Brianna Wu goes on MSNBC to discuss GamerGate

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Dallas_Raines

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Gaming outlets are too scared of pissing off any chunk of their (sometimes paying) communities, so it's nice to see the mainstream media picking up the two month old slack. The harassment victims have had to stand alone until recently, Zoe Quinn even had to take up investigative journalism while the supposed "professionals" were endlessly chatting about being addicted to the "terrible, yet captivating" Destiny.

Brianna Wu is going to get even more shit after calling out a couple of specific sites at the end, I hope our community can act better than last time.

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alternate

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#2  Edited By alternate

Nothing untrue or particularly inflammatory, but a shame singling out GB.

Transcript of the call out via neogaf

[on change in the culture] "I think it needs to happen from the top down. ...this is a problem with the gamer culture, but it's also a problem with the professionals within the gaming industry. If you look at IGN and Giant Bomb, these are sites predominantly ran by men, and they are choosing to not cover what's happening to women in the industry. If you look at the industry's hiring practices as a whole, they are tilted very, very severely against women.

...I think you have to look at the culture from the top-down that's sending these messages, to women, very subtly and unconsciously. "You are not welcome here", "this is a boy's club", "this is our turf". It's not that the men are conscious that they're doing this. I love and respect the men I work with in this industry with me, but they have attitudes frequently that they don't understand are antagonistic.

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splodge

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#3  Edited By splodge

I am pretty sure @patrickklepek has done a lot of coverage of what is happening in the industry. Does he not work for Giant Bomb?

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Hunkulese

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It has nothing to do with Gaming outlets being scared of pissing people off. What exactly do you expect them to do that wont make things worse or cater to exactly what the assholes want? These types of responses is what makes it impossible subject to discuss in any kind of civil way. Can you not just post your video and talk about it instead of trying to throw the blame onto gaming outlets?

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FinalDasa

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#5 FinalDasa  Moderator

@hunkulese: While I get what you're saying I don't blame her for wanting to call for more of a stance against those attacking her. You have to remember she was threatened, hacked/doxxed, and forced to leave her home because of it. Imagine if someone did the same to you and the sites/people you respect within the industry stayed somewhat quiet on the issue.

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subyman

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Video won't load, must be getting slammed. Cool to see this hitting the mainstream outlets. I'm not sure what the big gaming media outlets are supposed to do here. Some reported it and then got chastised for being *gasp* against harassing people.

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Zeik

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While I'm sure she's frustrated and exhausted from everything that's going on, I'm not sure calling out gaming websites (Giant Bomb or any other) as the heart of the problem is the right call here. I feel like that creates unnecessary animosity when there's already more than enough to go around. This issue is much deeper than whether dudes are running gaming websites.

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cmblasko

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It has nothing to do with Gaming outlets being scared of pissing people off.

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Fredchuckdave

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Good for MSNBC, interesting stuff though I think the biggest issue is the demographic with regard to threats/comments or just the unregulated nature of the internet as a whole.

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dr_mantas

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She does say a couple of pretty hateful things, which I believe to be untrue.

Accusing someone of doing evil things unconsciously is a tactic that is impossible to fight, because if it's not conscious, what can you do but believe your accuser? You are left no recourse, because if you arrive at your decisions in a way that you don't even understand, what hope do you have of doing anything right? Except of course blindly following, without any free will reserved.

I think it's an argumentation I can say nothing more about, because it doesn't expect or accept any other response but agreement. And I will not agree.

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Hunkulese

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#11  Edited By Hunkulese

@finaldasa: That was addressed to the OP. It's inflammatory to begin your post with gaming outlets are too scared to do anything.

As for Brianna, she's entitled to say what she wants and it's understandable that she's frustrated, but it's a little disappointing to hear her single out Giant Bomb when Patrick and Alex have been very vocal about how disgusting the whole thing is.

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FinalDasa

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#12 FinalDasa  Moderator

@hunkulese: Agreed. I have seen plenty of online posts saying that Patrick and Alex are somehow outliers to the "true" GB. It's a hard position for everyone involved and everyone seems to have a differing opinion on staying silent and/or speaking out.

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splodge

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#13  Edited By splodge

@finaldasa: That was addressed to the OP.

As for Brianna, she's entitled to say what she wants and it's understandable that she's frustrated, but it's a little disappointing to hear her single out Giant Bomb when Patrick and Alex have been very vocal about how disgusting the whole thing is.

