Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
October 22, 2014
arrowPress Releases
October 22, 2014
PR Newswire
View All





If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:


Developers sign petition to stop harassment in the game industry
Developers sign petition to stop harassment in the game industry
September 2, 2014 | By Mike Rose

September 2, 2014 | By Mike Rose
Comments
    72 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



In response to a growing movement of online harassment against people in the games industry, and in particular against women in the industry, hundreds of developers, press and industry people have signed a statement condemning harassment.

Since the statement was posted online yesterday by Spaces of Play dev Andreas Zecher, it has already been signed by over 1700 people.

"We believe that everyone, no matter what gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, or religion has the right to play games, criticize games and make games without getting harassed or threatened," it reads. "It is the diversity of our community that allows games to flourish."

The statement asks that anyone who sees hateful or harassing speech online should take a public stand against it.


Related Jobs

Bohemia Interactive Simulations
Bohemia Interactive Simulations — ORLANDO, Florida, United States
[10.22.14]

Game Designer
Infinity Ward / Activision
Infinity Ward / Activision — Woodland Hills, California, United States
[10.22.14]

Senior Game Designer - Infinity Ward
Infinity Ward / Activision
Infinity Ward / Activision — Woodland Hills, California, United States
[10.22.14]

Gameplay Animation Engineer - Infinity Ward
Infinity Ward / Activision
Infinity Ward / Activision — Woodland Hills, California, United States
[10.22.14]

Producer - Infinity Ward










Comments


Christopher Landry
profile image
I can only interpret this as another case of preaching to the choir. As far as I can tell, only a few types of persons would sign this:

1. People who are already doing what the petition wants people to do.
2. People who are already doing what the petition wants people to do and want notoriety for it by attaching their name to a public document such as this.
3. People who want the notoriety of "standing up for a good cause," but wouldn't actually bother with the trouble of doing what the petition wants people to do.

It changes nothing unless it reaches people who don't care, and I've never seen a way to do that which involves petitions except for petitioning for a new law to be passed in a legislature.

I agree that it would be good if there were less harassment, but this isn't going to help. It won't even "raise awareness", as anyone who cares is already aware, and most of the people who don't care are aware, as well, and persist in not caring.

Sterling Reames
profile image
Not everyone knows that this is a problem, and that is the problem. Because it is a problem, a very big problem. The signatures don't matter as much as just getting the word out there. A site/person that someone may know will see that they signed (via Twitter) and at least stop to think a little bit. Not everyone knows about the terrible events that have occurred as of late, and the fact that gaming press is even picking this story up proves that it is raising awareness.

It's not going to end overnight, but getting the ball rolling in that direction, even people taking notice is the point of this. If companies know that their players know this is a problem, they will be more conscious with their content. Not overnight, but it will change. And we will all have a lot to gain in the end.

fred tam
profile image
Its quite the opposite, the side claiming that its a "problem" are the ones who control the narrative. They are the ones in power of the media, they are the establishment.
As we've seen recently with the exposé by Internet Aristocrat and many others, the games media is corrupt on this issue, and there is no dissent, only a creation and perpetuation of a narrative that fits their ends. All dissent is silenced, and has been for years now. To make it worse, the mainstream media gets their stories on "tech" and gaming from the very same corrupt source, since mainstream media long abandoned journalistic integrity long ago as well, so this is the only message that has been out there for years now. Lets not pretend that "not everyone knows", this is all anyone knows about gamers. Its been and endless stream of media/articles about sexism in this or that in tech or gaming for the longest time now. Even PBS digital has a video comparing Anita Sarkeesian to Rosa Parks, when her narrative can be debunked in under 1 minute if they had actually bothered to do their job...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FW-69xXD734

But that goes to show you what message is actually being suppressed here, its not the one you are claiming.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuFSMi5G3R4
And as the honey badgers have explained, this is the new acceptable form of "nerd bashing" we see in society these days.



Anyways Thunderf00ts latest answer to all this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57tXyqPCOCM
"Anita Sarkeesians 'death threats' and Joss Whedons 'misogyny'! "

And Internet Aristocrats 3rd video on this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Km3DZQp0StE
"Quinnspiracy Theory: White Castles and Ivory Towers"
Which notes the odd synchronicity with the "gamers are over" articles coming out...


#Gamergate Gamers Are Dead? No They Are Just Furious
GamingAnarchist
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KuS979AiQA

Elisabeth Beinke-Schwartz
profile image
I think it's important for gamers to see that a wide swath of game devs of varies companies/positions/etc don't support harassment.

Emeka Enubuzor
profile image
I'd actually be shocked if people thought that game devs and companies ever supported harassment and threats...

John Maurer
profile image
Thing is, most people already don't support harassment, so what does this actually accomplish? Beyond self-vindication?

Philippe Allard-Rousse
profile image
That letter is not a petition, it's a statement from Game Industry Worker. And more signature it get, more credibility it get.

