girl-gamer-mopo

Code Red: More Commenting on the Conversation

15 Responses

  1. Jean Kalyx says:

    I’m sorry anybody has to deal with any level of harassment. It’s the trade of for being able to speak publicly online. Trolls are like ants that only appear after you get comfortable enough on a park bench. You wouldn’t have sat down if you seen them beforehand and now that they’re here you either have to deal with ant bites, stomp em one by one, or get up and leave.

    On Anita shutting down the conversation – the closed comments are only a part of it. She distanced herself from the YouTube community. Even with closed comments, she can certainly respond to video replies. She does not, no matter how good an argument is. This makes gamers feel she’s talking at us rather than with us.

    I would like to hear which response videos were laughably ironic to you, though. I’m well versed in most of the arguments and would like to see how they translated in your eyes.

  2. Charlotte Hyde says:

    For me, part of the disconnect here is that you seem to think that trolls will be trolls (which they will, of course), and that we should just call it a day and ignore them. I am approaching it differently because my experiences are different from yours. The man I referenced in my post from a few weeks ago was not my friend. But, he was a friend of a friend. The sense I got from the conversation was that he was trying to be an ally, but was having a hard time separating his individuality and how he really feels about women (which did not seem to be negative) from his perception that “all women think all men are misogynistic.” (We don’t. Well, at least I don’t.) So, he became undone by his defensiveness. It was not a productive conversation. But, I believe he later had another, calmer conversation with our mutual friend. Those are the people I want to reach: People who have had experiences in our society that have shaped their views of women in damaging or offensive ways or those who possibly have damaging perceptions of what feminism is, but still want to be allies. I would, of course, love to eradicate all trolls, but I’m only going to live for so long. Throwing my hands up and ignoring the problems just doesn’t really work for me.

    For me, the disconnect further widens when you write, “This makes gamers feel she’s talking at us rather than with us.” Here you are generalizing the feelings of the entire gaming community. I am a gamer. I do not feel she is talking at me. And, on your blog, you write:

    “Crony Game Journalists, when I say your role as the voice of this industry is over; I actually meant your fucking role as the voice of this industry is over. You and your SJW kiddies ruined careers, manufactured drama, caused division, and refuse to chase truth. While you’re demoting and/or threatening the few writers taking a balanced stance (oh yeah, we know about it), we Gamers have become united and heroes have risen. Female gamers, the group you think you’re protecting, are calling you on your bullshit.”

    For me, this translates as only one voice deserves to be heard and it’s yours. We have different experiences, you and I, but I hope you are unsurprised to hear that I do not see how we can have a productive conversation when you seem to believe I do not deserve to speak. I’m not trying to be the voice of the industry, and everyone doesn’t have to agree with me, but I want to continue to be one of the voices.

    • Rf says:

      “For me, this translates as only one voice deserves to be heard and it’s yours. We have different experiences, you and I, but I hope you are unsurprised to hear that I do not see how we can have a productive conversation when you seem to believe I do not deserve to speak. I’m not trying to be the voice of the industry, and everyone doesn’t have to agree with me, but I want to continue to be one of the voices.”

      Regarding this the issue that many that have taken are in opposition to the SJW crowd is that a narrative seems to have formed regarding a coordinated release of articles asserting that gamers are dead as well as a steady stream of articles that are condescending toward male gamers. They tend to take a hostile tone and accuse a vast swath of those that are not interested in having to read political screeds associated with their media as juveniles. This has created a fissure that i believe is justified.

      Journalists/editorialists/bloggers that have particular egalitarian political agendas are not entitled to control the narrative of media or the development of games that we also support with our money. Some measure of their voice is granted to them by gamers that DO NOT share their political considerations, some of us sanctioned the ascendancy of their voice and they used it to abuse us. Now we as self-respecting consumers of media seek to rescind what we gave them because we are simply not masochists or have other considerations that don’t integrate SJ concepts into them. Some of us play games because we want to play games.

