupidity of reality. So most are not going to want to argue this unless is affects them directly. The biggest concern of the gaming community right now is Destiny. And nothing is going to stop that train. So yeah, this editorial could have been written at a better time if results were intended. Not saying this is clickbait, but that it was just bad timing.

Pray tell, what is a good time to discuss this then? Heaven forbid the PR-driven Destiny hype trains gets derailed!

Inclusivity should be an issue that affects all gamers directly. Cultural and academic criticism of games should be something that is welcome and debated properly. People use film and music and other forms of entertainment to escape the "stupidity of reality" but they have thriving critical and academic fields of study. If games are art then they deserve the same treatment films got when took queer cinema classes in college. And feminist theory...dear god!

syn4aptikDave Mellert, Associate EditorSeptember 04, 2014

Peeling myself away from work to post on a non-work-based forum for the first time in months, just because this topic is so important...


I just want to say that people should speak up to whatever degree they are comfortable. Become a good advocate is a long processes, and even I slip up from time to time and I am well on the "progressive" side of social justice discussions.


Shaming has its place, but I don't think your goal should ever be to make people feel bad about themselves. Most racists, misogynists, etc don't make a conscious decision to be bad people. Their points of view follow naturally from a complex societal mileau that, in effect, normalizes their beliefs. To insult them won't actually help them to learn. The best way, honestly, is to find opportunities to have them defend their opinions openly, and generate discussion that openly forces them to confront their lack of concern and empathy. If a sexist says, you know what, fuck it. I don't have concern or empathy for women and I don't care to try, well...shame away.


Now there is this whole other issue of privilege and how it shapes someone's outlook. A lot of people don't really have a firm grasp of what privilege means and like to dismiss discussions of privilege off hand. But it's basically like this: if you are pissed off because your ability to enjoy something without considering its pernicious aspects is threatened by the words and discussions of victims and victim advocates, and you can share that you are pissed off and annoyed without any real threat of repercussion, that's privilege. You don't have a right to be shielded from uncomfortable topics. Stop being a baby when you are.


That's all I have to say for now, but I am loving this discussion, as uncomfortable as it may be for some.

Triforce HermitSeptember 04, 2014

Quote from: Soren

Quote from: Triforce

Most gamers play games to avoid the stupidity of reality. So most are not going to want to argue this unless is affects them directly. The biggest concern of the gaming community right now is Destiny. And nothing is going to stop that train. So yeah, this editorial could have been written at a better time if results were intended. Not saying this is clickbait, but that it was just bad timing.

Pray tell, what is a good time to discuss this then? Heaven forbid the PR-driven Destiny hype trains gets derailed!

Inclusivity should be an issue that affects all gamers directly. Cultural and academic criticism of games should be something that is welcome and debated properly. People use film and music and other forms of entertainment to escape the "stupidity of reality" but they have thriving critical and academic fields of study. If games are art then they deserve the same treatment films got when took queer cinema classes in college. And feminist theory...dear god!

I don't give a living shit about Destiny if that is what you are implying. A better time would be when almost the entire gaming world doesn't have their head so far up Activision's ass that they don't care about anything else.

Movies are nearly a century old, music has been around since the beginning of time, games have been around for 30 years. See a difference there?

OblivionSeptember 04, 2014

I can see this thread will end well.

ClexYoshiSeptember 04, 2014

Quote from: Soren

Funny thing about that "glowing preview" Nathan Grayson wrote about Depression Quest. People said at first that it was a review and for the life of me no internet sleuth has found it.


Probably because that "glowing preview" never existed.

There is a bit of telephone going on with my recounting of these events, which is why I urge folks to watch internetaristocrat's videos, and maybe do their own research when they aren't a bit sleep addled during the day.

I think moreso than Greyson's report on Indie Game Jam, he prominently links http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2014/01/08/admission-quest-valve-greenlights-50-more-games/#more-183169 Depression Quest and uses a screenshot of Depression Quest to headline above 49 other games. I would say that that's some favoritism and excitement shown towards a game that is about as visually stunning as Zork, and I certainly would not choose to get the attention of people to read my report unless I had some personal investment in said game to want it to be the image associated with the article. These are also written eerily close to each other in January.

Thank you for calling me out, Soren. I had a bit of a misunderstanding there and didn't exactly fact check the exact detail there and blew it out of proportion just a tad.

SorenSeptember 04, 2014

Quote from: Triforce

Movies are nearly a century old, music has been around since the beginning of time, games have been around for 30 years. See a difference there?

Video games are at least 50 years old and perfectly ripe for criticism. At that age there was already plenty of film criticism and theory firmly established.

Quote from: ClexYoshi

I think moreso than Greyson's report on Indie Game Jam, he prominently links http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2014/01/08/admission-quest-valve-greenlights-50-more-games/#more-183169 Depression Quest and uses a screenshot of Depression Quest to headline above 49 other games. I would say that that's some favoritism and excitement shown towards a game that is about as visually stunning as Zork, and I certainly would not choose to get the attention of people to read my report unless I had some personal investment in said game to want it to be the image associated with the article. These are also written eerily close to each other in January.

