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Author Topic: So... that whole GamersGate thing  (Read 90378 times)

September 04, 2014, 08:31:56 AM
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Sofox

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So... that whole GamersGate thing
« on: September 04, 2014, 08:31:56 AM »
Because someone here that I follow on Twitter keeps posting about it, I've been somewhat informed on GamersGate. This is required, because part of the whole GamersGate controversy is that none of the established gaming media blogs will talk about GamersGate, or the issues it raises, or even acknowledge it exists.

Personally, the whole controversy makes me incredibly nervous. I try to get along with everyone, so the idea that you can express an opinion, but have a huge amount throw abuse at you because you didn't consider this opinion, or that opinion, or are making the issue out to be about this but not about that... already several people have had parts of their career destroyed, one an indie game developer who spoke out against IGF, another a writer who wrote for the Guardian against the misogyny. Even expressing a modicum of support or empathy for one side can instantly make you a huge target to the other, and I think that's pretty nerve racking. What's more is that both sides have really important issues to discuss: One side about stopping the sending of harassment and death threats to people for stupid and superficial reasons that's making the gaming community tough for certain groups of people, and the other side dealing with the corrupt and incestuous nature of game community/game journalism with organised objectives and motives that they don't seem to be honest with us about, culminating in that several major gaming blogs and news outlets choosing the exact same day to start running "death of gamer" articles (speaking of, why the heck are these sites directly insulting their own audience)?

In the end, it all leaves me slightly confused, worried, high on the drama, and also afraid to speak out for fear of being misinterpreted. But I figured, hey, we know eachother, we can discuss this reasonably and with respect even if we've varying opinions right? So what do you guys think?

September 04, 2014, 10:00:02 AM
Reply #1

yaj

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Re: So... that whole GamersGate thing
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2014, 10:00:02 AM »
I haven't been following this story, but I'm curious to know what it's about. There's a story about a women who made a video on youtube about women being portrayed as sexual objects in video games. She is now receiving death threats. And there's another story about an article on forbes. I'm not sure how either of these things are connected to the website GamersGate though.

As a side note, the video makes a lot of good points. I mean..sometimes feminists over exaggerate things, but it's more than a valid argument that women are portrayed as sexual objects in video games. I wasn't aware of how bad it was, since the only games I play these days are a couple of old playstation games.

September 04, 2014, 11:21:31 AM
Reply #2

Southbird

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Re: So... that whole GamersGate thing
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2014, 11:21:31 AM »
I haven't been following this story, but I'm curious to know what it's about. There's a story about a women who made a video on youtube about women being portrayed as sexual objects in video games. She is now receiving death threats. And there's another story about an article on forbes. I'm not sure how either of these things are connected to the website GamersGate though.

Yeah, I haven't been following this, either. A quick summary might be nice. I'm finding stories of someone sleeping with journalists for press and another about the feminist being threatened. For a scandal, Google's being surprisingly indirect. What are we focusing on here?

September 04, 2014, 06:03:33 PM
Reply #3

Sofox

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Re: So... that whole GamersGate thing
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2014, 06:03:33 PM »
First up, I like the video yaj, there's a few points in it I'd argue against, but that just makes it like any other video on YouTube where someone expresses their opinion on video games.

Summarise GamersGate? Boy, that's hard, particularly since traditional blogs aren't covering it, and it's hard to get an unbiased account; even if I write one myself, there are just so many aspects to it.

So instead, I'm going to link you to what I believe is the most relevant video that I believe has emerged out of the discussion. It covers what it perceives as a conflict of interest and unhealthy connections between games journalists, an indie PR company, the IGF (indie game competition):

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgW5NRUfs44[/youtube]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgW5NRUfs44

Other than that, yes, there has been harassment against females, but also against males, and in both cases it's bad and should stop.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2014, 06:06:55 PM by Sofox »

September 04, 2014, 10:08:49 PM
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Keith Stack

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Re: So... that whole GamersGate thing
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2014, 10:08:49 PM »
To summarize:

Creepy misogynistic nerds are bad.

Indie game developers are bad.

Video game journalists are bad.

Radical feminists are bad.

September 04, 2014, 10:54:27 PM
Reply #5

James

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Re: So... that whole GamersGate thing
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2014, 10:54:27 PM »
Not all indie developers. There have been more steadily coming out to support the cause over the past week.

