Watch This, Please: GDC’s #1ReasonToBe Panel

By Nathan Grayson on April 23rd, 2013 at 11:00 am.

Here at RPS, we are not shy about our support for gender equality in the gaming industry, both in terms of the representation in the games we play and at the various companies that make them. It’s a tremendously important matter from just about every standpoint imaginable, from so-called “practicality” (read: business) to common human decency. Nothing, however, beats a firsthand account of the problem at hand – not even a cheeky gallery of StarCraft II’s most cheek-ridden bits. And so, I highly, highly, highly recommend GDC’s absolutely excellent #1ReasonToBe panel. You can now view the entire thing online for free, and even in itsy bitsy box-shaped form, it’s a truly moving, important thing. The experiences Brenda Romero, Robin Hunicke, Leigh Alexander, and co outline - alienation, sadness, rage, doubt, loneliness, discomfort, fear – are why equality matters, and their continued love of gaming becomes all the more powerful in light of that. This is, in my opinion, required viewing. I very much hope you’ll agree.

Quick details, in case – for some bonkers reason – you’re still on the fence. The full lineup of panelists is Brenda Romero (Game Designer in Residence, University of California at Santa Cruz), Robin Hunicke (Co-Founder, Funomena; formerly of thatgamecompany), Leigh Alexander (Editor at Large, Gamasutra; dear friend of RPS and probably also the animals), Elizabeth Sampat (Game Designer, Storm 8), Kim McAuliffe (Microsoft Studios) and Mattie Brice (MA Student, Creative Writing, San Francisco State University; writer for many excellent places).

Unfortunately, the video’s not embeddable, so you’ll have to – DUN DUN DUN – click on one extra thing, which will probably kill you. But yes, I implore you: go watch it. You will seethe with anger, frown at hideous injustice, and feel empowered by all the passion on display. And then when Brenda Romero comes on, you’ll do all three with a healthy dose of laughter thrown in for good measure.

But ultimately, more than anything else, this panel brought people together. Yes, everyone commiserated, but it was over a legitimate desire to see the gaming industry do better. There was fire – and plenty of it – but it wasn’t aimed at burning down some Evil Establishment That Man Has Wrought. There’s plenty of room for all sorts, so long as we leave the doors open. That was the message here. Everyone wants to feel like they belong, and #1ReasonToBe – for a brief, wonderful moment – created just such a space. A lot of people cried openly all throughout, and you want to know why? Because they finally felt comfortable. Relieved. Relaxed. Happy.

Finally. That’s how everyone could feel.

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289 Comments »

  1. Ny24 says:

    If other people feel good, I feel good too.

  2. colossalstrikepackage says:

    Waiting to get home to watch this. Thanks for sharing!

  3. RedViv says:

    It’s a wonderful talk. Brenda grows to about five metres of presence during her part, and that’s grand.

  4. WhatKateDoes says:

    Great to see this finally, look forward to viewing in full later :) \o/

  5. stahlwerk says:

    Gah, what is this player? A sad panda is me, since I’m on a fruit-bearing mobile device right now.

    Edit: does anyone know if there’s a web-standard compliant recording of this floating around? Even audio-only would be greatly appreciated.

  6. Juan Raigada says:

    Thanks for linking to this.

    However, I find it a little bit weird this is posted just after a post about Elemental’s expansion that fails to even make an off hand comment to the whole sexual harassment suit-countersuit mess. I mean, it’s ok to be outraged but not to point fingers at things that are wrong?

  7. oceanclub says:

    Brenda’s slight resemblance to anti-Muslim uber-troll Pamela Geller meant I got a surprise scrolling down to this article; thought i was on the wrong site for a second,.

    P.

  8. Uthred says:

    While certainly worth a look wasnt this talk almost a month ago? Did the video only just go up? Was it not worth looking at a month ago? Slow news day?

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      It only just went up. There’s no such thing as a slow news day on RPS.

      • Low Life says:

        I imagine at least a few people going through RPS archives day by day, looking for days with particularly low amounts of articles.

        • Jim Rossignol says:

          That would be a silly thing to do, given that we post roughly the same amount every day.

          • aepervius says:

            It IS the internet. People will go at length doing silly things to prove you wrong. It is an international sport really.

          • The Random One says:

            My statistical analysis shall be thine undoing, pitiful Jim.

          • strangeloup says:

            You don’t post much on Sundays, you lazy bastards. Almost as if it’s the weekend and you want some time off.

          • sinister agent says:

            People will go at length doing silly things to prove you wrong.

            Don’t be daft. Nobody researches their half-baked arguments on the internet.

      • Uthred says:

        Thanks for the clarification, wasnt trying to spring a “Gothca” just genuinely wondered why it hadnt been mentioned before

    • Skeletor68 says:

      I already watched this on gamastura a while back (I think). Still, no harm. It was a really interesting talk and bonus points for having Leigh on it.

  9. Jdopus says:

    I have a pet hypothesis about why there’s such a big “misogynistic” reaction to the recent feminist push towards equal representation in video games, I’m going to try and carefully put it into neutral words and please note that I’m using the term perception here a lot so that no one assumes I’m talking about my own views and jumps down my throat.

    When we actually look back at the history of video games, the historical perception and representation of “video gamers” in every source of media has been a reclusive nerd with awful social skills, poor hygiene, fit only to be laughed at. Video games have, in the eye of the public been regarded as a hobby either for children or for people with absolutely no life. This social stigma has turned (Some) people off in the past from even considering playing video games, never mind joining the industry as a serious career. The perception of who plays video games has influenced the type of people who are willing to play games and even if it hadn’t, it’s certainly dissuaded people from discussing their enjoyment of games publicly. This has improved in recent years but there’s still a stigma attached to the hobby, in the same way that I couldn’t mention that I enjoy Dungeons and Dragons to a lot of people without having them sneer behind my back, I can’t really mention that I enjoy playing games to certain people without it immediately colouring their perception of me and regarding me as a bit of a social outcast.

    In my opinion, that’s the original reason why women have been so under-represented in the Industry, media has influenced their behavior by failing to show any representations of actual women working in the Industry and has hence created a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    However, try and look at it from the perception of a lot of people who have been playing video games for a long time. People have spent their whole lives being sneered at, dismissed as a nerd or represented as an inferior human being to the extent that most of us just stopped giving a damn about the media representations because of how absurd they were. It’s only very recently that this has changed and following on from that we’ve seen the recent upsurge in the feminist movement.
    So we ended up in a situation where the video game market was mostly guys and we had a self perpetual cycle where games have been marketed at men because the market consists of a vast majority of men.

    Now – from the perception of a lot of people, these same mainstream news sources which wrote them off as social outcasts are now calling them a bunch of misogynists because of the content of games which they themselves had no direct control over. Whether this perception is accurate is another debate – but the fact of the matter is that people have identified with the video game industry to a large extent. Basically, from their point of view, the media which has spent years laughing and chuckling at their expense has done an about turn until suddenly the people who’ve spent their lives feeling like the underdogs or the butt of jokes are being depicted as misogynist, responsible for bullying women out of their hobby. When you refer to the Industry as misogynistic, people take the implication that you’re referring to them as misogynistic (and some people do take the extra step of accusing consumers of being misogynistic) and suddenly, the person who had to just suck up all that gross misrepresentation and “oppression” (The word’s a bit loaded and strong but I can’t think of a better one) is being depicted as responsible for misrepresentation and oppression.

    Given this turn of events, a lot of people quite naturally become quite annoyed, “Where the hell were all these “social justice” warriors when we were the butt of the joke and we were the ones being laughed at?”;”Why is the term ‘nerd’, which we had to put up with as a social slur for decades and which was used by all those chuckling assholes who laughed behind my back in high school, now being appropriated by this group of people who only bothered to give a damn about the industry in the last four years?”. Then when these people try to talk about how they were ignored for years and how irritating it is to now be accused of being a misogynist, they perceive that their views are dismissed as misogynistic. (And please note that I’m not taking a stance here on whether they *are* misogynistic or not, just offering a potential explanation).

    Even if people aren’t in this group, when they try to talk about positions which are much more rational and reasonable than the “hurr durr women in my vidya” idiocy, their views are sidelined and ignored by media sources which choose instead to report solely upon the most sensational cases of outright discrimination; media sources give an inherently distorted view of the world by reporting only upon the unusual rather than the norm (In the UK you could argue that cases like Michael Philpott are presented in the tabloid media as representative of people on jobseeker’s allowance for example). The reality is that the people who represent the much larger percentage of the overall population, i.e. the people who aren’t handing out rape threats on twitter or threatening to murder people, are just completely and utterly ignored by media sources and Rock Paper Shotgun, despite their best intentions are as guilty of this misrepresentation of the overall population as the Daily Mail would be, because journalism as it exists today fundamentally misrepresents populations of people.

    Oh, and the other side is just as guilty by the way, since they over-represent and over-report on the most irrational and sensationalist voices of the feminist agenda.

    tl;dr
    The way media talks about these issues and reports upon sensational cases perpetuates a hatred of the very agenda, in this case: feminism, that they’re trying to promote because they anger people with opposing views by misrepresenting their position.

    • WhatKateDoes says:

      A well reasoned hypothesis. Certainly likely to account for a large number of the voices you mention.

      Ironically, there are also of course people like myself who grew up in the 80s as gamers who not only had the nerd thing to deal with from boys, but also the same perception from within our own gender, as it really wasn’t cool to be a gamer at the time. I also get the tabletop/D&D thing too, worse yet I *was* the stereotype bespectacled quiet one. Still am, just not so quiet :D

      Both my (female) partner and I grew up in the 80′s enjoying playing video games on our Commodore 64′s, and later Playstations (surely the turning point in social awareness of gaming)

      Nowadays I think it *is* cool to be a gamer (even in your late 30′s, ahem) and kids are growing up, tablet in hand so-to-speak. Yet this misogyny (and not just generic trash talk) is so much more prevalent even at a younger age (teens, typically – the “sexual awakening”)

      Whats the real cause? I’m not sure, but I think it *might* be down to misplaced marketing (perceived demographics) and many of the former gaming-peers I grew up with basing what games “should be” on their own formative gaming times. But you know, even as I type that I think no, that’s not right either, since many of the *early* games I grew up with, gender wasn’t an issue. Or, if it came up at all, it was to provide the choice of male or female pixels! Ant Attack anyone? C64 Labyrinth? (RIP, Lucasarts) Was it the lack of pixels that kept the “sex-sells-so-long-as-its-hetero-male-orientated” leanings and marketing in check?

      Again, I’m not sure.

      Here ends my completely rambling narrative with no answers. Like a season of LOST.

      /edited to adjust paragraphs for comprehensibility!

    • Skeletor68 says:

      Thanks for that Jdopus. While I think most of us can agree that there is a problem with the representation of women it is definitely difficult to accept the label of misogynist being bandied about when I feel like I couldn’t be further from being one. As you say it may not always be pointed at the consumers but it is at our ‘culture’.

      It’s like how I might bristle at Irish people being depicted as a bunch of drunks but also know that our culture has a drinking problem. It can be difficult to stay level headed when something that you identify with is heavily criticised, justified or not. Especially if it becomes sensationalised and caricatured.

    • voidburn says:

      Thanks for putting this into words, I now understand much better why I felt upset about this whole debacle, despite being a strong supporter for gender equality.

      I was absolutely shocked, and found it hard to believe, that women in the same exact job position would be paid less than a man. I worked in the industry in europe for 2 years as lead game designer, and none of the women in our team were subject to any of this nonsense.

      Back in 2004 I remember clearly gathering all opinions I could find in the office (from what I considered trustworthy sources), to try and assess what features would make the game appeal to a female audience specifically.

      Now I feel that despite my efforts, despite my good will, I have been branded as a misogynist shall I ever step back into the industry.

      That angers me, and pushes me farther away from that environment (which by the way is horrible for many OTHER reasons, and even for men).

      We, male nerds, suck at making a stand and fighting for our rights. I’m pretty sure that thanks to the women in the industry saying “Enough!” things will start to change. I just wish they could see us as other victims instead of perpetrators.

      So, i guess, thanks…

      • Sheng-ji says:

        Well, I do! I bang on with my opinion that you literally cannot solve inequality against women without solving gender inequality full stop! I mostly get ignored but I say it anyway.

        I have to say though, while your studio sounds wonderful, I have worked in countless studios in the US, Canada, GB, Japan in positions ranging from unpaid creative work, through leads and project leads to studio manager. I have been subjected to sexist abuse ranging from being ignored because, in my opinion I was a woman right through to having my tyres let down by a noxious fellow who out and out said he did it because he didn’t like being “undermined by a chick”. I was his lead…. I asked him to reduce breast size in a game character, and believe it or not, despite being prosecuted for his actions, he retained his job.

        Of course, as time goes on, the inequality becomes less direct and more passive, which is good. The problem comes when, someone thinks they are being equal, but they haven’t realised they are not! No jab at you intended there, I have no reason to believe you are anything but what you claim and so I will take you at your word unless you demonstrate otherwise (Yeah, I know that shouldn’t need to be said, but, well internet communication and all)

        Like the guy last week, in the wage gap article who was perfectly happy with gender roles as assigned and he claimed his wife was too, therefore, assigning a role to a person based on their gender is not a problem. Now I treated him with kid gloves and tried to challenge his view but he just could not understand the idea that a woman may not want to give up her career to raise children and a man may not want to grind his way up the career path. Nor could he see that men getting “shunned” at the school gates by the mums was as bad as a woman getting made to feel like a bad mother for returning to work.

        I’m going to take a wild stab in the dark here and say that your studio, from the sounds of it, doesn’t produce software which enforces gender stereotypes. And perhaps this is what RPS could improve on – by all means continue to call out the studios adding to the problem, but celebrate those which don’t – and there are plenty of games coming out every month which do not have a gender equality problem!

        • voidburn says:

          By reading your words I realize how lucky I was, and I believe the industry will be better off once some of the battles you are fighting will be won, resolution about which I have zero doubt. Don’t give up..

          P.S. No, we didn’t enforce gender stereotypes, heck I think we’ve been among the first to actually give the option to have an overweight body: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iw5pxJl-KsA

        • Hahaha says:

          people also brought up a lot of good points about the article and the statistics that were used, we will just gloss over that part though.

    • Ultra Superior says:

      Very bright post, thanks. Refreshing to read something thoughtful.

    • thegooseking says:

      I think it’s simpler than that. In truth, a lot of people trying to talk about this issue, particularly early on, adopted an accusatory and (ironically, given the etymology of the word) patronising tone. That is not a way to make friends.

      It’s not their fault, of course. It’s difficult to launch surgical strikes when the target, the guilty party, is so nebulously defined, and so some people who would have been positively disposed to the message felt under attack, and their attitude towards it soured – collateral damage, if you will.

