w1n5t0n's forum posts

#1 Edited by w1n5t0n (174 posts) -

@rorie: I have no idea how the modding process works, what would a more hand on approach entail?

#2 Posted by w1n5t0n (174 posts) -

@w1n5t0n: Criticism and disagreement are fine. Hateful speech is a different matter altogether, and the resulting fireball of hate from both sides of the issue in the comments could hardly be called critique. Patrick even made an edit to illustrate how the comments had spiraled out of control.

I can only go off this most recent shitstorm, but I didn't see anything hateful in the GB forums. Maybe heated exchanges but they seemed civil to me.

#3 Posted by w1n5t0n (174 posts) -

Didn't members of the GB community climb all over Patrick for writing a piece about being more sensitive to gender issues some time in the last year as well? I agree with @rorie, we as a community have some of our own internal sensitivity issues to sort out.

There is nothing wrong with people disagreeing with him and airing criticism.

#4 Posted by w1n5t0n (174 posts) -

@johnham: This is ridiculous. I'm sick of people saying that some psychopaths who make death threats on the internet reflects poorly on me as a GB community member. How about I just continue to do what I've been doing and not be a dick to other people and be satisfied with that? I'm not going to become some activist because a stupid subreddit decided to come over and start shit on this website that we didn't ask for. I have ZERO responsibility as a fan of the site to now start speaking out against anyone. Also, your "list of demands" is pretty absurd. It sounds like you want Giant Bomb to run the site the way you want the site to be run, as opposed to how they want it to be run, which is the real cornerstone of the website. I honestly and truly believe the staff of Giant Bomb does good work and is committed to the things you laid out already in a much more subtle manner that doesn't include making it the focus of the website. Giant Bomb has never been EXCLUSIVE of the groups you mentioned.

You explained it better than I could. For example take thier couch based videos which usually only have guests from around the building. Some of the guests I can think of are Karen, Carolyn Petit, The web dev who helped Drew translate, pretty much anybody cool who wants to come on.

#5 Posted by w1n5t0n (174 posts) -

@johnham:

I think your equating the GB community with the internet as a whole. This site has been pretty civil and as a mod pointed out in a post, anything extremely offensive seemed to be by new posters, who created an account just for this issue. GB have smartly kept quite during this whole thing, and like most internet controversies it seems to be dying down.

#6 Edited by w1n5t0n (174 posts) -

@johnham said:

Longpost Alert!!! (I should also note this series of thoughts and recommendations is more related to the larger discourse issue of GB fans, as opposed to this forum in particular. I still think it's relevant.)

In any case...

Much has been made of the fact that the people who have said the most disgusting and reprehensible things to people like Maddy Myers and Samantha Allen were congregating on sites like Reddit and 4chan. My language here is important; I say "congregating" and not "originating" because these people ARE Giant Bomb fans. If they were not engaged in the site's content, and the larger online discussion around it, they would not be involved - they would not even know TO seek out those who were critical of the team's hiring choice.

This is important because we need to recognize that as fans of GB this cannot be hand-waved away. It reflects poorly on all of us, and even if we didn't plan out a harassment strategy on these actual forums, the fact remains that the defense of this site's choice was the organizing principle of these destructive, hateful people.

For this reason, it is Giant Bomb's responsibility, and to a lesser extent, our collective responsibility as a fanbase, to stand up to this behavior and act.

Obviously Giant Bomb cannot police all corners of the internet, but they can more clearly and unequivocally refute the arguments and actions of these worst parts of their fan base. To be blunt: if you cannot directly control these elements, you must make it impossible for them to consider you their ally. In this way, they'll have to find another cause celebre to focus their hatred around. How to do this? M simple tenets:

1. Refute Refute Refute

A strong and unequivocal response from the site's management is necessary. This does not mean on Twitter. If the issue is being connected to the site, the refutation should come from the same place. It should be prominently placed and taken seriously. Ideally, IMO, it would be done on the site's most prominent and popular piece of content, the Bombcast. The comments should be aggressively moderated, or there should be no comments at all.

