Rock, Paper, Shotgun Apology For Using Female Writers

By John Walker on March 27th, 2013 at 9:00 pm.

We made a mistake. It’s important as a website that readers can trust that we are up front when this happens, and willing to admit to our failings, and promise to address them. And as recently as last week, Rock, Paper, Shotgun let a woman write an article. We would like to apologise to our readers for any offence caused.

Perhaps what makes what’s becoming known as #PeaSoupGate so serious an error on our part was the apparent subterfuge used in the run up to this article. The author and – we now confess – woman, Cara Ellison, had been writing articles for us for a few months in advance of this particular piece. And with no appropriate warning, the article finished with an image revealing that Cara was in fact female. Clearly many readers were upset, and we now hope to redress the balance over this unfortunate incident.

The piece, an interview with someone else we have since discovered to also be a woman, Rhianna Pratchett, finished with a picture of Ellison in the foreground, with a pot of pea soup in the background. What is so particularly problematic with this picture is that rather than containing the face of a man, as readers trust to expect, it seems we published what is identifiably a picture of a woman.

Naturally commenters expressed their shock and rage. Most were in fact so upset by the situation that they forgot to even mention that their horror was born of Ellison’s apparent lack of a Y chromosome, and instead in their confusion simply argued against the use of an image of the writer at all. With RPS’s male writers having frequently posted their own faces on the site over the years – and of course to no complaint – it just shows quite how wrong it was of us to allow this situation to occur, so upsetting and confusing as it was that people would become so muddled.

Some have observed that it is deeply peculiar that none of RPS’s male writers have ever been so vitriolically criticised for featuring picture of themselves, if it’s even happened at all. Others have claimed that rarely do readers feel the need to comment on whether they find the male writers of RPS attractive or not when images of them appear. Also that complaining about Cara’s writing about herself seems peculiar on a site that is proudly self-indulgent before it’s informative. Lines like “it’s almost like women in games journalism have something to prove” applied to a style of writing used by all of RPS’s male writers since we launched nearly six years ago, they say, appear incongruous. But this is a very insensitive argument that does not take into account the severity of the trauma our interview has caused.

RPS would also like to apologise for featuring other female writers, both born and identifying as female, on a regular basis. Clearly by being women they are imposing their agenda on an undeserving audience, in a way that is inexcusable.

From this point going forward, we will ensure that if a woman is somehow writing on the site, that during the process they will be required to wear a top hat, false moustache, and steely, manly glare as they type, in order to eradicate the unpleasantness so many have had to experience. No longer will they be allowed to “play the gender card” by openly having their gender be so not-male.

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752 Comments »

  1. Lanfranc says:

    Fine, fine, but where’s the apology for inflicting a pot of Tesco pea soup upon us? Because that stuff is unconscionable.

    • Fluka says:

      False! If it’s the “fresh garden pea with ham” variety, that stuff is tasty. Or at least it was when I was a grad student and it was 2 am and I was writing my thesis and I had forgotten to have dinner. (Note: Tesco pea soup may not in fact have been tasty.)

      Also: Yay Cara! Yay John! Boo nasty internet commenters!

  2. Burning Man says:

    Dammit John, why do you constantly stir up controversy where none exists?!

    • Supahewok says:

      Where else are you going to find a controversy to write about? The real world? Gimme a break.

  3. FriendlyFire says:

    I like how more comments have been about criticizing John’s articles and style than about Cara’s participation here.

    I therefore suggest that Cara now write an apology for allowing such a vile creature as a John Walker to write on this here site.

  4. Thunderbeak says:

    I didn’t even read the interview, why the hell am I getting bothered — thanks for including this article in the Twitter feed — with such a childish response to comments I would never write anyway?!

  5. Alexander says:

    And yes, I agree with what a lot of guys here are saying: was this necessary? No sane male reader would dismiss Cara because she’s a female. We’ll read anything as long as it’s good/great, by male or female alike.
    And did Cara need someone else defending her? I love RPS, but really, I feel like John is loosing it sometimes.

    • Droopy The Dog says:

      I know it’s unnecessary and I willingly accept any and all angry comments about my usefulness to society, but if I don’t allow myself these little indulgences my life would seem a pallid grey landscape. So without further ado.

      “Losing it”

      …Sorry! It’s a compulsion!