That is far from a "glowing preview". It was also written in January, not March, and was on RPS and not Kotaku. Any movement that wants to stamp out "corruption" and bad ethics in journalism can't fall prey to simple fact-checking. That is, unless those facts don't fit your agenda. (I'm not attributing this to you ClexYoshi, it appears your intentions are good overall.)

The overall problem with something like #GamerGate is that they may have the best intentions in the world, but they are easy prey to be hijacked by people with other intentions. And that's what happened with Jenn Frank yesterday.

KhushrenadaSeptember 04, 2014

Well, a few things.

First, I'm not sure just how many people know of or are aware of these situations. It's not like this is something making major news on CNN or regular news media. At least, none that I've seen. I only learned about some of the Zoe Quinn thing just last week actually because of a headline that caught my attention on another site. I don't even know who the Jenn Frank is in your article or what that case is about. I consider myself a gamer but I'm not as avid as I use to be and I'm particular about it. I just stick with Nintendo products and games. I don't follow other gaming areas whether it be Sony, Microsoft, PC or anything that really doesn't relate much with the interest of Nintendo. It's like if I go to IGN, I'll check out the Wii U, 3DS, Movies and TV pages and that's it. I don't check out the other areas since they don't matter to me. Likewise, I'm sure there are thousands who perhaps just play games on their smartphones or tablets who likewise have no idea about some of these controversies. Thus, a big part of the silent majority may also be the fact that it is unacquainted with these events.

Second, this isn't only a gamer issue. There have been many other cases of internet bullying and threats to harm people. There was the case of some lady whose halloween costume was a Boston Marathon victim. Same kind of thing with people posting personal information about her, threatening loved ones and viciously attacking her. Although I don't think anyone called it misogyny there because it was just a bad decision. Now, the retaliation and response of people was also wrong. Yet, has anyone ever tried to track down and punish those who cross the line in this and other cases? It very rarely happens unless there is an actual death or serious crime committed. It's sad but true. Thus, the cycle perpetuates. Until punishment is brought on to those ones who feel they are entitled to met out their own kind of justice, it is going to keep happening because there are no repercussions. You can talk about it and hope people wise up but as the saying goes, talk is cheap.

Third, news media needs money in any form to stay alive. Thus, reporters and writers are often looking for some kind of controversy to report on to get an emotional response from the public so that they will pay or use the media's services. A couple years ago, there was a front page story in the local newspaper in my area of a teacher that was fired or suspended because he gave some students a zero for their mark on some of their work and the school had a "no zero" policy meaning that teachers were not to mark anything with a zero but use other things like n/c (not complete) and other such ideas. I don't know if the paper realized it would make such a big impact but it became the biggest story for a week and a half with all kinds of editorials of people outraged about it and how wrong it was that a teacher was punished for doing what was right, or how lazy kids are being allowed to succeed, etc. My personal feeling on was that he had done it before and had been talked to by the school board about it but he chose not to follow the direction given him and to be insubordinate and do things his way so he made his choice and knew what he was doing and was punished for it. It's like telling an employee that if they keep showing up late for work they'll be fired and the employee says whatever, I'll come in to work on my terms and keeps coming in late and gets fired. But because the teacher ran to the news first and made it seem like he was punished for being the only person willing to do what was right in education, people were outraged at the school board. Up to that point, no one had ever given a rip about the no zero policy but suddenly it was the most important cause in people's lives.

What is more serious? The civil war in Syria? Russia's manipulation of Ukraine? The Ebola outbreak in Africa? Those are things that are affecting millions. Yet, a teacher getting suspended or a person being cyber-bullied is what people are making a big cause and debate out of. Why? Because it is simplier to get people to care about an individual than faceless millions or to highlight a simple case of injustice to get people hot under the collar and they can render an instant verdict on the matter than a situation with many facets and complications so that there is no quick right and wrong answer. I'm not saying cyber-bullying is tolerable or that we should dismiss the victims of it or let the perpetrators get away but I also think that stories like it can be blown way out of proportion as to their importance. Honestly, one of the best things made about the media's influence in reporting has to be the 1951 movie Ace in the Hole also called The Big Carnival. It's a dour look at the relationship between the press, the news it reports and the manner in which it reports it.

Finally, what exactly is the call to action? We should speak up about it? We could. I'm sure people here would all agree that this conduct is wrong. Great. Then what? Talking about it here really does nothing about the situation from what I can see except stir up contraversy where there was none. So, are we supposed to all then go off to other sites and talk about it there and get into comment section debates about it? The problem with people's behaviour is psychological. Not in that they are crazy but that as, one theory goes, a man with conviction is a hard man to change. One of the biggest examples of that is how people in Nazi Germany commited genocide because they were convinced that what they were doing was right. Even when confronted with their actions or evidence that what they are doing is wrong, people will find a way to still justify it or ignore it as they don't want to change. How do you fight that?

pokepal148September 04, 2014

I LIKE VIDEO GAMES!

No no, I don't necessarily agree with everyone mentioned or with their methods but the amount of hate they get is absolutely absurd.

Ian SaneSeptember 04, 2014

I actually have no idea what this is all about.  Don't know the circumstances, don't know who the people involved are.  The article could have used some more context.

I agree with Khush in that the "silent majority" may be because the majority doesn't even know about these events.  It's the first I've heard of it and there is a fair handful of videogame related websites I view daily.

