#1 Posted by Musai (67 posts) -

I've been thinking about this for a couple of weeks now, and seeing twitter randoms harassing Zoe Quinn for no reason that I can see, other than being a woman gave dev, is really off putting. What's worse, for some unfathomable reason, people who report on anything sexism or gender-related get flamed too. Am I missing something here?

Last time I checked, a lot of us who play video games have been given a hard time for their hobby at some point in the past. So some of us turn around and make people who share our interests feel like they don't belong? Sorry if this isn't the right place for this discussion, but I've wanted to talk about this for a while now. It's the number one issue that needs to be addressed, and I'm not sure if there's anything I can do, aside from being tolerant and inclusive.

#2 Edited by Village_Guy (2793 posts) -

Oh boy, you are treading dangerous waters with this topic on these forums.

Not that this isn't the right place to discuss these things, but these debates have a tendency to get... heated here on Giant bomb.

#3 Edited by Video_Game_King (36566 posts) -

I don't know how better to put it, but that's just the way things are.

#4 Posted by CaLe (4317 posts) -

It's not very interesting.

#5 Posted by Klei (1799 posts) -

I'll try to give my simple opinion before this thread goes the wrong way.

Usually, people who invoke sex/gender in this industry come with a very firm point of view on those things. Like Carolyn Petit, at Gamespot, who is very likely to point out misogyny in most games she plays. While commendable, it can also irritate a lot of gamers. Because really, a lot of them don't much care about if they're playing with a female or a male lead and find little to no reasons to blow this out of proportion like some gaming media journalists does.

#6 Posted by Fear_the_Booboo (771 posts) -

It's the right place to talk about it, but as @village_guy said, it will probably become heated.

Seriously, I don't know why some developpers get that much hate. Maybe some people are just a bunch of assholes, but there's probably more to it.

I think Patrick is right saying some players feel like that if indie gaming take more space, they will lose what they will like. For someone that just enjoy the occasionnal FPS, maybe the rise of indies and "art"-game make them feel that maybe in the next years, what they like won't be as popular anymore. It's kind of a misguided idea, but I can see why someone would think that.

Then, if something you enjoy is in danger, their reaction is to try to shut down everything else.

I dunno, really.

#7 Posted by Oldirtybearon (5291 posts) -

@musai: My guess is that the people who sling that kind of shit are either trolling (people who don't give a fuck and just get their kicks from being a shithead) or bitter. Bitter because of precisely what you described; people who have been ostracized or marginalized because of their hobby. They see what they assume to be one of those very people muscling in on their turf and they don't like it. They're the kind of people who make images like this:

This kind of thing is noticeable in pretty much all of "nerd" culture. Whenever someone who does not fit in with the perceived norms of the subculture presents themselves (for gaming let's say it's a woman, a jock/bro, whatever) they are immediately targeted for harassment. It's a bit like animals who piss on their territory and to try and scare off others. It's slowly changing, but I don't think it'll be gone any time soon.

This is also probably why people like Patrick get so much shit. They don't see a guy who is talking about providing an "inclusive atmosphere" (i.e. don't be an asshole to everybody you meet), they see a herald whose horn blows for the destruction of their hobby; their subculture. In their minds, letting these "new" people have a voice is akin to giving up their own. After all, it wasn't that long ago that the industry had to fight tooth and nail to keep itself from governmental regulation. People like Jack Thompson and Leland Yee were less than ten years ago. As a result, these people have grown defensive, and so any perceived "outsider" is met with a cold shoulder.

Unless you look and act like they do, of course. Then you have free admittance to the gaming/nerd kingdom.

#9 Edited by Musai (67 posts) -

@village_guy said:

Oh boy, you are treading dangerous waters with this topic on these forums.

Not that this isn't the right place to discuss these things, but these debates have a tendency to get... heated here on Giant bomb.

I find it alarming that I'm treading dangerous waters for bringing up an important topic. Not shooting the messenger, but the fact that the climate around the topic is so heated that a question can turn into a flamewar is not a very good sign.

#10 Posted by Musai (67 posts) -

@oldirtybearon: What I find so embarrassing is that picture is that it's a variant on "lol look at that loser and his videogames", but directed inward. It's a subculture making fun of others in the same subculture. It's so wrong.

