Brandon Strader

Tropes vs. Women / #GamerGate Conspiracies

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Should someone abandon the label "atheism" because a lot of atheists are douchebags? :-) It's easy to say "A lot of X are Y" in any group, but the actual ratio of let's say WBC members (39 total members) versus Christians (76% of US Population) is pretty huge. Likewise I would suggest most atheists aren't douchebags, but it's an easy comment to make if your entire goal is specifically to offend someone rather than to make a point. And in the example of North Korea I'd say most are probably not truly atheist, and are more-likely oppressed in what they have the freedom to say/do/believe/etc.

It's not really the same, either. This is 2 different groups, basically. The initial movement that Larry outlined pretty well concerning corruption in games journalism, and the second group that piggybacked on it when it hit twitter and turned into an anonymous trolling platform.

In this case it'd probably be good to split into a new name, maybe not even bother with twitter, because the issue of corruption in games journalism has been all but forgotten, and gaming websites know this. They snarkily post shitty articles still, to this day, with no sense of remorse or apology for anything.

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We can talk and argue about labels until I shit a golden egg, but the functional way the "intelligent", "aware" or whatever the name for people who think they're thinkers because they think differently from the "mainstream" cloud of nameless scapegoats consider groups they don't agree with is this: "You and everyone like you is only as good as the weakest, most hideous link in your chain."

Christians are all brainwashing, gay-bashing, child-abusing pedophiles who don't understand science. Muslims are all patriarchal terrorists who want to have sex with a buttload of virgins. Atheists are all pretentious, Josef Stalin wannabes, and feminists are all Valerie Solanas and Anita Sarkeesian. This is what "intelligent" people keep saying on their own volition, so it must be true. :?

Until you start seeing a major movement where people are volunteering compassionate invitations for understanding the groups they themselves admit to not agreeing with, the weakest link in the chain and the labels are going to prevail not just amongst the ignorant, but the people who aren't ignorant too.

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Until you start seeing a major movement where people are volunteering compassionate invitations for understanding the groups they themselves admit to not agreeing with, the weakest link in the chain and the labels are going to prevail not just amongst the ignorant, but the people who aren't ignorant too.

Very well said, very important message I think. I hope people read & consider this. :-)

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That's an excellent question. There's a lot of talk about "ethics and journalism" but I've seen virtually nothing anywhere about what SPECIFICALLY they are doing, or what they want to change, beyond vagueries. Today on Twitter I suggested that GamerGate folks should start their own news site, or at least, start writing their own game reviews, and share them with like-minded people. But that seemed to really offend people, who evidently care MORE about the hashtag than actually achieving something.

I don't want to derail TOOO much (I find myself saying that a lot... maybe that's a bad sign? ), but... couldn't one use this logic to say that Christians should abandon the name of "Christianity"? Or Muslims Islam? Or (secular example), feminists feminism? Or, based on North Korea being the only officially atheist country and being terrible, that atheists should look for a new banner, too?

The problem is that the gamergate movement was essentially born out of the Quinn harassment "movement" - which itself was based on the (proven false) allegations that Quinn slept with journalists to get better reviews. Sure, it may have grown since then, but it was essentially toxic from the start.

Here's the recap of what happened when someone suggested that GamerGate supporters show that they DO denounce harassment by donating money to some of the people that were actually harassed - Anita, Zoe, Brenna. After all, GG supporters have donated to other causes, right? Well, literally NOBODY thought it was a good idea.

https://storify.com/ShadowTodd/why-i-do-not-believe-that-gamergate-actually-conde

Anyway, the issue is that the tag is viewed SO negatively by SO many people that even if it didn't have the poisonous history that it does, it's a moot point now. The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and basically every major gaming website have all posted articles about the harassment and abuse that has come out of the GamerGate camp. That, combined with the lack of any central message beyond "ethics in game journalism", makes it look REALLY bad from the outside.

IF the goal is to try to effect changes in game journalism, I see two ways of doing that.

(1) Start your own websites and gaming blogs, enforce your own standards. If the corruption is as bad as people say then surely a corruption-free blog will attract lots of attention. I haven't seen anything like this happening in the gamergate camp - people are more concerned with defending gamergate itself. But this would be an excellent solution, right? If you don't like the narrative on other gaming blogs and the opinions expressed by their writers, make your own and share your own.

