Sunday, 5 October 2014

Hypocrisy of anti-#Gamergate

Imagine you were writing for an automobile magazine. Imagine now that for some reason known only to you, you decide that enough is enough, and write an openly hostile article declaring your target audience obsolete, your readers dead, and the beginning of the new era right at the doorstep, where car enthusiasts are not needed, because the boat lovers will do just fine. Now imagine the reaction of your readership. As this was certainly not a joke, they will first want an explanation. When you insult them further, block all their means of protest, you should not be surprised when your car enthusiasts give in, and give up on you.

You should not be surprised when your former readership contacts various car and tire companies, and informs them that your automobile magazine decided to shift markets onto boats, decrying and insulting all the car enthusiasts in the meanwhile. We would probably all agree that it is in the best interest of the car and tire manufacturers, your magazine, and the future readership if the unnecessary ads are gone. And by unnecessary, I mean the ads that do not target your readers. It is pointless to have a baking dishes ads in a specialised magazine focused on cars. So it is as pointless to have car ads in a magazine that wants to write for boat lovers instead.

After all, one hand takes care of the other, and in this day and age, in this world you have to earn your money. Nothing is free. Thus everyone is looking to make good use of their money, and if your magazine will not write for car enthusiasts any longer, then it is a waste of money on the tire manufacturer's part to finance the ads in your magazine. Better to give a chance to some boat companies, and cruise ship voyages. They might find your new direction more favourable, than the tire manufacturers. After all, boats don't have tires, but ships do float on water.

And to come out, all outraged and furious, claiming tire manufacturers that stopped doing business with your magazine because of the new direction your magazine has taken, hate women is absurd. It is ad hominem, strawman, and probably couple of other logical fallacies as well. And that is a disgrace to you and your magazine as "supposed" professionals. This is the current predicament of Gamasutra. They published the article of Leigh Alexander decrying gamers, insulting them, and marking them as unneeded. Gamers said fuck off, and went to the advertisers, telling them what kind of stuff are they saying over at Gamasutra, and that there is no point in advertising for gamers, as they are not the target audience of that website any longer.

Reasonable stance all things considered. And then, comes the gall of these people, the nerve to try and change a perfectly reasonable business decision into something personal, something toxic. Intel did not remove ads from Gamasutra because they would hate women. They removed ads from Gamasutra because its editor-at-large insulted their core audience. And they realised any further connection with Gamasutra would reflect bad on them, and unlike Alexander, Intel understands who are they selling their hardware to. Nothing personal, just business.

As you probably know, Intel later on issued an apology in regard to the whole matter. But as you will notice, they apologised for any misunderstanding. They do not hate women (common sense from a business perspective), but they will not be doing business with Gamasutra either in near future.

That said, I find appeals to emotions a disgusting thing. And to see this happen in front of my own eyes is rather revolting. I saw people asking for solidarity toward Gamasutra, to support the site because Intel "dared" to pull their ad campaign. I saw people asking for mercy. I don't know in what utopia those people live in, but in my world, and I would like to believe that is the world of all sensible people, there is no mercy for the corrupt, no pardon for the wicked, and no solidarity towards unethical. These are the things where we should never compromise. You are either ethical, or you aren't. You are moral or you are not moral. There is no middle way. Only absolutes.

What I find the most interesting of all, is the smear piece they wrote about #Gamergate in past couple of days over at Mirror, and wanted to determine what #Gamergate is all about through a poll. Well, they have singlehandedly helped legitimise the movement, if that was ever required, as the option about fighting the corruption is in major lead over all other options in the poll combined, misogyny included.

Boycott is a valid means of protest. It is in my personal opinion the best form of protest in this day and age. Nobody will cave in to you for free, nobody will change their stance just because you say their stance is wrong. But reasonable people, once they see money is not coming in will notice and reconsider. Reasonable people might come to conclusion that what they are doing is wrong, and they need to change their ways.