It just say that we "game industry worker" doesn't support the harasement that we've seen in the last few week.

John Cobalt
profile image
It totally dodges the harassment/mistreatment that our customers is experiencing atm hence it's not a start, it's a cop-out.

Jason El-Massih
profile image
This is groundbreaking! A bunch of people tweeted to sign a Medium post saying that harassment is bad. What will be thought of next? I'm at the edge of my seat in anticipation!

Kaitlyn Kaid
profile image
Actually this is good, but not for any of the reasons you are thinking of.

Look at the It Gets Better campaign, now you could look at that and say "what's a bunch of youtube videos by celebs going to do to stop someone from bullying?"... except that's not the point of IGB, and it's not the point of this petition.

The point, is to show those that ARE bullied, that they have support, that they aren't being tossed aside, and that some big names in the industry would rather have them as customers than those who send rape and death threats to anyone who dares critique games while having a vagina.

When you sit back and say nothing while watching this go on, you are saying to everyone that you are 100% ok with how people have been behaving and see no problem with it. And if you have no problem with someone getting rape threats and driven out of their home because they wanted to treat games like art... well I've got a problem with you.

John Cobalt
profile image
All I see is an industry harassing their customers(including mine) by claiming they are sexists, bigots and not worth their time. I find it extremely silly.

Noone is FOR harassment including our customers. Is there rotten ables? YES! See these for instance : http://i2.kym-cdn.com/photos/images/original/000/822/529/106.png

The industry needs to be able to go eye to eye with our customers after this, so we need to tone down and see what we can do to improve the situation ourselves, a petition such as this is not going to help anyone, it will do the exact opposite.

Joshua Wilson
profile image
@Kaitlyn

So not saying anything, not objecting to something is implicit consent to it? When has that EVER been an appropriate point of view? (there's an unfortunate connection there that I'm NOT trying to make but is unavoidable)

People have many legitimate reasons for not speaking up even when they might not agree or be completely against something being done or said. The simplest being fear.

It's that kind of talk, that perfect example of the extreme positions being taken, that just makes me want to check out of these discussions altogether (and thereby, apparently, agreeing with everything said by default).

Do want you feel is right but don't judge others for not living to your standard if they're just trying to live their life.

I would never assume the worst about somebody for not acting the way I would or doing what I thought was right by me. That's just incredible.

Elisabeth Beinke-Schwartz
profile image
Honestly, I think it depends on the reasons why you are sitting back and not participating. If it's due to not wanting to put yourself out there to get either personal attacks/attention or being afraid of repercussions via your job, then that's understandable. However, if it's due to being "tired of talking about this" or something along that lines, the point here is that not everyone has the luxury of being able to sit back and avoid harassment like this.

Joshua Wilson
profile image
@Elisabeth

That distinction wasn't being made in the post I called out. And it's an important distinction to make. That takes it from rhetoric to a reasonable point.

But unless you're engaging with every issue in the world where people are being harassed, persecuted, whatever, then it's hypocritical to call out anyone for not taking a stance on the specific issue you've chosen to go to bat for. There isn't enough time and energy to do everything. You have to choose your battles.

John Cobalt
profile image
@Elisabeth Beinke-Schwartz
Aren't we/you harassing our customers by continuing to talk about how discriminating they are despite them being simply being mostly young males who will refuse the issue at hand and take offense by our/your statements?

I am having large problems defending this sort of passive aggression from my own industry against its customers. It's impossible. It really doesn't serve any purpose to continue this line of aggression.

We as an industry have various tools available to us individually which we can use to encourage and discourage various behaviors as well as industry organizations that can help guides us besides that we have to follow the standard that the internet sets to a large degree.

Petitions such as these is simply throwing gas on the fire.

Elisabeth Beinke-Schwartz
profile image
@John All this petition does is say that the ones who signed it don't support harassment of either people who play games (aka: our customers) or those who make games. No mention of picking any sides in the current debate(s) going on about a variety of issues. No one mentioned accusing our customers of discrimination in the actual statement linked here.

John Cobalt
profile image
@Elizabeth
It follows the talking points of one side hence it is indeed flavored.

Joshua Wilson
profile image
@Elisabeth

I'm somewhat indifferent to the petition but in my opinion it's implicit that decent human beings do not harass each other. To sign a petition saying you won't tolerate harassment necessarily assumes you would or that their is the perception that you do. Which in my opinion reinforces a false narrative about our industry.

I think most, if not all, terms of service already have clear statements about harassment with actionable punishment for transgressions (bans, account termination, lose of service, etc).

John McMahon
profile image
@Joshua There was a time when people would think it was implicit to treat others with respect and courtesy regardless of gender, race, country of origin, etc.

But there ARE folks who do live in communities that do not implicitly do that.

That is why we had swaths of people both in the North and in the South of the US, that would cause mobs of folks harassing and threatening on the potential for integration.