Mop it upSeptember 04, 2014

I'm not sure what specifically inspired this article, but it sounds like the sort of stuff that's been happening for the past few decades, not just months. It's only recently that people decided to care about it, so I'm not yet convinced that anyone is sincere. I'll just keep watching from the sidelines and see what happens after some more time passes, then the posers will have moved on to the next big fad and I'll see who's left that still cares.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorSeptember 04, 2014

I don't know enough about this to really comment (as Ian said, I think the majority is silent because they don't know all the details), but I do have a question...

So, woman is making a game.  Woman is supposedly having some kind of relationship with some game "journalist".  Game "journalist" writes some kind of article that features this woman's game.  People find out and start sending this woman death threats.

That sums it up, right?

So... why is the woman getting death threats when it's the man, the so-called "journalist", who betrayed his audience (if you believe the relationship thing, that is)... how many death threats has he gotten?

OblivionSeptember 04, 2014

That isn't all the details but the conclusion is the same.

CericSeptember 04, 2014

Honestly stopped reading this thread after Cat playing 150cc Rainbow Road.  Then we were given no link.  No link.  Can you believe that?

a-amanitinSeptember 04, 2014

I thought about this lately, too, and especially wondered how it would affect PAX over the weekend, if at all. I attended a Women in Games Media panel (or some variation) on Friday out of curiosity, but spent the rest of the weekend trying out game demos and meeting up with friends. The only evidence of what was occurring on the internet happened almost exclusively on twitter or within forums like NeoGAF, whereas it seemed to me that average con-goers were relatively immune save for the discussions that took place at specific panels.


I guess the only thing you really can do is to be nice and friendly as often as you can be. Reassure those you know in stressful situations that you'll be nearby or open to helping/finding help if they need anything. Maybe encourage them to pick up where they left off after the dust settles and the obnoxious minority has moved on to something else or drifted into the nether. I just wish there was a straightforward and easier way to combat harassment other than filing police reports and ignoring what you can. =(

EnnerSeptember 04, 2014

Quote from: Ian

I actually have no idea what this is all about.  Don't know the circumstances, don't know who the people involved are.  The article could have used some more context.

I agree with Khush in that the "silent majority" may be because the majority doesn't even know about these events.  It's the first I've heard of it and there is a fair handful of videogame related websites I view daily.

This recent article on Forbes.com has what I think is the more even-handed overview of the events of the past three weeks:


http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2014/09/04/gamergate-a-closer-look-at-the-controversy-sweeping-video-games/


As for not seeing much coverage of the situation on video game related websites, most of them have decided not to report the majority of the related incidents. Most this has been on Twitter, tumblr posts, Youtube videos, and op/eds on various sites.

Quote from: Enner

Quote from: Ian

I actually have no idea what this is all about.  Don't know the circumstances, don't know who the people involved are.  The article could have used some more context.

I agree with Khush in that the "silent majority" may be because the majority doesn't even know about these events.  It's the first I've heard of it and there is a fair handful of videogame related websites I view daily.

This recent article on Forbes.com has what I think is the more even-handed overview of the events of the past three weeks:


http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2014/09/04/gamergate-a-closer-look-at-the-controversy-sweeping-video-games/


As for not seeing much coverage of the situation on video game related websites, most of them have decided not to report the majority of the related incidents. Most this has been on Twitter, tumblr posts, Youtube videos, and op/eds on various sites.

Thank you for posting this link, you're right, this is the most comprehensive and even-handed take on the events I've read.



Here's my take on the issue - I agree that most gamers are rational, reasonable people that have no issues with women in video games industry, and that those people comprise the "silent majority" of gamers. 


Those people (myself included) also have the sense to not wade into the cesspool of discussion regarding the Zoe Quinn Depression Quest internet shitstorm.  Have you bothered looking at the threads on reddit or 4chan regarding these topics?  You're either a feminist white knight or a sexist monster in the eyes of those actively involved in the "Debate", and the nuanced, reasonable arguments or criticisms over why the implications of a developer having inappropriate relationships with those who end up covering their games on some of the larger online game publications are either vilified or ignored entirely. 


Even more importantly, those who are so rabidly into seeking revenge for "video games journalism corruption" do horrible, horrible things to people Zoe Quinn.  No matter how you feel about Zoe Quinn as a person, or what she allegedly did with those in the video games journalism industry for positive coverage of her FREE TO PLAY game, it doesn't warrant outright ruining a person's life. 


I think it's also important to point out something: Video games journalism largely caters to a very specialized, specific, rabid fan base.  I wonder if movie or comic book fanatics would handle this kind of flare up similarly. 

Manthony ChopkinsSeptember 04, 2014

If I'm being honest. I have no idea who these ladies are and while I am starting to get a better idea of what is going on, it just seems like a giant poo-flinging contest to me. That being said, as it has already been stated, there's a myriad of reasons why the "silent majority" is silent. I guess consider myself part of the silent majority, but I am silent because I find myself to be indifferent to what it going on right now. I am a selfish gamer in the sense that I only really care about the stuff I am interested in. i just don't care for all of the politics and drama that goes around in this industry.

