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#GamerGate (the consumer revolt that won't go away)

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posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 04:35 PM

originally posted by: amazing
a reply to: WhiteAlice

Amen Alice. Well said!

Thanks, amazing. The attention seeking thing gets under my skin a bit because it's such an obvious double standard. If a guy streams a game on twitch, he's just another gamer streaming on twitch. If a girl does it, well, you bet someone is going to say she's attention seeking. Really the only difference is the gender. Guy wins a tournament--yawn. Girl wins--oooo, better run a ticker on that.

I don't hide my gender in games because I don't think that I should have to play the game any differently than any other person playing the same game and gender hiding is almost impossible to do on VOIP. Unless you use a voice modifier which I tried and sounded absolutely flaming (and for the record, I got less harassment as someone perceived to be "flaming" than I did being myself). I also think it helps knock back the concept that only guys play certain types of games or are good at them. Not a fan of stereotypes of any stripe. What the industry did with me is both good in that it says "hey women play, too" and bad in that they WILL use a woman's gender as a focal point/point of difference. And god forbid if she's attractive.

For the record, after both the tournament win and the article, I stopped playing public games for over a year and changed my nick each time. So much for being attention seeking....

posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 04:39 PM

originally posted by: Krazysh0t
a reply to: ketsuko

So name ONE industry where that has actually happened. Last I checked, I can still buy hate music or snuff films if I know where to look. Sure it can be exceedingly hard, but the stuff will be made as long as people like it.


Hehehehe, just kidding. Lot more factors involved with Sony.

posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 05:04 PM

originally posted by: Krazysh0t
a reply to: ketsuko

So name ONE industry where that has actually happened. Last I checked, I can still buy hate music or snuff films if I know where to look. Sure it can be exceedingly hard, but the stuff will be made as long as people like it.

Hollywood where most films/scripted TV shows now project certain themes and clichés and must have a not so well hidden message of the day despite the fact that box office take and ratings keeps falling.

posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 05:11 PM
a reply to: WhiteAlice

But again, that's not all guys who play games. I've never had that experience, but I don't tend to play FPS, either. I avoid that style of game ever since I ran into a 5-year-old troll at my job who was absolutely horrific and bragged openly about how "Rated M for Mature" games made him the monster he was.

Not in so many words, but you get the picture. I find other games to play because if I'm thinking the game is going to immerse me in a pool of twits like that ... I'm going to run screaming for the hills.

posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 05:32 PM
a reply to: ketsuko

I'm selective about the pool of twits that I hang out with. Unfortunately for me, I prefer games that really utilize my reaction speed. I get pretty bored if a game isn't keeping me on my toes and MMO's and the like will honestly put me to sleep. Overall, I don't let anybody else's opinion of my playing a game have any leeway in my choice of what games I'm going to play. I'm the one playing it--not them. If they don't like me playing a specific game, then that's just too bad for them as I don't play video games because of somebody else's opinion. If that were the case, I wouldn't play at all. Nope, it's all about what I like to do as a past time.

There's plenty of really nice people even in those kind of games. Your 5 year old troll at work just uses it as an excuse for his bad behavior and it's total bull. Don't let a single bad apple spoil the bunch. I've met a whole lot of really great people playing FPS games including my fiance.

posted on Oct, 20 2014 @ 06:29 PM
a reply to: ketsuko

All that says is that there is a lot of crap out there, but you would be lying if you were to say that NONE of it was good or pushed the boundaries. Just because it isn't popular, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. My whole life is trying to pick the quality from the quantity, but it's worth it to find it. Because I enjoy it more. But newsflash, crap has ALWAYS existed. Complaining because that's all you are seeing just tells me you aren't looking hard enough.

posted on Oct, 21 2014 @ 02:31 AM
a reply to: tothetenthpower

Tenth it's nice to see you replying to this thread to get the #gamergate side of the discussion.

I think the awkward position you're in unfortunately is that even you being sincere, gamers have reacted strongly to criticism from outside forces. Remember the whole video games make people violent fad? The major difference here is when someone makes a colorful threat against an old white guy, no one cares.
(Card carrying leftist pointing this out btw ... so I'm told anyway)

Look at Tavi's post early on and you'll get the idea. As far as anyone who is concerned that doesn't play games or doesn't question everything for whatever reason, people are threatening women for just speaking. It's been going on with Anita Sarkeesian since long before Zoe Quinn even happened, and the issue is this discussion isn't with second rate Christian pastors. You're dealing with third wave feminism.

Third wave feminism is heavily agendized (for it or against it) and it's constructed in such a way you simply can't win this discussion.

