Jimquisition: The Wacky Harassment Blame Parade

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The Wacky Harassment Blame Parade

A bunch of game enthusiasts harass a woman online. Everybody starts blaming people. The victim, mostly. That, and alien creatures who are totally not real gamers.

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Good video as usual Jim, but to be honest, I'm kind of disappointed, I was expecting the top ten shittiest games of 2013, I wanted to see you tear Colonial Marines and Ride to Hell apart, oh well

Thank you so much! I've been trying (and failing) to put these sentiments into words for a while. As ever, Jim does it better than I ever could.

Kitsune Hunter:
Good video as usual Jim, but to be honest, I'm kind of disappointed, I was expecting the top ten shittiest games of 2013, I wanted to see you tear Colonial Marines and Ride to Hell apart, oh well

That was always planned for, and is coming, Monday 30th.

I don't know what's more depressing, the harassment of female game devs because they had the gall to be born female, or the fact that everyone else is too bloody spineless to tell the harassers to go crawl back under their rock when this shit happens.

"Oh, but they'll accuse me of 'White Knighting'"! Big whop. "Grow a thicker skin" and to hell with their neanderthal insults. Stand up for what's right, damn it!

The comments are going to be interesting.

*Grabs a bag of popcorn*

That kind of behaviour is toxic, but I am not sure as to how one should fight it, the most I do is say "What the fuck?" and tell my friends to shut up when say stupid misginystic/homophobic, etc. shit, but I feel that it would take more than that to convince the "gaming community at large" to stop acting that way.

I'm just not sure how.

This is what I've been saying.

When people go out of their way to say "Don't feed the trolls"

Why would you put X game on Steam anyway

And (here is my favorite) "Who the hell would play a game about depression anyway? It doesn't belong here."

These are basically comments that take all responsibility of action off the people harassing others, to the people harassed in question.

Better yet is when people try to cover it up and say "Well this game has a female dev and she isn't being harassed" Of course she isn't. She isn't harassed because she isn't the face of the game, or a high up prominent member of the game.

That's what a lot of these harassment's have in common. The women in question is either in a prominent position on the team, they are the sole producer of said game, and/or they contributed a large part of the game.

I'm' pretty sure when we found out who Mass Effect 3's ending was written by the man at worst got nasty messages on whatever board they browse on. No where did I hear about threats to his self and significant others in real life.

Jennifer Hepler? Shit, it got so bad that they found her phone number and threatened to behead her kids. That's on top of the nasty comments she got. For what? Something that she said in an interview not even the games themselves.

It's basically passive agressive apologists trying to hide up the stinky shit that festers in the gaming community, and it always blows up in their face.

Akichi Daikashima:
The comments are going to be interesting.

*Grabs a bag of popcorn*

That kind of behaviour is toxic, but I am not sure as to how one should fight it, the most I do is say "What the fuck?" and tell my friends to shut up when say stupid misginystic/homophobic, etc. shit, but I feel that it would take more than that to convince the "gaming community at large" to stop acting that way.

I'm just not sure how.

Think of it like this, decades ago it was alright to call any person of color derogatory slurs out in public. Eventually people stopped taking that shit by telling those people to fuck off and eventually no one would dare say those words without serious repercussions. We wouldn't be where we are today if for every person that said "don't call this person a X" we had 4 more say "Don't pay attention to those racists" or find excuses for why that person in particular deserved that slur.

While I agree that it is terrible these women are being harassed for simply being born the wrong gender, I can't agree with the rest of this video. I'll verbally support the developer till I'm blue in the face, but I'm not going to throw money at a project simply because the creator was harassed by trolls and crazy people. Stuff like that could be too easily staged. That isn't a point made in the video, it is just something I wanted to bring up. I also don't see anything wrong with simply denouncing the people harassing these women and moving on either. Just because I don't take the time to police the internet, doesn't mean that I'm contributing to this behavior or that I condone it. These devs don't deserve to be harassed, but you paint the gaming community with a wide brush that I don't appreciate.

While I agree for the most part of the video there is always one thing that I always think when I see videos like this:

What do you expect the reasonable majority of us to do other than just say "Of course they're arseholes"? It would have been nice to suggest some positives we could do other than just contribute to the echo chamber.

If anyone harrasses her by phone, she can just hand over her phone history to the police, they just fucked themselves right there.

As for the harrassment campaign, how do you combat people who take enjoyment out of your outrage?
I'm starting to think this has little to do with her being a woman per se, but rather, a convenient angle to go with, if she were a gay man the harrassment would be just the same, only with different slurs, the key component is exposure.

