Zen Of Design

The design and business of gaming from the perspective of an experienced developer

The Problem With GamerGate is Twitter

Damion notes: Dave Rickey is one of the smartest designers I know. He also violently disagrees with me on many aspects of my opinions about #gamergate, what its origins are, and what impact social justice issues have – as you can see if you read my comments threads here on Zen. He tends to be more pro-GG and I tend to be anti-GG, but in general, both of us have been trending towards a shared ‘pox on both their houses’ stance. He made the following comment on Facebook, and I asked if I could reprint this in its entirety, and he agreed.


Proposed: The problem in “‪#‎gamergate‬” is not misogyny, or corruption in games journalism. The problem is Twitter. Twitter is a breeding ground for social dysfunction, where you are lulled into a sense of community and comradery because everyone you follow and everyone that follows you are basically in agreement. The only things that can penetrate the bubble are “Outrage Porn” being retweeted into it, and attacks responding to outrage porn that is being passed around other bubbles.

There’s no room for nuance or in-depth discussion, and anyone who makes the mistake of trying will see their lengthy and thoughtful think-piece distilled down to a barely-true (if that) 140 character sound bite that will be used as a new piece of outrage porn.

Everything devolves into a screaming match, where the side that screams longest and loudest shouts down the other. It doesn’t matter what the facts are, who the actual people are, only which side can sustain their outrage the longest.

People I like and respect are acting shamefully, “signal boosting” and engaging in sweeping generalizations, cutting off and shunning people they’ve known for years because they showed the slightest lack of resolve and agreement. And the dividing line between people who are willing to consider nuance and those that do not seems to be their level of Twitter activity. If you’re monitoring twitter in real-time, you wind up picking a camp and committing to it 100%, as wave after wave after wave of groupthink and outrage sweeps aside all other considerations.

For the love of God, if you’re even *considering* cutting off contact with someone you know personally because of something they are saying about this clusterfuck, do yourself a favor: Turn off your twitter account and walk away. Ignore it for a few days. Then, *after* your withdrawal, ask yourself if attitudes and judgement frames you received from Twitter are really more important than personal ties.

69 Comments

  1. A great point, i read once or twice already, but which can’t be repeated often enough.
    What’s unsettling though, is that mainstream media and quite a few institutions are watching hashtags and such more and more closely, giving this behaviour seemingly more and more legitimacy.

  2. Damion Schubert

    September 24, 2014 at 9:35 pm

    Agreed. Ironically, everything that’s wrong with #gamergate is also everything that is wrong with American politics. Everybody just clamors to two or three poles, and people who want to say ‘hey, I agree with Barack Obama on most things, but this NSA thing is bullshit’ get ignored or ordered to pick a side.

  3. tl;dr.

    ;D

    There’s always an issue when dichotomic culture clashes with grey/nuance culture, as well. Not that twitter can handle nuance in the first place.

  4. We have all had to deal with trolls, a-holes, hacker kids, and gamers/fans/haters of all stripes for years. The one redeeming quality of all them (to me) was that they were always gamers – and that was an enthusiasm and love that we all shared. That passion made people do crazy things. As easy as it could have been, I never lost respect for the audience. The people we make games for – even some of the bad ones. That’s our business, and I HOPE its why we all still do this. Love for the art AND for the fans. Two sides of the same coin.

    This group of gamers for #GamerGate are angry. PISSED. I don’t think this incident with Ms. Quinn and the media are the direct cause of this exclusively, but rather a spark that blew up some smoldering issues that have been building for years. This level of anger and commitment by these gamers is intense, and its growing. Something is wrong here, this is abnormal.

    My opinion:

    Its not about Social Justice warriors, that has always been a strong influence in gaming. Sometimes its annoying, sure, but it can also be a positive force as well, a much-needed conscience, and a reminder to us all to consider what we create says and means to people of all ages and backgrounds.

    Its not really about ethics. Games Media and Games Development have always been intertwined like Siamese twins. We depend on each other greatly, and this relationship (when properly balanced) benefits games and gamers as a whole.

    I think the real problem here is alienation. Not of values. That’s misguided. Its not liberal/conservative values, politics, or world-view. Its fear of being meaningless. Its about our loss of connection between ordinary gamers and the games industry. We are losing our connection with people. I think our industry has been drifting further and further away from our fans, as our business get larger, and our global reach gets broader. This lack of a relationship, of mutual feedback, of a personal connection between ourselves and the audience (I believe) is really the true culprit of most deep seated anger here. There is no connection with us, no trust, not even understanding. Yet gamers depend more and more on us for their primary entertainment (important!) and we absolutely depend on them as customers. Yet, our relationship – is increasingly one-sided. They being the unit sale, the % converted on the acquisition funnel, or the revenue target – not the person, the player, the gamer who is (or was) exactly like all of us. We NEED them, and they KNOW we need them. They NEED us too – but have we forgotten that? Do we sometimes feel, we don’t really need them?

    This alienation and dependency brings about epic rage – think banks, cellular providers, airlines, cable companies and the hate those relationships generate with customers who NEED that service but get treated like beasts… that’s our future (some would say our present). And in this environment, a back-handed slap to a mass group of gamers who are mass-labeled “misogynists” “rapists” “gamers are dead” “Games ashamed” are just *fighting words* yelled by a distant, contemptuous, un-connected gaming entity that is part of the establishment elite – and this same recipe (the exact same spark) of every single race/political/protest riot the world over from the beginning of time. And like every protest, there are those who support the activists and those who support law & order, and the establishment. But the root cause of the event is usually NOT what they are yelling and fighting about, but something much deeper, and harder to explain.

    Usually being oppressed, insulted, or just generally being abused and invisible.

    And in this outburst of anger, some of the media turned and fired into the gamer protesters, which then became a riot.

    Both sides now dehumanize the other, making it easier to escalate. I wish I knew how to diffuse it.

    Your friend,
    Chris

    • Alienation, yes.

      How much does anyone really want to know about how video games get made? How much incentive do game players have to recognize and respect that 1) games are made by humans and 2) even if you don’t like what they make or what they say, you should respect their humanity?

      There’s this show called Indie Van Game Jam. There are several of them like it, but it’s a really good show. Three guys who used to work at Bioware Austin prototype a game on the way to visit indie studios around North America, and film themselves.

      You can hear their brainstorming, you can watch their work ethic. The best parts are where the humanity comes through, and they talk about games in ways that most people don’t get to hear from devs. Because devs don’t usually talk like that about games among regular people.

      I really like that show, Indie Van Game Jam. Most common reaction to it when people read about it, or react to their Greenlight on Steam? “Who would want to watch that?” “Why would you work on a game for only a few days?” “Why would I want to play unfinished games?”

      Conclusion: Game players really don’t want to know how the sausage is made. Game projects don’t really want it known how the sausage was made, until well after it’s shipped. Game developers are typically bad about showing their own humanity in a way others would appreciate, and have no incentive to try.

      The solution lies within. It’s not a switch you can flick or button you can push. There are efforts under way that probably aren’t being undermined all that much by the events of the past week. The resolution may lead to better things, though.

      We’ll all be impatient as we’ve ever been for that to come. Good post, Chris.

      • Hey J! I totally agree. You and I both remember the knock down , drag out fights we all used to have on message boards and at trade shows a decade before, but we are too polished for that kind of grittyness today. I don’t miss the excesses of those days, but I do miss the authenticity and the debates with strong opinions. Damion and Dave too – I think all of us were center stage then, often.