(2) Make persuasive arguments and suggestions to writers & staff at existing gaming websites. The problem here is that some portion of people using that tag has given the rest of it a really, really bad name, and now nobody in game journalism wants anything to do with it. So this option is very much off the table. Even if this weren't the case, where are all the positive, constructive suggestions on specific things that could be improved in game journalism?

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In this case it'd probably be good to split into a new name, maybe not even bother with twitter, because the issue of corruption in games journalism has been all but forgotten, and gaming websites know this. They snarkily post shitty articles still, to this day, with no sense of remorse or apology for anything.

Can you give me three concrete examples of shitty articles that demonstrate corruption in games journalism?

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Can you give me three concrete examples of shitty articles that demonstrate corruption in games journalism?

have you not heard of doritogate?

http://kotaku.com/5957810/the-contemptible-games-journalist-why-so-many-people-dont-trust-the-gaming-press-and-why-theyre-sometimes-wrong

kotaku themselves explain why.

i shall leave that information to you.

all of the information needed for what people want to stop in gaming journalism

"It involves 1) criticism of GTTV host Geoff Keighley doing interviews while seated between bags of Doritos and bottles of Mountain Dew that were wrapped with ads for Halo 4, 2) a Eurogamer column by Robert "Rab" Florence about that, the occurrence of British games journalists at an awards show making promotional Tweets for a game in hopes of winning a free PlayStation 3, 3) an apparent legal threat by journalist Lauren Wainwright and/or her editors that compelled Eurogamer to remove a reference to her in the piece that quoted a Tweet in which she seemed to deem the contest as not that big a deal, 4) the removal of which quote from the article compelled Florence to quit, 5) the listing, since deleted, on Wainwright's resume, of having done work for Square Enix, a publisher whose games she's covered, and 6) from there, an avalanche of complaints and suspicion about the coziness of the gaming press with the public relations wing of the companies whose games they cover."

as well as the guy that got fired for giving a bad review of kain and lynch who were one of the websites sponsors

there ya go buddy.

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I'm aware of issues like that, but I was responding specifically to what Brandon said - that ARTICLES have been posted in the last few weeks that demonstrate corruption in games journalism. That's what I want to hear about. I actually agree 100% that there are tons of issues with games journalism, mainly having to do with big publishers/developers. But I'm interested in hearing specific examples of ARTICLES that have been posted recently, since that is what was said.

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I said shitty articles to this day and no show of remorse or apology..... I wasn't really saying that they're posting corrupt stuff, just that they refuse to acknowledge their involvement (for the most part) in the stuff that has already happened, though that link psychowolf shared was eye opening

Honestly though, I'm about tired of gamer gate. Any usefulness it could have had in reforming game journalism has been lost in the mountain of poo.

I'd personally love to see articles that are just press releases. I'll see a retweet or a promoted tweet of random articles and just groan at how awful they are.

Edited by Brandon Strader

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as well as the guy that got fired for giving a bad review of kain and lynch who were one of the websites sponsors

there ya go buddy.

That particular incident, in which Jeff Gerstmann was fired from Gamespot following his low review score because Eidos threatened to pull advertising revenue from the site, happened seven years ago. It was explained to the public in detail at least two years ago at this link: http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/116360-Jeff-Gerstmann-Explains-His-Departure-From-Gamespot

If that's the only example of a posted review you have to critique, you're extremely late to the party. Hell, Gamespot and Giant Bomb (the site Gerstmann went on to found after being fired) are now owned by the same parent company and their offices are in the same building. Why wait until fall of 2014 to complain?

Similarly, anyone complaining about Arthur Gies' review (for Polygon) of Bayonetta 2, in which Gies gives it a significantly lower score than almost any other outlet, isn't complaining about developer/publisher influenced corruption. If you read the review, one gets the impression that Gies lowers the score because he feels the game is too sexist for 2014. It's an opinion I happen to disagree with (I come down on the side that Bayonetta is both an empowerment figure and sex symbol simultaneously -- dual identities are fine), but it's not one that reeks of any corruption.

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Today on Twitter I suggested that GamerGate folks should start their own news site, or at least, start writing their own game reviews, and share them with like-minded people. But that seemed to really offend people, who evidently care MORE about the hashtag than actually achieving something.

