How gamergate ruined games

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StatusNil:

Speaking of cute, I really dig the insinuation of ownership of "women, people, GLBT people and other minorities" by your "side".

Well, when GG put out an article expressing how, and I quote, "Women have Destroyed Gaming", I wonder what side you'd think they'd be on...

Oh, and having Roosh and Milo for your knight champions doesn't help either.

NiGHTSJOD:
There is no such time. His point is, you did not pick up a copy of Fade to Black (random example) in 1996 and wondered if the protagonist was gay/trans/whatever. And the gaming press did not wonder this for you nor did they imply anything negative if you did not wonder or wish he was. The game was neither praised nor criticized for not having a gay/trans/minority or anything.

You mean just like you weren't called out if you didn't support women's voting rights in the 1880's, didn't talk about racial segregation in the US in the 1950's or kept your mouth shut about gay rights in the 60's? This praise of ignorance of social issues and inclusion is one of the major issues of the current "culture war", because GamerGates supporters and many like them praise the ideal that the audience should always be assumed to be a white, heterosexual man.

The fact that this is no longer the case, the fact that we suddenly are talking about the ethnicity, gender and sexuality of our game characters is a huge step forward. The fact that we are talking about how game characters are portrayed, how stereotypes are handled and how characters are written are important steps towards games actually gaining legitimacy as a serious media form. But no, GG and its' ilk wants to go back to the glory days of games as juvenile wish fulfillment for heterosexual white men. I am pretty sincere when I say that the industry and hobby are better off having moved on beyond that.

Gethsemani:

NiGHTSJOD:
There is no such time. His point is, you did not pick up a copy of Fade to Black (random example) in 1996 and wondered if the protagonist was gay/trans/whatever. And the gaming press did not wonder this for you nor did they imply anything negative if you did not wonder or wish he was. The game was neither praised nor criticized for not having a gay/trans/minority or anything.

You mean just like you weren't called out if you didn't support women's voting rights in the 1880's, didn't talk about racial segregation in the US in the 1950's or kept your mouth shut about gay rights in the 60's? This praise of ignorance of social issues and inclusion is one of the major issues of the current "culture war", because GamerGates supporters and many like them praise the ideal that the audience should always be assumed to be a white, heterosexual man.

The fact that this is no longer the case, the fact that we suddenly are talking about the ethnicity, gender and sexuality of our game characters is a huge step forward. The fact that we are talking about how game characters are portrayed, how stereotypes are handled and how characters are written are important steps towards games actually gaining legitimacy as a serious media form. But no, GG and its' ilk wants to go back to the glory days of games as juvenile wish fulfillment for heterosexual white men. I am pretty sincere when I say that the industry and hobby are better off having moved on beyond that.

Ah yes. The good old days of the 1990's when blacks, gays and women did not play games (both not allowed and not willing). Aside from those with internalized...... something. I'll have to check the progressive dictionary for the term i'm looking for...

NiGHTSJOD:

Smithnikov:

burnout02urza:
and I was wondering if I was the only one who noticed that games were becoming more politically-correct, more leftist, with a pro-diversity agenda being pushed.

So tell me, what time/era was it when games were right wing with an anti-diversity agenda you prefer being pushed?

There is no such time. His point is, you did not pick up a copy of Fade to Black (random example) in 1996 and wondered if the protagonist was gay/trans/whatever. And the gaming press did not wonder this for you nor did they imply anything negative if you did not wonder or wish he was. The game was neither praised nor criticized for not having a gay/trans/minority or anything.

Ok, let's take another game of the time, Shadow Warrior, and see if no one said things like "this game isn't good because it's racist" back then.

NiGHTSJOD:

Gethsemani:

NiGHTSJOD:
There is no such time. His point is, you did not pick up a copy of Fade to Black (random example) in 1996 and wondered if the protagonist was gay/trans/whatever. And the gaming press did not wonder this for you nor did they imply anything negative if you did not wonder or wish he was. The game was neither praised nor criticized for not having a gay/trans/minority or anything.

You mean just like you weren't called out if you didn't support women's voting rights in the 1880's, didn't talk about racial segregation in the US in the 1950's or kept your mouth shut about gay rights in the 60's? This praise of ignorance of social issues and inclusion is one of the major issues of the current "culture war", because GamerGates supporters and many like them praise the ideal that the audience should always be assumed to be a white, heterosexual man.

The fact that this is no longer the case, the fact that we suddenly are talking about the ethnicity, gender and sexuality of our game characters is a huge step forward. The fact that we are talking about how game characters are portrayed, how stereotypes are handled and how characters are written are important steps towards games actually gaining legitimacy as a serious media form. But no, GG and its' ilk wants to go back to the glory days of games as juvenile wish fulfillment for heterosexual white men. I am pretty sincere when I say that the industry and hobby are better off having moved on beyond that.

Ah yes. The good old days of the 1990's when blacks, gays and women did not play games (both not allowed and not willing). Aside from those with internalized...... something. I'll have to check the progressive dictionary for the term i'm looking for...

But also a time when you didn't have people writing articles about how the presence of those people "destroyed" gaming.

I see this accusation of "gatekeeping" pop up a lot and I just don't get it. If someone tries to challenge my knowledge of something I am super into, I would actively enjoy showcasing it. It would be genuinely fun. Even if they were malicious in their questioning, merely the act of speaking about these things knowledgeably to someone who ACTUALLY cares to listen to me speak about them would be a great joy. Most of the time, it's not even that, people are just curious and want to figure out what king of person you are by what you play, even when people say things like "you're not a real X if you haven't played Y" they're just saying it in an unserious manner without meaning anything by it.

But this is not the point, the point is that if someone truly decides that I am "unfit", whatever that entails, exactly how has that kept me outside of any gates? Is he then given permission to confiscate my games? Is he gonna take my laptop and uninstall my 15 visual novels that I got the other day from the humble bundle for 12 bucks? What is the consequence?

See, you don't have anything happen to you if people think lesser of you because of what you do or do not play. People do that all the time with each-other anyways while still considering each-other "gamers". People talk down to people who play phone games or sports games or anime based games or walking sims. People are free to have their own standards and be all like "oh, you only play Jrpgs, you're a weaboo and not a hardcore gamer like me! raaa!" and that's just normal human interaction. Not a specific problem that is only found here affecting only one specific group and not really a problem as much as a feature of being human.