#11 Posted by falserelic (5721 posts) -

Oh boy, you are treading dangerous waters with this topic on these forums.

Not that this isn't the right place to discuss these things, but these debates have a tendency to get... heated here on Giant bomb.

Heated is an understatement I'll say ''Apocalyptic''. I guarantee this thread will turn into a GB Civil War.

#13 Posted by Make_Me_Mad (3218 posts) -

It's not necessarily toxic. I feel like a large part of the problem with it, though, is that it's segregated from a much larger discussion about the inequalities in our society as a whole. Most people would agree, I imagine, that hating someone for something that matters as little as what equipment they're packing downstairs, or what color they are, or who (within reason, obviously) they feel like fucking. Anyone who pulls something like that is pretty easy to label as an asshole, and they more than likely are.

There aren't a lot of women in Game Development, that's true, but you can look pretty much everywhere around the world and see that shit's unbalanced all over. I tried to get a job a few years back at a gas station, and was flatly refused because I was a guy. The store owner didn't see anything wrong with this; he said that men were more violent and as such, if someone tried to rob the place, I'd probably try to play hero and fight back or something and get killed, thereby ruining the location's reputation. Not taking into account the fact that I have a very well developed survival instinct and know some real aggressive ladies; His opinion is offensive to both genders, and I feel like that's something that's missed in a lot of these discussions.

I mean, take the old-timey logic that women are just gentler and kinder and not really cut out for fighting; Not only is that bull in the sense that I know plenty of women who could kick the shit out of me if they felt the need, it's also ignoring that I've known some dudes who were almost absurdly forgiving and kind. One day, I imagine, we'll finally throw off the stupid ass gender differences to the curb and just start looking at each other as individual people, unchained from whatever the hell we happened to be born with, but it's gonna take a while.

In the end, I feel like that's the best thing to do; stop treating people as representative of anything but themselves. If someone is an asshat, then yes, that person is an asshat; it's not some wider commentary on where they come from, what their belief system is, or anything but that one person. Call people out when they act like jerks. Praise people when they do something you feel is deserving of praise. Never judge a group by the worst or most visible examples.

#14 Posted by Hailinel (25787 posts) -

@musai: A lot of users here do keep a cool head, but there's a subset that tends to use threads on this topic as their personal soap box, aggressively discouraging views that aren't theirs in the process. It's not cool and not necessarily inevitable, but it's happened too often.

#16 Edited by NoRemnants (427 posts) -

I honestly have no idea why people feel the need to harass women game developers or those that want equality. I guess it stems from the anonymous nature of the internet. People feel they can say whatever they want without consequence. It's both the best and worst part of the internet.

Having said that I do think Anita Sarkeesian under-delivered on her Kickstarter and I think it's a shame that people can't say so without being labeled as sexist and lumped in with the crazies. I admire that she wants to tackle the subject of women in video games but I don't think she goes far enough in to looking at the context of a lot of the content she is commenting on. Japan is very much about sexualizing women and I think she would do well to examine that culture and it's effect on video games. A lot of the stuff she covers is coming from Japan. However, harassing her and making death threats should NEVER happen and anyone who does it is a fucking scumbag.

I'm not too familiar with Zoe Quinn as I usually don't watch any of the stuff Patrick does, though harassment is never okay. I really wonder who these people are that spend their time harassing these people.

#17 Edited by Excast (1286 posts) -

I can sort of see both sides.

A part of me definitely cringes when I see reviewers going out of their way to highlight misogyny and or perceived sexism as negatives in their reviews. Petit and the GTA review is a good example. I feel as if we don't do that with movies as much as we do with games. We don't get upset when like 99% of action movies are headlined by ultra macho straight men, yet we are supposed to be outraged because more games don't come with an option to play as a woman, gay man, or someone from the transgender community. It's odd.

And on the other hand we have like the 5% of the internet, just as there are probably 5-10% in society as a whole, who are extremely loud and basically sociopathic in the way they deal with others. They can't get their opinion across without death threats, rape jokes, and every form of crassness you could probably imagine. They don't represent the majority of gamers any more than the Westboro Baptist Church represents Christians. They are just vulgar and loud, so they stand out and get the headlines.