That's just an example that what you THINK is implicit, is not always the cause especially given the void/expanse of the Internet.

Especially, when the people performing the harassing could be children, teenagers, or full-grown adults. There all different, yet they all either apparently feel threaten or just want to watch the world burn.

@John Cobalt, as one of your customers, I am not insulted. I never have been insulted when people talked about the harassers.

From my point of view, before it was bad mouthed kids on Xbox Live, but now (well for several years) it's very descriptive attacks with or with personally identifiable information.

No matter what, I do not associate myself with the ideologies that allow one to commit any of these or similar acts.

Though I do count myself as one of the Video Gaming community's citizens and as a citizen, I want this topic to be discussed until positive action on the content providers, reviewers, etc various websites is geared towards stamping our AND educating the the overwhelming amount of new citizens we get every year of every age.

Joshua Wilson
profile image
Which is why we, as communities of decent people both on the internet and in real life, have rules with consequence so that those who don't know better or can't behave themselves, or just don't care, are properly dealt with. Almost every, if not every, game company already supports and enforces this as part of their community guidelines.

John Cobalt
profile image
@John McMahon
Well first thank you for buying one of our games. My point is that there is a certain grace that must be maintained between any industry and its customers and it seems to me that the grace is being thrown away for the sole goal of pushing an agenda which clearly not everyone agrees with. It is beyond having a discussion, it has come down to our industry's media outlets warring a major part of our customers(including a large part of their own readership).

Where is the sense in this?

I personally honestly can't come up with a reason that is good enough for alienating our existing customers, the customers that we all build our businesses on in the first place. Granted they have had the benefit of being privileged in terms of benefits from our hardworking teams but it does not excuse the treatment they are getting these days.

Camille P
profile image
While I agree that the industry waging a war against its customers would be a dumb idea, I agree with John McMahon on the point that the customers know better than feel harassed by this kind of petition. Most don't condone harassment either, and those won't take this message as an insult. As a non smoker, I don't feel harassed by anti-smoking campaigns, nor do I feel insulted by campaign against drunk driving, even though I don't drive drunk. Of course reasonnable people don't condone those behaviours, but does it stop a lot of people from doing it ?

Also, I'm not sure I understand this stance of industry vs customers here. From what I understand, all those anti-harassment campaign target both at the customers AND the industry. Both sides are guilty. And once again, of course, not everyone.

Christopher Landry
profile image
Here's the difference between this petition and IGB:

In IGB, the bullied people are actually getting help, social support from celebrities, specifically.

In this petition, the people signing it are only saying "I agree that it's bad that harassment happens."

Do you see the difference? IGB is actually doing something to solve the issue of depression and such conditions that result from being bullied.

This petition is simply evidence that some people merely agree that something is bad, which does nothing to actually change the situation.

In addition, wishing for an idealistic world where everyone is unicorns and rainbows all the time and rape and death threats never happen is not going to make such a world pop into existence.

Bad people exist, and they will do bad things.

A little while ago there was a post on this site called "No Skin Thick Enough" or something like that. In it, several women shared their stories of how they were harassed. Only one woman, the last one featured in the article, had actually found a solution to the problem. She didn't "grow a thick skin", either. She developed a social support group that helped her deal with it. Very similar to how IGB is actually helping people: social support.

That was the first time I saw someone actually address a solution to harassment, and no one seemed to notice at the time that a solution had been found that wasn't either wishing for an idealistic world or growing a thicker skin.

John Cobalt
profile image
@Camille

You're speaking like my claim of war is the future, it isn't, we have industry media outlets calling our customers culture dead? I mean what the bloody hell, grace boys and girls.

Jacek Wesolowski
profile image
I signed this open letter, because it does a good job at reminding everyone what the "default setting" is. The ongoing arguments have gone very far into extremes, both in terms of opinions and rhethorics, and it's easy to fall for the illusion that this is all there's to it. But it's not. Most of us are not taking part in uncivil arguments, precisely because they're uncivil, but that doesn't mean we've suddenly disappeared. Consider this letter a sort of *that look* a friend might give you at a party when you're making an ass of yourself but you're too excited to notice.

Luis Guimaraes
profile image
Pretty much. That's all I had in mind too.

If you consider this cyberwar a "war" of kinds, that kind of behavior constitutes crimes of "war". It's going too far and it's not acceptable even in "war" times. We cannot support that and that letter is for everyone involved, in all – "all", not "both" – sides of it.

That's all I approve, so of course I have an screenshot of the letter yesterday by the time I signed it.

Elisabeth Beinke-Schwartz
profile image
Exactly. It's not a statement regarding any of the various positions of the events going on currently except the fact that we shouldn't be dicks to each other and should be able to have civil conversations with each other and/or enjoy games without feeling threatened.

A W
profile image
My only problem with it is that there are non affiliated types on Youtube and other gaming affiliated Journalistic sites that invite this type of bullying through the type of fanboy commentary they produce.

