exfate's forum posts

#1 Posted by exfate (373 posts) -

@gaff said:

But this time... In my eyes, saying that this time is an opportune moment to talk about the relationship between the industry and the media after multiple people have been bullied into quitting and driven from their homes is about as tactful as walking into a home after a burglary and wanting to have a long hard chat about home security. Also opportunistic as hell.

Opportunism isn't always a bad thing; Strike while the iron is hot, as they say. The subtext in what you're saying though seems to be that the people who care about this issue now didn't care about it before. I'm sure that's true of some people, but you just can't generalize like that.

Let's also not forget that the AAA games industry have rigged the system for years. In order for mainstream gaming publications to do their job well they've have to dance to the game publisher's tune. It's hard for opponents of this system to make any headway because it requires pushing the publications to not attend publisher/developer events, which then makes doing their job well almost impossible. It's worth noting that some publications have historically refused to attend events that have been particularly egregious at trying to court their favor--so they're not all bad all of the time!

Disclosure of simple conflicts of interest in patronage and personal relationships is easy. It's an easy goal that everyone should be able to get behind on the road to a more ethical games press. Perhaps it can even be the catalyst for tackling those much bigger issues around the AAA industry.

#2 Posted by exfate (373 posts) -

Why are the majority of the media continuing to conflate harassment and the ethical issues in games media? Only a small fraction of them have admitted there is a problem that needs addressing. It just seems like a way to avoid the legitimate criticism.

Game developers are harassed all the time. It's wrong and it's horrible and it is rightly condemned when it makes the news. However, the games media don't stop being critical of them just because they've been subjected to harassment. Why should there be a double standard for the games media themselves? Condemn the harassment by all means, but don't use it as a gag to silence your critics. That is not ok.

#3 Posted by exfate (373 posts) -

@juno500 said:

@exfate said:

@juno500 said:

@sweeneytodd said:

I think what we've learned in the last few weeks is that most of the gaming journalists themselves have no real formal training on what those ethics are. Knowing that a financial relationship between you and the topic you're covering is a conflict of interest is Journalism 101 stuff, seriousl

Besides, you don't need to be formally trained to smell a rat when, for example, the recent Guardian article about a certain woman in gaming is written by someone funded on Patreon by that same person's hired PR agent.

Actually, in that Guardian article, the author intended to disclose the fact, but the Guardian removed it because her piece was not a review of anybody's work, and therefore unnecessary.

In other words, the gaming journalist DID understand the potential conflict of interest, but an outlet outside of the gaming industry decided that it wasn't a conflict of interest. So in that case, if there was a problem, it was not with gaming journalism.

How is the gaming section of The Guardian's website not gaming journalism?

According to the author the decision came from The Guardian's legal department.

The only interest their legal department might have had in that piece would have been to check for libelous material. Conflicts of interest such as those that have been brought up in this instance are not legal issues.

#4 Posted by exfate (373 posts) -

@juno500 said:

@sweeneytodd said:

I think what we've learned in the last few weeks is that most of the gaming journalists themselves have no real formal training on what those ethics are. Knowing that a financial relationship between you and the topic you're covering is a conflict of interest is Journalism 101 stuff, seriousl

Besides, you don't need to be formally trained to smell a rat when, for example, the recent Guardian article about a certain woman in gaming is written by someone funded on Patreon by that same person's hired PR agent.

Actually, in that Guardian article, the author intended to disclose the fact, but the Guardian removed it because her piece was not a review of anybody's work, and therefore unnecessary.

In other words, the gaming journalist DID understand the potential conflict of interest, but an outlet outside of the gaming industry decided that it wasn't a conflict of interest. So in that case, if there was a problem, it was not with gaming journalism.

How is the gaming section of The Guardian's website not gaming journalism?

#5 Edited by exfate (373 posts) -
@juno500 said:

@gnoltac said:

Also there may not be financial incentive if you donated to kickstarter/patreon, but if you invest money there's a personal investment. You are literally one of their supporters who wants them to do well, and this creates a conflict when you also have the power to directly influence the success of that game/project over other games/projects.