#19 Posted by Brodehouse (10650 posts) -

There's one group who just wants to fuck with people. They do this by preying on people's insecurities and breaking etiquette norms.

There is another group who has made it demonstrably clear what kind of negative treatment will affect them and how to really make them upset.

There is another group that believes since Group A is mean to Group B, then that means X, Y, or Z. These can be "What We Should Do", "Why This Is Happening", et cetera.

There is a fourth group who disagrees with Group C on their assertions, their evidence, or the consistency of their argument.

Here's where the 'heat' comes from. Group C claims that because Group D does not agree with whatever their ideas are, this means that Group D is actually Group A, or that Group D secretly wants to destroy Group B.

Group D argues that Group C's ideas or arguments actively contribute to the victimization of Group B, or that Group C's argument is as sexist/racist/bigoted against different groups as Group A's treatment is of Group B.

In all this, there is also a Group E who is more interested in other video game topics, and is frustrated with so many people's time being distracted by this specific topic. These people get blasted by Group C for not caring about something Group C demands they care about.

#21 Posted by Musai (67 posts) -

@nubmonk: I think you're being a bit insensitive to the issues that transpeople face on a daily basis. They don't just wake up one day and decide they want to be the other gender, there is a lot of pain and suffering that goes into that decision. Imagine, from the moment you knew any better, you felt different, and couldn't really articulate why. It's not a simple binary "I will wake up today and be a woman." In my eyes, Carolyn has just as much right to discuss misogyny as anyone else.

#22 Posted by AlexanderSheen (5150 posts) -

Because society pumps out assholes without any problem?

#26 Posted by Musai (67 posts) -

@brodehouse: Gonna have to ask you to show your work. I need some equations.

#28 Posted by ProfessorEss (7701 posts) -

Personally, I just don't like the way the press seems to think that they suddenly become an expert on a topic or issue simply by adding "...in Videogames" to the end of it.

Frankly, I'm just concerned that when the dust settles they're going to have done more harm than good.

#31 Posted by Excast (1286 posts) -

I think this thread is showing one of the problems. Namely, that someone (representing the fringe) comes in throwing some rather ugly verbal bombs and the discussion begins to revolve around that instead of the issue at hand.

#32 Posted by spraynardtatum (4068 posts) -

@nubmonk: Oh my god...I never thought of it that way. You're totally right, the hate people have in their hearts for people that they don't understand is all justified now....

My tip for you. Think long and hard about this bullshit worldview you have and consider how perfectly it would sound coming out of the mouth of a member of the Westboro Baptist Church. If you're okay with that than you've found a horrible way to live your life where you can be miserable with other likeminded people who want to kill all the happiness in the world. If you're not okay with it than maybe show some compassion and work on educating yourself or learning how to feel empathy for others who have different life experiences than you.

#33 Edited by Video_Game_King (36566 posts) -

@nubmonk said:

Truth hurts :^ )

Aren't you using that to deflect responsibility for your own viewpoints by externalizing them as the way of the world?

#34 Edited by Brodehouse (10650 posts) -

@musai: I don't know what equations I can add.

If you're part of Group A, stop and grow the fuck up already.

If you're part of Group B, do not rise to Group A's bullshit.

If you're part of Group C, stop judging yourself by the quality of your intentions, and critically think about the effects of your actions.

If you're part of Group D, don't whitewash Group A's bullshit and don't automatically assume Group C can't make a valid point.

If you're part of Group E, there's somewhere on the internet where video game fans haven't been bullied with either misogyny or accusations of misogyny. I don't know where but it must be out there.

And if you're part of Group F, I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems but a bitch ain't one, hit me!

#35 Edited by AlexanderSheen (5150 posts) -

Look at that shiny flag on this thread!

#36 Posted by MB (14388 posts) -

Can someone find a good example of the 473 other exact topics we have had on this discussion to redirect to instead of doing this all over again?

#37 Posted by Brodehouse (10650 posts) -
#39 Edited by SquirrelGOD (525 posts) -

Nobody wants to "discuss" anything. Most people on each side of the conversation just want to shout angrily at the other and accuse them of ruining everything. For instance, #1ReasonWhy was a great idea, and got a lot of people talking. However, one of the things I remember most from that conversation was a tweet where one woman said something along the lines of "I suggested an idea and it was immediately rejected because I'm a woman." When she was then asked "Well, what was the idea? Was it just something that maybe didn't fit into the game? Why do you feel that it was rejected based on your gender?", it quickly devolved into people accusing those asking for more information of misogyny, which then led to more people internet-screaming at each other (caps are a powerful weapon, people).

People also need to learn that, no matter what the debate, THERE ARE ASSHOLES ON BOTH SIDES OF THE ARGUMENT. I feel that it is extremely important to always keep that in mind while talking about anything even remotely considered a "hot button" issue on the interwebs. Just because someone is apparently on your side of an argument, doesn't mean you have to agree with the stupid bullshit they say. I'm all for women having more of a voice in game development, for instance, but it doesn't mean that I agree with a jackass that claims that Super Mario Bros. has some secret patriarchal undertones, or that Zelda needs to wield the Master Sword in the next Zelda game (man, that one drives me a bit nuts).

#40 Posted by ProfessorEss (7701 posts) -

@mb: let 'em find em on their own?

#41 Edited by Brodehouse (10650 posts) -

@nubmonk: See, the way I can tell is you are carrying yourself with a demeanour intentionally affected in order to cause strife. You are not raising a conceptual disagreement with the popular view of gender identity, you are choosing language specifically to hurt people's feelings, and let them know you enjoy their frustration.

Grow up already.

#43 Posted by ArbitraryWater (12892 posts) -

Welp, this thread has already gone places.

I think the problem is in the delivery rather than the content. It's the condescending, self-righteous attitude that has reared its head in the games press recently that rubs people the wrong way.... though there are also plenty of jerks who seemingly hate women or take any accusation of sexism as a call for censorship. It's the internet man. I know that's a reductive statement, but I'm not a sociologist.

#44 Posted by Hailinel (25787 posts) -

My comment above? Pretty much talking about people like nubmonk. Ignore him. He's here for a soapbox to aggravate others and nothing more.

#46 Edited by EthanML (482 posts) -

I am so, so tired of every games site I look at having articles and discussion about this stuff every day. That's not saying I don't believe it's an issue but come on, it's gotten god damn ridiculous.

#47 Edited by Random45 (1441 posts) -

I have no idea why people harass that poor girl, some people can just be fucking assholes I guess.

As for this debate, I think it's because sexism and misogyny are so often poorly defined and are applied to the wrong games, and it riles people up. I recognize the good intentions, because I think everyone wants better female representation in video games, but sometimes it's just done poorly. For instance, some people claim the recent Tomb Raider is sexist, and that is just an absolutely ridiculous claim, considering Lara seriously kicks ass in that game and is a very strong character on her own right. There's also a lot of Japanese games that get a lot of heat for being sexist, and to an extent I agree, but you got to remember that the culture in Japan is a LOT different than it is here, and that kind of media isn't 'wrong' where they live. It's not a great excuse, of course, but it has to be taken into consideration.

I think the biggest issue with the debate is that people just refuse to acknowledge that sexism is a real issue in the industry.

#49 Posted by Musai (67 posts) -

Welp, this thread has already gone places.

I think the problem is in the delivery rather than the content. It's the condescending, self-righteous attitude that has reared its head in the games press recently that rubs people the wrong way.... though there are also plenty of jerks who seemingly hate women or take any accusation of sexism as a call for censorship. It's the internet man. I know that's a reductive statement, but I'm not a sociologist.

I actually agree with you that for some people, it can be about the delivery rather than content, but there are still enough people out there who are concerned with the message more than how it's being delivered.

I know this is the Internet, but we can do a lot better with it than harassment and hate speech. We're all human beings when it comes down to it, and I don't see why I should spend my time hating people. Unfortunately, I lack the power or influence to change things. I would if I had the audience, but I don't.

#50 Edited by Gatehouse (851 posts) -
@hailinel said:

My comment above? Pretty much talking about people like nubmonk. Ignore him. He's here for a soapbox to aggravate others and nothing more.

I think you hit the nail on the head right there. I won't pretend like I've not had dumb or hurtful thought ever in my head, but this guy's just making a point I think. The internet ladies and gentlemen!