Rich Tech USA comes to mind when we are talking about a gamer that uses profanity and homophobic jokes to express his views about not only what a male gamer should be like, but how a male game should behave and act. He has made lots of youtube money being dengenrative about his commentary.

Or say another popular youtuber by the name of BlackB0nd that uses his channel just to troll and denigrate a certain type of gamer because they do not share his views on game systems he loves or thinks should be popular. If people in the industry want the harassment to stop, then they must go to the root of the source and get rid of it in their own speaking circles. Just making a petition and signing it does nothing if the problem is going to continue to persist well after everybody with a name and representational stake in the business has signed it.

fred tam
profile image
And what does that mean other than you seem to be calling for censorship.

As far as I can tell you mean ReviewTech USA because googling Rich Tech USA yields nothing relevant. You throw around charges which are serious, can you prove that he's as evil as you are saying because I looked at a few of his videos and I don't see what you are claiming, and this is the root of the problem with this situation where the people claiming to be the victims are actually the bullies going out on witch hunts themselves, and they aren't the ones without power, no they have friends in high places who collude to suppress and ban and flag to attack their "enemies" without mercy.


People should be able to speak their mind without the thought police coming for them. If Reviewtechusa allows comments, you are free to point out where he's wrong, that is the reason why the principle of free speech is so valuable in any free society. So far I don't see him sinking to the level of an Anita Sarkeesian and blocking all dissent from his channels, you can go talk to him in your want. Just don't assume that you are right or have the right to control what other people can think or say. You are free to try to convince them otherwise, but that is as far as it should go. As far as I can see the only thing "bad" about reviewtechusa is that he's against people like Anita Sarkeesian, and he doesn't fall in line with the false narrative that is put out about that type of person.

"Devs To Gamers: "End The Hate"
ReviewTechUSA"
Is his video dealing with it, if that's your man, your claims about what he is do not match reality.

This mentality of "if you disagree with me you can't talk" is the real problem. This tactic of answering any criticism with "misogynist say what?" is the real problem we aren't talking about.

As for Blackb0nd, I looked up a few of his videos bracing myself for something horrific but I found nothing of the sort, he seems to complain about things like the wii-u not having the good games, or is debunking the claims that its going to have the "definitive" version of these games. Not the most mature or informative channel, but his cackling at the end should tell you just how "serious" his videos are. Again, problem not found. Your disagreement or finding these videos not to your taste is not a rationale for going after them. This is the mentality of censorship and thought control. And its the toxic mentality we've seen of just slandering entire groups of people based on charges which are not backed by any facts. A few "gamers" posted some nasty comments for some people with agendas to quote mine from or something of that sort, and suddenly all gamers are misogynists. Sorry but invalid reasoning, intolerable reasoning, and it must stop.

Perry de Havilland
profile image
Well at lest it cheers up the people signing it if nothing else.

Emeka Enubuzor
profile image
Is this something that is "stoppable?" Mean spirited people exist in the world, and mean spirited people have access to the internet. Just putting up a petition isn't going to stop mean people. Hell, getting banned blocked or whatever won't even stop these people - so what are a couple hundred names from a bunch of random devs going to do? Not that i'm against a petition, i'm just not sure what's the point other than a collective back pat.

Man, I can't even imagine what celebrities, comedians, and musicians have to go through on twitter...you think the game industry is bad? You haven't seen anything!

Matt Jahns
profile image
I feel like the game industry is undercutting its efforts to stop harassment. On the one hand, it wants enlightened, free-thinking young graduates with broad enough horizons to avoid groupthink, prejudice, etc. On the other hand, it wants young graduates who will work absurd hours, follow strict instructions, and shrink their world to nothing more than their chosen field. You cannot have it both ways.

This petition is absolutely valuable. But it just feels like the efforts of the people behind it are being negated by the rest of the game industry.

Katy Smith
profile image
I signed it. And I signed it because I want players to look at that list and see my name. I want them to know I'm a gamer, I'm a game developer, and I will not put up with that over the line harassment shit that's been going on for the last week. We can have civil discourse without rape and death threats. Let's all stop being assholes to each other.

Katy Smith
profile image
Double post =\


Corey Annis
profile image
I just want to point out that the title of this should say 'online harassment' for the sake of accuracy, to avoid confusion.

Barrie Tingle
profile image
At first I was wondering who the target was for this, what was the goal. I mean usually these things are to go to a person or company but we can't have this sent to every troll or gamer out there. Then reading these comments, others took more away from it that it is about making the matter more recognised and hopefully provide more awareness.

I am interested though, how did Gamasutra get to the "and in particular against women in the industry" sentiment? Is it purely because of recent events? There have been many reports of threats against males in the industry and male gamers including death threats, so why couldn't the article just be about stopping the harassment of ANYONE? After all, that is what it feels the idea of the open letter was about.

