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Giant Bomb Presents: PAX Panel: We’ve Survived the Internet, And So Can You

Sep. 8th 2014

Cards Against Humanity's Trin Garritano, Sentris developer Samantha Kalman, and Treachery in Beatdown City designer Shawn Allen joined me at PAX Prime to share stories about how to be a good person on the Internet. This feels...appropriate.

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Giant Bomb Presents

7 Seasons • 216 Episodes

Giant Bomb Presents is giantbomb.com's home for interviews, previews, and more.

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notlikelytocare

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@brandondryrock: That's more like it. We all need to come out and speak our minds about what's going on if we truly want to cohere into any semblance of a community.

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Coafi

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JimiPeppr

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deactivated-58b5006cbd5d1

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Edited By deactivated-58b5006cbd5d1 • 

@fenixstryk: I really don't think both sides are to blame when one side is spewing death threats and other assorted comments causing people to up and leave the industry.

It's a matter of perspective. Anonymity is powerful, powerful enough to become disillusioned and not see the weight of their words. Death threats are never warranted. Showing concern for an industry that feeds on cronyism is 100% warranted and deserves all of the attention it is getting.

It's completely unreasonable to censor any form of opinion that shows dissent just because a portion of those opinions are irrational -- more irrational than an inherent distrust of users with anime girl avatars.

As I said before my initial inane response was removed, both sides share some amount of blame and I'd like to think that we can excise these cancers before they take root. This panel was part of the solution, as clearly a plurality of those upset are completely clueless when it comes to the ways they express themselves; but beyond that, the industry needs to reevaluate how they view their consumers if they expect to hold more weight in the future.

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Baillie

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Baillie • 

@baillie said:

Wasn't this panel supposed to be hosted by Patrick and Zoe Quinn?

Nah, that was a mistake on the PAX site. They pasted the same text from PAX East.

Ah okay! Thanks for the info.

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Luck702

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Luck702 • 

Social Justice Warriors unite! (Totally mean that with affection)

Great talk guys, thanks for uploading it Patrick.

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cateblya

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cateblya • 

I think it's important to note the context of Trin's comment. Her specific example was black women's natural hair movement. This is a problem faced uniquely by black women and when they are talking about the problems they face with respectability politics and eurocentric beauty standards, this is a problem that is specific to black women. If we move out a circle to other women of color, yes, there are still eurocentric beauty standards we're expected to meet and we can understand and be emphatic, but WOC face things very differently than black women. Talking over them would not be acceptable. As Trin says, we need to amplify their voices while being emphatic.

At the outer most circle are white men. Trin said "[my husband] will never have to deal with those eurocentric beauty standards." This is true. White men are not told their skin color needs to be lightened to look beautiful, that their hair needs to be chemically straightened to look professional. Does this mean white men do not face issues with body image? No, of course not, but this conversation isn't about white men. It's about black women and the respectability politics they face with their natural hair.

You (general) will not always belong in every conversation. The conversation will not always be about you. Being a good ally - being a good person - is realizing that. And if the conversation is not about you, then your role is to listen, educate yourself, and amplify the voices of the people sharing their experiences.

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AlwaysBeClothing

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Edited By AlwaysBeClothing • 

This is a great talk and I'm glad its finally on the site. It helped remind me that everyone is human and struggles. Shared struggles over race and gender, the world can throw so much bullshit for no reason. In spite of that we can step forward and try to help other people and try to find some peace for ourselves. I hope that people listen and try to find some measure of making other people's lives less terrible and more awesome and that's how we beat the internet.

No Caption Provided

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gaftra

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gaftra • 

@cateblya: This was something as a white guy in his thirties I never heard about until I watched a trailer for Chirs Rock's Good Hair. I honestly had no clue it was such a huge industry that required such intense chemical treatment.

I would recommend it for anyone, totally fascinating part of a culture I never had any idea about.

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rmanthorp

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rmanthorp  Moderator • 

These are all people I love from a distance and respect with my everything. Awesome to see this on the site - can't wait to listen! :D

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stryker1121

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Edited By stryker1121 • 

@mister_snig said:

@fenixstryk: I really don't think both sides are to blame when one side is spewing death threats and other assorted comments causing people to up and leave the industry.

It's a matter of perspective. Anonymity is powerful, powerful enough to become disillusioned and not see the weight of their words. Death threats are never warranted. Showing concern for an industry that feeds on cronyism is 100% warranted and deserves all of the attention it is getting.