That is the single problem I have with this. Patrick has been very thorough in talking about the topic, he even hosted panels about it and very similar things. For some reason, that does not count towards Giant Bomb doing anything, or covering it. Hell, Patrick was on those "SJW" hit-lists along with everyone else. I can only assume she did not see or hear any of Patricks thoughts on it, which is fair enough when you consider what she has been through over the past few weeks.

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GnaTSoL

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I'm shocked GB got called out. Patrick is always speaking for GB about these issues and I thought Patrick was acquainted with her enough to keep her from adding gb in a negative light.

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FinalDasa

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#15 FinalDasa  Moderator

@splodge: A lot of people only have Patrick on that list and not GB at large. There is a group of people out there who assume GB is "on their side" or at least ignoring the whole thing altogether.

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afabs515

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I was with her until she said that GiantBomb doesn't cover this. Patrick does a ton of interviews and writes a bunch of articles about sexism in the gaming industry. I thought that was one of the reasons why he's something of a controversial figure on this site in some circles. Is it a banner on the front page every day? No. Is it on the Bombcast? Not really. But to say that GiantBomb isn't reporting on it simply isn't true.

Other than that, she makes some good points and it is definitely a conversation that needs to happen. Unfortunately, this is the kind of large-scale change which will take decades at the very least, so get ready for years and years of this to come.

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Milkman

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#17  Edited By Milkman

@finaldasa: That was addressed to the OP. It's inflammatory to begin your post with gaming outlets are too scared to do anything.

As for Brianna, she's entitled to say what she wants and it's understandable that she's frustrated, but it's a little disappointing to hear her single out Giant Bomb when Patrick and Alex have been very vocal about how disgusting the whole thing is.

But the average Giant Bomb user, they'll probably never see that. Patrick and Alex have spoken out but it's either been on Twitter or on a show that (let's face it) isn't very popular in the grand scheme of the site. I've gone back and forth on this but maybe it's time for Jeff to say something. Truthfully, I don't really know what to do about all this. I don't think anyone would contend that this whole thing is easy to handle.

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Brodehouse

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"Giant Bomb is tilted, severely, against women."

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Zeik

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#19  Edited By Zeik

@milkman said:

@hunkulese said:

@finaldasa: That was addressed to the OP. It's inflammatory to begin your post with gaming outlets are too scared to do anything.

As for Brianna, she's entitled to say what she wants and it's understandable that she's frustrated, but it's a little disappointing to hear her single out Giant Bomb when Patrick and Alex have been very vocal about how disgusting the whole thing is.

But the average Giant Bomb user, they'll probably never see that. Patrick and Alex have spoken out but it's either been on Twitter or on a show that (let's face it) isn't very popular in the grand scheme of the site. I've gone back and forth on this but maybe it's time for Jeff to say something. Truthfully, I don't really know what to do about all this. I don't think anyone would contend that this whole thing is easy to handle.

There's an article right on the front page about Brianna herself being chased from her home. Anyone can choose to not click on that link, and they can choose to do so whether Patrick or Jeff is the one posting it, but the only way you wouldn't see it is if you're not actually visiting Giant Bomb.

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Hyuzen

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Well it's true that GB doesn't really cover this too often (it's come up in the bombcast and morning show that I know of) at this point I don't think Giant Bomb see's their website as the kind of place that wants to cover demographics in the games industry. They're a website that focuses on the personalities of it's staff and the games that they play. There are sites like Polygon and Kotaku that want to provide more editorial coverage on issues in the games industry.

Of course, I think they should strive to have more diversity on staff next time they do some hiring. While the kind of content Brianna Wu wishes Giant Bomb would provide may not exist, she's well within her rights to say it. I also think that a site like GB could change to be more welcoming. Just because the site is primarily video focused right now doesn't mean there isn't room for changes to occur down the road. Through new hires or just wanting to take more of a stand I do hope that this site can be a good place for all people who are into games a crazy amount.

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@alternate said:

Nothing untrue or particularly inflammatory, but a shame singling out GB.

She called out GB because she's a fan and a subscriber. I hold the site to a higher standard too because I expect more from them than other outlets.

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Dallas_Raines

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@zeik: That article didn't come out until GB was explicitly called out on national goddamn news.

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DrDarkStryfe

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Turambar

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#26  Edited By Turambar

@horseman6 said:

This website isn't and shouldn't be dedicated to Social Commentary. If it was, the site would be much less popular. Her calling out of this site in particular is ridiculous, and it seems like there are a lot of people in the "feminist game journalist" circle that keep pointing to GB as an example of a male-dominated industry when it's not. Sure, dudes run this site, but the community is very tame and respectful in general.

