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#GAMERGATE: The Threadening [Read the OP] -- #StopGamerGate2014

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thesolidshark

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Jan 20, 2013
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In this whole argument about how the disconnect between the press and their gaming audience, I've probably neglected to realize what Auerbach's article brings up:

The antagonism of the gaming press toward its audience stems partly from justified outrage at the horrible behavior of a small subset of it, but also from helpless resentment toward the entirety of the press’s shrinking audience—hence the self-defeating attempt to generalize the former into the latter.
After years of questionable articles and opinion pieces on certain issues (Simcity, ME3, XB1 original vision, etc.), and actively (surprisingly) tuning in to more YT personalities as an enthusiast, I should've made more of a connection to the bolded in regards to the gamer issues, maybe.

Sadly though, while I do believe there was a divide before, it's even bigger now because of recent events.
 

Antiwhippy

the holder of the trombone
Mar 28, 2010
51,060
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I already posted that I have found this whole thing to be ridiculous.
Funny for me as well because it is another #____Gate meme on Twitter.
So at this point...I hope you understand that suitcase post was tongue in cheeks.

You need to have some fun and a brighter outlook when "drama" like this happens.
Diffusing the drama/bad blood from the situation, and just calm down to think and see clearer.
You don't need to take everything with a serious outlook because that can narrow and cloud your judgment.
The intent of the thread is to have a serious discussion. The OP made it clear that it would be heavily moderated for that purpose.

I mean, I kinda share your sentiments to a certain extent, but this is probably not the place for it.
 

Mailenstein

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Feb 10, 2009
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I didn't really follow on this, but it seems like this exploded all over the place when this whole females in games (industry) discussion started. I may be wrong, but from my point of view it looks like nowadays people talk more about the person/site behind the article than the article itself. I don't know why this is even a thing and I don't really know who to blame for this. I've quit reading game reviews and visiting gaming news outlets pretty much in the early 2000's when scoring started to make no sense anymore. Saying that, I don't understand why people give them so much attention or treat them with some kind of superstar status. But then again, I can't identify myself with this whole gaming culture besides a few things anyway. I like playing games and visiting gaming boards. But that's about it. Gaming is just a small part in my life.
 

SteveWinwood

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Aug 10, 2010
41,145
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The funniest thing about all of this is it doesn't seem strange to actively play video games and completely miss this controversy. I don't know what that says about all of this.
I spend a lot of time on gaf. It was relegated to one or two threads really (what is this the fourth or something?). None of the other websites I went to even mentioned it. I'm not on Twitter though, and I think that's where a lot of it is transpiring which is my guess on why I completely missed it.
 

Xe4

Banned
Aug 1, 2014
9,860
1
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Well, Baldwin himself seems to believe that the "scandal" is the fact that the journalists are trying to lecture a community. He seems to have basically co-opted the whole Zoe Quinn/Patreon thing and other people have jumped on as well.
After learning that Adam Baldwin was now tweeting about it, I found a pretty good Forbes article that surmises the affair well enough. Just putting it out there for people who are confused. It's way more complicated than I could imagine, holy crap I had no idea Total Biscut and Phil Fish were involved.

I don't really know how unbiased the whole article is, but here it is if anyone wants to read it.
 

firehawk12

Subete no aware
Sep 10, 2007
61,792
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It boggles my mind that -- instead of latching onto controversy with tangible details (like the Yogscast Kickstarter and their YouTube monetization/revenue share policies) -- the vengeful hand of the internet has chosen to grasp the straws of hearsay and circumstantial evidence, including a few vague tweets and the extended blog post from a source as biased as you can get.
These guys already had a hate-on for Quinn. It just seemed like this was the excuse they needed to become self-righteous.

Hell, I had no idea that Dan Ryckert had his face put into LA Noire and Infamous. Given the Jessica Chobot stuff in ME3, you'd think that Game Informer would have gotten equal amounts of shit for having their editors get put into a game that they are going to review. But his stories about it on Giantbomb are the first I had even heard of this happening.

After learning that Adam Baldwin was now tweeting about it, I found a pretty good Forbes article that surmises the affair well enough. Just putting it out there for people who are confused. It's way more complicated than I could imagine, holy crap I had no idea Total Biscut and Phil Fish were involved.

I don't really know how unbiased the whole article is, but here it is if anyone wants to read it.
The funniest part is that Adam Baldwin thinks Kain is a "legit" journalists (because of Forbes) and retweeted his article... but in reality, Kain thinks is sad that people like Baldwin have co-opted the movement.

It's all silly.
 

Yagharek

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Mar 3, 2007
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Thanks for the links in the OP. This issue is incredibly hard to understand when so little context is available elsewhere.
 

molnizzle

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Jul 14, 2013
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I've read the first and second articles as they came up, and the third I hadn't seen yet so thanks for putting it there. It was a very interesting read.

I'm curious how many people have just sat back and watched this whole thing unfold without actually sticking their neck out and voicing an opinion on the matter out of fear of backlash from one side or the other. I stick myself in that bucket frankly, because every time I turn around the issue's ballooned more and more to encompass a wider swath of individuals in everyone's accusatory statements and finger-pointing. Hopefully this thread can bring more of those types out of the background.