It's completely unreasonable to censor any form of opinion that shows dissent just because a portion of those opinions are irrational -- more irrational than an inherent distrust of users with anime girl avatars.

As I said before my initial inane response was removed, both sides share some amount of blame and I'd like to think that we can excise these cancers before they take root. This panel was part of the solution, as clearly a plurality of those upset are completely clueless when it comes to the ways they express themselves; but beyond that, the industry needs to reevaluate how they view their consumers if they expect to hold more weight in the future.

The onus is on the gamergate side to make their voices heard in a non-belligerent way, though. Doesn't help that the core of the movement is anonymous, which in itself can lead to suspicion. If they're interested in spreading the word, they should be contacting the enthusiast press with a mission statement and be willing to get interviewed outside of their internet personas. If they mean no harm, this should not be a problem.

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how92

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how92 • 

the anime avatar situation is so sad

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VooDooPC

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VooDooPC • 

The internet is becoming every zombie movie, in which we learn people in general just kind of suck.

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csl316

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csl316 • 

Women are sold the image of beauty more often than men because they get to enjoy beauty in ways that men typically don't.

"Present yourself in a beautiful way, and you'll get both women and men alike complimenting your appearance, and you'll feel confident and happy about yourselves."

That line of marketing sells, because for the majority of women, it's completely true. I do feel confident and happy when looking attractive! It's a great feeling. Want to smell like strawberries? Sure! Why not? There's shampoo and body wash for that. Want your face to not look all bumpy? Check out this foundation! Oh, and this mascara really brings out your eyes! It's all optional stuff, but it definitely improves how you think about yourself, and makes you proud of how you look.

Men, on the other hand, don't have it quite so easy. "Be beautiful, and women and men will compliment you, and you'll feel happy and confident!" That doesn't really work, because it's just not true-- in fact, I'm pretty sure most people would get pretty angry at suggesting that women should compliment men just because of how they look. A guy walking around in makeup, with shiny hair, pastel coloured short shorts, and smelling of strawberries, doesn't make people compliment them, nor does it make them feel confident when walking around the streets like that.

Instead, marketing goes for the "This razor has a billion blades, you'll feel happier about yourself, because you don't have to waste as much time doing something that doesn't make life any more positive for you" approach, which again, works because it's true.

There's a reason why clothes shopping is more appealing to women than men, and it's not because of forced gender roles or anything like that. It's because more women honestly love and enjoy the idea of looking amazing, and that's less common amongst men, because men don't see the benefits as much as women do.

Source: I am a woman, and I think it's silly to blame things on men when unless they're a professional model, they generally never get to feel sexy or attractive at all in the ways that women do. For women, the 'look normal, or try to keep up with being beautiful' decision is a choice, and being beautiful is more enjoyable. For men, they're stuck in the 'look normal' category. Even attractive men's clothing like suits aren't something that men can typically wear when going out, say, for a walk in the park, or going to the beach.

I love this post quite a bit. Thanks for posting something that I never even thought about, seriously. I mean, I wear jeans and a t-shirt and cap most days unless something fancy's happening or I'm at work.

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RomanReigndeers

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Edited By RomanReigndeers • 

I loved the panel and guess what,I'm a 38 year old gamer. Shhhhhhhhh don't tell anyone I'm bad very bad.

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Geese_Howard

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chrissedoff

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chrissedoff  Online • 

This panel was spectacular.

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Tonch

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Tonch • 

The whole "anime avatar" thing is getting on my nerves (and I'm someone who's very picky about what anime I feel like I can tolerate). It feels like it's become less of a joke and more of a potshot to try to discredit people. It's been used quite a bit in this recent Internet kerfuffle, notably by people on game websites, and it's kiiiinda childish.

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bwmcmaste

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bwmcmaste • 

@rzxvc: That's what I was thinking too. Whenever I start thinking too much about the internet, I just do something else. Then again, I don't make a living on the internet, and have yet to be the target of concerted enmity from swathes of angry social media followers, so maybe my solution isn't applicable for others.

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conmulligan

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This was really good. I kind of expected it to be rerun of Patrick and Zoë's Pax East panel, so I was pleasantly surprised to see them touch on lots of different issues.

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Terakita

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Terakita • 

@patrickklepek I've greatly enjoyed all of this and the past talks you have hosted. They have inspired me and I have respect for the focus of all of this, and thank you for just talking about these problems. I always look forward to where these things can take me, and what I can apply to daily life. Keep working at it and inspiring others.