"Male-dominated" very much means percentage of male versus females. GB is a male dominated site, both in terms of staff and community. Whether that's a bad thing is another thing all together, but let's not pretend to be something you're not.

I'm sure there will be plenty more of "I agree with everything she says except for where she criticizes something I'm invested in" type comments to come in this thread.

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Milkman

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@zeik said:

@milkman said:

@hunkulese said:

@finaldasa: That was addressed to the OP. It's inflammatory to begin your post with gaming outlets are too scared to do anything.

As for Brianna, she's entitled to say what she wants and it's understandable that she's frustrated, but it's a little disappointing to hear her single out Giant Bomb when Patrick and Alex have been very vocal about how disgusting the whole thing is.

But the average Giant Bomb user, they'll probably never see that. Patrick and Alex have spoken out but it's either been on Twitter or on a show that (let's face it) isn't very popular in the grand scheme of the site. I've gone back and forth on this but maybe it's time for Jeff to say something. Truthfully, I don't really know what to do about all this. I don't think anyone would contend that this whole thing is easy to handle.

There's an article right on the front page about Brianna herself being chased from her home. Anyone can choose to not click on that link, and they can choose to do so whether Patrick or Jeff is the one posting it, but the only way you wouldn't see it is if you're not actually visiting Giant Bomb.

That article went up literally as I was writing that comment.

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Humanity

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"Giant Bomb is tilted, severely, against women."

If it's in a quote it must be true.

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Fredchuckdave

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@turambar: In terms of community there are very few (if any) mainstream game sites that aren't extremely male skewed and that's mainly where the agency of this problem lies. If the change requires a cultural shift we could be talking dozens of years here and lots of other changes in the society as a whole.

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shinjin977

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This have already been said about a thousand times, I applaud her for being brave enough to go on msnbc to talk about this because this will now get MUCH worst, for her and every single person involve in the middle of this. TALKING to trolls/criminals/radicals do not work. I am sure the people being threaten have already got the authority involve and that is pretty much all you can do that is actually effective.

Trolls LOVES any and all attention, the more we talk about how despicable they are and how terrible they have made people's lives. You might as well send them food because they live off of that. If you dont believe me go on the extremist board. I am talking about 4chan/reddit (thats the crazy GG circle jerk) or neogaf (thats the crazy anti-GG circle jerk) and read how much fun the extremist from both side are actually having from this thing. While any sane people shake our collective heads and get the authority involve, those guys are busy planing doxx operations and yelling into their own respective echo chamber.

You want to clean up the community? STOP GIVING BOTH OF THOSE EXTREMIST GROUP A VOICE. Then we can talk about ethics or cleaning up sexism or w/e and btw we as a race actually have LAWS and CONSEQUENCES for killing people and a lot of assholes still do it. You people actually think that talking down to people sternly/denouncing these actions/calling it out, is going to stop harassment? Hell even if we manage to bring some of these assholes to court it still won't stop it completely. Do not engage the troll, get the authority involve if you are harass (and pray you get the assholes) and get the fuck off social media.

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Zeik

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#32  Edited By Zeik

@dallas_raines said:

@zeik: That article didn't come out until GB was explicitly called out on national goddamn news.

Because it's not like he has been talking about it before that or anything. Worth Reading has something about GamerGate like every week.

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thatpinguino

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#33 thatpinguino  Staff

@finaldasa: I think if you do not follow all of GB's content and only pick up on the headlines, it is quite easy to miss Patrick and Alex's coverage of this issue since it is limited to tweets and less popular podcasts. As for singling out IGN and GB for their hiring practices, I think that makes sense if you don't closely follow GB and you remember the Dan and Jason hiring kerfuffle. I mean she isn't wrong that GB is a 100% male editorial staff, even if the staff would agree with her on a lot of her complaints. The format of that 8 minute TV spot didn't leave a lot of room for nuance, but I think she did a pretty admirable job of speaking eloquently and quickly while dealing with the talking head style questions she was asked.

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It's unfortunate, but her calling out Giant Bomb is pretty true--Patrick's been vocal about it, but there are entire applications devoted to erasing Patrick's work from the site; I would venture to say that the folk who most need to hear a condemnation of Gamergate need to hear it from Jeff or they'll dismiss it as more SJW wankery.