  6. zachforrest says:

    I’m a big fan of your work John, but you don’t half whinge

  7. Carighan Maconar says:

    From this point going forward, we will ensure that if a woman is somehow writing on the site, that during the process they will be required to wear a top hat, false moustache, and steely, manly glare as they type

    Please tell me we’re getting a picture of Cara with a tophat! :O

  8. Liudeius says:

    I’m not going to bother to read through pages of comments to find out what this is all about, but
    I don’t care who’s writing an article, anyone who thinks:
    “Information
    I’M A WOMAN
    Information
    I’M A WOMAN
    Argument
    I’M A WOMAN
    Information”

    Is better writing than:
    “Information
    Information
    Argument
    Information”

    Is an idiot.
    I don’t care whether you’re male, female, transsexual, hermaphrodite, or alien.
    If I click a title that says “My Review of New Sequel Cash-Grab 500,” I want to hear about “New Sequel Cash-Grab 500,” not a rambling opening paragraph about your gender with a bunch of interludes throughout the piece focusing on your gender rather than the subject.
    A ton of female writers do just that though. Great, you’re a woman, I don’t care. That’s not relevant. It means nothing. Sure, you can say “as a woman, I have this opinion,” but another “as a woman” could have the exact opposite opinion.

    How often do male writers separate each paragraph of information with observations on how awesome their dicks and manliness are?

    That being said, I’ve not seen that on RPS, but so long as the subject is female journalists, I don’t care. Write about the subject, not your gender.

    • Gap Gen says:

      Going off topic and dicking about has been a treasured staple of RPS since its members were writing for PC Gamer. So I’m really not sure what you’re expecting here. Plenty of boring sites to read out there.

      • Liudeius says:

        I’m not so much complaining about somewhat off-topic asides so much as those few women who think their femininity, not the quality of their writing, defines their work.
        Those who feel like they have to scream their gender in defiance to “the man” with every article they write. No one cares. If you want to prove that you are a capable woman, write a good article, don’t give me a lecture on how capable a woman you are.

        Look at it this way. How often when debating on the internet (I presume you do considering how deep in the comments you are) do you or your opposition put a strong emphasis on their/your gender?
        I’m betting not often. Personally it almost never comes up for me unless it relates to sexism (and I avoid mentioning my own gender unless it is absolutely relevant, which it never is).
        This is because, while gender may play a role in shaping your views, it ultimately does not matter for most topics. Being a man or woman does not guarantee a certain set of ideas.

        What is important is the views you are presenting, not your gender. Yet there are female journalists who insist on the focus of much of their work being based on their sexuality, not their views.

      • Gap Gen says:

        What, you mean one article interviewing a female writer about a game with a female lead in a male-dominated industry? Sure, gender isn’t relevant there.

        In any case, so the gender of the author is apparent. Boo fucking hoo. National crisis. Martial law declared. Etc.

        (On a serious note, the article mentioned is not debating anything. If it were claiming that a certain point were true based on the gender of the author then perhaps, sure, it would be an ad hominem fallacy. But it’s not, so it isn’t.)

    • Dr I am a Doctor says:

      cracked does that

    • Alexander says:

      Agree with this.

    • Sleepymatt says:

      As a man, I like a bit of personality in my gaming blog, and prefer to leave “information information information” style prose to the phone book and EULA writers.

      Also, have you seen my amazing dick? It’s incredibly manly. Just in case you were wondering.

      • Liudeius says:

        “Personality and Style” is fine, perhaps my wording was not adequate.
        Look at the SR4 trailer commentary (http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/03/16/verdict-saints-row-4-trailer/).
        That’s the most gender based piece I’ve read on RPS in recent history. Even that though does not explicitly state Cara and Kieron’s gender’s, you can tell from the jokes, yet the focal point is not the gender of the writers, but their opinions about it and some banter.

        A bad female writer would make the focus on her gender rather than her views (please don’t make me trawl Kotaku for an example).

        (I’m not saying the Saint’s Row 4 article it a good article, personally I think it’s pretty bad. I would far prefer more focus on analysis than how many jokes about dicks can be made. But I’m using it as a borderline example. Had it been published as a serious article, or had more focus on the individual writer’s gender’s rather than their views, I would complain about it.)

    • Bhazor says:

      Agreed.

      Inserting yourself in a diary or retrospective or gaming made me is fine. But talking about yourself more than your interviewee? That’s ridiculous.

      There’s also the fact that she seems to use far more sex references than any other writer here (apart from the Weekly Free Indie articles, which I consider guest posts). Honestly, I just find that tacky compared to the more innocent/dry humour of the rest of the regulars. I just don’t think she’s funny. To me she reads like a sub par Kieron tribute. Right down to the forced 90′s music references.