She stands out, her game concept is quite unique and she is a woman in the industry, online trolls don't usually just throw darts on the greenlight page and harrass whomever it may land on, they go for what catches their eye, there's nothing she can do about that, and nothing she can do as soon as it really gets going, it's just shitty people being shitty without having to justify or answer for it.

Akichi Daikashima:

That kind of behaviour is toxic, but I am not sure as to how one should fight it, the most I do is say "What the fuck?" and tell my friends to shut up when say stupid misginystic/homophobic, etc. shit, but I feel that it would take more than that to convince the "gaming community at large" to stop acting that way.

I'm just not sure how.

That's actually a pretty good start though. No one's ever going to change the whole gaming community single-handed, but if we all call out that one guy we know who can be a bit of a dick sometimes, be that online or IRL, collectively that can make a difference.

I'd also argue that just being more vocal in our opposition to this crap, as Mangod describes, would help. If these assholes are the minority, let's make damn sure they come across as such and their comments/actions are vastly outnumbered by positive ones. Make them feel unwelcome, and for the love of god make it obvious to anyone looking in that these people do not speak for the rest of us.

A community is judged by the worst shit it tolerates, and as such the gamer community deserves all the scorn it gets.

Could we do a metroid with this. As in, create a game that blows everyones mind then release then end credits 1 month later and reveal it was developed exclusively by women.

You know what? Yes, we need to expose the lesser parts of the gaming community but that means we call an even playing field. No, I'm not saying Zoe Quinn deserved the abuse she got.
However, as the two popped up on screen, the implication is that Dina (Mighty No. 9 CM) and Ms. Sarkesian have nothing to answer for, that they are similarly two individuals who were attacked because of their gender and as such case closed, nothing to see here, go away.

It's irresponsible to palm off blame to victim, it's also irresponsible to not fully investiatie the act and it's conception and automatically assume it's the fault of one side.

Church185:
While I agree that it is terrible these women are being harassed for simply being born the wrong gender, I can't agree with the rest of this video. I'll verbally support the developer till I'm blue in the face, but I'm not going to throw money at a project simply because the creator was harassed by trolls and crazy people. Stuff like that could be too easily staged. That isn't a point made in the video, it is just something I wanted to bring up. I also don't see anything wrong with simply denouncing the people harassing these women and moving on either. Just because I don't take the time to police the internet, doesn't mean that I'm contributing to this behavior or that I condone it. These devs don't deserve to be harassed, but you paint the gaming community with a wide brush that I don't appreciate.

You didn't disagree with a single thing in my video. You seemed to agree with it all, then made up new arguments to disagree with.

I didn't tell you to give the dev money OR police the Internet. Just maybe show some support, or at the very least, shut up as opposed to trying to make sure your *own* back is covered by trying to draw a line between "real gamers" and the harassers, as if the harassers don't talk about games online just as much as the rest of us and contribute to the exact same wider community.

That's what this episode was about. Not about policing or financing, but about - at the VERY least - not instinctively looking out for number one when somebody's been victimized.

While we are at the subject of blaming ALL male gamers for what a very small minority did, why don't we start blaming ALL fat or rich or first world people for causing famines and poverty in third world countries? Jim YOU caused all those people to die of starvation. How does that feel?
And Jim YOU are a WHITE MALE GAMER too so YOU caused the harassment as well for being born white and male and having gaming as a hobby. How does that feel?

And what are you saying no one is telling the harassers off. Look at the escapist thread, most comments support her and others still feel bad but feel that the whole of their demographic is being blamed for this. Those people, or atleast me will not feel this angry if you used the word FEW gamers or THOSE particular people and will not try to defend them.

Also a few white male gamers are harrassing women, a few gamers also KILL people in school shootouts and you are quick to distance games and gamers from the shooters. You are quick to say this isn't us. Well that was't us either.
You want a written apology every time some idiot who happens to be my demographic does this shit?

All of this bullshit just makes me so angry. And you know what I find the most frustrating? The bystanders on the sideline who will insist, as case after case piles up and more and more incidents like this occur, that there isn't a problem and we should all stop talking about it.

No, there is a problem. *You're* the problem.

ConanThe3rd:
You know what? Yes, we need to expose the lesser parts of the gaming community but that means we call an even playing field. No, I'm not saying Zoe Quinn deserved the abuse she got.
However, as the two popped up on screen, the implication is that Dina (Mighty No. 9 CM) and Ms. Sarkesian have nothing to answer for, that they are similarly two individuals who were attacked because of their gender and as such case closed, nothing to see here, go away.