      But that still leaves the question of why the issue has been framed as adversarial in the first place. People started saying men felt ‘threatened’ about “losing their privilege”, which was not an effective strategy. Men are not idiots: we know it’s not a zero-sum game, and we know that women gaining equality does not mean us losing anything worthwhile, but the infantilising accusation otherwise did nothing to help reach a common ground. Quite the opposite, in fact. It just engendered further hostility.

      However, there is misplaced hostility on both sides. While there are certain feminists who overgeneralise their target, there are also certain man who blame the entire corps of feminism for that. Unavoidably, any group is going to have People Who Are Shit, and within that group, they are liable to be the most vocal, attempting (and often succeeding) to generate the illusion that their individual agenda is the agenda of the group.

      The best thing feminism can do is to discipline itself not to get any gratification from being supported by people who are, ultimately, embarrassing them and undermining their credibility. Call out the People Who Are Shit. Don’t deny that they are ‘real’ feminists, because that, too, reduces credibility, but deny that they speak for the group.

      Because this is not a battle, and presenting a united front, while it was important for 20th century feminism, where feminists had to fight to win their victories, is not important in the 21st century. Feminism now needs to focus not on winning battles, but on attending to its credibility deficit. It doesn’t need to beat people; it needs to get people on its side. Rather than getting aggressive at people who don’t really understand what feminism is, it needs to show them what feminism really is.

      If we must be adversarial, and must continue the militaristic analogy, we must also remember that the resolution of a conflict is rarely about overwhelming force, but about winning hearts and minds.

      Hm… That was quite long for a ‘simpler’ explanation.

    • RedViv says:

      These are good observations. I do not think that RPS ignores the “good” people though – it has been stated, again and again and again, that this whole debate is also about how the well-behaved majority needs to get together in demanding better of everyone involved.

      I do consider that the roots are within a somewhat tribal aspect of subcultures. Instead of embracing those who were previously unaffiliated, thus of another tribe, and sharing the enjoyment of what your tribe previously had, the newcomers are rejected. I can’t think of any group this strongly known for casting out those who are new to the tribe.
      The problem is that this is highly irrational, as is rejecting help that, in the long run, will only make the entire tribe happier. Fear of change, basically. Mixing with the general atmosphere of oppression that the tribe had to endure previously, misguidedly associating newcomers with the “Old Rivals”, projecting the image of jocks and girl clique leaders onto people who just genuinely want to enjoy games.

      • Ultra Superior says:

        Jocks genuinely enjoy CoD, clique leaders genuinely enjoy Farmville.

        And you hate these games so much. ADMIT IT, GAY* PONY.
        How dare they call themselves games.

        *colorful, joyful

        • RedViv says:

          Oh, I didn’t mean to infer that there are no actual “jock tribe” people who play games. The people who enjoy CoD might do so. Who am I to judge their taste for games of “chase this guy’s butt so he can open that door”?

          (Yes, I’m certainly also happy. And my language is most colourful!)

          • strangeloup says:

            It always amuses me to see the incredibly defensive reaction you get when pointing out all these dudebro manshoots are a little bit homoerotic, as rather well illustrated by the chasing of guybutts that you mentioned.

            At this point there is an obligatory Charlie Brooker link because he words it in a better and funnier way than I can.

            (I’d quite like more gay characters in games myself, but that’s more personal bias; I can only think of maybe 3 or 4 examples of egregious gay stereotypes in gaming, and they’re usually ones that play up the ‘camp’ side, something that any number of gay standups do already.)

          • drewski says:

            The latent homoeroticism is about the only reason my friends and I bother to keep playing competitive dudebro shooters, I think.

            Gears of War: Judgement is actually about the pain of coming out in a dystopian militaristic society.

      • Jdopus says:

        “I do not think that RPS ignores the “good” people though – it has been stated, again and again and again, that this whole debate is also about how the well-behaved majority needs to get together in demanding better of everyone involved.”

        What I’m trying to get at isn’t that RPS are intentionally ignoring the good people, I understand fully that of course John Walker doesn’t sit down and think to himself that everyone who has any issue with the current feminist movement is the type of person who threatens to rape proponents of the movement.

        What I mean is that journalism can’t help but misrepresent the views of people as a whole because news sourcea, such as RPS, don’t report on what the majority thinks, time and time again the only stories viewed as “newsworthy” are the most sensational and extreme. You can state these things all you want with all sincerity, but when the only discussion of this issue is around the frame of “X threatens to Rape Y” it distorts the entire debate and means that moderate voices and opinions are never heard against the backdrop of extreme feminism and extreme misogyny.

        • RedViv says:

          Let’s be a bit more constructive here: What kind of story do you want to see then? What ambitious struggle is report-worthy?

          • Jdopus says:

            Honestly, I’m not entirely sure that anything we replace our traditional form or Journalism with will be any better than our current form. It’s flat out impossible for media sources to report on every issue in the world and that’s why they only can report on the most outlandish or unusual. I’m 100% certain that most media sources could do a better job than they do now on providing coverage to these debates and on providing a more neutral ground from which to have these debates, but while we can improve the quality of journalism the current problems will likely always exist on some level.

            Saying all that I think that we, as readers, could do a much better job of processing the information given to us by news sources if we just spent more time thinking about the way the information is presented to us instead of just leaping to instant (and misplaced) conclusions. Just being aware of the natural distortion that the media gives to how we perceive the world goes a long way to not forming opinions based around this distortion.

            (In simpler terms, people who read about welfare scroungers or their equivalent in other debates should stop presuming that these cases can be generalized to the population as whole, right now they’re given far too much importance, particularly in the political sphere.)

          • WrenBoy says:

            Not every RPS reader would agree but I think most would find a study which convincingly shows that female games developers are consistently paid less than males with equivalent experience to be hugely newsworthy.

            What RPS recently presented as such was somewhat newsworthy but in a different way.

    • hauntedzoo says:

      “Try and look at it from the perception of a lot of people who have been playing video games for a long time.” I am someone who has been playing video games for a long time. I think what you meant to say is, ‘try looking at it from the perspective of men who have been playing video games for a long time’? What a novel concept!

      I understand you think you’re being inclusive and non-confrontational in your language, but it’s actually kind of weaselly and mealy-mouthed. I think if you go back and read what you wrote, it only really makes sense if most of your use of the word ‘people’ is understood to mean ‘men’. It’s also sort of cowardly to preface your argument with ‘I don’t believe this, but someone else does, so don’t blame me!’ and to categorise any criticism as ‘jumping down your throat’ before the discussion has even begun.

      “Where the hell were all these “social justice” warriors when we were the butt of the joke and we were the ones being laughed at?” Do you not understand that women who play video games are subject to this stigma too? If you’re suggesting that women who play games are the “chuckling assholes who laughed behind my back in high school,” I think you should consider why you believe that, because it’s surely not coming from a place of ‘rational and reasonable’ thought. And you’re right that the word ‘oppression’ in this context is not appropriate. Nerds are not an oppressed group, and I don’t know why you think it’s okay to put the onus on women to advocate for nerdy men when we can hardly get a say in our own community without the kind of outrage we’ve all witnessed lately.

      If you’re so worried about being pigeonholed as frothing-at-the-mouth misogynist, I wonder why you want to align yourself with the people who do have those views? If you had the compassion or the backbone to stand with the women who share your hobby and make the community a more welcoming place for them, you wouldn’t be feeling so defensive.

      I’ve tried to moderate my response too, so I hope you won’t feel I’m attacking you. But your comment made me bristle because for all its carefully-worded ‘balance’, you’re just trying to uphold the status quo by commenting on a post about women talking about their experiences and trying to shift the focus back to how men feel.

      • Jdopus says:

        Maybe you’re right that by “people” I only mean men, but I think that’s something that’s completely unavoidable just because of the very nature of what we’re talking about. In this kind of debate women, (Whether rightly or wrongly) are automatically immune to being labelled misogynist, it’s an automatic assumption on the part of people involved in the debate, I’m forced to look at the issue from the male perspective purely because the majority of people being accused (or feeling they’re being accused) of being misogynistic are men.

        I take exception to your next point however, I fundamentally and vocally disagree with the idea that by trying to look at and understand why someone believes what they do that I automatically condone it. That’s why I stated the views weren’t necessarily my own, because it’s an exercise in understanding a certain perspective on this debate, not condoning or agreeing with it. Should I outright refuse to think about why suicide bombers do what they do purely because I disagree with it? Of course not; empathy, the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, is absolutely necessary to rational debate. Your entire post here is based around the mistaken assumption that human beings can’t understand another person’s beliefs without agreeing with them.

        Regarding your oppression point, the very reason I made the comment about the word not being exact was to avoid this argument, it’s too strong a term for what I mean, what I mean is that ‘nerds’ are usually people who’ve been sidelined and bullied for their hobbies in the past, that’s all.

        • Fluka says:

          Surely empathy is a two way street here, however? You’re asking feminists to be reasonable and understanding and not aggressive when trying to make their points, but surely their audience owes them the same kindness? After all, the above video is a bunch of women sharing their own story, with the intention of trying to show what it’s like to be a woman in games. But you have a bunch of commenters shouting SHUT UP STOP TALKING ABOUT THIS I DO NOT WANT TO HEAR IT. We try to reasonably say “I have a problem, and here is why,” and people shout back insults. We talk about what it’s like to play games as a woman, and dudes reply by saying to stop rubbing our gender in their faces. Anita Sarkeesian proposes the *idea* of a series examining women in games, and she receives a drawing of herself being raped by Mario. No matter how reasonable the argument or its “credibility,” it is met with utter vitriol. So you can see why it makes me a little angry to be told that “Feminists could stand to put themsevles in gamers’ shoes.”

          • Jdopus says:

            Well, not to be rude, but I think that you bringing up those cases as representative of the norm is exactly what I was talking about when I said that the media (and RPS) give us a distorted view of reality. Like I said in my post, the moderate voices around this debate get completely shut out because the only opinions that get reported are those at the extreme end of the spectrum. You’ve heard of Anita receiving a picture of herself getting raped by Mario and that’s the first thing you brought up, all the people who held and posted valid criticisms of Anita’s videos were completely and utterly ignored and forgotten and we’ve now gotten to the stage where trying to criticize her can very easily get you branded as siding with the person who sent that picture (Which was probably created not to intimidate Anita, but to provoke a reaction out of her and the feminist community as a whole). People tend to have a variety of complex opinions around this issue but the only ones we get to see are the extremes, then when people get angry about this one sided reporting standard and complain about it, it gets written off as more misogynistic whining (again, whether it is or not isn’t the point, the point is that the arguments should be refuted on their own merit, not by being lumped in with the most extreme cases of bigotry and dismissed by their minor association).

            There’s always exceptions to every case of course and there will always be people so stuck in their ways that they won’t recognize even reasonable and rational opposition, but right now those people have a monopoly on media coverage.

            You are correct that it’s a two way street, I wrote from the point of view I did solely because this article was written from a pro-feminist view point, I could just have easily found a discussion from the other side of this and talked about it from the feminist perspective. The only difference, in my view, between the two groups is that RPS and other media sources can more easily foster constructive discussion that Joe Bloggs in the comment section can, since they’re the ones who report to the masses.

          • Fluka says:

            Perhaps you might consider in this case that the complaints are (all caps!) Not About You?

            Also, that the reason people get angry is not well-considered debate, but that a large swathe of respondants didn’t want to have the conversation at all? And didn’t want it to even happen in the first place?

            That’s the story with Anita, with the respondants to RPS stories like these, etc. It’s hard to be a reasonable party when a large portion of viewers don’t even consider the topic legitimate in the first place, and actively attempt to shut it down.

          • daemonofdecay says:

            Isn’t part of the problem the very nature of the Internet itself, what with its instant and anonymous communicative abilities? Twenty years ago the episode with the drawing would never have happened because someone would have had to draw it, find her address, and then physically mail her the letter (complete with stamp and envelope, no less). But today, the Internet allows people to indulge themselves by being outspokenly sexist/racist/homophobic/etc. with the calm certainty that they will not be called out on it because… well, “what’s the point? It’s the way things are/they are trolls”.

            I would argue that if you compare people in real life to how they behave when protected by a monitor and the Internet, you would find two different people. Most of those who scream “shut up!” would, if put in front of a camera or asked in person, express somewhere between ambivalence and support for women in the field of gaming.

            In a way it reminds me of the teenager who screams insults at other gamers – he knows nothing bad will happen to him, so for a short while he gets to live out his fantasy of being free to speak freely with no repercussions. He can say all the offensive and demeaning things he can think of because no one is going to walk through the door and hit him.

            The Internet allows instant and anonymous feedback. And people are assholes. It’s a potent mix for negativity.

        • Bremze says:

          It’s terribly ironic to be talking about understanding, when the people in question are spewing horeible bile in a tantrum that can only be described as something a spoilt child would try to pull, when asked to share with their toys. Doing the right thing is its own reward, but these people will have none of that, expecting to read “Gamer wasn’t a terrible human being, news at 11″ out of a misguided notion of “balance” that only serves to reasure of their exceptionalism. People so used to being pandared to, that they lose it the second they aren’t.

          And I’ll go right ahead and say that I am one of those people. While I might not be spouting hateful things on the internet, I’m just as guilty for slipping into the mindset that it’s actually not that bad. That it doesn’t happen here. That the media/society is at fault. That I can’t do anything against the minority of toxic people that use my favorite medium to push their bigoted agenda. But that’s not true, and I’ll do my best to call them out for it, because games are great and it would be a damn shame, if the experience was made worse due to some manchildren getting extremely angry at the mere thought of sharing.

    • Surlywombat says:

      Excellent post.

    • WhatKateDoes says:

      An example of archetypical stereotypes (and considerably out of date) is “The I.T. Crowd”

      This GIF:

      http://25.media.tumblr.com/f0f85263fbf2925a7102209d6cc9166c/tumblr_mlengiuVzb1qzmcmeo1_400.gif

      Nerdy geeks (by the original definition) unable to be “cool” or integrate.

      That show – whilst funny at times – perpetuated the notion of the male nerd, and often offensively so.

      Yet, it also depicted women as sneering “no interest in weedy nerds or their tech” or technoblivious intereferences, a’la Jen, their boss – which similarly had me furious.

    • Bhazor says:

      Heartily agree.

      I agree with what RPS is trying to do. But how they’re doing it? Deleting comments, writing several articles directly insulting their entire reader base, sensationalist headlines, picking on bizarre topics (the Sejauni makeover for example) and repeatedly posting “We don’t believe in freedom of speech” as if that’s in anyway a good thing.

      I can’t actually think of how they could do a worse job of supporting their goal.

      • dE says:

        Nathan mentioned something in the earlier #1reason article:

        I wanted to leap over the table and scream at them. But I didn’t do that, because I felt like it might have been a bit counter-productive to the argument I was trying to make – or, indeed, any sort of argument ever in the history of human civilization.

