It's maddening how much "anti-woke" stuff gets shoved down your throat trying to engage with gaming discourse

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bigsocrates

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One of the reasons that I like Giant Bomb is that while the site is generally not overly political, when it does get into politics I feel like people's hearts are generally in the right place. I don't agree with all the views of the staff, of course, let alone forum posters (like notorious Bluey apologist @chamurai), but even when we disagree I think everyone has basically the same perspective.

This is mostly the same on most of the mainstream gaming sites, which vary in quality and somewhat in ideology but all have some level of sanity.

Then you go out to places like Youtube and Reddit and the algorithm just shoves the most alarming stuff in front of you. Recently I was glancing at some gaming news and the algorithm decided what I really wanted to watch were videos crowing about how layoffs at the studio that made Tales of Kenzera: Zau were a result of that studio working with Sweet Baby Inc., the current boogeyman for the worst people in the gaming community.

Tales of Kenzara: Zau featured an African protagonist but almost no political content, being almost entirely a personal story about love, loss, and moving on. That's not super important, except it shows how these people frame everything through a very specific lens. The same lens that causes them to get extremely upset when Aloy has a slightly chubbier face, or an extremely sexualized female costume has a little bit of virtual fabric added to it.

I'm a cishet middle aged white guy and stumbling upon this stuff when I'm just trying to browse gaming news makes the space feel hostile to me. I can't imagine what it would be like to be one of the targets of their ire.

Of course I have my "safe space" outlets, including Giant Bomb, and you get used to it after awhile, but this stuff shouldn't be normalized or accepted. I know that it's an intentional strategy to try to dominate these spaces and drive less confrontational people out of them (I have a high tolerance for conflict but even I don't want to fight endless battles over and over, no matter what @imunbeatable80 would tell you about my views on Super Mario 3D World.) It kind of works.

It just sucks. I love gaming and I love talking about gaming (as I think everyone left on these forums knows) and it feels like trying to do so in larger spaces now creates a risk of having to be assaulted with these conspiracy theories and abhorrent views. We all remember the first Gamergate and everything that came of that. For a time it felt like things were calmer, but with the new election and the Sweet Baby Inc. insanity the hornet's nest is buzzing again.

It even makes me a little bit hesitant to express some of my own views. For example I thought that the feminist message of Botany Manor was hamhanded. I still think that. But I don't really enjoy criticizing the way it was presented because it feels too close to some things I really really don't think (obviously I have no issue with women in games or social messages in art, I just thought this particular implementation was clunky and repetitive.) The same with my thinking that The Last of Us 2 campaign wasn't the best (my issues with that was mostly that I felt like it was too long and the story beats repeated too much.)

I don't really know where I'm going with this. I think I'm just frustrated at seeing a generally artistic community intentionally targeted by goons. Gaming was always a male dominated space (fortunately less so today) and went from nerdy to a little bro-ey in the 2000s, but while there were always issues with it being insufficiently diverse in both the workforce and the product and having a serious male gaze issue, it was a little less explicit and hostile. Maybe that's all of society now, I don't know. All I know is that I want to be able to read and watch stuff about video games without being exposed to bigotry and hate.

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judaspete

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#2  Edited By judaspete

Yeah, you see it a lot with gaming stuff, but outrage culture has seeped into everything. I watched this unfold like a train wreck in slow motion as new technology gave it new avenues of exploitation. First noticed it when my dad got into talk radio in the 90's, then it moved to cable news, then it made websites, then it jumped on social media, then smartphones gave it 24-7 access to our brains.

Anger is one of the most effective emotions to exploit, sorry, engage your user base. You want to get clicks, pick a subject people are interested in, and tell them reasons they should be mad about it. "You like video games? SBI and DEI and CRT and VGA are coming to ruin them!"

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bigsocrates

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@judaspete: I actually do think that VGA did ruin gaming in a lot of ways. We had composite and it was perfect and then we just had to give in to the hubris inherent in man. It all started with the Dreamcast.

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brian_

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Not that bigotry hasn't always existed everywhere, but a lot of the "anti-woke" bullshit that has infected what seems to be just all of normal daily life now has roots in GamerGate scumbags. That Human Centipede ouroboros is now looping back to eat its own tail. And no one seems to care all that much. That douchebag that wrote and directed Kingdom Come, who described himself as pro-GamerGate, is not only still in the industry, not only working on the sequel, but also got prominent time on the Keighley show, and no one made so much as a peep about it.