        I miss the arenas to have these open conversations. To debate this stuff with peers. We chicken out on these topics at GDC and PAX sometimes – because there isn’t a lot of upside, and a ton of risk.

        But as you say, the Humanity is what we have forgotten how to communicate. I think the Games Media a little as well. We know them, they know us, but our fans generally don’t know either of us. We need to build better bridges.

        Definately need to get more transparent about how and why we make our games, and decisions we have to make, or struggle to make. Bioware is really great at this. Lot of great studios are too. I think there is an opportunity there to allow for dialogue with fans as well. Its easy to forget how invested they are in the outcomes, but you are correct – tradeoffs of development are very hard to understand, and cause confusion and anger. The sausage never tasts as good after seeing the grinder.

        But then again, sometimes a little understanding of the process is good for the afficianados. Maybe good for our souls as well to be a little more open.

        Happy to see your posts as always John,
        Chris

        • “I miss the arenas to have these open conversations. To debate this stuff with peers. We chicken out on these topics at GDC and PAX sometimes – because there isn’t a lot of upside, and a ton of risk.”

          Hey Chris,

          All salient points but I wonder if that one is perhaps the most important.

          As the industry has grown it has become more risk averse in every way. And because of that aversion to risk, political agendisers have discovered they can use backlash as a lever to shutdown discussion. The labelling of gamers as ‘misogynists’, ‘rapists’ & ‘wife beaters’ is one such lever. The development community has been complicit by doing *nothing* to stand up for the players. The upside seemed small and the risk large.

          For me, #gamergate is a backlash against the backlash; Gamers standing up for themselves, because although developers/publishers have been happy to take their money, they haven’t stood up for their audience when they’ve been vilified for playing their games.

          Sadly, I don’t see the industry becoming less risk averse any time soon.

          Scott

          • “The labelling of gamers as ‘misogynists’, ‘rapists’ & ‘wife beaters’ is one such lever.

            Literally nobody is doing this. If anyone HAS said this, it was almost certainly sarcastic/a joke. NOBODY IS SAYING THAT GAMERS ARE ALL SEXIST/RACIST/RAPISTS/WIFE BEATERS PLEASE UNDERSTAND THIS.

            What they are saying is that games often have elements of misogyny, racism, homophobia, rape culture et al in them. This is because they are products of a sexist/racist/homophobic/etc culture. Almost every work of fiction has these problems; that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy them.

            I mean, for crying out loud, Gamer’s #1 Public Enemy Anita Sarkeesian strictly says at the beginning of every video that enjoying problematic media isn’t wrong nor does it make you a bad person.

        • This is a problem I’ve seen develop more and more within the western world of gaming. Were I still it still happening in japan, I see more japanese devs/creators come out and talk to their fans. Whether that game is questionable or not to some people’s tastes.

          We see more and more western devs and increasing so in the indie scene just treat their customers like crap. If you did that in Japan or most other countries it would suicide. I mean the only japanese dev I can think of who comes out as abrasive online is Kamiya but that’s mostly because the limits of Twitter. At live events and when he meets with fans he’s quite nice.

          Sorry if I sound like I’m rambling but that’s really what has pushed me away from a lot of western games is the mentality of some of the devs.

          Another part of western culture that has pushed me away recently to just abandon it, is that a lot of creators don’t let their product speak for itself. I mean we see games include minorities/all genders, which is great and I want more of that. What is irritating though is they more and more use that as a selling point when they could just let it talk for themselves. I see plenty of works from Asia that have the same things that these games have had for years, but they never make it a selling point because they mostly let their product speak for itself.

          tl;dr Be nice to your customers if they legitmate complaints and let your product speak for itself and stop being pretentious. *not aimed at you but some others*

        • Hey Chris, hey John. After giving this time to stew and think about it, I wanted to add my opinion to this.

          I think you’re right that the root cause of this is alienation. This is our hobby, one that devs and pubs have built up on the backs of us, your paying customers, and we’ve been told almost non-stop for many years now “No your hobby is bad and you should feel bad because I say so”. It started with violence, and now that that’s been thoroughly debunked- not just the violence part but also how we can be influenced by media in this manner- it’s sexism. Constant, low-grade alienation from the people that are supposed to be in the positions of communication between us and you guys.

          But I don’t think it’s because we don’t want to understand you or the process of how things are done, either.

          Look at public opinion of Greenlight and how it’s been viewed for awhile now- it’s seen as a corrupt process through which any pile of crap can potentially come through- and in some cases has, before. People don’t trust it. There is no real interest in the system when there is no trust inherant to it, unlike the original concept. So why would gamers be interested at yet another thing coming through that pipeline without any, to their knowledge, credentials otherwise? Given the propensity for indie games to be half-finished messes- if not by Sturgeon’s Law then by simple evaluation of the amount of shovelware available- how is that comparison not a fair initial position? Hell, this is the -first time- I’ve even heard of this “Indie Van Game Jam”. Why has no one given any mention to it before? I see a mention in the Austin Chronicle, one for Turnstyle News, and nore little sites that have tiny readerbases in comparison. Only just two days ago did Kotaku bother to do a piece on them, more than a year after they started doing all this. Where was the coverage then, to educate people as to what was going on & who were involved?

          This is what we’re angry against. This obvious bias towards anyone not part of their clique, not part of their ideology. Feel free to read through this conversation ( http://pastebin.com/9eMph1X3 ) yourselves, and see how it’s looked down upon by some of the people who involve themselves in games journalism. Look for how they discuss Bioware in a negative light. These people are all in thick with the rest of those on ‘the other side’ of things, and we’ve already seen one instance of people trying to control the narrative in the GameJournoPro list. Is it really that hard to believe similar things haven’t happened over the past four years of its existance?

          • Damion Schubert

            September 26, 2014 at 10:38 pm

            They have a point of view. It goes in the blender as developers forged games. It is a TINY portion in the blender.

            On SWTOR I had people who complained that our bikinis were too slutty. I had others who complained there weren’t speedos. I had violent disagreements over whether Ewoks and Gungans should be included (“But I WANT to kill Jar-Jar! He killed my childhood!”) Designers just roll all of that feedback in.

            No, seriously. I don’t think you have any idea how often SJW-type concerns get listened to. It’s not enough, really. In most cases, hell in fact in nearly all cases, we lean into the known formula we know our existing paying audience wants, because that’s by far the safe bet.

    • Wow … and here I had deluded myself into thinking that nobody at EA understood us [gamers]. Chris, I think that you have just given one of the most concise and accurate description of the driving factors behind #GamerGate that I’ve ever seen. The sad part is, if more people had understood the root of that anger, that alienation, none of this would have happened. This would have died out like all the other gaming storm in a teapot scandals do. Unfortunately, it’s too late for that now. It’s one thing to be insulted, slandered and alienated as a bigot and a misogynist, it’s another to find yourself silenced at every gaming watering hole if you try to speak up in your defense. The effort to keep people quiet about this issue is the very thing that has caused it to explode so violently.

    • This is the most level-headed post I’ve read in a week. Thank you for trying to understand the situation. This isn’t even about any particular person in general, no more than the French Revolution was about Marie Antoinette.

      This is the apotheosis of almost a decade of abuse from gaming journalists. It is one thing to be insulted and demeaned by outsiders who don’t understand gaming, another thing entirely to be called vicious falsehoods by the gaming journalist community.