I'm one of those folks that loves to play games, is inclusive of everyone I've ever played games with, and can't stand oppressive antics no matter who it's directed at. But somehow that middling opinion seems to be reviled out in the social media battlegrounds.
I'm in the same boat as you. I've commented here or there but for the most part I've kept my mouth shut in threads where I felt like I had a hell of a lot to say. This sort of thing gets me all worked up, and when I get all worked up I tend to get banned.

I believe that both sides have valid points. Here are some facts that I believe to be true. If I'm wrong about any of them, feel free to correct me.


  1. Women are often objectified and sexualized (or worse) in this industry.
  2. The majority of the market commonly referred to as "core gamers" is male.
  3. The majority of professional games journalists live and work in California and overwhelmingly lean left on political matters.
  4. The majority of human male "gamers" are not actually misogynists with a personal vendetta against female inclusion. Rather, they're simply indifferent towards the plight of women because they are not women and are therefore unaffected by situation.
Fact #4 is basically the root of this entire issue. The liberal-leaning "social justice warriors" of the Internet call those who don't share their views misogynists (or worse) because they complain about all of the recent feminist coverage by the games media. The complainers then feel attacked and are offended by being labeled something they don't identify with, so they lash out even more. Then the other side responds in kind. Rinse and repeat. Shit escalates, and now we have #gamersgate or whatever the fuck.

Some people in this thread will likely be crying about the horrible threats that a select few misguided individuals have made to prominent industry feminists. Here's where my opinion is likely going to deviate from the majority of GAF. I too condemn the actions of these individuals and find their behavior sickening. That said, I'm also not surprised by their behavior at all. Let me be clear: they shouldn't have threatened Anita Sarkeesian. Nobody is denying that. However — and this is probably going to ruffle some feathers — Anita Sarkeesian probably shouldn't be making those videos in the first place.

Ah! I'm a misogynist! No. I'm not a misogynist at all. That's the problem. I'm not a misogynist and I've never known anyone who was. I literally learned the word "misogynist" from Kotaku. I like playing video games, I read "enthusiast press" websites and post on forums like NeoGAF to discuss video games. I've never belittled a woman or held any prejudices simply because someone was female. To be honest I sometimes get in arguments with my wife because she's a goddamn misogynist, but that's a topic for another discussion.

Here's the thing. Going back to my Fact #1, yes, there are issues in this industry. The reason why you see gamers throwing such a fit is because there are issues in every industry. Even the ones that explicitly target and cater to women. Especially the ones that explicitly target and cater to women. Why are video games now ground zero for misogyny in popular culture? What about professional cheerleaders, UFC models, female recording artists who appear almost fully nude in their videos, or females as "background decoration" in every summer blockbuster that has ever existed? Male gamers feel unfairly targeted by this coverage because it makes them out to be the villain of the community they crew up supporting —and for many, this is likely the only community where they've ever felt accepted and valued. So they lash out. Again, I don't condone their actions. But I understand their motivations.

So here we are. If you have beliefs similar to mine then you hold your fucking tongue in these discussions because if you don't support each and every feminist ideal that exists then you're labeled a misogynist. The games media calls you the enemy. In reality, I'm not the enemy. I'm the guy who enables the games media to receive a motherfucking paycheck. Unfortunately for me, I also happen to be a white male.
 

scytherage

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Nov 15, 2012
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As a fellow journalist who has stayed mostly out of the whole GamerGate/Zoe Quinn fiasco in terms of discussion, from what I am seeing it really just feels like a "well no you are wrong because I am right." Arguments coming left and right that point out clear problems with gaming journalism, which I do agree with, yet they aren't entirely focused on that discussion but rather on the drama.

Yes, change is needed to ensure fair reporting of gaming news, and this has been happening since the Dorito fiasco, but we can't have change if all the arguments are focused on feminism (which is a perfectly fine discussion!), MRA, SJW, Zoe Quinn and any other semi-related gaming bullshit. I want to see change in this industry, but this whole bickering between both sides on pedantic details is just muddying up the attempt to correct what is wrong.

Anyway, that's my piece and I'll leave it at that. Personally I prefer my site be about the gaming news rather than the drama, but of course discussion on that is needed at times.
I get the same impression reading this article:

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

It feels like a schoolyard fight between a few people that just escalated to involve the entire game industry for some reason (from developers, to players, to journalists....what??). I think the issues they bring up are true to a lot of media, not just games. It isn't fair that ALL gamers are associated to this for some reason or another.
 

megamerican

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Sep 27, 2010
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The two sides have been talking past each other since the beginning, and I really doubt this ends with some type of reconciliation. I think the net effect of all this is even more people are going to look towards Youtubers to satisfy their particular niche tastes and tune out the rest, which was brought up in the Slate piece.
 

Mononoke

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Dec 26, 2012
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The Zoe Quinn thing is what lit the fuse, but the bulk of the powder in the proverbial keg was the long-standing belief among a lot of people that gaming journalism is corrupt.