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NathHaw

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NathHaw • 

It was a great panel, @patrickklepek. I was the guy capturing video of a lot of it. Working on the whole thing now, the whole expo. Lots of work! Will blog post on the forums when completed.

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drockus

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Edited By drockus • 

Enjoyed the panel, but I think there is a tendency to equate social media with "the internet" at large. Personally, I believe social media, in its current form, is a lost cause. Because it has centralized social interaction on the internet, and provided participants with veils of anonymity, I don't see any realistic fix to it's trolliness. I think these developments we've seen over the last weeks and months are the inevitable consequence of said anonymity and form social media takes.

The only way I see civility prevailing on the internet at large, is to compartmentalize the social function of it. Break into smaller units and have participants hold a stake and investment in their social interactions. As for games journalism on the scale of Giant Bomb and bigger, I personally wouldn't mind a more one-sided interaction, where we as viewers, don't expect too much attention. But then again, I'm the type of person where when I go to a concert, I cringe when a band asks for audience participation. I want a show.

So while I think the internet itself isn't a lost cause, social media, with it's current structure, will not cease declining in civility. And if it is to become anything other than a bastion of negativity, the whole way social media is constructed and the way we interact with it will have to be seriously reconsidered.

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Sanprofe

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Sanprofe • 

What is this, a panel for ants!?

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harperdc • 

This was a fantastic panel with good views and presentations from a plurality of voices. I don't always comment on stuff but I just wanted @patrickklepek and the other guests to know that it was nailed-on and a good alternative to the usual roundtable panel while still allowing for that to happen. Reinforcing positives is one of the takeaways from the panel, yes? ;)

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MATATAT

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Edited By MATATAT • 

That was a fairly diverse panel and I enjoyed it. I really liked the cap of having Shawn talk about race relations within some Internet community and how we're sorta in this stage of being too lax or too trigger happy. Coincidentally W. Kamau Bell was actually in Seattle at Bumbershoot during this panel. I went to his standup and he's hilarious while still being very insightful.

Also I disagree saying that telling someone who is upset to calm down is unjustified. Sometimes it definitely is, but sometimes it definitely isn't. There are many times when people get unnecessarily aggressive because they feel wronged. Anyone who has worked in the retail space has to have experienced this at some point or heard a story of people getting upset because of some little thing, say, a misunderstanding or miscommunication or something. People also use getting angry to get their way because they perceive themselves as being wronged. That anger can emotionally hurt people who don't deserve to get hurt from it. There is a drastic difference between someone actually being wronged due to injustic with social mores and someone with anger issues.

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Homelessbird

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Edited By Homelessbird • 

@matatat: That image was my computer background for many moons.

It is excellent.

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deathfromace

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Jazz_Lafayette

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Women are sold the image of beauty more often than men because they get to enjoy beauty in ways that men typically don't.

"Present yourself in a beautiful way, and you'll get both women and men alike complimenting your appearance, and you'll feel confident and happy about yourselves."

That line of marketing sells, because for the majority of women, it's completely true. I do feel confident and happy when looking attractive! It's a great feeling. Want to smell like strawberries? Sure! Why not? There's shampoo and body wash for that. Want your face to not look all bumpy? Check out this foundation! Oh, and this mascara really brings out your eyes! It's all optional stuff, but it definitely improves how you think about yourself, and makes you proud of how you look.

Men, on the other hand, don't have it quite so easy. "Be beautiful, and women and men will compliment you, and you'll feel happy and confident!" That doesn't really work, because it's just not true-- in fact, I'm pretty sure most people would get pretty angry at suggesting that women should compliment men just because of how they look. A guy walking around in makeup, with shiny hair, pastel coloured short shorts, and smelling of strawberries, doesn't make people compliment them, nor does it make them feel confident when walking around the streets like that.

Instead, marketing goes for the "This razor has a billion blades, you'll feel happier about yourself, because you don't have to waste as much time doing something that doesn't make life any more positive for you" approach, which again, works because it's true.

There's a reason why clothes shopping is more appealing to women than men, and it's not because of forced gender roles or anything like that. It's because more women honestly love and enjoy the idea of looking amazing, and that's less common amongst men, because men don't see the benefits as much as women do.

Source: I am a woman, and I think it's silly to blame things on men when unless they're a professional model, they generally never get to feel sexy or attractive at all in the ways that women do. For women, the 'look normal, or try to keep up with being beautiful' decision is a choice, and being beautiful is more enjoyable. For men, they're stuck in the 'look normal' category. Even attractive men's clothing like suits aren't something that men can typically wear when going out, say, for a walk in the park, or going to the beach.