EnnerSeptember 05, 2014

Quote from: KisakiProject

Second, nobody likes to hear this but you just gotta ignore the trolls.  There always have been trolls and always will be.  Stop feeding them. 

I have seen this statement typed many times since the early 00's. I can imagine similar words being posted before that time. Since then, I have seen things get worse. With so many social networks that are built to connect people easily or automatically, the trolls feed themselves and there are so few nuanced tools to help ignore them. As connecting to others over the internet becomes ever easier and automatic, I become more convinced that "Don't feed the trolls," is not a viable tactic.


Thank you for linking those two articles. They have given me many things to think about.

Quote from: ClexYoshi

There is a bit of telephone going on with my recounting of these events, which is why I urge folks to watch internetaristocrat's videos, and maybe do their own research when they aren't a bit sleep addled during the day.

Disclosure (fitting given some of #gamergate's grievances): I have not fully watched all of that person's videos which I will explain why soon. So, just a heads up that I'm going to disappoint you and I apologize in advance.


No matter what valid accusations the person has regarding the events around an ex-boyfriend, I find it hard to muster trust when he makes allegations or implied allegations of Zoe Quinn having an affair with the wedded Patrick Klepek just because Quinn and Klepek had a PAX East 2014 panel. Or that Zoe Quinn intentionally sabotaged a high profile game jam to draw attention to her own game jam. There is a discussion of character in this mess, so I will admit that I myopically question the character and subsequently the arguments of a person who is comfortable making such allegations or implications in a series of events that I look down on as trivial, worthless gossip.


(In his second video, Internet Aristocrat uses Max Temkin's alleged rape accusation as an example. I thought that was trivial and worthless gossip as well. I can not explain or excuse the articles and blog posts that came from that.)


-----


As this event has gone on for the past three weeks (!), where I end up in my feelings for this is tired and depressed. From the first shot fired by a jilted ex-boyfriend, it has been a ceaseless barrage of back and forth barbs between all sorts of people that has me bewildered and ducking. In a sense, this is the latest release of the contempt built between multiple sorts of video game enthusiasts, multiple sorts of video game journalists and critics, multiple sorts of video game developers, and probably a few political opportunists.


What I find most absurd is the relative size of this incident. Video game journalism is not limited to Kotaku, Polygon, or Gamasutra. I assume there's plenty of space and web sites for people to have their own fuzzy bubble to be in. But I guess that doesn't happen when the attraction of outrage or perceived slights is too great and too easy to come across. When some users here have remarked that this the first they have heard of this incident, I realize that I spend too much time on Twitter.


As for what happens next or solutions, I will try harder to be kind, considerate, patient, and critical. I will try and fail (arguably, I have failed in my above writing) and try again.


Or maybe I'll just distract myself with free-to-play games on my shiny smartphone or something.

Evan_BSeptember 05, 2014

So... What does this have to do with Nintendo?

Ah, right. Absolutely nothing.

Good discussion so far -- it helps to have a longer form of interaction than Twitter to discuss complex issues, and it speaks highly of our community that most of these comments are multiple paragraphs and consider multiple viewpoints, weighing the merits, comparing data points. That's the kind of healthy, contemplative, responsive dialogue that I believe Karl was seeking.

I answered his original query in Twitter, but it looks like many of you still don't use that, which is too bad because Twitter is so much fun (most of the time). Basically what I said is that we should all strive to be good examples for our peers and for anyone who might see what we put in the Internet. We should act like ourselves, like humans, on the Internet and always remember that other users are also people. We shouldn't say anything here that we wouldn't say to someone in real life, because for many people, the Internet is their real life (or part of it). I can't make trolls drop their shield of anonymity, but anyone truly interested in engagement on ethical topics, social topics, or just good discussion in general will greatly benefit from presenting him or herself as a rational person who listens to what others say and continuously evaluates internal beliefs to consider these other perspectives.

So that's my treatise on personal conduct online. How we behave ourselves is more important and less volatile than shaming other people, which is itself not much of a conversation starter. How am I going to convince someone of a reasonable point of view when the opening line is "Hey you loser, that's wrong!"

As for the issue of ethics and corruption in gaming media, which I consider a completely separate subject that deserves a sober analysis free from the very intense, emotional topic of online harassment, we recorded a lengthy discussion on the matter for RFN 397. I hope the long format of a podcast also allowed us to delve into the topic and address some concerns that a few of you may have. Please check that out in a few days. The word "Quinn" is not uttered.

ClexYoshiSeptember 05, 2014

Quote from: Jonnyboy117

As for the issue of ethics and corruption in gaming media, which I consider a completely separate subject that deserves a sober analysis free from the very intense, emotional topic of online harassment, we recorded a lengthy discussion on the matter for RFN 397. I hope the long format of a podcast also allowed us to delve into the topic and address some concerns that a few of you may have. Please check that out in a few days. The word "Quinn" is not uttered.

GET HYPE!

In all seriousness, the talk of ethics is something I've been highly looking forward to on RFN. When I sent in the question myself, I did so predicated on the knowledge that the four of the panelists lie sorta on the very edge of things. On one hand, folks like Johnny and Jon especially have connections that run YEARS back with the likes of Johnny's friendship with Denis Dyack (who Johnny has done a good job of disclosing should he decide to ever editorialize on the subject), but at the same time barely ever have any sort of inside scoop that would require they stay entrenched and hardly ever have reason to report that they could shed light on this all from a perspective that I haven't heard yet.

