@alex: Thanks, Alex. My cynical side is always worried even well-concerted efforts like the one you describe will be co-opted fairly quickly due to the nature of internet communication.
vonFlampanker's forum posts
I'm not a shitbag. I don't support harassment or abuse of anyone online. I suppose this puts me with the disillusioned people in the middle that Jeff mentions.
That said, I support disclosure of conflicts of interest on sites that are posting reviews. I will criticize and discuss efforts to limit creative freedom in games (or any medium). I don't like being told (especially in shrill and condescending tones) that my point of view no longer matters.
I appreciate GB's not participating in that latter point. I also appreciate their standing up against harassment and abuse even against people who go on to slag them in public forums and on TV. It reaffirms that this site is staffed by good people whose point of view I respect.
What I want to know is if a concerted effort (which will inevitably be tainted by Internet Axiom 1: "there will always be shitbags causing trouble") isn't the way to address concerns then what is? We're saying that no one is ever going to be able to address a given issue after harassing jerks get involved? We're better than that, I think.
@ohnoaghost: Not my intention to get under anyone's skin, but I can't help but see the sort of mountain-out-of-a-molehill arguments that came up with the new hires as seeing a problem where there isn't one. I'd say the same thing about people who were irritated with this week's podcast content (though I'm not really familiar with what that was all about). I might venture to say that we'd agree on this point since we both already see GB as a "safe, inclusive place for people to talk about video games."
The other part of the new hires arguments (the trolling and threatening) of the site's critics I see as a separate problem. As long as we're putting the "toxic" label on things, I'd put mine there instead.
@rorie: For my part I'd like that. I'm prepared to accept that it might just be the way of things on the internet these days.
These sorts of conversations happen among nearly every internet "community" I frequent. Comics, philosophy, skepticism, technology, movies, academia, science ... they're all having their own version of this same thing. Regardless of how well-intentioned the people involved might be I can't say that I blame people wanting to find out about a certain topic when they get irritated that tangential social justice issues start to creep in. The common thread is people introducing these discussions into communities. Finding problems (real or not) everywhere they look. It doesn't excuse anyone for acting like an antisocial prick (and I favor coming down hard on people that act that way), but I do have a sliver of empathy for the purists. You hear a lot about "safe spaces" and along similar lines it'd be nice to have a place that's kept free of the constant outrage-of-the-day (as well as the trolls and shitbags).
A take on this whole thing, because why not?
- The hires themselves seem to be safe, solid choices, which it's pretty well agreed is what the site's been needing. From all indications the podcast appears to be in good shape, at least.
- No real surprise on the reaction to the hires. I fail to see that something is improved by default if it's represented by someone who looks more like you. Seems narcissistic to me. I fail to see what anyone's color or gender or sexual preference has to do with their ability to write about games or to work on the technical side. Seems racist and/or sexist to me. If you don't think so, reverse the roles and see how it looks.
- It's pretty clear that at least one of the critics of the hire has a problem with Giant Bomb. The funny thing is I'd never have even heard of that person had she not made a drunken ass of herself when GB was kind enough to give her some time on the air. I don't like to be dismissive of legitimate criticism, but in this case especially it's hard not to.
- Those wanting more diversified voices in the gaming space can and should start their own sites. It's a more respectable approach than to try and dictate what others should or shouldn't do. I hope they do and I look forward to enjoying their content and paying for their subscriptions if they're as good as or better than GB.
- The people who run this site seem to have a track record of making decisions that are good for the site even when those decisions have been less than 100% popular with the site's users.
- Antisocial reactions like rape threats and death threats aren't acceptable. I tend to see gaming as a whole as populated by an ever-renewing crop of immature (mostly) males, who are quite often the absolute worst. I know because I used to be one of them (to an extent). They're not interested in discussion or criticism. They just want to say the worst thing possible because someone dared create a little cognitive dissonance in their undeveloped minds. Unfortunately venues like forums and Twitter ensure that we'll be hearing from these sorts of people for the foreseeable future. I hate this fact and I wish I could change it.
- Any person old enough and mature enough to know better and still participating in antisocial actions like rape threats and death threats is worse still, and likely has larger problems. Again, no excuse for those actions.
- The price for being able to express oneself in places like Twitter or forums is that one takes the risk of drawing unacceptable reactions. Doesn't make it right, it's just a fact. Personally I don't think receiving unacceptable reactions is equal to becoming a victim. It's hard for me to give credit to the women who criticized the hires as smart and aware and not also be cynical at how they then play off of the reactions. Note that at no point did I say that such reactions were deserved, indeed they are despicable.
- The messages from Jeff and Alex (and maybe others I might've missed) on Twitter today reinforced why I like those guys.
- I care about this site, the people involved and what it represents. I'd like to think I care about the community as well. I still see a big difference between the community here and others elsewhere, and that seems worth preserving.
Thanks for your time.
While they're not the Bombcast, I like Player One and No Quarters a lot. Both are pretty informal and have the feeling of friends having a conversation.
I was a Weekend Confirmed and Rebel FM listener for awhile but they both kinda wore out their welcome.
I just bought an R9 280x (a week before they announced the free BF4 promo, damn it all) and am very happy with it thus far. The 7970s are the older gen AMD cards and are more or less the same as the 280x's. You'll probably be able to pick up one of those as retailers clear them out for the newer stuff.
Some good deals coming through here now that Black Friday approaches: http://www.reddit.com/r/buildapcsales