Saturday, September 06, 2014

#GamerGate

I don't know much about #GamerGate. I'll list everything I knew two hours ago (because I've informed myself a little since then):


  1. There is a female games journalist
  2. She had an intimate relationship with a game developer
  3. Maybe she reviewed a game he made, and it was overwhelmingly positive
  4. Nothing else happened and I don't care
After reading that list, that's pretty much still what I know about that business. I don't know who this journalist is, who the game developer is, what games are involved, and how any of this has affected anything. Perhaps that's bad, but I think these events are largely overshadowed by the momentum that's created #GamerGate.

This is what I know now:

  • Gamers want more respect
  • Gamers want better, less biased coverage
  • Gamers have no idea how to accomplish this, nor do they agree on what any of this means
I've talked about the growth of Games Journalism before; today, as we were perhaps a few years ago, in the adolescent stage. Largely news is controlled by publishers and developers giving sometimes non-specific press releases. There is very little free form, and only a little creative thinking (outside of the art itself.) No one really knows how to change this, but it is slowly changing.

The conclusion I come to is this: time is our only passage to better, less biased Games Journalism. Just like we grew out of childhood, we will grow out of adolescence. Developers have done the same with games.

Gamers don't have a solution because they don't understand that there really isn't one. Gamers want less corruption, but there isn't any. From some perspectives, the whole field is one corrupt mess. What gamers want is have other people listen to them and be told what to do. Some are level headed and want actual change. Others only want a fascist like following, unquestioning and always agreeing. Good discussions can be had, but only on the periphery of hate.

All of the information I have came from this article I found on Twitter. It's less harsh on the movement itself and much more analytic (well worth a read.) One of the points was that gamers feel proud to associate with the label gamer and it means something to them. They want to be taken seriously, not as a joke or an odd enthusiast. I agree, but not as a gamer. I want games to be taken seriously, I don't really care about gamers themselves. One will come with the other.

I think #GamerGate is represented by a loud minority of hardcore gamers. The topic focuses on the wrong issues. No one should care about reporting the news, or even about biased reviews (every review is biased, and sometimes unfairly so.) We should focus on civil discussions. If we want to be taken seriously, maybe we should consider those around us. We can't stop talking about how great we are, perhaps we should take a look from the outside and figure out why we're treated like children.

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