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Journalism and sexism in the games industry


LadyCrimson

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Alum: While I concede that not all of articles were as bad as some people make it out to be, some of them were that bad and several of them were nasty and inflammatory and made sweeping statements about how "gamers" are wailing hyperconsumers that hate women, specifically condemning the practice of going to gaming cons and midnight launches as well as liking to play AAA titles. It's very easy to see why a lot of gamers would take it personally, as they did attack major parts of their identity. Someone (could have been you? I forget) recently posted a thread about fanboyism, where fanboys take criticism of things they love personally because they equate it with their identity as it replaces their actual identity that is rife with low self-esteem. Attacking those practices is perceived as attacking the gamers themselves. It's really quite simple to see how it ballooned into this. Then there's the "Death of the Author" argument.

 

Nonek: Publishers are fit for making games and profit? You are kidding, right? If anything, Ubisoft has proven this year alone that publishers are not fit for making games and Square-Enix has shown that they are not fit for making profit either, sinking so much money into the Tomb Raider reboot that it sold more copies than projected and it was still considered a failure. Even if those weren't true, I've made a lot of (true) points about how the modern games journalist and the clickbait outrage culture they permeate is an enemy of artistic freedom for developers, but I will concede in a second that the publisher is by far the biggest enemy of artistic freedom of the developer. Publishers aren't really fit for anything but lowest common denominator Call of Shooty baloney. It's why everyone rejoiced when the Pillars of Eternity kickstarter was such a rousing success - no publisher.

 

Note: I'm exaggerating a little bit, the failure of many kickstarter projects shows that a publisher pushing a game developer can be a good thing in moderation, but overall they're just amazingly terrible.

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Also, there's a little thing called "context". It generally tends to have an effect on how you're supposed to interprete something.

 

 

Exactly and the context of those twelve coordinated articles was anti consumer and pro corruption, a direct attack on gamers for daring to ask for an industry that was fit for purpose, following a proven case of unethical behaviour.

 

 

...When 11 out of those 12 articles doesn't mention the very thing you're accusing them of mentioning, I find terms like "a direct attack on gamers" somewhat baseless.

"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

 

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So, no one dead yet from this 'human tragedy' ?

 

Guardian looses shots, etc. - http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jan/11/twine-program-democratised-gaming-world Non-tech people making technical things, only greatness can ensue.

Edited by Malcador

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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Alum: While I concede that not all of articles were as bad as some people make it out to be, some of them were that bad and several of them were nasty and inflammatory and made sweeping statements about how "gamers" are wailing hyperconsumers that hate women, specifically condemning the practice of going to gaming cons and midnight launches as well as liking to play AAA titles. It's very easy to see why a lot of gamers would take it personally, as they did attack major parts of their identity. Someone (could have been you? I forget) recently posted a thread about fanboyism, where fanboys take criticism of things they love personally because they equate it with their identity as it replaces their actual identity that is rife with low self-esteem. Attacking those practices is perceived as attacking the gamers themselves. It's really quite simple to see how it ballooned into this. Then there's the "Death of the Author" argument.

 

 

Point taken, but I'd argue that yours is a rather uncharitable reading of Alexander's article. Not as uncharitable as that of others in this forum, but I feel it's still missing the point.

"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

 

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I consider hers to be one of the chief offenders, yes. Here's the thing, I think (it's been a few months, I could be wrong) only one of those articles specifically redefined the word gamer. You can infer from some of them that when they say "gamer" they don't mean the average, garden variety video game player but that guy we all hate shouting obscenities into his microphone every goddamn match*. But they don't redefine it, so "gamer" is just "gamer", person who plays video games. I hold a rather uncharitable view on the internet in that it doesn't do subtlety. I'm not even that much of a gamer anymore, but when I read those articles, already miffed by the inflammatory titles and tone, my blood started to boil a little and I'm usually a pretty calm individual. As you can see about a page back, even my frustration takes the form of long, overthinking walls of text. I very much understand that people took it personally and let's not forget, as Leigh herself likes to point out, these people are professional writers. They know what tone does and how to convey it, so I think there is very little possibility that this was not the intention unless they are complete idiots, although to be honest that could also be the case.