Unfortunately gamers are not dealing with reasonable people here. They appear to be greater narcissists than me myself and I, and that is telling a lot. It does not seem any critique comes to them, and they appear to be living in their own little world isolated from any different opinion. Unfortunately for them, gamers play to win, not to have fun. For gamers fun comes form winning. And destroying their opponents is nectar of gods for gamers. Gamasutra and its likes changed this into Rule or Ruin scenario with their hostile rhetoric. What they did not realise is that gamers already rule, and they are not afraid to ruin anyone pretentious enough to question their existence. Not with the violence, but by simply not giving them any money.

So let the hypocrites burn. I look forward to seeing Gamasutra and other sites like it, who attack their core audience instead of facing the accusations raised against them fall apart and to the oblivion. It is survival of the fittest on the internet, and if you lack the common sense, then it is a good thing when you become obsolete.

#Hypocrisy #Intel


  1. Articles like Leigh's - 'Gamers' don't have to be your audience. 'Gamers' are over - (notice the quotation marks around Gamer), were not a large-scale attack on everyone who plays video games. Leigh Alexander's article isn't even written for gamers, it's written to game websites and community hubs, asking them to curate their content better and not let the most vile, hate-spewing members of 'gamer culture' dictate how gamers are seen. It's written to the industry in general, asking them to see that gaming has evolved and now represents more people with varying interests than it once did. When I first saw articles like these, I thought that claming that gamers were dead, or over was a rather dumb, but then I actually read the articles and realised what they were saying. They are condemning a small, specific, though very vocal type of gamer. I'm a gamer but I'm also a reasonable human being, and since I'm not one of the raging assholes of the gaming community, I didn't take these articles personally. Reading them as a personal attack (unless you are in fact, one of the assholes), shows a lack of understanding and reading comprehension.

    People are upset about what happened to Intel because it appears that they got bullied into pulling their ads by a bunch of thugs who took that article personally. I don't think Intel hates women, but I think they fold to bullies. No one said people shouldn't play games. No one said games aren't worthwhile. Intel would still have a large audience of reasonable game lovers at Gamasutra.

    1. From your comment I think you agree with that latest research citing that anyone who plays a game no matter where, when, or what is a gamer. It actually seems that the whole premise of your comment is that gaming is expanding, and gamers should accept that. Nothing wrong with that. I find that research to be sloppy to be honest, When your definition of a gamer is so wide it includes people who played one game for couple of minutes years back, barely remembering it, we got a serious problem, but that is a topic for another time, isn't it? Let's get back to this.

      No, these articles are not condemning a small, specific, though very vocal type of gamer. They are generalisations, and open statements saying that all gamers are like that, and thus need to change or die. This is how #notyourshield spawned in the first place. Gamers were sick and tired on constant generalisations of being marked as being white, cis, male. And since when is that a bad thing?

      It is interesting you mention bullying. Any comments on that in regard to Alexander and her actions? Her open racism, threats, insults?

      This was never a question if one should or should not play games. It was never a debate about the worth games have. It was a matter of Gamasutra and the other sites attacking their core audience. If you think, you regular smart phone user playing Candycrush, Angry Birds, or Flow Free is reading these sites then you are sorely mistaken. Core audience of these sites are gamers. Real gamers, not the people who play games on their phones to pass time while waiting on something.

      To make it clear, gamers are not such as these articles describe them. Any category you wish to name, you will find bad element in it. That part of the people who play games are insulting is nothing new, but they are not insulting because they play games. They are such because they are assholes. Maybe they need to vent somewhere, and internet and games are just so at hand, but that is not the point. The point is, the broad strokes these professionals were ready to make, to generalise their own core audience.

      What I have a problem is that these professionals presume too much. It is not upon them to either police, curate or anything of the sort. They are not the god in this matter. They do not have power over the evolution. They just have to report if the game is worth the money. And when they do everything but that, their primary duty toward their readership, they prove they failed, and that they are not needed.

      So when they decide for a violent rebranding strategy, don't blame gamers to actually give in to their demands, and go away along with the advertisers, who advertise for gamers, the real gamers. Maybe Gamasutra, and its likes can find more appropriate ads to finance its existence now. One focusing on all these "gamers" they like to talk so much about. Inclusion is great, but it is important to differentiate between what you perceive your audience, and your actual audience.