        And that’s the gist of the matter. RPS chose the leaping over the table and scream action in previous articles. Shouting only creates noise. Shouting at people does not solve issues. Never has. I’m hopeful this behavior may have changed a bit though, recent articles don’t attack the readers but instead adress the issue. Much more productive in my opinion.

      • Stellar Duck says:

        I’ve read every post RPS has done on this and they’ve never insulted me.

        As for deleting comments, frankly, I can’t really fault them very much for the dreck that get removed.

        And freedom of speech ends at the doorstep in my house. People are welcome here but I’ll damn well throw them out if they start spewing some of the nonsense I’ve seen here. I’m not interested in listening to what some of those morons have to say. I’m not interested in a reasonable debate with certain sub segments of the internet either. Though I can’t speak for RPS on that topic.

        • Dances to Podcasts says:

          I don’t think he’s referring to specific personal insults, more that the general attitude of ‘If you’re not with use, you’re against us’ is offensive in general. The moment you try to point out a flaw in any reasoning you’re pushed in the misogynist camp. That’s why this post is so great, since it’s well-written and impossible to do that here. And that’s why there’s so much agreement, since people get really annoyed by that.

          • Stellar Duck says:

            I know he wasn’t talking to me. That’s my point. I was never insulted as part of the entire reader base and at no point did Walker insult the entire reader base. What he did wasn’t even to insult those who are of a different opinion.

            No, what he did was, in a specific manner, to preempt that wonderful subset of idiots who jump on any article about this and complain that ‘what about men?!’ and ‘You’re white knighting!’ and more fun stuff like that. Those are annoying attempts at short circuiting the discussion by either trying to side step the argument by talking about something different or question the motives of the author. Such tactics deserve to insulted I think.

      • Jim Rossignol says:

        ““We don’t believe in freedom of speech” as if that’s in anyway a good thing.”"

        Even if that was what we said, which it wasn’t, why would we think it’s a good thing? When have we said it’s good? Us not having a freedom of speech policy – which I would define as leaving the comments unpoliced and uncensored – is not the same as not believing in freedom of speech on other contexts.

        • Laurentius says:

          Well to be honest the way you are using it, it does sound like you are proud of using it, hence it can give an impression as it is a good thing. Even your comment in this thread wasn’t exectly along the line “well, you know we have this comment policy and unfortunately from time to time we have to use it”, it’s more like “We have this sweet policy here and we are going to use it as we please BAM!”

          • Urthman says:

            To me, RPS has always come across as saying, “Hey, there’s a whole internet out there. This is our site. If you want to write a comment that we think is inappropriate for our site, write it somewhere else, because we have no obligation to publish your comment on our website.”

            “Get your own blog, this one is ours.”

            I think that’s a great attitude which makes RPS a better place than, say, Kotaku. And I really can’t imagine mourning the loss of anyone who disagrees.

            It’s a big internet. Get your own blog. Say whatever you want. Tweet it. No one is stopping you.

          • stahlwerk says:

            ^ Urthman gets it.

        • Quickpull says:

          There’s a difference between “These comments are moderated” and “We don’t have a freedom of speech policy”.

          Freedom of speech doesn’t mean you can say whatever you want, it just means that you can express yourself and your opinion without being censored or persecuted. When you put “We don’t have a freedom of speech policy” on your site, it strongly implies that you have no problem repressing opinions you don’t agree with. Though, given the tongue in cheek nature of the site, I’d like to think that wasn’t the intention.

          • daemonofdecay says:

            Actually, one could claim its an insight into how the RPS writers really think. Just like how the language used can illustrate institutionalized or accepted sexism within an industry, the phrasing he used here could just be a slip of the tongue, or it could be a glimpse into how they really view inalienable rights like freedom of speech.

            But really, like anything, its about presentation. Claiming they “don’t have a freedom of speech policy”, in jest or not, is pretty strange – if not hypocritical – when they then post seriously about sexism in the gaming industry and comment upon how attempts to raise awareness of the issue are often met with attempts to stifle discussion on the topic.

            I’ll be the first to defend an individuals right to do with their property as they please, and RPS certainly isn’t owned by the public. However, trying to argue for more exposure and more free discussion of an “unpopular” concept like gender equality in the gaming industry does seem to fly counter to their own stance on debate on their site (the key being their, of course).

            Wanting to engage in debate and utilizing free speech while having it explicitly state “we don’t have a freedom of speech policy” on the site does, when one thinks about it, seem odd.

          • Quickpull says:

            Yes, I was giving them the benefit of the doubt by pointing out the sites tendency for humor, which lends itself towards being political incorrect. I think this is more a case of their usual tongue in cheek demeanor clashing with coverage of a serious issue. I think its a bit of a stretch to think its some subconscious expression of their hate of free speech.

            I do agree that it is a bit at odds with their attempts to have a serious discussion. But I think some people are under the mistaken impression that just because you are talking about a serious issue, that means you must do so with solemnity.

          • daemonofdecay says:

            True; I was simply pointing out how it could be treated the same way people see underlining meaning (like sexism) in otherwise innocuous phrases. I don’t think they are, of course, but it was my observation.

            However, I do believe fully that if you build up the character of the site around a humorous, irreverent, and tongue in cheek style, you have to either embrace that and continue it, or try to really make it clear that now it’s “serious time”. It’s like a web comic about, say, gaming, suddenly doing a “super serious” strip out of the blue; having such a tone shift can be jarring and lead to mixed signals. But then, its a damned if you do/don’t thing as well: if they go too tongue in cheek, then they’re making light of the issue. If they go too serious, then it’s a jarring shift in tone that seems odd at best, forced and disingenuous at worst.

            But going into depths about why this issue needs more coverage, why we need to speak out against sexism, and why we need to get involved and really have a dialogue as gamers and human beings about our favorite industry rings a bit hollow when everyone who does want to comment gets to see:

            We do not have a freedom of speech policy here. If we find your post offensive, or just don’t like it, it may get deleted. Complaining about it won’t change anything.

            Complaining about it won’t change anything. Ironic, that.

          • Wonko the Sane says:

            What RPS gets is that total freedom of speech is freedom for the loudest and most hateful bullies to shout everyone else down. Unless you “silence” the bullies, no-one else gets heard (not a hypothetical example – I’ve seen it happen. Its ugly).

            RPS is interested in getting the voices that usually get shouted down heard. I applaud that.

      • WrenBoy says:

        I have never noticed any comments getting deleted. I assume this means it is a very rare occurrence. Am I wrong?

        EDIT: wow, Ive just seen one!

    • Michael Fogg says:

      No. Some gamers like to paint themselves the victims of society, always laughed at etc. The backlash against the hobby of video games is imaginary.

      When I was in high school all the guys in my class used to go to this internet cafe after school for some LAN matches of Action QII or Unreal Tournament. Nobody thought we were a bunch of nerds. A guy who was on the school basketball team was a hardcore Planescape Torment fan, to the point that he had the Torment symbol tattooed on his calf. Video games are seen just a passtime and a part of life, not an indicator that somebody has ‘no life’ Stop this lamenting about your terrible life and don’t take stereotypes in comedy shows so seriously.

      • Jdopus says:

        You’re mistakenly assuming that because you personally have never been mocked or bullied for enjoying video games that it never happens. Incidentally, one of the major points of academic feminism or indeed any debate about discrimination is that people who have never been the subject of discrimination find it nearly impossible to perceive that discrimination exists at all. (I bring this up not to be snarky, but just because it was mentioned to me only yesterday by a friend studying Feminism In The Law.)

        Also, I’m not trying to play victim by making that point, I personally found that the day I stopped giving a damn about what other people thought of my hobbies and interests was the day I started enjoying my life a lot more, but it would be dishonest to try and argue that people are never bullied or picked on for being interested in stereotypically nerdy hobbies like video games and tabletop RPGs as opposed to say, football.

        • analydilatedcorporatestyle says:

          I’ve been a nerd since my 80′s ZX Spectrum epiphany, In my school years I nerded it with the best but also liked me Ska a lot and had many a pair of steel toe capped 14 hole Dr Martins. I rarely got grief and if I did it sure didn’t last.

          Not all nerds are equal!! (Still play D&D in my mid 40′s)

    • AFTOIS says:

      The greater cultural mass of adult male nerds has developed a hilariously unjustified persecution complex because they’ve mistaken mild caricature and mockery for material, systemic oppression and marginalisation, which they have little or no first-hand experience of. As largely white, straight, cis men they’re actually in a position of incredible privilege, but because being the butt of jokes is literally the worst prejudice they’ve ever experienced, and because the standard in the rest of their lives against which they compare this treatment is being pandered to, they’ve become convinced the world is against them.

      It’s cognitive dissonance on a grand scale from grown men who mentally never left high school. The insular communities that spring from this attitude are free to indulge their absolute worst, oppressive tendencies completely unchecked, because they can only see criticism from the outside as an attack from a world that irrationally hates them, excludes them and wants to take away their toys.

      It’s part of why the inevitable chorus of claims that if feminists were just a little kinder, men would rally around the cause, are utterly ridiculous. The rational guys in nerd communities (of whom, thankfully, there are many) aren’t the ones dismissing the content of criticism because the tone hurts their delusionally ‘oppressed’ feelings. There is literally no tone gentle enough, no approach timid enough that it would fail to trigger the victim complex where it exists. It’s the entire concept of external criticism or commentary that makes them angry and scared, not any specific content or presentation.

      I know guys who thought this way, and can see now how ridiculous and paranoid a world-view it is, how miserable it made them and how much it limited their options in a world that is actually very much on their side. They may well never have gotten free from it if these bunker-like nerd communities had continued to insulate them by taking even the gentlest, most constructive criticism as a personal insult from a world that hates and fears them, and dismissing its content as essentially contentless trickery cooked up to hurt victims who just want to be left alone.

      The myth of nerd oppression underpins so much of the materially harmful crap the gaming community has been getting away with. I don’t have an easy fix, but it certainly isn’t buying into the delusion by trying to avoid insulting people for whom an external voice speaking at all is an insult.

      • Jdopus says:

        I’m not sure about that, personally I take the same opinion as dE takes above, even if everything you said about the typical person railing against feminism were 100% true, screaming and calling them misogynists does absolutely nothing to help the debate. Not once in my life have I seen someone’s opinion be changed on a topic by calling them a bigot, if the overall aim is to advance Feminism then how is this pursued by refusing to tolerate criticism? People respond constructively to constructive opinions, they respond aggressively to having their beliefs misrepresented or sneered at.

        • AFTOIS says:

          screaming and calling them misogynists

          What I’ve been seeing since the recent upswing in media coverage of sexism in gaming is a series of thoughtful articles and blog posts and videos identifying specific negative games and tropes, a lot of calling-out of particularly awful, specific individual and group behaviour, and then enormous swathes of the nerd community acting as if there are flags with KILL ALL MEN hanging out of every other window and videogame bonfires on the hour.

          I’m literally reading comments where RPS’ coverage of sexism is being equated to leaping over a table and screaming at gamers, and I just… surely people can see that this stuff wouldn’t even reach the ‘mildly impolite’ bar outside of ridiculous victim-complex gamer circles, right? This almost cartoonish depiction of the most innocuous criticism as ‘attacks’, as ‘screaming’, as ‘sneering’ and so on certainly doesn’t do much to make the gamer community look rational or capable of perspective.

          Not once in my life have I seen someone’s opinion be changed on a topic by calling them a bigot

          Not once in my life have I seen someone’s opinion be changed by pandering to their hypersensitivity to criticism. Many, many times in my life I’ve seen someone’s opinion be changed by confronting them with the truth about their behaviour and its consequences, frequently and visibly enough that they can’t easily stick their head back in the sand. You say anecdata, I say to-may-toe.

          (I’m serious though, I’ve got a number of good friends who used to be complete shitheads about things like this, and specifically cite confrontational, direct callouts and criticism as having jarred them into really looking at themselves, where they could and did easily ignore approaches that tried to meet them halfway. For what that’s worth.)

          People respond constructively to constructive opinions, they respond aggressively to having their beliefs misrepresented or sneered at.

          Reasonable people might, but then reasonable people don’t see those constructive opinions as an insult and attack. For a lot of gamers it’s as I said above: in my personal experience, and the vicarious experience of seeing an awful lot of other people try to have this discussion a hundred different ways, there’s a substantial segment of the gaming community that responds equally aggressively/dismissively to a careful, ‘constructive’ approach and to a confrontational one. And to any approach to even attempting to discuss this stuff. They would only be happy if the subject was never raised and they didn’t have to think about it.

          It isn’t a response to the tone or really even a response to the specific content, it’s a response to the fact that a voice from the ‘outside’ (ironically, often perceived as such despite coming from members of the same enthusiast communities, eg RPS) is criticising the poisonous culture they’ve created as a refuge from a supposedly hostile mainstream.

          • dE says:

            You’re either very bad at reading comprehension, or very good at misrepresentation. You’re certainly bad at replying to the comment you actually meant to reply to. ;)

            Since I occasionally believe in the good of humankind I’ll point out a couple of things for you to understand:
            My above comment specifically targets remarks within the articles, usually towards the end, not the articles or the topic. Disagreement with the method of delivery, does not equal agreement with the oppsite argument. This was a gross mirespresentation on your part. You then proceed with

            Not once in my life have I seen someone’s opinion be changed by pandering to their hypersensitivity to criticism.

            Again misrepresenting the issue by assuming it is about pandering and hypersensitivity. It is not. It’s about methods to solve conflicts. There are many possible approaches, the one that has proven to not work during the history of mankind, is the approach to insult and attack the other side. What has proven to work is to confront people. Which you, yourself have said. To make the difference clear for your mind:
            “No doubt the morons will froth at their mouths again. Let’s welcome them”
            versus
            “Let’s discuss this issue”.

            The issue isn’t the message, the issue is in the delivery of the message. You then happily proceed with further misrepresentation and swathing generalisation.

            It isn’t a response to the tone or really even a response to the specific content, it’s a response to the fact that a voice from the ‘outside’ (ironically, often perceived as such despite coming from members of the same enthusiast communities, eg RPS) is criticising the poisonous culture they’ve created as a refuge from a supposedly hostile mainstream.

            To which I reply: No. It’s not. You’re wrong on that assumption. Good news, your reading comprehension is probably okay. Bad news, you’re really awesome at misrepresenting what other people have said and pretty decent at twisting peoples words too.

          • Jdopus says:

            Honestly, I’m really regretting using the term “oppression” at all, I included the section with brackets to indicate that I didn’t intend it to be taken literally but I think a few people have taken it as having stronger meaning than I intended it to have, everyone gets stereotyped to a certain degree and all I meant by using the term in the first place is that video gaming had negative connotations which are only starting to change now and that plenty of people had to put up with being painted as social outcasts.

            That same media machine (I would include social media in this) which painted people as social outcasts is now calling them misogynists. The only reason women were under represented in games in the first place was because of this stereotype and now the (perceived) same groups which reinforced this stereotype for decades are painting the people who identify as being part of that group as being responsible for the under representation in the first place. People feel unfairly treated by this representation and this representation is coming from feminist commentators so people react defensively. Obviously this explanation doesn’t cover everyone and it is, of course, a huge simplification of the complex ways people form opinions about topics.