 

But even so, if people would have been allowed to voice their displeasure about the articles, even that would have blown over.

 

*I'd like to point out that, yes, I ****ing hate that guy. I've had many an argument here with people about why that guy should be banned by the game developers, and I have sent many developers messages about it. Most gamers hate that guy. That's probably why they felt so strongly about their identity being associated with that guy.

Edited by TrueNeutral
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Nonek: Publishers are fit for making games and profit? You are kidding, right? If anything, Ubisoft has proven this year alone that publishers are not fit for making games and Square-Enix has shown that they are not fit for making profit either, sinking so much money into the Tomb Raider reboot that it sold more copies than projected and it was still considered a failure. Even if those weren't true, I've made a lot of (true) points about how the modern games journalist and the clickbait outrage culture they permeate is an enemy of artistic freedom for developers, but I will concede in a second that the publisher is by far the biggest enemy of artistic freedom of the developer. Publishers aren't really fit for anything but lowest common denominator Call of Shooty baloney. It's why everyone rejoiced when the Pillars of Eternity kickstarter was such a rousing success - no publisher.

 

Note: I'm exaggerating a little bit, the failure of many kickstarter projects shows that a publisher pushing a game developer can be a good thing in moderation, but overall they're just amazingly terrible.

 

They make games and profit True Neutral, whether these are of highest quality or even worthy of consumption is not their priority so long as they sell. Their purpose is to give the shareholders a nice fat dividend. In this they seem to be succeeding mostly in difficult financial times, i'm told that even Ubisofts stock rallied after the Unity fiasco. The aspects of quality and worth should be judged by the gaming press, if they were fit for purpose, which they're not.

 

 

 

 

Also, there's a little thing called "context". It generally tends to have an effect on how you're supposed to interprete something.

 

 

Exactly and the context of those twelve coordinated articles was anti consumer and pro corruption, a direct attack on gamers for daring to ask for an industry that was fit for purpose, following a proven case of unethical behaviour.

 

 

...When 11 out of those 12 articles doesn't mention the very thing you're accusing them of mentioning, I find terms like "a direct attack on gamers" somewhat baseless.

 

 

And yet they all attack gamers, subtly or not so subtly, even if only a few state gamers are dead outright. As you say context matters, and the corrupt gaming press launched a direct attack on gamers, because we dared asked them to do their jobs.

 

Edit: Off to the land of Nod, nice arguing with you gentlemen.

Edited by Nonek
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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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They make games and profit True Neutral, whether these are of highest quality or even worthy of consumption is not their priority so long as they sell. Their purpose is to give the shareholders a nice fat dividend. In this they seem to be succeeding mostly in difficult financial times, i'm told that even Ubisofts stock rallied after the Unity fiasco. The aspects of quality and worth should be judged by the gaming press, if they were fit for purpose, which they're not.

 

Do we have any clear numbers on this? It's been my impression that most AAA titles don't break even. It's just the few runaway successes that keep the market going. Unity was lucky that it's part of a franchise which translated to a large amount of pre-orders and still they had to cancel all of their DLC (the premium moneymaker in game development these days) and give it out for free to pull off that return, but most games aren't that lucky.

 

EDIT: This Gamespot interview with a developer says the same thing. Can't find any concrete data, however. http://www.gamespot.com/articles/just-cause-developer-says-aaa-game-development-unhealthy-unprofitable/1100-6417519/

 

"Very few traditional $60 games make any money, and what used to make sense doesn't any more," he said. "Publishers and developers very rarely see a return of investment from a 5-8 hour long game."

 

EDIT EDIT: (This is messing up my quotation code like hell.)

