“Although it emerged as a voice for marginalized people who were often seeking an alternative to crime and violence, rap has, for several decades, drawn the ire and vitriol of police, politicians, religious leaders, and civic groups who maintain it is particularly threatening to American society. Indeed, research by social scientists reveals that people view rap as more dangerous and threatening when compared to other music genres. These negatively stigmatized perceptions stem, in large part, from broader stereotypes, both about the genre itself and the primary creators of rap music – young men of color. Unless the defendant-speaker’s subjective intent is taken into consideration, such biases and prejudices may subtly cause jurors and jurists to erroneously find true threats where none exist.”—
"We can confirm that approximately 25 of GDC’s organizers received an anonymous email early in the morning of Wednesday, March 19th, 2014 during GDC 2014," the organizers said in a statement.
"The email stated the following: ‘A bomb will be detonated at the Game Developer’s Choice award ceremony tonight unless Anita Sarkeesian’s Ambassador Award is revoked. We estimate the bomb will kill at least a dozen people and injure dozens more. It would be in your best interest to accept our simple request. This is not a joke. You have been warned.’"
Trolls are not geek culture. Trolls are not gamer culture. Trolls are, as Batman would put it, a cowardly & superstitious bunch of criminals. They are quivering misogynists. If you are a misogynist, your geek badge is hereby revoked. You are fake gamers. You have more in common with Westboro than with actual nerds. GTFO.
Credibility is when a comedy website doesn’t challenge your political views. It’s when only the people who don’t talk about race grace the cover of your digital news or get mad likes on the front page of YouTube; it’s when at least the people who disagree with you don’t comment as often on your misguided attempts to be a forward-thinking man as you do on theirs. Credibility is when your echo chamber’s walls grow thick, when your ego engorges and wraps around you, when your foetal state of emotional weakness is insulated by the weight of how many names for rhetorical devices you can misuse or which memes you can source as faux-contexts. Credibility is blood; you’ve slit Cracked’s neck, you’ve slit Polygon’s neck, why on earth would you have to hear another woman? Even the nice ones, especially the often-wrong ones, why on earth would you have to hear a sinner say they still deserve a fairer trial than a cinderblock to the ankle and God’s love on the way down if they deserve it? Only witches get back up. That means you’re right. Incredible. Credibility is an echo chamber with teeth around its walls, no counterpoint climbs here, no way, trespassers shall be shot on sight, the smell of new opinion makes you clutch your belly button, makes you retch for your friends to LOL quickly beneath you in solidarity, it must be incredible, whatever just jumped the fence. When the rest of us ask why it is a comedy website has to be the one to get it right, you’ll fume. You’ll say comedy is proof of an opinion’s tomb - all the serious folks agree, there must be less to your ideology, right? I must have done won this fight. Let’s get more bullet points out of this capitalist conservative magazine, unload this YouTube clip, there must be less to your ideology. Credibility is when you can feel the veins in your echo chamber’s neck pulsing at the very thought of dissent somewhere, Commissioner Nimrod shines the Not All Men beacon high past the moon, then comes the credits page, Issue One of Three, I have an issue, I have an issue, I have a copy of Atwood’s selected poems open on ‘A Woman’s Issue’, I must be one of the bad guys here, it’s incredible. Credibility is when you can only be civil to the walls around you. Credibility is when the walls of your skull grow thick, veins pulsing.
“I have read more feminist articles that made me angry and which sounded upside down and backwards than I can count. And an astonishing number of them over time made me realize that I was nonetheless wrong and they were right. I still routinely read feminist articles that make me think, “I hate every word of this but I can’t find the philosophical or empirical mistake.” I will routinely see a controversy erupt, have a knee jerk response that the feminists are obviously full of shit, read the debate and wind up writing an article supporting the feminists because they simply won me over.