      • Fluka says:

        A-frikking-men. My personal theory on why there is so much freakout against feminism in the gaming and nerd community is because it forces folks who’ve spent their whole lives thinking of themselves as an oppressed minority to think about their own often intolerant actions. People were mean to you in high school != social justice cause. I’m so happy that nerds were able to overcome their oppression to found Microsoft and Google.

        • WrenBoy says:

          The world actually makes a lot more sense when you stop seeing two groups as wicked oppressors and noble victims but instead see them as groups of those in a position of power and those forced to submit to that power.

          My mind was literally blown several years years ago during a Rome: Total War loading screen quote from Thucydides, “The strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must”.

      • Tasloi says:

        The irony of a certain type of modern feminist (i assume) accusing a whole group of cognitive dissonance. Hilarious. I bet it felt good writing this mindless tripe though didn’t it.

      • Fluka says:

        Goodness how witty you must be so proud of yourself, young man.

        (Aaah, this nested in the wrong spot.)

      • Runs With Foxes says:

        The greater cultural mass of adult male nerds has developed a hilariously unjustified persecution complex because they’ve mistaken mild caricature and mockery for material, systemic oppression and marginalisation, which they have little or no first-hand experience of. As largely white, straight, cis men they’re actually in a position of incredible privilege, but because being the butt of jokes is literally the worst prejudice they’ve ever experienced, and because the standard in the rest of their lives against which they compare this treatment is being pandered to, they’ve become convinced the world is against them.

        I basically agree with what you’re saying here, but it’s all relative I guess.

        I could easily dismiss the concerns of these women by pointing out that there are currently millions upon millions of women and girls who face the possibility of actual death at the hands of their families and communities for acting in a manner deemed inappropriate.

        Next to that, are the concerns of a few women in the games industry who feel a bit put upon really worth this attention? Of fucking course not. They’re fortunate westerners living comparatively comfortable lives that anyone on this fucking planet would be lucky to live. Nothing to do with videogames is remotely important next to the actual real struggles of countless people around the world.

        But I don’t actually dismiss their concerns, because their privileged lives could still be better, just like the lives of those privileged nerds could be better.

        • Fluka says:

          Based on that logic, though, shouldn’t it be logical and possible for self-identifying nerds to admit that women might have it rather crap, too? It seems rather like we’re putting all the requirement for empathy on one side. These women aren’t even saying “Nerds bad! Stop oppressing women!” Hell, they’re nerds themselves, professionally so. They are saying “Here are our experiences and stories. Please listen to them.”

        • AFTOIS says:

          You can certainly go down that slope to the point where you’d be fine with, say, imprisonment of gay people because elsewhere they’re executed or tortured. You can go up it to where nerds being caricatured on TV is equivalent to a minstrel show.

          There’s always going to be a bar between real oppression and an unjustified victim complex, and the position of that bar will vary by person and probably mutually look arbitrary from the outside, and all you can really do is make sure you have good evidence-based reasons for where you’re placing that bar.

      • Gap Gen says:

        I suspect there are a number of “geeks” (for want of a better word) with persecution complexes if they were bullied at school. I’ve heard the argument that the reason some people are so defensive of geek culture is because they always felt threatened by the non-geeks who bullied them at school. This over-defensiveness means that any proposed change to a community is viewed as an existential threat.

        That, and the internet seems to distort anything by being an echo chamber where the loudest, most unreasonable people can define the discourse (actually, this reasonably describes most discussion on any platform).

        • AFTOIS says:

          Bullying in schools is fucking awful whatever the reason, and that isn’t to say nerdiness is not a reason it happens to kids. I’d go so far as to say that nerds are probably systemically discriminated against in some school environments, in the US in particular. Nerdy kids in those situations who feel marginalised are right to, and if building insular communities as a defence helps then great.

          It’s the failure of a huge number of adults, whether or not they were bulled as a child, to see that in the wider, adult world, they’re pretty damn close to the top socially. I sympathise with adults who were bullied as children, but that doesn’t make clinging to a false sense of victimisation into adulthood and hostility to external voices any more rational or valid as a justification for shitty behaviour. They’re adults – I can only really judge them by adult standards.

          (edit in lieu of another comment: yeah, I should have made it clearer I’m agreeing with you)

          • Gap Gen says:

            Just to clarify, I’m not trying to justify anyone’s behaviour, simply suggest a reason for it. I think one problem with the insular community is that exclusion from it can be a form of bullying. For example, I have no idea that a “fake nerd girl” is, but apparently some people believe that such a thing exists, like a communist spy or whatever.

      • Focksbot says:

        AFTOIS is bang on here.

        The characterisation of feminists as ‘screaming’ at people or shoving their opinions down throats is largely a ludicrous overreaction from people who can’t stand, it seems, to be criticised, and won’t consider the possibility that they could work on some of their own behaviours.

        A case in point is the number of men – and some are here, on this very post – who tell a story along the following lines:

        “I’m all for equality. I’m one of the good guys. It’s not *my* fault there’s sexism in the world – I have nothing to do with it at all. But by criticising me, you have made me angry, and that means you, feminism, have failed because you should be trying to win people like me over.”

        What people who tell themselves this tale are often missing is that saying “I’m all for equality” is in itself a largely feeble gesture, and just because you philosophically believe in women having equal rights doesn’t mean that your behaviour doesn’t form part of the general pattern of denying them equal standing. It’s very likely that this behaviour was something you learned at an early age and is something you have to actively reject later in life. It’s very likely too that it’s sometimes behaviour which is difficult to reject – resisting, for instance, the temptation to use gendered insults like ‘bitch’, or to take the piss out of your mates by suggesting there’s something feminine – and thus weak – about something they’ve done or said.

        In short, therefore, anyone who hasn’t made a serious effort to think about how aspects of their own behaviour might help enforce endemic cultural sexism is not really a ‘good guy’ who feminists should be capitulating to or trying to win over. Demanding that they earn your trust and respect when you have shown no willingness to change in the light of their complaints is rude and contemptible.

        Likewise, anyone who thinks that, in being a nerd or an outcast, they know something of what women go up against is, frankly, flattering and deluding themselves. That’s not to diminish the seriousness of and the harm caused by social alienation, but it is a *different* beast to being on the receiving end of a deeply embedded culture of sexism and misogyny that starts from the moment you’re born, and which has been around for centuries and is only very lately being revised and improved upon.

        Men – including me – cannot relate that to their own experiences. It’s insulting to try to do so, and only shows you’re not really interested in understand the issue or what can be done about it.

    • The Random One says:

      Your theory is probably correct, but you seem to imply that this makes this behavior acceptable. Every behavior has a historical source. No one woke up one day and said “You know what? Women are inferior!” and then the idea spread. Regardless of the source, one should look at things rationally and recognize they have an undeservedly high station if that is the case.

    • Phoibos Delphi says:

      Sums up my recent thoughts exactly! Thank you for writing this! I´ve been preaching this hypothesis to my friends for the last few weeks! When I haveto witness an episode of “Big Bang Theory” at my friends place,l am angry enough to defend the video game retreat zone against anybody from the “Outside”, man or woman. We have been building this treehouse since the eighties! ;-)

    • Hahaha says:

      Holy shit balls, sounds good so far will read the rest now, just want to say that only when we are all asexual will it be good enough ;)

    • Malfeas says:

      I have to agree.
      Anything more I write regarding this would be tainted by my envy for the lucky breaks they had getting into the industry.

    • Enikuo says:

      I can’t believe that nearly the entire first page of comments is a discussion around the “right” way to talk about the issue. It’s exhausting. When and how do we get to the point where we talk about the actual issues instead of the issues around the issues?

    • Consumatopia says:

      I’m not sure about this. On the one hand, there are some people who are so socially awkward that it’s a huge liability for them, yes even today. Anyone see the scene from American Splendor after they watched Revenge of the Nerds? Toby is really pumped up because he identifies with those nerds. But Harvey (perhaps cruelly) points out that he isn’t like them:

      Look Toby, the guys in that movie are not 28 year-old file clerks who live with their grandmothers in an ethnic ghetto…They didn’t get their computers like you did, by trading in a bunch of box tops and $49.50 at the supermarket…Sure, go to the movies and daydream, but Revenge of the Nerds ain’t reality. It’s just Hollywood bullsh*t.

      I’m not sure that society is much more accepting of Asperger’s syndrome than, just as an example, gender dysphoria. (Though, of course, only a small minority of video game players, even the more socially awkward ones, are on the autism spectrum). Privilege doesn’t necessarily map on to demographics clearly. I don’t think the game of “you’re more privileged than me!” is ever productive–because almost all of us participating in this thread, and all of the people in that panel, are probably richer than most of the people in the world.

      All that said, I’m not really sure this has much to do with video games. Yes, society mocks socially awkward people, and yes, a number of socially awkward people play video games. However, I don’t think it’s the case that socially awkward people are mocked because they play video games or D&D or whatever. In fact, I don’t buy that at all–I was born in the 70s, and both awkward and popular kids played video games.

      And more than that, just because you’ve been oppressed doesn’t mean you get a pass on participating in institutions that oppress others. And whether or not you or I are personally misogynist, it’s undeniable that a lot of players are misogynist, and a lot of companies are biased against women. Maybe you personally didn’t cause the problem, but it’s all of our responsibility to fix it.

    • MarcP says:

      Another perspective most of you won’t care about:

      As a frenchman who likes to get his information at the source and interact with as many people as possible, I spend a lot of time in the English-speaking world. The way my fellow countrymen are depicted in media is fairly universal, regardless if we’re talking newspapers, websites, movies, TV shows or video games: supposedly, we are dirty, cowardly, promiscuous, rude, treacherous, artsy, arrogant, pale-skinned white people who speak with an awful accent and interject random french words within their sentences.

      If a frenchman has any proeminent involvement in anything, there’s a good chance an English-speaking writer will commentate on the supposedly inherent “frenchness” of this approach. Minor grammatical mistakes will be pointed out, blown out of proportion and reacted to with different levels of sarcasm. RPS writers have been guilty of that more often than not, and the worst part isn’t that they did, but that despite this, they’re still some of the more level-headed voices you will hear in the gaming industry as soon as a french person is mentioned.

      I don’t get riled up about it. I sigh a little. If it’s particulary offensive and if that particular writer hasn’t much interesting stuff to say anyway, it might get me to quit reading their stuff; but if I took offense to every pejorative comment made about the French, there wouldn’t be anything left to read. Ultimately and more importantly, people are free to feel that way about my country and to express their views, and I can choose to either not partake, or speaking up myself trying to offer a different point of view. Asking them to change their ways, however, is nothing but censorship.

      Misogyny is a problem. So is xenophobia. Oh, no doubt if you’d prompt people who defend gender equality in video games to answer to a comment like mine, many of them would assure you they agree it’s just as bad of a problem, that they empathize with you and hope something is done about this as well. This isn’t the point, though, is it? The point is they will say that, then move on to complain about gender equality and not give a damn about french people. Much like many developers who make “male-centric” games would probably agree misogyny is a problem in the industry if you talked to them about it, then after agreeing with you they would resume not caring about it.

      Caring about yourself and people directly around you first and foremost is understandable. Attacking other people for not caring about you when you don’t care one bit about them seems a little hypocritical. I said I was fine with the whole anti-French sentiment earlier – and I am, but when people start complaining loudly about being treated poorly while you feel you’re biting your lip to endure abuse with dignity, when those same people start pointing the finger at you as part of the problem, it gets annoying. There is something surreal in being told about privilege as a frenchman – a word directly lifted from French, its original meaning twisted out of shape in popular culture by English-speaking bloggers, its etymology essentially erased thanks to Anglo-Saxon cultural dominance.

      I speak about French people because this is who I am, and because I can’t speak for anyone else. No doubt you could make the same argument with many other ethnicities. Russians and Middle Eastern people have it particulary bad, being either depicted as drunk or fanatical terrorists, or oppressed victims of the West (which is just as bad when you think about it, in a patronizing sort of way). Perusing international media (which really means English-speaking, how’s that for blogger privilege) as a foreigner, you quickly get the feel the world is split in two: “us”, the good guys, those who speak English as a first language or at least currently live in the US, Canada, Australia or England; and “others”, the barbarians, who might either be enemies or neutral, but aren’t really real people capable of rational and independent thought.

      “Women don’t change their names in Spain? How droll! Those silly little Spaniards. Obviously, our all-American way to have women change their names as the norm is better, because it’s all-American, and we need not entertain the notion Spanish culture might have any insight in this discussion.”

      Point being… There are no bad or good people here. There are people with different social circles and different levels of involvement with everyone else, and hence different perspectives. You can yell all you want about your particular demographic being misrepresented, and if you happen to represent between 40% and 60% of the concerned population, you have a tangible shot at getting changes done through complaining alone, but please don’t sit on that high horse and look me down when you’re part of a culture that, for the better part of the last century and as an ongoing thing, undermined and keeps undermining mine and many others through relentless expansionism, economic aggressivity and imperalism, to the point even if I wanted to, I don’t even have the choice to do the same thing you’re doing.

      Regardless, at the heart of the gender equality rhetoric there’s a lot of negativism and pessimism. You complain, it makes me want to complain as well, it’s a vicious circle of pettiness and we all come out of it in a worst light, more unlikely to agree with each other than ever. Why not work towards fixing the problem, by making or promoting games you feel represent women adequately, rather than expect other people to do it for you, and bitch at them for making games that don’t share your views? There’s certainly a feeling many “gender equality” defenders wouldn’t mind a world where games designed to titillate teenagers wouldn’t exist *at all*, where only their own views would be allowed, and everyone should be enlightened/assimilated; a vision of the world where knowledge is a pyramidal structure, you on top of it, and everyone who disagree with you somewhere down.

      As a foreigner, good luck getting me on board.

      • Malfeas says:

        Yeah, I’ve noticed that a lot too. It’s not everywhere, but for some reason it’s funny to mock people’s countries, but take a smack at their lifestyles, gender or hobbies, and it’s not an acceptable thing to do, in most places.
        The funny thing is, that once an issue is considered resolved, you can mock it all you want, and people are ok with it
        But there’s always a limit, even with resolved issues. At some point it slowly moves from “yes yes, funny” to “just stop it already”.
        And seriously, how many evil villain/scientist germans or promiscious arrogant french or fat belgians do we really need in film and writing?

        Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t think there is an issue, regarding payment, but I’m never going to be part of the problem but don’t really see how to be part of the solution, unless I am in a position to affect the hiring of people. And if I ever am, I really don’t see any scenario in which I’d even consider paying anyone less or more because of gender.
        I know it happens, and it still seems unbelievable to me.

  10. Danda says:

    We have to fight the small, insidious ways women are put down by the industry and even the whole society.

