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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 Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 04, 2014 @10:00AM (#47825419)

    There's no such thing as politically correct. There's no such thing as a right not to be offended. Both of these run counter to freedom of speech.

    Nobody's going to force me to "include" people that I don't agree with, period. If you don't like it, fuck off.

    That being said, the asshole ex-boyfriend should be turned into a eunuch and ridiculed for being such a wuss for the rest of his life.

    • by cryptizard (2629853) on Thursday September 04, 2014 @10:21AM (#47825717) Homepage
      What, do you think the outcome of this is that the police are going to start going around forcing you to make friends with women? You can be as much of an asshole as you want. But other people are equally free to call you out for it.
    • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Thursday September 04, 2014 @11:54AM (#47827439) Journal

      There's no such thing as politically correct.

      What's that got to do with this?

      You certainly do have the right not to have threats of violence made against you.

      You also have the right not to have slanderous and libellous claims made against you.

      Even with the laws about freedom of speech none of those things are legal. This isn't about being offended, it's about being threatened and slandered.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo@NOspAm.world3.net> on Thursday September 04, 2014 @12:03PM (#47827535) Homepage

      Nobody's going to force me to "include" people that I don't agree with, period.

      Actually, that's exactly what will happen. There is not right not to be offended, but there is a right not to be harassed or threatened. People are starting to realize that all the "harmless" stuff is just building up to that, as it has done over and over again in the past. As such they are becoming less tolerant of it, and eventually people like you will be ostracised.

      So, maybe no-one can force you to include people you don't like (unless it's a business or government setting, in which case anti-discrimination laws apply), but I have a feeling you will when you experience the isolation that comes with being a bigot.

  • Who cares. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 04, 2014 @10:01AM (#47825423)

    I don't know anybody who has any idea who these people are, nor do they give one shit about any of this stuff. They just play games. I don't think these "cultures" and "communities" are nearly as big as people think they are. It's limited to a VERY small set of people commenting and participating in all this high-school drama. Of course, once it's on twitter and the internet in general, everyone thinks its way bigger than it actually is.

    News flash -- It's not.

    • Re:Who cares. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by war4peace (1628283) on Thursday September 04, 2014 @10:26AM (#47825787)

      True. I play games and never heard of those people before.
      HOWEVER.
      I also walk on the street and never got mugged or shot at, it doesn't mean it's not happening somewhere else. The fact it's not important to everyone doesn't mean it's not important at all.
      Laws are created based on events that might only have happened to a small number of people, and while the vast majority never heard of those laws, they still exist.

  • by Frobnicator (565869) on Thursday September 04, 2014 @10:02AM (#47825433) Journal

    It doesn't seem to be pervasive. We've all seen the recent stats on similar stories. Over half of all gamers are female. Less than 1/5 are under the age 18. The stereotypical teenage boy gamer is a small component of the "gamer" culture.

    I doubt this is "Misogyny In Gamer Culture". I think instead this is just a few vocal idiots.

    • by rdwulfe (890032) on Thursday September 04, 2014 @10:09AM (#47825519)

      That's the problem though. When I was in high school, not everyone in the school abused me each day. No, the problem was the 10-20 kids who decided they had to punch someone so they could go home that day, and I was apparently an easy mark. Great fun, let me tell you.

      It never requires a huge number of people to oppress an individual or group. It takes others who are willing to do so by force. Written word can be force, too.

    • by DerekLyons (302214) <fairwater@gmFREEBSDail.com minus bsd> on Thursday September 04, 2014 @10:20AM (#47825695) Homepage

      It doesn't seem to be pervasive. We've all seen the recent stats on similar stories. Over half of all gamers are female.

      About half of all humans are female... and misogyny is widely documented across history and across cultures. The presence or absence of misogyny is thus not correlated with the percentage of females in the population. Not to mention the multiple incidents that have come to light recently should provide further clue that there's far more than 'one bad apple'.

    • by Moses48 (1849872)

      I think this has less to do with Gamer culture than it has to do with Marketing culture. It is not unique to gaming. Beer companies and any other company that markets to men uses the same techniques. This story and many other use the response to topics involving Misogyny as a reflection of gaming culture. I'm not sold. There is no data on this that I am aware of. I imagine if they had done the same video and posts about a book or beer commercials you would have the same sort of response. People that

      • by jedidiah (1196) on Thursday September 04, 2014 @10:58AM (#47826415) Homepage

        It gets even better. Marketing that panders to girls is no less misogynistic. It's actually even WORSE. Marketing for women is all about making women feel like sh*t, especially about their bodies. The stuff is more caustic then genuine porn.