Then people started posting articles about how "gamers are over" and a bunch of gamers who felt insulted about being accused of being white male misogynist neckbeards joined the fray.
It wasn't just that. It was apart of it. A certain group of gamers have long rejected any criticism of their hobby, and have been harassing and shouting down anyone that has an opinion or criticism of this medium. This has been going on for a long time. But in recent months it's gotten to a tipping point, as journalists have become more vocal about these issues, and these group of people have been getting more hostile and aggressive with their attacks after being fed up with the collective efforts of the industry's press pushing the same criticisms.

I think, a lot of this is deeply rooted in this. Yes, there has been a lot of gamers who haven't been happy with the press for some time now. Who think there is nepotism and problems in the industry on the media side of things. And yes, those people are now lumped into this fight. The problem is, the war going on between both sides is actually between the assholes that aren't allowing any criticisms of their hobby, who are harassing anyone that speaks out, and those that are activist/journalist who are speaking out on these issues.

That is IMO where a lot of this toxicity is coming from. Again, yes a lot of regular gamers have joined this for the criticisms of the media on the nepotism side of things. But I think the real heat is coming from this minority of gamers waging war against journalist/feminist. The problem is, the collective media/activist went about this argument in the wrong way. Their collective push to "end the gamer label"...pretty much alienated a lot of the people that they want and need as their audience. These people then joined the GamerGate cause, as they saw these articles as an extension of their already established criticisms of the media in this industry.

The reason this issue is so confused, is because people are talking past eachother. Those that have joined it and who have legitimate criticisms of the press, are pissed off at the media trying to push the end of the gamer label (and again, they see this as an extension of a long list of things they have grievances with). When in reality, the media's collected effort to push this, was NOT aimed at them, and it was actually only aimed at the small minority group of gamers waging war on them. Because of this, a bunch of noise is being added to the argument.

To paraphrase what Jason Schreier said about the Slate article, I think they could have hit a home run with their pieces, but instead they hit a foul ball. And it sure backfired on them.
 

Shingro

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Apr 22, 2013
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I think the root of a lot of this is the anonymity and the nature of trolls.

Unfortunately the worst offenders are beyond education. SOME bullies will repent from being called out, but other bullies (most in my opinion) specifically seek the negative attention. It's been as old as Mario appreciation threads on Sega boards.

When you stand up and shout that they're hurting people those trolls are super pumped. After all, that's exactly what they went out to do, hurt people and make other people upset. There's videos out there just of people crushing small furry animals under glass sheets. Why does it exist? To horrify and drink in the negative attention.

The fact the press seems only interested in talking to and about the crazy people isn't shutting them down because the anonymous nature of the internet means there's no real world consequences for their actions. It emboldens them because they know it's working. I'm not surprised that in this largest hubub we've seen the worst behaviors come out to.

The parts of the issue that are highlighted are so vile is also pushes people to these behaviors (hacking doxxing etc.) Remember how at the height of the right vs left rhetoric that Arizona senator got shot in the head? Remember all the sheepish circulated memos on capitol hill to the effect of "We got to tone down this rhetoric...."

Lets tone down this rhetoric. It's not the crusades, it's video games. There ARE reasonable people on both sides to engage. Heck, I think MOST people on BOTH sides are reasonable. It's just they're talking to/about the craziest part of the other side.

When I was in school no amount of authority ever got the bullies off my back, but ignoring them did. It wasn't easy, it was painful and it was absolutely not fair but that's what I've seen get results. I dunno, everyone will respond differently, but it seems like the only thing anyone is doing is shouting, and I just think that's exactly what anonymous trolls love the most.

Personally, I think if you want to mitigate the harmful effects, write a dev/journ you like and tell them how much you like their work. They need to hear the moderate and kind voices too sometimes.
 

Titch1211

Banned
Oct 27, 2013
20
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Can you show or link to some evidence of this?
Alright, I've been a bit hasty with the word bribed, but we have all seen the influence. And we have all seen the shady tweets from reviewers/critiques/people who's opinion that others use to decide which games they're going to buy from talking about how they were coerced or almost coerced. Heck a few have even admitted it I wish I had saved the screencaps of those tweets and kotaku reviews now.


If "corruption" leading to bad reviews is your primary concern then why aren't people still rallying against Gamespot's firing of Gertsmann or the ethics behind early/embargoed reviews?

you're taking a tenuous at best link between sex of consenting adults and positive buzz for an indie title as hard evidence.
Because my concerns and everyones concerns aren't the same? Because others have their priorities mixed up? Because stuff like gamergate comes to the forefront and people forget about everything else?

Also since you've brought the ZQ thing up, journalistic integrity is a thing and there are certain standards which should be upheld, such as not sleeping with people who are reviewing your work and vice versa.

So it's pretty much just the feminist slant you don't like a lot right? If that went away, would you feel as though most of the corruption was stopped?