      Yes, any sensible adult knows that the press is largely controlled by PR agencies and game journos are no exception. That’s not why people are so pissed off. It’s the blatant arrogance, the smug attitude of people who lie to your face, knowing they can get away with it scot free, all because they have the press on their side. And those people would have successfully swept this under the rug had they not tried so hard to censor speech on Reddit, 4chan, and other places.

      The more these people try and censor us, the more pissed off we become. And unlike regular Americans, who have the attention span of a gnat, we will not let this go. It has been brewing beneath the surface for far too long and, in the words of Adam Baldwin, “Gamers are programmed to win.”

    • ” Yet, our relationship – is increasingly one-sided. They being the unit sale, the % converted on the acquisition funnel, or the revenue target – not the person, the player, the gamer who is (or was) exactly like all of us. We NEED them, and they KNOW we need them. They NEED us too – but have we forgotten that? Do we sometimes feel, we don’t really need them?”
      I have to disagree on this point, Chris. Or at least, on the very end part.

      Gamers don’t really need the gaming media anymore. More and more, the internet has connected gamers directly to developers. Live coverage of E3, the Nintendo Direct and Treehouse, hell the ability to just go and look up a gameplay video on Youtube – more and more middlemen are made obsolete.

      Nintendo’s worked this out. They needed a way to get through the bias the gaming media has against them, so they decided to reach out directly to the consumer while ignoring the bloggers. For the most part, its worked really well for them. And other companies are taking note – wasn’t it rumored that Microsoft are going to attempt to follow in Nintendo’s footsteps a little bit?

      Really, its only a matter of time before the gaming media’s cut out from the loop entirely. Keeping journalists entertained and happy is an expensive prospect – all those Nexus tablets that Ubisoft’s been handing out can’t be cheap, after all. Then there’s the fear that their game will be smeared because of some political aspect the journalist disagrees with – Just look at that whole Dragon’s Crown thing a while back. At some point, developers are going to realize that the gaming media is more of an expense than a benefit.

      The same goes for the consumer. More and more, websites like Kotaku are filled with irrelevant clickbait, and actual information on video games – you know, what people go to these sites for in the first place – are becoming more and more scarce. And, hell, what information IS there is, more often than not, simply regurgitated from some publically available source when its not twisted around to fit some political agenda. Why read about the new so and so trailer when you can just pop on over to Youtube and see it for yourself? Why not just go over to such and such’s website and read their press release directly? Why bother with gaming media at all? They’re just not needed anymore. Unless, of course, you want to hear about how awful a person you are, you white, male, misogynist, basement-dwelling nerd.

      Honestly, I fear that this scandal will be the death knell for gaming media as we know it, especially with the awful way they’ve been handing the situation.

      • In a post above yours, “Kain Yusanagi” said he never heard of “Indie Van Game Jam” before I wrote about it here. Kotaku finally got around to doing their own coverage for it, this week. The videos have been on Youtube for months.

        The answer to your question is, curation matters. The Internet is full of information, way more than anyone can parse. There are still interests that will make an effort to steer your attention one way or another.

        But make no mistake about it, Nintendo controlling its own message is not without difficulty. I remember reading Nintendo Power when I was a kid, and I agree it’s been good about reaching out.

        I would posit, however, that it’s not really about providing information. It’s about making people feel *good*. It might be about making people feel like they’re part of the process, or are getting good information.

        That can happen without actually informing anyone.

        Unless you’re consuming every possible bit of information there is, you will miss out unless it’s someone’s job to say hey, look at this.

        Maybe that doesn’t matter to you anymore. If you want to swear off all traditional media outlets because a list compiled by someone else tells you that you should, go ahead. Without knowing how much media you consumed beforehand, I can’t make any value judgment about how informed you were.

        But I would caution that you’re not doing this for the right reasons if you think you can rely on information served up straight from video game publishers. Because they have way more incentive to skew the truth their way than any “journalist” with an “agenda.”

        • When you’ve got outlets giving games like Dragon Age 2 10/10s and calling it ‘darker, sexier, better’, and getting journalists fired because they didn’t toe the party line with a game like, oh I dunno, Kane and Lynch 2, I’d say the ship’s already sailed on that aspect.

          Why bother hearing a PR statement from someone pretending to be impartial, when you can hear it from someone who’s being honest with their biases?

          • You do recall that the result of Jeff Gerstmann getting fired from Gamespot for his K&L review was him creating GiantBomb, right?

            So, you saw the quote I made from him below, right?

    • Normally, a situation like this would have started a dialogue in the media where people on either side would discuss the various issues and problems. Light would be shed and some kind of consensus would have been reached. In this instance, that has not happened. Gamergate has been completely ignored by the sources gamers thought they could rely on.
      Chris, you said you didn’t know how to diffuse it. I believe the answer is quite clear. Talk about it. Let the stories and opinions fly. It may be make ugly but what’s going on now is uglier. Just your little comment here has done more to promote the needed dialogue than IGN, Gamespot, Kotaku, and Polygon have done combined. For that you need to be commended.

    • Damion Schubert

      September 27, 2014 at 5:31 am

      I just want to confirm that this is, in fact, Chris Mancil, who currently holds a position as a (the?) Director of Digital Communications at Electronic Arts. However, he was pretty surprised at how viral this went, and wants everyone to know he was speaking in his capacity as a private individual, and not as a member of Electronic Arts (a disclaimer I also make for everything I say as well).

      I have been cajoling him to write up a longer piece, but to be honest, I think being read aloud on a Youtube show kind of freaked him out a little. =/

  5. When did we start thinking we were better than them? Hell, when did “we” stop being *part* of “them”?

    10 years ago, we were *all* “gamers”. We had no trouble differentiating between the trolls, the “griefers”, and “gamers”, and it would never even occur to us that “we” as developers, or “we” as games journalists, were not part of “we” as gamers. I was all three at the same freaking time, and nobody seemed to think that there was anything weird about that at all.

    Even those few academics that were involved at the time were definitely part of “us”, gamers that had a rather odd way of mixing their day job with their hobby. Yet a mere decade later and we’re split into camps so alienated from each other than we’re treating each other as “them”, the inexplicable and unempathetic other?

    What. The. Fuck?

    –Dave

    • “When did we start thinking we were better than them? Hell, when did “we” stop being *part* of “them”?”

      For most developers?

      Project day one.

      Most don’t mean to, but most people don’t become game developers because they’re especially good at relating to their fellow man on an emotional or intellectual level.

      That’s why developers need to rely on communications pros to handle the outside world.

      I’d further wager that the notion that regular folks are on the same level as professional game developers is where most of the push for user-created content comes from. Game developers spend so much time among people who love creating stuff for games, they don’t realize most people are not cut out for doing that stuff and do not find it fun.

      Don’t deny the wall is there. Just be sure to have someone shout over it or build a window for it or whatever it takes to keep the relationship healthy, for the sake of the game.

    • Nailed it Dave.

      The danger here for all of us, and as an industry, is the number of people who don’t play games at all, or perhaps – don’t even like games. Or worse, really don’t like gamers.

      We often joke about the sad truth of working in video games, is that you never have time to play them. But the truth of that joke is actually very frightening long term. We have to eat our own, hopefully delicious, dogfood! And love the taste of other’s dogfood as well.

      One of the things I admire about Riot Games – is that no one will get hired there without extensive League of Legends experience, even in Finance and Legal. And they check. You have to love it to be there. Blizzard is similar.