You know how that makes me feel about feminism? It makes me feel great. I want to read some more even though I know I’ll probably hate it and struggle with it for a while. I like reading feminists because I like having my biases unsettled. I like being forced to uncomfortable places morally and intellectually. And even when I read an abusive feminist who I wish would be more civil, I still bother to focus on what’s in there that I might learn from.
I can think of no single group of writers on the internet who change my opinions more often than the feminists.”—Daniel Fincke, On Criticizing Your Own Side Without Being A Traitor, September 16th, 2014, Patheos.com
TV:There are two kinds of folks who sit around thinking about how to kill people-
Me:PSYCHOPATHS AND MYSTERY WRITERS. IM THE KIND THAT PAYS BETTER. I'M RICK CASTLE. CASTLE. CASTLE. I REALLY AM RUGGEDLY HANDSOME AREN'T I? EVERY WRITER NEEDS A MUSE, AND I'VE FOUND MINE. DETECTIVE KATE BECKETT, BECKETT. BECKETT. NIKKI HEAT? THE CHARACTER HE'S BASING ON YOU. AND THANKS TO MY FRIENDSHIP WITH THE MAYOR, I GET TO BE ON HER CASE. I'D BE HAPPY TO LET YOU SPANK ME. AND TOGETHER WE CATCH KILLERS. WE MAKE A PRETTY GOOD TEAM YOU KNOW? LIKE STARSKY AND HUTCH. TURNER AND HOOCH. YOU DO REMIND ME A LITTLE OF HOOCH.
“I find it interesting, though, that my one “controversial” article, the one that “established” me as a “corrupted” video games journalist lacking “ethics,” was—unlike the many, many unwashed essays I have released into the wild—the same one that endured the most rigorous of due editorial processes.”—Jenn Frank, On Leaving, infinitelives.net
The creators of the upcoming Gotham TV series have revealed that the show will feature a prominent lesbian character.
“There’s no way we on Earth we would have a show like this limit itself with out-of-date values.”
Victoria Cartagena, who will take on the recurring role of the detective, said: “Growing up, I rarely saw people of colour or gay people depicted in a positive light, and I know when you don’t see yourself reflected in the world around you, it does things to your self-esteem.
“Let us hope that this is a path toward even more change in regard to the perceptions of female sexuality, as well as our bodies in relation to sex.”
Would I be wrong at all in assuming that Tumblr as a community actually dreads shit like Christmas and New Years’ but for some reason totally organic to Tumblr, for almost no visible reason, starts generating mad hype for Halloween literally a month and a half in advance?
What exactly is it about Tumblr that finds Halloween so compelling?
There is a social media phenomenon waiting to be deciphered here.
pssst hey! i might not talk to you very often (mostly because i'm shy (if you couldn't tell by the anon-ness)) but I really really adore you and i think you are a downright PHENOMENAL writer and just a genuinely amazing person and an inspiration. <3
Thanks a lot, Anon. I really appreciate the love. You’re pretty awesome, too; and I want you to know that you shouldn’t hesitate to talk to me. About anything. About writing; about reading; about… uh… cats? Cats are nice. And butterflies. Butterflies too. What I’m trying to say is, don’t be a stranger. I could do with more amazing anons like you passing by. :D
I thought if I just walked a little slower, took my time, asked a couple friends to hold my hand, hold me down as I tried to get back into the business of walking, I’d feel the ground this time beneath my toes. No dice. I want to call someone and say ‘the ground isn’t here, and what is here feels like death’. All the people that come to mind are bad ideas I deleted the numbers of long ago. I don’t know what to say, I need a couple friends to hold my hand, I’m warmer than usual but I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise, my own bed feels like a trap, this was the mattress that taught me how to cry the first time, and I don’t want to find the plot of Port of Spain that would give me the refresher course, I need a couple friends to hold my hand. I am bad at grief. I am bad at a lot of feeling nouns. My mind is a tachyon and everything is a wall worth bouncing off of, you’ll be lucky to get an internally consistent sentence out of me, I haven’t touched the ground yet. The ground isn’t here. What is here feels like the sod of my own future plot, and I’m afraid of what I’d do to myself if I touched that instead. Someone find me a soft place to land before I just get taken by my worry. Tie love to my ankle, or hook my shirt with the future. Don’t let go. I don’t know what’s taking me, I don’t know what’s taking me over, I don’t know what’s taking me so long, but I’m afraid of not coming back. I need to remain grounded.
