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Combating Recent, Ugly Incidents of Misogyny In Gamer Culture 1134

Posted by Soulskill
from the push-until-it-gives dept.
ideonexus writes: 2490 gamers, developers and journalists have signed an open letter supporting inclusiveness in the gaming community after indie game developer Zoe Quinn received backlash and harassment when her ex-boyfriend posted false accusations that she traded sex for favorable reviews of her game and feminist critic Anita Sarkeesian was driven from her home after receiving death and rape threats for her videos illustrating the way some mainstream games encourage the commoditization of and violence against women. The harassment has prompted geek-dating advice columnist Harris O'Malley to declare the backlash the "Extinction Burst of Gaming Culture," the last reactionary gasp before the culture shifts to become more inclusive.
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Combating Recent, Ugly Incidents of Misogyny In Gamer Culture

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  • by gstoddart (321705) on Thursday September 04, 2014 @11:17AM (#47825643) Homepage

    First articles here, then a new policy on Fark, and now yet another story about misogyny. It's a constant, subtle pressure in the background for Millenials that women are oppressed

    Or, you know, there's a lot of men who are childish assholes and misogynists.

    Because, really, death threats? Threats to rape her? The crap I've seen in the coverage about this pretty much means this isn't hand-wringing and moralizing ... this is a sign of some pretty terrible (if not criminal) behavior.

    Some people get online and become complete and utter sociopaths. Others don't seem to need to be online.

  • by Khyber (864651) <techkitsune@gmail.com> on Thursday September 04, 2014 @11:23AM (#47825739) Homepage Journal

    "She even admitted flat out on twitter to having sex for publicity, and yet not a single time has the issue journalistic integrity of video game reporting been raised. "

    You can thank Reddit for that. They deliberately censored everything they could on the subject no matter what, even conversations on the integrity of gaming journalism.

    Don't like it? You'd better speak up. Oh, wait, you're an AC, you have no balls to do so.

  • False accusations? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 04, 2014 @11:27AM (#47825831)

    That's pretty laughable given the amount of evidence. Her ex-boyfriend didn't post false accusations. Among the things that were posted were Zoe's own words, tweets, facebook message, ok cupid posts, etc. Is Slashdot also ran by SJW's that refuse to see things for what they really are?

    The author of the Vice article also has connections to Zoe Quinn, Anita, and the other white knight/SJW "journalists." Did you not even bother doing research on this before making a crap slashdot post?

    That's the beauty of facts. They still remain facts even if you disagree with them.

  • by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Thursday September 04, 2014 @11:30AM (#47825897) Journal
    She somehow noticed the threats without being logged in, and captured the twitter feed within 13 seconds of the final post. The whole affair was a rapid-fire set of shifting crazy-talk across three minutes. It looks like manufactured evidence, and all explanations to the contrary are wild stretches.
  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday September 04, 2014 @11:39AM (#47826055) Journal

    None of which seems to prove the claim that the woman in question was having sex with lots of people.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Thursday September 04, 2014 @11:46AM (#47826163)

    Why do you think there are a LOT of men that are misogynists?

    I don't often encounter them in real life. Sure there are some out there, but it's a huge stretch to claim that there are a lot of men that dislike women.

    Some people get online and become complete and utter sociopaths.

    This is in fact what people are missing - a lot of online trolls are not truly misogynists. Or that is to say, they will screw with everyone equally or whoever they can get the biggest rise out of.

    In real life they may well not be misogynists at all, as you say some people get online and they turn into something different and almost inhuman in the resolve to cause pain and distress. The kind of trolls that went after Robin William's daughter after his death - that's not being a misogynist, that's being an asshole.

  • Re:I predict (Score:2, Interesting)

    by i kan reed (749298) on Thursday September 04, 2014 @12:37PM (#47827195) Homepage Journal

    I don't really have explanation. One thing is clear from reading this is that they're stupid conspiratorial morons.

    Like, super credulous about anything that casts prominent individuals as malicious manipulative actors. Part of that is just sexism, you know the old "women lie" stereotype. But part of it is that they're pathetic. None of them has ever done anything of note. So they see people who do get recognition as manipulating events to put themselves on top.

    I suspect what we're seeing is the psychology of losers amplified through the lens of misogyny. Hard to say for sure though. We'll never get honest self-analysis from this crowd.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 04, 2014 @12:40PM (#47827245)

    Posting anon because I enjoy my job.

    For some reason, slashdot has mostly ignored this topic for the past couple weeks, and now we get an article that revels in moralistic naysaying while ignoring what keeps this going.

    The recent "ugliness" is not just a product of sexism and misogyny. To be fair, women have been harassed. To be even more fair, not all women who have been harassed have been harassed by "gamers".

    The fiasco that has now grown into "Gamergate" (not my term) is not easy to relate in few words, but I will summarize that it is a reaction by enthusiast gamers against a clique of prominent video games journalists, writers, and indie developers who have been using their personal connections to promote each other's works and political ideology, as well as exclude those who do not toe the line.

