For anyone just now wading into this thread, this Vox piece sums up the situation well.
patrickklepek's forum posts
I think there is a bit of misinformation spread here and elsewhere online about how journalism in other fields work. Even some members of the games press have acknowledged this and have explained the differences as being due to the origins of the gaming press as an enthusiast press. If they want to grow up as they say, they will inevitable have to adopt more of the codes of ethics other journalist outlets practice, or they can remain a PR press that some people mistrust.
Pointing to Roger Ebert is disingenuous, since he is more of an exception to the rule than the norm. He didn't start off as best pals with Scorsese, pushing his films. He saw a great young director and championed him, as any critic might do in any field. He also gave bad reviews to him while they weren't "friends." If there is a game critic with a Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, then I'm sure more people would be willing to give them the benefit of the doubt to being an exception to the rule. They might not have a Pulitzer, but I do think GiantBomb has proven to be ethical regardless of their friendships: recusing themselves from reviewing Bastion, saying Dance Central doesn't always work even though they have many friends at Harmonix, including a former employee.
Right, but what we're specifically talking about is enthusiast press. Can you give me any evidence the unfortunate but sometimes necessary coziness that comes from covering an entertainment industry like video games is any different than what happens in comics, movies, music? I'm not saying there aren't ethical lapses or publications/individuals can't improve, but part of what's happened in this movement is a desire to impose ethical standards as a straw man argument to deflect any understanding of how said ethics might actually work within a world of gray areas like games writing.
If a judge does not have the time/can't make the game work and does not play it, do they have to abstain or can they still give it a positive/negative rating?
If its the latter that is pretty screwed up.
Well, there's no way to prove a judge does or doesn't play a game. It's technically possible a judge could give a positive/negative vote without playing it. But that's how most voluntary judging panels work--it's not exclusive to games. There would be no way to prove a TV/movie critic participating in the Emmys/Oscars has watched everything they are sent, for example.
I think @splodge's point was simply that at some point you have to step away from things that you simply have no control over, otherwise this constant coverage of the harassment just becomes CNN-style misery porn. All you're doing at that point is just wallowing in it. Everyone here recognizes and has made it clear the harassment is awful, not okay, and has gotten out of control from some people, but at a certain point that's kind of all that can be said about it. There's no other conclusion to reach except "Yeah, that's kind of fucked up."
Like, I keep reading about the horrible stuff that's happened to Zoe, and Anita, and others, and yeah, it's awful. There's only so many times I can re-state that before I'm just smothering myself in a particular issue that really has no other angle to discuss and need to take a step back. That doesn't mean I don't recognize the weight of it.
While you're right that news tends to slant in the direction of negative over positive (this is reinforced by readership who click on negative over positive, creating a "cycle"), one thing that I constantly notice is how personal people get about criticism. Criticism doesn't mean you are a bad person. If you're someone who likes making things, whether it's games or commentary about them, you're really excited to be told you're wrong by people with a good point to make. It's how you get better. Echo chambers are boring. It's why I hear from so many game developers who embrace what folks like Anita have to say, since it represents someone making a strong but substantive critique without condemning the people who actually made it. When you're called sexist, it doesn't mean you're a bad person. I've done sexist things, too. That doesn't make me a bad person. It's just food for thought, and potentially a way to improve. I often find that players who get incredibly upset about games criticized for being sexist take it personally in a way that, in their eyes, reflects badly on them. Playing a game with sexist elements does not make you sexist or a bad person. It just means it's a game with some issues.
I feel there are more than one echo chamber here. There is one where any criticism levied against games is wrong, whether or not the criticism is valid. There is one where the criticism is found to be without fault. Everyone needs to get out of both echo chambers. People should recognize when there are faults in both the game as well as the criticisms of the game. I can admit when folks like Anita make a valid point, while also seeing the fallacies in some of her arguments and examples. It seems like the gaming press only recognize one of these echo chambers while happily living in the other.