Had this really peculiar idea for an epistolary short story about trap music and cultural/ethnic identity in space but I haven’t been up for writing much of anything but take notes for quite some time.
It hurts, frankly: having all these things part of me still wants to do, but not having the energy to actually make them because an actual wall of feelings is between you and the work.
GamerGate’s impetus is still a series of abusive tweets, blog posts, and comments directed at Depression Quest dev Zoe Quinn in relation to a sexual encounter she had with a games journalist that bore no extra press for her game or her work from the journalist in question. If you are against…
THIS IS HOW YOU DIS GAMERGATE.
Thank you, kind sir.
Though I would have to disagree with #1. If you were a journalists, the moment you write about someone, THAT’S WHERE YOU’RE RELATIONSHIP WITH THEM ENDS. The best thing you can do is to shake hands and be nice. GETTING SERIOUS WITH THEM, PAST OR FUTURE IS A NO GO.
(sorry in advance for being long)
I can kinda give you that, but it’s inextricably tied to the fact that, as L. Rhodes stated, games journalism has more in common with the idea of the ‘enthusiast press’ than with mainstream journalism. The majority of these people started off as just gamers, or devs or potential devs, or media bloggers with a liking for the medium. Unless we also create employment criteria for those covering it - that you need at most a journalism degree and at least a humanities degree in Classics or Art History or some madness - we’re dealing with people who talk about games because they like them, and developed the jargon in conjunction with the industry and available criticism languages of other media.
What does that mean? It means that a lot of them were close purely because they all liked the same thing as they got here. If we’re going to judge fellow fans for not being strict enough about who they’re friends with, then we should judge all gamers equally strictly.
I know a couple of game reporters or former game reporters who, regardless of their level of connection with the industry, get giddy about going to E3 or PAX the same as fans, and would gladly pay their own money to attend with all the fixings (if they had that kinda money to spend). I don’t think I want that to change. I want that disclosure to be available publicly, but that’s a totally different thing than saying I want them to not be close. After all, they’re not jaded journos who are wary of the culture. They’re fellow fans. They want to be here. I don’t want to rob them of their love in the search for objectivity, because I don’t think they have to hate or be distant from the medium to be critical. A lot of them, in fact, are critical because they love it. I know big-name journos and low-level bloggers alike who are big fans of people and even lucky to know them by name who will chew out a work for content or for mechanics because they want that person’s work to get better, or want a higher caliber of work overall.
I think that’s fine, and it’s encouraged alongside disclosure. I want people who love games to tell me what’s worth loving. Lots of art critics and journalists are close to some of their subjects, and it never stops them from being critical. As I told a friend on facebook, somewhere on the internet is a pocket of book bloggers who are absolutely flummoxed by the fact that we think art commentators can’t be critical and be fond of certain works or creators at the same time. The mere assumption that friends in the industry aren’t being critical or presenting proper protocol is, to me, just that - an assumption.
After all, some of these people are close to other critics, devs, and industry commentators primarily because they are doing something they are deeply connected to - making something they love greatly, something whose message or theme or even mechanics or style touches them deeply. I can’t imagine having to make a disclaimer about the fact that a reviewer rates a game about, say, domestic violence highly because it’s resonant with the reviewer, or else games like Papo y Yo would have to go largely uncovered; and it would have to be the same with other media - feminists an’t discuss The Piano, only atheists can read The Shack for review. I can get why people would be on the fence about this, but I think that regardless of your position, if someone makes something you connect with personally, you shouldn’t deny it.