Also there have been at least three unbiased reviews on the whole campaign, and a professional newscast with guests Adam Baldwin and InternetAristocrat (two of the big supporters of the movement) dissecting the situation and what caused everything to fall apart in the first place.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2014, 10:56:04 PM by James »

September 05, 2014, 07:34:48 AM
Reply #6

Sofox

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Re: So... that whole GamersGate thing
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2014, 07:34:48 AM »
Okay, I've found a recent article that doesn't do a terrible job of summarising GamersGate: http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2014/09/04/gamergate-a-closer-look-at-the-controversy-sweeping-video-games Some have said the view is anti-feminist (the author claims to criticize both sides), but the problem is I haven't found a feminist article that covers the subject in as much depth.

September 05, 2014, 10:12:58 AM
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Southbird

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Re: So... that whole GamersGate thing
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2014, 10:12:58 AM »
Well, seems to be a very weird bit of cancer that just grew wildly out of control. It's hard to even keep track of all the things people are upset about. Per the article: "#GamerGate isn’t about conspiracies. It isn’t about scandal and corruption. It isn’t about feminists or misogynists. It isn’t about any of these things, and it’s about all of them all at once."

So, having read all that, going back to Sofox's original post... basically everything you've seen and all of your fears are pretty typical any time someone feels that basic social function is threatened. Now, I personally didn't realize that "gamer" had become an entire subculture. I always associated "gamer" as "person who plays video games a significant amount of time." Now that it's defining social norms and acceptance criteria, I'll just say I think the whole thing has become too obsessive and gone way too far.

Corruption in the press seems to be prevalent in any form of media. Media controls all these days and can be bought. It's a sad state of affairs, but it is what it is. The fact that people are "paying" (in whatever way) for good press shouldn't be a shock to anyone. The fact that the press itself won't talk about it most likely means that it is exactly what's happening. Their silence seems indicative of guilt.

But since video games ultimately come down to a tangible and usually commercial object, you'd like to believe in the end the consumer feedback will ultimately determine the legitimacy of any press. After all, even if you pay for good press, you better have a good video game. If a media outlet consistently publishes positive articles about a developer that continually churns out crap, eventually people will catch on and begin to distrust that source. It really shouldn't be any more complicated than that.

Another takeaway is don't air your dirty laundry on social media or any other publicly viewed forum. It sounds like a lot of this can all be traced back to a jilted ex-lover. This is unfortunately the age we live in, where everyone feels the need to speak out about every feeling and moment they have, and are somehow entitled to get everyone to care about it more than they should. I have largely stayed out of social media largely for this reason. I'm only interested in keeping track of people I at least moderately care about. The rest of the world is on its own.

Anyway, there's lots of bad stuff happening here, and it's really sad when people take a stance on something they get retaliation for it. But I think the bigger questions I have are why all of this is so important in the first place. I feel like video games should be one of those things where you follow a particular series and/or developer, and if they make a product you want, you buy it. The large-scale social implications of video games is probably something worth discussing since they are so prevalent now, and indeed extend well beyond the white-male-antisocial-nerd stereotype of old. (Of which I fit perfectly, honestly.) But I think people taking all of these stances about it are ridiculous. Video games more than ever are becoming an entry-level market. If you want to fight stereotypes, do it at the Indie level and encourage games that thwart stereotypes. Show that a video game can be good without whatever stereotype you dislike. Promote games that are doing something that you find remarkable.

Maybe it's a more passive stance, which is usually how I go about things anyway, but I think just speaking positively about a revolutionary video game rather than directly negatively attacking the foundation will mean a lot more in the long run. Because now all we've got is a bunch of people who've gotten mad, drawn their lines, and are failing to communicate. This has accomplished nothing and will probably continue to do so.

September 05, 2014, 01:34:21 PM
Reply #8

James

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Re: So... that whole GamersGate thing
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2014, 01:34:21 PM »
"jilted ex-lover"

And in that instance, everything you said became invalid.

September 05, 2014, 06:51:38 PM
Reply #9

Sofox

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Re: So... that whole GamersGate thing
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2014, 06:51:38 PM »
DUDE!

Look James, I know this whole GamersGate has gotten tense and stressful for all involved, but the worst part of it is people not treating others as human beings, and in my opinion, that is what you have done.