It's irresponsible to palm off blame to victim, it's also irresponsible to not fully investiatie the act and it's conception and automatically assume it's the fault of one side.

Umm... Harrasment IS always the fault of one side. That's kind of part of the definition.

Jupiter065:
A community is judged by the worst shit it tolerates, and as such the gamer community deserves all the scorn it gets.

The problem with that is that we don't tolerate it. In fact, one of the big points Jim makes is that people go out of their way to attempt disown people who do this. Just because it exists doesn't mean the gaming community at large tolerates it. But the fact is that we cannot stop it. The best we can do is call out the idiots who do it.

I don't understand how it's my responsibility or problem that a minority of anonymous gasbags had a go at a woman for making "Depression Quest".

I also do not understand how I could possibly change this or contribute in any way.

So I guess "So sad, too bad?".

While I understand it must suck to be this person - it sucks to be a lot of other people.

I always thought that if you're going to make a name for yourself on the internet it's best to simply ignore the opinion of those who aren't disclosing who they are also. If someone's only willing to say something behind the veil of anonymity then that opinion can be disregarded fairly easily.

Victim blaming? No. It's a lesson in how some people can behave without accountability... and if someone has no accountability for what they say then what they say also has no accountability - it is worthless, disregard it.

Mangod:
I don't know what's more depressing, the harassment of female game devs because they had the gall to be born female, or the fact that everyone else is too bloody spineless to tell the harassers to go crawl back under their rock when this shit happens.

"Oh, but they'll accuse me of 'White Knighting'"! Big whop. "Grow a thicker skin" and to hell with their neanderthal insults. Stand up for what's right, damn it!

That's unfair! Only women should be told to grow thicker skin! Why should we be held to the same standards!

...You see what I did there? >.>

Dragonbums:

Why would you put X game on Steam anyway

This is actually my "favourite," because yeah. Why would anyone want to put a game up on the biggest digital gaming distributor in existence? Clearly, she must be an attention whore or want to be berated or something because she wanted her game to be bought and played by people.

While we're at it, I'ma go complain about Skyrim being on Steam. Those sellouts.

Dragonbums:

Think of it like this, decades ago it was alright to call any person of color derogatory slurs out in public. Eventually people stopped taking that shit by telling those people to fuck off and eventually no one would dare say those words without serious repercussions. We wouldn't be where we are today if for every person that said "don't call this person a X" we had 4 more say "Don't pay attention to those racists" or find excuses for why that person in particular deserved that slur.

At the same time, a lot of people said it'd never change. Same is true of any issue, large or small. There actually was an "ignore it" crowd, and the whole "they deserved it" crowd was pretty large, in fact. Calling non-white people slurs was considered justified, especially in the cases of Latinos and blacks. After all, their presence in America was considered offensive, and they were treated as less than human. Slurs towards "coloured" people are still pretty common, even.

But things will progress, even if there are naysayers and detractors and folks who say "deal with it."

Well intolerance is a world wide issue. It exists in every culture and subculture in the world to some degree. It's an unfortunate effect of human nature.

Did you just do the Bandaras?

The way I see it is that the people shifting the blame feel like it's either downplay the harassment or resign to the idea that gaming is a bad hobby.

On the subject of Hyrule Warriors, I was tickled when I saw it on Nintendo Direct. If the Zelda series' reputation can take hits like Wand of Gamelon or Faces of Evil, I think it'll survive a badass looking Dynasty Warriors mashup.

That's the catch 22 of dealing with jerks on the internet.

If you call them out on it and try to shut them down, you give them attention and those who want attention learn that the quickest way to get attention is to act like a jerk on the internet. You also run the risk of becoming part of the problem itself if you match and sometimes even exceed their level of anger, hate, and venom in calling them out on their bad behavior.

Yet if you ignore them and take the "don't feed the trolls" tactic, it can send the message that those attitudes and behaviors are normal and accepted in whatever corner of the internet you are in and, if left unchecked, can lead to it becoming a horrible echo chamber of bile and hate against whoever or whatever.

Personally I would recommend calling them out but trying to do so in a very calm and unemotional manner, but that usually just leads to people being passive-aggressive and condescending. Damn catch 22s

Jimothy Sterling:
You didn't disagree with a single thing in my video. You seemed to agree with it all, then made up new arguments to disagree with.