Not to be contentious, but didn't you previously disagree with djP when he'd suggested that it was the responsibility of those who wanted change to enact it in the context of video game developers and feminism (i.e if you want video games to treat women better, consider becoming a game developer)? I may be remembering wrong, here.

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Not to be contentious, but didn't you previously disagree with djP when he'd suggested that it was the responsibility of those who wanted change to enact it in the context of video game developers and feminism (i.e if you want video games to treat women better, consider becoming a game developer)? I may be remembering wrong, here.
.

Your memory isn't fuzzy, and I have to +1 this sentiment.

Also who added the "/#Gamergate" to the side of the thread's title? Regardless of where anyone is on the spectrum regarding Sarkeesian's position, there's plenty of room for thoughtful debate/discussion. Gamergate is a bunch of Internet nonsense aimed at discrediting and shaming a group of people under the veil of "exposing the serious lack of journalistic integrity of video game news sites."

If there was any credibility to Gamergate's followers, then all they have to do is stop visiting the offending sites and/or create their own. The industry will take note and correct itself(assuming there was anything to correct in the first place) if enough people take that action.

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I'm aware of issues like that, but I was responding specifically to what Brandon said - that ARTICLES have been posted in the last few weeks that demonstrate corruption in games journalism. That's what I want to hear about. I actually agree 100% that there are tons of issues with games journalism, mainly having to do with big publishers/developers. But I'm interested in hearing specific examples of ARTICLES that have been posted recently, since that is what was said.

i think this is where the problem lies, from what ive seen the main one is the stupid feminism articles that have been plaguing kotaku and other gaming sites rom the past few years where the entire focus should be gaming, not bringing political views into the equation.

http://kotaku.com/5910857/straight-white-male-the-lowest-difficulty-setting-there-is

the thing is the main ones that people are unhappy about is articles like this and stuff like this: http://kotaku.com/we-might-be-witnessing-the-death-of-an-identity-1628203079

this is what they mean by corruption because its basically a corruption of gaming journalism from news about our favourite hobby to political views, sponsors causing impartial reviews on games.

it was a noble cause, but why did it begin when quinn had an affair and got her dirty laundry thrown into the public eye?

idk maybe it was originally a public hunt against her because of a group of people hated her because of past indiscretions (idk whether she stole money from that gamejam thing and i don't partcularly care)

if they truly cared this gamergate situation should have begun 7 years ago as bardic said.

which brings up the idea that this was actually a set up to make the public rise up against the feminist movement that began with anita.

i mean look who are the major leaders of the gamergate side.

thunderf00t, a known anti-feminist.

internetaristocrat: a guy known for publicly humiliating tumblr sjw's

adam baldwin; He now considers himself a "small government conservative libertarian".

and from what i know of mundanematt he has personal issues regarding zoe quinn from what i know.

so what am i getting at?

gamergate as a movement was corrupt from the beginning and those still backing it should leave while they still have their dignity.

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i think this is where the problem lies, from what ive seen the main one is the stupid feminism articles that have been plaguing kotaku and other gaming sites rom the past few years where the entire focus should be gaming, not bringing political views into the equation.

http://kotaku.com/5910857/straight-white-male-the-lowest-difficulty-setting-there-is

the thing is the main ones that people are unhappy about is articles like this and stuff like this: http://kotaku.com/we-might-be-witnessing-the-death-of-an-identity-1628203079

SNIP

Kotaku (or rather, Gawker Media as a whole) is not a journalism or news organization, it is a content mill designed to drive traffic to ads. They may occasionally re-publish things written for them by game studio content marketers.

The best games journalism pieces that I can think of are the fantastic documentaries to have come out recently. Real people, real stories, with a message that can speak differently to individuals.

The problem is people thinking new media is anything but propaganda and marketing. I don't really care if Destiny outsold itself during the "launch window" (unless I was a shareholder in ATVI; at which point I'd likely search out the news earlier than Kotaku would provide it) or if 2015 Lara Croft is going to be fatter than 1997 Lara Croft.

People need to abandon the toxic institutions we've started propping up that provide no benefit to us.

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this is what they mean by corruption because its basically a corruption of gaming journalism from news about our favourite hobby to political views, sponsors causing impartial reviews on games.