      • Tagiri says:

        You’re absolutely right, no men on RPS have ever done an interview in which they’ve narrated about themselves at length.

        • Distec says:

          It’s funny you point that out.

          Because that interview was also an excruciating read.

      • Gap Gen says:

        Rab mentions sex all the time. Plus, eh. It’s a thing. Jim mentions robots a lot.

  9. Freud says:

    She has a Superhero Barbie next to the soup!

  10. strangeloup says:

    One of the big advantages of John Walker’s posts on sexism (which, I should clarify, I have absolutely no problem with, and support) is that it brings all the dickheads out in the comments where they can easily be blocked, not to bother you again.

    More on topic: I enjoy Cara’s writing, and the fact that she doesn’t seem to take herself particularly seriously is quite refreshing. I always feel slightly weird about the misogyny/sexism issue however; I have really limited experience with women due to both general circumstance (such as most of the people I know, I got to know online, in circumstances where the majority of people are male) and having been gay since always, and I’m concerned that my inexperience might lead to faux pas and inadvertently offending people. That being said, folks like Leigh Alexander and Jane McGonigal have provided some of the most interesting and thought-provoking games writing in recent memory, and like anyone whose work I admire, I’d feel like a right tit if I upset them by mistake.

    • Droopy The Dog says:

      That’s the great thing about egalitarianism. That they’re women or men shouldn’t matter and is completely incidental. So in theory you have just as much relevant experience with women as you do men.

      • strangeloup says:

        You make a really good point; thanks for that, genuinely. I think I got caught up in the gender thing to the extent of forgetting that you’re dealing with people first and foremost. There was another good comment on a different post that said something to the effect that “if you think people shouldn’t be treated differently because of their gender, congratulations, you’re a feminist”.

        Doesn’t stop me from feeling awkward, though, but then again I feel awkward around a lot of folks.

        • Droopy The Dog says:

          Well, much like communism the ideal gets warped a bit when you try to match it to reality. So if you like the idea of egalitarianism you have to want gender to be irrelevant but realise in current societies that people’s personal history has probably been shaped by something as silly as their gender at some point.

          I didn’t want to muddy the waters of my first point by treading the grey areas, but your own point is actually more valid than my first response implies.

          • strangeloup says:

            Even so, if I assume that my point is half of the case and your point is the other half, it’s still a considerably more optimistic outlook than I initially had. Whatever the situation is in our current society, which is certainly far from optimal, I think it’s likely worthwhile to approach someone as a person first, rather than thinking to act in a specific way towards people in certain arbitrary-or-otherwise categories.

            I suppose in a way online communication helps with that, because it’s quite often that you’ll only know someone by a username, so unless they expressly tell you their gender/age/shoe size/favourite colour, it could be anything.

          • Droopy The Dog says:

            Huh, hearing such a positive response as that cheered me right up. Thanks mister!

    • Fluka says:

      And yet purely by your willingness to listen and argue in good faith, you seem to be doing okay wrt these conversations!

      I wonder if John’s just shaking the branches of the great RPS tree to flush out some of the nastier trollish squirrels. Spring cleaning time, after all!

      • strangeloup says:

        Well, thank you for that :)

        I think this generally comes from both an application of Wheaton’s Law (“Don’t be a dick”) and having been negatively discriminated against myself, and thus being perhaps more aware than average of how unpleasant that can be.

  11. Dr I am a Doctor says:

    What the hell is a ‘cara’?

  12. Monkeyshines says:

    Blimey. This is all rather disappointing.

    I really like RPS. Like really, really like RPS. I just don’t get this. Most people commenting on articles are cool. RPS is a bastion of civility compared to any other gaming site on the entire entity of the internets.

    But this? Did I miss some urgent thing that prompted this article’s satire and therefore missed the entire point?

    I wholeheartedly agree that there are some fecked up things in games. From treatments of women to social issues; these are good things to shine a light on. But this story feels unnecessarily antagonistic, and to a fan and supporter such as myself, it’s a disappointment.

    There is clearly a lot of talent in RPS. Nobody who regularly reads this site cares if it’s male or female. Unless I’ve missed something stonkingly obvious, this just feels like my favourite gaming site trolling me.

  13. SilentDawn says:

    Aplogy accepted.

  14. BlackKraken says:

    Reading through this article I was shocked and dismayed to read the word “woman” and then further along “man”. It took me a while, but the sickening realisation slowly sunk in that the writers on this site are indeed human.