 

http://www.lazygamer.net/xbox-360/tomb-raider-needs-to-sell-5-million-to-break-even/

 

Industry analyst pointed out that Tomb Raider sold 3.4 million units, which is an enormous success as far as games go, but so much money was spent on it that it (and most AAA games, see quote) needed to sell somewhere in the unrealistic ballpark of 5 to 10 million units to make a profit or even see any return. That doesn't seem like "fit for purpose" for me. BioShock: Infinite reportedly had the same problem, and that's lead to Ken Levine leaving his own company and focusing on independent titles - publishers are currently not healthy.

 

 

 

Those numbers would rate as successful for JRPGs that earn more from vendors as exclusives and have manageable budgets. But for games with development budgets approaching $100 million to be truly profitable, ratings have to be above 8.5 and sales need to be in the five to ten million unit range.”
Edited by TrueNeutral
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I consider hers to be one of the chief offenders, yes. Here's the thing, I think (it's been a few months, I could be wrong) only one of those articles specifically redefined the word gamer. You can infer from some of them that when they say "gamer" they don't mean the average, garden variety video game player but that guy we all hate shouting obscenities into his microphone every goddamn match*. But they don't redefine it, so "gamer" is just "gamer", person who plays video games. I hold a rather uncharitable view on the internet in that it doesn't do subtlety. I'm not even that much of a gamer anymore, but when I read those articles, already miffed by the inflammatory titles and tone, my blood started to boil a little and I'm usually a pretty calm individual. As you can see about a page back, even my frustration takes the form of long, overthinking walls of text. I very much understand that people took it personally and let's not forget, as Leigh herself likes to point out, these people are professional writers. They know what tone does and how to convey it, so I think there is very little possibility that this was not the intention unless they are complete idiots, although to be honest that could also be the case.

 

And I think her article is long and rambling, but basically the gist of it? Exactly the opposite of what you're getting out of it - it's not that "gamers are all That Guy", but "it's long been an industry stereotype that most gamers are That Guy, but that's not true, times are changing, and gaming's never been more diverse than now - time to make video games for these people, too". There's evidence for this viewpoint in the text, just as there's evidence for your reading, too.

 

But here's the thing, feminism has a long-standing tradition of what I'll now call "enthusiastic punching up" - the oft-unspoken assumption that as long as your target's more privileged than you are*, you're perfectly justified in throwing all kinds of abuse at them** -, so it's fairly likely that her overall positive message was colored by that tradition. Or, at the very least, more likely than the alternative interpretation, that she intended to write a condemning article but somehow a positive message creeped into it by accident.

 

 

*and let's face it, privilege theory has its limits, but if one's biggest worry is that video gaming journalists are calling one bad names, it's at least hinting at having a rather significant amount of privilege.

 

**Yes, it is morally questionable to an extent and it is an extremely counterproductive thing to do if one wants to convince said privileged groups about the validity of feminism, but please do understand that not all feminists think of that as a priority.

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"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

 

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So, no one dead yet from this 'human tragedy' ?Guardian looses shots, etc. - http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jan/11/twine-program-democratised-gaming-world Non-tech people making technical things, only greatness can ensue.

I think some gamergate dude died while playing Might & Magic 6.

 

It was illness though.

"Akiva Goldsman and Alex Kurtzman run the 21st century version of MK ULTRA." - majestic

"you're a damned filthy lying robot and you deserve to die and burn in hell." - Bartimaeus

"Without individual thinking you can't notice the plot holes." - InsaneCommander

"Just feed off the suffering of gamers." - Malcador

"You are calling my taste crap." -Hurlshort

"thankfully it seems like the creators like Hungary less this time around." - Sarex

"Don't forget the wakame, dumbass" -Keyrock

"Are you trolling or just being inadvertently nonsensical?' -Pidesco

"we have already been forced to admit you are at least human" - uuuhhii

"I refuse to buy from non-woke businesses" - HoonDing

"feral camels are now considered a pest" - Gorth

"Melkathi is known to be an overly critical grumpy person" - Melkathi

"Oddly enough Sanderson was a lot more direct despite being a Mormon" - Zoraptor

"I found it greatly disturbing to scroll through my cartoon's halfing selection of genitalias." - Wormerine

"Am I phrasing in the most negative light for them? Yes, but it's not untrue." - ShadySands

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I believe wholeheartedly in the death of the author argument so I see no reason to disagree with what you're saying about there being enough evidence for the other viewpoint, but personally I don't see it. I can see little hints of it, but most of all I feel it's a tirade against people who enjoy games she doesn't approve of. Although you're going to have to excuse me, since it's been a while and it's not as clear in my mind as it was.