You just have to take it as a hint that you have a fundamental disagreement about what constitutes proper gaming with that person, agree to disagree, and be on your merry way.

Dreiko:
I see this accusation of "gatekeeping" pop up a lot and I just don't get it. If someone tries to challenge my knowledge of something I am super into, I would actively enjoy showcasing it. It would be genuinely fun.

That makes it kind of obvious you've never been into contact with a gatekeeper.

It is not fun.

It's like this: someone, usually a guy when it's gaming/manga/comics/anime related (though I've witnessed some female gatekeepers in for instance the cosplay community as well), notices you doing/wearing something geeky and decides it's his job to see if you're are worthy of doing/wearing said thing.

He'll start asking questions in a very condescending tone, making it very clear that you are not good enough unless you pass his little quiz. Which you will never pass, because he'll just keep asking harder questions until you miss one or run away because, holy shit, that dude is annoying and you have better things to do with your time. Sometimes, this doubles as a pathetic attempt at flirting, because if you are hot enough by his standards, he might attempt to impress you with his fountain of geek knowledge.

In fiction this would be the time and place were you crush him with your geek powers, he tips his fedora to you and then slinks away in defeat. That is not what happens in reality. A real life gatekeeper will happily interrupt whatever fun activity currently occupies your time and ruin it. Browsing manga in a comic shop before you need to catch your train? The gatekeeper will try his best to make sure you do not get any browsing done and will miss your train. Playing games in the games room of an anime convention? If the group is low on testosterone, the gatekeeper will butt in and ruin everything for everyone. He will also not go away.

This might be 'fun' if you're so hungry for human contact you'll embrace whatever shit an asshole spouts. I won't judge if that's the case for you, but please, don't do that to yourself. You deserve better. There are better ways to battle loneliness.

See, you don't have anything happen to you if people think lesser of you because of what you do or do not play.

1. Actually, something could happen. If they don't think you're worthy of playing with, for instance, a Super Scope, they will try to get you away from the game by 'showing you how it is done', going as far as taking the plastic bazooka from your warm living hands without permission. They also unleash long, condescending rants under reviews your posted, basically ruining the comment section underneath that review. Several times a week. (And if you're really, really unlucky, the gatekeeper court might rule you deserve being harrassed for making a game they don't like. Fortunately, this hasn't happened to me.)

2. It does not stop at judging what you play/read/watch. It only really start at judging how much you know about what you play/read/watch. They'll ask you obscure questions about the composer, movesets of irrelevant characters, differences in translations.... And not in a way that might make for a fun and interesting conversation. Nope, it comes in the form of an insult disquised as a quiz or lecture.

You just have to take it as a hint that you have a fundamental disagreement about what constitutes proper gaming with that person, agree to disagree, and be on your merry way.

You think just walking away is easy? I once had one nearly follow me into the bathroom! Gatekeepers are the ones who butt into other people's business and do not take hints.

Yep. Talking about random obscure nerd trivia is fine, quizzing people on random obscure nerd trivia to determine if they're really fans is garbage behavior.

I mean, we all remember this guy:
image

Don't be that guy. That guy's an asshole. Even if that guy were right, he'd still be an asshole.

Dreiko:
I see this accusation of "gatekeeping" pop up a lot and I just don't get it. If someone tries to challenge my knowledge of something I am super into, I would actively enjoy showcasing it. It would be genuinely fun. Even if they were malicious in their questioning, merely the act of speaking about these things knowledgeably to someone who ACTUALLY cares to listen to me speak about them would be a great joy. Most of the time, it's not even that, people are just curious and want to figure out what king of person you are by what you play, even when people say things like "you're not a real X if you haven't played Y" they're just saying it in an unserious manner without meaning anything by it.

But this is not the point, the point is that if someone truly decides that I am "unfit", whatever that entails, exactly how has that kept me outside of any gates? Is he then given permission to confiscate my games? Is he gonna take my laptop and uninstall my 15 visual novels that I got the other day from the humble bundle for 12 bucks? What is the consequence?

Let me relate an experience I had in my late teens for you:
I've been playing Warhammer for a few years at this point, the local toy store had a decent selection and I've managed my first Empire army by going there and making a few select purchases of the internet (a novelty in the early 00's). But, my friends tell me, there's an actual GW store in the City now. We must go there. So we do. The store itself is super cool in my teen eyes and has all those cool blisters I wish the toy store had (like Pistolieers, which I had been dying to get for my list). Then the guys already in the store realize that a girl is in the store. It starts with one of the staff asking me if I am there with my boyfriend, when I am not he shuts up and walks away (probably because he was embarrassed, still leaving me ill at ease). It proceeds with a few guys seemingly taking turns approaching me as I am browsing the Empire section to compliment my looks, tell me that not many girls play and one of them asking me for a date. That in itself was not so bad. Neither was the staring. But combined with the way that no one actually wanted to talk about Warhammer with me, but wanted to talk about if I had a boyfriend, where I lived, if I was really into the game and if I found Warhammer players "too geeky" (whatever the fuck that means) created a troubling atmosphere. I was definitely not a part of the community, I was an outsider that no one took seriously because of superficial reasons. These people probably had good intentions, but it was also clear that I was not allowed to just walk in and be another Warhammer player in a GW-store. Not out of malice, but because I was a minority that they did not know how to relate to, despite our shared hobby.

And that's actually one of the nicer gatekeepings I've encountered. It sure beats the time when some asshole tried to tell me how to set up an ip config at a LAN party that I hosted. Or the countless times I've been asked if I am buying a video game for my boyfriend. Or the times I've been told that pretty girls don't really like video games. Be glad that you've never encountered gatekeepers, because it takes a rather special kind of dedication to remain vested in a hobby when a significant minority of it seems to think you are unworthy or a poser or just can't fathom that you like the hobby.

