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Gender Diversity / Politics in games (was Tropes Vs. Women)


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Also, I don't think anyone's saying Biffo is a 'GGer in disguise' - certainly I'm not, because that would be a disastrously unsophisticated analysis of the situation. But 'stop feeding the trolls' seems to be miles away from the point here. We've seen plenty of examples - and one would be too many - where those targeted by GG don't have the option or luxury of ignoring them, even if we accept that ignoring them is the correct path to take, which is something I'd dispute.

 

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But for someone being genuinely cyber-bullied online, by GG or otherwise, advising them to speak out and tackle their abuser head-on might cause them psychological harm they could otherwise avoid.

 

It might, yeah. Which is why it's important for the rest of us to be willing to stand up and be counted, and not write articles like Biffo's.

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46 minutes ago, Alex W. said:

literally what Gamergate has been asking for since the beginning. For particular people to shut up.

 

It occurs to me that this is not quite right - it's what Gamergate has been asking for since Leigh Alexander's piece, but what proto-Gamergate has been asking for since TvWiVG hit Kickstarter.

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3 hours ago, geekette said:

For all their calls of censorship and free speech, the only people whose speech is being stifled are female and minority voices. It is really notable that I can blog or tweet about absolutely everything else without fearing that I will receive personal threats and harassment, but I can't blog or tweet about video games, or about GG or say that women should be able to speak up about video games without feeling that it is personally risky.

 

I mean, it comes to something when you feel like the risk of condemning the actions of a terrorist organisation like ISIS on social media is lower than condemning the actions of some guys promoting ethics in video games journalism.

 

Why?

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I guess I feel that we've spent a lot of time talking in detail about how Gamergate is about fear and confusion, but not a lot of time and detail talking about its impact on its nominal cause. Gamergate is counterproductive in a lot of illustrative ways.

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Let's be fair, it's pretty hard to trawl through the thread and find examples of harrassment of women when they dare have an opinion about video games. The way people are criticising Neg one would think there were examples from page one post one or something.

 

On a related note I see Anita is starting up a new project on women in history https://www.seedandspark.com/studio/ordinary-women#story

 

As such the Tropes series is probably ending this year and after the last video is released I think that will mark a natural end to this thread. (You're all still welcome to post past that point, I'm not going to get the thread locked or anything.)

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1 minute ago, Wroth said:

The thread has since become about more than just the tropes series, but perhaps without it, it would simply be the general "feminism and harrasment on the internet" thread.

 

I'm not sure how useful listing and reporting on every instance of harrassment is. It feels more like signal boosting with the end result being more women just giving up and staying silent.

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Someone whom is clearly educated on the subject shouldn't be afraid of expressing themselves, no matter the gender, no matter the subject. Tis all.

 

I could slip on a banana peel and die tomorrow. Shit happens. Don't let bananas stop you.

 

Edit: It was also a puzzling statement because with this particular subject surely 'by now' expressing concerns shouldn't be a worry. Not as much as 2+ years ago.

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I also don't like the idea of it being 'just females and minorities'. For the most part, most probably, but it's the still the kind of statement that causes a fuss. It's not like a bloke doesn't get shot down for expressing fairness now and then either.

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4 hours ago, Alex W. said:

I've been reading the Stanlisaw Lem collection I referred to ages ago, and its centrepiece is a 50-page essay from the 1970s titled:

 

"Science fiction: a hopeless case - with exceptions"

 

That's not an ironic counterpoint, he really does not think science fiction has much of a future. There are some very interesting parallels between gaming today and the failures he saw in science fiction, its writers, its critics, its readers and its community at the time. There's even an excellent section about SF's envy for and imitation of the institutions of "serious literature" which parallels gaming's desire to be the new cinema.

 

Lem was not very popular amongst the SF readers or writers at the time.

 

Anyway, this got me thinking about "ethics in games journalism again" and I thought I'd lay out the basic points I'm considering:

 

1) Is gaming a consumable product?

2) Should the games media be analytical or promotional in nature?