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chaser324

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#5  Edited By chaser324  Moderator

I do always try to remind myself that these GG 2.0 trolls are a vocal minority, but regardless of how few there may be, it's often impossible to ignore these people because of just how much of an annoying nuisance they are.

It can also be frustrating that a lot of their complaining is seemingly lobbying to make games worse and less interesting. A very common refrain from these people is how they want AI-driven machine translation to replace localization - a staggeringly stupid take and yet they keep saying it. It becomes even more ridiculous when you look into some of their specific complaints about existing localizations because the things they nitpick are often the smallest and most inconsequential things. Essentially anything that isn't a direct literal translation is something that these people will complain about, even if it clearly retains the exact same meaning and has primarily just been adjusted to be more natural speech.

If these guys stopped and considered their actions for just one second, maybe they would realize that being the boy that cried wolf by shouting about every little perceived issue makes it impossible to actually elevate and discuss real issues. And as the OP points out, this leads to one of the most harmful elements of this anti-woke bullshit - it can be uncomfortable or difficult to give legitimate well-meaning criticism in an environment where these GG scum are constantly spewing outrage that's often couched in hateful bigoted ideologies that I wouldn't want to get anywhere near. There are plenty of games that I think have thematic elements or localization issues that could be legitimately critiqued, but it can be tough to bring those up out of fear of being lumped in with the lunatics.

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Ben_H

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#6  Edited By Ben_H
@judaspete said:

Yeah, you see it a lot with gaming stuff, but outrage culture has seeped into everything. I watched this unfold like a train wreck in slow motion as new technology gave it new avenues of exploitation. First noticed it when my dad got into talk radio in the 90's, then it moved to cable news, then it made websites, then it jumped on social media, then smartphones gave it 24-7 access to our brains.

Anger is one of the most effective emotions to exploit, sorry, engage your user base. You want to get clicks, pick a subject people are interested in, and tell them reasons they should be mad about it. "You like video games? SBI and DEI and CRT and VGA are coming to ruin them!"

This 100%. There's always been media outlets or whatever that have exploited outrage to make money. It's just, that used to be reserved for tabloid press and the like. Now using outrage, fear, and other emotions as a form of clickbait is the standard and we see even the oldschool news organizations engaging in it because the various algorithmic feeds many people use encourage this. It's to the point where in many cases, you can no longer rely on a headline to actually convey what the article or story is about. It's commonplace to read a headline, then read several paragraphs of a story and realize that the headline was only tangentially related or heavily spun based on taking a quote out of context. The people running these organizations seem to favour generating more clicks for more ad revenue than trying to inform the reader in a useful way or at least making the appearance of being objective.

Of course, the lower the stakes the media about something is, the more ridiculous they seem to act to get their clicks since they can get away with it with few consequences. Manufacturing outrage becomes a standard of business in these cases. In games, the actual serious stuff like layoffs is depressing but difficult to comprehend since it's people you don't know being affected in a way you can't see so that's never the focus of these people. It's no coincidence that the people trying to generate outrage always pick topics that are easy to comprehend like the appearance of characters. Stuff that's literally easy to see and understand.

Sadly, this type of cynical outrage manufacturing to generate clicks exists pretty much everywhere now. It's extremely common in sports. A great recent example happened in F1 this past week. For the past couple years, one team has been ahead and the news about what's happened on track has been relatively quiet. Recently, one team finally caught up to the top team consistently and their drivers have been competing for the lead. At the last race, the two drivers battling for the lead crashed after racing each other extremely hard for about a dozen laps. Immediately, the media tried to create a massive controversy over what was a relatively standard knocking of wheels that's happened dozens of times in the past. For the last few days, every article and video was some combination of "Driver X was in the right" or "Driver Y did nothing wrong" along with a bunch of hand-wringing about racing standards. Rolling into this weekend's race build-up, the media was asking every driver on the grid about this collision, who was in the wrong, etc.. Most drivers have either actively told the media that they don't have any thoughts or have said "meh, that's racing". Nobody was willing to play ball. Of course, now we're already seeing outlets turning non-answers into answers because they are determined to keep this controversy going even though the drivers in question themselves don't want it to be and have taken steps to calm their outraged fan bases. In doing so, the media has been playing into the worst of f1's increasingly toxic "us vs. them" fan bases that have become hyper toxic the last few years. It's really silly to watch unfold in real time.