    How DARE you pretend that anything else was going on, I feel cheated and lied to throughout the years of coming to this site. I mean, lord have mercy, humans? What the hell were you thinking hiring these disgusting beings, with their oozing and squishing and the horrible sounds they emit from their upper sphincters…

    Homo-sapient loving propaganda filled gibberish.

  15. Captain Hijinx says:

    I think Cara is a fine addition to the team, i think her work on MOBA’s and the joy of Dota in particular stand out. I was really surprised at the lack of indepth analysis and coverage of Dota on RPS, given that its creation is so unique and it’s a game that could only have been created by PC gamers, it’s a really unique game and i don’t think a developer on earth could possibly design a game so irrational in design and yet so fun to play! That said, i didn’t really like the Total war 2 preview by Cara, it was witty and well written but not really very informative for those of us who are wetting our pants in excitement, it just felt pointless. As for the overall quality of RPS, i find the site at its best when the guys (And gals) get together to discuss a particular game and its design philosophy. As for overall quality i do find some articles lean a little too far to the witty and less to the informative. Also, where is Jim of late? I miss him ;_;

  16. Bubba says:

    Wow, she’s cute.

  17. Skyhigh says:

    Letting a woman write an artic…wait, what? I don’t even…How could yo…?

    Ok, that really was…well…you know…, but you had the courage to apologize, and I know how hard that is, especially after having been in a position, where one let a woman write an artic…I still can not believe what you have don…, anyway, you apologized…so all is good now. Water under the bridge…

  18. Arkh says:

    On some news about games:
    Matrix Games have posted some screens of their Distant Worlds next expansion, Shadows. You can find them here:
    http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=3206160&mpage=17

    They also gave a interview about it recently, here:
    http://www.net4war.com/news.php?id_news=880

    Overall, I think Shadows will come very soon. It’s an AMAZING game, with much depth and a lot of room to grow. I’d like them to steal some concepts from StarDrive, specially ship design, and not be as pricey, but seriously, if you haven’t checked out Distant Worlds, you really should. Also, the bad guys trying to conceal themselves should be less obvious… Imagine Freddy Krueger coming to you saying he is a refugee from Syria, asking to stay at you house while shaking you hand with those knifes he has instead of fingers. That’s as subtle as the Shakturi are.

    On another relevant note, if you are feeling particularly space-masochistic today, go play some Aurora.
    http://aurora2.pentarch.org/
    Ever played a game made in a dead language? With a lot of depth, awesome features and hard as hell (to play and to comprehend)? Then this game is for you.

  19. Barbro says:

    I fully understand why John wrote this article. For the same reason that I dread the comment section of every article written by a woman on pretty much every site I follow. Soo many comments will be about gender, in one way or another. It’s so unbelievably tiring!

    I don’t care about the authors – they’re grown up and know posting on the net they open up for anything.
    I care about reading interesting, funny, silly, stupid, thought provoking, ordinary bloody COMMENTS.
    Not what you think about the authors appearance, or your opinion on their visit at our boy’s club. Not how their writing style, subject or opinions depend on their gender. Not anything that pops into your head solely because of the authors gender.
    It’s 2013 – give it a rest!

    • Fluka says:

      The absolutely *nuclear* commenter reaction to Patricia Hernandez’ articles on Kotaku finally drove me away from that site once and for all. If ever a post like this was needed, it was on that site. (I think they’ve driven away quite a few female contributors over the years…)

      Even if the initial number of icky comments regarding Cara was quite small (and unless some major culling was done, it was mainly confined to one thread on that interview), it’s still great to see one of the site’s founders lay down the law and back up their writers. Plus, it’s always fun seeing John anger up the Internet Boys so they’re all “Conduct unbefitting an objective videogame blog!” and all that.

      • Scelous says:

        Hell, maybe I’ll go back to Kotaku again.

        The problem I had was some readers endorsing Pat’s absolutely godawful, junior-high-level of “journalism,” and her constantly banging her feminist drum. So I left Kotaku, but it seems like for the exact opposite reason.

      • RandomEsa says:

        Funnily enough Patricia Hernandez articles (not the comments) is one of the reasons why I think Kotaku is one of (if not) the worst video game related publication right now.

        Every time I think that RPS has really lowered in quality I just think to myself that at least it’s not Kotaku.

  20. Boomzilla says:

    This article is too good. Keep up the good work people. Between Totalbiscuit and RPS no one need go anywhere else for the gaming culture and news.