      The downside of this thinking, is that gaming is becoming so much broader now with mobile and interactive… so, what is a gamer these days? Is it inclusive or exclusive? But I think someone who plays Candy Crush 20 hours a week has a lot more in Common with a COD Prestige than we would first think… so maybe its time, not genre that defines the calling,.. ?

      • To me personally, the gamer identity is one of passion. If someone stays up until 4am playing Candy Crush and topping the leaderboards via their own skill and mastery of the mechanics, and not how many gems they buy, then I welcome them as one of us.

        It’s not exactly genre, and it’s not exactly total play-time. It’s that kind of dedication we’ve all had. The “Just one more turn” mentality.

        On the other hand, I think we’re entering an interesting time in gaming history. Gamer has long been used to refer to anyone who engages in the act of gaming, as well as someone who engages in the act of gaming as a hobby.

        Perhaps the solution is to start differentiating a bit better. Hardcore gamer, casual gamer, console gamer, pc gamer, tabletop gamer, etc.

        In the end, what’s the harm in a 40 year old soccer mom who plays 15 minutes of words with friends a month calling herself a gamer. She’s not harming us, so I say the more the merrier.

        • “Most people that identify as their hobby are fuckin’ Assholes.” – Jeff Gerstmann, Giant Bomb panel, PAX Prime 2014.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apBnWCYSYCM&t=102m38s

          If you identify as a gamer, fine, but have something else to go on. If the only descriptor in your entire self-concept is a single nebulous term, that’s not enough.

          • I’m a gamer, programmer, geek, musician, nerd, metalhead, and many others.

            It’s one of my hobbies, pretty much my main recreational activity, but it’s by no means the only one, and I’m sure a lot of other gamers will agree with me on that.

            Now that I think about it, gamer and metalhead are the closest in the way we treat them. Anyone who hasn’t heard of band X is a poser, anyone who doesn’t play $NewGame is a ‘filthy casual’. And you often end up getting a circle of friends who’s main reason for hanging out is talking about or playing metal or games.

    • “Hell, when did ‘we’ stop being *part* of ‘them’?”

      My difficulty in answering this question is that there has been, since the 1990s, a subset of “them” that I was forbidden to be part of, due to my gender.

      There are apparently a few people who still feel that way, and they will continue to be “them” to me, for reasons beyond my remedy.

      I don’t really consider the rest of gamers to be “them.” If anything, I think I’m becoming closer to the crowd. All of this recent nasty hostility is not at all characteristic of what I see, in person, at most gaming cons, these days. It’s almost the *opposite* of that.

      The Internet is a giant hostility factory. To my eternal frustration, I have no idea how to fix that.

      • Let me ask you this.
        Would you say that the group you desire to be a part of is any significant portion of the gaming community? I myself have been a gamer for as long as I can and one of the things that I have pushed myself to do is to involve women in gaming as much as possible.

        And the gaming community as a whole is very accepting, as long as you don’t go out of your way to make a huge issue of your gender you’ll be fine. I’ve seen women have a real lot of fun playing games anonymously or with friends, on the other hand I’ve seen both men and women be raked over the coals for making a huge deal about their gender.

        The general consensus as I see it is this, nobody cares who you are or what you do, as long as you play games and don’t bother us about it then everything will be fine.

  6. Chris and Dave, you’re both onto something big here.

    Let me introduce myself slightly — I’m literally a nobody here. I’m just a guy who has been a gamer most of his life (I’d say I’ve been gaming a good 28 years now). The last couple of years, I have been slowly working my way into indie game development, so the issues at hand caught my attention. I knew about the drama that sparked this clusterfuck, but I wasn’t really drawn in until two events: The mass of articles declaring gamers dead, and the video coming out linking Polytron to some of the judges of the contests they were in.

    The gamers are dead thing hit hard. How could these kids, who built their success off of the backs of their readers turn so quickly? It caused me to examine both sides, but unfortunately for the proGG crowd there wasn’t much, until some of these far leaning political figures got involved, and of course twitter. Instead of allowing the crowd to blow steam, all the vents were plugged until meltdown. What has happened is truely unfortunate.

    What ends up happening is that the harder people keep trying to downplay the movement and nullifying the thoughts of people in it, the harder we all push. I mean, we grew up as gamers — We keep going till we beat the game. It turns into a never ending arms race shitstorm, and it just keeps getting uglier and uglier.

    What you just said though Chris, brought tears to my eyes. I don’t think anyone truely wants what is going on, and it makes it easy to see the very disconnect you mention. I too wish I knew a better way to go about all of this, and for the first time, with your words I see some light at the end of the tunnel through your understanding. You gotta know, devs have so much power in all of this, you’re the ones making the games after all.

    I hope you keep sharing this same message to others.

  7. It’s shocking how the designers and developers are more in touch with the consumers than the journalists are.

    • Is it really, though? The designers and developers spent hours working to make the games we know and love. They need to have a deep knowledge of what we as gamers love to play.

      If they didn’t enjoy games, they could easily go write Line of Business apps in Java for some faceless corporate entity for twice the salary.

      All the journalists want to do is tear it apart and dissect it. They sit around in their cliquey mailing lists and chatrooms. They go to the parties put on by the AAA PR departments after cons. They make a living off of elitism and hatred.

      Thankfully, they’re becoming irrelevant, and they know it. With youtube and twitch, we can learn more about a game by seeing it in action than we can from “Graphics 5/5, Gameplay 3/5, Political Correctness 1/5” type reviews.

  8. Hey Shaun,

    As I said in my tweet to you, I don’t things are so terribly bad. Lots of flak and missiles in the air, so hard to see clearly. Also some very legitimate concerns and issues all around. No one thinks this is pretty, its UGLY. And maybe we all need a good shaking up now and again to consider where we are, and where we are heading.

    That said – just as its unfair to brush all of gamers with terrible name calling and insults, the same can be said of games journalism and these sites. They aren’t all bad people either. They are just people. And like everyone else there are good ones, bad ones, mistaken ones, smart ones, and sometimes they are all or none on any given day. Just like us.

    I think #GamerGate is pushing some very good reform and change ideas, we all should listen to. But we have to ask what the end goals is – is it change and reform? Or is it punishment and revenge?

    Change seems to already be happening, and that is good. But destroying people is not good. And if that becomes the change-agent of choice, this won’t be good for games or for fans. We all lose in that world.

    Best,
    Chris

    • Hi Chris,

      I completely agree with you on all of your points.

      The unfortunate issue is that on all sides of this argument, people tend to highlight the vocal, radical, minority as well as all of the people who are damaging opposing causes.

      I believe most games journalists and developers are fine, as are most of the people on the gamergate side.

      There are serious discussion that need to be had regarding all aspects that have been brought up, but until the blame game ends there is no chance of a proper discourse.

      To sum up: The longer this occurs, the less chance there is of a decent outcome.

      Sometimes an open hand of peace is better than a closed fist. Hopefully a lesson for all sides.

  9. Twitter is the problem? Uhm, no. Discussions of GamerGate were BANNED on countless high-profile communities where people trying to discuss these issues in far more depth and nuance. The fact is that without Twitter and YouTube, this entire problem would have been effectively quashed by those in control of the big sites.