As a guy with mild body-image problems, I can't help but feel that this is dismissive of all genders' ability to be diverse within a set. I'd say that just about anybody feels more confident (or at least projects themselves more confidently) when dressing up. Just as much, I'd say there are plenty of ways that a "compliment" on one's appearance can feel unwarranted or discomforting. It sounds like you're pitying men disproportionately for a problem that exists only as a parallel to the stringent prejudices that have long since been imposed on women. The best way to solve either problem is to accept that both narratives are ridiculous in their essence.

This idea that marketing is based on existing realities only works so far as you trust marketers not to stack the deck in their favor. We know it affects our psychology from the moment we begin to absorb it, so it's not exactly a leap to assume marketing has become a cyclical process whereby you are told about the things you want and you want those things because marketing told you about them. Accepting that they know better because they have a pile of statistics at hand seems like an abdication of our responsibility to change.

@matatat said:

What is that fantastic cover photo from?

EDIT: I FOUND IT

No Caption Provided

Goddamn, that kid is cool.

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mashzapotato

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I fit alot of the stereotypes of what a nerd used to be (white, male, trouble dealing with the outside world) and I know that one side of this fight is composed mostly of guys like me. And i know that part of the reason the hate is so intense is how sensitive we are to criticism. Because we know, at least in part, that we're living our lives wrong and its fucking us up. This bubble of safety where we never get criticized cause everyone's like us is falling apart. All I can say is get used to it. Maybe we never deserved the bubble in the first place.

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Renpatsu

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Renpatsu • 

I'm glad you're pushing these topics in interesting directions and continuing to evolve the conversation through your various panels Patrick. Keep it up!

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Anytus2007

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Anytus2007 • 

@cateblya: I have this very defensive gut reaction to constantly being told that I'm privileged, to always being reminded that I reside within the 'outer circle.' I learned to suppress this reaction and not get angry maybe 10 years ago. I really started to empathize and deeply consider the perspective of people speaking about social justice issues maybe 2 years ago. Still, my defensive reaction persists. I can't help but think there is a better way to address cis white males than the way it's being done now. To be frank, they're the people with the most 'social capital' anyway; changing their minds is important.

So, empathy is a two-way street. I'm not saying it's okay to marginalize people's problems with responses like, "You're just being oversensitive and trying to find something to complain about." But I am saying that to a white male, talking about Eurocentric beauty standards sounds like you're complaining about unicorns trampling your magic pumpkin patch. It seems just totally imaginary and made up because it's totally invisible to us. We've never felt it. We've never seen it. But what we have seen before are borderline narcissists who deflect responsibility for their problems onto others. So, which would we first believe, that here's someone who's been hurt by a problem that we've never seen or heard of in our entire lives, or here's another person deflecting responsibility onto others? It takes a lot of listening and empathy to start believing the former answer after years of only encountering the latter. It isn't a justification, but it's something like an explanation.

A lot of people share my negative reaction but are in their own stages of dealing with it. I don't think the answer is to just keep yelling about privilege and victim-blaming until they all have a 'come to Jesus' moment, which is mostly what I see when attempted marginalization happens. (and again, of course that's the reaction because marginalizing people is hurtful.... and the cycle continues)

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Naoiko

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Edited By Naoiko • 

I really appreciate all the work ya'll put in to try and help make the internet a better place for everyone.

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GaspoweR • 

@mattyftm said:
@mb said:

Anime avatars must be stopped.

You know my avatar is an anime avatar, right?

Shit, you're going to ban me, aren't you?

MOD BEEF

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patrickklepek

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Cagliostro88

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It's always a pleasure for me to hear Samantha. I was referencing her reaction to harrassers on twitter just yesterday in a post. Listening to her for the first time on the bombcast and reading her following responses to dicks (the "seeds of love" approach) online won me over completely

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TrinAndTonic

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@cateblya: You really hit the nail on the head here. :)

Everyone faces societal pressures! But everyone experiences them differently and at different magnitudes. So the conversation will not always be about You or include You - but it's important to empathize with those directly affected regardless.

I just wanted to jump in here and say how pleased I am to see this conversation going so civilly. Thanks for being good people.

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rmanthorp

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rmanthorp  Moderator • 

@gaspower said:

@mattyftm said:
@mb said:

Anime avatars must be stopped.

You know my avatar is an anime avatar, right?

Shit, you're going to ban me, aren't you?

MOD BEEF

ANIME 5EVA