* It has tools to ignore your butt if you're white. Or male. You don't have the tools understand the experience of women because you're not one and if you're skeptical about harassment or talk about the reasons for it you're sexist and misogynistic. Intersectionality for the win #believeallwomen
* It has the 'call out' agenda. In short, you're a gamer? Why are you talking about this journalism stuff and not 'calling out' the gender based discrimination and misogyny in your circle? And the idea is to blame all gamers because if you let one gamer say #notallmen then misogynists slip through the cracks.
* It has the slut shaming trap card. Make the mistake of leveling any sexual criticism at a woman then head straight to the top of this list until you get to the call out agenda. Repeat forever.
* Finally the gender card. If you point out that say some other person got harassed or say the obvious one that the people who claimed video games caused violence also got death threats ... Well that violence wasn't gendered, this violence is. Therefore go to the top of this list and start again until you call it out and deal with your privilege.

Most of all what I'm saying is that it has the narrative, and in this space likely always will for most members of the public. Say I even give you that Anita Sarkeesian's death threat was over played, or that Zoe Quinn is twisting things ... It's fair game to call attention to these things through third wave feminism; it's drawing attention to misogyny. And until you call out your misogyny, your opinion is invalid. And if you call out your misogyny, well you agree with us so A-OKAY!

The only way to win the above discussion is not to play. Gamers not so good at that.

posted on Oct, 21 2014 @ 05:07 PM
a reply to: Pinke

I don't even define myself as a feminist despite my being referred to as a "glass ceiling breaker" in video games. I find that description to be absolutely silly because gender in a game is totally irrelevant. I know plenty of men and women in games who either suck at it or are really good at it. However, I do see a whole lot of double standards within the gaming community, specifically in FPS games. I've had men sexually harass me verbally to a pretty severe extent, been banned from servers, hacked, DDOS'd, threatened with sexual or physical assault and yep, even received a death threat once. Why? Every time, the perp doing it is targeting the fact that I am a woman. I've been told that I must be the worst mother on the planet because I play video games as it's so unacceptable for a woman to play anything violent.

The big reason why this goes on is that the perception is and has been for ages that FPS games are played and made by predominately males. Whereas that might have been true in the 90's, from what I can tell, it's not entirely true today. I knew of just a handful of female FPS gamers back in the late 90's. These days, I know a couple score of them. Still, on a server that may have 24 players, there might be just one other woman playing on it other than me at any given time. On the times where there has been 4-5 women playing on the same server, we all kind of laugh at the coincidental oddity. Even we see it as a "wth?!" kind of moment so the majority of players are still predominately male in FPS games. This is the major difference between playing a MMORPG and a FPS game. Especially considering that most of the playable characters in FPS games tend to be male, I'd also hazard that the women who play these games are wiling to step out of their shells. We don't care if we're some big burly guy or a dulcet anorexic with pointy ears. We just want to play.

That probably makes us a little weird with our compatriots and who knows, some of the animosity towards females in FPS games could simply be a symptom of cognitive dissonance. Depending on the individual, how someone responds to cognitive dissonance can be mild or they may feel totally threatened and lash out. From my point of view (and this is something I've long considered/studied/pondered), I think there are three sources for the "women don't play FPS games and if they do, they suck" attitudes--community reinforced (women still the minority; meme type statements, and the fact that most players kind of suck regardless of gender--the female that sucks stands out because she's female--rarity), industry reinforced (like my being singled out as a champ from my team of 6 based on my gender; ergo, an anomaly), and population reinforced (men do outnumber women in FPS games). That's not even considering external societal beliefs such as women being the kinder, gentler species and more, some of which could be very true.

If I'm correct, the odds of the core beliefs of the FPS gaming community isn't likely to change until the ratios of male to female change and the presence of women in the games becomes normalized. That's unlikely to happen, however, because many women after a bad run-in will ditch the games entirely (ie ketsuko). It's kind of ironic though, really, as the majority of males that I have played with frequently wish that their significant others played the game (typically to get them off their back about gaming lol).

Because of the above, I think it's a mistake really to insert any sort of feminist argument into FPS gaming. Whereas some of the players in these games are going to be true misogynists, it's not any different from the total society. Some gamers are total homophobes and others are racist. The FPS community is really like any other subset of the population as the only thing that binds us together is the game. All other portions of our personalities, ideologies and beliefs are going to be reflective of the society overall. That's why, when someone is being super gross on a server to me, odds are somebody is going to step up and say "wow, that's not right", and odds are the dude is going to get banned by the players on the server. The same thing pretty much happens when somebody comes along that is saying anything over the top offensive of any flavor.