    Turning to blame Twitter for just being Twitter–where short thoughts have always been the very nature of what Twitter is–is getting things exactly backwards. When practically every big site gamers used to flock to blasts people and throws them out and bans them for trying to make a reasonable point, of course you get anger. Twitter of course amplifies only simple messages, but Twitter also points people to where longer and more in-depth discussions can be had–and the #GamerGate hashtag does a lot of that.

    If you want to criticize the internet as a whole for creating communities around people who generally agree with each other, that’s fine–it’s been going on forever in politics, where places like Free Republic and Democratic Underground and Daily Kos and yes, even the site I run, tend to attract like-minded people who often spend a lot of time agreeing with each other. But that ultimately falls to human nature.

    If you want to encourage people to start seeking out people with different points of view, I’m all for it. But a rant at Twitter for not being all things to all people? Or to blame people with concerns over GamerGate because THEY HAVE BEEN SHUNTED THERE by most of the major discussion sites (even Reddit threw them out for crying out loud)… nah. Sorry. Think harder about what you’re saying mate.

  10. I think the issue of ‘sound bites’, whether they be in a 140 characters or a single spoken sentence; is that it throws out all of the nuance of a discussion. There is no real room for manoeuver or compromise. Once you’ve taken a side, that’s it, time to start working on 140 character witty put downs; or just slum it and think of the worst abuse you can think of to grandstand the other contributions.
    The 24/7 accessibility of modern media, be it Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, means there is always an outlet for the outrage to pour into and be stirred up again, and again, and again.
    Coupled to the ease of access with mobile devices, the time given to a rational thought process before jumping into the discussion (I try to be optimistic and call them discussions rather than arguments)has all but been eliminated.

  11. Sorry, but discussions on Facebook aren’t much better. The format doesn’t lend itself to thought out dialogue. In addition, fishing for likes is as much a prospect of many as actually thinking.

    It’s not just Twitter, IMO.

    There’s no real moderation either place, so you can’t call people out on bad debating behaviour to anyone but the mob, and if the mob disagrees with your position…

    There’s no real rules about discussion either, only waffly stuff about respect and consideration. Nothing about “every statement made that cannot be backed up by sources is to be retracted” or similar. Thus it’s very hard to discuss things. And the fact that there’s no rules makes it all to personal.

    • FB is at least a little better, if your “friends list” is people you actually know. If you’ve got 1500 names on that list, then “friends of friends” is going to encompass the population of a small city, and heated discussions are going to get…unpleasant.

      A lot of why the GG side of this lacks coherence is because a lot of people in it are essentially operating from a position of “WHAT DID YOU JUST CALL ME!!??” They’re essentially being told that if they don’t understand why they are being called names, that’s just proof that the accusations are accurate.

      The reactions are not…very open to criticism.

  12. I disagree a bit. It’s not really a problem to anyone to have people write about friends in the industry, it’s just a problem when they don’t even mention they’re friends.

    Though I’m not sure how common that even is. I mean it’s like people are against people ever being friendly with anyone in neighboring industries.

    It’s just strange when you see people are roommates, close friends, and recently with people that are involved in the same PR company. Having a PR dealing with the game, that then gets written about by someone friends with those PR people, that then gets awards that have been granted by judges that were associated with that PR company, is all just a bit much.

  13. False and false.

    >Not enough space for discussion
    That’s why people send and pass information around as images, informatives, links and twitlongers. And don’t forget that GamerGate is not only on Twitter. There are and were several communities discussing it.

    >People only agree with you
    Only if you live and remain in your self-agreeing that is your followed and followers. If you search or follow the #GamerGate tag you’ll get in contact with a multitude of different people. A good part of them don’t agree with you. There you can find out what people are talking about, ask them for explanation, links to more info and directions, and try to engage in conversation, to which you do not need to only use the 140 characters. You can make multiple posts or even invite people to other mediums.

    From personal observation most pro-GG and some anti-GG do actually engage in constructive discussion and dialogue. What I unfortunately see most is people mocking #GamerGate and then dismissing ANY discussion attempt by mocking or flat out blocking people.

    A particular case is of having a collective of people telling someone that they’re misinformed, or criticizing their research, and then having the person block any kind of contact or not even question why people think they are wrong.

    Another particular case is of MissAngerist who at first was against GamerGate and then after more discussion she changed her position on the matter.

    Finishing: Twitter wouldn’t even be ‘The Place’ to all of this if forums and other communities hadn’t being censored. Only The Escapist’s forum remained as a correctly moderated discussion place (which got severely attacked), but Reddit, 4chan, SomethingAwful and many other big communities trying to discuss GamerGate got flushed out to Twitter.

  14. For weeks now the anti-GG side has tried to paint a picture of the #GamerGate community as nothing but a bunch of entitled, misogynist, racist, heterosexual white males. That rhetoric died down a bit when #notyourshield was launched, a hashtag for female and minority gamers who no longer wanted to be reduced to tools for a movement they didn’t agree with.

    As more and more people proudly wore their #notyourshield hashtag, there could no longer be any doubt that gamers were as diverse a group as any other, maybe even more so. Women. Gay, lesbian and bisexual people. Transgendered and genderfluid people. People of color. People of different faiths and cultural backgrounds. Conservatives, liberals, socialists and libertarians. Feminists and MRA’s. No matter what minority you pick, you will find it represented in the #GamerGate community.

    Heck, our new promised land, 8chan, is even run by a 19-year-old disabled computer programmer working for a Jew.

    So with all of this diversity, how do we avoid infighting, you may wonder? Aren’t the socialists and libertarians going to constantly be at each other’s throats? How can Catholics and Muslims work together towards a common goal?

    The answer is simple. We don’t care. We keep our differences to ourselves, because that is not what defines us. We look at what unites us and not what separates us. We avoid focusing on things that might cause tensions to rise and focus on the one thing we all share, the one thing that unites us all – our love for gaming. To us, EVERYONE is the same behind the keyboard. If you want to join a Quake clan or a WoW-guild no-one is going to ask about or judge you by your gender or sexuality – we judge only based on your kill stats or proficiency as a healer. It doesn’t get more egalitarian than that.

    And some wonder why we get upset when 11 publications post articles within a 48-hour period stating that “Gamers Are Dead”? No, gamers are not dead. Gaming is not dead. The gaming community is a living, thriving, ever-growing, multi-faceted utopia of multi-culturalism, made up of people from all walks of life coming together for their love of gaming.

    That is why we are proud to call ourselves gamers.

    That is why this is the most commonly posted picture by #GamerGate supporters on Twitter: http://i.imgur.com/dnlPjS2.jpg

    Not a single journalist from the gaming media has reported on this. Instead those who posted #notyourshield comments get accused of being white males, a 14-year-old transgendered person gets doxxed because she edited a Wikipedia page, pro-GG journalists get syringes filled with unidentified fluids sent to their home. It goes on and on, but no-one talks about this.

    Everyone who has spent more than ten minutes on the internet knows that any online community that gets sufficiently large will attract trolls and extremists. The difference here is that we on the #GamerGate side EXPLICITLY denounce all forms of harassment and threats, and immediately disassociate ourselves from people who threaten or harass. The other side doesn’t, hell even journalists and editors chime in and stir things up, calling us “shitlords”, “man-babies”, “worse than ISIS” and so on.

    Try to keep an open mind. The issue is not as black and white as you might think.

    • “How can Catholics and Muslims work together towards a common goal?”

      What is the goal of #gamergate again, in concrete terms?