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permanentsigh

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This is part of why I am staying away from gaming discourse and just enjoy the hobby by playing games.

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splodge

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#9  Edited By splodge

One site that has been kind of ruined for me because of this shit is IMDB. I like checking out reviews and ratings on shows. If the show features a poc as a lead, the show gets review bombed by weirdos for having a "woke agenda". There's not even any explicit progressive themes in a lot of these shows. It just that the lead is a poc. It's blatant racism.

Imdb doesn't give a fuck and have let their review and rating system go to complete shit.

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tartyron

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Rob Zacny said on a recent Remap podcast that one of the reasons a lot of social media geared towards these anti-woke or alt-right folks fail is because they rely on having someone to bully, so when they actually get their little club they have been asking for, there isn’t any obvious target for their ire and they move back to more public areas where they can spew their anger again. This made a lot of sense to me, and also explains why this seems like an unfixable problem. There isn’t really an effective way to stop these folks from invading otherwise civil spaces outside of constant manual moderation, so they quickly take up all the spaces, like gaming YouTube, twitter and, I personally think, the PC Gamer comments section.

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cikame

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#11  Edited By cikame

Question, when it comes to discourse, do you think someone who airs an opinion to the contrary in this thread would be banned?

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mellotronrules

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#12  Edited By mellotronrules

i mean- this probably goes without saying, but the problem with all that tripe is that it engages polar ends of the spectrum simultaneously. you either click to hate-watch (because "look at these fucking idiots"), or you click to hear someone confirm your prejudiced "look at these fucking idiots." thus, you'll eventually see it no matter what you do.

it's probably not the most popular opinion (happy 4th of july everyone, lol)- but i really don't think all speech is entitled to a platform. these digital spaces are leveraged by their owners as 'public squares' so long as someone draws attention to the cretinous shit, but then they're subject to practically zero regulation of any kind. until someone legislates mandatory restrictions for these money machines- i don't know why anyone would expect Discourse to improve.

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bigsocrates

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@cikame: Depends on what you mean by "airs an opinion" and "contrary to this thread."

If someone said "Actually I enjoy being exposed to all perspectives, even those I think are wrong or bad" they wouldn't be banned, of course.

If someone said "Actually I think Sweet Baby Inc. is a pretty bad organization and has damaged all the games they worked on" then I doubt they would be banned.

If someone said "Trying to cater to women and minorities makes games bad and boring, and I think that games were better when artists were free to make them sexy" that would probably be permitted with a short leash.

If, however, someone started throwing around slurs or calling people stupid for disagreeing with them, or coming up with conspiracy theories and the like they probably wouldn't last long.

I think that there's room to talk about specific organizations and even the concepts of inclusiveness in games in a respectful manner but that's not how these conversations tend to go. Instead the ideas are used as bludgeons against certain parts of the community, and that's what's impermissible. Everyone should be free to say that they generally don't like the games that Sweet Baby Inc. has worked on. That's different from cheering when people lose their jobs after a game failed just because the company was associated with the project.

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blorphman

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Out of the loop....what the heck is a bluey apologist...

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bigsocrates

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@blorphman: That's an injoke related to the Game Pass Game Club. I didn't want the club to play the Bluey game because it's bad but @chamurai kept pushing for it because they think it's funny to vote for bad games. It has nothing to do with inclusiveness in gaming and much more to do with pranking me, personally.

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brian_

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i really don't think all speech is entitled to a platform.

It's not. Or it shouldn't be. Bigots like to claim their entitled to their bigotry under the 1st Amendment where in actuality they're hindrance of someone else's freedom would be in violation of it.

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bigsocrates

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@brian_:The first amendment restricts the government, not private parties.

You are entitled to say almost anything you want in the USA.

You are not entitled to an audience and you are not entitled to the help of others in getting your message out.

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borgmaster

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Can't even be woke anymore, because of woke.

Anyway, video gaming and most nerd hobbies as a whole have been rife with toxic bigotry since the beginning. The gamergate chuds noticeably frothed up because of nascent attempts to remove the "no girlz allowed" sign in front of the boy's club back in the early 2010's. Fortunately, the market is gradually sequestering those creeps to an increasingly smaller silo, as a share of gaming. It would be easier to ignore them if the various social media algorithms didn't amplify their tantrums for the sake of engagement.