Pre-order bonuses, microtransactions, ridiculous levels of paid DLC, season passes, an increased focus on grinding, x-ray vision in every goddamn stealth game, the ever-encroaching pay-2-win model, strawberry jam vision as an industry standard of low health indication, quick time events, awfully curated early access content, a total absence of risk taking, the general dumbing down of mechanics almost across the board, the looming threat of paid mods, the desolation of the mod scene, big fucking arrows that tell you exactly where you need to go, AI companions that tell you over and over where you need to go if you dare not be in a big rush, ridiculously large on screen prompts that say "press x to stealth kill now", constant reboots, fanboys, fangirls, dodgy marketing, corporate bandwagoning, genre oversaturation, PRE-ORDERS, PRE-ORDERS, PRE-ORDERS, a plethora of DRM platforms, sequelitis, metacritic as an industry metric for employee bonuses, review embargoes, writers that seemingly don't want to make videogames... etc.

Gaming was happily destroying itself before we found ourselves with Sarkeesian and a gaming-press hell bent on creating a new political witch-hunt every week as though it were scheduled content. I'm amazed people were surprised that it became a shit-show when politics got so heavily involved. Was the expectation that everyone would suddenly take to bay-area campus politics because pudgy hipster journos uploading shitty gossip articles with zero fact-checking via starbucks customer wifi wanted it to be so?

Sexual Harassment Panda:
Pre-order bonuses, microtransactions, ridiculous levels of paid DLC, season passes, an increased focus on grinding, x-ray vision in every goddamn stealth game, the ever-encroaching pay-2-win model, strawberry jam vision as an industry standard of low health indication, quick time events, awfully curated early access content, a total absence of risk taking, the general dumbing down of mechanics almost across the board, the looming threat of paid mods, the desolation of the mod scene,

Yes, shit's pretty bad. Here's my suggestion:

- Don't pre-order
- Don't buy season passes, DLC or it's little sister, microtransactions
- Don't buy overly grindy games that took design lessons from F2P games
- Don't even download Pay 2 Win or delete it as soon as you learn that it is Pay 2 Win.
- Keep bitching about the strawberry jam and the QTE's, terrible trends that are hard to avoid.
- Never buy Early Access anything, you are paying them to test their game.
- Never buy a paid mod.

Here's my own annoyance. It has become common for you to be required to hold a button until a ring fills for too many functions. Holding a button for a second is fine for important things that you wouldn't want to happen on accident but that's about it. The first time I saw it was in God of War for the PS2. You would have to hold a button to open a chest. Now, you have to hold a button to do many things that should only require a single button press. Just an annoyance of mine.

big fucking arrows that tell you exactly where you need to go, AI companions that tell you over and over where you need to go if you dare not be in a big rush, ridiculously large on screen prompts that say "press x to stealth kill now",

I have a busy, noisy household and I can't hear everything some NPC says. Little arrows and repeating of intstructions is a godsend. I am not a kid isolated in my quiet bedroom anymore and haven't been for many years. I have always liked button prompts since I first saw them on the N64.

constant reboots, fanboys, fangirls, dodgy marketing, corporate bandwagoning, genre oversaturation, PRE-ORDERS, PRE-ORDERS, PRE-ORDERS, a plethora of DRM platforms, sequelitis, metacritic as an industry metric for employee bonuses, review embargoes, writers that seemingly don't want to make videogames... etc.

Back in agreement with you.

Gaming was happily destroying itself before we found ourselves with Sarkeesian and a gaming-press hell bent on creating a new political witch-hunt every week as though it were scheduled content. I'm amazed people were surprised that it became a shit-show when politics got so heavily involved. Was the expectation that everyone would suddenly take to bay-area campus politics because pudgy hipster journos uploading shitty gossip articles with zero fact-checking via starbucks customer wifi wanted it to be so?

Maybe people were shocked that gamers didn't bow down to the PC crowd the way Hollywood or the media has done. Gamers fought back and while we can debate the tactics, war is ugly.

I want to stress at every opportunity. PLEASE STOP PRE-ORDERING PEOPLE! You are hurting us all by encouraging broken games, pre-order bonuses and a general attitude in the industry that gamers are idiots who will buy anything with the right name slapped on it. They may as well be selling you The Elder Scroll Six: It may run or it may crash. Pre-Order NOW!

Edit: Holy shit this forum is going down in flames. The spamers already took over Gaming Discussion and now it's started here too, will the admins just let this subforum go too?

WeepingAngels:

I have a busy, noisy household and I can't hear everything some NPC says. Little arrows and repeating of intstructions is a godsend. I am not a kid isolated in my quiet bedroom anymore and haven't been for many years. I have always liked button prompts since I first saw them on the N64.

Fair. I never believed they were arbitrary or anything, only that they were annoying, particularly when stating the obvious.

An option to turn that shit off would be nice.

Maybe people were shocked that gamers didn't bow down to the PC crowd the way Hollywood or the media has done. Gamers fought back and while we can debate the tactics, war is ugly.

Sure, things were already very ugly though.

The whole thing was a hilarious (inevitable and fully deserved) release in my eyes. I enjoyed the hell out of it, mostly from afar.

burnout02urza:
In all honesty, I think GG opened the eyes of a lot of people.

Oh, it did.

Just not the ones you seem to think.

Dreiko:
You just have to take it as a hint that you have a fundamental disagreement about what constitutes proper gaming with that person, agree to disagree, and be on your merry way.

Real easy to say that when you've never been the target of harassment. The whole point is that harassment is on-going interaction that is unwanted. If this has never happened to you before, than mazel tov. But don't try to pass off your experience as universal to the rest of us. You prove nothing except your own failures of imagination and empathy.

Sexual Harassment Panda:
I'm amazed people were surprised that it became a shit-show when politics got so heavily involved. Was the expectation that everyone would suddenly take to bay-area campus politics because pudgy hipster journos uploading shitty gossip articles with zero fact-checking via starbucks customer wifi wanted it to be so?

I always thought the expectation was we fought tooth and nail to get games considered an art medium with 1st amendment protections and a place in the broader conversation of modern pop culture. And when something is an art, inevitably people are going to talk about heavy things. So I was hoping that we would treat games as an art medium and not as yet another disposable toy.

The whole "no politics in gaming" whinge is nothing more than special pleading. Were films made worse because of movies like Boys Don't Cry, Apocalypse Now, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, or countless others that made a political statement? Did the protest songs of the 60's ruin rock and roll?