  21. Kusz says:

    I wonder if Cara was awere of this article and even wanted it. She’s a big girl and can take care of herself, stop patronising her.

    • Bhazor says:

      Good point. Would very much like to know what Cara’s reaction will be to this.

    • derbefrier says:

      I thought the same thing. I’d be pretty pissed off if it was me but surely he would ask before doing this. I can understand wanting to defend your friend but still it seems a little extreme.

    • Supahewok says:

      Ms. Ellison probably just laughed. This seems like the kind of humor she would like. And she damn well knew ahead of time what putting her picture in an article would bring about; I refuse to believe that she was too naive to consider it. I really doubt she considers either this or that comments thread a big deal.

  22. JFS says:

    Just one question (and please mind that I was not one of those commenting on all the Cara Ellison stuff, not even speak of any negativity):

    Why do you feel the need to troll your own readers?

    And by the way, Ellison’s articles are difficult to read. Sometimes, articles by other RPS authors are also strange and/or hard to understand, but that isn’t regularly the case. Don’t know if this has got to do with gender, I’d say it rather has to do with preferred writing styles. Or favoured screenshots. Maybe it’s even got to do with me not being a native speaker. Yeah, exactly, it’s quite arbitrary, so I guess RPS shouldn’t lose their mind over it.

    • Reapy says:

      I felt like her articles were getting more coherent over time, if she can ground her nutty side with a bit more coherence I foresee some good games writing, as I feel fun should be a central part of gaming ‘news’.

  23. JohnnyMaverik says:

    Wait, wait, wait, WAIT! Everybody just slow the f down… now… what’s a woman? O.o

    Also on a more serious note I’d like to say this comments section is knee deep in fail… so yea, you may now continue. :P

  24. Kurshuk says:

    I’ve been a long time reader of RPS because I work in an office. I’m from the states and we have nothing enjoyable to read. You’re a bright light in a crappy gray sky.

    Since we’re going to identify gender for female input. I’ll go ahead and annouce that I am in fact male.

    10/10 Would read again. Cara, sorry you’re not a man. I am looking forward to you next picture, which I would say you’ll be; required to wear a top hat, false moustache, and steely, manly glare as they type. I suggest surprise as an appropriate response. I could tell the first article I read from you that you were in fact a woman.

    I don’t post on a ton of forums. I think I average maybe 1 post a day and mostly on the MWO forums, but I wanted to chime in and show my support for RPS and for Cara, I’m sorry that so many people on the internet have such bad manners.

    Opinion, Away!
    Kurshuk

  25. Guiscard says:

    To quote Caboose: “And why didn’t someone give me something to yell about!?”

  26. Delusibeta says:

    Whatever happened to “don’t feed the trolls”? I mean, that’s chapter one, verse one of How To Comment on the Internet. There’s no need to dredge up something that happened last week. Delete the offending comments, ban accounts where necessary, and move on. Don’t write a article consisting mostly of a bad attempt at sarcasm that will only serve to signal that yes, the trolls were successful in antagonising and that they should carry on prodding the sexism button, since it’s the easiest route to getting a reaction.

    [Edit] If anyone wants to know my “solution” to this problem: moderators. Lots and lots of moderators. Nothing discourages trolls quite like seeing their comments getting consistently deleted. Yeah, I realise that people will argue that this isn’t addressing to the root of the problem, which is true, but I’ll still argue the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory applies. (Except that if you seen some of the shit I’ve seen on some Facebook-powered comment threads, I question whether “anonymity” is a necessary component of the GIFT. You can’t remove idiots and trolls from the internet, but you can get them off your site)

  27. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    I honestly have no idea what to comment (except the following). Cara’s cool. I’d like it if she’d stick around some more.

  28. lijenstina says:

    First of all, why didn’t Cara write the article herself? Did she asked to write the article or tell Walker what she feels about the subject? Maybe she doesn’t care about what some anonymous morons on the internet say?

    I think that is very demeaning to women in general, to act as an white knight and stride to protect them like they are some kind of perpetual damsels in distress; that means that you implicitly accept them as someone who are not capable of defending themselves, someone who is not an equal, a child. That’s patronizing at it’s worst.

    Imagine a game where there is someone acting like that? Would you protest how the developers are perpetuating the old gender roles and prejudices ?

    It would be great to hear what she thinks about the subject and what she finds offensive in her own words.