This whole thing is terrible, but there are more and more news outlets shining a light on this whole mess, which is in turn going to be what eventually gets more and more people to speak up and say "enough." It has to stop. We can be better than this. We need to be better than this.

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Turambar

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@turambar: In terms of community there are very few (if any) mainstream game sites that aren't extremely male skewed and that's mainly where the agency of this problem lies. If the change requires a cultural shift we could be talking dozens of years here and lots of other changes in the society as a whole.

So you're saying she's right. Good to hear.

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conmulligan

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It's amazing how quick people are to write her off as soon as she criticises Giant Bomb even a little bit. There's no need to be so precious, the staff can handle it! This is the kind of shit that leads to the whole Samantha Allen ordeal.

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hermes

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#37  Edited By hermes

@milkman said:

@hunkulese said:

@finaldasa: That was addressed to the OP. It's inflammatory to begin your post with gaming outlets are too scared to do anything.

As for Brianna, she's entitled to say what she wants and it's understandable that she's frustrated, but it's a little disappointing to hear her single out Giant Bomb when Patrick and Alex have been very vocal about how disgusting the whole thing is.

But the average Giant Bomb user, they'll probably never see that. Patrick and Alex have spoken out but it's either been on Twitter or on a show that (let's face it) isn't very popular in the grand scheme of the site. I've gone back and forth on this but maybe it's time for Jeff to say something. Truthfully, I don't really know what to do about all this. I don't think anyone would contend that this whole thing is easy to handle.

Patrick has spoken about issues like gender equality and online harassment way before GamerGate was even a thing. He even gave a speech during a TEDx about that very same thing... His political views and not being afraid of speaking his mind about it are the main reasons he was the least liked member of the staff for a very long time.

I guess it wouldn't hurt to hear from Jeff, but I think the fact Patrick is still the news editor in the site (and hasn't toned down his opinion) is proof enough that the higher ups are happy with his work. I think being singled out is less about taking/not taking a public stance and more about Miss Wu not being so familiar with GB position and namedropping them because they are prominent enough.

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Zeik

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It's amazing how quick people are to write her off as soon as she criticises Giant Bomb even a little bit. There's no need to be so precious, the staff can handle it! This is the kind of shit that leads to the whole Samantha Allen ordeal.

Who's writing her off? I mostly just see people expressing disappointment that GB was singled out.

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Turambar

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It's unfortunate, but her calling out Giant Bomb is pretty true--Patrick's been vocal about it, but there are entire applications devoted to erasing Patrick's work from the site; I would venture to say that the folk who most need to hear a condemnation of Gamergate need to hear it from Jeff or they'll dismiss it as more SJW wankery.

To be fair, it's rather difficult to give someone full respect when they say in clear terms that the other side has valid points, but those points should not be addressed because things are currently toxic, implying there is ever a time where things like gender equality isn't full of toxic noise. It is actually rather lazy.

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chrissedoff

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#40  Edited By chrissedoff

That was a good segment. The only thing I didn't like about it was that I was involuntarily cringing with embarrassment on behalf of everyone who plays video games because now the lunacy that takes place online is being pointed out to mainstream America. I agree with Wu that every video games website needs to be clear about exposing and condemning Gamergate for the reactionary hate campaign that it is. Understandably, some sites want to be apolitical, but taking a neutral stance creates an illusion that the underpinnings of Gamergate are legitimate and leaving that door open sends the message that women aren't necessarily welcome among these sites' communities.

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#41  Edited By Fredchuckdave

@turambar: She is right but her solution is let's say optimistic at best, if the market as a whole never shifts toward a female audience outside of casual games it will be very difficult to change the fundamentally patriarchal nature of the corporations involved. As far as stopping people from getting death threats goes that's simple: you regulate the internet; if you don't it's just going to get worse. Inevitably that regulation will occur though probably for completely unrelated reasons. As far as the society goes that's difficult to predict, I imagine patriarchy itself (which is the root of the organizational problem, though not the root of the community problem) will continue to be unassailable for another hundred years at least.

Of course that doesn't mean people shouldn't talk about it and draw attention to the problem.

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Milkman

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@hermes: Yeah but when it's just Patrick, it makes it very easy for people to dismiss his work as not part of the site at large. Hell, there are browser extensions that actually remove all of Patrick's work from the site. It's why he's seen as the token "SJW guy." I'm sure Jeff and the rest of the staff are very happy with his work but don't underestimate the power of vocalizing it once in awhile.

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#43 Mike  Moderator