        • Respectfully, I don’t see any goals in there. Those are value statements.

          Your Stephen Fry quote in the second link reinforces that to me. The goal is. to say “I am offended”? Exactly, so fucking what?

          Is there a “so what” answer that YOU ascribe to? What do YOU want to see happen?

          • Respectfully, if the first picture doesn’t explain it clearly enough, I’m hesitant to waste my time on you.

            We want gaming journalists to adhere to the same ethical code of conduct that all other journalists are sworn by: http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp

            If you don’t understand this I give up.

          • “We want game journalists to adhere to an established code of ethics” is a goal. Your first link doesn’t talk about that at all, and this is the first time I’ve read the SPJ referenced by anyone talking about #gamergate.

            So, OK. Is there anything else?

          • GamerGate is a consumer revolt. The demands are varied, some dont want to be preached at by an ideology, some want more transparency in the market, some dont want to be vilified for disagreeing with feminist critics, and others the press to be consumer 1st, instead of industry 1st. Trying to get “concrete goals” is like trying to find a shortcut with how markets work. The fact you are asking a consumer to represent all consumers to get a market demand is at best naive and at worst purposely trying to ignore consumer demands and desires. Good luck with that mentality in the marketplace, should go far.

          • If the core of #gamergate is dissatisfaction with an awful lot of things, then my point is There Is No Endgame, and discussion is not going to be constructive, because there’s nothing to say but, “We don’t like this.”

            Ignoring that “we” is at least three different parties (see my post below.)

            The above poster said declaring a standard of ethics among game journalists might be a goal. So that’s something.

            If you don’t want to be preached at, you should get a blog and preach back. Don’t rely on media someone else has to moderate to make your point. I have yet to read any argument against this other than, “blogs are toxic.”

            To which I might reply, more toxic than #gamergate?

            To anyone associated with #gamergate by hook or by crook who genuinely believes they’re part of an agency of change, I do not think this is possible unless there are stated goals that go beyond value statements.

            Prove me wrong.

          • @John
            It’s not consumers responsibility in such a market to explain the producer how to act. It’s the producers responsibility to figure out how to act on complains.
            And if they’re not able to do this, the ones who are able to figure out what they want, will kick them out of business. At least if consumers follow their real responsibility, which is voting by their money.

  15. Chris Mancil: I appreciate what you said above so far, but you have to understand one thing. This is not a two-sided debate, where powers are even and you can split the blame 50/50. The barrage of “gamers are dead” articles and the fact that ALL MAJOR SITES unanimously shut down debate, and shot into their crowd as you put it is simply shocking. The playing field is not level: one side has all the power and all the channels of communication and influence, and I would say, abused it thoroughly during these few weeks.

    The solution that you ask about IS change AND reform, obviously, but that cannot be achieved without getting rid of some people who have a bad influence over gaming media. There HAVE to be consequences. That’s what change/reform dictates. Some people would have to go.

    My mind boggles, that in ANY FIELD it would be acceptable that the COMPLETE industry media could badmouth their own customers. Even if they have some valid criticism, how is it good business behaviour to say foul things about people, who’s money they live on? There are way fewer journalists with way more power and influence than the voices from the gamer crowd. It is disproportionate, and political agendas are pushed upon the media as well as the gamers. Nobody wants to listen and talk to the gamers (with a few exceptions, and fringe sites, which experience uprecedented uptick in their traffic in the last month).

    From a purely business perspective, it is bad in ANY BUSINESS to say your customers are dead. It is bad business to stifle debate, conversation. It is bad business to collude and manipulate industry awards and industry REVIEWS.

    How is the customer supposed to trust and believe these mediums after all this?
    How can we trust that a good or bad review is based purely on the product’s merits? (I can’t. I have to turn to other sites now for reliable info.)
    How can the customer know that collusion to boost a product or sink a rival/disliked product won’t happen again?
    How can the customer know that a news item would be reported based on the facts and not by somebody’s political agenda?

    I’m asking this because I’m not just a gamer, but I also work in the industry, so it will affect my work. Even if I don’t want to take sides and I’m on the fringes, and I don’t hold any financial degrees, it looks to me that what the gaming media did is BAD BUSINESS and counterproductive on fundamental levels. Whatever is “wrong” with the gaming crowd, gassing them is not the solution.

    • “From a purely business perspective, it is bad in ANY BUSINESS to say your customers are dead.”

      Do you actually believe that ANY website declared you, personally, “dead”? How metaphorical are you being with this statement?

      If this is genuinely a motivation for outrage among gamers, at ANY level, I want that on the record, by at least someone.

      I never read a “Gamers are dead” article on a major site. I only read “The End of Gamers” on Dan Golding’s Tumblr. It came out in early August, and (I thought) did a good job of explaining my own feelings at the time.

      http://dangolding.tumblr.com/post/95985875943/the-end-of-gamers

      If you seriously believe that game enthusiast websites don’t want you or your attention anymore, then you should contribute to goodgamers.us or some other site that has popped up since August, and stay off of Twitter. You probably will have a better time getting your own point across.

      • That was obviously a summary description and not a direct quote.

        The 10+ major articles did envison, one way or an other, the end of the gamer/gamer culture, while using not too flattering and intentionally provocative language.

        I do believe that game enthusiast websites DO want the gamers’ attention and I am listening to them. Those articles however give off the clear impression, that influential voices in the mainstream, major gaming websites hate their audience.

        I think we can agree, that that’s not a healthy attitude, and if that is really their opinion, I’m sure there are other gaming journalists, who still care about their audience. In that case, the burnt out staff could just step aside and let the fresh ones take over.

        In any case, I, as a reader, can’t trust these sites to report me the relevant news, can’t trust they won’t obfuscate, lie or collude for or against a product.

        And I think any developer cannot be sure that the media won’t misrepresent or outright boycott or in any other way manipulate a product based on politics.

        • “In any case, I, as a reader, can’t trust these sites to report me the relevant news, can’t trust they won’t obfuscate, lie or collude for or against a product.

          And I think any developer cannot be sure that the media won’t misrepresent or outright boycott or in any other way manipulate a product based on politics.”

          That has never not been true of mass media.

          If you feel or think that way, I don’t have a problem with it. But I don’t think Twitter is a replacement for good reporting, and Gamasutra and Polygon are among the best sources of game industry reporting available to anyone. Ignore them at the peril of everyone.

          But by all means, be skeptical of everyone. I’m MisterPedantic. I question everything and point out errors. But I know that if no one tried to make anything or if everything was perfect, the world would be a barren place.

          Video games deserve a culture of informed, engaged consumers, but it doesn’t have one yet. I don’t think Twitter is a solution to that problem.

          • I am in no way defending or arguing for Twitter. It is an appaling medium for having discussions or arguments. Or any meaningful communication for that matter. And yet, it’s important and gamergate basically uses twitter to organize and spread info.

            And I would love if gamasutra and polygon were really the best sources, but their journalists were sure not behaving like that in the past month. Stifling discussions, banning, deleting, actively bullying COLLEAGUES and the audience… that’s very unprofessional.

            God knows, I understand where their hatred and distrust for their readers come from, but if it’s THIS bad as their behaviour suggests, maybe they should be the ones moving on and not trying to argue their audience out of existence.

            I think they pretty much lost the trust of a large chunk of their core audience and it will be hard to gain them back. One solution is a reform and getting rid of the old guard with their collusions, inbreeding and political agendas and bring in fresh, AUTHENTIC people.