Saying that "you said X so that makes your opinion invalid" is a terrible retort in all circumstances. It implies that either someone's argument is flawless, or not worth listening do, which in my opinion is an unrealistic standard. Some people use it to avoid engaging with someone's opinion at all, meaning it's just a defensive tactic to avoid having one's opinions challenged.

Rob presented an interesting and thought out opinion on the issue, and came to that opinion by looking over various sources of information then applying his own experiences and thought. I myself thought it was an interesting perspective and was glad he shared it. If you disagree with his opinion, or part of it, or feel he misses the point, then please write out a response explaining this and providing information to support your view. It will help deepen the discussion, and help more people understand your point of view (which I value, incidentally). If you consider GamersGate a serious issue, then you must believe it requires a serious discussion to go with it. There's no reason to expect Rob won't listen to you if you post your opinions reasonably.

What I certainly do not put up with, is people constantly going "you're wrong, so I'm not going to listen to you, because I'm right". There has been WAY too much of that in GamersGate. It's insulting, demeaning to everyone involved, arrogant, and basically impedes any possibility of discussion or learning. I posted here at SER because I believed that we'd have an open, non-hostile, off the cuff environment to talk about these issues, not the closed minded thinking I've seen so much of on Twitter. So please James, disagree with Rob's opinions all you want, but please explain why.

September 05, 2014, 07:27:02 PM
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Southbird

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Re: So... that whole GamersGate thing
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2014, 07:27:02 PM »
Yeah, I also don't really know why, considering I only repeated what I read from the top of the article:

Quote
Jilted ex-boyfriend Eron Gjoni wrote a long treatise on the alleged infidelity of his ex-girlfriend, video game developer Zoe Quinn. Members of the video game industry and press were implicated.

... which if the article is valid at all was where the shit started rolling from. Maybe your beef is with the article itself there, James? But thanks for that, Sofox.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2014, 07:32:53 PM by Southbird »

September 05, 2014, 08:12:25 PM
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James

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Re: So... that whole GamersGate thing
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2014, 08:12:25 PM »
It's GamerGate, actually. GamersGate is a game-distribution thing.

Also the article is skewed because it refers to Eron as a "jilted ex-boyfriend". Reading over the actual post, it is simply him talking about what he went through and only realized through hindsight, with no emotional attachment in the present-tense whenever it comes up. To be "jilted" would imply that he still feels emotions towards Zoe, but he doesn't anymore at this point. He made the post as a warning, plain and simple, both personally and professionally.

Also, Sofox, you're right - today has been a really fucking tense day. Been exposed to people who have fallen for the trap of the trolls who tag-abuse the campaign and create a negative bias. I know that we're having positive effect (one of the Escapist co-founders flat-out stated that the post-GamerGate ethical standards of its parent company and by extension all of its sites will become a new standard, and the big-name companies sponsoring sites like Kotaku are actually threatening to pull their ads unless they fix their shit), but encountering people dead-set on slamming the campaign because they happened to encounter a whole bunch of fucking bad eggs... It's just flat-out exhausting.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2014, 08:29:50 PM by James »

September 05, 2014, 09:21:59 PM
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Sofox

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Re: So... that whole GamersGate thing
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2014, 09:21:59 PM »
You're welcome Rob.

And I accept your response James. It's one of the dangers of constantly interacting with negative and unreasonable people, if you're not careful about it, you'll might start acting a bit negative and unreasonable yourself. It's standard human behaviour osmosis. Best way to stop it is to be kind and respectful to everyone, even if they're nasty to you, even if you disagree with them. If you do that, you have a chance that the persons you're interacting with will see you're being polite and reasonable and respond in kind, maybe being more open to your point of view; even if they don't then bystanders will automatically attach more weight to the opinion of the person who's more respectful; and you also prevent the possibility of accidentally insulting someone in a way you'd later regret.

September 05, 2014, 09:29:48 PM
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James

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Re: So... that whole GamersGate thing
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2014, 09:29:48 PM »
I've tried doing that, but it hasn't worked at all. Politeness means nothing to a SJW, whether or not newly converted.

September 05, 2014, 11:46:07 PM
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Southbird

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Re: So... that whole GamersGate thing
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2014, 11:46:07 PM »
It's GamerGate, actually. GamersGate is a game-distribution thing.

