Ever play Chinese whispers? That game when you get a group of people and a sentence gets whispered from one person to another. This of course distorts the message, some times it is completely different, other times parts remains or it’s important context is lost.
Sometimes the internet is like the most complex game of Chinese whispers. Often primary sources can’t be found, esp in the fast moving world of internet blogs, forums and of course twitter.
The sheer amount of stuff which can get written by thousands of people on various platforms around the globe in one 24 hour period can be staggering. So it’s not surprising that it can be at times impossible to get a grasp on certain topics like Gamer Gate.
What I have found startling is that the same arguments which get put to me about why I should not say I am a feminist are being used to tell people why should not say they are supporters of gamergate. Should radical or extremist elements be let take over an idea or a movement?
I can understand why the reasonable and moderate people who id themselves as part of not wanting games to be censored and who think that there needs to be better ethics & standards in game reviews and games journalism won’t walk away from gamergate. There are actual issues which do need to be talked about.
Where ever a person stands on how they think the games industry & culture needs to evolve, the abuse and threats to people need to stop. I would dearly like to see those who have made such threats feel the full force of the law, but that mean justice depts have to start taking online abuse seriously.
Yep Z.Q. is being punished for being an outspoken woman, I know what is like, thankfully never as extreme as what she has had to endure. There were those who were out to get her before her ex trashed her in that blog and it was the excuse they felt they were waiting for, all of which is unacceptable. Funny the journalist whom she has been accused of trying to bribe isn’t being hounded, a reporter who let themselves be compromised would be the person I would be pissed off with.
How ever I do know there are some who won’t want games to be sanitised and I get that and know people have not acted in a reprehensible manner. I really worry that those who have behaved as vile scum will tarnish the term gamer for ever and cause a regression in how people think of games. It feeds in to the whole manchild myth about games and gamers, how it is to be ever taken seriously as an art form with this crap happening around it.
I honestly think it is the generation who grew up playing Halo on consoles who created a community out of foul mouth teens who have dominated gaming culture to a point. There were awesome online gaming communities before them but that for me was the tipping point of one which grew up with out much adult interaction and it’s spread across online gaming, unfortunately.
I don’t agree with at least 40% of the critique in FemFeq, esp as there seems to be an element of eroticphobia to A.S. feminism. I think that the series of videos should have been the kicking off point for a heap of much needed discussion about games as an art form and how they can reflect society and culture. Don’t agree with what someone says and their conclusions, then refute them, tear down the position and the argument.
If you can’t do that and your only recourse is to attack the person rather then the position or the argument, then you’ve lost, you are not going to be taken seriously or have any credibility. All that has been done by those going to extremes to shut up women like Z.Q. A.S. and D.W. is to poison the well and make Jack Thompson seem right to people who don’t game and don’t know the joy it brings.
Seriously my kids who have been brought up as gamers would rather people they are ‘filthy casuals’ then have their peers link them to the hatred and misogyny gamer gate has become associated with. They both have had run in with asshats online, they both try and model good gaming manners, not quiet to Starcraft levels but still the last few weeks has had them distancing themselves, which I understand, but it still saddens me.
I have tried to keep up with what has been going on but until no I have not written about it, I have instead when ever I felt the urge to get into discussions, I’ve gone and played games instead. Mostly Assassins Creed Liberation, which has a protagonist who is a woman a person of colour and the game is nuanced, smart, full of tangential learning about class, gender and the world as it was in the time period of the game. And I get to kill people, what more could I want in my games.
Well bar some day Steam allowing games like Leisure Suit Larry and Lula The Sexy Empire on the Market place. Why is it I can kill people in so many ways, but not get people off in games? But that is a topic for another blog post.