            I realize that the gaming media was never independent, unbiased and was always corrupt, but the sheer level of unprofessionalism and lack of any ethical standards were a surprise.

            Right now, I’m switching to smaller, more independent sites and Youtube personalities for information I can trust. Gamergate sure made me discover a bunch of new youtubers and sites, and I’m very happy about that. Even if they don’t refresh that frequently as Kotaku or the others, I prefer less frequent but real content to “look at this crazy shit from Japan!” type clickbaits. And for god’s sake no politics of any kind!

  16. Everyone is blaming Twitter, but Twitter isn’t the problem.

    It’s everything but Twitter that’s the problem. Every other community is nothing more than an echo chamber, this funnels all conflict from around the internet into the only neutral space we have, which is Twitter. Given that Twitter was never designed to accommodate debate this obviously leads to terrible results.

  17. @Chris Mancell

    As someone who has been in the middle of this as pro gamergate since day one I can appreciate your stance on this. Some points I agree with, however as much as quinn was the spark for the quinnspiracy # the media made it about her.But its the actions of the journalists involved directly or indirectly that made gamergate what it is. After all there seems to be no consequences on that side. Suspicious coordinated articles dropping in a day. Basically sites that are supposed to compete with eachother together decide what the narrative should be. And if they wil or will not censor discussion about a topic and even an attempt by 1 journalist to pressure someone from a different site in doing so. These journalists report with a doublestandard without factchecking, damaging carreers of some but not others based on if they like them.

    Now don’t get me wrong we do feel disconnected with developers or publishers those who buy into the media’s attempts to discredit us by calling us misogynists etc. We are watching as former “heroes” like Tim Schafer alienate/insult their “former” fanbase or leave their crowdfunded games unfinished. When community managers can insult backers of mighty no 9 and ban them from a forum for discussing gamergate on twitter. Or the dragonage twitter account promoting a campaign against sexual assault wich in itself is somethhing we can all agree is a problem. (personally helped someone through such an experience last year) But is in very poor taste and feels personal when every gamer involved in gamergate gets called a misogynist for over a month imo.

    Anyone that wants to can actually find a reasonable discussion with people from gamergate however anyone that wants to reaffirm that we are what the media claims can also do that. Some are more on the edge then others because of so many attempts at discussions in good faith only to turn out to be trolled by the anti GG person they engage with. That increases hostility to the point where some will indeed seem hostile/paranoid in the beginning. If anyone wants to reach out they can do so or join in on a stream, we know you don’t represent everyone in your company or the industry. But It might help to close an increasing gap because it is there and it is definitely growing.

    If anyone wants to look up a good stream this is one i listened to last night and it might help understand a few things. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjdiC2ednok You can likely participate in one if you contact @notyourshield on twitter I think alot of us would be interested in that. hopefully you can give us insight and the other way around as well.

    As far as I know gamergate will go on as long as people and the media fight/slander it, because we are gamers its what we do. The media won’t scare us into submission and I definitely won’t be pressured by attempts at shaming me for something i’m not. I might forget to respond to anyone here so in that case I am sorry but my twitter account is @masterninja you could contact me there. I hope I gave some good insight here! Because nobody is gonna get anywhere unless people work together. And i do suggest checking out that stream! Its mainly girls involved in gamergate on there but they are just like any of us in gamergate talking about their experiences.

    Have a great day,
    masterninja

  18. I’ve also been following things with a real-time client for twitter.
    I’d say it’s not really Twitter, but the way people use Twitter…

    Been trying to inject more discussion on the tag, but people don’t want to discuss, they just want to talk at the screen.
    They seem to forget they’re actually talking at the number of followers they have, and every single one of them is a person (with the exception of a few bots).

    I follow people that make good points or have a certain sense of humour.
    I don’t care who’s side they’re on, they’re still considered like-minded people to me.
    If they have a good point for being against GG, well, they make sense at least, and if they can civilly discuss it, that’s even better.

    Everyone can lose their cool once in a while, it’s indeed a good idea to go do something else when it comes to a boiling point.

    • “Been trying to inject more discussion on the tag, but people don’t want to discuss, they just want to talk at the screen.”

      Right. Communication like dropping a rock down a well, not caring if they hear a splash at the end, and if they do, it doesn’t matter.

      It’s already at a boiling point. There’s too much information for anyone to adequately process, let alone care about. That’s a consequence of having absolutely everything that people dislike conflated into one nebulous whole. The only coherent gripe seems to be with how people really wanted to talk about all those things, and all of a sudden, their threads got shut down and everyone ran to Youtube and Twitter, which thus far hasn’t cut them off.

      Except that “them” in this case includes quite a number of well-meaning folks who genuinely believe they’re part of a real movement for change (albeit without any concrete goals or endgame that I can tell,) and a lot of people just generally indignant and feeling alienated, as Chris Mancil put it — and a lot of Internet performance artists who just want to stir the pot and watch what bubbles up, using the pretense of conversation as an instrument of pure chaos.

      I can’t tell one from another if there’s only 140 characters spoken at one time. I’m also likely not to care who’s who.

      Which is a shame on one level, but on another, there aren’t enough hours in the day.

      • Again, you are putting the responsibility on the consumer for the content producer to find a demand. that isnt how it is supposed to work. Consumers are calling out places of business and business practices they dont like. It isnt their job to tell the publisher how to create the supply the demand is asking for. If you dont want to meet the demand just say so, and consumers will most likely move on, while making sure to spread the word to stay of site X or dont buy game Y. This is how it works and there is nothing wrong with it. If you dont want the gamergate consumer, that is fine, just say so.

        • “Again, you are putting the responsibility on the consumer for the content producer to find a demand.”

          I’ve heard it said that #gamergate is a power-to-the-people movement. Is this not the case, from your perspective?

          “If you dont want to meet the demand just say so, and consumers will most likely move on, while making sure to spread the word to stay of site X or dont buy game Y.”

          I’ve read lots of that. Calls for boycotts and the like. Except the arguments continue and the hashtag trends. The implication is that something in particular is being demanded. Are you telling me that there are no real demands, and #gamergate is just, “we don’t like this”?

          “If you dont want the gamergate consumer, that is fine, just say so.”

          I don’t think “the gamergate consumer” is a well defined demographic. No one in the business of selling information is going to say they don’t want anyone in particular, unless those anyones are directly undermining their ability to send a message.

          If anyone doesn’t like the message, then the reaction should be to ignore it. However, in this very specific case, I think we’re talking about gamers.

          Should we not assume that gamers will want information?

          If they don’t get it from one place, where will it come from?

          If there’s no answer to that question, I won’t blame “the consumer,” but this is the Internet. Everyone is enabled to be a journalist of some kind, albeit one without a good editor.

          If all you ever want to do is consume and be generally dissatisfied with it, then you are probably continue to be a miserable person.

          You ought to want more than that for yourself.

          • Your responses are not really making sense to what I’m saying. Consumer demand is nebulous, if you think there is some perfect formula to figure out demand, I dont know what to say to you.

            Also, there ARE sites getting attention from the GG crowd, as well as indie devs and game websites, so I dont really know what you are trying to get at. You are assuming everyone in GG isnt already consuming other content beyond the people who “dont get it”?

            Like I said it’s fine. I think it’s pretty clear they type of stuff wanted, and your responses seems to just ignore anything, because you want to create the narrative that people just dont know what they want. You are trying to turn all this consumer dissatisfaction into 1 voice, and that just isn’t going to happen, consumers have different tastes.