Quote from: Evan_B

So... What does this have to do with Nintendo?

That's because I feel Nintendo does a wonderful job of not getting tied up in this giant katamari of internet spaghetti. They very well could have. Remember all the editorial that was popping up on Nintendo having so much female character and PR representation at E3? Yeah. This has nothing to do with Nintendo if only because Nintendo PR isn't allowed to tweet about and leave potential evidence that they are not part of this gigantic ethical quandary.

I also feel this might also tie somewhat into the general lack of Nintendo coverage outside of enthusiast media outlets such as Nintendo World Report.

pokepal148September 05, 2014

Well the FBI is now getting involved.

Guys, I don't care how much you disagree with someone, you shouldn't be spewing so much hate and so many death threats that the F-ing Federal Bureau of Investigation, feels the need to feel the need to get involved.

ECMSeptember 05, 2014

Goodbye, NWR. It's been rad, but since I get enough politics infecting and destroying everything else in my life, I have little less than zero time to spend getting worked up over 'inclusion' in gaming, when most of us--that'd be the "silent majority" to which you are referring--*only* care about VIDEOGAMES and not "inclusion" and whatever other PC nonsense is currently rotting the brains of the 'literati'.

So yeah, you keep on keeping on, but maybe, in the future, it might just be wise to stick to core competency and not beat a horse that was so dead 2-weeks ago that you've not only pulverized the skeleton, but now you've revealed that, at the end of the day, "inclusion" is so important to "you" (note: *not* the "silent majority", because it isn't) that it casts a pall over any and everything you publish from this moment forward as being inflected with this anti-intellectual, anti-gaming, childish idiocy.

OblivionSeptember 05, 2014

Quote from: ECM

Goodbye, NWR. It's been rad, but since I get enough politics infecting and destroying everything else in my life, I have little less than zero time to spend getting worked up over 'inclusion' in gaming, when most of us--that'd be the "silent majority" to which you are referring--*only* care about VIDEOGAMES and not "inclusion" and whatever other PC nonsense is currently rotting the brains of the 'literati'.

So yeah, you keep on keeping on, but maybe, in the future, it might just be wise to stick to core competency and not beat a horse that was so dead 2-weeks ago that you've not only pulverized the skeleton, but now you've revealed that, at the end of the day, "inclusion" is so important to "you" (note: *not* the "silent majority", because it isn't) that it casts a pall over any and everything you publish from this moment forward as being inflected with this anti-intellectual, anti-gaming, childish idiocy.

http://i.imgur.com/56mGbrr.jpg

Mop it upSeptember 05, 2014

Quote from: Enner

Most this has been on Twitter, tumblr posts, Youtube videos,

In other words, the places where the scum of the earth congregate, which is why I don't go to these sites.

SorenSeptember 05, 2014

Quote from: Mop

Quote from: Enner

Most this has been on Twitter, tumblr posts, Youtube videos,

In other words, the places where the scum of the earth congregate, which is why I don't go to these sites.

Also, a haven for misinformation and hearsay. Which is why this has been able to fester on for so long. People like InternetAristocrat and JonTron have been able to milk this to no end.

OblivionSeptember 05, 2014

What does JonTron done to "milk" this besides posting that awful picture one time?

KhushrenadaSeptember 05, 2014

Quote from: Mop

Quote from: Enner

Most this has been on Twitter, tumblr posts, Youtube videos,

In other words, the places where the scum of the earth congregate, which is why I don't go to these sites.

It's funny 'cause it's true.

SorenSeptember 05, 2014

Quote from: Oblivion

What does JonTron done to "milk" this besides posting that awful picture one time?

Jontron got mad at Tim Schafer after the latter retweeted Anita Sarkeesian's latest video. Some one his inane points included the fact that Anita's videos had comments and likes disabled and that men received equal objectification as women in video games. Schafer called him out on his BS, Jontron felt attacked and his fanbase went on to attack Schafer (who was already feeling heat by people who hate Sarkeesian). Jontron got a stupid hashtag named after him that was immediately co-opted by people who were attacking Quinn, indie devs and journalists.

#IStandWithGanondorf

OblivionSeptember 05, 2014

Quote from: Soren

Quote from: Oblivion

What does JonTron done to "milk" this besides posting that awful picture one time?

Jontron got mad at Tim Schafer after the latter retweeted Anita Sarkeesian's latest video. Some one his inane points included the fact that Anita's videos had comments and likes disabled and that men received equal objectification as women in video games. Schafer called him out on his BS, Jontron felt attacked and his fanbase went on to attack Schafer (who was already feeling heat by people who hate Sarkeesian). Jontron got a stupid hashtag named after him that was immediately co-opted by people who were attacking Quinn, indie devs and journalists.

Hrm. I feel like there's more to this than what was said here, but alright.

EnnerSeptember 06, 2014

Quote from: ECM

Goodbye, NWR. It's been rad, but since I get enough politics infecting and destroying everything else in my life, I have little less than zero time to spend getting worked up over 'inclusion' in gaming, when most of us--that'd be the "silent majority" to which you are referring--*only* care about VIDEOGAMES and not "inclusion" and whatever other PC nonsense is currently rotting the brains of the 'literati'.