Modern art went through a long battle against feminism. They resisted for a very long time, but of course they eventually stopped being overbearingly elitist/chauvinistic. As soon as people started to be more accepting of "feminism" there was no more reason for this agenda to be pushed.
No, I have a problem with games journalism as a whole. I think games should be made that target the female demographic of gamers as there is a market there. I just don't think reviews should be influenced by an agenda. If a game is good then a game is good, if it blatantly targets a male audience then a disclaimer is fine. "This game was blatantly made to target a male teenage demographic" devs are allowed to do that their jobs depend on selling games and it is the easiest demographic to sell too. The corruption and the agenda are two different issues that have turned people away from review websites and that has brought this whole gamergate mess up.


If reviews were fair and reviews were all about the game none of this would have happened. I apologise if I've broke a few rules of the thread but it's almost 4am so it seems pointless to dig out sources that the majority have been reading for the past few years on end.
 

Dryk

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Aug 22, 2013
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After learning that Adam Baldwin was now tweeting about it, I found a pretty good Forbes article that surmises the affair well enough. Just putting it out there for people who are confused. It's way more complicated than I could imagine, holy crap I had no idea Total Biscut and Phil Fish were involved.

I don't really know how unbiased the whole article is, but here it is if anyone wants to read it.
Holy crap I never realised the shit-storm that ensued from TB's tweet because I read it, determined it was a measured response I mostly agreed with and moved on. That's completely ridiculous, I mean the developer of Adam Atomic threatened to exploit Youtube's faulty systems to DCMA critique of his games over it.
 

Mik2121

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Count me on the group of people that has missed all this #GamerGate stuff.
It seems to be a movement towards the "game journalism" or whatever they want to call themselves now? Whatever... all this stuff is just people throwing shit at each other, which makes the whole thing that more embarrassing for the whole gaming community.

Then again, you'd think journalists (and some devs) would try and be more mature and know better than just going around mocking or insulting their user base. Same goes for the gamers too.
 

zhorkat

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Jun 25, 2013
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I agree with all of that. I doubt it would make a dent, but "Give support to the people being harassed to help remind them that not everybody on the Internet is an asshole" is a good point.

I guess I don't understand why, upon being harassed, some people have elected to leave their careers rather than leave a particular social media platform. Twitter is a nice idea but it really is heavily flawed in situations like this.
It's not like these people are paid well and have great health insurance and an awesome 401k plan. Some of these people are being funded by supporters on Patreon. When you have a job that doesn't earn you much money and you are only really doing it because it's related to the hobby you love, it really sucks when a bunch of people in that hobby say "Fuck you, we don't want you here", especially when the reason they don't want you here is not very rational and especially when trying to point that out simply leads to more of people saying "fuck you". At that point, I would totally understand someone who would rather just find a different job.
 

Lime

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Apr 27, 2008
26,894
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I would be glad if people weren't depicting this as a dichotomy of sides - Zoe Quinn has now and is still harassed for weeks, Sarkeesian had to leave her home, Phil Fish got doxxed, Jenna Frank got harassed until she had to quit. Likewise with Mattie Brice. It's not a "schoolyard fight" when people are harmed and hurt and having their private life exposed.

So please, stop conceptualizing this as "sides". You automatically legitimize the harassers when you do it.
 

oneils

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Mar 2, 2011
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....If a journalist quits journalism because of mean things said to her on the internet, I'm going to doubt her integrity as a journalist. Simon Ostrovsky was imprisoned and tortured when covering Eastern Ukraine and not long after his release, he was right back on the front, covering the conflict, constantly getting as close to the front line as he was allowed. Others are dying maintaining theirs, to say nothing of the two brave reporters who were murdered by ISIS. What kind of integrity do you need to ignore jackasses on the internet?
ehhhhh. In the grand schemes of things, video games aren't really worth the harassment. I don't think this analogy holds at all. It has zero impact on someone's integrity if they decide to leave the vg "press corps" due to harassment - in my opinion. The subject matter is just not worth it.
 

jschreier

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Jan 6, 2011
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I'm pretty sure you said you accept drinks from publishers/devs at conferences.

You said you didn't think it was a conflict of interest and that it would be rude to refuse someone offering you a drink.

Some people would call that bribery.
This is true. I have no problem letting anyone from a publisher or developer buy me a drink. I might not let them buy me meals, especially as a company -- when I went out for lunch with XSEED a couple of years ago, for example, I paid for myself -- but on an individual basis I'll *occasionally* let a dev or even PR person buy me dinner, though I'll usually try to return the favor.

I also have publisher and developer sources whose names I might never disclose in articles -- even when I write about games that they may have worked on -- because they sometimes tell me things they shouldn't, and ultimately, it serves my readers far more for me to maintain those relationships than it would be for me to do away with them for fear of conflicts of interest. These things are not black and white.

I also asked you if Kotaku followed SPJ's code of ethics, or some other code, to which you never replied.

http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp
I think that's a pretty good code of ethics, and I can't think of any of those rules I don't try to follow, but no, Kotaku does not require its staff to follow any sort of external list of rules.
 

viveks86

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Sep 12, 2013
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Isn't that the whole point of a bribe?
You want to avoid leaving evidence in the first place.