The above is also why I chose, as a female gamer, to talk to any would-be verbal abusers. I ask them key questions to try to comprehend why they're targeting me as a woman. I may even apologize if I nail a question as being the source of the animosity and tell them that I'm sorry that that happened to them. 99% of the time after doing this kind of thing, the would-be harasser apologizes. I think that some of the behaviors that we see on the net are in large part due to its anonymity. One can lash out at the world indiscriminately for things that one has experienced. I also think that, because of that lack of face to face, it allows an individual to lash out without any mercy. They can't see the face on the other side. I once confronted some of my worst online abusers at a LAN. The majority apologized and never bothered me again.

Anyways, the above is why I firmly believe that injecting feminism into the issues in the gaming community is a pretty big mistake. I even suspect that part of the reason why Quinn's game, Depression Quest, was so rejected by many is because of another kind of prevalent ideology within the community--gamers aren't supposed to have feelings. Just like "women don't play FPS games", it's an ideological belief and her creation basically was the equivalent of nails on a chalkboard. Not to mention that it contradicted beliefs that define what a game is (I had no problem with a text based choose your own adventure because I played Zork) so her game basically smacked against multiple ideologies. Plus she was a woman.

Cognitive dissonance is a pain in the butt.

posted on Oct, 22 2014 @ 02:04 AM
a reply to: WhiteAlice
Hiya Alice,

Really appreciate your take, though I'd be quick to point out that a number of your points would be co-opted be feminism into a 'I need feminism because' post or into Emma Watson's speech at the United Nations.

Personally I think the issue with gaming is also a little bit deeper. It's easy to say that gamers are misogynists or something like that, it's much harder to admit that some gamers are likely introverts who don't get on too well with most women or even most people in the first place. My experience with most large gamer groups is there is always some emotionally stunted people and overwhelmingly they've had fairly hard lives; sadly some at the hands of women who mistreated them in high school etc ... Yet that's not part of the narrative.

In all honesty I believe grand narratives in society are generally a problem. I think it's awesome that you stop and talk to male gamers who are giving you a hard time, and it honestly doesn't surprise me that it pays off. Unfortunately in today's society entitlement runs both ways. Men may have some entitlements, but third wave feminism doesn't seem to think it has to negotiate its way into a space or discourse. It's not about making the space 'better' or understanding the space, it's about calling out everything that's wrong with it ... over ... and over ... again. It's funny because the same people that do this think invading foreign countries is a form of colonial hegemony that ignores intersectionality. This is maybe why you don't refer to yourself as a feminist? Third wave feminism often demands change, but it doesn't join the 'working class' of a community, it mingles with the elites to create social change through hierarchy (like it or hate it).

Question, have you played Counterstrike? From previous experience it has one of the most hostile and confusing communities I've ever seen. I also think it's a fine example of how some gaming spaces are hard to navigate using feminist theory. When you can find a gamer group of men all with pink logos calling each other sluts but also holding misogynistic essentialist attitudes, what do you even call that?

So in many ways I agree with you that feminism is going to struggle in this area, and I think you have a deeper understanding of these spaces than many feminist theorists do - you probably do more work in this area also. Unfortunately I also think that, despite gaming always having had a stronger group of socially aware people than many other hobbies, gaming in general just got thrown under the bus pretty damn hard.

posted on Oct, 22 2014 @ 04:24 PM
a reply to: Pinke

This is probably going to end up being fairly long. My apologies in advance but there is a whole lot that I'd like to cover.

Well, let me start off by saying this--I do have an agenda. My agenda since 2002 has been to do what I can to break down the stereotypes in the gaming community so that someday, when my daughter is old enough to game, I don't have to worry about her having some random guy threaten her with rape. Pretty straightforward agenda there. I doubt that I could ever be co-opted, however, because of both my own personal straightforward agenda and, well, I'm autistic. Autistics tend to be super objective lil brats that people want to strangle as we tend to say it like it is. Just ask my mother, lol.

I'd argue that most gamers are not misogynists at all if we're using the definition that misogyny is strictly the "hatred of women". Being a long time "open" female gamer, I'd say that there are several types of responses that may sometimes be pretty irksome but would not be described as misogynistic.

1. Neutral--they don't have a problem with a female gamer and they don't care. I'd estimate that 75% of the male gamers I encounter may say "eh, a girl?" ok, cool" and nothing more. Definitely not misogynists and more just surprised guys.
2. Positive--They'll go on and on about how cool it is that you play video games and they'll probably ask you how you started playing because they wished their own female SO played.
3. Positive but with issues--these guys will think you're a cool person (measuring on personality) but still may blow up now and then because you kicked their butt as a woman one too many times. Still not a misogynist.
4. Fan boys--I personally find these just as terrifying as the total misogynists in the game. They will stalk you to the ends of the earth and should never be trusted. Thankfully, these mini-nutjobs are as rare as the actual misogynists and are not misogynists themselves either.