            I personally don’t care if journalists and the like don’t get it, we have enough options, where the traditional media in the game industry just isn’t needed. The idea that people have to “prove you wrong” alone to me, tells me you dont get it, since the whole problem is subjective to begin with.

            I think:

            “unless those anyones are directly undermining their ability to send a message.”

            Does a good job at showing your stance. Parts of the press wants to “send a message” and they want to control the narrative of that message, and what perception is for consumers in the market; which is the crux of it all, imo.

            It really is no concern to the consumer to hold value of some content producers message. If consumers dont like it, they dont like it, there is enough stuff out there that consumers can move to something else.

            Honestly I hope there isn’t “change” I hope there is never a “1 voice fix” to be honest. I dont think like some of the people. I want the consumers to just go give their clicks/money to those who are not part of the sites the GG people have issues with.

            I think the end goal in all of this, to me, is to find the sites and people to give the attention to. No need to create a map for those who currently don’t meet the demand that many consumers want. We dont owe an explanation and I see no benefit on “fixing” the problems with the sites we currently have issues with. I honestly hope most if not all, just stop going to the sites in question.

          • “You are trying to turn all this consumer dissatisfaction into 1 voice, and that just isn’t going to happen, consumers have different tastes.”

            I’m not trying to turn anything into a voice. I was asking you, based on what I observed as a notion others had, that being “pro GG” was a coherent voice with a goal. LVX156 directly said there was a goal. I asked what the goal was. After two tries, he gave me one of his own.

            That’s all I would expect of anyone.

            “We dont owe an explanation and I see no benefit on “fixing” the problems with the sites we currently have issues with.”

            Is that the royal “we”?

            “I honestly hope most if not all, just stop going to the sites in question.”

            Thanks for answering my question. We’ll see what happens.

          • The “we” was in terms of consumers. Consumers dont have to explain themselves. When there are other options they can just go to the competition.

          • What if I told you Polygon had an ethics policy, posted front and center on their website?

          • You’re missing the point, John. No, there isn’t one voice. But there are things that all of us agree on.

            1) More transparency and less corruption in gaming journalism.

            2) If you want different kinds of games, MAKE different kinds of games, don’t harass, threaten and bully developers into changing their games to fit your narrative.

            We WELCOME diversity in gaming. We love diversity. Diversity is awesome – but forcing developers to change their visions to suit your whims – which has already happened – is not diversity.

            People who don’t like Dr. Pepper don’t write angry letters to the company and demand they change the taste, they just buy something they like instead.

            People who don’t like romantic comedies don’t bully Hollywood into stopping making romcoms, they choose to spend their money on other movies instead.

            People who like tacos don’t threaten Burger King to make them start selling tacos, they go to a Mexican restaurant instead.

            People who don’t like the Republicans don’t try to bully them into being Democrats, they just vote Democrat.

            And people who don’t like certain games shouldn’t harass, bully or threaten the developers of those games, they should make their own. With Kickstarter and Patreon and plenty of sympathetic developers they have every possibility in the word to do so.

            But thy are not satisfied with different games peacefully co-existing, which is what #GamerGate is about. No, they won’t be happy until ALL games meet their standards.

            That is not diversity.

          • “If you want different kinds of games, MAKE different kinds of games, don’t harass, threaten and bully developers into changing their games to fit your narrative.”

            OK, that one’s new to me. Who does that, and where is that coming from?

            If you’re talking about would-be Kickstarter backers refusing to back so and so because they wouldn’t let them play as a woman or be gay, I’m not aware any one person has any such power.

            If you’re talking about Anita Sarkeesian, I’ve not read anything that suggests she expects anything to change solely because of what she’s been putting in videos, and I don’t see anything she’s done as bullying.

            I have seen plenty of bullying on Twitter.

          • No, I’m talking about Daniel Vavra, director of Kingdom Come: Deliverance. He’s experienced this, people trying to force him to change his game.

            He said, and I am paraphrasing: If you don’t have women in the game, you’re misogynist. If you have women, and they’re pretty, you’re a misogynist. If you have women and they are ugly, you’re a misogynist. If you can fight the women, you’re a misogynist. If you can’t fight the women, you are turning them into objects, and you’re a misogynist.

            He was also harshly criticized for not having black characters in the game – a game which aspires to be the most faithful representation in a game of medieval central Europe, when there were no black people there.

            Or take the makers or Divinity: Original Sin, who felt they were forced to change their character designs, and did so, that’s how much pressure they were under from these feminist fascists.

            Or take the indie developer from New Zealand who posted just recently about how radical feminists are stifling creativity by forcing people – through lobbying – to adhere to a certain narrative.

            Or better yet, take The Fine Young Capitalists, who started an Indie GoGo campaign to get more women into gaming. Women could submit their ideas for a game they wanted made, and the public would vote on them. The one with the most votes would be made into a game, and if the woman didn’t have the skills a team would be provided to her. She would be in control, she would get 8% of the profits (as much as a TV producer gets), the rest would go to charity.

            This campaign was sabotaged by none other than Zoe Quinn, for no other reason than that 4chan donated. Their page was hacked, and slanderous articles are still being written about them.

            This is how far they are willing to go: sabotaging a campaign with the expressed goal to get more women into gaming.

            Diversity is not their agenda, control is. No-one should be able to enjoy something if the feminist mafia hasn’t approved it.

            This isn’t about Zoe Quinn. This isn’t even about video games, really. It is about a culture war that began in the 1960’s, with the Frankfurt school and cultural Marxism.

          • I read Vavra’s interview, but I thought he did a poor job of explaining exactly *how* he was being constrained, except by people on Kickstarter who would refuse to pay because of this, that or the other, or would raise a stink about certain characters not being present or empowered enough.

            But, look. He’s making the game. And he gets to gripe about it. Also, he has a hot wife. (Who I wouldn’t judge except that he made at least one particular Twitter post that seems to be just about him having a hot wife.)

            People wanting to be able to play a character that looks a particular way isn’t fascism. It’s preference. Anyone who makes any kind of game has to deal with it, and some deal with it better or worse than is adequate.

            That to me just speaks to the need to have communications professionals to interface with the public, so the devs don’t do it (badly) themselves.

            If TFYC isn’t about Zoe Quinn, read Damion’s article above — why does TFYC continue to reference ZQ if it isn’t about her?

          • Come on, John. We haven’t talked about Zoe Quinn since August. It’s THE OTHER SIDE that always brings her up. Whenever we try to talk about ethics in journalism, they always say “no, no, no, we know it’s about Zoe Quinn”.

  19. This one was a bit poorly timed, but:

    http://wondermark.com/1k62/

  20. I’ve been annoyed at friends, devs and otherwise, over #GamerGate, but I would never walk away from a friendship (even an acquaintanceship) over it. I may withhold talking about the issue with those friends / acquaintances, just as I do with religious discussions with my more religious cohorts. No one’s changing anyone else’s mind. If someone’s on the fence, then I’ll discuss it. In fact, I have yet to see anyone that’s denied that there’s a lot of corruption in the games media, they just assign it different levels of importance in their lives. So, I know that the cause is righteous, it just constantly runs into the relative privation fallacy. As far as that goes, I care about what I care about, and I think that if I stick to this, it’s something that I can actually have a real effect on, even as a single individual.

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