John Maurer
profile image
You might find this article informative:

http://whatculture.com/gaming/10-things-need-know-gamergate-scand
al.php

Leonardo Ferreira
profile image
While I'm skeptical about this whole thing, the pressure from game devs can truly make a difference in the area that matter, the means on which the harassment is made.Most social media (specially Twitter) are pretty amoral when it comes to making harder to abuse other; after all, any controversy draws more attention, and consequently more profit, to them.

It's easier to change the medium than the message; no matter how idealistic we are, there will always be trolls, mostly because it's so easy to be one. Taking a serious stance over that would be more interesting to the industry than just everyone making a collective stern look of disaproval.

Kenneth Blaney
profile image
Studies on ethics are leading us to believe that thinking about ethics makes people behave more ethically. For example, before taking a test at MIT where cheating was easy and they were not likely to get caught, students were asked to sign a notice stating that the test was subject to the MIT honor code (a control group was not asked to do so). The students who signed were less likely to cheat than those who did not. The kicker: MIT does not have an "honor code" the way other schools do.

Why do I bring this up? Because lots of people are saying this is ineffective since many of the people signing it are probably only doing so because of the slight bit of exposure it grants them. However, the act of reading this and agreeing to sign it may (and will, on average) influence the decisions of the signers in the future... hopefully in a positive way.

Jeff Richey
profile image
I don't think the signers are the target here though. The people who are the problem are not going to sign this.

Andreas Ojerfors
profile image
I was glad to see so many devs signing the statement. For some time now I've wished for a unified, clear message from the members of the games industry stating that we do not accept harassment. I hope and think a lot of people playing games have some level of respect for the people making them, and perhaps at least a fraction of the small minority of players that engage in harassment will rethink their behavior when they see so many of the creators they respect disagree with their actions.

Luis Guimaraes
profile image
"stating that we do not accept harassment of our peers."

We do not accept harassment of anybody.

Andreas Ojerfors
profile image
Indeed. I'll edit that sentence to better reflect what I mean.

Jeff Richey
profile image
You need to state exactly what you mean by "will not accept." Does that mean actual consequences? Are game developers going to start reporting every death threat they get and harassment received? I hope so because that is an actual consequence. Public shaming isn't going to do squat.

Michael Thornberg
profile image
I must have missed this fuss entirely. What happened?

Amir Barak
profile image
Let me quote my 2yo son from two weeks ago after we had to run for shelter because of incoming missiles.

"big boom".

John Cobalt
profile image
Indie dev A turns out to be cheating on her partner with various industry journalists, extremist A gets threatened by extremist B, industry journalists decides to defend extremist A and indie dev A, Gaming communities "finds" corruption & conspiracies allover the place. Gamers gets declared dead by industry journalists while pushing a liberal agenda from the viewpoint of gaming communities.

This petition is made and every gaming community out there sees it as a continuation of the liberal agenda being pushed by the industry journalists hence they see it as a personal insult after the declaration that the "Gamer is dead" articles.

Hate is flying allover the place, it's a joy.

Michael Thornberg
profile image
"Gamer is dead" ... ok.. I see. So what he have is journalists N trying to be "clever" (debatable) and some (gamers) getting touchy.. I can image the negative end result from that. Here is hoping things improve, and it is good it is being discussed.

fred tam
profile image
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Km3DZQp0StE&list=UUWB0dvorHvkQlgfGGJR2yxQ
Yes the entire narrative of "gamer is dead" was addressed by internet aristocrat's 3rd part in his series on this corruption in the media.
It was just more evidence of the incestuous nature in games "journalism", they couldn't deal with the issues which were raised, so they attempted to derail the discussion once more.

fred tam
profile image
What happened is the lid finally blew off what is the steaming pot of corruption which is the games media. Since the lazy and also corrupt mainstream media just re-reports the games media's output, the effects are wide spread and incredibly damaging, and its what's allowed this false narrative of pervasive harassment to have gone on for this long.

Some good links,
Internet Aristocrat is the most prominent critic and he's entertaining to boot.
"Quinnspiracy Theory: The Five Guys Saga" 800,000 views at this point, not bad for 2 weeks
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5-51PfwI3M&list=UUWB0dvorHvkQlgfG GJR2yxQ
"Quinnspiracy Theory: In-N-Out Edition" part 2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKmy5OKg6lo&list=UUWB0dvorHvkQlgfG GJR2yxQ
"Quinnspiracy Theory: White Castles and Ivory Towers" part 3
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Km3DZQp0StE&list=UUWB0dvorHvkQlgfG GJR2yxQ
"Honey Badger Radio: Zoe Quinn and Feminist Mean Girls
karen straughan"
"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuFSMi5G3R4"
That's a good start...