Right, so, from the responses here, I gather that people mis-characterize harassment as gatekeeping because the asshole is utilizing gaming or other geek knowledge to harass people. I would simply say that that's just pure harassment, the type of which is found in every sphere of existence, and the fact that they use gaming knowledge as a tool is not an indication of an issue with gaming culture specifically, but with humanity in general. It simply manifests here in the form of questioning with no interest in actually getting to know you better or learn about your tastes but just using it to be assholes. You do not fix this by accusing everyone else who also has an interest in these things of being an actual creepy weirdo (who the hell follows people in the bathroom? X.x) since 99% of people are nothing like that and will have a reaction against being characterized thus.

I think that people tend to lump innocent people into this very very tiny group of actual borderline criminal weirdos, and then the innocent people who had an ACTUAL point in asking you this or that or critiquing your review with their passionate rant that was coming from a good place or what have you feel slighted and wronged by being ascribed negative traits through no fault of their own, which causes you to get into a debate with them and not with the actual people who are causing the problem.

Dreiko:
Right, so, from the responses here, I gather that people mis-characterize harassment as gatekeeping because the asshole is utilizing gaming or other geek knowledge to harass people.

Dude, I don't think you understand what gatekeeping means in this context. Gatekeepers are the self-appointed guards of a hobby they think needs protecting from what they consider outsiders. There's not positive spin to this. Gatekeeping is unwanted behaviour.

And look, I know there are people out there who are on the spectrum and have a difficult time containing their enthousiasm when discussing there favourite topics, but that's not the problem we're talking about here. We're talking about individuals who look down on others for not meeting their standards, the people who think their hobby needs to be kept 'pure'. The intentional assholes.

Dreiko:
Right, so, from the responses here, I gather that people mis-characterize harassment as gatekeeping because the asshole is utilizing gaming or other geek knowledge to harass people. I would simply say that that's just pure harassment,

And I would say that they are not mutually exclusive terms. Unless you'd take to take a swing at arguing otherwise?

You do not fix this by accusing everyone else who also has an interest in these things of being an actual creepy weirdo

Who has done this and where? Name names.

I think that people tend to lump innocent people into this very very tiny group of actual borderline criminal weirdos, and then the innocent people who had an ACTUAL point in asking you this or that or critiquing your review with their passionate rant that was coming from a good place or what have you feel slighted and wronged by being ascribed negative traits through no fault of their own, which causes you to get into a debate with them and not with the actual people who are causing the problem.

You think or you know?

Dreiko:
I see this accusation of "gatekeeping" pop up a lot and I just don't get it. If someone tries to challenge my knowledge of something I am super into, I would actively enjoy showcasing it. It would be genuinely fun. Even if they were malicious in their questioning, merely the act of speaking about these things knowledgeably to someone who ACTUALLY cares to listen to me speak about them would be a great joy. Most of the time, it's not even that, people are just curious and want to figure out what king of person you are by what you play, even when people say things like "you're not a real X if you haven't played Y" they're just saying it in an unserious manner without meaning anything by it.

Speak for yourself. I dont' find it pleasant at all hearing about how I'm not a real gamer, despite having pumped out untold quarters into arcade games in the 80's and 90's, been able to beat each NES Castlevania AND Bayou Billy (WITH NO CHEATS) because I didn't get into Dark Souls.

I didn't do this shit so some snot nosed little millennial sack of crap can try to kick me out of the hoby.

But this is not the point, the point is that if someone truly decides that I am "unfit", whatever that entails, exactly how has that kept me outside of any gates? Is he then given permission to confiscate my games? Is he gonna take my laptop and uninstall my 15 visual novels that I got the other day from the humble bundle for 12 bucks? What is the consequence?

Give it time. I'm pretty certain if a lot of segments of the gaming culture had their way, they'd do just that.

See, you don't have anything happen to you if people think lesser of you because of what you do or do not play. People do that all the time with each-other anyways while still considering each-other "gamers". People talk down to people who play phone games or sports games or anime based games or walking sims. People are free to have their own standards and be all like "oh, you only play Jrpgs, you're a weaboo and not a hardcore gamer like me! raaa!" and that's just normal human interaction.

Then normal human interaction is garbage and I should really cut down on it.

NPC009:

Dreiko:
Right, so, from the responses here, I gather that people mis-characterize harassment as gatekeeping because the asshole is utilizing gaming or other geek knowledge to harass people.

Dude, I don't think you understand what gatekeeping means in this context. Gatekeepers are the self-appointed guards of a hobby they think needs protecting from what they consider outsiders. There's not positive spin to this. Gatekeeping is unwanted behaviour.

And look, I know there are people out there who are on the spectrum and have a difficult time containing their enthousiasm when discussing there favourite topics, but that's not the problem we're talking about here. We're talking about individuals who look down on others for not meeting their standards, the people who think their hobby needs to be kept 'pure'. The intentional assholes.

I think there's a genuine distinction between harassing innocent fans for not meeting your arbitrary standards (which I call just harassment and nothing else) and seeing someone who clearly, obviously doesn't know what they're talking about and calling them out for it politely, which I have seen being ascribed the gatekeeping label all the same, and done so unfairly.

Looking down on others is not harassment if you don't actually do anything but simply keep your thoughts to yourself. You don't control how you feel, so if I for example hear someone claim to be the biggest One piece fan in the world and then proceed to say that they have only watched the butchered 4kids version, it's natural to question their credentials as a proper One Piece fan and how much they've actually researched the show, but that doesn't mean I'll be an asshole to that person on top of it.

If they begin stating incorrect things in their review and I correct them and use my experience to lend credibility to my correction, that will be what I consider "gatekeeping" but I wouldn't be doing it maliciously and it definitely wouldn't be harassment as that entails a whole host of other rude/negative behaviors that I think are entirely useless towards my goal of helping that person understand just how butchered 4kids one piece is and how cool the original version is.

This is the kind of thing I associate with the term gatekeeping, it's done by people who want to make you enjoy your stuff to the max and teach you about the greater world of the fandom out there. The source of energy is passion for the work and a desire to make people appreciate it as much as it deserves to be appreciated. All that other negative and creepy stuff is so counter-productive to that goal that I can't really agree with the definition that entails them.