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sombre

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It's why I've almost exclusively quit videogaming as a hobby in the last ten years. Simple fact of it is that the majority our peers are sickos. I blame smartphones

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sombre

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@brian_ said:
@mellotronrules said:

i really don't think all speech is entitled to a platform.

It's not. Or it shouldn't be. Bigots like to claim their entitled to their bigotry under the 1st Amendment where in actuality they're hindrance of someone else's freedom would be in violation of it.

This is a vast majority of it aswell. 99% of Americans online think that everyone else is an American with the same viewpoint as them.

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brian_

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@bigsocrates: I mean... It's not restricting much of anything these days, but I more meant to point at the hypocrisy of enjoying their freedom from government oppression while oppressing people personally.

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blorphman

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@bigsocrates: ah gotcha, haha. Never know these days. So many labels tossed around

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brian_

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I will say that as far as algorithms bombarding you with the worst garbage goes, I think I've had better luck than most. At least on youtube. I don't have social media or reddit or any of that stuff, so I can't speak to those places, but I seem to have tailored my youtube account in a way that I never see any of the plethora of garbage on that site. Making liberal use of the blocking channels feature and subscribing to the stuff I like has left my recommendation feed pretty clean.

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Ben_H

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#24  Edited By Ben_H
@brian_ said:

I will say that as far as algorithms bombarding you with the worst garbage goes, I think I've had better luck than most. At least on youtube. I don't have social media or reddit or any of that stuff, so I can't speak to those places, but I seem to have tailored my youtube account in a way that I never see any of the plethora of garbage on that site. Making liberal use of the blocking channels feature and subscribing to the stuff I like has left my recommendation feed pretty clean.

I had the same luck on Youtube for a long time doing a lot of the same stuff. I blocked channels I didn't want in my feed and also used the "I'm not interested" button a whole bunch. For years it worked totally fine and gave me genuinely good recommendations most of the time.

Unfortunately in the last 6 months or so it seems like they've been doing experiments with their recommendation system for some users to try to boost engagement. They've been throwing tons of completely irrelevant random livestreams and videos at me and no matter how much I flag them as things I'm not interested in, they keep throwing more of them at me. For example, it kept showing me church sermons, then travelogs, and finally and most bizarrely it kept chucking streams and videos of what appeared to be Indian local news in Hindi (as in the video titles were in Hindi. I'm not sure if they were actual local news because I never clicked on one but that's what they appeared to be and I certainly can't read Hindi) at me. The venn diagrams of videos I watch and any of those three topics have no overlap whatsoever. It does give the vibe of them chucking spaghetti at the wall and hoping something will stick. Luckily that stuff has slowed down the last month or so though Youtube still tries to get me to watch random livestreams. Right now I have Gerstmann's Street Uni X video opened and the third recommendation on the side is some random dude's 1 view Project Zomboid livestream. I've also seen ragebait videos show up in the recommendations beside Nextlander videos (which is gross. Vinny is the polar opposite of a ragebait video maker. He would never). The same thing happens with other things. I watch this extremely niche low level programming/reverse engineering channel and now Youtube keeps trying to recommend me web development videos, which are about as loose of a relation to reverse engineering as you can get in the programming world. It's like recommending a person who watches drumming videos stuff about the guitar because technically both are musical instruments. It's completely useless and not something Youtube would have done in the past.

As a policy, I don't use Youtube for news (to the point where I've blocked the channels of most news organizations. Youtube is way too trigger happy to serve you sketchily sourced news videos so I cut it off completely) but now every month or two it will try to insert a "breaking news" section on the front page that I have to say I'm not interested in. Same with shorts and games. It seems certain that I want to play a bunch of pretty awful looking browser games so I have to tell it I'm not interested in that either. For a bit there they also were trying to get me to use a TikTok-ish "For You" page that was filled with videos completely irrelevant to anything I'd ever watched.

I wish they would stop. I've almost quit using Youtube a couple times in the last few months. If they push this further, I'm probably done. Youtube is a useful tool being destroyed by people who would rather wreck it to make it slightly more profitable short term than leave it as the great resource it previously was.

edit: oops sorry for the long post.

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brian_

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#25  Edited By brian_

@ben_h: That sucks. On top of being lucky, it could also just be that I have pretty narrow interests in terms of what I want to watch on youtube. It's pretty much just video games, tabletop games, and wrestling, and the recommendations almost never veers into channels outside of my subscriptions.