        This is just more of the "nerds bad" narrative that the media has been trying to feed us lately. In truth, "gamer culture" is no worse than anything else including the women's magazines that claims to be feminist.

        Anything going on in video games is the tail end of the problem.

    • I doubt this is "Misogyny In Gamer Culture". I think instead this is just a few vocal idiots.

      ... who have apparently figured out that they can make fat bank claiming misogyny is far more prevalent than it actually is.

      Unless you were talking about some other group of vocal idiots.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo@NOspAm.world3.net> on Thursday September 04, 2014 @12:12PM (#47827627) Homepage

      If you have ever been on XBOX Live in a game like Call of Duty or Battlefield with a female name you will very quickly realize that it is pervasive. Similar for comment threads on a number of prominent gaming web sites.

      More over it definitely is a consistent and widespread problem in games. Almost all adult "open world" style games feature prostitutes, for example. Okay, they exist in real life so they are just being realistic, right? The reality is that they add them in as a cheap way to add "grit" and faux-realism, and then give them the same gameplay mechanics as other objects like vending machines and hotel rooms (usually restoring health in exchange for money). The player is encouraged to use them as disposable, generic tools to further their progress in the game. It's just lazy and unhelpful.

      War movies could show realistic violence and the effects of weapons, but that would give half the audience PTSD so despite it being an easy way to make them real and edgy they tone it down. It's about using the medium responsibly.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 04, 2014 @10:02AM (#47825435)

    It wasn't just "false accusations" from her ex-boyfriend. It was accusations from many of her boyfriends and other people that she slept with coupled with her story not making any sense and having plenty of holes in it. Oh, and also no proof that any of it took place.

    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. I mean, all those tweets coming in, from only one user, faster than anyone could type them, and immediately after receiving them 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."

    There's a few things that aren't adding up here.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo@NOspAm.world3.net> on Thursday September 04, 2014 @12:21PM (#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 Fallen Kell (165468) on Thursday September 04, 2014 @03:23PM (#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.
  • Accusations (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Whorhay (1319089) on Thursday September 04, 2014 @10:15AM (#47825605)

    So TFS says that the accusations regarding Zoe Quinn were false. I hadn't heard this bit yet, is the article linked to actually confirmation of that? Sorry, I'd read the articles for myself but work filters are a PITA. The last I had heard was that the guy who writes for RPS and Kotaku had confirmed their sexual relationship.

    I honestly don't care about her sex life or lack there of. The only thing of interest to me is a "journalist" possibly sleeping with a person with whom he should have a more professional relation ship with, and not disclosing that fact when making mention of her work, whether positive or negative.

    • Re:Accusations (Score:5, Informative)

      by AmiMoJo (196126) * <mojo@NOspAm.world3.net> on Thursday September 04, 2014 @12:24PM (#47827753) Homepage

      TFA points out that the journalist in question never actually wrote a review of Depression Quest. If you can find one send them a link so they can add a correction to their article. Google doesn't turn up anything.

  • Slashdot is Dead (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 04, 2014 @10:25AM (#47825785)

    I knew it was going downhill for a long time, now it's dead, because it's been taken over by the Social Justice Warriors.

  • False accusations? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 04, 2014 @10:27AM (#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 Aardpig (622459) on Thursday September 04, 2014 @10:35AM (#47825975)

      Mod parent up big time. Her boyfriend has posted significant amounts of evidence supporting his claims, and Zoe has not refuted them.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 04, 2014 @10:37AM (#47826017)

    Instead of saying that those accusations were false, Zoe Quinn and co. proceeded to delete everything, ban everybody from gaming zine-s who talked about it. Zoe Quinn herself never said that those accusations are false.

    Attack against her was not because shes a woman, or that she sleeps around. She sleeped around with people who worked in gaming news sites that hyped her game. That`s why.
    In every thread or site or blog dissing here, there is zero hate because shes a woman, nobody cares about her gender. Gender is not the issue, it never was.

    Other things about her have also surfaced. Like she harassed thefineyoungcapitalists, who were women devs BTW. Same women who gaming news sites want to protect, but refused to publish their side of the story because "You don`t talk about Zoe Quinn`s bad behavior". Or how she sexually harassed someone in her wedding.