I guess this is all semantics in the end though so I'll try to keep in mind the context people use it in as I go forward. :P

Dreiko:

I think there's a genuine distinction between harassing innocent fans for not meeting your arbitrary standards (which I call just harassment and nothing else) and seeing someone who clearly, obviously doesn't know what they're talking about and calling them out for it politely, which I have seen being ascribed the gatekeeping label all the same, and done so unfairly.

Looking down on others is not harassment if you don't actually do anything but simply keep your thoughts to yourself. You don't control how you feel, so if I for example hear someone claim to be the biggest One piece fan in the world and then proceed to say that they have only watched the butchered 4kids version, it's natural to question their credentials as a proper One Piece fan and how much they've actually researched the show, but that doesn't mean I'll be an asshole to that person on top of it.

If they begin stating incorrect things in their review and I correct them and use my experience to lend credibility to my correction, that will be what I consider "gatekeeping" but I wouldn't be doing it maliciously and it definitely wouldn't be harassment as that entails a whole host of other rude/negative behaviors that I think are entirely useless towards my goal of helping that person understand just how butchered 4kids one piece is and how cool the original version is.

This is the kind of thing I associate with the term gatekeeping, it's done by people who want to make you enjoy your stuff to the max and teach you about the greater world of the fandom out there. The source of energy is passion for the work and a desire to make people appreciate it as much as it deserves to be appreciated. All that other negative and creepy stuff is so counter-productive to that goal that I can't really agree with the definition that entails them.

I guess this is all semantics in the end though so I'll try to keep in mind the context people use it in as I go forward. :P

Sorry, but you really don't get it, possibly because of these reasons:

1. You've never experienced actual gate keeping yourself. (But even then, you'd think the examples given would be enough to illustrate te difference between two fans arguing and a gate keeper trying to protect his hobby from what he consider an alien entity.)

2. You might be a gatekeeper without realising it. It's not your duty to educate people about what you think is important in geekdom. If they ask for more info or your opinion, that's nice, but if they don't, you shouldn't butt into their business. Being a fan is not a pissing contest. You are not the judge of a pissing contest that does not exist.

Aside from that, it's kind of silly to make up your own definition and then expecting everyone else to drop the common one and use yours instead.

NPC009:

Dreiko:

I think there's a genuine distinction between harassing innocent fans for not meeting your arbitrary standards (which I call just harassment and nothing else) and seeing someone who clearly, obviously doesn't know what they're talking about and calling them out for it politely, which I have seen being ascribed the gatekeeping label all the same, and done so unfairly.

Looking down on others is not harassment if you don't actually do anything but simply keep your thoughts to yourself. You don't control how you feel, so if I for example hear someone claim to be the biggest One piece fan in the world and then proceed to say that they have only watched the butchered 4kids version, it's natural to question their credentials as a proper One Piece fan and how much they've actually researched the show, but that doesn't mean I'll be an asshole to that person on top of it.

If they begin stating incorrect things in their review and I correct them and use my experience to lend credibility to my correction, that will be what I consider "gatekeeping" but I wouldn't be doing it maliciously and it definitely wouldn't be harassment as that entails a whole host of other rude/negative behaviors that I think are entirely useless towards my goal of helping that person understand just how butchered 4kids one piece is and how cool the original version is.

This is the kind of thing I associate with the term gatekeeping, it's done by people who want to make you enjoy your stuff to the max and teach you about the greater world of the fandom out there. The source of energy is passion for the work and a desire to make people appreciate it as much as it deserves to be appreciated. All that other negative and creepy stuff is so counter-productive to that goal that I can't really agree with the definition that entails them.

I guess this is all semantics in the end though so I'll try to keep in mind the context people use it in as I go forward. :P

Sorry, but you really don't get it, possibly because of these reasons:

1. You've never experienced actual gate keeping yourself. (But even then, you'd think the examples given would be enough to illustrate te difference between two fans arguing and a gate keeper trying to protect his hobby from what he consider an alien entity.)

2. You might be a gatekeeper without realising it. It's not your duty to educate people about what you think is important in geekdom. If they ask for more info or your opinion, that's nice, but if they don't, you shouldn't butt into their business. Being a fan is not a pissing contest. You are not the judge of a pissing contest that does not exist.

Aside from that, it's kind of silly to make up your own definition and then expecting everyone else to drop the common one and use yours instead.

I think to be a fan of something is to want it to be treated as it deserves to be, to want it to do well, to want people to appreciate it, know it, all that jazz. Hence, it is natural to wish to help that along when possible and when there's little reason not to.

If an act is counter-productive to that end and if you are a logical person who can see clearly the effects of their actions, that act would simply not be taken. The things described here are so far away from anything I or anyone I know has ever done in this endeavor that I simply refuse to be likened to them even a tiny bit. The guys taking your scope and following you around? Creeps with no sense of boundaries. The guys at the game store the other person was talking about who were hitting on her? Lonely nerds who don't know how to talk to women and what place is suitable for hitting on people and what isn't. That's not at all what I'm touching on with my description above. Those acts are all in general counter-productive towards anything positive at all and are quite shameful. They are not the fans I know.

Any definition that treats basic harassment as something else simply because it entails games or geek knowledge as the method through which it acts by definition is excluded from the goal of spreading the hobby and getting more people to join, so I can't agree with that definition, irrespective of how many people choose to use it. I will, however, keep in mind that people mean harassment when they say gatekeeping, so this has been productive.

BeetleManiac:

Sexual Harassment Panda:
I'm amazed people were surprised that it became a shit-show when politics got so heavily involved. Was the expectation that everyone would suddenly take to bay-area campus politics because pudgy hipster journos uploading shitty gossip articles with zero fact-checking via starbucks customer wifi wanted it to be so?

I always thought the expectation was we fought tooth and nail to get games considered an art medium with 1st amendment protections and a place in the broader conversation of modern pop culture. And when something is an art, inevitably people are going to talk about heavy things. So I was hoping that we would treat games as an art medium and not as yet another disposable toy.