I do get a lot of news though. While I don't have a no news policy for youtube, I also don't subscribe to any news channels either. But even the news stuff is pretty good about giving more sources I know and, more or less, trust. The worst thing I'll get is the occasional local news clip from a state I don't live in, which doesn't affect my viewing experience all that much. I hadn't considered it from the perspective of people that want absolutely no news and it's pretty gross that they keep pushing it on people.

EDIT: So, after posting this, I got this interesting little pop up from youtube that I've never seen before.

No Caption Provided

If I didn't know any better, I'd think youtube was spying on me. Haha. Ha. Ha... Anyways, time to report that I'm getting too many videos from my subscriptions about network television celebrity Robo Mitch.

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Ben_H

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Yeah, it's completely luck of the draw. I've run into other people who had the same thing happen to their recommendations and folks whose recommendations haven't changed at all. It's probably some kind of A/B testing to see if mucking with people's recommendations causes them to click on more videos. Google's been doing a bunch of that type of thing the last year or so with their various services to try to up boost ad revenue since they've been not meeting expectations. It's a whole thing.

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brian_

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@ben_h: Gross. I guess why pay for a study when you can just test on your consumers.

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tartyron

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#28  Edited By tartyron

@ben_h: possible explanation for the Hindi videos may be VPN? I get Finnish video recs and that matches up with where my malwarebytes VPN.

And to all, I really; really recommend running Firefox with ad block up the wazoo on a VPN if you are getting hammered with bad takes on the algorithm. I occasionally get YouTube refusing to play a video, but most still go through, and for this that don’t, you can hit share>embed and watch the whole thing in the preview. I dunno if this will help keep the algorithm from sending you the opposite of what you want to see, but it’s seems to have done the trick for me for years, and it’s not gotten worse like it seems to for some of you lately.

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chaser324

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#29 chaser324  Moderator

@brian_: When it comes to YouTube recommendations, most of what I see on the front page and in the side-bar generally makes sense, but I've been spending a lot (too much) time with YouTube Shorts lately and that's where I see some really odd stuff pop-up that makes no sense. Regardless of how many times I mark those channels as "do no recommend", similar stuff will still eventually find its way in.

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Ben_H

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#30  Edited By Ben_H

@tartyron:I haven't used a VPN with Youtube recently so it isn't that. I also use Firefox and Adblock for tons of websites, especially Youtube. Whatever this is isn't related to ads. It's something they're testing with their recommendations system.

@brian_: Okay that's extra spooky because that's clearly related to whatever is happening to my Youtube feed. A couple days back my feed was crammed full of text posts from channels I subscribe to (I even mentioned it in the Bombcast chat and someone else also had it happen to them). It wasn't the normal text post layout they've done for years but instead text posts in place of videos in some rows. Weirdly a lot of these text posts were months or even years old. One post was from 2020. Others were things like Game Mess Mornings polls from months ago. I also had a couple days where there were nonstop recommendations for clips from network TV shows like the Office or other shows like that even though I've never watched TV clips on Youtube outside of Top Gear. A couple weeks ago I had a day where my feed was almost entirely videos from subscriptions and videos I'd already watched only with no other recommendations. The only one from that checklist I didn't have show up in my feed was celebrity videos.

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AV_Gamer

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I agree with what most have said about this so called "woke" nonsense. The one that is making me laugh personally, is the so-called outrage about the actress who played Saga Anderson in Alan Wake II, because she is black, and they claim the actress was supposed to be white and use her white Grandparents in the game as proof, when Saga is clearly meant to be biracial based on the storyline, with her father being Mr. Door. Not to mention, the actress, Melanie Liburd, who played the character did an excellent job. I don't see Saga Anderson being anyone else but her, as Sam Lake said. And yeah, there are so-called photos out there showing what Saga was supposed to originally look like. I don't care.

But I will play devil's advocate and say, there is something to some of the complaints. I do believe there is a current push to make female video game characters ugly, compared to how they were created a decade or so ago. I recently played and finished Spider-Man 2 thanks to the game going on sale, and what they did to Mary Jane Watson compared to how she looked in Marvel's Spider-Man is almost criminal. They completely butchered her face and made her look less feminine. And that is just one recent example.

But as I've said in the past, the main reason behind the anti-woke movement is racism and sexism. It's just the latest code word for it. Because if they were honest, people would call them out for it, so they hide behind fake outrage movements. Sadly, because of social media, these movements do gain traction and can cause real damage.