3) Should publishers shape their content towards what people want, and what sells? Or should development be expressive in nature?

4) What are the exact problems with games journalism today?

5) Does the games playing community apply selective pressures to preserve the best content over the worst?

 

It seems to me that much of what Gamergate has been asking for - "objective" reviews that read like promotional factsheets, publishers avoiding things gamers don't like, less subjective analysis, less games-as-art - are the sort of things that are currently really bad about games journalism and development, and favouring them would only make the journalism into more of a promotional activity and games into more of a disposable toilet-paper sort of product.

 

Ultimately, the biggest problems with video gaming is that they've traditionally always been massively hamstrung by constraints of capitalism, moreso than any other medium, which themselves have usually always had a much greater ability to create and publish/publicise themselves without the death grips of a large corporation needed to allow for the collaborative efforts required to see a game come to fruition. This isn't to say that other medium instrustries aren't massively dominated and controlled by a tiny oligarchy of players, but there's typically been a much greater freedom to create a book/comic/film/picture/piece of music/play primarily down to the relative ease of outputting a finished creation.

 

What does a staunchly capitalist environment breed? A lack of variety, a desire to consolidate tastes and styles, basically a complete lack of risk-taking and a need to reinforce neatly packaged markets that basically get the same thing over and over. Like how children's toys have become more and more gender-specific in recent decades, so too do "gamers" generally want to play sequels or similar titles to their favourite games. Or how big a thing nostalgia is for how easily it conjures up positive memories for just about anyone, especially wankers buying and selling antiques broadcast all hours on the BBC, not to mention the ease and cost-effectiveness of remoulding these older images into "new" things.

 

In the now, it's technically easier to create and self-publish a game all on your ownsome, but it's also still at the whims of massive content aggregators who still have their own exhaustive lists of do's and don'ts to satisfy in order to get whatever out there, not to mention the impact of having to find a space within years and years of existing norms and content, even if such and such a devco wants to pretend that their indie darling title really is the massive leap into the unknown that they want it to be. But it's more than likely not going to be.

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1 hour ago, NEG said:

Someone whom is clearly educated on the subject shouldn't be afraid of expressing themselves, no matter the gender, no matter the subject. Tis all.

 

I could slip on a banana peel and die tomorrow. Shit happens. Don't let bananas stop you.

 

Edit: It was also a puzzling statement because with this particular subject surely 'by now' expressing concerns shouldn't be a worry. Not as much as 2+ years ago.

People are still being harassed, doxxed, SWATted and all-sorts. And it's disproportionately women and minorities.

That you think it's just as likely to be killed by yellow fruit shows you aren't particularly plugged into the reality of the situation. Most likely because you aren't exposed to, don't listen to or don't believe in what said women and minorities are telling you.

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Life itself is a risk, that is very much reality.

 

I've been frightened a good deal in my lifetime. If I assumed my opinion was going to cause something very ill towards my real life by posting it on Rllmuk for example, I simply wouldn't do it. Same reason I don't twitter those kinds of things, due to indeed the toxic nature of the everyday 13 year old kid out there (as I see it). But there's a difference, no? As somewhere like Rllmuk is a place willing to listen. Twitter, by comparison, is like trying to make a discussion in the rush hour of New York whilst avoiding being run over.. Doesn't work, even without the toxic, the sheer number of voices doesn't make it quite ideal.

 

Perhaps I'm trying to say there's a place for everything. While I may be actually scared for my life by online stuff as much as banana peels, there is a level of acceptance that anything can happen regardless of how I choose to go about it, you know? I'm not suggesting fearlessness is the end all be all solution to expression.

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Someone like me has a much easier time on twitter, regardless of what I tweet, than someone who is more marginalised than I am and makes this obvious. I might get the occasional drive-by libertarian with 3 followers who's got twitter alerts set up for 'socialism' or 'feminism' or whatever but I don't get the sustained campaigns of targeted hate and harassment which others (friends of mine among them) are subjected to.

 

god dammit, sorry, i'm replying to neg. please neg this post to remind me not to do this again

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