 

 

 

*and let's face it, privilege theory has its limits, but if one's biggest worry is that video gaming journalists are calling one bad names, it's at least hinting at having a rather significant amount of privilege.

 

Haha, isn't that the truth. I have more cause to care about games journalism than most since it affects more than just my hobby, and I think some of these people are going way overboard. Also, your post made me laugh so have a like.

 

I wish modern day feminism wasn't such a contradictory mass of people with good intentions mixed with vocal idiots with victim complexes, though. Annette Kellerman must be spinning in her grave. And some of the attitudes towards feminism as a whole make me sad. I've seen really stupid #GamerGaters manage to say all variations of "you can't judge all of a group such as #GamerGate by the actions of a few jerks, you stupid feminists are all generalizing idiots" in 140 characters or less and the same vice versa. There's just a lot of hate from vocal idiots in every group on the internet these days. :unsure:

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*and let's face it, privilege theory has its limits, but if one's biggest worry is that video gaming journalists are calling one bad names, it's at least hinting at having a rather significant amount of privilege.

 

And if one's biggest worry is boob size on virtual women in video games...

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What I don't get, though, is why are you so willing to accept the status quo on the publisher side while railing against it on the journalist side.

That I really can't be any more clear on. Publishers have no obligation of 'fairness', they're inherently and fundamentally biased; but journalists do have that obligation. That really is the difference between the two, for publishers the status quo will always be "buy our awesome product!", for a games journalist it should be "(don't) buy this awesome(/ crap) product!" depending on the product's quality.

 

I mean, nobody ever took games journalism seriously before gamergate. The popular opinion was that they're useless as a source of reliable information, and it's always been that way. Then they write a piece about the era of the gamer stereotype giving way to a more diverse market which gets misconstrued as an insult against gamers and then they suddenly matter?

Personally I don't really care about Leigh Alexander et alia's articles at all except as an indicator, I personally care far more about the attempts at blanket censorship and outright lying- neither of which were limited exclusively to games journalism in this case. I apply that to every poorly researched article I read, and whether it's GG related or not. Journalists have largely abrogated their role, which is an important even crucial one, in holding those in power to account in favour of pandering to politicians, interest groups, companies, pushing agenda etc. And when that happens they too need to be held to account.

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*and let's face it, privilege theory has its limits, but if one's biggest worry is that video gaming journalists are calling one bad names, it's at least hinting at having a rather significant amount of privilege.

 

And if one's biggest worry is boob size on virtual women in video games...

 

Actually it isn't but because they only talk about that one particular issue that's women representation in games while denying that male representation is as bad it eschews the issue. That's all the talk about it seems sometimes, probably because you would actually need some technical knowledge of games and how the industry works or at least the mental capacity of a non autistic human to come up with good criticism that isn't about boobs.

I'd say the answer to that question is kind of like the answer to "who's the sucker in this poker game?"*

 

*If you can't tell, it's you. ;)

village_idiot.gif

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*and let's face it, privilege theory has its limits, but if one's biggest worry is that video gaming journalists are calling one bad names, it's at least hinting at having a rather significant amount of privilege.

What if it is just a worry ? One can multitask, after all. Heh, is true for people complaining about 'representation' in games as well, I suppose. Though I guess when one seems to be on jihad, confusion can be forgiven.

Edited by Malcador

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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http://www.buzzfeed.com/lizzyf620/gamergate-through-my-eyes-190rr

 

Here's something for the feelz, written by Lizzy.