      This goes both ways and what we are likely seeing is a rather violent fissure that should probably have been predicted to happen as people want to use media as a vehicle to support their own political positions and that is fine. I think it’s important to go on record that I believe you deserve to speak but I am not obligated to listen. Your rights to speak should not exceed my rights to filter your speech from my ears.

      Everybody should have freedom to say what that want but with a system as vast and divaricated as the internet speech itself has costs, which it should. When i say costs i don’t mean threats of violence. Violent threats have no business being employed in these conversations and many gamers that hate Sarkesian and Quinn are doing gamers that want to sever themselves and escape the epicenter of SJW transmissions an injustice because they are obscuring our valid arguments regarding censorship, corruption, collusion, and corrosive monologues that are deployed against us.

      You have mentioned this empowering concept of “voice” a bit and I will agree voice is a means to evoking ones agency and a good one but it’s not the only one. There is another manifestation of agency and that is exit, the ability to terminate a particular relationship or transaction. This is what many of us seek now and why we are seeing this fractionalization manifest. https://twitter.com/Int_Aristocrat/status/506955308845895680/photo/1

      When the smoke clears I would imagine we will all potentially have our own forms of media and those who are offended by one methodology of conveying information or ideas will no longer have to worry about supporting a particular outlet that they find personally exploitative or abusive – this is already what the internet is. We can view this when we search for many things that interest us like politics or sports or social issues related to gender; socialists have sources, capitalists have their own; MRAs have theirs feminist have their own, hell even TERFS have media sources that don’t agree with the 3rd wave trans-inclusionary ethos . We get to select what voices we trust the most and reject the ones that do not approve of us, dehumanize us, condemn us as monsters or parasites or the dreaded “straight white male” that is the bane of society rather than having to live in an unjust world where they hate us and we support them like a battered wife that has no choice but to return to an abusive husband; exit is our freedom.

    • Jean Kalyx says:

      “For me, the disconnect further widens when you write, “This makes gamers feel she’s talking at us rather than with us.” Here you are generalizing the feelings of the entire gaming community. I am a gamer. I do not feel she is talking at me.”

      I would ask, then, what you define as a conversation. Also, I imagine you wouldn’t consider her talking at you because you don’t find anything in her general message to challenge. Please sympathize that the people who do, have no way to start a convo with her. She’s talking at us.

      Regarding my quote:

      “For me, this translates as only one voice deserves to be heard and it’s yours.”

      I don’t know how to respond to this because I honestly and respectfully have no clue how you translated that quote into me silencing you. Do you think you can explain your train of thought that passage sent you so I can examine that conclusion?

      And if it helps, let me clarify that the game journalists voice I mentioned being over is of course the crony game journalists (mentioned in the quote you copied). They made their play to marginalize gamers and in response we are saying instead their era is done. That’s not silencing anyone, that’s removing the privileges they abused.

      Rf explains it in detail in his post here.

  3. dr. b. says:

    Let me start by saying that at NYMG we welcome dissenting voices as long as they are respectful and not dismissive. As educators we are quite accustomed to doing just this. That being said, I think that Jennifer and Charlotte have been patient and respectful in the light of our being painted (and written off) with the same broad brush that you accuse Anita Sarkeesian of using to characterize gamers and the games industry.

    Also understand that we also believe that you are not obligated to listen to anything that we say (but then your reason for being here baffles) we are not obligated to listen to you speak at us (again ironically in the way that you accuse Sarkeesian of) in our own space. If you would like to have a conversation and see if we share some common ground and can do something to move toward making the games community a space that is inclusive to folks of different and differing ideologies please feel free to stay and engage. If not, then we will need to agree to disagree and part ways.

    • Jean Kalyx says:

      I don’t see anything in either me or Rf’s posts that warranted your response. We’re not being dismissive. We’re not writing you off. We’re talking. I can’t speak for Rf but if we didn’t care what you had to say we wouldn’t be here.