The whole "no politics in gaming" whinge is nothing more than special pleading. Were films made worse because of movies like Boys Don't Cry, Apocalypse Now, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, or countless others that made a political statement? Did the protest songs of the 60's ruin rock and roll?

Could you explain to me why I'm the jumping off point for this?

I don't have a problem with political content in games. I have a problem with a moralising, busy-body press with contempt for it's own audience using it's platform to launch ideological witch-hunts and to try to shame artists into altering their work.

NPC009:

Dude, I don't think you understand what gatekeeping means in this context. Gatekeepers are the self-appointed guards of a hobby they think needs protecting from what they consider outsiders.

Right, or what they want to turn into outsiders by casting them out.

We're talking about individuals who look down on others for not meeting their standards, the people who think their hobby needs to be kept 'pure'. The intentional assholes.

Right, like Leigh Alexander and her "journo" minions.

StatusNil:

NPC009:

Dude, I don't think you understand what gatekeeping means in this context. Gatekeepers are the self-appointed guards of a hobby they think needs protecting from what they consider outsiders.

Right, or what they want to turn into outsiders by casting them out.

We're talking about individuals who look down on others for not meeting their standards, the people who think their hobby needs to be kept 'pure'. The intentional assholes.

Right, like Leigh Alexander and her "journo" minions.

How is their pushback even comparable? All they did was to write a bunch of articles about harassment with no specific individuals in mind.

So a reaction to terribly unethical and unprofessional journalism, that demanded changes to improve the industry so that it would do its actual responsibility in informing the public about news that was relevant to them, somehow ruined the games? And it did so by somehow preventing games from being criticized in order to attack feminism?

Yeah, that is pretty nonsensical. Lets break it down.

First, motivations being against a gaming industry that openly slandered and lied about those that was critical of their behavior, presenting it as "anti-feminism" is simply wrong. Certainly those journalists and their mouthpiece claimed to be feminist and actively masked themselves with that flag as best they could, but calling out their shit is not the same thing as being opposed to feminism in entirety. Sadly, too many eager to rush to the aid of the manufactured outrage merchants took what should have been a simple issue (fix ethics policies lack of enforcement, discipline those who violated them), became a shitstorm and it became opposed to SJW in general. SJW being the emotional ideology-driven defense force in the name of a progressive political policy of which the authority abusers and outrage manipulators in the media and promoted by the media claimed to be part of. Defined by their behavior in the name of their political beliefs, opposition to SJW in general largely evolved because the very tactics they were calling out in the media and it's anti-GG allies (abusing authority, making threats, demonizing audience, misrepresenting criticisms, outright lying, abusing professional privileges for personal reasons, protecting criminal behavior because of political unity, masking individual actions behind claims of criticism of them as being toward the group as a whole, etc).

Not surprisingly, the ones most opposed to criticism were actually those in the media who would demonize, misrepresent, silence or otherwise abuse their authority and reach. Anything directed at their opinions or opinions of those they promoted were quickly attacked to prevent any opposing narrative as best they could. As others have mentioned before, look no further than the likes of Anita to see the sort of defense pushed out to protect from criticism. Or the sort of hate they encourage from their positions of authority.

Second, you can debate content and always could. In fact, it was a call of a lot of gamergate supporters to get back to debating and criticizing actual content rather than the politically motivated bullshit talking points such as "this is sexist" articles that many felt were openly abusing the responsibility and duty of the journalists' profession to instead soapbox for personal political pedantry. Not surprisingly, they encouraged sites that supported open discussions instead of silenced them. Compare user allowance policies on sites like Neogaf or GamerGhazi which were staunchly anti-GG to ones that were pro like KotakuinAction,, or were even neutral like the escapist itself. The problem with the gaming media is that it stopped debating contant of the games and instead started to pretend it was an ideological gatekeeper, abusing its privledge as informer of the public interest to shame and attack things they personally didn't like, promote those that they did (or that their friend/roommates/lovers/lovers of co-workers were connected to), and try to shape gaming into what they wanted with little to no tolerance for dissent.

Also worth adding, most complaints were not about if you could debate content, but rather, the relevance or purpose of that complaint in the first place. Professional outrage merchants like Anita and various click-bait article journalists were not trying to improve gaming, but rather, promoting their political perspectives and abusing their extended reach, and their network of friends, to do so. Look at what was done. Most was calling someone out for crying about a game with a sexy character being dismissed as sexist without fair regard to the actual overall quality or content of the game byond how it offended their political belief. How a game failed to live up to their political views about what is or is not too hot for tv is not relevant to anyone but those who share that personal opinion. To everyone else, it is useless and irrelevant. And having nothing but that opinion being pushed over and over, it is little wonder people complained about games journalism failing to actually be relevant to the interests of the actual gaming customers. Nor is it surprising that when journalists were being called out for unethical and unprofessional behavior, them abusing their profession to promote political propaganda was also called out.

Finally, pushing for change is fine, but you also have to understand that not everything will change the way you want it, and that your say has to be weighed with the say of all other customers. But what a lot of the professional propagandists in the gaming media were doing was essentially overruling the opinions of the paying customers to instead create a narrative to push their own political desires, often at expense and openly in spite of actual fans wants. Abusing the extended reach of the media to promote friends' interests and to demonize those that disagree, it was often less about pushing for change than it was forcing it unfairly.

This became even more noteworthy when demagogues like Anita, an other ideologically driven non-hobbyist gamers, tried to push changes onto the rest of the industry in the same way that Thompson and the anti-violence brigade did in the past. Often done under claims of "starting dialog", though it always implied and attempted to shame those who disagreed as being sexist or racist in some manner (if not outright implying they contributed to rape/violence against women as Anita did). So now it was ideologically driven outside parties trying to force changes on games. And because the gaming media supported that political belief, they isolated and protected those opinions from criticism as best they could.

All in all, it is no surprise at all that people sick of the bullshit pushed and sold by the gaming media called it out, nor is it any surprise that after gaming became the latest ideological battlefield, that protective fans of would criticize the motivations and relevance of those demanding changes to the games they love. Having an outside force censor your favorite past-time because it offended them for existing even though they don't support it, enjoy it, or interact with it in the first place.

