By NeoZeon 2 Comments
I won't sit here and mince words; This is about "Gamergate." It is not some awkward attempt to drum up pageviews or some other form of insulting viral nonsense. It is something that I have been wondering for some time and I do, honestly, truthfully and completely, want feedback on this.
I've been a gamer for as long as I can remember. From paddles to trackpads, joysticks to Oculus, I've played all that I could get my hands on. Now though, in times when I genuinely felt like we could finally prove that our hobby is so much more than that, we instead get the stories of harassment, of fear, of people who worry for the sake of their own family over something that should be a non issue - sexism in gaming, in culture, in the world as a whole. Life moves so fast and our egos move right along with them in such a way that perhaps we don't realize how little progress we've actually made in all these years.
I don't write this as some kind of surrender notification or, even worse, as an excuse to turn the other way. No, this is for something that is actually useful. A set of questions that I hope we can all ask ourselves and come to a helpful conclusion. They are simple, honest and, hopefully, something we can all focus on...
What can we, as a community and as just decent human beings in general, do to change the state of gaming to begin with?
This isn't some epic question is it? We're not really so far afield that we don't even realize this is going on right? I think we are, in multiple ways. I'll admit to being blind to it, to thinking that is wasn't as big a problem as it had been portrayed. I will also admit, right here and now, that I was horrendously wrong on that...can you do the same?
Make no mistake, I seek not to blame one or two gamers here - I intend to blame us all. We watched it happen, for years in many cases. Why? I wish I could tell you, I really do, but I lack the ability to see on so large a scale. That is why I'm writing this message today, a day when stories of yet another female developer being harassed and threatened made headlines. Not on a gaming site where it should have been, not in low whispers around it as it happened, and may have been stopped right then and there by people who should have known better. No, this happened on MSNBC. On a nationwide news network that took the time to run the interviews and the stories that most of the "news" outlets we respect should have done so already.
I don't intend to mock GB here: The work Patrick has done in this area is already well documented after all. But what of the rest of our supposedly understanding community? What about the people who probably knew about it ahead of all of us? I mentioned before how I once felt great pride for my hobby, how I imagined it as finally reaching an apex that we could all be proud of. I was mistaken. A fool blinded by many factors, as were many of us I suspect. That leads us to the most important question of all:
What Do We Do About It?
It is that simple really. I'm asking you folks: What should we do? I don't mean this is some backhanded way. I want to help - How do I do it? Give me information on it. The best links you can find: From petitions that may actually prove useful to twitter handles and company e-mails. Who do we speak to? What should we say?
I've been playing in a fantasy gaming world for years now - It's time to get back to reality. We can do this, I know we can. So let's find a way to do it. And do it soon, before we scare an entire gender away for no other reason than our...well, whatever the hell reason people are doing this for.
I'll make mistakes, I'm bumble with sources and type the wrong websites, but there has to be a way to make a difference besides little blog posts like this. I say we find them.
Well the forum thread, aka "mirrored version" of this blog entry, was locked on me for overlapping with another thread...which is also locked so...guess this was a waste of time then? If the best we can do is "Don't be a dick" then I think we're well past the point of no return then. It was worth a try at least. Granted, I'll follow that advice, since it seems like common sense, but beyond that? Very disappointed with how this went down. Now people can't reply even if they wanted to...