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brian_

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#32  Edited By brian_

@chaser324: Oh yeah. That youtube shorts section is just straight up rotten. I've been there a couple times, and no amount of trying to curate that seemed to have had any effect. That, combined with the fact that I just don't like the constant scroll of consumable content, made me give up on ever going to the part of the site.

@ben_h: Weird. I almost wonder if it was some sort of bug or them trying to fine tune some algorithm or AI implementation then. Seems like they wouldn't send out a survey like that if it was intentional.

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BladeOfCreation

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I like that "Drill Sergeant Fitness" guy's short videos on YouTube. Truly some hilarious stuff if you're familiar with the absurdity of military life. As far as I know, he doesn't express political opinions in these videos (he's in uniform for most of them, so he shouldn't be making any political statements). But the algorithm sees "late 30s male watching military videos" and slowly but surely starts introducing stuff I don't want to see as I continue to scroll through the YouTube Shorts section. I'll get another dozen videos of BG3 characters or something, but then it's a clip of some guys talking on a podcast about the army. Then it's Joe Rogan. And so on...

It's like, I just like this one specific thing. You don't need to put a bunch of fucking bullshit in my way. I've been on the internet for almost 30 years. I'm smart enough to find what I want.

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bigsocrates

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@av_gamer: I don't think that there's any push to make female characters ugly. I think there's a push to have less focus on making them all male gaze approved conventional beauties and give their faces more variety and character, but that's not at all the same thing. Mary Jane in Spider-Man 2 isn't ugly by any means. She may be less conventionally attractive in the view of some but it's not like she's anyone who would be notably unattractive if you saw her on the street or she was a co-worker or whatever.

I also really take issue with the term "less feminine" because even if you want to restrict "feminine" to "cisgendered women who intentionally present themselves in ways American society codes as feminine" (e.g. longer hair, probably uses makeup and shaped eyebrows etc...) she's completely within the norms there too.

She's a normal looking cisgendered woman, and that's the push that's being made. Normalize women characters looking normal in games, or at least having some variety, as opposed to all being underwear models. You can argue that games, like most media, just feature attractive people in general, including attractive men, but they completely changed Peter's model from PS4 to PS5 and the new model (#notmyPeter) looks very boyish, which is not conventional male attractiveness in our society. Additionally there are a lot more unattractive men and male characters in game. Otto Octavius is pretty conventionally ugly and has a major role in the series. Quentin Beck is about as conventionally attractive as Mary Jane.

I get that it's nice to look at attractive people and there's nothing wrong, per se, with including attractive characters in games (especially if part of that character's appeal relates to their attractiveness, which it doesn't really for Mary Jane.) But treating an attempt to diversify how women look in games to cover more of the spectrum of how women actually look as making them "ugly" or "unfeminine" is a form of social misogyny. Cis Women come in all shapes and sizes. And that's not even getting into trans representation or any of the rest of that stuff, which is important but not what we're talking about here.

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chamurai

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I try to stay away from social media or anything with comments and mostly succeeded. I deleted my Twitter account around 6 years ago and never want to go back. This forum is actually the only thing I actively participate in online and that's primarily because discussion is mostly even keeled and thoughtful and the people here are friendly. (@bigsocrates's Bluey hate notwithstanding.) Having not been on Reddit or anything like that since leaving Twitter I don't know what the flavor-of-the-week discourse is but if it's anything like what GamerGate was then I'm sure it's just the best of what humanity has to offer.

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imunbeatable80

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@bigsocrates: I think we can all agree the internet was a mistake. Once people could turn "internet-ting" into a career is when this all went downhill. Now people have to keep an audience engaged or tweet to get views and comments so they can make money. Or simply make a batshit opinion in a YouTube video so people can watch and react.

Now you have people who probably don't even agree with the shit they say, but know that saying it is worth more than their real opinions. Sadly there isn't anything we can do as individuals. I refuse to engage with that crap on Twitter, watch videos on YouTube, or support those psychos on anything else. But they still thrive because enough people apparently agree or watch it to be outraged.

That's why when I'm elected president, I will just turn off the internet.. let's roll back technology to the good Ole days.

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bigsocrates

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@imunbeatable80: If you turn off the Internet then how will I find out what the greatest game is? Are you going to go back to photocopying and distributing your 'zine?