In the end, it simply made it so those criticizing games, especially controversy manufacturers and outrage merchants, were no longer so protected from criticisms themselves. Funny enough, I have never seen games stop criticizing content from the start of gaming itself. Every gamer I know can list things that would make their favorites better, or make lesser games more enjoyable, and they aren't afraid to vocalize them. But if someone in the media trying to drum up controversy and risk ruining people's lives by demonizing them and the games they love suddenly is less likely to manufacture outrage against a game for failing to live up to their political litmus test, then it is seen as making game criticism impossible?

I have to disagree entirely with your assessment that gamergate ruined games because it made people unable to criticize games content.

runic knight:
So a reaction to terribly unethical and unprofessional journalism, that demanded changes to improve the industry so that it would do its actual responsibility in informing the public about news that was relevant to them, somehow ruined the games?

Nope.

But when that same reaction began Long Knifing anyone who wasn't singing along to the right wing nationalist anthems, THAT'S when the culture got cut.

burnout02urza:
In all honesty, I think GG opened the eyes of a lot of people.

I've always felt that there was a creeping corruption of the industry, for years. I didn't know how to put a word to it, and I was wondering if I was the only one who noticed that games were becoming more politically-correct, more leftist, with a pro-diversity agenda being pushed.

Can you name any actual examples?

burnout02urza:
Gamergate brought it all out into the open, and let us know where the battlelines were drawn. If not for Gamergate, we wouldn't even know that we were - in fact - fighting a war. Sure, the odds were stacked against us, but we had several significant victories. More importantly, thousands of gamers were made aware that they were being faced with a hostile takeover, and finally began to fight back.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zSHz7Thvbc

Yeah, sure mate, a "war" was going on, and Gamergate were the brave underdogs in it all.

Let me tell you something - making posts from behind a keyboard isn't brave, it doesn't make you an underdog, and wars are things that are fought over serious matters. Last I checked, the definition didn't include "flame war." And if Gamergate was a war, the only winning move was not to play.

burnout02urza:
Without GG, it would have been impossible for those who secretly wished to go "No, what you're doing is wrong. Don't push your leftist trash down my throat, you fucks."

It's the Internet, it's completely easy.

jademunky:

Gatekeeping.

The knee-jerk response to demand certain people prove their gamer credentials to the satisfaction of those who consider themselves "real" gamers.

These insecure bullies are the kind of toxic people that those "Gamers are Dead" articles were dismissing and I can tell you that it was not ME that felt offended by those articles. If someone felt offended and called out by the gaming journalism community, they might want to think about why.

Thank you.

Even back then, reading those articles gave me a sigh of relief, the notion that the tantrum was over and the people were finally being called out for it like the children they were. It was also something that I'd felt for a long time, that I could play games in the same vein as reading books, watching movies, or doing whatever, that it was no longer a sub-culture, but part of a broader culture (hence the "gamers are dead" line - same reason there isn't a sub-culture of "readers" for instance). Little did I know I'd just seen the first shots fired of a "war"...or something.

If Gamergate has a legacy for me personally, it's refusing to call myself a "gamer." Granted, I've never really thought of myself as one anyway for the reasons above (i.e. by that stamp, I'd have to call myself a whole lot of other titles to be consistent), but even then, we have people who operate in the mindset of "if you like/play x, you're not a real gamer," or, by extension, throwing out "casual" like it's an insult.

NiGHTSJOD:

Lets think about it another way - back in their time of release, if you said you were a fan of Duke Nukem or DOAXBV and liked the games for whatever reason, nobody would say anything (maybe a joking "ya perv" comment at best for the latter). But today, the gaming press themselves would be as likely to call you a misogynist prick as much as they would say "Ah well, he/she likes the gameplay/humour. Each to their own". If they dislike a game for whatever reason, they should simply say "it's bad". Not "it's bad and you should feel bad for liking/buying/advocating for it". They are supposed to be the advocates championing gaming (and yes, gaming culture) to both gamers and the wider audience. They certainly should not be shitting on gamers because they happen to object to the content.

Thing is, Duke Nukem Forever came out, and people called it bad mostly for its gameplay. I do know that the hive level put some people off with figurative, borderline literal rape being treated as a joke, but regardless, the game would have been received poorly regardless.

Also, I've never seen any website actively attack "gamers" for enjoying something. The only example I can think of is an Extra Credits episode which maybe touches on those who played a Neo-Nazi game where you kill Jews, or the review of Call of Juarez: The Cartel (tells the audience not to play the game, but doesn't berate those who do). Also Yahtzee I guess, but that's done for laughs - I certainly don't get insulted every time he hurls one in my general direction.

But I disagree that gaming press is supposed to be "championing" gaming (culture), because not only is "gaming culture" too nebulous to champion in any concrete form, but that line also implies that the press is obliged to champion anything that comes their way.

CaitSeith:
How is their pushback even comparable? All they did was to write a bunch of articles about harassment with no specific individuals in mind.

"No specific individuals" is correct, they were in fact trying to purge gaming of what I would characterize as "non-SJW" elements. See, the thing is that the so-called "anti-GG" started quite a bit before "GG", only we didn't know about it until the journo shenanigans called attention to the network in operation.

Take a look at this June, 2013 (well before the whole Zoo Queen business) "open letter" from one Samantha Allen to "all Editors-in-Chief" of gaming websites: http://www.reactionzine.com/an-open-letter-to-games-media/

It's right there, the demand that the whole gaming media should be made into a "safe space" in those exact words. And the person who was setting the standard of "safety" was of course this individual:

Funnily enough, the rampant race- and gender-baiting in the gaming media really got underway subsequent to this missive. I recall at the time being flabbergasted by a Polygon Op-Ed by Ms. Allen herself, railing against "the dark heart" of Nintendo, who had apparently committed genocide by "erasing" gay marriage in freaking Tomodachi Life. So yeah, that's what they wanted all "gaming culture" to be all about. It was never about "different perspectives", it was about enforcing one particular perspective across the board, and anyone not sufficiently enthusiastic would either have to shut up or get the fuck out of all things "gaming" in the name of "inclusion". And it just happened that the GamerGate scandal was an opportunity for the clique committed to this project to go into full attack mode.