You should just disclose it. Within reason. I mean, somewhere out there is someone who agrees with the political ideology of an artist and therefore judges their work highly in terms of content. That’s still being critical and objective. Because a manner of subjectivity is still built in. We’re talking about enjoyment, after all. And some of the editorial policies that have been in practice already acknowledge that there is no value in providing a disclaimer purely for its own sake.
And further to this specific case, I want to reiterate that the sexual encounters of anyone in the industry are not anyone else’s business. Not only did it not lead to the result we thought it did by Quinn’s ex Eron Gjoni’s own admission, but it doesn’t add or subtract legitimacy from the conversation. I think it’s unproductive to get upset with something on principle without that larger context - not only that it isn’t our business, but that the issues we have with the gaming press since the beginning of this discussion has not been with fans being fans, but with big publishers buying cooked reviews with ad money. That’s still a thing, and of all the vital parts of the overall conversation I actually see that one the least in #GamerGate posts.
There are some guidelines that definitely absolutely positively need to be established, and for the most part the whole of the internet - including the journalists we think are in cahoots - are in agreement. You should disclose early if so necessary, a thing judged both by the author and the editor. Cases like these could have been avoided if Grayson simply did not do any coverage at all about Quinn (regardless of the fact that his coverage of Zoe is paltry at best, and no wrong was done by Kotaku’s own editorial standards). There should be a clear and searchable editorial policy (which a lot of the orgs. we think are ‘part of the problem’ had before #GamerGate was a twinkle in someone’s eye).
We just need to have the conversation that gets there, not any old conversation that vaguely mentions it.
Are feminists taking over video games? Does the video-game press care about video games anymore? Since I have access to a large, growing repository of nearly every recent article published by the video-game press, I thought I’d run a simple query to answer these questions and share the results—whatever they turned out to be.
Of the 84,796 articles downloaded in 2013, only 0.4493% of those articles, published by 28 of the 33 tracked outlets, mentioned feminism, sexism, or misogyny and their -ist counterparts. Less than half of a percent!
To reiterate, less than half of a percent of the articles published by video-game journalists for top-tier outlets in 2013 and the first two quarters of 2014 brought up these more progressive subjects explicitly. That means that 99.55% of the output of professional video-game journalists has nothing to do with feminism, sexism, or misogyny.
Wow half a percent! We have to stop this before they destroy games as we know it! (sarcasm)
GamerGate’s impetus is still a series of abusive tweets, blog posts, and comments directed at Depression Quest dev Zoe Quinn in relation to a sexual encounter she had with a games journalist that bore no extra press for her game or her work from the journalist in question. If you are against abusive language, addressing the link between it and the movement is key, otherwise you still read as a movement inextricably tied to it and even in support of its tactics.
As a core, neither in those social media posts nor in the IRC raid chats that were revealed by Quinn does the journalist’s name or role gather any more attention than even Anita Sarkeesian, whose role as a video game commentator regardless of your agreement with her judgments is still valuable to the lofty goals of the movement (and whose connection to the issues of corruption in the industry are nebulous at best and a stretch at worst). A cursory search of the tag on Tumblr reveals a sea of people that, by the movement’s alleged standards, are off-message, dedicated instead to decrying ‘the feminist horde’ and it’s apparent grip on games criticism. If there is a message, going off-message hurts the movement.
L. Rhodes in his Medium post highlighted the difficulty of the movement to get past its initial hump of asking for raised standards, not only because there is not an agreed standard, but because a large swathe of people insist that some of those standards include an abandonment of certain key elements to the discussion of games both as art and as a cultural touchstone, such as its social value and work-specific criticisms. After all, some of that is direct reportage, but the rest is integral artistic critique, valuable if we want the work we love to be recognized as worth more than shallow entertainment - an issue we as a community have been tackling for far longer even than journalistic ethics. Before talking about online mags, we’ve always been talking about games being taken seriously as a medium. We’re actually getting there now. But it’s in large part due to this critique, academic forms of meta-analysis that have existed longer even than some of us have been alive.