Obviously the Internet did not create the incentive for outrage media. I'm old enough to remember Rush Limbaugh, may he rot forever. And of course we can go back further to Father Coughlin or ol' Willie Randolph Hearst or whoever you want. The early days of the Internet were pretty similar to prior versions of media, but social media has really changed things with the insidious ways in which the algorithm feeds you stuff to try and engage you. It's very hard to use those services without at least being exposed to stuff designed to manipulate you, whether obviously labeled or not.

Now I'm a full adult with my own settled opinions and nobody is going to convince me of radical and wrong ideas like that DEI is the biggest issue in games, or that trans representation is bad, or that Super Mario 3D World isn't a top 15% game. But it does radicalize a lot of people and they don't even seek this stuff out. It's spoon fed to them in pursuit of profit or stuff that's even darker. And I see the algorithm trying to do it to me and it doesn't work but it really, really, annoys me.

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imunbeatable80

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@bigsocrates: so if I'm hearing you correctly, you are saying that we need to blow up the series of tubes that control social media? In which case I'm on board... now if only we knew where those tubes were.

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Shindig

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REVERT TO DIAL UP. CHARGE BY THE MINUTE. DESTROY VIDEO. REANIMATE THE CORPSE OF FLASH. REBUILD GEOCITIES. REAL PLAYER FOR REAL PLAYERS.

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FinalDasa

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#42 FinalDasa  Moderator

Platforms only care about attention. Negativity and anger get attention. The guy yelling about how much he hates the popular thing gets clicks.

Games, like all media, change and evolve. When you've been playing games all your life and notice these changes you start to wonder who might to be blame. It can't be that sometimes life moves on and things aren't the same. It's hard to embrace change especially when it isn't the change you want.

We search for excuses and those excuses often ring true to people similar to you.

This week it's woke, last week it was DEI, before that Trans people, before that critical race theory.

It's easy to blame the next big bad evil excuse rather than come to life's complex terms.

So people click whether to agree or disagree and that bullshit continues to get shoved in all our faces.

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The technical answer to the question presented by your thread is a long and complicated one. Sage Publishing contracted a long study to find out what was driving the supply of far-right media on YouTube specifically and came away from some stark findings. The reality is, despite what you might think, that total viewership and consumption of right-wing media has been in decline since 2017, which pre-dates when YouTube changed its algorithm to diminish how often far-right media gets suggested by its algorithm. What has changed is the fact that major right-wing media companies are bankrolling YouTube accounts, podcasts, and shows like crazy and they have developed their own circle of right-wing advertising partners that have made it profitable to make right-wing media even if the traditional ad partners on YouTube have stipulated that they want nothing to do with this media. YouTube isn't doing that much to discourage the rise of this niche because they get their cut.

Even if right-wing essayists and YouTube personalities are seeing a drop in total viewers, it is simply put never been easier and more profitable to pivot your identity to espouse these traditional right-wing talking points and then net a decent payday. I think everyone else has pointed it out, but it is incredibly easy to make videos that subscribe to these viewpoints rather than express nuanced opinions about the importance of diversity or the need to have people of different genders, races, and creeds in media.

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Ben_H

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#44  Edited By Ben_H
@shindig said:

REVERT TO DIAL UP. CHARGE BY THE MINUTE. DESTROY VIDEO. REANIMATE THE CORPSE OF FLASH. REBUILD GEOCITIES. REAL PLAYER FOR REAL PLAYERS.

Now we're talking. People can be judged not by how fancy their Instagram food pics are, but how sick the Winamp skins they post on their Geocities are.

Okay but really, if you want a great time and a reminder of how fun the internet used to be, look up the Winamp skins repository on the internet archive. It's fantastic. Just watch out looking at it at work because somebody keeps uploading new skins that are literally just Japanese softcore pornography images. I got a sick FF7 Sephiroth skin for my Winamp player on there (yes I started using Winamp again a while ago).

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AV_Gamer

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@ben_h: I mostly use Foobar nowadays, because of the many add-ons you can use, but Winamp was the shit back in the day. WINAMP! WE KICK THE LAMA'S ASS!

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Nuttism

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I first started following gaming news in 2012, and I remember the community being incredibly toxic even back then. IGN was pretty bad, which makes sense as they were the biggest players, but the GameSpot community was the worst, which was a real shame as the writers and editors were great. The audience seemed to antagonize the writers and the site as a whole for being too "woke", and it just made for a very sour atmosphere, which eventually drove me away. The Giant Bomb community wasn't perfect, even back then, but it was much better, and I feel like it's only gotten friendlier since then, maybe because the audience has matured.