Like I said, nobody was aware of this at the time, people were merely disgusted with the open disdain for any journalistic standards displayed by the "journos". But given what we learned of this stuff (and there is plenty more where this came from), I wouldn't call whatever pushback there was exaggerated at all. How does a honest-to-goodness purge like this compare to "Random nobodies occasionally being dicks on muh Internet!" in the "gatekeeping" stakes?

Sexual Harassment Panda:
Could you explain to me why I'm the jumping off point for this?

I don't have a problem with political content in games. I have a problem with a moralising, busy-body press with contempt for it's own audience using it's platform to launch ideological witch-hunts and to try to shame artists into altering their work.

I apologize for the out-of-the-blue rant. Let me back up.

You and I both agree that getting shitty with creatives for dumb reasons is bad. That said, we're not aiming in the same direction. I see the problem not to be clueless moralizers whether they be some trustafarian douchebag who considers himself to be medically woke as fuck or a paranoid shit-talker with an axe to grind about why something or everything isn't staying the same way forever. I'm much more concerned with the direct corporate meddling in the press and the development process itself. People who don't give two tugs of a dead dog's cock about video games are calling the shots about how to make and talk about video games.

I assure you, there will never be a shortage of aggrieved individuals on the internet convinced that their moral crusade du jour is of the utmost importance. I would argue that there are much bigger targets we could be aiming at.

StatusNil:

CaitSeith:
How is their pushback even comparable? All they did was to write a bunch of articles about harassment with no specific individuals in mind.

"No specific individuals" is correct, they were in fact trying to purge gaming of what I would characterize as "non-SJW" elements. See, the thing is that the so-called "anti-GG" started quite a bit before "GG", only we didn't know about it until the journo shenanigans called attention to the network in operation.

Take a look at this June, 2013 (well before the whole Zoo Queen business) "open letter" from one Samantha Allen to "all Editors-in-Chief" of gaming websites: http://www.reactionzine.com/an-open-letter-to-games-media/

It's right there, the demand that the whole gaming media should be made into a "safe space" in those exact words. And the person who was setting the standard of "safety" was of course this individual:

Funnily enough, the rampant race- and gender-baiting in the gaming media really got underway subsequent to this missive. I recall at the time being flabbergasted by a Polygon Op-Ed by Ms. Allen herself, railing against "the dark heart" of Nintendo, who had apparently committed genocide by "erasing" gay marriage in freaking Tomodachi Life. So yeah, that's what they wanted all "gaming culture" to be all about. It was never about "different perspectives", it was about enforcing one particular perspective across the board, and anyone not sufficiently enthusiastic would either have to shut up or get the fuck out of all things "gaming" in the name of "inclusion". And it just happened that the GamerGate scandal was an opportunity for the clique committed to this project to go into full attack mode.

Like I said, nobody was aware of this at the time, people were merely disgusted with the open disdain for any journalistic standards displayed by the "journos". But given what we learned of this stuff (and there is plenty more where this came from), I wouldn't call whatever pushback there was exaggerated at all. How does a honest-to-goodness purge like this compare to "Random nobodies occasionally being dicks on muh Internet!" in the "gatekeeping" stakes?

What's hilarious is complaining about this gal "wanting to make gaming a safe space", and then complain about her not being PC when talking on her blog.

altnameJag:
What's hilarious is complaining about this gal "wanting to make gaming a safe space", and then complain about her not being PC when talking on her blog.

You mean it's "hilarious" that she concocted an actual secret plot to cleanse all gaming of "bigots" while being an unhinged bigot herself? I don't know if that's the right word. It's evident the "game journos" took her standards seriously, and took steps to implement them.

StatusNil:

altnameJag:
What's hilarious is complaining about this gal "wanting to make gaming a safe space", and then complain about her not being PC when talking on her blog.

You mean it's "hilarious" that she concocted an actual secret plot to cleanse all gaming of "bigots" while being an unhinged bigot herself? I don't know if that's the right word. It's evident the "game journos" took her standards seriously, and took steps to implement them.

"Secret plot"

You do know what an open letter is, right?

altnameJag:

StatusNil:

altnameJag:
What's hilarious is complaining about this gal "wanting to make gaming a safe space", and then complain about her not being PC when talking on her blog.

You mean it's "hilarious" that she concocted an actual secret plot to cleanse all gaming of "bigots" while being an unhinged bigot herself? I don't know if that's the right word. It's evident the "game journos" took her standards seriously, and took steps to implement them.

"Secret plot"

You do know what an open letter is, right?

They don't even understand that "Gamers Are Dead" wasn't literally accusing all gamers everywhere of being dead.

Dreiko:

I think to be a fan of something is to want it to be treated as it deserves to be, to want it to do well, to want people to appreciate it, know it, all that jazz. Hence, it is natural to wish to help that along when possible and when there's little reason not to.

If an act is counter-productive to that end and if you are a logical person who can see clearly the effects of their actions, that act would simply not be taken. The things described here are so far away from anything I or anyone I know has ever done in this endeavor that I simply refuse to be likened to them even a tiny bit. The guys taking your scope and following you around? Creeps with no sense of boundaries. The guys at the game store the other person was talking about who were hitting on her? Lonely nerds who don't know how to talk to women and what place is suitable for hitting on people and what isn't. That's not at all what I'm touching on with my description above. Those acts are all in general counter-productive towards anything positive at all and are quite shameful. They are not the fans I know.

Any definition that treats basic harassment as something else simply because it entails games or geek knowledge as the method through which it acts by definition is excluded from the goal of spreading the hobby and getting more people to join, so I can't agree with that definition, irrespective of how many people choose to use it. I will, however, keep in mind that people mean harassment when they say gatekeeping, so this has been productive.

Again, gatekeeping does not mean what you think it means. It's a word that has been around for a while now. It has a meaning. We illustrated that meaning with examples. You can't just change it with long rants.

Also, who are you to decide what is the right way to enjoy something? Being a fan just means enjoying something so much you consider it something important to you. Gathering a lot of trivia is just one way to enjoy something. Other people like collecting figures or go all-out cosplaying their favourite characters. Some write fanfiction or draw fan comics.

Actually, there's a word for people who think they should dictate how others enjoy something: elitist bastard.

Nobody likes those guys.

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