    • Cockles says:

      White-knighting is sexist, albeit a “positive” form of sexism (I don’t mean that in a good way, see this for an idea http://marcusball.com/studies/psychology/Psych%20Women/Sexism%20full.pdf) but I don’t see this as an article written in defence of Cara, just one that’s fed up with dealing with sexism.

      If John (or any man for that matter, especially one who writes for a gaming website) decides that they are fed up of dealing with sexist comments – whether subtle in their tone or overt – then personally I’d encourage them to say something, especially as he writes for RPS and can write pretty much whatever he wants in that regard.

      My point is, try looking at it from another angle, personally I don’t see this as a “white-knighting” thing, nor do I believe Cara needs to comment on how she feels about considering it’s John Walker’s opinion on the matter.

      • lijenstina says:

        Yes, he can write whatever he wants – but did he asked her about does she wants to react to it at all, and if so – how ?

        Even totally disregarding the whole white knight thing (his intentions aren’t important as their perception is – many comments did have a similar impression – it is a failure of communicate them to others), Walker could have wrong assumptions about what was problematic to her; give bad arguments about the subject in general, focus on wrong things, to shape the discussion’s tone and direction making Cara’s possible later reaction more difficult – having to address not only the original article but the Walker’s one too, or, in the end, blowing things out of proportion when she didn’t felt the need to respond to it.

  29. caddyB says:

    Sigh, time to delete RPS from the bookmarks, I’m here for the entertaining articles like the ones Cara writes, funnily enough. I don’t need sarcastic articles about how I’m a terrible person because I’m a man on the internet and everything is sexist oh my god.

    • Tagiri says:

      I don’t really understand the point of a post announcing that you’re leaving. Are you expecting someone to swoop in and cry, “No, wait! I’ll be more sexist, just please come back!”

      (Also, if you automatically assume an article that says that some men are behaving badly is about you, maybe it’s time for some self-examination, just saying.)

      • Scelous says:

        The point is to let the publisher know you are dissatisfied with their product and that they have lost a consumer of their media as a result.

    • Cockles says:

      I didn’t read anyone accusing you of being sexist, perhaps you should reconsider? I’m sure you’ll be missed if you do go.

    • zeekthegeek says:

      If you’re really leaving, just leave. Don’t make an ordeal of it. That’s attention-whoring.

    • geerad says:

      Funny, I missed the part of this article that said all men on the Internet are sexist.

      Oh, wait. That’s because it doesn’t say anything like that.

      Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

    • Lokik says:

      Strange, I’m a man but didn’t feel like this article was meant for me personally.

  30. DudeBro says:

    It never bothered me that a (gasp) female wrote articles on here. I didn’t even read that article till now, but now that I see that image of hers, it was hilariously unnecessary. If you want to show a picture of a soup can, why not just show a picture of a soup can?

    As someone else pointed out, this is all that came to mind: http://bit.ly/14wBbQt

    /inb4 White Knights

    • Tagiri says:

      I think Rhianna Pratchett might have noticed enough to make some remark of it if she were talking on Skype with a soup can.

  31. psepho says:

    Anyone still reading the comments after 33x?

    Just wanted to say: RPS you are all great! In the few years that I have been reading, the site has absolutely been my window onto gaming and is just about the only corner of the Internet that I read religiously on a daily basis. It is not an exaggeration to say that the site has changed my engagement with gaming out of all recognition and led me to many other great people/places like Critical Distance and Freeindiegam.es.

    As far as writing goes, everyone that contributes, whether permanent or occasional brings their own voice and interests and Cara’s and Nathan’s contributions have been particularly welcome in bringing female and US perspectives into the RPS mix over the last year or so. The more you all mix it up with differing voices and angles, the better.

  32. Bluerps says:

    I think all the writers on RPS should be women. And by that, I mean the men should all get a sex change.

    You’re awesome, RPS! I’ve been reading this site regularly for over two years, and I never regretted it.

  33. Joc says:

    I like RPS, and all of its writers (for their writings). Even Alec. Go team!

    • Blackseraph says:

      Alec always gives us funny alt-texts, which endears him to me at least. But I am easily amused.

  34. Rhodri2311 says:

    Was this really needed? It feels rather patronising to be honest as looking through those comments there’s a lot of support on the site for Cara’s writing, which at a cursory glance seems to out-number the quantity of jerkishness.

    Writing an article just because a few commentators were being ass-hats comes across as you looking for a drum to bang. I’m sure there’s been plenty of articles written by other authors where some commentators were also ass-hats, but you felt they could handle that – so why do you feel the need to jump onto a pedestal and berate your readership on Cara’s behalf?