Michael Thornberg
profile image
Thanks for those links... well, I haven't seen those before. Can't say I am particulary suprised either if they are true (and I am only saying that because I am uninformed about that topic) And *if* they are true, it is a classic example of manipulation. The oldest trick in the world, Mata Hari is famous for it.

fred tam
profile image
A few more
Anita's Police Debacle: Something Doesn't Add Up
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQF7p08q6-4

#Gamergate Gamers Are Dead? No They Are Just Furious
GamingAnarchist
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KuS979AiQA

Anyways Thunderf00ts latest answer to all this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57tXyqPCOCM
"Anita Sarkeesians 'death threats' and Joss Whedons 'misogyny'! "

And yea well, the games media has always been open to accusations of corruption, back in print it was based on the fact that their ad revenue was from the very products they were covering. Now, its just the new gawker style link bait tabloid "journalism" that rules the day, where journalistic ethics seems to have disappeared. While they point fingers at gamers, they have themselves engaged in the most professionally unethical behavior around. The morality police are themselves immoral...go figure right?;)

And of course since the mainstream media is itself corrupt and well, mostly lazy, they just reprint stories from the gaming press, which amplifies the damage from these people, and its why we've had years of Anita Sarkeesian, where no one in the mainstream dares question her, when her narrative can be broken in a single minute.

Anita Sarkeesian Debunked in Under a Minute
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FW-69xXD734

Michael Meier
profile image
Well the sign up is closed, so this is me taking a public stand against discrimination in any form.

Jeff Richey
profile image
Cheers! Your commitment to standing up against harassment is dually noted in the annals of history.

Michael Meier
profile image
There's nothing wrong with standing in solidarity for a just cause. There is a problem with people thinking they can belittle a cause with it a know-it-all dismissive attitude. You aren't slowing down anything. You're just putting yourself out there as self proclaimed road block. If you believe this kind of thing (online petitions and the like) is useless, then what is the use of you mocking and complaining about it?

Adam Bishop
profile image
To the people claiming that this is pointless since everyone already agrees that harassment is bad:

When I last worked for a major developer (about 4 years ago) there was a *massive* problem with sexual harassment in our office. I wrote about it at the time:

http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/AdamBishop/20101016/88267/Time_To_
Grow_Up.php

Have things changed there in the past 4 years? I hope so. But I suspect it's unlikely that a problem that big just disappeared. There were a lot of people at the studio who were happy to justify the behaviour, and my attempts to reach out to HR to get them to deal with the situation were ignored.

Michael Thornberg
profile image
Interesting article. And given (by your account) how open the problem was, I doubt it is better now. That certainly would have been dealt with immediately where I work. As in fired on the spot. That is quite unacceptable. However... I would also like to add that women too can (and do, but much less) behave like that. I've seen it when the workplace is predominantly female. So maybe there is some sort of group behavior underneath? I don't know. But I have both seen, and experienced women behaving just like that. And having been on the recieving end of that stick, I can certainly relate. But the behavior is unacceptable.

Jeff Richey
profile image
Cool, can they tweet #stopKony while they are at it. Or better yet make a petition! Such actions can not be left unknown to the world!

Seriously though, the problem isn't that "gamers" don't know harassment is bad. The problem is that these people who harass get their rocks off by knowing they can control people. I really don't think shaming them is going to help.

Then again, it won't hurt either.

fred tam
profile image
I'm so tired of this narrative of mythical misogyny that's being spread by gamers by the media which lives off their backs.

I mean seriously, have you not watched Internet Aristocrats youtube expose on the corruption in the games media recently? These are the corrupt sources of the narrative of "harassment", and its time to stop taking it seriously. Its based on quote mining and "taking a dive", like when soccer players brush past an opposing player and crumple to the ground waiting in pain because they are trying to get a call from the referee to their advantage, its a childish act we should stop tolerating. This knee jerk response to believe these people is in itself the revealing of what actual sexism exists in society. You don't see the same people run to the aid of men in the same situation, lets not kid ourselves. This is rescue the princess, to take anita's trope, this is "damseling" 101 in real life.

You only have to look around to see how selectively this concern is. Look at Sarah Palin, a left wing "journalist" literally went to the trouble of moving into the house next to hers. Imagine if that had happened to zoe quinn or anita sarkeesian, the claims of "harassment" and "stalking" would be deafening. But for Sarah Palin, we heard silence from the same people, which reveals just how disingenuous their concerns really are.

The truth is these so called victims are the Sarah Palins of gaming, and the industry and media really need to stop protecting them, because as it is, the behavior we've seen is really unjustifiable. You see quote mining to justify censorship and suppression, and all to control and perpetuate a false narrative. Imagine if every criticism of Sarah Palin ended up with the media quote mining some democrat somewhere who made a nasty comment about her, which thus demands the subject be changed to a lecture on just how sexist all democrats are and how terrible the situation is. The criticisms are thus buried and the discussions derailed forever. Its a very convenient tactic and position for many to take. That's the real issue here, and so "petitions" to stop harassment are really misguided at this point when the issues of corruption and bad faith in relationships and reasoning in this industry are just rampant and going unaddressed.