    And the best person to show us how to fight that is a woman who not so long ago was called Brenda Brathwaite, but gave her last name up for a man. It’s ironic, isn’t it?

    • Vorphalack says:

      No.

    • basilisk says:

      Um, seriously? Changing last names after marriage has nothing to do with gender politics, it’s just practical. It doesn’t really matter whether it’s the man or the woman who does that. It’s merely changing an identifier, not an identity.

      • Danda says:

        Practical? In my country (Spain) and many other places women don’t change their names. Say what you want, but doing that is like “branding” a woman with the husband’s mark. Is this really as insignificant as you think, or is it something that you have somehow learned to accept?

        If you are convinced that this is “practical”, why not doing it the other way round? It could be extra-practical, because if you are called John Brathwaite maybe people will forget Daikatana and let you come back to AAA games.

        • basilisk says:

          Actually, I told my wife before marriage I wouldn’t mind taking up her name, but I insisted on us having the same one. True story. I have enough friends who opted for the modern route of having two last names joined by a hyphen, and every single one of them started regretting it a few months down the line, because having a giant last name is just a pain in the arse whenever you’re writing it down or actually using it in any way.

          (And I do find Spanish conventions for last names extremely impractical.)

          • Bhazor says:

            Apart from anything else what do your kids get called when they’re married.

            Jacob Marley-Hyacinth to marry Elena Smith-Fuckpipe and become Jacob Marley-Smith-Hyacinth-Fuckpipe and Elena Smith-Hyacnith-Marley-Fuckpipe.

          • DrMcCoy says:

            The idea I personally like is for the married couple to both change their name to something different. Like a combination of their names, or something entirely new.
            Sadly, this possibility is often not provided for in laws.

          • Ultra Superior says:

            Brangelina style

          • Vorphalack says:

            Bromero.

          • Ultra Superior says:

            Carmero

            Levinector

            Wrighneux

          • WrenBoy says:

            I once worked with a man named McCarthy who married a woman named McCarthy. You would think that this made name changes conveniently unnecessary.

            He changed his name to McCarthy McCarthy.

          • drewski says:

            @ Bhazor – whatever you want and then, when they turn 18, whatever they want.

            I think on a global scale the “change your name because you got married” thing is probably in a pretty significant minority. There’s no reason you can’t keep the same name just because you got married. Pick whatever name you like best for your kids, or call them something completely different. Who cares?

        • woodsey says:

          They’re not forced to take the name, people can do whatever they want. But as has been pointed out above, pretty sure things are gonna start getting tricky with people’s last names unless you give them one or another anyway.

          • drewski says:

            I honestly don’t understand how it’s a problem to have different surnames in a relationship.

        • Drake Sigar says:

          I’m guessing your names mean something and define you in some way. To borrow a phrase from Pulp Fiction ‘I’m American, honey. Our names don’t mean shit.’

          Well actually I’m English, but same deal. It really comes down to whether the individual person thinks it’s important. Maybe they have a long and colourful family history that they want to keep alive, maybe they have nothing and to them their name means less than nothing.

          Basically, other cultures exist, and the reasons last names are changed isn’t neccessarily an issue of mass-sexism.

          • Stellar Duck says:

            Or maybe, just maybe, she just wanted her husbands name because she loved the guy? Though I admit, in this particular case, that speaks volumes about her taste.

            Also, a quick look at wikipedia revealed her name to actually be Brenda Garno (her own last name) Romero. So, there’s that.

        • derbefrier says:

          In the words of the late great George Carlin its just a bunch of pretentious bullshit.

    • Syra says:

      Another graduate of the Alanis Morissette school of irony.

    • Bhazor says:

      Hey if I had the option to change my last name to Romero I would. That’s a pretty cool name.

      • WhatKateDoes says:

        Think I’d prefer Carmack, actually :D

        ..or Shepard.

        But always.. Power.

      • Mr Coot says:

        Yes. Yes I agree. We’re talking about the martyred social justice advocating Archbishop Oscar Romero aren’t we? o.O

      • The Random One says:

        For what it’s worth, I had to Google her last name every time I wanted to talk about her. Now I don’t!

        Though it did cause a short awkward period in which every piece of news had to refer to her as née Braidwaite and mention that she had just married John Romero even if it had nothing to do with what was being said because otherwise people might not know who she was.

    • JackShandy says:

      If you don’t want to change your last name, don’t. Nothing’s stopping you.

      (My mum kept her last name, ensuring the proud name of Hitchcock would live on.)

  11. Low Life says:

    Don’t forget the massive amount of sex they’ll get to have after defending women publicly!

    edit: Aww, the message I replied to was deleted. Disregard this :(

    • Syra says:

      Aw man I made all the witty remarks to the trolls and everything as deleted =((

      • newguy2012 says:

        Yep, there you go. I got censored by the feminists :/

        • DrMcCoy says:

          Because this is exactly what censorship is. Now you can’t voice your opinions anywhere anymore; not on your own blog, not in email. nowhere! *eyes roll*

          • newguy2012 says:

            Its just the way it gets. You have a different opinon, not trolling, and you get censored.

          • flaming_sock says:

            This attitude. I can already imagine soviet union officer saying: What do you mean we censor you? You can go to your home and say all you want. We arent stopping you from that, are we? Have we taken away your mouth or ability to speak?

            Deleting comments that differ from the articles opinion is censorship.

          • Kaira- says:

            Your home is a little bit lesser place and less hearers than THE WHOLE FUCKING INTERNET. Jesus.

          • DrMcCoy says:

            flaming_sock: Please take a look at a dictionary for what censorship is.
            Hint: RPS is not the government. RPS is a private blog. Posting on someone’s blog is a priviledge, not a right.

            Just like you don’t have to put up with me posting on your blog. Just like you don’t have to put up with me standing in your living room and droning on and on about, say, how the XMV container contains WMV like ASF, just with an inverted bitstream.

          • flaming_sock says:

            Oh, okay. I misunderstood then. RPS is a oneway “journalism” site. No questioning, no discussions, no other views.

            It doesnt matter how you portray what is happening here. The core base is still the same – peoples comments are getting removed because they show a different opinion or dissatisfaction. It looks pathetic, that grown people cant handle different opinions, even if they might be stupid. This is what makes us different from animals – we are able to understand things and make our own opinion.

          • DrMcCoy says:

            Oh noes! /The/ fundamental thing differentiating us from animals is what the RPS people can’t handle! Whatever will they do? Going back to the trees? The see?

          • Jim Rossignol says:

            flaming_sock, you misunderstand the nature of places like RPS. This is a privately-owned place that we welcome people into, as long as they aren’t dicks about it, or abuse our hospitality.

            Think of it like a bar, or a pub. You can come in here whenever you want, and talk about anything you want, but at the same time, if you upset my staff or my other clientele, for whatever, reason, then you’ll be ejected.

            Holding forth with offensive or plain stupid stuff in the comments section is equivalent to the drunk guy hassling people in the bar. A good bar owner is going to show him outside if he wants the place to keep a nice atmosphere.

          • Jdopus says:

            The whole idea of it being a private blog and having the right to censor comments isn’t what people disagree with though, people disagree with the policy itself, not your rights to enforce the policy.

            Valve have the legal right to ban every single user of Steam, but the fact that this right exists wouldn’t shield them from criticism were they to exercise the right.

          • flaming_sock says:

            DrMcCoy, I didnt imply anything of that and your comment leaves me confused. I just said its sad to see how, what could be a good website, is becoming a somekinda private club where only people who agree with what is posted in it are allowed. This is a recipe for a cult/dictatorship.

            Oh and before DrMcCoy replies, I will help you:
            “Oh noes! RPS is becoming a dictatorship? Whatever will they do? Attack Poland? Annex Austria?”
            Unbeatable arguments.

          • DrMcCoy says:

            Just mocking your overdramatic “This is what makes us different from animals”, which didn’t add anything to this discourse except sound, well, overdramatic.

            And being German, I obviously don’t think Nazis are in any way, shape or form funny, so I reject your (reverse?) Godwinning as being even more overdramatic.

          • Ergates_Antius says:

            newguy2012 & flaming_sock:
            It’s not that you can’t have a differing opinion, it’s just that your opinion is stupid and worthless.

          • Kitsunin says:

            My two cents: The idea that RPS should allow anyone to say anything in the comments section is stupid. Freedom of speech does not mean you have to right to be given a podium from which to give your speech. Saying RPS is in the wrong by not allowing everyone to say anything is for all intents and purposes the same as saying RPS is in the wrong by not posting every person’s opinion as its own article, which everyone has to sift through to actually find the professionally written ones. And it doesn’t take a genius to realize that would be STUPID.

        • Eddy9000 says:

          YURR…SANSORSHIP. IF ME WANT TO SPEAK LIKE PRICK ON SUMONE ELSES BLOG IT IS HUMIN RITE.

        • Jim Rossignol says:

          From the text above every comment box on RPS: “We do not have a freedom of speech policy here. If we find your post offensive, or just don’t like it, it may get deleted. Complaining about it won’t change anything.”

          Yes, we censor you. No, we aren’t a platform for free speech.

          • Bhazor says:

            Well done. That is the worst possible thing a journalist could say.

          • Jim Rossignol says:

            See my comment above this one. And I’d like to see an explanation of why you think this is the worse thing I could have said.

          • Eddy9000 says:

            Don’t be silly Bhazor, there is no journalistic tradition of integrity that involves publishing every single comment a member of the public makes on an article, regardless of how rude or ignorant it is. Check out those newspaper journalists, they usually don’t even publish reader comments at all, and if they do it’s on a single page of the publication that they have total control over, it’s practically Stalinist compared to your expectations of online games journalists.

          • Bhazor says:

            You are a journalist and this is a news site whether you want it to be or not.

            Saying you oppose freedom of speech IN ANY CONTEXT is again the worst thing you can say as a journalist.

            Its worth mentioning the comment you deleted wasn’t insulting to your “clientele” or the women in the aricle or the subject at hand. It was a comment that these articles invite a lot of page views.

            Which is true of course. Because every article regardless of topic is designed to attract the most readers possible.

          • John Walker says:

            I can promise you that I will delete every single comment I ever see in which someone writes the equivalent of “you only posted this for the pageviews.”

            It’s so fucking rude, so fundamentally ignorant of the way RPS works and makes money, and unutterably tedious. To take Jim’s bar metaphor, it makes you the kind of ghastly twat who walks up to a table of strangers and starts shouting at them, “THEY ONLY OPEN THIS BAR TO SELL BEER YOU KNOW,” and then not going away or shutting up when they all turn their shoulders and try to pretend you’re not there.

          • Tiax says:

            Stop it Bhazor, you’re embarassing yourself.

          • Bhazor says:

            So now instead of someone standing at bar yelling for attention you now have half the bar yelling about you chucking someone out.
            That’s the beautiful thing about editing responses. It doesn’t matter what you cut out or why you did it, the fact that you cut it is far more damaging and disruptive to the author than anything the response could have said.

          • flaming_sock says:

            @John Walker, bars are open to sell beer. Gaming journalism sites are open to spread news about games. News sites tell all kinds of stories. Feminism blogs/news sites tell stories about feminism. I dont come to a feminism blog and shout that they are doing feminism stories.

          • Jim Rossignol says:

            “Saying you oppose freedom of speech IN ANY CONTEXT is again the worst thing you can say as a journalist.”

            I’m pretty sure I could come up with a dozen far worse things.

          • RedViv says:

            Dear flaming_sock: You are coming to a bar to get beer, and complain about others being supplied with beer/soda mixes too. And that is really just bloody stupid.

          • Chris D says:

            So what we’re saying is:

            1. Freedom of Speech is an absolute right in any context whatsoever.

            and

            2. You shouldn’t talk about feminism on a gaming website.

            Well, good. I’m glad we’ve cleared that up.

          • flaming_sock says:

            @RedViv, are we gonna now throw around situations which would suit anyones cause?
            I come to a bar and im pissed at the bartender because he spends his time making pizzas and not giving me beer. I say to him that this is not right, that I like this bar, its close to my home, its relatively cheap, I have friends that come to that bar too and im your everyday costumer, now why the fuck are you making pizzas, if I wanted a pizza I would go to a pizzahouse.

          • Screwie says:

            Ever visited The Guardian’s website? They judiciously choose whether or not to allow comments on each of their articles (and often don’t) and reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments (and often do). But I’m pretty sure they’re definitely still journalists.

          • John Walker says:

            Bhazor – while I realise that trying to reason with you is entirely stupid of me, let’s try this one more time.

            RPS is not against the concept of freedom of speech. RPS is, however, against allowing nasty little shits to espouse their vile idiocy on our privately owned website. We reserve the right to not have to host anything we don’t like, make it clear that this is the case, and do so.

            You will note that what we don’t do is campaign to prevent people from being able to express such views elsewhere. We do not believe that if you wanted to write bigoted crap and idiotic drivel on your own blog, you should be prevented in any way. The notion is abhorrent. You just don’t get to do it here, on our site.

            The irony that all of your complaining is routed in your wanting to control what is published on RPS is woefully lost on you.

          • Llewyn says:

            @flaming_sock: I like your example. Clearly, now that they’re making pizzas and not serving beer, you no longer like that bar. Or, as is apparent, this one. So why are you wasting time like that?

          • flaming_sock says:

            There are reasons why I like RPS and there are reasons why I dont like RPS, like in my mentioned bar. I see this kind of articles as a phase. It should pass, but even if it passes it is kinda pathetic to even have such a phase. It shows that either the game scene is dying and theres nothing worth of reporting or that RPS is dying out and this is theirs last straw.

            And I know what you will say – “hey guys, look at this know-it-all”. Well, god damn me if we reached times when games journalism becomes your everyday journalism for money/views/attraction. RPS did a great job on the simcity problems while also showing how other news sites are apathetic or just pathetic at it.

          • Bhazor says:

            @ John Walker

            And now personal insults. Nice. Real nice.

            Where did I say anything about controlling your output? My point is that you deleting comments damages your point far more that the comment ever could have.

          • Gap Gen says:

            I’m pretty sure I’m reiterating what people have said here, but RPS doesn’t oppose freedom of speech in the absolute. But it has every right to curate what is posted on its site. In fact, it probably has an obligation to, since it is possibly liable for what people post.

          • Jim Rossignol says:

            So, Bhazor, you are seriously arguing that we shouldn’t have moderation powers over our own comment threads?

          • Bhazor says:

            No I’m saying that repeatedly insulting readers, removing non disruptive posts and then boasting about how you don’t support freedom of speech is far more damaging to your point than someone writing “You’re only doing it for the page views”.

            Just look at the length of this comment thread.

            Either turn off comments, remove only the libellous or directly insulting comments or just stay clear. Certainly don’t come into comments and personally insult your readers.

          • Eddy9000 says:

            You’re still visiting RPS and commenting on the articles Bhazor so it can’t be that bad. Let’s face it, you have absolutely zero say in this website, tons of other ones exist and this is the way RPS is run. Like it, or lump it.