    I don’t care who writes an article, as long as I find it interesting and engaging which Cara does, as do you most of the time. This did not make my interesting list though.

  35. Distec says:

    While I noted a few inappropriate comments in response to Cara’s interview (more due to posters unnecessarily pointing out she’s a female rather than any blatant misogyny), I didn’t feel like they dominated the “flavor” of the discussion. Did I miss chunks of offensive content that were deleted? Did y’all get emails over it or something? Because this article just seems unhelpful and out of proportion. Sexism in video games and game journalism is clearly something John is passionate about and I can respect that. I just wish that his attempts to address it amounted to more than passive aggressive snark. It’s like having a friend that you share a lot of the same opinions with, but you get completely turned off of by the way they talk about them.

    Even some of the responses here make me scratch my head. “Which article? I didn’t read that one. The responses were reportedly bad? Oh, then GREAT JOB, JOHN. Stick it to those patriarchal neanderthals! You’re the savior of the internet!”. Again, maybe I’ve missed something major here. But any damage done there would have been better left alone IMO, rather than being a provocateur about it. And I do question whether you would have written something like this up in defense of any of the other RPS writers that get jerkface comments.

  36. MDefender says:

    Mostly, I’m just interested to know how long ago this article was actually written

  37. Uthred says:

    It’s not just that the article seems both unnecessary and in active opposition to its implicit goal (why did John feel the need to wrtie the article “for” Cara? Couldnt she have written it herslef?). Its that its so poorly written, good satire is hard to write, as this passive aggressive mess shows.

  38. fupjack says:

    Everyone who contributes to the site should always be pictured with top hat and fake mustache, regardless of gender.

    I mean, youse guys are in the UK. Don’t you do that already? Add a monocle if you’re feeling spiffy?

    • Cockles says:

      Sometimes we hunt little, furry, wild brownish dog-things around the countryside as well but because we’re masters of getting other things to do stuff for us, we don’t actually chase them ourselves but get domesticated little dog-things to do it whilst we sit on large muscley dog-things (I believe they’re called “horses”). Afterwards, we all have a cup o’ tea and head down to the local red phone box for a pint of ale.

    • Droopy The Dog says:

      Not all of us are flipping lords you know sonny! Some of us graft for our dinner and can’t afford some lar-de-dar fancy hat that probably costs more than me old gram’s bungalow. No, we wear a flat cap on Sundays and a miner’s cap every other day. Honestly, bleedin’ yanks always think we’re all a bunch of useless toffs…

      (On second thought, adopting the persona of an angry coal miner is probably going to go over the head of all the none Brits. Sorry for any head scratching this caused.)

  39. Runs With Foxes says:

    Naturally commenters expressed their shock and rage.

    No they didn’t? Why are you making this into a whole big thing?

    • Distec says:

      Indeed. The comments didn’t seem to warrant this.

      If RPS got flak from elsewhere, maybe heavy sarcasm wasn’t the most informative way to go about this.

  40. jfrisby says:

    /hailcorporate

  41. Scelous says:

    Now what’s going on now? I just use RPS via RSS feed. What is all this drama about? There’s a woman on staff? That’s fine. She’s not as bad as Patricia Hernandez, is she?

    • ScatheZombie says:

      In my opinion, yes, she’s close to it.

      They both do very similar things but in their own personal ways. They both pander to their respective audiences at the expense of their writing. They both use sexual innuendo rampantly but then cry foul when sexual comments are made towards them (which, side note, can quickly get out of hand, I’m by no means saying sexual harassment of any kind is OK, but when your writing is intentionally laden with innuendo and flirtation, you should expect the same in reply). They both go way off the deep end of sensationalism, again, at the expense of their writing.

      But that’s just my opinion. I personally strongly dislike her writing and style. It’s very much … a blogger and I’d personally rather see more journalism. But again, that’s just me, it seem plenty of people her like her for “reasons”.

      * Those reasons may or may not be otherwise known as ‘because she’s the only female writer regularly on here’.

      • Scelous says:

        God dammit. That’s the reason I left Kotaku and came here was due to good ole Pat. Now I hear there’s some kind of BS going on here too?

        You get a pass this time, RPS, but let’s not make these articles a habit, okay?

        Oh, and these are my first posts and thus my first experience with the forums. The software for these forums blows.

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          If I were you, I wouldn’t put too much stock in ScatheZombie’s “opinion” on this subject.