I didn't tell you to give the dev money OR police the Internet. Just maybe show some support, or at the very least, shut up as opposed to trying to make sure your *own* back is covered by trying to draw a line between "real gamers" and the harassers, as if the harassers don't talk about games online just as much as the rest of us and contribute to the exact same wider community.

That's what this episode was about. Not about policing or financing, but about - at the VERY least - not instinctively looking out for number one when somebody's been victimized.

The financing part was just an extraneous thing that popped in my head while I was writing and I thought I pointed it out. *shrugs*

I guess to me, the message in the video wasn't clear. The bit about "craven, selfish assholes" and being "cowardly" just seemed like you were shaming people who didn't want to get actively involved in supporting these devs. I don't see anything wrong with trying to distance yourself from the kind of people who would harass anyone because of something they can't control (gender, sexual orientation, race). I wouldn't necessarily say these people aren't gamers, but they are certainly a subsect that most people, at least on this site, would rather not associate with. It doesn't necessarily need to be a cowardly act.

You know, I really hate that these videos HAVE to be made. I really hate that this is a thing that keeps happening. For those who are immediately going to jump up and say, "Jim, this was a wasted episode, we already know this," well, obviously we don't. Otherwise, it wouldn't keep happening.

I do find the idea that this vocal minority is a group that should be ignored rather hypocritical on gamer's part. As I'm sure these same people will generalize about any group that they deem unworthy or lesser. Beasts who are all instinct and ignorance, without any reason. Completely ignoring that there are many people that make up any group. The people you demonize are likely just a subset of the whole. And just like those few people make you demonize a whole, these few people can make others demonize us.

I'm certain we've all seen it at least once or twice, even if we haven't been victims of it. You play with a girl, who gets mocked or hit on by others simply because she is a girl. Or you know a girl who doesn't speak in games because she doesn't want to get harassed, and worked to make a Gamer Tag, PSN IS, screen name, or whatever that doesn't sound girly. This isn't a vacuum. This isn't something we should ignore.

Hell, even I am guilty of it to an extent. Learning that someone I've been playing with is a girl does make me briefly wonder what they look like and such. It's not something I would act on, but I have a bit of self control. Others don't.

But I think the question everyone really wants answered is this:
What happened with Jim's Fantasy Football team? Did they do well? Inquiring minds want to know!

Oh, and thank God/Polygons/God of Polygons for Jim.

Jimothy Sterling:

Church185:
While I agree that it is terrible these women are being harassed for simply being born the wrong gender, I can't agree with the rest of this video. I'll verbally support the developer till I'm blue in the face, but I'm not going to throw money at a project simply because the creator was harassed by trolls and crazy people. Stuff like that could be too easily staged. That isn't a point made in the video, it is just something I wanted to bring up. I also don't see anything wrong with simply denouncing the people harassing these women and moving on either. Just because I don't take the time to police the internet, doesn't mean that I'm contributing to this behavior or that I condone it. These devs don't deserve to be harassed, but you paint the gaming community with a wide brush that I don't appreciate.

You didn't disagree with a single thing in my video. You seemed to agree with it all, then made up new arguments to disagree with.

I didn't tell you to give the dev money OR police the Internet. Just maybe show some support, or at the very least, shut up as opposed to trying to make sure your *own* back is covered by trying to draw a line between "real gamers" and the harassers, as if the harassers don't talk about games online just as much as the rest of us and contribute to the exact same wider community.

That's what this episode was about. Not about policing or financing, but about - at the VERY least - not instinctively looking out for number one when somebody's been victimized.

But THOSE harassers weren't on the Escapist, or any other gaming site I know of. So NO they don't contribute as much to online gaming and its discussion as we do.
They have specific type of sites, they say what they want to say and YOU make it look like WE did it.

To be honest, the best thing the people who actively harass women and developers to actually harass them is ignore them and let them continue doing their projects without anyone knowing about them. It seems they don't know what the Streisand Effect is, maybe I'll vote for Depression Quest now, because I wouldn't have heard of that game if it wasn't to the people harassing the developer.

Little Duck:
Could we do a metroid with this. As in, create a game that blows everyones mind then release then end credits 1 month later and reveal it was developed exclusively by women.

Robin Hunicke - producer of Journey.

Kim Swift - A member of the original team the developed Narbacular Drop, she and the rest of the team were hired on at valve and are the individuals primarily responsible for Portal. She also played a leading role in design on Left for Dead and Left for Dead 2.

Amy Henning - Head writer and creative director for the Uncharted series. Team lead for Uncharted 2. I don't know if she was team lead for Uncharted 3.