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"Akiva Goldsman and Alex Kurtzman run the 21st century version of MK ULTRA." - majestic

"you're a damned filthy lying robot and you deserve to die and burn in hell." - Bartimaeus

"Without individual thinking you can't notice the plot holes." - InsaneCommander

"Just feed off the suffering of gamers." - Malcador

"You are calling my taste crap." -Hurlshort

"thankfully it seems like the creators like Hungary less this time around." - Sarex

"Don't forget the wakame, dumbass" -Keyrock

"Are you trolling or just being inadvertently nonsensical?' -Pidesco

"we have already been forced to admit you are at least human" - uuuhhii

"I refuse to buy from non-woke businesses" - HoonDing

"feral camels are now considered a pest" - Gorth

"Melkathi is known to be an overly critical grumpy person" - Melkathi

"Oddly enough Sanderson was a lot more direct despite being a Mormon" - Zoraptor

"I found it greatly disturbing to scroll through my cartoon's halfing selection of genitalias." - Wormerine

"Am I phrasing in the most negative light for them? Yes, but it's not untrue." - ShadySands

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What a succinct conclusion of conflicting interests:

 

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"Some men see things as they are and say why?"
"I dream things that never were and say why not?"
- George Bernard Shaw

"Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man."
- Friedrich Nietzsche

 

"The amount of energy necessary to refute bull**** is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."

- Some guy 

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"And as I've stated a dozen times in response, that simply didn't happen."

 

You flat out lie a dozen times. It did happen. Repeatedly by you and by others. Gamers are dead.

 

But, guess what? Your sexism, your racism, your hatred does not win. GAMERS LIVE. I LIVE. You and your ilk try to murder me and continue to fail. Wannabe murdering nazuis every single one of you SJWs. Absolute FAIL.

 

You guys make this an anti female thing yet it is SJWs who repeatedly try to rape, murder, harass, intimidate, and bully women. That is FACT. Why so evil? Why do you hate women so much?

 

I believe women are grown adults who are awesome. But you SJWs see them as weak and pathetic and nothing more than children. That's disgusting. EVIL.

 

I GAME. I PLAY. I LIVE.

 

:) :) :)

Edited by Volourn
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DWARVES IN PROJECT ETERNITY = VOLOURN HAS PLEDGED $250.

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*and let's face it, privilege theory has its limits, but if one's biggest worry is that video gaming journalists are calling one bad names, it's at least hinting at having a rather significant amount of privilege.

 

And if one's biggest worry is boob size on virtual women in video games...

 

 

 

One does need some amount of class and education privilege to complete that gender studies course. 

 

 

 

What I don't get, though, is why are you so willing to accept the status quo on the publisher side while railing against it on the journalist side.

That I really can't be any more clear on. Publishers have no obligation of 'fairness', they're inherently and fundamentally biased; but journalists do have that obligation. That really is the difference between the two, for publishers the status quo will always be "buy our awesome product!", for a games journalist it should be "(don't) buy this awesome(/ crap) product!" depending on the product's quality.

 

 

 

I prefer to see publishers' role as "make sure the product we sell is awesome". I mean, a product being awesome and a product selling well are not mutually exclusive qualities - one might even argue that there's some amount of correlation between the two.

 

 

Actually it isn't but because they only talk about that one particular issue that's women representation in games while denying that male representation is as bad it eschews the issue.

 

 

There's nothing stopping you from talking about how male representation is horrible. Especially not from feminists, as long as you don't try to make a discussion that's already established as being about female representation about issues in male representation. Because that's just rude.

 

 

 

*and let's face it, privilege theory has its limits, but if one's biggest worry is that video gaming journalists are calling one bad names, it's at least hinting at having a rather significant amount of privilege.

What if it is just a worry ? One can multitask, after all.

 

 

...Do I really need to point out the fact that there are a lot of people on Earth who are more concerned about little things like, I don't know, basic survival, instead of video games?

Edited by aluminiumtrioxid
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"Lulz is not the highest aspiration of art and mankind, no matter what the Encyclopedia Dramatica says."

 

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There's nothing stopping you from talking about how male representation is horrible. Especially not from feminists, as long as you don't try to make a discussion that's already established as being about female representation about issues in male representation.