Jeff should be the one to make this statement. A collective statement is nearly toothless in comparison. Jeff is more than a figurehead - he is literally the guiding light of Giant Bomb in every sense. He needs to get in front of this, and he can't be worried about "alienating" people. I would argue that if anyone is alienated by such a statement, they shouldn't be here anyway.

Also; use the "F" word - feminism is not a bad thing. Feminism is not used to oppress men. The abilities of MRAs to contort the tenets of feminism to seem evil are prodigious. I like to think that Giant Bomb isn't swayed by such nonsense, but it would be nice for them to prove it.

2. Detail the Hiring Process

Giant Bomb has consistently provided keen insight into the proverbial sausage-making process. This situation is VERY tough, as there are numerous legal implications that GB (and CBSi for chrissakes) need to consider when talking about how they hired people. Clarifying the nature of the process, the way that applicants were narrowed, and eventually, how the final hires were decided upon will do a LOT to assuage the disappointment of those who've been critical of the site. If GB chooses not to do this (and honestly, this is the one step I think is *least* likely) it allows the details of the hiring process to remain a sticking point in the discussion, and both sides will be able to point to this element as evidence of their position's virtue.

3. Make Diversity an Issue

Why not put up a clear mission statement near the site masthead that details an official site stance on things like minority representation, diversity, etc.? Giant Bomb does not seem to disagree that these things are issues, why not clarify that the site OFFICIALLY believes that improvement is needed (from them, and the industry at large). Admitting a mistake can be a courageous act. Making the mistake a part of who you are as a site, and then considering that mistake when you're faced with the next decision is the next flashpoint. Make it clear where GB stands, and follow it up with action when circumstances allow.

4. Minorities, Represent!

Get women, queer people, and POCs to guest in GB content consistently, and as often as is possible. More than anything else, this action will set the stage for the type of site Giant Bomb wants to be, and it will continue to alienate and force out people with the most virulent points of view (points of view we don't want to be associated with as GB fans). THIS DOES NOT ABSOLVE GB OF THE NEED FOR DIVERSITY ON ITS FULL TIME EDITORIAL STAFF, which is very important, but it would be a logical continuation of some of the moves they've made in the past, AND it makes great content. It's a no-brainer.

In conclusion, I cannot say enough about the work I've seen @rorie and the moderation team put in over the last day. They have been kind and patient and, if anything, too understanding of the overheated rhetoric that's been spit out. In this case, though, the call is not coming from inside the house, and so requires a different solution and thought process to fix the issue and maintain/repair GB's reputation (depending on whether it's been damaged for you in all this).

There can be no question; it's a complicated problem with an equally complicated set of potential solutions, but there is ABSOLUTELY more Giant Bomb can do from an editorial and leadership perspective to both improve from a diversity perspective and combat the vitriolic hatred coming from professed "fans". This is hard, but we can do it. I believe in Jeff. I believe in the rest of the staff. I believe in the moderation team, and I believe in us, as fans of the site.

We can be better, and we should try to be.

I think trying to make Giant Bomb have some official stance on the diversity issue and to have certain types of guests just because their minorities is not what GB's trying to be. I just want them to have people who are fun(Karen, Danny, Carolyn) not have them them fight for social justice. Points 3 and 4 are so wierd to me? Do you need every site you visit to have an official position on every issue. I'd like an official stance on Yoshi once and for all!.

You already have the conclusion that there is some grand injustice in video games and Giant Bomb must lead the charge for what's right. That is not an opinion everyone holds .

#8 Posted by w1n5t0n (174 posts) -

@johnham said:

@xchairmandrekx said:
@johnham said:

@zevvion said:

@johnham said:
@whatisdelicious said:

@johnham said:

@w1n5t0n: What about a black person providing perspective on that race's portrayal in GTA V via Franklin / Lamar. Is it accurate? Is it illuminating? What would you change about the portrayal, if it were up to you?