If higher standards are demanded of the product, then higher standards must be paid of the consumer base. You can’t come into my restaurant and protest for better service, whether my service is truly bad or not, by slinging shit all over my marble counter. If we want the standards to raise, we have to be willing to have civilized conversation about that raising of standards, and that involves holding people within the conversation accountable for their behaviour. Lead by example. Not saying ‘I’m sorry this happened’ to those who suffer; that’s dismissive to the pain caused, and doesn’t actually help stop those who cause pain. Say ‘cut it out’ publicly and loudly to those who cause suffering, and being aware of the suffering you cause.Address publicly that there is an undercurrent of abuse you do not tolerate or have difficulty addressing in your own camp. Address publicly that these people are not among you, do not represent you, do not share your ideals. Make that clear - they do not share your ideals. Make it clear that you are talking about the one thing, and that the one thing is the only conversation you’re committed to having. If it is really that GamerGate is being overrun by ‘false flags’, misogynist ramblings from incoherent non-committal actors, and other unproductive talk, then rein it in, or you will lose credibility. And be willing to respond to the backlash you’re bound to get afterward, because then you’re going to have to deal with the people who play the censorship card in Defense Mode. You can’t just say ‘we’re doing our best’. Kotaku has revised its commenting policy at least three times in however many years, among all sorts of other editorial policy reforms, and they’re still having the greater conversation of abusive behaviour in actual posts. It isn’t about whether you can catch a sexist comment in the thread and delete it in time. It’s about whether you can create a space that either only or majorly encourages compassionate and respectful language, or can create a space where all members present hold each other member accountable. That means we have to see it. If in your ranks we can see more hate than discourse, then your movement reads as hate (which, irony of ironies, is poignant considering that even the worst of internally misogynist/cissexist/racist/classist/transphobic/biphobic/homophobic radscum feminism is still but a speck in the eye of the mainstream feminist discourse and still, while people mistake the whole movement for those parts - or worse, say the movement is hateful because they simply disagree with its premises - we have been railing against those ideas publicly and loudly).
I’m not going to lie to you, though: I’m sure a lot, even a majority of you, genuinely want to talk about game ethics, and took whatever chance you could get. I feel like you could have had this conversation since 2005 with Dan Hsu and we wouldn’t even have been here, but no matter. I feel like a lot of you don’t keep into account the amount of work Gawker/Kotaku has done to build a functioning editorial policy both into its work and the comments of them, but no matter. I feel like you overlook Polygon’s work to come into games journalism game with a functioning editorial policy, but whatever. The real pain is that, if you genuinely believe that GamerGate is a just conversation of video game journalistic ethics, the combination of all the effects of the racist, sexist, hateful numbers on your digital spaces has already hurt you. Not Quinn - unless you genuinely do think one lone woman was bored or drunk enough to screencap herself in several different account names on several different online platforms typing weird and hurtful shit, which regardless of my views on Quinn as an individual would be far too much outside the power of one person. That level of histrionics has to be supported before I can buy that she tried to one-up a space synonymous for amassing large groups of people to co-opt discourses and even entire online spaces before. Besides, Virtuous Mission’s ‘PR rep’ admitted that the whole space is unruly, has a bunch of terrible actors within it that can’t be taken to task. If you want to achieve the level of transparency required to remain legitimate, you have to be a little more willing at least in my opinion to have this conversation more openly than on an anonymous platform that anyone can co-opt. At best, you look like a well-meaning group of erudite people trying to have a business meeting in a crime-filled alley; at worst, you seem hesitant to actually walk the walk as it pertains to policing your ranks’ language, or worse still, like the conversation of reining in your members is pure lip service. If this is important to you, those are not flaws you overlook. Those are flaws you address, and soon - very soon; so soon, in fact, that if it isn’t sorted yet, you should probably put your ethics conversation on pause and get to it, or else we’ll have difficulty trusting you.