I wish this was my experience with the online feminist community.

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...Do I really need to point out the fact that there are a lot of people on Earth who are more concerned about little things like, I don't know, basic survival, instead of video games?

Sure, but your punch at people and that your opposition are awash with 'privelege' was based on a different basis. Of course, that works well for all these, ahem, enlightened people who are concerned with "social justice" (as long as they can do it via keyboard). Which the part of my quote you truncated does look at. Is a reasonable question.

 

In this though, it is rather laughable - everyone here has a nice internet connection, lives in a nice and safe place (especially the usual guilt ridden white guys, heh).

 

But I guess the old joke about Oppression Olympics is somewhat accurate.

Edited by Malcador

Why has elegance found so little following? Elegance has the disadvantage that hard work is needed to achieve it and a good education to appreciate it. - Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

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And I think her article is long and rambling, but basically the gist of it? Exactly the opposite of what you're getting out of it - it's not that "gamers are all That Guy", but "it's long been an industry stereotype that most gamers are That Guy, but that's not true, times are changing, and gaming's never been more diverse than now - time to make video games for these people, too". There's evidence for this viewpoint in the text, just as there's evidence for your reading, too.

 

But here's the thing, feminism has a long-standing tradition of what I'll now call "enthusiastic punching up" - the oft-unspoken assumption that as long as your target's more privileged than you are*, you're perfectly justified in throwing all kinds of abuse at them** -, so it's fairly likely that her overall positive message was colored by that tradition. Or, at the very least, more likely than the alternative interpretation, that she intended to write a condemning article but somehow a positive message creeped into it by accident.

 

Leigh is s***.

Her article is s****.

 

She brought a dying stereotype from the grave just to "kill" it (but actually revive it)

 

Gaming has been inclusive since day 1. It's been diverse from day 1.

She is full of grade A bulls****, by claiming how it's changing and anyone who opposes change is a dirty, rotten bastard living in the past.

* YOU ARE A WRONGULARITY FROM WHICH NO RIGHT CAN ESCAPE! *

Chuck Norris was wrong once - He thought HE made a mistake!

 

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http://www.buzzfeed.com/lizzyf620/gamergate-through-my-eyes-190rrHere's something for the feelz, written by Lizzy.

...and it has been removed. I don't know why I'm surprised.

Nothing shows you support inclusion of women like taking down pieces written by women.

"Akiva Goldsman and Alex Kurtzman run the 21st century version of MK ULTRA." - majestic

"you're a damned filthy lying robot and you deserve to die and burn in hell." - Bartimaeus

"Without individual thinking you can't notice the plot holes." - InsaneCommander

"Just feed off the suffering of gamers." - Malcador

"You are calling my taste crap." -Hurlshort

"thankfully it seems like the creators like Hungary less this time around." - Sarex

"Don't forget the wakame, dumbass" -Keyrock

"Are you trolling or just being inadvertently nonsensical?' -Pidesco

"we have already been forced to admit you are at least human" - uuuhhii

"I refuse to buy from non-woke businesses" - HoonDing

"feral camels are now considered a pest" - Gorth

"Melkathi is known to be an overly critical grumpy person" - Melkathi

"Oddly enough Sanderson was a lot more direct despite being a Mormon" - Zoraptor

"I found it greatly disturbing to scroll through my cartoon's halfing selection of genitalias." - Wormerine

"Am I phrasing in the most negative light for them? Yes, but it's not untrue." - ShadySands

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http://www.buzzfeed.com/lizzyf620/gamergate-through-my-eyes-190rr

 

Here's something for the feelz, written by Lizzy.

...and it has been removed. I don't know why I'm surprised.

 

 

What? Why did they even agreed to it in the first place?

"Some men see things as they are and say why?"
"I dream things that never were and say why not?"
- George Bernard Shaw

"Hope in reality is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man."
- Friedrich Nietzsche

 

"The amount of energy necessary to refute bull**** is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."

- Some guy 

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