So yeah, you keep on keeping on, but maybe, in the future, it might just be wise to stick to core competency and not beat a horse that was so dead 2-weeks ago that you've not only pulverized the skeleton, but now you've revealed that, at the end of the day, "inclusion" is so important to "you" (note: *not* the "silent majority", because it isn't) that it casts a pall over any and everything you publish from this moment forward as being inflected with this anti-intellectual, anti-gaming, childish idiocy.

As someone who considers himself of the silent majority who has refrained from posting anything on the internet relating to this subject until this Talkback thread:

Speak for yourself.

It speaks to the magnitude and fervor of this latest incident between enthusiasts, critics and writers, and developers that the staff of Nintendo World Report felt compelled to have a guest and former staff member post one article on it.

I understand the desire to ignore it as I have expressed the same. In a few weeks time, there will be many headlines on Smash Bros 4 and other games that will push this article down. But for now, these past few weeks are regrettably an important flash point that deserves some recognition in even the most isolated of communities.

However, for a site and a forum to completely ignore the culture and humanity around our favored hobby or to just completely ignore negative aspects would be doing a grave disservice to our intellect and growth. As much as some would protest otherwise, the people and things we surround ourselves and interact with will always leave a mark on us. It is important to be mindful of that.

Triforce HermitSeptember 06, 2014

Quote from: Mop

Quote from: Enner

Most this has been on Twitter, tumblr posts, Youtube videos,

In other words, the places where the scum of the earth congregate, which is why I don't go to these sites.

Which explains a lot and makes me disregard any seriousness of this matter entirely.

broodwarsSeptember 06, 2014

This is much I would say on this matter, but as I have gone on at length on this topic on Twitter and I intend to address this subject on the next NFR, I'll just leave it at this:  I believe the entire structure of the games media is corrupt, with a never-ending cycle of friends covering the games of friends with the goal of one day working alongside them. There is no investigative journalism, and I really do feel there's a deep-seeded hatred within the games press of their own audience. You hear the condescension in their podcasts, and you see it in their writing and how they relate to their readers.  It doesn't feel to me that the press represents us anymore as the valiant industry watch dogs they should be.  There is no critical analysis, no investigative journalism, and no courage to ask real, hard questions.

For instance, why has there been seemingly NO critical analysis of Anita Sarkeesian's work on the part of the games press. Why has it been up to the fans to do the critical analysis and fact-checking that you'd think paid, professional writers would be capable of doing? Even if you agree with her views, that doesn't mean her work is beyond approach. And I don't just mean issuing a vague "oh, and I agree with her on some points and disagree on others" statement.

Gaming has always had pricks, and what the "Gamer Gate" people have done in harassing members of the industry and gaming press is not and never will be right. That said, in my view the reason this story blew up as it did is because it shines a spotlight on an problem the press has let fester: the public doesn't trust them anymore.

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorSeptember 06, 2014

Quote from: broodwars

paid, professional writers

I would be curious to know how many gaming websites actually have paid, professional writers.  I'm sure they exist, but I feel they're in the minority...

marvel_moviefan_2012September 06, 2014

All I can say is while I hold a view that everyone is equal and should be treated that way, I think most of us come to this site to discuss video games. I think that should answer the question of what do we think. I am not the silent type though but I still think that is what many of us are thinking.

Ethics in the media is difficult question everyone has their own answer. You don't need a reminder of Journalism 101, we all know the choices a journalist has to make in order to get the story out. The ethical thing to do usually is protect your source, well it sounds like here the source, so breaking that rule automatically brings about it a certain stigma among journalists. I am not a paid gaming journalist but I work for a TV station I am in the newsroom, it is not easy making the choices we have to make. Because it is a highly stressful work environment we spend our downtime doing whatever we can to have fun and unwind, you know the same things everybody else does watch movies, drink beer, play video games, hang with friends.

If someone who is a journalist, paid or otherwise, is being professional they have no business exposing private information about anyone, ever under any circumstances. Remember Mario Brajuha who faces a federal subpeona and remained in prison for two years over protecting his source in an investigation that went national. This is a case study in ethics classes for all communications/journalism students so you should be familiar with it. I don't know the topic at hand just what I read in this thread but I know that if he exposed his source, he broke the "code" and should be publicly ostracized for that.

still as they say, at the end of the day most of us come here for video game news. I agree that there is a time and a place for any discussion. This is your site you have a right to put whatever you want, if a reader leaves because they think you broke their trust then you lost a reader you didn't need anyways. you stick to your guns and those who follow you will stand behind you. That is what this site has built up in my views, trust with the readers. No matter what the other sites are doing you do what you feel is right and we will back it up, at least I will because even if I disagree with what is being said I respect the writer who stands up for his or her own convictions. That is what journalism really is about taking a stand for something.

Evan_BSeptember 06, 2014

All joking aside, I believe that most video gaming media, specifically, media that is out of the developers' own hands, is a pretty terrible thing. I think that non-profit news sites, especially those that attempt to give opinionated articles ON GAMES, those that report news exclusively, and those that attempt to generate content based around games that is desirable, are the best types of websites that one can find, but I'll be damned if I've yet to find a website that does one of these things good enough. Hell, most try to to attempt all three and fail miserably.