Roberta Williams - Co-founder of Sierra Entertainment and creator the the Kings Quest series.

There are some examples for you.

ConanThe3rd:

However, as the two popped up on screen, the implication is that Dina (Mighty No. 9 CM) and Ms. Sarkesian have nothing to answer for, that they are similarly two individuals who were attacked because of their gender and as such case closed, nothing to see here, go away.

So explain, then, what they committed that made them "deserve" this treatment.

DrOswald:

The problem with that is that we don't tolerate it. In fact, one of the big points Jim makes is that people go out of their way to attempt disown people who do this. Just because it exists doesn't mean the gaming community at large tolerates it. But the fact is that we cannot stop it. The best we can do is call out the idiots who do it.

Except "disowning" is a wide field, including the people who try and marginalise or trivialise and those who pretend it doesn't happen that much. That's still tolerance, and it's still common. As Jim says, they attempt to distance themselves out of concern for themselves.

It makes my stomach squirm to be told I'm required to participate in a conversation in which I am given one, and only one, acceptable line of dialogue. I stay out of an increasing number of online discussions because it seems like there's no way to ride the bus without taking it all the way off the cliff. If I stay quiet, people may assume that I am or am not on their side, but they probably won't attack me for it; if I agree with one side but don't become an absolute "yes man" for that point of view and wherever its most radical adherents may take it, I just end up receiving scorn from both sides of the spectrum when it finally comes to the breaking point.

If Zoe Quinn has received even a quarter of the abuse she's reported, that's too much. Yes. And it should stop. And the guys responsible for it should be ashamed of themselves, and if there's an atmosphere in which people feel it is not just socially acceptable but laudable to treat someone that way, I find that really disturbing, yes.

And like so many other games, if you find the subject matter or even its creators objectionable, not playing it is a perfectly reasonable response. Even more so than most: Depression Quest is looking to be available for free.

However,

When an Escapist reporter brought the news of the abuse to the board, one of the things she said was "A game about empathy for those who have depression should not be met with any level of vitriol or abuse."

So, back to that "one, and only one, acceptable line of dialogue" thing? My response was, no, that's not true. I haven't played the game, but I'm not going to say anyone doesn't have the right to find it a facile or insulting treatment of the subject. I'm not going to say that health care professionals might not find its advice misleading or its descriptions inaccurate. I'm not even going to say no one has the right to suggest that a game isn't the appropriate medium to approach the subject, though I'd disagree (I tend to fall on the side that any subject should be approachable in any medium, so long as the creator actually thinks they have an angle that makes that choice compelling.)

That's all directed at the game. And while some might say "Hey, that's criticism, not abuse", I'm not inclined to leave that distinction to those who might be inclined to abuse it; we can't even seem to agree on whether or not games are art.

Someone is probably already reading this while rolling their eyes and waiting for a "TL:DR". But that's the thing; there has to be room for some fucking nuance; I can't wholeheartedly agree with the extremists, I can't try to explain that it's more complicated than that without trying people's patience, and apparently I can't even not participate without being labelled a coward (but that's still looking like the better option; hopefully the righteous will recognize that scourging the "cowards" isn't the best use of their time.)

It's not at all hard for me to understand why people come to stand on ground that might best be labelled "a plague on both your houses."

I wanna play Hyrule Warriors with Jim. Its nice that theres someone who is as stubborn and loud as Jim who I actually agree with mostly, AND who loves Dynasty Warriors...

Im aware Im glossing over the whole point of the video/discussion...but I kinda was hoping hed just talk about Hyrule Warriors :P

Nothing I can do about it, beyond not being an asshat, if I was to go onto these sites and attempt to "fight" these trolls all I'd do is encourage them. Most sites have an ignore button for a reason and I use it, I recommend everyone else use it as well. Trolls have no fun when they are just shouting in an echo chamber.

Obligatory "BUT MEN HAVE IT HARD TOO SOMETIMES SO SHUT UP!" should be coming up sooner or later. Well, after the complaints that the subject is old hat have been aired out properly.

Now... If it should indeed be recognized and made perfectly clear on every opportunity that it's just a few wankers in the gaming community doing this, then why is it so important that radical, misangist feminists be reguarded as speaking for the whole?

As for what you can do; if someone is being a wanker, call them out. It's not terribly hard, and I doubt they could ever do something worse than say that you're white-knighting. Which is usually not the terrible Branding of Shame that those dregs want you to think it is.

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