See that suitcase next to you Jason? My Mom gave that to me for my birthday.
But you can take it if you want it...inside has a lot of homemade cookies from my Mom.
I hope you like sweet Jason....And remember to add me to your Steam friend list when you are eating those cookies.
Yuck. Just… yuck.
 

antigoon

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Dec 6, 2011
884
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I would be glad if people weren't depicting this as a dichotomy of sides - Zoe Quinn has now and is still harassed for weeks, Sarkeesian had to leave her home, Phil Fish got doxxed, Jenna Frank got harassed until she had to quit. Likewise with Mattie Brice.

So please, stop conceptualizing this as "sides". You automatically legitimize the harassers when you do it.
Completely agree and think I posted something similar above. The equivalence is disingenuous.
 

lt519

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May 17, 2013
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I think you are maybe missing the point of that quote. He didn't literally mean that all journalists do is post bad news.

The point is that you don't need hard hitting journalism with pristine ethics to get good news. Companies, and governments will jump at the change to give you good news. And why wouldn't they, good news makes them look good. That's why he said good news is advertisement.

Where we really need journalism is to get people to post stories about things that someone doesn't want you to know about. And depending on how much they don't want you to know, they might go to extreme methods to keep a journalist from doing their job. That's where the ethics come in.

That's not to say that all bad news for companies is bad news for gamers. But when some people are emotionally invested in the companies that make their favorite games, there are bound to be people upset when their favorite companies have bad things said about them. That is one of the consequences of bringing real journalism to video games, rather than going back to a time when it was mostly positive previews and puff pieces. That certainly won't be entirety of what journalists report on, and even with true games journalism, there will still be room for enthusiast press I think.
Ah you're right about the quote, not sure how I missed that. Maybe I'm just jaded by the fact that what gets the most press is the negative stories and everything since the release of the new consoles has just been a massive witch hunt.

I agree both can exist, but I'm not sure you can have one writer tackle a piece about how AAA Game Company X exploited their workers and then have the same writer go and review AAA Game Company X's titles. While we like to say things can be kept separate, we're human. It's the best way to ensure integrity, if one person gets close to a developer/publisher for either positive or negative reasons they need to be excluded from also writing reviews for that company, which is very hard to do in an enthusiast atmosphere.
 

BrokenEchelon

Banned
Jun 9, 2010
9,572
0
0
Saint Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.
This is true. I have no problem letting anyone from a publisher or developer buy me a drink. I might not let them buy me meals, especially as a company -- when I went out for lunch with XSEED a couple of years ago, for example, I paid for myself -- but on an individual basis I'll *occasionally* let a dev or even PR person buy me dinner, though I'll usually try to return the favor.

I also have publisher and developer sources whose names I might never disclose in articles -- even when I write about games that they may have worked on -- because they sometimes tell me things they shouldn't, and ultimately, it serves my readers far more for me to maintain those relationships than it would be for me to do away with them for fear of conflicts of interest. These things are not black and white.


I think that's a pretty good code of ethics, and I can't think of any of those rules I don't try to follow, but no, Kotaku does not require its staff to follow any sort of external list of rules.
Thanks for answering.
 

Fredescu

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Jan 30, 2007
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It's not like these people are paid well and have great health insurance and an awesome 401k plan. Some of these people are being funded by supporters on Patreon. When you have a job that doesn't earn you much money and you are only really doing it because you love your hobby, it really sucks when a bunch of people in that hobby say "Fuck you, we don't want you here", especially when the reason they don't want you here is not very rational and especially when trying to point that out simply leads to more people saying "fuck you". At that point, I would totally understand someone who would rather just find a different job.
That's good point. If a critical part of my job was to market myself on Twitter, and I started receiving harassment and threats over it, I would certainly consider doing something else.
 

oneils

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Oh god I'm going to get banned for expressing my opinion here...

This whole situation has stemmed from the fact that gaming journalism just isn't about games anymore. A large amount of games journalists have decided usurp game reviews and use them to push an agenda. This hasn't been helped by the fact that games journalism is almost completely morally corrupt.

Reviewers are being bribed by developers
This is leading to unreliable review scores

Reviewers are pushing an agenda which most of the time has nothing to do with the game being reviewed
This is leading to bad reviews

A portion of review websites are relying on "clickbait" to stay afloat
This leads to the spreading of misinformation as clickbait articles are almost always sensationalised.

This whole gamergate thing might have came about from right or wrong reasons. We have extremists on both sides that are the bad apples ruining the bunch for everybody. But we do have one big problem that needs addressing and that is the current state of games journalism.
They are not pushing an agenda. They are engaging in criticism. It has its own tradition. We can't have it both ways. We can't expect seriousness in games journalism if we won't allow the journalists/reviewers to actually engage in criticism. Rhodes' article does a fantastic job in explaining this.
 

mbpm1

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Dec 13, 2013
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This whole fiasco is so unreal to me. It's like my escapist fantasy is being hijacked by the real world.
 

andymcc

Banned
Dec 17, 2007
14,908
3
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I would be glad if people weren't depicting this as a dichotomy of sides - Zoe Quinn has now and is still harassed for weeks, Sarkeesian had to leave her home, Phil Fish got doxxed, Jenna Frank got harassed until she had to quit. Likewise with Mattie Brice. It's not a "schoolyard fight" when people are harmed and hurt and having their private life exposed.