      Your ultimatum is in reaction to events that didn’t occur; we’re being cordial in your space. Do we disagree, yes. Are we responding to your posts, yes. I would hope that we can do that without ominous ultimatums over actions I don’t think we’re doing.

      It’s your blog, you hold the keys. But remember it would be you closing the gates on two guys who are being nothing but respectful. We’re here to talk. I say this because I interpret your message as ‘keep disagreeing and you’re out’.

      “If you would like to have a conversation and see if we share some common ground and can do something to move toward making the games community a space that is inclusive to folks of different and differing ideologies please feel free to stay and engage. If not, then we will need to agree to disagree and part ways.”

      Quoting to make clear that you’re writing this right after saying how we don’t have to listen you and you don’t have to listen to us. That’s certainly true but where does that leave us?

    • Rf says:

      With regards to freedom to disassociate I am speaking specifically about games media that are directly involved in this conflagration. Everybody here has been civil except for me with respect to wielding the phrase SJW so carelessly. My defense is ignorance. Only after I bore witness to Urban Dictionary… well never mind that.

      Yes obviously, like I said it works both ways, but as the other Mr. Kalyx voice has pointed out we already feel like we are being marginalized and in that sense, ignored by these journalistic outlets. Many of us feel we are be spoken down to or don’t even our own political ideologies that reject egalitarian narratives represented in games media, shouldn’t they be? Is it our duty to simply hush and listen to those that know what’s best for us and society? That all sounds so very elitist and anti-egalitarian if you ask me and the irony inherent in that is that evocation of elitism, expressed by this ascendency of the egalitarians has destabilized the foundation of the model of media delivery.

      There is an excellent Salon piece that addresses these considerations and argues that the evolution of media is cutting out the middle man and unifying gamers directly with the games companies themselves. We see these models already existing in let’s plays and twitch was just purchased by Amazon for ~ 1 billion usd. I have watched multiple lets plays and they helped me decide definitively if I should reject or purchase the game that is being shown rather than reliance on a middle man that has a political agenda and may take offense to certain developers if they are not in lockstep with some insidious hierarchy that was assembled simply but the fact that many writers are left of center. There have been some disturbing screen caps and right now I think it’s better for me to trust a gamer who is playing the product live or recording on demand and revealing his personality or preferences with respect to what he/she likes and what his/her standards are than a journalists who may have friendships with developers, or may wish to infuse political theory into this presentation, its’ easier for me to get to know the youtuber than the journalist.

      I think much of this started because the channeling of politics into games was represented ONLY the egalitarian principles. Part of the backlash is inherent in certain interpretations of egalitarianism in that it can result in those advocating for that position to develop strong and even hostile feelings toward males or white males and these are significant demographics that serve as a vital pillar for holding the industry aloft. So it’s reasonable to predict that abuse and adversarial speech or text was imminent as the media reconfigured to integrate these more left-wing voices into it. That’s not to say that that is the essence of egalitarianism but it’s not unheard of to provoke aggressive feelings toward particular demographics due to their theories regarding institutions and the myriad of ways they can be interpreted or edited by new theorists.

      I have ask in return.. Who is obligated to who in this equation. Are gamers entitled to support a media that orients itself upon one locus of the political spectrum, why are all these political messages even necessary, some of us may not want politics at all. Is it okay for gamers to defect or show disloyalty to a media that we believe treats us like children or some sort of testosterone driven egotistical automaton that must be reprogrammed by a steady does of social justice literature, feminist theory, or cultural Marxism? In many ways I feel I am being dismissed as a mere object that must be reconfigured psychologically as the Hegelian Zeitgeist guided by this select elite paternalistically tell me what form culture should take and what can and cannot be expressed so that a great age of equality may begin on this earth.

      I am here because it is a smaller site and my voice is more likely to be heard if only ephemerally. Larger sites have more participants and sometimes you can get drowned out in the deluge of text or bombarded with too many responses and I often feel an urge to respond to as many as I can which eats up a lot of time. Some of it is catharsis. Some if it is distancing me from some that take up my cause but can only articulate themselves with verbal hostility.

