I seem to remember Jeff and Ryan specifically saying "It's a site about video games!" and that the main purpose of the site was based around video content and news about video games. Go back and listen to a lot of the early podcasts and watch a lot of the earlier videos where Jeff and Ryan talk specifically about what their intentions for the are. Things haven't changed much since then.
Nobody has said anything about the site not being inclusionary - everyone is welcome here and all opinions are welcome here - the point that we were making is that site is, first a foremost, and entertainment site. They produce videos, audio, reviews, news stories, and the occasional staff editorial and community contributions. That's it.
I have no problem with the commentary on social issues, but I do have a problem that there are certain people who make it their mission in life to interject that into everything on the site and shout as loud as they can about it. That shit is getting OLD.
"It's a web site! About video games! Giant Bomb, dot com!"
And Ryan was always so diligent about avoiding social/political issues on the podcast, it's clearly something they thought wasn't a part of the site. People would bring up Republicans/Democrats or recent news and he would turn it into a joke and make it entertaining.
This. A million times this.
Just because there are people wanting to avoid these types of discussions that doesn't automatically make those people ignorant of these social issues. Absolutely the site is different things for different people, that should be respected. But if we are arguing what this site was founded on and what it has been about since day 1 it has been about bringing together people through dumb fun - and I think that has been more effective in building such a cohesive and understanding community than direct social commentary has done.
Ryan was a smart man and I believe he was well aware of the social issues that plague this industry and where the site sat in relation to these discussions. It was capable of bringing people together through dumb antics and encapsulating the larger issues into smaller less serious arguments so people of different social views could side with one another over stupid things, and by doing so build bridges with the hope of one day leading to a greater shared understanding of these tougher social issues. IMO putting these issues out more directly, to drive what is increasingly appearing to be more radical social change (based on the responses these issues have generated unfortunately), was bound to create a horrible backlash which has unfortunately seemed to have an affect on the site, or at least some people's perception of it.