So please, stop conceptualizing this as "sides". You automatically legitimize the harassers when you do it.
Not only that but using language like "bigotry" to describe aversion to someone's hobby of choice as if it is their race or religious conviction.
 

Mononoke

Banned
Dec 26, 2012
20,941
0
0
Los Angeles, CA
I would be glad if people weren't depicting this as a dichotomy of sides - Zoe Quinn has now and is still harassed for weeks, Sarkeesian had to leave her home, Phil Fish got doxxed, Jenna Frank got harassed until she had to quit. Likewise with Mattie Brice.

So please, stop conceptualizing this as "sides". You automatically legitimize the harassers when you do it.
That's what happens when you present an argument in a way that draws sides, but doesn't do a good enough job presenting it to their audience. A lot of this "side' stuff, is a result of the media's collected effort to push the same message, and it backfiring in a big way. Now you have people taking sides, when they don't even really understand where all of this is actually coming from.

You basically have two issues being conflated (the long established criticisms of the media that people have had for a while now, and a bunch of assholes waging war on those that dare have a criticism or opinion of their hobby).
 

Dragonborn

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I'd love to see you explain this.
Thr say I've seen it explained is thay, by making the videos she knows exactly the risks and what she'll be getting as a response. Is this right? No, but guess what, I could be on twitter and other boards calling out the harassers and they wouldn't guve a damn, they will still harass no matter what. So in a sense it's kind if like seeing a beehive and going out to hit it with a stick then complaining about getting sting. I don't entirely agree with this but I can see what people mean by it

Now here's the thing, unlike many of the press who swear off gamers and say they'll quit, I'm pretty sure Sarkeesian hasn't quit. I disagree with her on mostly everything but it's good to see her continuing even knowing the vitriol she'll receive.
 

Lunar15

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I'm not well read up on the issue, so I apologize if this is curt, but I think it's telling that of all the opportunities people have had to really force a "better standards in gaming journalism" movement in social media, they picked the time that it revolved around someone who was a woman, particularly a woman who also had a decent amount of stuff to say about treatment of women in the industry. If you can't see the ulterior motive there, you might need to stay out of the movement for a while.

I'm sure plenty of people who've been waving around the #gamergate hashtag truly believe that this is inclusive and about something far "above" feminism/misogyny. But sometimes you've really got to look around you and see what you're getting associated with.

Quite frankly, I've never liked the term "gamer" from a personal standpoint, but that's just because I believe that defining yourself and your personality by a form of consumption is just kind of weird. I love games, I work in the industry, and I come to a gaming forum every day. But that's not really enough for me to attach a label to it that defines who I am. The key misconception here is that labels don't really make you who you are: how you act and what you do make you who you are. It's not enough to huddle around under a common name, champion it, and say it's inclusive. You have to look around and go, "hey, is this really something that's including all kinds of people?" Once you do that, you'll probably see that it's not as inclusive as you thought.
 

TheLight

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The ground rules in the OP make me scared to post anything, quite frankly but I'm gonna go for it.

I do think that there is an issue here. This isn't about Quinn. Nor is it about some feminist or misogynist agenda. The morons attacking any of the people mentioned in this thread are morons and are not to be indicative of the entire movement. People are TRYING to be civil about this. The issue rises when the people attempting to be civil are just dismissed and called a bunch of buzzwords in a McCartney esque fashion.

"Sexist and mysoginist" are now being thrown around by people and journalists towards gamers in an attempt to dismiss any criticisms. That kills ANY discussion which is the opposite of what we need right now. What we need is progress. What we need is understanding. Neither side are trying to do that right now.

This is a tangent, but I think games and studio have been slammed by backlash of miniscule things like a character saying a controversial word and a game not having a female protagonist for whatever reason. I feel like this era of gaming is crippled by name-calling and agendas of how a sect of gamers demand things to be as opposed to vision.

Personal relationships between journalists and developers are becoming intertwined.It's like a web. Journalists are writing pieces about the games people they are/were friends or in a relationship with made. Shit like this is why #GamerGate is happening. Not because of harassment or misogyny. Not to mention the ethical dilemma or journalists, writing about these game devs, also giving money to them on things like Kickstarter, Patreon, etc. People in #GamerGate don't hate women. They hate the current state of the journalism industry.
 

Orayn

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However — and this is probably going to ruffle some feathers — Anita Sarkeesian probably shouldn't be making those videos in the first place.
I don't understand how this thought is supported by anything in the rest of the post. You admit that women are objectified and sexualized in video games. You think it wouldn't be a bad thing if this situation improved. But it's not okay to point out examples of the aforementioned problems because..?