          • JackShandy says:

            Bhazor, your original point was that RPS should uphold free speech (presumably by not censoring the comments). You’ve now changed your point to “You should never have entered the comments to argue against me.”

            I’m sure you’re not a troll, but that’s a troll argument. “Ha ha, you engaged with me, I win!”

          • Bhazor says:

            @ Jackshandy

            My original post was simply that no journalist should say “we do not want freedom of speech” in any context. Again, that is the absolute worst thing for a journalist to say. Up there with detectives saying “don’t ask questions, just take it at face value”.
            In context my point was always that deleting non offensive/disruptive comments is often more harmful to your point than anything the comment originally said.
            The fact that Walker just insulted me by name shows how personal and biased his writing is becoming on the subject. That is not exactly ideal for a journalist. Again look at how much more disruptive this thread was.

            @ Eddy9000
            Who said I didn’t like RPS?

          • daemonofdecay says:

            I might disagree with the particulars of how the point has been made, but I am a firm believer that deleting/censoring opinions you dislike sabotages your credibility and (more importantly) does the very issue of sexual equality lasting damage.

            You can’t change anything if you are preaching to the choir. The more people you send away who can’t understand why you are still bringing this up, the more you will be left with a group of readers who simply agree with you. It’s kinda like the FOX/MSNBC news bias here in the states: they have pundits of a certain ideology speaking to a receptive audience and are not trying to convince people ‘on the fence’.

            You should let the people’s opinions stand on their own, so they condemn themselves.

            (So sayeth the man who doesn’t run his own website)

          • Urthman says:

            Bhazor, have you seen the rest of the internet? RPS’s moderation policy doesn’t hurt their credibility, it’s part of what makes RPS better than most other gaming web sites.

            If you’re too blind to see that, I trust there are more than enough people smart enough to value RPS moderation to keep this site going strong. Just as there are plenty of gaming websites full of people who think like you do (which is why I’m here and not there).

          • TillEulenspiegel says:

            RPS’s moderation policy doesn’t hurt their credibility, it’s part of what makes RPS better than most other gaming web sites.

            Preeeeecisely.

            Apart from a handful of incessant whiners, I expect the vast majority of us stick around because we quite like how the site is run, in stark contrast to just about everywhere else on the internet. It’s a refreshing change of pace.

          • Cockles says:

            I would like to know how people are defining and defending the concept of “Freedom of Speech”.

            If “Freedom of Speech” is the right to say whatever you please then it should not be defended, I personally deplore it and it does not exist in any reasonably decent community or society that respects it’s members. As a white guy (or any race in my country for that matter), if I walk down the street and shout “darkies go home” then not only will I get punched by someone, but there will be grounds to arrest me and the state will have me punished because THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS FREEDOM OF SPEECH.

            In this context, I see that comments are moderated that are considered offensive. This is a good thing, it’s what decent human beings do. Some people might believe in some abstract concept of “Freedom of Speech” but it is not black and white. A community that cares about it’s long-term well-being and respect for it’s people will not have absolute freedom in any form, there must always be the means to challenge abuse of power/privilege and down-right nastiness.

            Framing this debate in the context of “if only the supposed ‘feminists’ would be a bit nicer then it might help their cause” is a tiny issue as part of a much larger problem. It’s like worrying about a fly that’s crawling on the back of an elephant sat in your front room.

            The problem as I see it is that people lack the ability to reflect upon themselves, they do not wish to empathise with those of lesser privilege and they are afraid to share the status they have; it’s a natural human survival instinct so it’s understandable but in some contexts we should look at ourselves and be aware of this.

            In the UK we have a serious problem with dividing society by class, race, wealth etc and victimising the weak. Sometimes we are wrong and sometimes (*gasp*) we hold prejudiced views without even realising. The ability to empathise with other, look at yourself and what you are and what you have is key to dealing with these problems.

          • darkChozo says:

            @Cockles

            From a US perspective, that would actually fall pretty evenly under the realm of freedom of speech, assuming that yelling is all you did (yelling that and then punching a black guy, on the other hand, would likely get you charged with a hate crime with an increased punishment). If someone punched the person for saying that, the puncher would likely be liable for assault (though a jury/judge would probably be more lenient given the circumstances). The entire point of freedom of speech is to protect the expression of unpopular political opinion, justifiable or not.

            Not that that applies to what a private organization does. And if you’re offended by the lack of a policy of freedom of speech, then, um, good luck to you. Every site on the internet that I can think of has some restriction of freedom of speech (even 4chan has some moderation outside of legal obligations). Your only option is to start your own site, I think.

            EDIT: bleh, “unpopular”, not “popular”. Kinda ruined my point.

          • Urthman says:

            From a USA legal perspective, the freedom to not be compelled to say something is recognized as an essential component of free speech.

            That is, a newspaper cannot be compelled to say something, or to be “fair and balanced,” or whatever. Balance is achieved by having the right publish your own newspaper, not by compelling a newspaper to publish your letter or your article or an article expressing your opinion.

            RPS’s right to moderate their comments–the right to not publish comments they disagree with–is an essential part of their right to free speech. Anyone who says RPS has an obligation to publish comments they don’t want to is an opponent of free speech.

          • daemonofdecay says:

            @ Cockles

            Are you serious? You don’t believe unpopular speech, even speech based around hate an ignorance, should be protected?

            In this context, I see that comments are moderated that are considered offensive. This is a good thing, it’s what decent human beings do. Some people might believe in some abstract concept of “Freedom of Speech” but it is not black and white.

            Yes, there is the old “you can’t shout fire in a movie theater” shtick, which is still true.

            But speech should never be moderated in the public sphere simply on the grounds of being offensive. Never. The idea that it is beneficial and morally justifiable to remove one of the most basic human freedoms, simply because someone is upset over what they are saying, is one of the most dangerous lines of reasoning that infects the free world today.

            Most of our modern sensibilities and morals were, in the past, firmly in the offensive category when it came to public discussion. Consider homosexuality and the growing AIDs epidemic in the 70s and 80s – even bringing up the subject was socially taboo. Now imagine if the government could arrest you for trying to discuss it in a public forum? To force everyone to only follow “the party line” when it comes to thought and expression is a sign of nation or society that is less tolerant and less free.

            It’s worth noting now that the above deals with public speech. RPS is not a city museum or public park – they have absolute control over what goes onto their website because they pay for it. There is no “rights” for free speech on private property. But one must always remember that one doesn’t want to be a hypocrite by promoting freedom of speech in one place, and limiting it in another. It’s just something to always consider.

          • WrenBoy says:

            @John Walker
            I once saw a man being mocked for complaining that people were only in a bar to get drunk which is a similar level of obviousness to your example. He was in a horrible high volume bar which had a drinks promotion running though. I agreed to the extent that I find such places to be cynical and socially harmful.

            I would like to think of RPS as more of pub specialising in real ales than some horrible chain bar specialising in drinks promotions but it is true both types of establishments make their money in basically the same way.

            Since one exists, some people will be suspicious of the other. Nothing else going on with those types of comments in my opinion.

            EDIT: If I knew how long this thread was before writing then I wouldnt have bothered. Comments lost, like tears in the rain. :(

        • WhatKateDoes says:

          @newguy2012: Reads literally as:”Censored by those who strive for equality regardless of gender.”

          Doesen’t have quite the same snark, non?

          As opposed to those that either ignorantly or nastily use “Feminist” as descrption for FEMALE DOMINATION BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.

          • newguy2012 says:

            @WhatKateDoes: As for your first statement, I am one of those people. Equality is what I am 100% for. As for your second statement, although you write it with irony, theres some truth to that.

          • DrMcCoy says:

            newguy2012: Right, 100% for equality. That’s why you say videogames are “male dominated spaces”, should stay that way lest they change for the worse, and have problems with women “infiltrating” those spaces. Equality!

          • newguy2012 says:

            @DrMcCoy: 100% correct. I said those things and I stand by them. I welcome all female gamers, and hope they enjoy videogames as much as I do, but when the rules, tone or content on a forum have to change because feminists take offence, I have an issue. I do not condone sexism, threaths or things of that nature, but it is a fact that when the feminists come (male and female), many of the good things about gaming dies for me.

            This amazing woman on youtube explains this far better then I can ever hope to, worth a watch if you have the time:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBgcjtE0xrE

          • WhatKateDoes says:

            But WHY is gaming a “Male-orientated” or “Male-only” space? Is it only defined as such because that’s how it has previously only been perceived?

            To take that to its furthest conclusion would either mean gaming isn’t for females, or that there should be a Female-only gaming space. Imagine the outcry then. Also, it would suck.

            Also – Segregation.

          • Gap Gen says:

            “Equality is what I am 100% for. ” OK, so you’re a feminist: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminism

            Thing is, equality isn’t gained by just removing legal restrictions to equality. Look at the Southern States in the US – would you say that black people and white people have equal social status? Remember that this is a place where schools *still* hold segregated events: http://news.msn.com/us/georgia-high-school-students-unite-to-fight-segregated-prom

            So equality isn’t just about taking the old institutions and letting anyone in – the institutions themselves have to undergo a cultural change in order to allow this to happen. It’s also worth pointing out that if you’re a man you might not see prejudice because people react to you differently. It’s kinda like people in school picking on nerds, and your non-nerd friend saying that they’ve never noticed a problem because they’re not picked on.

          • DrMcCoy says:

            *sigh* Why did I know this is going to be a video by girlwriteswhat, the most prominent self-hating MRA woman on youtube, before I even clicked the link?

            In either case, this (and the insulting idea you profess that as soon as women have any say in the the development of video games, “many of the good things about gaming [die] for [you]“) just shows me that you are way beyond any reasoning, so I’m going to bow out here.

          • newguy2012 says:

            @DrMcCoy: You have a different opinion, thats fine, but if you take your head up from the sand for a bit maybe you will see all the bad stuff men have to deal with in society because of the modern feminism.

            @Gap Gen: I dont treat men and women differently, I treat them the same. I believe that makes me an equalist. Feminism had the right idea up to about, say 2000. After that its focusing negatively on men, and all the horrible things they do to women.

          • Gap Gen says:

            I think you’re dangerously close to building strawmen there. Women and men have (nearly, I suppose) equal legal rights, it’s true. But as my post said, they are not equal in society, which is determined by how individuals treat each other, either on a conscious or an unconsious basis. It’s getting better, but we’re not there yet. So rather than attack feminism (since you’ve already said in so many words that you’re a feminist) attack individual arguments. Otherwise it tends to become an ad hominem mudslinging match with no substance.

            In any case, my own personal opinion is that traditional femininity and masculinity go need to jump in a volcano, because both are pretty ugly.

          • iconicorange says:

            Hate to tell you NewGuy, but that does make you technically a feminist. I was of the same opinion (the whole 2000′s thing you were saying) until I was educated a week ago by my flatmate.

          • newguy2012 says:

            @iconicorange: Heh, I was like you before, agreeing with the feminists. I can find many things in feminism that I agree with, not hard at all. I know that there are many types of feminists, postmodern, radical, marxist, lipstick and the list goes on.

            What I do not like about them is the fact that they always make women the victims of something. Victims of men, victims of sexism, victims of the patriarchy and so on. Many of the facts they present are also half truths, they are excellent spindoctors, presenting facts and statistics very much in the same way as Fox News does. Their side is the correct one.

            They claim to be for equality, but all the issues they adress are womens issues. I can not see feminists caring about men one bit. Men die earlier, they have higher risk of suicide, they get screwed in family court and more.

            This rant is long enough, but sufficed to say I do not buy into their “truths” anymore.

          • Gap Gen says:

            Nggggggh. Please please please stop referring to feminists or feminism as a monolithic body with which you disagree. Attack individual arguments by all means, find individual people who have made arguments that you disagree with, but don’t phrase it like you are. What you are doing is building straw feminist, which, and I know you’re not and I mean this in the nicest possible way, makes you look like a whining MRA goon.

          • newguy2012 says:

            @Gap Gen: I know there is different types off feminism and that some of their ideology differ. However many of their core tenets remain the same no matter what variant we talk about. And no, I am not in any way associated with any sort of MRA group.

          • Gap Gen says:

            So first of all I’d like to apologise and say that criticising MRAs as a whole is hypocritical, given the contents of the rest of my comment above.

            I still don’t get the objection to the feminist movement as a whole. Feminism is the belief that women should be equal in all aspects of society to men. Nothing more, nothing less. It’s a broad church, and while there are militant, man-hating feminists, the majority of people just want society to treat women the same as men. If you feel that society *does* treat women the same as men, maybe read what women have to say about their experience – remember that you often won’t see inequality because it’s not directed at you as a man (I assume you’re a man?). I agree that certain feminists can come across as militant, but then every advocacy group has people who are more vocal or argumentative than others. Just look at this comments thread – if you decided that people who dislike RPS’s stance on feminism were representative of the male perspective, you’d think all men were dicks.

          • newguy2012 says:

            I find them to be obsolete. Women today (yes I am a man.) have the tools/means to change their situation, work, education. They can do whatever they want to and they can live their lives however they want to. Same goes for men ofc. Will someone choosing to live outside the norm get jugded by society? Yes they will, man or woman.

            The feminist movement keep pushing their goals and idea to the point where things get skewered badly, not just for men but for women not fitting into their idea of what a women should act like.

            Have I as a man been met with sexist arguments from women? Yep, many times. There are certain thing I am not “allowed” to speak about because of my gender.

      • Syra says:

        Oi that’s not what I meant when I said my stuff got deleted, it got deleted because it was sarcy replies to obvious trolls. Bad debate! BAD!

  12. flaming_sock says:

    I long for days when gaming journalism was about games and not about finding out if hitler is bad.

    • Gap Gen says:

      What I normally do is look at the headlines, first picture and maybe the opening paragraph, and if I’m not interested then I don’t read the article. I think it works pretty well! You should give it a go sometime. But sure, it is a shame that RPS never publishes any articles about games ever.

      EDIT: To clarify, this is like me complaining RPS never posts anything on games ever because they post stuff about DOTA 2 and I hate MOBAs.

    • John Walker says:

      Since you aren’t able to read the 99% of posts on RPS that are directly about games, and not the culture surrounding games, I beg you – BEG YOU – to stop reading altogether.

      Seriously, go away. Because having to read this same bullshit comment over and over and over, despite its being so woefully, abundantly and painfully obviously untrue is making me want to scream until the entire world cracks in two.

      • Bhazor says:

        Actually over the past month the percentage is down closer to 80%. I recommend you read a few pages of the archives.

        • Kaira- says:

          That’s some really strange maths you have there, Bhazor.

          [E] Just went through 6 or 7 pages of RPS articles. 2 were related to “feminism” or w/e out of 66. So, yeah.

        • John Walker says:

          No it isn’t.

          Even if it were, 4 out 5 posts would seem like plenty.