Christiaan Moleman
profile image
Ugh. Maybe Gamasutra should close comments on news posts altogether.

Michael O'Hair
profile image
So more censorship is the answer?

Civility will not be had by silencing the ne'er-do-wells.

Total information control will only exacerbate the problem by giving them more ammo. LA LI LU LE LO

Christiaan Moleman
profile image
A comment that invokes Internet Aristocrat as a credible source of information does not belong on a site for professional game development discussion. Gamasutra has no obligation to provide a platform for hate campaigns.

http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2013-09/why-were-shutting-o
ur-comments

They are free to continue their 'discussion' on 4chan.

Santeri Saarinen
profile image
Please show me the hate campaign in question. All I see is someone critical of the current way of handling things. Care to explain why we shouldn't be allowed to discuss things related to the issue, when he shows several pieces of proof. There might or might not be truth in those videos, but they're still part of the discussion, and relevant to the news posted on this site.

David Canela
profile image
As has been previously pointed out, if the open letter helps harrassed people feel better, then it's already a success, regardless of whether it actually has the power to change the online behaviour of some people.

Where the latter is concerned, maybe one first step could be to try to understand why some "gamers" might be so receptive to conspiracy theories and prone to lash out or even harrass. I found this article to have some good thoughts on this (not to be confused with an apology of that kind of behaviour!):

http://www.badassdigest.com/2014/08/31/why-i-feel-bad-for-and-und
erstand-the-angry-gamergate-gamers/

In particular, I like the hypothesis that gamers are on a low social rung even today and thus being told that they're part of the most privileged group on earth and of a system that oppresses women clashes with their everyday life experience. A result of the unfortunate tendency of gender thinking to see everything as a dichotomy of male/female and thus sometimes ignore many other social dimensions that affect who we are and whether we're privileged, oppressed or whathever...

fred tam
profile image
Yea, well badassdigest has no standards for what it runs, and the hit piece articles its been running have just been incredibly disrespectful to gaming and reason in general. Slandering people like jordan owen as "evil" just invalidates the credibility of that author from the start. I've watched most of jordans videos and he's not anything other than reasonable, his criticisms of Anita Sarkeesian are entirely valid and are based on her work, nothing else. Go ahead and watch one of his long winded critiques on Anita's work. Then tell me that someone like that badass digest writer who claims he is "evil" has any credibility at all. The author of that article is reprehensible.
Women as Background Decoration: Because LYING is Justified if it Suits Your Agenda!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAHt7RG67Ok
Is one of jordans videos on Anita's latest work. Anyone watching it would have to conclude there is something wrong with the article authors depiction of the man. Either he did not do basic research before slandering people by calling them evil, or he did and he did inspite of his knowledge. So either Devin Faraci is a liar or he's ignorant, those are the choices, and that is the type of behavior gamers are upset about.

Aurini is more complicated, he's a realist and that comes down to race as well, but he isn't racist. His views are unconventional but he argues honestly which is why people like jordan can have philosophical disagreements with him and still respect him. Whereas people like Faraci are dishonest politically and ideologically, it just can't be respected.
For a sample of aurinis actual relevant work on this subject
"The Predominance of Male Protagonists "
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5L2MBPBl3I
He addresses these subjects in an insightful way which isn't covered or acknowledged by the gaming media who only happy to support Anita Sarkeesians narrative, and constantly ask the questions "why" without actually having any concern for potential answers out there, because the only answer they care to acknowledge is "sexism".


Anita Sarkeesian Debunked in Under a Minute
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FW-69xXD734

This isn't a conspiracy theory. If that woman's narrative can be destroyed that quickly, and its not covered, then something is wrong with the picture.

The hypothesis is not entirely wrong and not entirely correct either. Its like saying that some black people steal. Sure, but when the accusations against an entire group get out of control and are based on disingenuous reasons, then something is wrong. The sjw's in the press have been working an angle of victimhood to support their friends and to construct click bait articles slandering gamers and promoting themselves and people like zoe quinn, these people feed on this negativity. Its professional victimhood for personal gain, no one actually loses on their side, and they have no actual concern for the well being of actual gamers or the rest of the industry so they are not concerned with the damage they cause.