  • by kick6 (1081615) on Thursday September 04, 2014 @10:38AM (#47826037) Homepage
    They're going to create a BS tornado...
  • by Karganeth (1017580) on Thursday September 04, 2014 @10:39AM (#47826049)
    A YouTuber by the name of InternetAristocrat has 3 videos on this matter. It's worth watching these to fully understand the details of this situation. Part 1 [youtube.com] Part 2 [youtube.com] Part 3 [youtube.com]
  • by LordLimecat (1103839) on Thursday September 04, 2014 @10:47AM (#47826197)

    I generally dont keep up on this stuff, but the post by Zoe's ex was filled with actual proof that she is apparently unbelievably manipulative. I didnt see any rebuttals, either-- just complaints that he crossed a line by posting private conversations. That can be argued, but noone seems to deny the accusations.

    I didnt get to the parts about accusing her of trading sex for reviews or anything, but shes not the shining champion of feminist rights that you want.

    • by i kan reed (749298) on Thursday September 04, 2014 @11:21AM (#47826887) Homepage Journal

      No one thinks she is. But unless she's committing murder, this reaction is overblown. We think the people attacking her are scum for making something that would be a small deal for any male in a similar position into one of the biggest conspiracies ever.

      And that their actions reinforce the notion that misogynistic beliefs have become endemic to the "culture" of gaming, inasmuch as it has one.

      And that actually ties back to Sarkeesian's work, because science has shown that objectified media leads to this kind of hostility and discrimination against women [slashdot.org].

      People are objecting not because Quinn and Sarkeesian are angels, on a pedestal and beyond reproach, but because there are elements of culture that are causing this problem and standing up against it is the only thing that's going to see change.

      • by Kielistic (1273232) on Thursday September 04, 2014 @11:59AM (#47827501)

        People are objecting not because Quinn and Sarkeesian are angels,

        No, you are standing up for them because they are women. Women that, as you have admitted, have done bad things. But it's everyone else that are the sexists.

        • by i kan reed (749298) on Thursday September 04, 2014 @12:07PM (#47827567) Homepage Journal

          I've done "bad things". You've done "bad things". That objections is stupid and you knew it when you typed it.

          What they haven't done is anything justifying this gigantic shitpile of hate and threats. Which exists because of misogyny. And you have to know you're lying if you claim otherwise.

          Take your just world hypothesis bullshit and shove it. If they did something illegal, let the courts handle it. (spoiler, they didn't)

      • by LordLimecat (1103839) on Thursday September 04, 2014 @12:17PM (#47827675)

        Nonsense. My exposure to this issue has been entirely through articles like this one attempting to demonize the ex-boyfriend, who by all accounts was treated in a way that would have been absolutely blasted if it had been towards a woman. She was cheating on him with the people who were supposed to be reviewing her work, all the while manipulating him into thinking he was crazy for suspecting that she was cheating. She claimed that it would be "rape" to have an intimate relationship with someone while cheating behind their back, and then did exactly that. And shes apparently a chronic liar.

        The "huge conspiracy" I simply havent seen; I literally had not heard of this issue until I saw an article on ArsTechnica on what a scumbag guys are for demonizing Zoe Quinn (What? Who?). Apparently shes so notorious that the most white knighting article on Ars and Slashdot cannot have her looking good at the end; theres just too much dirt out there for even the most heavily spun article to hide.

  • Recent? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Thursday September 04, 2014 @10:58AM (#47826421) Homepage

    I'm guessing the article was written by someone that was just born. It has existed forever in gaming. My wife is a gamer chick and back in the 80's she had to deal with this crap.

    It's not only video games. she used to play MTG in tournaments 8 years ago (She has a 4 digit DCI number), last time she played she was harassed several times by the low IQ morons that are prevalent in society to the point that she refuses to play it ever again.

    This crap is not new, what is needed is people finding these scumbags that pull this crap on girls/women and beating the shit out of them.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 04, 2014 @11:40AM (#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

  • by Guy From V (1453391) on Thursday September 04, 2014 @11:46AM (#47827317) Homepage

    These search results on the One Angry Gamer [blogjob.com] website about The Fine Young Capitalists game dev team (who also happen to be women, some might remember them as the team who wrote the game Depression Quest [depressionquest.com]), who got blackballed by unscrupulous writers for a handful of well-known gaming and tech review outfits because of the second-rate "escapades" of one Zoe Quinn and her "relations" with several of them. Ironically, it was 4chan who stepped up to raise $5,000 to fund them when the rest of the community dropped them like a sack of shit because of Ms. Quinn and her "conspirators' " favoritism. PS quotes=sexual escapades and pillow talk railroading.

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