Ultimately, I think my feelings can be best described as "disappointment" in regards to this whole ridiculous situation- I'm disappointed in people who would threaten harm and death over video games, I'm disappointed that it has become as big a deal as it has, and I'm disappointed that media sites can't just talk about GAMES anymore. Why does there have to be all this social equality ridiculousness layered atop things? Some argue that gender roles in gaming have effects on our youth, but a responsible parent would know what sort of game they were picking up for their child and decide whether or not they think is suitable or giving a message they agree with. Of course, there are plenty of people that buy video games as a distraction for their child, but that's when ten year olds are raised on Call of Duty and ultimately, they're not the sort of people who are out there shitposting about social justice. This is an issue of journalists and e-celebrities blowing their own importance and ideals way out of proportion and receiving proportional amounts of backlash because of it. That is disappointing to me, because I'd rather just hear about the games I want to play.

SorenSeptember 06, 2014

Quote from: broodwars

This is much I would say on this matter, but as I have gone on at length on this topic on Twitter and I intend to address this subject on the next NFR, I'll just leave it at this:  I believe the entire structure of the games media is corrupt, with a never-ending cycle of friends covering the games of friends with the goal of one day working alongside them. There is no investigative journalism, and I really do feel there's a deep-seeded hatred within the games press of their own audience. You hear the condescension in their podcasts, and you see it in their writing and how they relate to their readers.  It doesn't feel to me that the press represents us anymore as the valiant industry watch dogs they should be.  There is no critical analysis, no investigative journalism, and no courage to ask real, hard questions.

Are we really getting that from this movement, though? Exposing "corrupt" relationships between journalists and indie game devs seems like such a small bananas move. And it has led to having several good people outright quitting the industry who had nothing to do with the controversy. If we really want to hold the press' feet to the fire we would demand more stories like these:

http://kotaku.com/5986694/from-dream-to-disaster-the-story-of-aliens-colonial-marines
http://kotaku.com/5955223/what-went-wrong-with-silicon-knights-x-men-destiny
http://kotaku.com/investigation-a-video-game-studio-from-hell-511872642

instead of doing olympic gymnastics to figure out how we can get another journalist in bed with a game dev. (this example is specially ridiculous.)

Analytics don't lie. If investigative pieces really did move the needle you would be sure websites would be doing them more often. Some people in this thread have already demonstrated that they would rather get swallowed up by PR hype machines rather than ask their favorite website to be more accountable. "I just want to play video games and click on this link to read an "article" about the Destiny Perfume. Oh well played, Xbox!"


Most websites are terrible. But if you know what you want and are not lured in by the stupidity, you can find something useful about almost all of them. Except GameSpot.

pokepal148September 06, 2014

And for goodness sake, don't make an article for every single time someone like Phil Fish updates his twitter in an effort to create controversy. I honestly believe that the press reporting on everything he says is a big part of the reason he left the industry.

He's a guy who has an opinion, that's it. Move on, find something more noteworthy.

EnnerSeptember 07, 2014

Quote from: Soren

Most websites are terrible. But if you know what you want and are not lured in by the stupidity, you can find something useful about almost all of them. Except GameSpot.

Oi, Danny O'Dwyer and the rest of the video crew and hosts are doing good video work that I enjoy over that at GameSpot. There writing output has suffered due to recent layoffs, but the future is video for better of for worse.

Quote from: broodwars

This is much I would say on this matter, but as I have gone on at length on this topic on Twitter and I intend to address this subject on the next NFR, I'll just leave it at this:  I believe the entire structure of the games media is corrupt, with a never-ending cycle of friends covering the games of friends with the goal of one day working alongside them. There is no investigative journalism, and I really do feel there's a deep-seeded hatred within the games press of their own audience. You hear the condescension in their podcasts, and you see it in their writing and how they relate to their readers.  It doesn't feel to me that the press represents us anymore as the valiant industry watch dogs they should be.  There is no critical analysis, no investigative journalism, and no courage to ask real, hard questions.

For instance, why has there been seemingly NO critical analysis of Anita Sarkeesian's work on the part of the games press. Why has it been up to the fans to do the critical analysis and fact-checking that you'd think paid, professional writers would be capable of doing? Even if you agree with her views, that doesn't mean her work is beyond approach. And I don't just mean issuing a vague "oh, and I agree with her on some points and disagree on others" statement.

Gaming has always had pricks, and what the "Gamer Gate" people have done in harassing members of the industry and gaming press is not and never will be right. That said, in my view the reason this story blew up as it did is because it shines a spotlight on an problem the press has let fester: the public doesn't trust them anymore.

I think you desire an enthusiast press that has never existed for any other arts, entertainment, or consumer product sector (to my limited knowledge) and probably can't exist in press for consumer products.

As for deep-seeded hatred and condescension, that seems to me whatever outlets and authors you focus on or whatever articles that have stuck to your memory. With the video game writers and people I follow, I have never gotten the sense that they hated or severely looked down upon their audience.