  4. Charlotte Hyde says:

    You’re right. I’m not being silenced. This is our blog, our space, my space.

    I do, however, feel dismissed.

    Rf came in after you and said you and your ilk (cabal?) don’t have to listen to us, and that is correct. But, dr. b is also correct in that it is baffling that you would then come here and talk at us. What are you trying to accomplish with that?

    But, for me, the sticking point is when you use SJW in the pejorative. Name-calling and insults may not actually be as effective a rhetorical tool as you think.

    • Rf says:

      I’m not certain you would believe this but I wasn’t even aware the phrase SJW was invective.John Walker of Rock Paper Shotgun has designated himself a social justice ranger on his twitter and he has had some the loudest most vituperative things to say to gamers through this twitter account. Clearly there is no consistent or universal verdict on what the opposition finds to be a reasonable designation so if those that stand on the opposite line of engagement as individuals from #gamergate there is a serious problem of communication. The main problem I see here is that some that mirror your sentiments are calling themselves SJW and that is conveying the wrong message about what designations we should be utilizing when referring to our opposition.

      For example if I limit my search on google to all events before 2012 I get this output

      https://www.aclu.org/blog/lgbt-rights/memory-social-justice-warrior-lgbt-rights-champion-carolyn-wagner

      Here the ACLU is declaring a woman that fought valiantly for LGTB rights is designated a social justice warrior. I do remember this term not being a pejorative so at one point so presumably between 2012 and sept 4th 2014 it became a offensive. This is not a large window for the revision of knowledge about the content of a word’s meaning, particularly knowledge that was not of massive importance to me personally prior to the events we are talking about now regarding games media.

      One of the problems here is that language itself doesn’t evolve from a centralized authority so decrees or mandates about the meanings of words phrases are not always universally recognized as if some memo is deployed and internalized by all at some simultaneous point in time.

      Is it really safe to assume this phrase is universally offensive? Regardless I’ll use egalitarian/s from now on, I hope that works, still I find that word somewhat nebulous.

      Okay I have now refreshed the page and have encountered this one of your colleges, Wendi Sierra, responses “social justice paladin”

      So clearly the term social justice _insert type of infantry/soldier here_ is not totally out of fashion with those that have social justice concerns as i can produce two contemporary people, one a paladin the other a ranger. Referring to groups that have a common cause or take up opposition can only seemingly be labeled opposition A or opposition B yet something common must unite them.

      So ROE here is we have opposition vs opposition and something unites the agents in their division and promotes this friction and I think what that is, to some degree, is a political component which has contributed to this balkanization.

      “I won’t group you with other people anymore. I will only reference this particular context from now on. Sorry.

      I will also use Social Justice Paladin in reference to you.”

      Right see this is a fundamental issue. We can’t do this on an aggregate basis yet still there is some commonality between the players on each side of this line of scrimmage.

      My intent was not to insult but intention cannot be fully unveiled until I am interviewed with respect of what my intent is with the use of each phrase or word just as I had no idea how you felt about that particular set of words.

      Also i am referring to particularly writers at Kotaku, gamasutra, polygon and others as having a common philosophical ambition in promoting social justice.

      • Charlotte Hyde says:

        Yes. Those are fair points, and I actually would believe you if said you didn’t know it was pejorative. I didn’t know it either. In some of the comments on another post, it became clear that Jean Kalyx meant SJW as an insult. I’m hesitant to go back and quote those because it seems we are reaching a point where communication is possible. At this point, I feel like going back and pointing to things that were said three days ago might be counter productive.

        Having said that, I’m not sure I ever read your use of SJW as an insult. I was responding to the way it was used on this blog earlier this week. As I wrote in this post, I don’t mind being called a SJW. I just mind being called anything if I know it’s meant as an insult. So, while I was referencing a specific conversation in this blog, you are referencing the term more globally. Which is great, I’m a rhetoric student, so this is where things get interesting:

        “One of the problems here is that language itself doesn’t evolve from a centralized authority so decrees or mandates about the meanings of words phrases are not always universally recognized as if some memo is deployed and internalized by all at some simultaneous point in time.
        Is it really safe to assume this phrase is universally offensive?”