Because the problems aren't exclusive to video games?
Because you don't personally notice much blatant anti-woman sentiment?
Because some people incorrectly interpret criticism as a personal attack and react poorly?

Help me out here, please.

EDIT: Oh.
 

Gsak

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I'll quote what I said in the Games Journalism thread.

I used to be pro GamerGate, because I do want corruption to be minimized/stopped if possible. But after Jenn Frank being driven out and attacked by people (including MRAs who hijacked the GamerGate tag) who didn't even know who she was and what her work was, I'm done.

Some of GamerGate's points are interesting and deserve to be discussed, but this ended up being a hate parade. And I won't be a part of it. If anything I plan to write a piece about this whole mess.

Apart from the obvious morons from every side who are bigots, Twitter acting like an echo chamber does not help at all.
 

Shingro

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Leigh’s article really resonated with me and I think it’s unfortunate that people have reacted to it in the way they have because there’s a lot of important truths there.

I’ve worked in AAA gaming for a long time, but when talking with new people I often bend over backward to not talk about my job or to say I’m a “software engineer” before quickly diverting the conversation elsewhere. I’m just not proud of what I do, but it’s not that I’m not proud of my work, it’s that I’m not proud of everything that surrounds my work, which is the game industry, and the gamer culture that people think of before they think of the games themselves. Whereas at one point a “gamers” were innocent geeks, increasingly the community is associated with toxic trolling and hate. Maybe not everyone I talk to knows these gross things about gaming culture, but I know this, and so I don't want to claim being a gamer. I want to distance myself as much as possible from hateful people, but then I’m reading this stuff coming from the mouths of gamers every day and it’s incredibly depressing.

Gaming culture needs a huge reset.
Gaming culture was never gaming culture though. Since the 1990s the culture around 4x strategy games was nowhere close to the people who were playing NES Iron Tank. Gaming has also just kept more and more diversified, indie games are not CoD are not pokemon are not MMOs are not Madden are not Street Fighter are not Blazblue. Heck even MMOs have diffierent cultures depending on the MMO (TERA has a different culture from Wildstar which is different from WOW in culture if not play mechanics) And that gets to even further different cultures along country lines, Visual Novels, anime fighters, and Eroge even.

"Gaming" culture has never been more then a mirage. Right now it's a mirage people are setting up as a bogeyman. The last time this happened we went through a couple years the general populous thought "Gamer" was shorthand for "Violent Teen"

Don't encourage that behavior by conceding to the insane generalization that requires only a moment's thought on demographics to disprove.

I do hope pride in your work finds you someday. There's a valued place for AAA in the enormous gaming space quilt too.
 

rrc1594

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Can someone give me a quick summary of what this is, I read of Forbes it started with a blog about some female named Zoe?
 
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Whats the endgame here bring this the media like CNN and hope they do a story on it
because that won't happen all they will do is make fun of us and make this industry look bad
and that the last thing we need right now This whole thing will just end badly for all of us
but really were all just waiting for the glass to break
 

Suzushiiro

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This is true. I have no problem letting anyone from a publisher or developer buy me a drink. I might not let them buy me meals, especially as a company -- when I went out for lunch with XSEED a couple of years ago, for example, I paid for myself -- but on an individual basis I'll *occasionally* let a dev or even PR person buy me dinner, though I'll usually try to return the favor.

I also have publisher and developer sources whose names I might never disclose in articles -- even when I write about games that they may have worked on -- because they sometimes tell me things they shouldn't, and ultimately, it serves my readers far more for me to maintain those relationships than it would be for me to do away with them for fear of conflicts of interest. These things are not black and white.
I think the line between "okay" and "not okay" in these sorts of things boils down to "who benefits more from this relationship, the readers or the developers/publishers?" If you're friends with a developer and use that relationship to get insider information that your readers want to know, that's fine. If you're friends with a developer and use your position as a journalist to give them attention that they otherwise wouldn't get (be it via good reviews or giving them coverage in general,) that's pretty fucking terrible.
 

mbpm1

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Whats the endgame here bring this the media like CNN and hope they do a story on it
because that won't happen all they will do is make fun of us and make this industry look bad
and that the last thing we need right now This whole thing will just end badly for all of us
but really were all just waiting for the glass to break
I have to agree. I can't see how this is supposed to end. What goals is GamerGate trying to achieve?
 

jschreier

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I'll quote what I said in the Games Journalism thread.
Kudos. I admire your willingness to turn away from this horrible campaign in the face of what happened to Jenn. I hope this thread makes for a good place to discuss these issues, and if you have any more questions for me, let me know and I'll do my best to answer.
 

publicpwnerer

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Can you show or link to some evidence of this?
Exclusive "review events", where people are pampered all day long. The accepting of gifts, particularly one notable incident is the Microsoft E3 Xbox 360 Slim giveaway. Sony giving away free PS4's pre-launch to various "journalists" and bloggers.

Publisher VIP parties, the various strict contingencies in which reviewers get free, review copy / code for games. Hasn't there been a handful of outlets being refused review copies due to low review scores?