Well, here's part of the problem. You may have legitimate or honest criticisms of Anita's work or arguments, but you're making them in the middle of a group of very ugly, ugly people who are doing very ugly, ugly things. I'm not saying that makes dismissing those points okay, but you also have to understand how it's very hard to end up taking some of it seriously. It's hard to fight through the noise. I know that myself. I've argued how important it is to try and fight through that noise. But when you're on a side of the argument that's mixed up with some gross elements, making your point also involves realizing who you're making it alongside with.
@mento: When the evidence drops and we evaluate it together maybe you can provide evidence for those claims as well?
Also, you can't really hold an angry mob to the same degrees of integrity as you would want to hold the press. The difference is, the mob has no secrets. Everything is conducted in public.
Maybe this shouldn't actually be discussed it here like this until there is actual evidence to discuss? Running around talking about something as though it's fact before any evidence to back up the claims has been revealed is shortsighted. Even moreso, if the supposed evidence doesn't hold any water.
It really seems like he has the right idea :)
With all this horrible shit going on, I am so happy that I can watch Dan and Drew fudge their way through Metal Gear. It is honestly one of the highlights of my week.
The people who are concentrating all their efforts on hatred have probably not even had time to pick up a controller and play a video game. They should do this. Go back to the roots. Play through Super Mario World with some friends. It might give them some perspective. The games have been forgotten.
There nothing to be lost in the first place. People will make what they want to make. Hell, some developers have come from abject poverty and war torn countries to make fantastic games. How can people really believe that a small group who they disagree with on social issues is going to "take over"? It's just such a tiny world view.
If your problem is that you feel you (as a gamer) are being harassed, well, that sucks. But it will get better. You have to deal with it. Life is shitty sometimes. It can really fucking blow. But the world keeps turning, everyone keeps going to work every day and the clock keeps ticking.
And games will still be made. Good games. Shit games. Like it has always been.
I am not saying you should forget about everything, I am just saying some perspective is needed on what really matters in life, and what really matters for this hobby that we all love and enjoy.
ALL OF THIS. Thanks, duder.
This mentality is repeated every time something bad happens. People want to stick their heads in the sand and go back to playing Mario Kart. If you don't want to be involved then fine, but you can't tell people who've suffered an invasion of privacy on this level to just shrug it off. Ultimately these are the people responsible for the games you want to go back to playing, and if they don't feel safe then, as a player, that's something you should care about.
This is important.
I understand the desire to just "go back to the games," and it doesn't mean we get to pretend some horrible things didn't happen along the way.
Also, while I agree there might be something to that article, they do not provide a shred of proof. It is all insinuation.
Like this part...hah!
"We know all of this thanks to leaked conversations of anonymous judges from past IGFs. We'd like to thank these judges for coming forward."
Who is "we", who were the anonymous judges, and where are these alleged leaks the author is referring to? Sounds like a bunch of conspiracy theorist nonsense to me. The writer is quick to point out all this supporting documentation to his theory, but never actually cites anything beyond saying "it exists." Right.
I'm an IGF judge. You don't technically have to play a game in order to cast a judgment on it. Often times, this happens because a game doesn't work on your machine or, well, you run out of time. You don't have to give it a positive/negative bump. There have been times where I've been forced to abstain from really saying much about a game because I couldn't give the game the time it needed. That's unfortunate for the developer who paid to be in the IGF, but the IGF doesn't really guarantee anything. The judges are also volunteers, at least the people like me who are part of the earlier nomination process.
@patrickklepek: it seems like this whole thing is based on people taking criticism of what they love personally and acting out because of it. I think people often look past that a lot of people being critical like games too but just would, enjoy them even more if certain things got better.
Yeah, and taking criticism the "right" way is incredibly hard. It's taken me years. I still get it wrong sometimes. But being criticized is...it's part of the process. It's part of growing up. You should embrace it. It doesn't mean every time someone criticizes you that you have to take it seriously or they're inherently right, but...hey, maybe sometimes they are.