    It began when the ex-boyfriend of indie developer Zoe Quinn made a blog post detailing with evidence how Ms Quinn cheated on him with at least five other people, as well as perceived attempts by her to emotionally manipulate him. (http://thezoepost.wordpress.com/ [wordpress.com]) Among individuals named in the post were Nathan Grayson (a writer for Gawker Media's Kotaku and former writer at Rock, Paper, Shotgun) and Robin Arnott (a judge at the Indiecade independent games competition that later went on to give Ms Quinn's game an award). Initially, this post was ignored by games journalists, and was circulated in online gaming forums. However, many forums deleted any and all topics concerning the matter, including the largest reddit thread deletion in history (with over 20K comments deleted; http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/2dz0gs/totalbiscuit_discusses_the_state_of_games/ [reddit.com]) concerning youtube commentator TotalBiscuit's response to Ms Quinn allegedly using a false DMCA request to take down one of the first videos discussing the subject (http://themundanematt.tumblr.com/post/95428752119/dmca-notice-and-removal [tumblr.com]).

    Investigation by redditors and members of various boards on 4chan soon uncovered that Ms Quinn allegedly pointed her twitter followers to critique a new game charity designed to help female game designers have their ideas actualized because she felt the charity's profit-motivated goals and its policy towards transwomen (biological males who identify as women) were oppressive (http://static.fjcdn.com/large/pictures/60/24/6024fb_5271447.jpg [fjcdn.com]). When the creator of the charity attempted to seek promotion from major gaming journalist sites, he was told that since Ms Quinn had issues with the charity, no promotion would be possible (knowyourmeme.com/photos/814183-quinnspiracy [slashdot.org]).

    While specific written pieces promoting Ms Quinn's work were actually short in supply, further investigations showed that the relationships of other journalists to their subjects were less tenuous. Patricia Hernandez of Kotaku was shown through previous twitter conversations to have lived with and possibly had a romantic relationship with Anne Anthropy, an indie developer she directly promoted in several articles. Ben Kuchera of Polygon, among others, was shown to be a supporter of Ms Quinn on Patreon, a site designed to crowd-fund stipends to content-creators. In response to these issues, the two above mentioned games journalism sites posted clarifications and/or updates to their positions on conflicts of interest, noting that they would attempt more honest journalism in the future, as well as in the case of Kotaku disallowing writers to contribute to subjects' Patreon accounts.

    This is when hell started breaking loose. Prominent games journalists and indie developers cried out on twitter that Kotaku and Polygon

  • Re:Why "SJW"? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Daetrin (576516) on Thursday September 04, 2014 @12:53PM (#47827433)
    No, i got it all from three letters written by you, and the context of all the other people who have used those same three letters. I realize the definition is a bit redundant, but the group of people who use "SJW" to refer to people in a serious context just end up sounding well... to put it politely, "strange." My faith in humanity, battered though it may be, insists that they're not all just crazy and there must be some reason why they choose to do that, so what is it?

    As for your knee, it sounds like you hurt it. I can say that in just six words because in this case i can say the first thing that comes to mind without sounding like i'm trying to insult you outright.
  • Re:Why "SJW"? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GameboyRMH (1153867) <gameboyrmh@@@gmail...com> on Thursday September 04, 2014 @01:20PM (#47827705) Journal

    I love when people use the acronym "SJW," it's even more efficient than "misandry." It says "I am unapologetically backwards as fuck on a wide variety of issues, to the point that I am upset at the existence of people who are opposed to my backwardness."

  • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo @ w orld3.net> on Thursday September 04, 2014 @01:21PM (#47827719) Homepage

    Oh, and also no proof that any of it took place.

    Exactly. We don't know what happened, but let's just assume she is a cheating whore in all discussions of her professional work.

    As for Anita Sarkeesian? Well, after seeing how lying about being a victim worked out so well for Zoe, it's not exactly a big stretch to say that maybe she did the same thing.

    So you think one woman might be bad, and thus other women who claim to be victims of a crime are probably just the same. I mean, all women are this one generic personality, right? It's not like there is any significant variation between them, so the (imagined) actions of one speak for them all.

    we're supposed to believe that Anita logged out of her account and just so happened to search for those exact tweets, then took a screenshot of them as proof that she was "stalked and driven from her home by a raid."

    a) She never claimed she made the screenshot, and could have multiple computers/tablets anyway.
    b) She never claimed she was driven out by a "raid", only credible threads that included her home address.

    Somehow these "facts" have become part of the legend now, repeated over and over until they become true in the minds of the not-really-oppressed.

  • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo @ w orld3.net> on Thursday September 04, 2014 @01:33PM (#47827867) Homepage

    It's more to do with the way women die in these games. Male characters usually have, well, a character, a personality and some role in the story. Their deaths have meaning and relate to them, and are at least somewhat realistic.