Those 4 groups basically comprise what I'd say would be roughly 85-90% of the community and really this could be applied easily to a bell curve if taking the numbered examples as a signifier of frequency. I'd say that the 10% that is left have some level of misogyny running in their veins. I don't care much about what the quietly stewing type does as they're unlikely to be plotting my real-life demise--it's just that small 1-3% of gamers that are toxic misogynists. The majority of gamers, though, are pretty cool and most just see me as a human being after the gender point of difference is detected.

How these numbers play out on a 24 player server is this--the majority of players, typically about 18 of them, are going to say nothing on the revelation that a woman is in their midst. One of these is going to try to add you on Steam and will be silently stalking you from game to game if you accept. A couple will make a comment about how they wished their gf played the game and one will usually mention that they get in arguments with the aforementioned gf on the subject of gaming. "She just doesn't get it." 3 may make some negative comment that isn't that big of a deal. One of those might call the female in their midst an "attention ***** ". That generally sets off that 1 guy, who will go on and on in a tirade of varying severity and negativity about that female player. It could be just of a "you're a freak" stripe, to blasting for only playing to seek attention, to extreme violent sexual statements, and calling any that actually speak up against their tirade a "white knight" who just wants to get laid. Yup, that pretty much sums up the typical experience of playing a fps game.

I've actually been studying these kind of behaviors since 1998. I was pretty naive and had no clue that my playing a fps game would be a problem for anyone. I would say that the fps gaming community has improved dramatically in comparison to 1998. In 1998, when I saw a player using a nick with "daddy" in it, I said "you're a dad? cool, I'm a mommy". It set the server on its head. My team suddenly had 5 players with 19 opponents of which about 4-6 of them were threatening me with graphic detail of rape if my team lost. I didn't leave. I kicked their butts. I stayed within the community for the purpose of both being a normalizing effect within it and to study it. It wasn't until my daughter was born that I actually had any sort of agenda.

Yep, I've played Counterstrike, off and on, since about 1998. The sexual harassment of each other in this predominately male community has been going on since the 90's, lol. Interestingly enough, though, there isn't actually a higher number of misogynists within Counterstrike that I've found in comparison to any other fps game. A lot of the sexual talk towards each other is really just a longstanding meme for the community. It's not any different really from the usage of "pwn" instead of "own", which cropped up in the early 2000's. Does it pose a problem for women and/or feminists? Sort of in that I've actually seen that behavior be used to excuse the same being targeted at a female coupled with the response "hey YOU said that you just wanted to be one of the guys and this is how we treat each other". They kind of have a point; however, their activities not only cloak actual misogynists but also risk cloaking another rarity--pedophiles.

I've actually had to "rescue" a 12 year old girl who thought she was being recruited for a top tfc/cs clan and instead, found herself on roger wilco with a pedophile for a clan recruiter. She was terrified to speak anything against this guy for fear of online retribution so she asked me to scare him and I most certainly did. I spent the next two years of my gaming existence being targeted for online harassment as a result but you know what? It was worth it. Behaviors within the clans and on the servers are all fun and games when it's adults interacting with adults. The game changes when it's children under the age of consent. I don't think the behaviors in Counterstrike pose as much of a problem for "feminism". I think it poses a significant problem for something far more serious and that's the truth.

It's not to single out Counterstrike as being a home for pedophiles. I've heard adult players say insanely inappropriate things to young boys who are clearly pre-pubescent in TF2 over voice chat. I'd also say that it's not a problem that is endemic to video games or even fps games. It's a total internet problem obviously; however, it's a whole heck of a lot harder to sift through the serious and the "just trying to scare the kid" mentalities in the fps community. Most adults in video games seem to feel that the 12 and under crew have no place in a fps game and I agree there. What I don't agree with, though, is sexual talk towards those aforementioned children for, hopefully, obvious reasons. Is the guy a pedophile or does he know how to strike fear in a kid to get them out of the game?

It's also why I do not allow my daughter to play online games period. After being an online gamer of many types of games since the mid 90's, I think parents are insane to allow their kids to play online multiplayers.

PS. One more thing that I'd like to add--the one thing that the worst of the worst never ask me is how old I am.

edit on 22/10/14 by WhiteAlice because: added ps

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