When he tries to be an apologist for corruption in games journalism by just claiming gamers need to see "cliques" because they are losers, well, sorry that just isn't acceptable. That article was just another underhanded way to smear gamers, and its been going on for way too long now. The rest of the article is the standard strawman nerd bashing. Angry video game nerds don't like Anita because they are angry 15 year old boys....
"Sarkeesian was, in a lot of ways, the lighting of the fuse that finally exploded with Zoe Quinn. Together these women represent everything that threatens these boys - women entering their space, being sexual but not sexual with them, forcing them to examine the seedy and anti-woman power fantasies that are playing out in too many games. The clubhouse has been invaded and it's getting redecorated and nobody asked them first. "

Every statement is just a strawman lie. Guys don't care if a woman wants to game, as long as its genuine interest. If a man starts screaming misandry and targets a female interest like 50 shades of grey, claiming that to serve him and other men better, there should be fewer words and more pictures in the book to cater to some theoretical male market for 50 shades of grey, that would be just like what Anita Sarkeesian does to male gamers all the time, and women wouldn't be "angry 15 year old loser nerds" for calling that person on their nonsense. Let alone if a video cropped up of that rabble rouser actually stating earlier that they were no fan of such material.

The entire article was just another underhanded hit piece against gamers, which did its best to derail the discussion from the very real issues of ethical corruption in the games media and indie game industry. Corruption? Ethical violations galore? don't look that way, after all, gamers are just pathetic losers....

The only thing that article gets right is true, gamers aren't the "patriarchy", they aren't some insidious and powerful force which is capable of keeping anyone out of gaming. And that's why the premise behind this entire concern and slandering of gamers is just built on a fraudulent premise. Outside of that, an article like that just isn't something any reputable site would run.

And need I remind you. Devin Faraci is the guy who said he had more respect for ISIS than anti-quinn people.

And Internet Aristocrats 3rd video on this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Km3DZQp0StE
"Quinnspiracy Theory: White Castles and Ivory Towers"
Which notes the odd synchronicity with the "gamers are over" articles coming out...

Quinnspiracy Theory: The Five Guys Saga
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5-51PfwI3M

Quinnspiracy Theory: In-N-Out Edition
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKmy5OKg6lo


#Gamergate Gamers Are Dead? No They Are Just Furious
GamingAnarchist
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KuS979AiQA


Anyways Thunderf00ts latest answer to all this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57tXyqPCOCM
"Anita Sarkeesians 'death threats' and Joss Whedons 'misogyny'! "



Honey Badger Radio: Zoe Quinn and Feminist Mean Girls
karen straughan
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuFSMi5G3R4


Anita's Police Debacle: Something Doesn't Add Up
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQF7p08q6-4

John Maurer
profile image
No one is pardoning harassment, nor the oppression of women, that's not the point of debate among the general public. Despite people like Christiaan Moleman (after reading his commentary sounds like a troll account) trying to lump those that are dissident from it's emphasis into the category of pro-misogynist & pro-harassment, and idea I have yet to read anyone at gamasutra seriously push for.

The point of public debate is emphasis itself, harassment/online bullying in and of itself is not being condoned here. Dissent follows those that are more focued on the other two aspects of this, the nature/origin of this debacle being the people at its center, as they provide context for all that follows, coupled with the credibility of the industries news outlets, who could arguably be called on to handle something like this better in the future.

For this side the harassment "tends to be" seen as a symptom, not the disease.

Without context, you cannot determine cause nor can you aptly rationalize an appropriate effect.

Christiaan Moleman
profile image
>(after reading his commentary sounds like a troll account)

No, I've been here longer than you.

I'm not going to waste any more time with this but I can only say I am embarrassed to be in the same industry as you, if indeed you even are a developer and not, as you put it, "a troll account".

Amir Barak
profile image
Hey, maybe we should end "game developers"? :P

John Maurer
profile image
@Amir Barak

Lol, don't even play man, somebody will make it happen

John Maurer
profile image
@Christiaan

Dude, I've watched you attack people on two separate threads, with myself and 4 others defending themselves from your remarks.

I'm not upset with you personally bro, I know in your own way your just trying to do what you think is right. Thing is your attacking people that feel the same way about it.

This problems got layers man. Your really focused on the harassment, many are, and with good reason. But this isn't a typical case of harassment on any account, if it where there wouldn't be this kind of outcry.

Most of the people your attacking recognize the issue of harassment but would rather focus on all fronts of the problem, mostly because all that can be said about harrasment has been said, with a large consensus in your perspectives favor.

But where is the line between protecting a persons well being and protecting the truth? We don't really know the truth, do we? Lots of sprinkled pieces of evidence and conjecture, that's what we got.

If the truth would hurt the people involved, would you hide it? I say no way, if wrong doing can be proven then it should be, and let the guilty parties suffer the consequences, that includes the harassers too.

And no, I'm no longer active in the game industry, pays to low, employment is not stable, and the work environments are cutthroat, maybe go on a mission to change that.

Christiaan Moleman
profile image
Some actual thoughtful discussion:

http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2014/09/why-we-didnt-want-t
o-talk-about-gamergate.html

https://medium.com/@upstreamism/to-fair-minded-proponents-of-gamergate-7f3ce77301bb

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2014-09-04-not-all-gamers

https://www.idlethumbs.net/idlethumbs/episodes/ridonkulous-rift

Amir Barak
profile image
Where??


none
 
Comment: