GET READY FOR SOME CALL OF DUTY, MOTHERFUCKERS. VIDEO GAMMMMEEESSSSS
AmethystRush's forum posts
Okay, now that that litany of apologies is out of the way (I hope, I hope, I hope) maybe it would be useful to try to clarify the problem that is causing people to feel they have to speak out?
I don't think anybody is mad at Jeff, et al, for hiring Dan and Jason. I don't think anyone thinks Dan and Jason are going to drag down the site, or won't be good at their jobs. People are disappointed in Giant Bomb, and what it represents. Giant Bomb is a big deal. The way it was created, the content it runs, its history, its voice, and overall the way it just consistently KILLS IT and proves there is another way to cover games that isn't just a rehash of what a dozen other sites are doing, all that inspires people. On top of that, all that success in the face of adversity means that Giant Bomb has a pretty high profile, and the video-nature of the sight makes us feel connected to the crew in a way you don't get through outlets that largely do print work.
So you have a site that everyone agrees is doing a great job, and that is staffed by really likable, nice, funny guys, and produces quality content against the grain of their competitors. Their livestreams and podcast draw huge numbers. They have a very loud, very popular platform, so to speak. Then they announce that for the first time in a long time they are hiring new staff. What you have to understand is that everything they have done to this point creates the expectation that they WOULDN'T just hire two more white dudes who are very similar to the existing staff in terms of likes/dislikes/taste, whatever you want to call it. If you are a straight white male who doesn't think about social issues very often (and that isn't meant as a pejorative) you might not understand what a HUGE DEAL it would have been for either of these new hires to be a woman. Or non-white. Or LGBTQ.
Because this is an industry dominated by sameness, and by chasing what's popular, and undeniably by white men. It denies opportunities to anyone who is not a white man frequently, and there is a litany of blogs and editorials that prove that to be true, not the figment of some "feminazi's" imagination. Giant Bomb became such a big thing by being different, by being what the people in charge would insist doesn't work, and by never being satisfied by "good-enough". So when people who love all that about the site see Giant Bomb miss a huge opportunity to get even better and to keep being great, it upsets them. THAT'S the word I've seen most oft repeated on Twitter and in blogs. Upset. Disappointed. Bummed. Nobody hates the site, or the guys. It's just that not all Giant Bomb fans are straight white guys, and those legions of fans would like to see somebody like them ANYWHERE in the industry, but particularly on their favorite site. It would make them feel better about supporting that site, and those guys. And when it doesn't happen, as it never does, we're just...disappointed.
You pretty much hit it on the nose man! I think will hopefully see thing from a level head, it seems like a lot of the stuff earlier today was raw emotions be thrown about it a most uncivil matter...
I'm trying to understand what this huge difference would be. Are you trying to say their tastes in video games would different because I think they already got that covered. I don't think you realize how condescending it is to reduce the new staff members to "the two new white dudes" or "good enough". Video game websites aren't exactly doing good, they close all the time. To suggest that its only the small percentage of women writers being denied is silly.They could start a blog or a youtube channel, if you want to talk about games, it's never been easier. Giant Bomb is not under any obligation to fight for you own perceived cause, that maybe, everyone doesn't agree with.
You see an industry of "sameness" that Giant Bomb must do the right thing for the noble cause. I see an Industry that the ESA says is 50% female players, they just don't normally like the types of games the video game press covers. You seem to think this is a problem that has to be fixed, I just see people not liking the same things. You think men and women have these huge differences in life experiances, why is it so hard to believe maybe they like different games.
Their tastes in video games might very well be different! And yes, this may be because of the circumstance of their identity. Identity, as you can imagine, is a very important and pervasive concept. Also, I don't believe he meant to offensively reduce Dan or Jason to their gender and ethnicity. I hope everyone is being clear that nothing is being held against the individuals for wanting to work or being given the opportunity to.
So here's the thing about Sam and Leigh and their angry, angry responses to what were (I'm sure) totally legitimate points:
1. If you are Leigh or Sam (or any woman on the internet with an Opinion), any time you express such, you get inundated with dudes (it is almost always dudes) telling you UM ACTUALLY and trying to, in essence, dismiss their concerns/opinions/emotions as Not True. It's vexing enough when it happens once, but imagine this happens basically every fucking day, with varying degrees of condescension. Your voice--your own personal experiences are blasted away in a tidal wave of NOT ALL MEN. Just try to imagine that. Try to think about how for your entire professional career, you have had your credentials as a "real gamer" questioned, you've had people poorly explain concepts to you because they are Men and Oh This Silly Woman Just Doesn't Get It, or, you know, you've just been called a filthy word, threatened with rape, or otherwise disparaged as a person.
2. Now add in all that Giant Bomb has attempted to do, and vocally stated that they want to do (especially Patrick, but everyone is pretty progressive), with regards to diversity and representation in gaming culture. So yes, maybe, if you are interested in seeing the institutionalized and structural sexism and racism that is, let's be brutally honest, a fact of life (and remember, yesterday the Supreme Court said it was okay for businesses to deny women birth control on their insurance plans (but it's cool, men can still get vasectomies and buy their boner pills), so there is a straight up example of how fucked up society still is when it comes to equality of the sexes) challenged by someone, anyone with a voice, you wanted to see Giant Bomb hire someone who didn't look more or less like everyone else on Giant Bomb because that would be a clear move by this progressive-minded company that they really were committed to bringing on new voices and ideas, spontaneity, etc. etc. Being a progressively-minded person, you are aware of the horrible shit that happens in the comments sections of a lot of Patrick's articles, anything Leigh Alexander has ever written about, a shocking amount of Cara Ellison's articles, etc. that has been virulent enough to drive people (such as Porpentine over at RPS, and I guess we can add Sam to this now too) into having to quit, because the harassment was so constant, so continuous, their health started to suffer. Imagine this is your entire life, and it would be huge to see a hire that looked like you (or if you're like me, looked nothing like you) because finally this site that has been on the forefront of so many positive trends in the industry is taking another step.
A wrestling simile: This is like seeing Daniel Bryan get a shot at the title. You really want this to happen. You are fucking tired of John Cena. You want to see the type of wrestling Daniel Bryan brings to the table, instead of the same old Cena moves (the fact that Cena is a shitty wrestler is not relevant to this simile).
3. The new hire is finally announced, and it's...a white dude. The motivation for hiring a white dude is not really important--nobody's being sexist overtly, but if you put it in the context I've outlined in point two, this is a pretty crushing blow. It's disappointing, because you got your hopes up again, and were denied again, because even if you didn't apply to the spot (True Fact: Sam didn't even apply to the job), you hoped someone like you applied, and hires at GB happen so rarely, and... fuck. Fuck fuck fuck. This is disappointing. You voice this opinion on Twitter, because that is what you do in the 21st century when you are angry and depressed and just need to get this little thing off your chest--it's shouting into the empty void, but in a way that people who follow you can also commiserate, or offer support, or make some jokes to improve your mood.
Returning to our wrestling simile: Bryan has the title for like a day and then they just give it back to Cena, because he is their moneymaker, and that is HORRIBLE. You quit watching wrestling for good.
4. Ah, but you are a Woman with an Opinion on the Internet, so here come a million men to tell you calmly, patiently, rationally, why you are wrong and your feelings don't matter. Lurking under the surface of these comments runs an undercurrent of "women! So emotional!" or "These feminists! Always up in arms about something!" So yes, your immediate reaction is to tell them to fuck off.
"But it's the Internet, and people should be prepared to debate on the Internet at all times, for some reason" they cry, "also something about free speech," they probably want to add. To which I reply, that Twitter is a fucking terrible place to try to have that kind of a conversation. There are forums, like this one, which have threads, like this one, where we can feel free to debate--with @rorie's frankly herculean efforts, we can mostly debate civilly--but someone letting some steam off on Twitter is not an appropriate time or place. If you see someone angry or sad on the street, you do not walk up to them and explain why they are wrong to feel the way they feel. That is being a dick--like, the definition of being a dick. Remember these are people on the other side of the line, and they may be hurting, and maybe it is best to just leave them be. Later, they might want to talk more about it--and then it's cool to have a debate. But in the heat of the moment? Keep it to yourself. Please.
So now you've done it, because you were disappointed and sad and angry and some asshole tried to dismiss your opinion and point of view (which is what society has done to women and minorities for like 300 years over here), and you lashed out, and so now the rape threats come in from a bunch of dudes who claim to be defending the very site you once had such hopes for. And, unfortunately, you go into the forums, or the Bombcast comments, and you see that yes, there do seem to be a lot of hateful people lurking around, opening up old wounds, and dismissing you as a SOCIAL JUSTICE FEMINAZI who, while you may not deserve to have those rape threats, were basically asking for it "like a person shouting the N word in Harlem" (sidebar: Jesus Christ, really?).
Wrapping this up with a very simple ending: Giant Bomb community, we got problems. We need to accept that, and work to change that. A great way to start changing that is to educate yourselves. I'm being 100% serious. Read some books (if you want to read a book that opened my eyes, at least, to how fucked up racism is (for starters), read Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man. Written in 1952 and still, depressingly, on point), read the work of these people who make you feel uncomfortable or you feel are overreacting to perceived slights. Try to put yourself in their shoes. Try to understand what it is like to deal with the sort of intense hate and abuse and dismissal they deal with every day. We have to improve ourselves, because nobody's gonna do it for us. We have to try to fix these problems. I believe it's doable. I have faith that the community can grow stronger from this, and come out better than ever before. I think Giant Bomb as a whole is great. I cannot wait to watch the new guy's first quick look tomorrow, maybe when I'm supposed to be working.
Be kind, people. Be kind and consider that your opinion might be wrong, and if you are a white dude, confront the uncomfortable fact that you've had it easier than most--I grew up poor, but I never had the cops harass me, never got pulled into the principal's office even though I dressed in pants as baggy as the black kids, had a family who never got harassed by the police and a father who wasn't thrown in jail for some bullshit charge, had all manner of opportunities to better myself, and even at age 28 was able to use family friends to get a new job instead of languishing in unemployment, because my parents happened to be friends with a rich white guy who needed a new hire. My abilities and intelligence did a lot, but I had help, and not the sort of help I'm necessarily proud of. It's an uncomfortable feeling to realize that for all your trials, you still had it easy, but that's why I at least get vocal about this sort of thing--I want people who aren't me to have the same advantages I did. That's fair. That's being kind.
You can write this off as being small potatoes--this is a small operation, other corporations are knowingly racist and sexist instead of just being caught up in a system that makes it easy to not think about that sort of thing--but even small potatoes can feed someone. Gotta start somewhere.
I like this place and I want to see it change and grow into something amazing. Something better than it is (and it's pretty great already). That's all I've got to say.
I appreciate this post! I read the whole thing! I am now quoting it to help emphasize this is a post I enjoy!
Let us try and swim upstream of the hetero-normative culture together!
This whole situation comes off to me as people taking legitimate issues present in the video game industry (and society as a whole) that need to be discussed...and then forcing those issues onto a situation where it doesn't really apply as a way to spark a conversation.
Obviously it'd be better if the industry as a whole were more diverse, but making this be their call to arms is rather absurd to me, and a little disturbing considering they're basically shitting on two innocent people in the hopes to draw more attention to their cause. Just because it might be a worthwhile cause doesn't make that any less shitty. Pick more worthy targets. There's plenty of options.
Maybe I'm naive, but I trust that the GB staff chose two people that they honestly felt were the best fits. I'm sure they'll do great. That's enough for me.
I would never suggest Dan or Jason don't deserve the position or aren't cool dudes. That's not even my assessment to really make. I believe a female presence, or other perspectives brought from people with different racial, religious or sexual orientations would be a very welcome and I could argue necessary addition to the site!
I have to log off for the evening but I wanted to commend @rorie for stating a position on this issue and doing what he can to keep things nice around here. Between him and @patrickklepek, whose position on these issues is unimpeachable, I feel like the site is moving in the right direction. Still. Everybody knows that if this site is a family then Jeff is the Dad and things are at a point here where Dad needs to step in and throw down, one way or the other. His continued silence on issues like this is not helping this community.
You are really sounding like you'd nothing more than to turn these discussions into echo-chambers. Calling Patrick's stance on these issues "Unimpeachable" is quite the statement. Patrick has clearly made mistakes in the past, he even apologized for the whole "Threes" fiasco when he called out the developer of 2048. There are extremists on both sides, as well as people making level-headed arguments on both sides. The people insulting others on twitter and here on the fourms who are using racist, or sexist slurs are fucking awful, no doubt but that does not give one the excuse to silence rational debate entirely.
Patrick has repeatedly used this website to promote the work of a woman who has publicly admitted to hating all men by default.
Clearly, his stance on gender issues is "unimpeachable."
I just read what you linked and I feel nothing but compassion for the author.
Went on a bit of a tirade on Twitter about this, so I might as well throw it here on the off chance that Rorie actually gets to it.
Seeing the rhetorical byline of "today has been a learning experience for Giant Bomb" is fucking infuriating.
Honestly, I'd respect the guys far more if they came out and said, "yeah, we knew this wasn't going to be popular" and opened discussion.
But when they paint this as a hat-in-hand baww guys we didn't know you'd be mad by acting like this is not A Thing, it's an insult.
Unless the crew is utterly divorced from reality, they had to have expected a certain amount of ire re: hiring decisions.
Because handwaving this away as an ephemeral "learning experience" - doesn't acknowledge accountability.
And in doing so, it means that Giant Bomb doesn't need to actually take steps to make this shit right.
I understand your frustration, but I honestly do think there was never any malice or ill-intent intended with any of this from the Giant Bomb employees. I know people are frustrated now, but I really do believe things will be better for everyone moving forward because of this.
@hunter5024: the majority of the truly offensive tweets were from the one side. to be fair i don't think it was many people from here and seemed to be from r/mensrights
Personally I was pretty offended by some of the things Leigh said, and that was before the harassment even really started. She deleted those tweets and took a much more positive approach later on though (whether this was genuinely because she felt bad about them or because she wanted to stem the backlash is anybody's guess I suppose). I don't deny that one side escalated things much further than the other. However some people seem to be portraying this as a peaceful group of feminists quietly voicing their disappointment, who were suddenly threatened and insulted without provocation. When really the people voicing their disappointment were far more negative and insulting than the situation called for right off the bat.
It's worth noting that Leigh has taken a MOUNTAIN of shit from people over things she said while drunk on the podcast years ago. I also felt uncomfortable of the insinuation that maybe people who worked for Giant Bomb didn't want a women working for them. But at the very least I understand her circumstance. She's a women who appeared on the site, and was pretty viciously attacked by the community for a long time. Even still. That doesn't mean she can just slander Giant Bomb employees, but I'm very willing to forgive the transgression.
@darkest4: Perhaps they just prefer making games in this way rather then via "normal means". I don't believe there's anything malicious or nefarious intended in the vast majority of kickstarter projects. It's messy and unfamiliar for all involved, to be sure. There's layers of risk and opportunity for frustration and disappointment on both sides, but the goal for making a kind of niche sounding game with the help of a bunch of passionate people is very appealing for all kinds of developers and the audience.
An independent studio like DoubleFine can be buried with just one bad game, seemingly. They almost were already. This new mode of kickstarter seems far more advantageous to them.
Self-publishing is the future! <3
The fist bump was awesome.
Also, the part where Vishnu is throwing stars and planets at you. And galaxies, I think.
Also! The animation in the final fight with crazy chrome Vishnu was pretty much out of this world. It looked amazing.