      • Droopy The Dog says:

        Note to future me – Don’t take the bait, you know this only ends in frustration.

        • Droopy The Dog says:

          Note to past me – Don’t be such a wuss, people might actually believe that bollocks.

          @ScatheZombie Do you actually remember Cara having a go at people for risque comments or did you get so carried away building up the image of a hypocrite victim that you stopped caring what was imaginary any more? Cara’s been a pretty active commenter at times and always been a good sport as far as I’ve seen.

          And sensationalist, really? Her articles are as carefree and agendaless as a child, she talks about the game, biscuits and soup in the tomb raider interview. Quirky, jokey, rambles are so far removed from serious sensationalism that I have no idea how you even jumped to that conclusion without falling down the massive chasm of un-reason you had to cross to reach it.

          If you want sensationalist, this article is a fine example. Written by John Walker, a man who’s been hamfisting this subject and sensationalising others for what must be years now on RPS. So if you can’t stand Cara’s writing but were fine with John’s all this time, it’s sure as shit not because you don’t like sensationalism.

          I’ve run out of motivation to address the false equivalency you draw between undirected sharing of personal thoughts and directed sexual comments. Or how you’re so far removed from all that’s good in the world that the only reason you can think of for people liking Cara’s writing is because they like her lady parts. But rest assured they’re also bullshit.

  42. ScatheZombie says:

    While you are apologizing, you should have said something about how you are sorry her interview is somewhere around 5 pages (~2,700 words) and only about 1/5th of that had anything to do with the point of the interview.

    Besides John, you should know better. The only way to make an issue even bigger is to make an even bigger stink about; especially by attacking your perceived enemies. Congratulations, you’ve turned something that was basically a non-issue into a controversy magnet of site hits and comments – the very thing the first comment on this article accuses RPS of doing more frequently – which you, in turn, responded to with a proverbial “Not Uh!”.

    *shakes head slowly* Game journalists.

  43. mickygor says:

    The top hat and fake moustache should be a site-wide policy. Commenters included.

  44. teh_boy says:

    Somehow I missed that there was a kerfluffle at all, although I did notice there was a new writer in the stable from a Crysis article that I appreciated. Keep up the good work, guys.

  45. Arkh says:

    You know what this article, and a lot of RPS articles are missing?

    Big red pullquotes.

  46. JonClaw says:

    So a bunch of bad eggs were to blame for this article? Nice job giving them what they wanted, attention. RPS continues to fall…

  47. shisch says:

    What I take from this: John, a proxy, is more upset about this than Cara, the affected.
    It is good to look out for your fellow humans, but it is evidently often overdone by certain writers here on this “gaming blog and all related”.
    That Dead Island: Riptide bust? It fit the slasher attitude. Immature, but fitting.
    The (very few) comments in the mentioned article? It fit the Internet attitude. Immature, but fitting.
    Your article was not justified then, and it certainly is not now. If anyone should get a say on this matter, it is Cara.
    I expect her to defend herself in another article (or is it blog post? This site always leaves me wondering) by the morning, if she considers this such a big deal. If those expectations are not met, I expect John to stop fishing for Internet points by the same morning.

  48. Harkkum says:

    What a great discussion, too bad it is nearing 3am and after a day of reading I just need soup and hats, hats and soup. Maybe cats too. In order to make everyone happy, look here, it is a tank and a Jesus with Jesus happily shooting with a tank (sorry to reveal plot of BF4 single-player to all of you).

  49. ZeFirestarter says:

    Am I the only one who doesn’t even look at who the author of the article is?
    Maybe I glance over it, but actually remembering who wrote what…prfffff

    • PopeRatzo says:

      Absolutely right. Who cares the gender of the author of an article? The only time I even give it a thought is when the author goes out of their way to specify that they are one gender or the other, such as the article from the woman who tweet-stalked the developer to the point of creepiness.

      Other than that, I’ve long assumed that phony-sounding names like “John Walker” or “Adam Smith” were pseudonyms, probably for female writers hiding their gender to avoid even more ardent declarations of love by the commentors.

  50. Mako says:

    This was a great article, a bitter treat – perfectly mannered but with an undercurrent of seething rage. The very fact that its drawing such a pathetic/bemused response from so many indicates that you’ve struck a nerve. Keep it up John/Cara et al – if people want to read dry wordage on games without tackling larger pervasive issues, there are plenty of places for them to go. And I, for one, would be happy for them to leave.

    • Distec says:

      Struck a nerve?

      More like tired of manufactured controversies.