But honestly, your characterization of my opinion as a "warped crusade" really makes it clear that you're not looking for me to actually answer your questions.

What are you talking about?

Seriously, please stop assuming all white people are alike and all black people are alike. How is a black guy going to know if the portrayal of Franklin and Lamar is accurate unless he grew up on the fucking streets?

This is a legitimately racist viewpoint you're expressing here.

A black person would have an inherently more valuable perspective on how a black person is characterized in a video game.

A doctor would have an inherently more valuable perspective on how a complicated surgery is represented in a video game.

It's not a racist statement, but thanks anyway.

That is not even close to the same thing. A doctor went to school to get a medical degree. Giving him actual knowledge about surgery. A black person isn't by definition grown up on the streets as Franklin and Lamar were. Any person growing up around people akin to Franklin and Lamar would have inherently more valuable perspective on that stuff than the mere fact of being black. Yes, you are being totally racist, even if unintentionally.

"Any person growing up around people akin to Franklin and Lamar would have inherently more valuable perspective on that stuff than the mere fact of being black."

I agree with this; a person who experienced the exact same things as those characters would have an even better perspective than someone who is "merely" black.

That doesn't change the fact that a black person living in the US automatically has some small degree of shared (virtual) experience with those characters and is thus better suited to commentary than a white person would be, assuming everything else is equal.

But before everyone gets hung up on calling me a racist, I want to bring this back around to the original source of the comment; does anyone here really think that there's literally zero unique perspective on games that a minority could bring to the table? Seriously?

Still sounding pretty racist there. You are saying that for example, given two identical upper class people, one black and white, the black person would just happen to have a better perspective about living in the conditions that Franklin and Lamar lived in, simply due to their race? You are literally making assumptions about people based on the color of their skin. That's text-book racism. Even if you don't realize it.

The hypothetical black person in your example would not have better perspective on the "conditions that Franklin and Lamar lived in" because that topic is specifically related to location and socio-economic status (things that are also tied up in race, but we can put that aside). But that same black person WOULD have better perspective on the ways that they are treated, and portrayed in the media, as a function of their skin color, which is something that is reflected in those characters. Therefore they would probably be more-qualified to provide that perspective.

I am not saying all black people know more about being poor.

I am not saying all black people know more about being in a gang, or street culture generally.

I AM saying that black people inherently have a different perspective on how black people are treated and perceived in our society. On what it IS to be black in a modern US context. It's so obvious that it shouldn't even need to be stated.

What game is really nuanced enough to bring up the socio-economic issues. GTA5 is great and all but it aint that deep.

#9 Edited by w1n5t0n (174 posts) -

"Hey new hire, you're black and there's a black guy in this game. How do YOU think they did?" Ya that would be racist. Jeff has more perspective on "the streets" than most black guys I know anyways lol.

Jeff is so hood that a random guy came out of no where and put him in his rap video.

#10 Edited by w1n5t0n (174 posts) -

@johnham said:
@whatisdelicious said:

@johnham said:

@w1n5t0n: What about a black person providing perspective on that race's portrayal in GTA V via Franklin / Lamar. Is it accurate? Is it illuminating? What would you change about the portrayal, if it were up to you?

But honestly, your characterization of my opinion as a "warped crusade" really makes it clear that you're not looking for me to actually answer your questions.

What are you talking about?

Seriously, please stop assuming all white people are alike and all black people are alike. How is a black guy going to know if the portrayal of Franklin and Lamar is accurate unless he grew up on the fucking streets?

This is a legitimately racist viewpoint you're expressing here.

A black person would have an inherently more valuable perspective on how a black person is characterized in a video game.

A doctor would have an inherently more valuable perspective on how a complicated surgery is represented in a video game.

It's not a racist statement, but thanks anyway.

Let me go ask my black friend. "Hey whats it like to be in a street gang and have to kill people" oh wait I got punched in the face.