This is pretty basic PR / business stuff. Greasing palms and paving the way to favourable reciprocal sentiment.
 

mbpm1

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If you're friends with a developer and use your position as a journalist to give them attention that they otherwise wouldn't get (be it via good reviews or giving them coverage in general,) that's pretty fucking terrible.
Realistically though, how would you determine which is which?
 

~Kinggi~

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After learning that Adam Baldwin was now tweeting about it, I found a pretty good Forbes article that surmises the affair well enough. Just putting it out there for people who are confused. It's way more complicated than I could imagine, holy crap I had no idea Total Biscut and Phil Fish were involved.

I don't really know how unbiased the whole article is, but here it is if anyone wants to read it.
That writeup was excellent, should be in the OP.
 

jschreier

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I think the line between "okay" and "not okay" in these sorts of things boils down to "who benefits more from this relationship, the readers or the developers/publishers?" If you're friends with a developer and use that relationship to get insider information that your readers want to know, that's fine. If you're friends with a developer and use your position as a journalist to give them attention that they otherwise wouldn't get (be it via good reviews or giving them coverage in general,) that's pretty fucking terrible.
Right. You are 100% spot on. But nuance like that is lost when people's arguments come in the form of meme-style images with big red lines all over them to denote "conflicts of interest" uncovered by 4chan and Redditors.
 
I'll quote what I said in the Games Journalism thread.
I was never fully behind it, but what has happened made sure I never would be. This entire sequence of events just sucks. There's no other way to put it. I echo SteveYoungBlood's sentiment of feeling like "I'm too old for this shit" at this point. Its exhaustive and needs to stop. This is gone too far.

Reading the articles in the OP helps. There really is no 'quick' summary.

Erik Kain also had a nice piece on Forbes which may be what you're talking about.
I think Erik's article is probably my favorite write up on all of this.
 

Zornack

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If you're friends with a developer and use your position as a journalist to give them attention that they otherwise wouldn't get (be it via good reviews or giving them coverage in general,) that's pretty fucking terrible.
I disagree. I think it's fine, but only if that relationship is disclosed. With how weird game journalism is these days there's no way relationships won't form between developers (especially indies) and journalists. But if you're a room mate/tenant/landlord/close friend/sexual partner/funder/fundee of a developer, or ever have been, make sure your boss and your readers knows before you write something about them.
 

udivision

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Whats the endgame here bring this the media like CNN and hope they do a story on it
because that won't happen all they will do is make fun of us and make this industry look bad
and that the last thing we need right now This whole thing will just end badly for all of us
but really were all just waiting for the glass to break
There is no "endgame." We've been having this discussion for a while, and we will continue to have. There's no law to pass, no election to win, and no system to replace.

The issues raised won't be fixed anytime soon. The people debating will just forget about it for a while until something happens that brings it back to the forefront.

I think that's kind of the sad part, but that goes with the territory of "raising awareness" or starting a conversation. It'll be a long time before this discussion will bear real, concrete fruit. Until then we're all kind of trekking through manure.
 

Sir TapTap

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This "both sides" nonsense needs to stop until someone can show me examples of #gamergate people receiving the type of harassment Sarkeesian, Quinn, Frank, Fish, etc have received.
I don't think anyone is saying that. The only "sides" I've brought up personally are the people very angrily using "gamer" as an insult and those defending the term specifically, and as previously mentioned I think it's incredibly unfair t o attribute either "side" of that discussion as supporters of harassment.

There's like 3 tangentially at best related issues here. Harassment is not a necessary part of criticizing games journalism is not a necessary part of "eliminating" the word "gamer". Assuming anyone is supporting harassment without an explicit statement to that effect is connecting dots that may not be and quite frankly probably aren't there.

I agree with all of that. I doubt it would make a dent, but "Give support to the people being harassed to help remind them that not everybody on the Internet is an asshole" is a good point.

I guess I don't understand why, upon being harassed, some people have elected to leave their careers rather than leave a particular social media platform. Twitter is a nice idea but it really is heavily flawed in situations like this.
There are only so many things you can do to avoid harassment, and honestly just one "taste" of it is pretty brutal so just avoiding further instances isn't a complete solution. But for journalism or any sort of content creation, you're making stuff for an audience and you really can't be completely separate from that.

You're going to need some place to interact with and keep up with developers and such, and even if that method is completely private and foolproof, there's still contact emails, article comments, GAF threads. It would be really hard to just up and ignore everything coming at you and you probably wouldn't be able to perform your job properly if you managed to find a way to do so.

Whats the endgame here bring this the media like CNN and hope they do a story on it
because that won't happen all they will do is make fun of us and make this industry look bad
and that the last thing we need right now This whole thing will just end badly for all of us
but really were all just waiting for the glass to break
It's already hit Slate (with a fairly reasonable article, in OP) and Al Jazeera (apparently with a completely shitty one). I didn't read and won't link the Al Jazeera one, but it sounds like they singled out Jenn Frank extremely hardcore and unfairly. I'm not sure anyone reasonable thinks bringing this to "mainstream" journalism will solve anything, they never cover stuff like this well.
 
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