        The answer, of course, is that it is absolutely not safe. I’m not offended by the phrase at all. I was surprised to learn there are people who feel calling me a “warrior” is an effective insult. But, at the same time, if I know they mean it that way, then I know they mean it that way. (I still don’t have to accept it as an insult, but I know they mean for me to.)

        Anyway, thanks for responding. I would like to talk about this more, but work waits.

      • Wendi Sierra says:

        I just wanted to respond quickly here- my comment about Social Justice Paladin was an attempt at levity. In WoW, I play a paladin, and so that’s the joke I was making (in this case, poking some fun at myself).

  5. Wendi Sierra says:

    I’d like to follow up on this as well. First, I’d like to point out that we have multiple writers with diverse experiences and opinions on this blog. Sure, we would all identify as feminists, but our interests in games, culture, and politics vary quite widely. In fact, if you read some of our older posts you would see that not all of us agree with or support Sarkeesian.

    You make two points I want to respond to. First, you say “We’re not being dismissive. We’re not writing you off. We’re talking”. Well, you may be talking, but from my reading that’s the only part of the statement I’d agree with. One example: on the post “Stop me if you’ve heard this one before” Jen and dr.b both explained to you that they don’t fall neatly into the categories you’ve set up in your comments (SJW gamers/feminist gamers vs. core gamers). After Jennifer provided her explanation of the nuance she sees, you continued to insist on dogmatic lines of difference between the two groups you identified. dr. b responded in kind, and again you rejected her statement of her own identity by referencing things done by other people in other places (“the observed actions of other social justice warriors”. I’ll admit, I nearly joined in on that particular conversation; my research and teaching are nearly exclusively on game design and mechanics. Sure, I love a good story as much as the next person, but despite being both a feminist and a “social justice warrior” (I prefer social justice paladin, thanks), my interest in games is decidedly more on the systemic elements than on the narrative.

    Further, you say that you intepret dr.b’s message as stop disagreeing or you’re out. That’s explicitly not what she stated. In RF’s comment he states “I think it’s important to go on record that I believe you deserve to speak but I am not obligated to listen. Your rights to speak should not exceed my rights to filter your speech from my ears.” If this comment section is an echo chamber, as the exchange I mentioned above seems to make it, if you wish to ask questions but then disregard our answers, I’m not sure why you wish to continue. When we speak from our experiences, our posts, our identities, you respond to us with what the “The Gaming Media Writ Broad” has done, with what people on twitter have done, with what other “observed social justice warriors have done” but generally not with what we have said. If you would like to engage with us based on what we are saying, we welcome discussion. If you would like to, as dr.b says, look for some common ground or points of agreement, we welcome that. If, however, you wish to tells us about all the wrongs that all the people on all of the other platforms have committed, well I’m simply not sure how much we have to say in response to that.

    • Rf says:

      No no.. I meant that the journalistic outlets that have been employing this agenda and have orchestrated this coordinated “gamers are dead” campaign or are consistently employing a political campaign either overtly or discretely in their reportage.

      If i came here to ask questions but ignore the responses it would be a rather pointless exercise. My response to Dr. B. addresses this more fully.

  6. Jean Kalyx says:

    I won’t group you with other people anymore. I will only reference this particular context from now on. Sorry.

    I’m sorry you feel dismissed, as well. I’m not doing it on purpose.

    I will also use Social Justice Paladin in reference to you.

    • Wendi Sierra says:

      Thanks for the response. I dabbled as a Social Justice Death Knight for a while, but it just made me feel Unholy.

      Kidding aside, I think a point of common ground that we perhaps share is that we both want more open communication, more voices, and more opportunities for dialog in the huge, amorphous thing that is the gaming community.