          But no, it isn’t. We post roughly 14 posts a day. Perhaps there are two posts a week that are not strictly about a specific game or developer/publisher. So at most, about 3%.

          But like I say to flaming_sock, I heartily encourage you to go away and read another site.

          • daemonofdecay says:

            “Hello, I’m the Internet. Have we met?”

            What, do you expect people to stop doing something that annoys them rather than continuing to do it AND complaining as well? That’s just foolish. Gamers will play on servers with hackers and yell/scream/shout about said hackers (often in a furious Cheetos fueled rage) ruining the game, getting worked up and screaming into microphones or pounding angrily away at keyboards, when they could just quit the game or try a different server.

            It is even more pointless to try and argue that point when dealing with opinions in a public forum. Humans like to complain; telling them they are free to stop consuming media that offends them is a child’s defense. I used to tell by brother he didn’t have to listen to me call him a mongoloid twit in public; oddly enough, he continued to get angry and argue with me rather than just ignoring it.

          • Eddy9000 says:

            Can’t blame a man for trying though, eh?

            Also I used to use the word ‘mongoloid’ until I found out its aeitiology, it’s really horrible, racist as well as disablist. Give it a google is all I’m asking so you can make an informed choice.

          • The Random One says:

            Mongoloid! A derogative name for mentally challenged people, based on an earlier derogative name for Central Asians! It’s the offensive trifecta!

        • Tridae says:

          so what? Go read IGN if you don’t like it. People have to accept that gaming has become more than ‘just about games’ so it’s worth writing about.

      • WrenBoy says:

        It seems to me that 99% of comments hold positions less foolish that this one. Maybe your mood would improve if you read them instead?

    • Earl-Grey says:

      And I long for the days when the RPS trolls were just nutty, batty and really quite amusing.
      How about a good old “Steam is evil and Ubisoft is misunderstood” shouting match, those were fun.
      These days the trolls around here just make me weep for humanity.

    • Urthman says:

      You’d really think a PC gamer would know how to use a scrollbar.

  13. RobF says:

    -no matter, original comment deleted thankfully-

  14. Grover says:

    Oh boy here we go again.

    Fighting the good fight against the scary “videogamer nerds” who are oppressing everyone.

  15. jonbro says:

    massively massively moving. Thanks for posting this.

  16. basilisk says:

    That was a pretty great panel, actually. I had my doubts after the first speaker, but it got really interesting (and important) after that.

  17. Tridae says:

    RPS, I hope you’re able to IP ban some trolls. As I see it, reading this site is a privilege not a right, if they come to ruin our experience then lets get rid of them permanently.

    • Lydia says:

      I hope they make you head of the Troll Hunting Committee. We really need someone devoted to protect our privilege to read this site.

      • Tridae says:

        I detect some sarcasm in that so I’m just going to clarify by what I mean by ‘privilege’. Some commenters here are acting as if the writers owe them something, as if they need to get exactly what they want ‘or else’. You’re getting this content for free, they don’t owe you anything, so complaining about it just tends to irritate all those who actually read the site for what it is. If you don’t like it go somewhere else. . IGN or Gamespot, anywhere. . enjoy.

        • Lydia says:

          I don’t care what RPS writes about. Tho I have a certain opinion about the way they do it when it comes to gray areas. It’s not something I’m willing to get into right now, especially after seeing John Walker & fans insulting and putting words into the mouth of an entirely reasonable reader.

          • daemonofdecay says:

            You’re not alone there. I am 100% behind the idea of bringing up these articles and trying to raise awareness of a serious topic. However, I have been put off by how RPS has delivered that message in the past. It’s not just them disabling comments on a thread, or being snarky, but the wider way they are presenting themselves in handling the issue.

            I know that the nuances of communication are lost when in a written, digital medium, but I as a reader get the feeling of anger, hostility, and moral superiority coming from RPS whenever they post about the issue if gender equality. It reminds me of my days in a religious Baptist school whenever the True Believers discussed things like abortion or capital punishment. And the way RPS handle their side of it varies wildly: the article above and the video are both good, but then we have the writers getting into personal name calling with those who comment about it. And before, we have had articles whose tone was somewhere between snarky and arrogant.

            I get the feeling that RPS is mad at me over the issue, and that puts me off from wanting to even read their posts about it. Thus how they present the issue can have a negative impact from people who simply don’t want to put up with the tone or style (or personal anger). And that’s a shame, because this is an issue that deserves to be covered regularly.

          • Ergates_Antius says:

            So, you’re not willing to “get into it”, but you are willing to accuse and insinuate?

  18. MOKKA says:

    I don’t really understand why there’s a debate here.

    • Fluka says:

      I’m sad that it’s not even a debate over the content. It’s a debate over whether we should even be having the conversation at all. Sigh.

  19. daemonofdecay says:

    You know, I half expected comments to be disabled for this thread as well.

    • BroodKiller says:

      Me too, actually – it was pretty much obvious that a good ol’ paleolithic clubfight will develop from that, like it has before. I remember an earlier newsbit about this very topic being closed off from comments, with the specific intent to avoid this kind of situations. Far from saying that having no debate at all is much better as it’s throwing the baby out with bathwater, but it’s hard to imagine what could be the fruits from this venting-fest?

  20. Thurgret says:

    I don’t really want to commit an hour to watching this; I gave the first few minutes a look, but wasn’t exactly riveted to it. Are there any particular points in it worth looking at?

    • basilisk says:

      Robin Hunicke is being a little too self-congratulatory and not particularly relevant to the topic, IMO. Leigh Alexander makes some great points, so that’s a good one. Kim McAuliffe’s contribution is mildly interesting, but Elizabeth Sampat is one of the highlights, being both informative and passionate. Mattie Brice is another mildly interesting one and Brenda Romero totally steals the show. If you want to watch a really condensed version, her speech will do admirably.

  21. Runs With Foxes says:

    I think part of the reason why RPS cops a lot of flak for articles like this is because of how the articles are presented. Just look at this one.

    WATCH THIS PLEASE
    HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMEND WATCHING
    I IMPLORE YOU
    REQUIRED VIEWING

    Required viewing for who? I am not in the games industry. I am not in the games journalism industry. Why am I being implored to watch some video about the bullshit that goes on in those places? I just play games, that’s it. I have no stake or interest in this. None. Not a bit. It has nothing to do with me.

    Some people might want to reply that, oh, it will affect the games you play though, to which I respond: whatever. I will or will not play whatever shit games are shovelled out under whatever circumstances. That is my sole relationship with the games industry. Whatever else goes on in these industries is not my responsibility. The people in these industries can sort their shit out for themselves. If you’re concerned about sexism in your industry, fine. Go and deal with it yourself. Don’t try to force the problem onto your readers.

    • iconicorange says:

      Just read the game journalism then, are they physically making you read this? Or read it and think about it, and enjoy another aspect of games and society.

      • Runs With Foxes says:

        Well yeah, I am physically required to read it in order to know what it’s about. But that’s not really the issue. As I said, the problem is how RPS presents these articles, as though somehow it’s my problem. It’s not. By saying it’s ‘required viewing’, the implication is that I somehow need to change my behaviour. But I do not contribute to sexism in the games/journalism industry, and it’s not my responsibility to fix it.

        So it’s about how RPS presents this issue. If they took an objective step back and pointed out how the industry is shit and filled with shit people, fair enough. What I’m saying is that the way they try to make this everyone’s problem is maybe why they piss people off. It might be that people are sick of the implication that they’re awful people contributing to a sexism problem. It’s not ‘our’ problem.

        Walker might respond that sitting idly by is what allows this to happen, but it’s actually not so simple as posting a few blog articles and demanding agreement among readers. One reader’s sympathy with this problem achieves exactly as much as my apathy does: nothing at all.

        And just to make it clear: Being apathetic about the specific issue of sexism in the games/journalism industry is not the same as being apathetic about sexism in general. I’m just pointing out where my personal influence does and does not lie. It’s not here.

    • daemonofdecay says:

      To be honest, your opinion here is part of the problem they claim: because so many people are ambivalent about the sexism or inequality in the industry, the issue is never addressed or discussed fully.

      • iconicorange says:

        While I agree with you that I think everyone should join the discussion, (ie in reference to the parent of this post by Walker “If you can’t see how it’s a problem that needs discussing, then you simply don’t give a shit. I’m asking people to start giving a shit.”)

        My point is that complaining about the website’s articles is not very useful (especially not saying get rid of them), and there is no reason to slam rps over putting their opinion on their website. It would probably be better that he didn’t read them, as opposed to say I JUST WANT GAME NEWS on articles that are of interest to the rest of the internet.

        Edit: I know RunWithFoxes didnt just write I want game news, but I was simplifying the point

        • daemonofdecay says:

          Well, I think a big part of the problem is that most people think as he does: this isn’t my problem, I don’t really care, so why bother me about it? Now, while most people who felt that way would just, you know, actually ignore the article and move on, some people seem set on telling everyone just how little they care.

          I guess part of the problem is that, at the risk of being crass or offensive, one could draw parallels between this issue and other major social issues of the past, like Women’s Suffrage. In the early 20th century the biggest obstacle was not a bunch of angry men running around oppressing women – it was the large segments of the population who didn’t care. They were ambivalent and basically went with the flow – and society’s flow (must… resist… menstruation joke…) was towards the status quo; i.e. women not voting.

          If people honestly don’t care about the sexism, then I feel sorry for them. But I would not expect everyone to become an activist and man the barricades either. I know I don’t do much to fight an unjust situation. When people say it doesn’t bother them at all or they don’t care about the issue, then they are saying that they are comfortable with the status quo – and the status quo is sexism within the industry. People need to be honest with themselves on that front.

          But people don’t like being preached at, either. Especially when the tone can come off as being quite hostile and judgmental against readers who might otherwise be sympathetic to the issue. I can applaud RPS’ dedication to the issue, but even as one who does sympathize with their goals, often their methods leave me with little interest to do more.

          I guess I’m always more persuaded by the humble Gandhi or MLK Jr. type figure who focuses upon non-aggressive means of getting their point across. With RPS’ articles concerning sexism, I have been… well, to be frank, I have often been left put-off by their tone and style. It doesn’t help that writers call some of the people who respond names in personal insults; that’s something I find very distasteful.

          RPS is discussing something that is a just and moral cause; they shouldn’t feel compelled to sling mud or get aggressive in handling the subject. They need to keep marching and waving the banners, and not come off looking like arrogant, morally superior snobs. People don’t want to be talked down to – and sometimes, I get the feeling that that is exactly what the RPS writers are doing to me.

      • Continuity says:

        To be frank I’m sick of having it rammed down my throat when its not my problem. I agree, sexism = bad, now everyone involved (industry/journalism/etc) go fix it and shut up, I’m fed up of hearing again and again and again how someone else is bad at equality.

        • Urthman says:

          Another alleged PC gamer who suspiciously doesn’t know how to use a scroll bar. Are you sure you’re not looking for http://www.x360magazine.com?

        • iconicorange says:

          If it’s not your problem, then you live in a very fortunate area of the world, one I haven’t heard of.

          • Continuity says:

            Its called middle class SE England, its a nice place. I work in an organisation that has 75% female staff, all of the staff based in my office other than me are female. I see no inequality in my day to day life. its not my fault if sexism is not my problem.

        • fearghaill says:

          Continuity says:

          To be frank I’m sick of having it rammed down my throat when its not my problem. I agree, sexism = bad, now everyone involved (industry/journalism/etc) go fix it and shut up, I’m fed up of hearing again and again and again how someone else is bad at equality.

          how exactly is it being rammed down your throat? Is someone forcing you to read this blog, something that is normally a voluntary activity?

          No? Then run along, the owners of this private blog have made it more than clear that they care about this issue and will continue to talk about it. That you continue to read the site in spite of this means that nothing is being “rammed down your throat”, you are choosing to come here, and could just as easily choose to get your gaming news from another site, that doesn’t push you out of your safe little comfort zone by reminding you that your chosen hobby has some serious equality problems that needto be adressed.

          and for everyone crying that sexism is the industry’s problem and not yours? That you feel so put upon to have to scroll past an article about it is telling, but beyond that this is how journalists can use their influence to try to change things. By posting stories like this, and calling out companies that are doing things wrong, they are using their influence to raise awareness, which puts pressure on the developers and publishers to change.

          • Continuity says:

            “how exactly is it being rammed down your throat? Is someone forcing you to read this blog, something that is normally a voluntary activity?”

            RPS is the closest thing I read to a news paper. If there is an article on the front page i’m going to look at it out of curiosity (thats why i’m here). I’m just disappointed that they keep harping on this one topic that has nothing to do with 99% of the readers. I agree its important, its just not relevant to consumers, WE don’t have the power to change things, the gaming industry has to do that from the inside out.

    • darkmouse20001 says:

      Exactly. I really couldn’t give a fuck about it. I do enjoy the comments sections on these articles though!

  22. Wurstwaffel says:

    “#1reasontobe” what? How does that phrase end?

  23. Slade says:

    Any means of downloading this video panel ? I’d like to watch it on a cozy couch while sipping tea, not by painfully sitting on my chair doing nothing (as this matter is interesting, I can’t concentrate on other things such as reading articles, playing games or doing research).

  24. Don Reba says:

    Watch This, Please

    No, thanks, I’ll pass. But thanks for sharing.

  25. iconicorange says:

    Just joined because it’s a pretty interesting debate, so hello!I
    I think whoever is complaning about them posting these articles on their site should really wonder why they are reading it, or even commenting on it. It clearly interests a lot of people (myself included) and nor does it detract from any the news on the site. So what do you have to moan about?

    The comments thing is clearly a debate unto itself, and as much as I do believe in free speech, everyone has a right to get angry and delete shit on their website. Id rather it didn’t happen, but oh well. Id personally rather the writers joined the debate and allowed whoever just talked a load of crap to “discuss” with every other commenter, as there seems to be a fairly decent bunch of folks here, of all sorts of opinions and someone has to play devil’s advocate.

    Also, the opinion away button is fantastic, how can anyone get angry when writing a comment with that there?

  26. MadTinkerer says:

    Linking directly to the source of information? Yeah: that’s what I’m talking about!

  27. Continuity says:

    Holy fucking walls of text batman…. TL;DR anyone?

  28. Vermintide says:

    Soooo… Out of all the TL;DRs on the comments section here, I think a prevailing notion is as thus: Feminists aren’t really helping themselves by using somewhat passive aggressive tactics, and perhaps should change their tact?

    It’s brilliant, it makes sense; but it’s unlikely to happen, because they are women after all. *dodges thrown plates* OKAY OKAY I CAN’T HELP IT I’M SORRY. Being a dick is a terrible affliction that you people will never understand.

    Anyway, I guess it comes down to that old question. If feminism is really all about true gender equality, why is it called feminism rather than, say, equalism? Because whilst any intelligent person can agree, equality is a very good thing, I think the issue we currently face in this entire debate is one of marketing. What they’re essentially trying to do is force a group of males to accept something they have been conditioned against for pretty much their entire lives.