What I take away from it is this: when people talk about "ethics in game journalism" what they really mean is that they don't like certain progressive / liberal viewpoints posted on gaming websites. They don't want to hear about diversity, they don't want to hear about tropes vs. women, they don't want to think about that stuff. THAT'S what this is about. Hence why, as you pointed out, the sort of people supporting GamerGate TEND to be Republicans, libertarians, conservatives, anyone on the right-wing side of the spectrum. Why else would Breitbart and Infowars give a shit?

But that REALLY isn't "corruption". If Kotaku posts an opinion piece, that's their right - and of all people, libertarians (etc) shouldn't have a problem with that. Opinion pieces, reviews, and editorials are all subjective by nature. That's not "corruption", or a problem with "ethics", that's what opinion pieces, reviews and editorials are by definition. Not to say that gaming websites don't have *actual* corruption issues, but they have much more to do with big corporations/publishers essentially bribing reviewers, and very little to do with people like Anita, Zoe, or indie game devs.

Not to be contentious, but didn't you previously disagree with djP when he'd suggested that it was the responsibility of those who wanted change to enact it in the context of video game developers and feminism (i.e if you want video games to treat women better, consider becoming a game developer)? I may be remembering wrong, here.

You are wrong, as I never said that. What I HAVE said that it's fair to try to effect change by persuading existing creators through reasoned arguments, essays, opinions, etc. GamerGate, as I said on the previous page, COULD have had this option available, but their hashtag is so toxic that journalists - the people they're trying to change, presumably - want nothing to do with them.

Edited by zircon

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What I take away from it is this: when people talk about "ethics in game journalism" what they really mean is that they don't like certain progressive / liberal viewpoints posted on gaming websites. They don't want to hear about diversity, they don't want to hear about tropes vs. women, they don't want to think about that stuff. THAT'S what this is about. Hence why, as you pointed out, the sort of people supporting GamerGate TEND to be Republicans, libertarians, conservatives, anyone on the right-wing side of the spectrum. Why else would Breitbart and Infowars give a shit?

But that REALLY isn't "corruption". If Kotaku posts an opinion piece, that's their right - and of all people, libertarians (etc) shouldn't have a problem with that. Opinion pieces, reviews, and editorials are all subjective by nature. That's not "corruption", or a problem with "ethics", that's what opinion pieces, reviews and editorials are by definition. Not to say that gaming websites don't have *actual* corruption issues, but they have much more to do with big corporations/publishers essentially bribing reviewers, and very little to do with people like Anita, Zoe, or indie game devs.

You are wrong, as I never said that. What I HAVE said that it's fair to try to effect change by persuading existing creators through reasoned arguments, essays, opinions, etc. GamerGate, as I said on the previous page, COULD have had this option available, but their hashtag is so toxic that journalists - the people they're trying to change, presumably - want nothing to do with them.

I don't want to repeat the allegations or give them more time in discussion, but to say that the accusations around Zoe weren't about corruption is to entirely miss the point.

Being vindictive and/or hateful does not disqualify something from pointing out corruption. They were literally accusations of corruption; that they had secondary purposes is irrelevant.

As I understand it, the reporter in question recused himself of potentially relevant stories, as was his responsibility as a member of the press.

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Right, but the allegations against her were proven false almost immediately (i.e. the one writer she did have a relationship with never reviewed her game; only mentioned it once prior to their relationship starting.) Yet the movement has persisted for months now talking about corruption in game journalism, and MANY people using the hashtag are STILL focused on Zoe, on Anita (who isn't even a game journalist) etc. So that to me says people are less concerned with literal corruption and more concerned with viewpoints expressed on gaming blogs that differ from their own.

And BTW, I'm not condemning disagreements. If I visited a music-making website every day, and that website started posting articles about why... video game music was dumb, I guess, I would probably stop reading that website. I might even post a response to their essay (or whatever) elsewhere. But I wouldn't accuse them of "corruption" because it's just a difference in opinion. If you don't think diversity is important in games and you don't want to hear about it, you're welcome to that opinion, and you can go ahead and not read Polygon and similar sites. Just don't conflate that with 'corruption' and 'ethics' because that's another subject entirely.

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When it comes to games I don't particularly care about people's personal political views.

So... id actually agree with brandon this once.

its why I stopped reading kotaku long ago, why I stopped reading things by leigh alexander, why I don't watch anita. In my view its down to the consumer to get rid of sexism.

I don't want to feel guilty for enjoying a medium.

I mean look at it this way.

derek and the dominos made the song layla, turns out the piano player killed his mother by strangling her.

does me loving this song make me agree with him killing his mother? No

I again bring this up because that is how the modern feminist movement has been framing the situation and its not that simple.

why can't people just get along and enjoy life?

EDIT: it was the drummer jim gorden

Edited by psychowolf

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This whole thing could have been avoided if they just didn't call themselves journalists :< They should stick with bloggers to be safe

Actually I agree with this, same with newt. It's hard to take the idea of "game journalism" seriously when these sites tend to make their money from the very people they're reporting on/about.

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I've been watching this thing since the start, and I'm exhausted. The fight between the press and the community was inevitable, with the ME 3 debacle, there was bound to be something that would finally snap, and the Zoe Quinn post is what did it. Things could have ended quick, but those reposts of Leigh's "gamers are over" article poured gasoline on a small flame. Then the GAMEJOURNOPRO email list blew it all to hell.

While I support what GamerGate is trying to be, it's less about focusing on ethics and just going after the advertisers of webpages now, and for what? What is that going to solve? Based on how I've seen websites react to it, I highly doubt they're going to change their ways. And even if you twist these website's arm, or they fold, 3 more will fill in the void for another crummy site. GamerGate can keep saying that they don't advocate harassment, and I don't think a lot of them do. But the Mainstream Press isn't interested in being fair, they see an attack on women, and will only focus on that. I find it absolutely hilarious how the gaming press, who have worked so hard in the past years to shield the gaming community from attacks on it from the mainstream press, are now running behind the mainstream media to protect them from gamers.

I've stated previously that I'm sticking with independent sites and one or two major sites like IGN (I know how they are, at least they're not as involved in any of this crap as I can tell), and I'll do my best to do that. I'm not going to watch hours of a twitch stream or a YouTube video to confirm my buying decisions, though they will have their use. But I just get sick of the political slant some sites advocate doing on their pages. I don't have a problem understanding what's on a critic/reviewers view on a game, but I'd rather not hear how this game is somehow sexist in your poorly written agenda, especially if you can't give me a reasonable view on your critique.

My solution to that is just not going to their sites. I hardly paid any attention to Kotaku or Polygon, heck, not even Destructoid. I also never paid attention to Leigh Alexander or Hernandez, mainly because some of their posts have been groan inducing (Sonic never being good at all, Mountain being some "deep" game). Writing a "gamer's are dead" piece, which points about gaming being more than just focusing on the arch-typical nerdy white guys, is fine. The way it was written, was a feeling of vindictiveness and attack. It's not smart to attack your readership, no matter how justified you feel. This mess has proven that enough. And acting like an idiot on social media, even if it's your personal account, can still represent your company. Why else would Adam Orth had been rightfully canned from Microsoft? He did serious damage to the Xbox Brand for insulting potential customers.

I've done my best to just back away from gamergate, because asking web pages that rely on constant click bait as a source of revenue to ditch that form of income raising, is impossible. Trying to get rid of these sites is like a bad penny, they will always turn up, and they'll never be gone. Anita Sarkeesian can rant about all the games she wants, I just don't have to view her videos. And she and her friends can talk down on the industry all they want, consumers will vote with their wallets how they view games, and the investors are the ones with the purse strings, not her.

And heck with that guy that gave that ridiculous speech and ending it by breaking GTA V in half as a "political statement". Looney doesn't describe him enough.

Edited by Toadofsky

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And even if you twist these website's arm, or they fold, 3 more will fill in the void for another crummy site.

Maybe if we can get a bunch of new crummy sites, at least they'll be ethical? :< hehe

Seems like a solid plan...

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If we end up getting sites that are better about ethics and sticking to them, that's fine by me. As long as they're not being so detached from their readership (ex: most major gaming web pages), then we have a good outcome on games coverage.

I'm not asking for strict objectivity, that doesn't seem feasible or even obtainable. It's just been obnoxious to watch these web pages pound sand over gamergate when they could have handled this better. That's not to say the community could be better, they absolutely can be awful, but don't paint the entire community with such a broad brush.

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This whole thing could have been avoided if they just didn't call themselves journalists :< They should stick with bloggers to be safe

http://blogjob.com/oneangrygamer/2014/10/gamergate-nowhere-on-my-site-does-it-say-we-are-journalists-says-destructoid-owner/

literally appeared on my newsfeed a day later.

someone is watching this place and taking our advice i swear.

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