THAT must be why I was having trouble finding stuff on this earlier. It seemed weird that such a hot scandal had very few results, and I was trying to figure out if it was all tied to the distribution site somehow. :P

September 07, 2014, 08:07:23 PM
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Re: So... that whole GamersGate thing
« Reply #15 on: September 07, 2014, 08:07:23 PM »
My impression of it is that it's mind-crushingly stupid. People spewing internet vitrol at each other, and then pretending to be shocked and offended when vitrol gets fired back.

Basically we know that the internet has come of age when the sort of over-emotional, mindless spats that were once confined to newsgroups and BBSs now make news headlines.

September 08, 2014, 06:09:14 AM
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Matt_TY

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Re: So... that whole GamersGate thing
« Reply #16 on: September 08, 2014, 06:09:14 AM »
One day I want there to be a scandal that involves an actual gate, so that it is called Gategate.

Anyway this is all pretty dumb and involves wilful misinterpretation by both sides of one another's arguments. Then it gets all vitriolic and violent and stupid and trolls get involved and it's dumb.
AND SUCH

September 08, 2014, 04:28:59 PM
Reply #17

James

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Re: So... that whole GamersGate thing
« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2014, 04:28:59 PM »
@Sz: I have no idea what you're talking about. Most of the posts I've been reading over the past 3 weeks have been perfectly civil discussions and responses.

September 08, 2014, 10:48:46 PM
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Sz

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Re: So... that whole GamersGate thing
« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2014, 10:48:46 PM »
Well, I tuned it out weeks ago. That said, given where it started, I can't imagine the civil discussions amount to anything more than navel gazing.

September 09, 2014, 02:46:21 AM
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H Hog

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Re: So... that whole GamersGate thing
« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2014, 02:46:21 AM »
I haven't really tuned it in to begin with, and feel I'm probably happier for it.

Xbox Live: H Hoguera  --  NNID: HHoguera  --  PSN: H_Hoguera

September 09, 2014, 04:15:05 AM
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Sofox

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Re: So... that whole GamersGate thing
« Reply #20 on: September 09, 2014, 04:15:05 AM »
Well, I tuned it out weeks ago. That said, given where it started, I can't imagine the civil discussions amount to anything more than navel gazing.

The Escapist just released updated Journalist rules and guidelines in response to criticisms raised by GamerGate.

September 09, 2014, 08:20:14 AM
Reply #21

James

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Re: So... that whole GamersGate thing
« Reply #21 on: September 09, 2014, 08:20:14 AM »
Which will also apply to ALL of its sibling sites.

Meanwhile, Kotaku lost one of its major sponsors.

September 09, 2014, 10:12:24 AM
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Sofox

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Re: So... that whole GamersGate thing
« Reply #22 on: September 09, 2014, 10:12:24 AM »
Which sponsor? I missed that. Also a link so I can look it up would be helpful.

September 09, 2014, 03:50:28 PM
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Archaemic

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Re: So... that whole GamersGate thing
« Reply #23 on: September 09, 2014, 03:50:28 PM »
Kotaku is one of the worst major game journalism sites, so…actually, all Gawker sites are pretty bad.

(This list is incomplete)

September 09, 2014, 07:09:44 PM
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Re: So... that whole GamersGate thing
« Reply #24 on: September 09, 2014, 07:09:44 PM »
I didn't pay the story any mind as--with all things considered--game journalism has been about as important to my life as a book to a blind man.  With that said, sketchy connections, forceful control of a narrative, and outright corruption are nothing unique to this field.  Do a little digging into the national American news media, and between the friendships, partnerships, marriages, employment connections, sycophancy, etc., etc., much of it is one, big, incestual circle jerk of government, corporate, and special interests.

I'll say this: Whether sifting through this mess or a similar controversy, the best way to get news is to get as much of the firsthand sources as possible.  Encyclopedia Dramatica--though hardly neutral--is a great source for leaked/saved e-mails, posts, and whatnot that show instances of the sketchy connections Rob was suspecting.

Also, regarding social commentary, social justice, or whatever form of activism in gaming, if a good game includes some poignant points, I'll respect it and give it thought.  Think about Metal Gear Solid which touched on nuclear proliferation, the plight of the Kurds, female soldiers in the military, genetic experimentation, government corruption, et cetera and did so in a tasteful manner that fit into the story of a good game.  However, don't waste my time self-righteously preaching a sermon and calling it a game.  I'm not interested.