To the specific point on Sarkeesians's work, what you propose sounds like making a review of a review which is something that feel is in poor tact and frowned upon in published writing. Sure, that's what happens in university research, but I have rarely seen it in op/eds for pop culture products. I think the games press lets Sarkeesian's videos stand on their own and trust the audience to come to their own thoughts and conclusions in a respectful manner. Or maybe some of them don't care about the videos or their line of thinking and just let the videos exist peacefully out of their minds.

EnnerSeptember 07, 2014

Quote from: Enner

I think you desire an enthusiast press that has never existed for any other arts, entertainment, or consumer product sector (to my limited knowledge) and probably can't exist in press for consumer products.

Shot my mouth their. And it was only after that I started to think of Apple, Foxconn, clothing, and sweatshops.

Any serious issues in the video games industry dealing with workers rights and what not are rarities. The video games press can only do so much and seem to rely on anonymous leaks or independent surveys for such things. It doesn't help that these sorts of issues are deep inside-baseball, are buried behind the latest trailer, and usually only pop up on focused sites like gamesindustry.biz or Gamasutura (or some scandal-esque headline on a Gawker website).

In quite possibly one of my more naive moments brought by sleep deprivation: These are mostly people making and writing about fun and/or emotionally engaging things while also scratching a living or a profit. While there are serious questions to be asked about these fun things, generally I don't see why they and (eventually) we can't be friendly. With the further expansion of social networks and the great critical equalizer of video and streaming, I envision a video games future where the walls between consumer, press, developer, and even publisher are blurred to be nearly non-existent and that it will work out fine and happily. Yes, recent events spit on that thought, but I can kinda see it as growing pains.

EnnerSeptember 07, 2014

As this article relates to the harassment & misogyny side of the events, it is critically important that this Storify is ready by as many as possible:
https://storify.com/strictmachine/gameovergate

The short story: these are the lengths a small group of people will go through in order attack, harass, and manipulate in order to further a cause they believe in. This is a part of the internet social reality that we now live in.

broodwarsSeptember 07, 2014

Quote from: Enner

To the specific point on Sarkeesians's work, what you propose sounds like making a review of a review which is something that feel is in poor tact and frowned upon in published writing. Sure, that's what happens in university research, but I have rarely seen it in op/eds for pop culture products. I think the games press lets Sarkeesian's videos stand on their own and trust the audience to come to their own thoughts and conclusions in a respectful manner. Or maybe some of them don't care about the videos or their line of thinking and just let the videos exist peacefully out of their minds.

My problem with this argument is that Sarkeesian doesn't present these videos as just another series of reviews on the internet. They are meant to be academic-style critiques on the history and evolution of gaming culture. If that wasn't clear just watching the videos, it's right there in her stretch goals on her kickstarter page: "Tropes vs Women in Video Games Classroom Curriculum". This is meant to be part of a teaching tool used to discuss and instruct people outside our industry on our industry.  Sorry, but in the academic world, when you release a paper on a particular subject, it is discussed; debated; and critiqued by your peers. And I'm sorry, but I were to release an academic paper with as many holes; lack of proper sourcing; flagrant mis-use of words ("misogyny"); and fondness of blanket, unsupported statements as Sarkeesian has in her videos, I'd be the laughing stock of the academic world.  When a politician goes up and makes a speech, you have journalists racing around the clock to fact-check and critique their arguments, because it is their duty to present the truth to their audience.

It would be one thing if Sarkeesian just released her videos, the internet talked about it, and that was that. But no, instead websites like Joystiq or Polygon take great pleasure in posting an article about her latest video, say absolutely nothing about their views of the content (yet treat it as "important"), and then call out anyone who disagrees with her work as misogynist.I really wonder if they're afraid of the backlash from the cult of Sarkeesian if any site actually took a stand and seriously examined their work. If gaming culture is to grow and evolve, we owe it to ourselves to critique and examine works such as Sarkeesian's, even if we agree with them. That's how the discussion happens, and that's how we better ourselves.

My issue with this whole controversy is that both sides will not accept that change needs to happen on both ends. Gaming culture in general (I accept that we on NWR are on the enlightened side of that spectrum just based on the fact that we can have this conversation calmly and rationally, without the moderators having to get involved) needs to accept that we need fresh blood. We need female perspective in our industry, alongside us on the controller; reporting for us in the media; and working to create the next great new idea in the development community. We can't accept or tolerate the casual racism of Xbox live, nor the overt sexism of 4chan (just as examples).

However, by the same token, the gaming media needs to be willing to acknowledge that they have become, circumstantially, the same sort of "hive mind" that they're fond of accusing their audience of being.  I'm not saying there's a malicious intent or overt conspiracy behind it. The talent that runs our favorite websites comes from an astonishingly small pool of experiences; backgrounds; and aspirations. Add in that people fairly frequently cross between the development and journalistic communities, and you have an astonishingly inbred gaming industry. So when you have the media circling the wagons around their friends in the development community (even to the extent of outright subsidizing their lifestyle through programs like Patreon) or someone like Sarkeesian without ANY critical explanation, it gives a very negative appearance when judged against the more "separation of church and state"-style journalistic integrity of other journalistic fields.

TL;DR Version: Both sides need to **** off and let us all get back to discussing games again. I'm tired of the in-fighting over something we all love.

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