      After all, it is about catering to the audience, if you write about cars, advertise for car lovers. If you decide to write about boats, don't expect car advertisers to keep advertising in your publication.

    2. No, I don't really agree with that research. I doubt someone who had played a game or two 10 years ago would refer to themselves as a gamer, so I wouldn't either. I think the term can have a broad definition, but games being an active hobby that you care about would be required. I don't think it matter what kinds of games a person chooses to play though, and certain games (the dreaded mobile!) don't preclude you from being a gamer.

      I get the feeling we're just never going to agree about this, but paragraphs such as these ones aren't insulting people who play games, but rather expressing the opinion that the both gamers and the game industry has grown up:

      "By the turn of the millennium those were games’ only main cultural signposts: Have money. Have women. Get a gun and then a bigger gun. Be an outcast. Celebrate that. Defeat anyone who threatens you. You don’t need cultural references. You don’t need anything but gaming. Public conversation was led by a games press whose role was primarily to tell people what to buy, to score products competitively against one another, to gleefully fuel the “team sports” atmosphere around creators and companies.


      Yet in 2014, the industry has changed. We still think angry young men are the primary demographic for commercial video games -- yet average software revenues from the commercial space have contracted massively year on year, with only a few sterling brands enjoying predictable success.

      It’s clear that most of the people who drove those revenues in the past have grown up -- either out of games, or into more fertile spaces, where small and diverse titles can flourish, where communities can quickly spring up around creativity, self-expression and mutual support, rather than consumerism. There are new audiences and new creators alike there. Traditional “gaming” is sloughing off, culturally and economically, like the carapace of a bug."

      She's turning some of the blame for gamers who are "angry young men" on the industry itself, and saying that many of these gamers have since grown up. There was a time when "gamer" meant chubby, antisocial, nerd sitting in their mother's basement, but that is no longer the truth and should no longer be the perception either. It shouldn't be what the industry continues to try to cater to.

      I also think you have a skewed idea of what games journalism is. It's not just about writing consumer reviews. People write opinions, people criticize the things they think games do wrong and laud them for innovation just as critics do for movies, art, television, books... The particular aspects of a game that get focused on will depend on the individual writer, what they enjoy and care about. It's all subjective. Incidentally, Gamasutra is a site aimed at game developers, so reporting if a game is worth your money is really not in their job description at all.

    3. I do not know where you got your definition of journalism, but a job of any journalist is not to create an opinion, but to report the facts. How he feels about a certain matter nobody really cares. You do not read a newspaper to see what a reporter thinks on the matter he is reporting, you read it to see what the hell is going on. And let me not get started on bias. If you think it is ok for a journalists, who should always stay out of the debate, and only report on the debate, to be part of the debate, then that is a real problem in my opinion. Because you do not wish for a news, but to hear someone's opinion. There is nothing wrong with that. As long as you do not call it a journalism.

      You will probably disagree, but I don't want people who call themselves a journalists down in the trenches. Of journalists, I do not want to see any vested interests. That does not mean they should hide it better, it means they should not have any. They should be high above reporting on what is going on instead of firing rockets themselves. You still haven't addressed anything about Leigh Alexander and her racist comments, her petty behaviour, or how she insults people who do honest work. Is that really something an ethical beacon such as Alexander is in your words, should do?

      I live by one simple rule. The golden rule. It is the rule I hold myself, as well as everyone else to. Treat others the way you want others to treat you. So I ask you, Jasyla, don't you agree that behaviour such as Alexander shows on regular occasion should be unacceptable? Please, do not play the apologist, it is a simple question. Journalists in other branches, other professions as well, lost their jobs for a lot less in comparison to her. Do you support this toxic behaviour from Alexander? Yes, or No. Simple question.

      You like to mention mobile gaming, but you avoid to talk about who reads current gaming websites. Do gamers of mobile devices read nichgamer, techraptor, and gamesnosh and others like gamasutra? No. If they read any, they have their own specialised websites, but then, why do they even matter in this discussion. They probably do not even know what #Gamergate is in the first place. Because it is none of their problem or business.

  2. "I think they fold to bullies"

    And writes in support of Leigh Alexander in the same post, irony.

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