In other words, to me this really isn't anything new. It was pretty bad pre-GamerGate, so it's not a surprise if it's still terrible. However, I never use Reddit, or Youtube really to look up gaming stuff (besides GiantBomb) so most of it completely passes me by.

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Undeadpool

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@nuttism said:

I first started following gaming news in 2012, and I remember the community being incredibly toxic even back then. IGN was pretty bad, which makes sense as they were the biggest players, but the GameSpot community was the worst, which was a real shame as the writers and editors were great. The audience seemed to antagonize the writers and the site as a whole for being too "woke", and it just made for a very sour atmosphere, which eventually drove me away. The Giant Bomb community wasn't perfect, even back then, but it was much better, and I feel like it's only gotten friendlier since then, maybe because the audience has matured.

In other words, to me this really isn't anything new. It was pretty bad pre-GamerGate, so it's not a surprise if it's still terrible. However, I never use Reddit, or Youtube really to look up gaming stuff (besides GiantBomb) so most of it completely passes me by.

Yeah, I think a lot of people are nostalgic for a time that never really was (surprise, surprise), I just got finished watching a Pillar of Garbage video about the Daily Wire, and the author, plaintively and genuinely, decries the fact that "nazis are back," and my guy: I grew up Jewish, nazis never left. You just didn't have to hear about them because they didn't target YOU SPECIFICALLY.

I get it, they're "platformed" now, but that's also partially because they can unite across countries and make their voices heard more easily, as opposed to marching in a single city where people would sit aside and declare, distantly, "Well, I may not agree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it!"

They used dogwhistles, politicians still implemented very pro-white, very white supremacist policies under other names, and people were fine with it because the language was tame and "rational" and didn't "sound bad." And then that stopped working as more and more people woke up and realized: the system was broken. So now they have no choice but to exist in the open with open language and appeal to the worst of the worst just to have a united front, and people who were already sympathetic to their views glom onto them.

@zombiepie's point about right-wing media consumption being on the downturn since 2017 might be stark, but it's also a sign that these messages are resonating with FEWER people. And yeah, you can't stop private companies and right-wing interests from bankrolling them, but the fact that they even HAVE TO is a pretty big change from just 10 or 20 years prior.

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Undeadpool

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@av_gamer:Why do you NEED female characters to be "attractive" to you personally in videogames? Were you equally bothered that they made Peter a bit more "plain," giving him a kinda thick neck and odd eyes? I'm asking genuinely: ask yourself why it matters more that women are attractive in games than men.

@bladeofcreation:Same thing with Cowboy Kent Rollins, an outdoor cooking channel that is wholesome as HELL and adorable, and espouses nothing more political than "Support our fighting men and women!"

And yet the recommendations...oh the recommendations.

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AV_Gamer

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#49  Edited By AV_Gamer

@undeadpool: Dude. Do you know what "playing Devil's Advocate" means? It's when just for the sake of an argument you make a point from the opposite side, even if you personally don't agree with it. I have no issue with Mary-Jane and thought her gameplay segments were an improvement from the first game. I was just bringing up one of the complaints a lot of these anti-woke people have, and that is one of them. If I was serious about the whole attractive thing, I would stand ten-toes down, as the kids say these days in my opinion, but no.

As I've said in past threads, none of that stuff matters to me, as long as the game itself is good. I didn't like the original Tomb Raider games much, because they were boring, and the gameplay mechanics were a pain, despite the game having big boob Lara Croft who the industry blew up as a sex symbol. However, the remakes by Crystal Dynamics where Lara Croft looks more like an ordinary, athletic, women are mostly great. A woman in a video game can be cute, ugly, sexy, beautiful, plain, whatever. If the game sucks, I'm not sticking with it. The First Descendant, for example, has a lot of attractive female character designs. But that's not why I'm playing it. I'm playing it because, so far, it's a decent mix of Destiny and Warframe. I don't think the game will last, but while it's hot, I'm enjoying it.

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Undeadpool

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@av_gamer: Alright, duder, just trying a bit of thought exercising, missed the devil's advocate part of your post, sorry 'bout that. Might have missed it because the devil doesn't REALLY need an advocate online, particularly in a thread where folks are venting about bad-faith takes, but I'll say: sorry I missed that part of the post.