    Female characters tend to be so 2D they often don't even have a name. Their deaths are typically a cheap plot device to provide motivation for a male character, or show just how evil the bad guy is. When they die they are often wearing skimpy outfits or end up in suggestive poses. Hitman was actually advertised with female cadavers in sexy underwear posed suggestively on a bed, with a little neat bullet hole in the head so as not to spoil your fapping.

    In Mario games Peach is almost always kidnapped at the start, and then Mario and Bowser fight over her. She isn't a player in the game, she is the ball. Why not maker her playable along side Mario, like Luigi is? She is a prop, utterly generic in every way (pink clothes, lipstick, high heels, eyelashes, utterly helpless) and only there to provide a smooch of victory at the end.

    Your simplistic "body count" mentality is part of the problem.

  • Re:I predict (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Blakey Rat (99501) on Thursday September 04, 2014 @01:58PM (#47828191)

    The reason people hate Anita Sarkeezian is not because she is a woman, but because she purposefully misrepresents facts in games

    Example?

    and posed as someone that enjoys games when there is video evidence of the contrary.

    Why does this matter? You don't have to be an artist to criticize art. Roger Ebert seems to have become pretty well-respected considering his only film credit was Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.

    She lied to the people that financed her videos and then did not even deliver,

    Example?

    not to mention that it's such poorly made crap that a high school student could have done better.

    Oh, well, that's certainly worth death threats. You've convinced me with this one!

  • by Bob9113 (14996) on Thursday September 04, 2014 @02:20PM (#47828491) Homepage

    Making potentially defamatory claims without evidence is not just lazy, but possibly also illegal depending on where you live. Show your work.

    There is a fair bit of editorializing here, but also a lot of evidence: Quinnspiracy on KnowYourMeme [knowyourmeme.com]

    At a quick perusal, it seems like; a) she has been subject to some abuse by misogynists, b) she has been engaged in some conflict of interest regarding reviews of her games, and c) she has both benefitted from and promulgated the misogyny aspect of her story.

    The misogyny part is obviously bad. But if Zoe is taking advantage of -- and thereby harming -- the movement to advance the equality of women in gaming and technology, then she is bad too. If that is the case, then we who seek equality should reject her as an icon. Backlash is a perilous thing to progressive movements.

  • by Ben Hutchings (4651) on Thursday September 04, 2014 @03:09PM (#47829027) Homepage

    1. The allegations against Quinn are insinuations with no evidence behind them.
    2. Sarkeesian has been loudly contradicted and claimed to be a con-woman by people that can't take criticism and are annoyed by the success of her Kickstarter.
    3. This is being called "misogyny" in gaming because it is directed specifically at women.
    4. The Social Justice Warriors have all supported these women because they oppose misogyny.
    5. It's so cheap and easy to brand gamers basement dwelling vrigin men-children than it is to look at the facts. This is stereotyping, but it is nothing like the harrassment, online bullying, doxxing or death threats made by some gamers against feminist critics.

    Fixed that for you.

  • Re:Get a life! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Windwraith (932426) on Thursday September 04, 2014 @03:56PM (#47829415)

    You don't get it, do you?
    Zoe and Anita do not harm us in any way. People like Ben Kuchera, K.Thor Jensen and such, do.
    You haven't paid attention in class. And as far as I know, Ben Kuchera is a guy, not a woman, so I am not misogynist for calling him on his insults and doxxing threats. Look them up.

    Not to mention Phil Fish producing a massive internet meltdown calling everyone a rapist (including YOU) and telling aspiring developers to quit. I think Phil Fish is also not a woman. Also, he didn't do almost any work on Fez, look at the credits. He was just an idiot hogging fame from a team you'll never hear about.

    I am a developer. I was attacked by the people claiming to be on my side for suggesting that bias shouldn't exist. For supporting equality. But you know what? They don't want equality. They want to be few and rare so they can maintain their "special" status.

  • by Fallen Kell (165468) on Thursday September 04, 2014 @04:23PM (#47829615)
    Well, unfortunately, I feel that in the case of Anita, some of it was brought on herself. Her videos she has been using to show how games are portraying women in bad ways were in most cases taken completely out of context and twisted to fit her preconceived opinions. In one case using a section of Hitman which took place in an adult entertainment club, and saying that the women in the level are there only to be beaten/killed and used as distractions, when in fact, that is absolutely not the case. You LOSE points for beating on them. You are meant to AVOID them, just like most other people in Hitman, as they are not your target, you are not to kill people who are not your target, and yet, she makes a video of her own play-through where she intentionally kills them, and then says that is the only purpose for them being there.... Its like saying TV's are bad because you can bash someone over the head with a TV and demonstrating that you can do that fact, when in reality, the only behavior that is bad is doing that specific behavior.

    And when she gets called out on that fact, she doesn't want to hear it, and disables comments so that it isn't shown what a load of crap she is spewing forth.

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