If I consider myself a fan of a developer or series then I want them to do well, and that could create the same conflict.

Like for example, I consider myself a huge fan of Atlus. I purchase most of their games, and would like to continue doing so. I want the company to succeed so they can keep making the games I want to play. It's a similar situation- I want the game to do well, and I'm in a position to influence the success of that game.

If I got into reviewing games, do you believe I should not be allowed to review Atlus games?

Also, as a general aside, I can understand why the gaming press would find it annoying to listen to complaints about journalistic ethics considering that most of the people complaining about it probably have no real formal training on what those ethics are. Would you like to be told you are doing your job wrong by people who don't understand how your job works?

Buying games is not the same thing as has been pointed out multiple times, both here and all over the internet. It's shocking that a lot of games journalists don't really seem to understand what a conflict of interest actually is. I'd be very weary of assuming, as you seem to be, that just because journalists are working at a major publication that they understand and abide by any commonly held notion of journalistic ethics.

#6 Posted by exfate (373 posts) -

@riotcontrol said:

@tourgen said:
@spaceinsomniac said:

@kidavenger said:

If shit like this http://www.giantbomb.com/stardock-corporation/3010-1064/forums/stardock-embroiled-in-clashing-lawsuits-story-only-559660/#291, especially the conversation around it is fine, then everything that happened last week should have also been a fine topic of discussion, but it wasn't even allowed to happen and that's fucking bullshit.

That link right there is petty much a smoking gun regarding the hypocrisy of game journalism today.

Yeah, sadly true. That's some "who's fucking who and who's getting fat" journalism right there.

To bring up another recent issue, an indie developer did accuse "someone" of sexually harassing him at a wedding and was immediately bullied into shutting up for all on Twitter to see. Phil Fish confirmed he was there, but no one refuted his claim. They only shut him up. He never took it back either, only profusely apologized for doing it knowing his career is probably over. I don't care what anyone's view is on this whole controversy, THAT is story worth making articles about, but I haven't seen a single one. You could say that it's only an allegation, but so was Brad Wardell's. Can you even begin to IMAGINE the media reaction were the roles swapped?

You're right about the double standard, but the Twitter allegation in question is not newsworthy. Perhaps if it had happened in a professional environment it might at least be worth looking in to.

#7 Posted by exfate (373 posts) -

@oldirtybearon said:

@conmulligan said:

@oldirtybearon said:

This is kind of Leigh's bag, isn't it? She invades a cultural space and then belittles and mocks the participants all the while pining for said culture to bend itself around her wants and desires.

I mean, she's been doing this for as long as I've known about her, which is over five years at least.

It is beyond ridiculous to accuse Leigh Alexander of invading a cultural space. As you said yourself, she's been writing about games for over five years — that's not an invasion, it's an occupation, and games writing is better for it.

I disagree. She presents herself as an outsider, like a scientist who observes the subjects of their study. And really, all of the articles she's written lambasting "gamers" would lead anyone to think that she doesn't particularly enjoy this hobby or even writing about it. Fair enough I say; everyone has to get paid, but let's not pretend that she's one of the gang considering she despises the people who participate in this hobby.

That's not true. She's very clearly legitimately in to games. Besides, what is this "gang" you speak of? This 'us and them, with us or against us' mentality isn't healthy.

#8 Posted by exfate (373 posts) -
@milkman said:

Unrelated but it looks like @jeff, @brad and @alex finally made the SJW list. Congrats, you guys.

Congrats. Everyone else at GB is slacking and needs to step it up on the SJW front.

Seriously though, it's the most vague, inconsistently applied derogatory term ever. If people like Jeff and Jim Sterling are suddenly "SJWs" then I have lost all notion of what they even mean by the term.

#9 Posted by exfate (373 posts) -
@milkman said:

@oldirtybearon said:

@giantlizardking said:

@theodacourt said:

@giantlizardking: @oldirtybearon: Whilst I do agree generally with you both that it contains a lot of generalisation so you can kind ignore it as it might not apply to you, people are behaving is despicable ways for a reason and they're doing it in the name of their perceived 'gamer' culture. So I think she's absolutely right on a general level. The kind of behaviour that we're seeing is worthy of getting mad about so I personally won't accept it and won't ignore it.

And whilst this may not being the sort of discussion that's happening nationally it does reflect back on this community which we engage in.

I'm not advocating accepting or ignoring shitty behavior. Assholes should be dealt with promptly. I'm just saying that I refuse to paint the entire culture with so broad a brush because it has some bad people in it. Stupid people do and say bad things regardless of what hobby they have. It's not an indictment on video games or video game culture, it's an indictment on being a stupid little shit with no empathy.

That's always where this argument falls apart though, isn't it? Someone makes the reasonable observation that "dude, gamers are not a monolithic hive mind with one thought and one opinion" and then someone else says "yeah but this behaviour is gross and reflects poorly on us!" and then the other person says "no it doesn't, it reflects poorly on the person who is being an asshole" and then there's some bullshit about culture or whatever.

The fact of the matter is that nobody here, in this thread, right now, is responsible for the actions of anyone else. If I decide to say that @brodehouse's mother is a hamster and that @marokai's father smells of elderberries, that reflects on nobody but me. Why? Because as a grown ass man I am making a conscious decision to insult these people.

It's not the culture's fault, it's not @milkman's fault. It's not anyone's fault but mine. Should people who harass and flame other people be held accountable for the shit they say? Absolutely. You can champion that cause and I'll help you promote it. Where this crazy train goes off the rails is when people like Leigh Alexander don't see individuals, they see culture. I suppose I know why, since a culture can't fight back with reasoned arguments, but individuals most certainly can.

I wish it was just a few bad eggs. But it's really not. If you're not willing to take the word of people from within the indusrty, this is how people in the mainstream press are talking about "gamer culture" these past couple weeks:

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/08/28/it-s-dangerous-to-go-alone-why-are-gamers-so-angry.html

http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/bitwise/2014/08/zoe_quinn_harassment_a_letter_to_a_young_male_gamer.html

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/08/22/gaming-misogyny-gets-infinite-lives-zoe-quinn-virtual-rape-and-sexism.html

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/technology/digital-culture/dont-believe-the-conspiracy-gaming-has-bigger-problems-than-corruption/article20230850/

http://www.newstatesman.com/future-proof/2014/08/tropes-vs-anita-sarkeesian-passing-lame-anti-feminist-nonsense-critique

http://www.vice.com/read/meet-the-female-gamer-mascot-created-by-anti-feminists-828?utm_source=vicetwitterus

It's fine that it's not your fault. It's not my fault. It's probably no one posting in this thread's fault. But eventually, this group of shitty individuals becomes too large and too loud to just say "well, that's just a minority, it's fine!" A terrifying thought I've been having this last week or so that maybe this isn't the loud, vocal minority that we're constantly told it is. Maybe this is the majority. But no matter how much the "gaming community" they make up, there has to be a reason that as soon as Joss Whedon mentions games on Twitter, he gets messages like this:

You can try to hold every individual who has harassed Anita or Zoe or anyone who has expressed support for them but it would never work. You would never be able to do it. This is bigger than "feeding the trolls." It's a group of self-identified "gamers" who are bullies and cowards and show no signs of getting any smaller.

There are people in life, and especially on the internet, who will attach themselves to controversial debates in order to troll. They want to watch the world burn. The correct response is to ignore them and have a real debate and to never ignore real critics on all sides of an issue.

On the topic of avatars. I have a Swiss claymation avatar, and thus claim neutrality in everything and anything.

#10 Posted by exfate (373 posts) -

I feel like i just sat through a lecture hall. I need someone to dumb this down for me.

Basically, he feels he's being unfairly stereotyped as a CoD playing gamer-bro for being a "young, white male."