    Why not make the medicine easier to swallow? Being stubborn about the principles doesn’t get anybody anywhere.

    • Erinduck says:

      “Unfortunately, the reason that “fem” is a part of the word “feminism” is that the world is not, currently, an equal, safe, and just place for women (and other groups as well—in its idealized form, intersectional feminism seeks to correct all those imbalances). To remove the gendered implications of the term is to deny that those imbalances exist, and you can’t make problems disappear just by changing “feminism” to “humanism” and declaring the world healed. That won’t work.”

      http://jezebel.com/5992479/if-i-admit-that-hating-men-is-a-thing-will-you-stop-turning-it-into-a-self+fulfilling-prophecy

      • Vermintide says:

        The great thing about that article is that it not only misses the point, but you could just go into Word, use Find/Replace to swap every gender prefix/sufix for the opposite one, and it would still make exactly as many valid arguments.

        Allow me to stop being snarky and just say, I flat out don’t agree with the viewpoint presented there.

        Anyway nobody is suggesting changing the name of feminism will make all the problems go away. What it will do is eliminate a great deal of the adversarial criticism it faces. When I was young my mum told me something important that has stuck with me ever since. She told me something to this effect- Rise above those who disagree with you, and lead by example, don’t engage the bullies on their own terms.

        • Erinduck says:

          …No, you couldn’t actually do that because it’s not actually true. Men are traditionally at a huge advantage in the world compared to women. If you switched all the pronouns and mention of gender in there, it wouldn’t be the same thing at all and if you think that, you’re genuinely delusional.

          • Vermintide says:

            Now ask yourself WHY men are traditionally at this advantage. Then go read about equality of opportunity, versus equality of outcome, and acknowledge the fact that society is still growing out of it’s former patriarchal cocoon. Then go look at data showing the varying ways that modern education favours girls. Then tell me, for precisely how much longer, must we continue to use the fem prefix? When will the point come where we can officially declare that women’s problems are no longer a higher priority than men’s?

            Suddenly perhaps you may understand that it’s not all just about this tinfoil hat conspiracy behind “the patriarchy”. Perhaps, just perhaps, it’s a myriad of social, historical and cultural issues coming together. What I’m saying is that feminists should be doing better. They should be more noble in their cause, because society is far more complex than their movement can possibly cope with.

            Whatever, the fact that you linked me to an article on Jezebel of all places does not indicate you are a balanced, unbiased participant in this debate.

          • Erinduck says:

            So your entire argument hinges on a ridiculous slippery slope, then putting words into my mouth, then trying to discredit the article that actually pretty much discredits every point you’ve put forth wrong because you don’t like the site it’s hosted on.

            Right. Okay.

      • Beemann says:

        If keeping the term gendered is the only thing implying that things are unequal, shouldn’t the term strive to avoid implying any sort of cisgendered status? In striving to showcase the vast range of problems and various levels of systematic oppression, doesn’t Egalitarian or Humanist become an accurate term once more?

        Honestly while the whole “name of feminism” thing is often asked in the worst way possible, I do still find it’s a question worth asking

        As for the implication that you are in some way unhinged for posting a link (my opinion on the Jezebel site aside) I have to say that I frown on that ever more prevalent line of thinking in these sorts of debates. Too much guilt by association and other similar fallacious positions. I can’t however say that I agreed with or particularly enjoyed the article in question.

        • Erinduck says:

          Actually, the whole purpose of intersectional feminism is to put proper distance between trans exclusionary radical feminists (TERFs) and the ideals of feminism, which include bringing people on equal societal footing!

          • Beemann says:

            But that’s not really relevant to what I said. If the gendered name is meant to denote a greater level of oppression for one gender, then the movement should logically be named after the most oppressed participating demographic should it not?

          • The Random One says:

            If they did that people like you would find some other, even more marginalized group and ask why they don’t change their names to that. Because people like you are interested in projecting hypocrisy into a group, not legitimately discussing what is going on.

          • Beemann says:

            I wonder how exactly you presume to know my entire position and what I have said or done on all matters egalitarian based on my choice to question the rationale presented in a Jezebel article linked in the RPS comments section. Considering your apparent expertise on this manner, what exactly do “people like me” think?

            The fact of the matter is that the rationale given is flawed. If it’s illogical to call the movement Egalitarianism or Humanism because that ignores inequality (and it doesn’t) then why is it logical to name it something that, by the same reasoning, ignores inequality elsewhere?
            That’s not projected hypocrisy, it IS hypocrisy. I assume that it’s unintentional, but ultimately it doesn’t help the movement to have it represented in such a flimsy manner

  29. Beefeater1980 says:

    * The RPS post above, their editorial position on various social justice issues, RPS on censorship and the relationship between the site and the community are all complex and important topics.

    * This is therefore a long comment. I have only one criticism of RPS and that is very specific. I also happen to think it’s a Big Deal. If you want to get right there, skip to the end of this comment.

    * This comment gets into a taxonomy of censorship. For the people who like that sort of thing, yay! For the people who don’t, sorry about that.

    * I am very grateful to anyone who spends a couple of minutes reading this comment.

    I really like this website. Every day except my Monday (UK Sunday), I open up feedly and there are ten to fifteen articles that are mostly interesting on RPS, all reasonably well-considered, all on the topic of a hobby of mine. Just by maintaining and posting on this site, the writers and editors of RPS are doing me a tremendous service, at no cost to myself. That is a Good Thing.

    They also are, or have become, conscious that the way of looking at the world that pervades games makes various assumptions which are not necessarily true about the people who buy, or might buy, games. These include assumptions about a lot of things. Some of those things are fundamental to people’s identity, such as gender, age, ethnicity, sexuality etc. This awareness is also a Good Thing.

    They also, it’s clear, get deluged with illiterate and/or insulting crap in a way that most of us reading this site don’t. The fact we don’t see the cesspool in all its depth is a reflection of the site’s comment moderation policy. That is a Good Thing if you are curating a website and trying to keep the signal-to-noise ratio high.

    Since we’re not in the RPS editorial team we don’t know what is being censored. This is important.

    The possibilities, which I’d call something like responsible curating (Good Censorship), are:

    1. EVERYTHING IS PERMITTED. Nothing or very little is actually censored (maybe just spam emails). The team just wants to be clear that it has the right to do so.

    2. BOOST THE SIGNAL. As little as possible is censored. The criteria for censoring something are that it (a) is personally insulting, vulgar, or fundamentally content-free AND (b) doesn’t have something else interesting in it, in the context of the discussion, that makes it a valuable contribution to the discussion.

    3. FILTER THE NOISE. Same as 2 but the irrelevant or insulting parts are cut out and the meaningful content is posted.

    These are the 3 ways of censoring content that in my view are all unobjectionable. I think number 3 is probably the most responsible, and I think (hope) that RPS actually does something in-between 2 or 3 in practice.

    There are other possible ways of censoring content. The Bad Censorship options are:

    4. PURGE THE TAINT. Same as 3 but delete the entire post that has been contaminated by junk content.

    5. KEEP IT CLEAN. Same as 4, but also delete posts that do lower-order undesirable things that don’t contribute to the discussion. Examples are repeating points that someone has already made, derailing discussions or taking them off-topic, ad hominem attacks etc.

    6. KEEP IT CLEAN AND DECENT. Same as 5 but also delete posts that the censor feels are making an inappropriate, unacceptable or improper point.

    7. KEEP IT FAIR AND BALANCED (IN THE FOX NEWS SENSE). Same as 6 but also delete posts that disagree with the editorial line.

    8. SHAPE THE DISCUSSION. Actively moderate the comments so that the ebb and flow of conversation in the comments acknowledges a debate which the editorial line then wins due to judicious permission and deletion of comments.

    A lot of the frustration that has cropped up in the comments since that “We do not have a freedom of speech policy” rider went up probably comes from people interpreting RPS as saying that RPS reserves its right to do Bad Censorship, either because RPS is made up of Good People or because it’s Their Site And If You Don’t Like It, You Can Eff Off.

    For the record I don’t for one moment think that RPS is doing any of these. I am pretty certain that RPS follows some variant of 2 or 3 above.

    * So what has RPS done wrong that I am criticizing? *

    The editorial team has done very little to dispel the impression that it’s engaging in Bad Censorship, or to acknowledge that Bad Censorship is a valid concern. In particular, the guidance note beneath ‘Comment on this story’, which reads “We do not have a freedom of speech policy here. If we find your post offensive, or just don’t like it, it may get deleted. Complaining about it won’t change anything” is defensive, disrespectful of commenters, poorly worded and – I fervently hope – misleading.

    The community that regularly comes to this particular Internet watering hole is one of the reasons that RPS is an important website. They deserve to be treated with friendliness and respect by the RPS editorial team. Please, please, change the note to something a bit less stupid.

    E.G.

    “We moderate comments here, so please use some common sense,” or

    “Our discussion is lovingly handcrafted from only the finest comments. Cheerful, apple-cheeked orphans rise at dawn every day to sort our posts so that you only read the ripest, most succulent comments, bursting with content, amusing puns or Lord Custard’s musings and utterly free of pointless nastiness.”

    Well, one can dream, anyway.

    (Edit: RPS not RPC. Durrr.)

    • Urthman says:

      Freedom of speech means the freedom to start your own blog.

      Insisting that someone else has the obligation to host your comments on their blog is the opposite of free speech. Compelling someone to say or publish something they don’t want to is just as bad as forbidding someone from saying or publishing something.

      RPS never, ever said you can’t disagree with them as loudly as you wish. They just say that they have no obligation to publish your disagreement on their site. You on the other hand are trying to compel them to publish opinions that they don’t want to. That makes you the censor, not them.

    • WrenBoy says:

      The freedom of speech blurb clearly comes from the same style of writing that named games criticism Wot I Think.

      I think you are correct when you say that the way it is phrased is causing some people to lose the run of themselves but it seems to me that they are so obviously wrong that doing nothing is the only sensible policy.

      • Beefeater1980 says:

        @Wrenboy “The freedom of speech blurb clearly comes from the same style of writing that named games criticism Wot I Think.”

        Actually I disagree with this. “Wot I Think” and “Opinion, Away” are RPS gently making fun of RPS, as are the Info and appendices stats on scotch egg consumption and Hivemind Throbomoter. The message they convey is “Hey, we’re normal, friendly human beings who don’t take ourselves too seriously.” I like that message! It’s more or less how RPS actually is.

        The “We do not have a freedom of speech policy here” blurb is not in any way self-deprecating. It is Serious. It is combative. It is a bit preachy. It is not RPS gently making fun of RPS, it is RPS sternly warning all posters not to make bad posts. Seeing it on RPS is jarring, all the more so because the RPS staff clearly *are* normal, friendly human beings who don’t take themselves too seriously.

    • The Random One says:

      The obvious solution is to send all comments to be pre-approved by Lord Custard.

  30. Dungas5 says:

    I don’t like this stuff because I enjoy the female form. I like running around in guild wars to get help from some girl in an armor bikini swinging a greatsword. What is wrong with it? She can equip a set of armor that only exposes her face, or not even, if she would like. If there were games where all females in the entire game where scantily clad and could be abused for points somehow I would understand where you are coming from but this is really just about some girls who had unpleasant online encounters like, gee idk everyone and their mom, getting really butthurt about it and trying to make everyone kiss their asses. And the nerds fall right into line, so desperate to demonstrate their value to these women. Lol. Way to show off how you need big strong men to protect women, tell me RTS, where are your female writers and what are their opinions on the matter? In mine this is bullshit and if you get your feelings hurt by the way someone that happens to share your gender is portrayed via pixels in a computer generated fantasy world, don’t play that game and stop trying to force everyone to live by your standards. If you want to be protected from butthurt wherever you go you will need to look into fascism, its the only proven solution.

    The way you contribute also has effects. Like making such a huge deal out of Kerrigan’s ass. Why not her face, that was still human and not overly zergy. Why not the shape of her hands? You are making it sexual, not the developers. I don’t recall seeing an praise for GTAIV and the fact that you can form a relationship with a strong independent woman and not some gold digger trashbag you can bang in between killing prostitutes. I never see any complaints about every male game character having a 6 pack or a chocolate voice that resonates with the clitoris like a harp. Or why thorins character in the hobbit movie was twisted into a hunky new aragorn dwarf for the ladies. Idk sex is a part of life and I don’t understand anyone who wants to snuff out parts of life, especially for other people.

    Another thing to consider is even if you manage to turn females in games into gender neutral nothings, people will still harass them. Why? Because there is nothing evil in games that inspires misogyny, it is a very real part of the world. This is a problem that we have as a human race not as gamers. There are places in the world where women have no rights and they are murdered for disobedience. Its not a problem you can just snuff out by hiding the boobies. Also remember that when you see this behavior online, there is a 75% chance you are interacting with a 12 year old boy who just hit puberty, and they will most likely grow out of it. It also doesn’t just apply to women. People don’t do themselves much good by being openly black or gay online either, bigotry is bigotry and unless you track everyone and go beat them into acting the way you want them to you just have to help them change on their own.

    • Wurstwaffel says:

      I disagree on the armor-bikini thing. That kind of female character design rarely makes sense within the game world’s context. It just breaks the immersion.

      also: I think that post about kerrigan’s bum was meant to be a joke.

      • andytt66 says:

        Might have been a joke, under normal circumstances would assume it was a joke.

        It was posted the day after (IIRC, all these comment threads are blending into one for me now) John went a bit odd and started yelling at people to fuck off if they didn’t agree with him.

        So now I dunno. Everyone got super-defensive for a while, and I think it was part of that.

        *shrug*

  31. Cunzy1 1 says:

    God it all sounds so reasonable off the Internet. More of this I say!

    As a side note the GDC guidelines for preparing for a session are very clear. To me these conference presentations were very poorly prepared. Is this typical of GDC presentations? Do all game designers struggle with public speaking. And the slides. Worrying for leaders in a medium that’s all about visual design.

  32. vaendryl says:

    how the fuck do women find ways to get their persistent whining into EVERYTHING!? compare that to the look on their face when I even suggest something is wrong with -their- activities.

  33. Stellar Duck says:

    I’m amazed. So many new people to block. I gotta wonder if they’re alt accounts or just new people moaning about evil wimminz rights nazi libruls ruining their toys.

  34. Contrafibularity says:

    This was funny and enlightening and heartwarming. As a proto-aspiring developer I can only hope to work with people as talented and driven and dedicated to gaming as this some day. I’m a bit of a loner so that might not happen, but it’s so awesome to see the industry slowly progressing in the right direction. It’s funny because I felt/knew these things before watching this talk, but you never really know what it’s like until you hear about it first-hand from people who’ve had the actual experiences. I’m making it a point to visit GDC some day.

  35. Wonko the Sane says:

    Is this the place to say Brenda Romero is awesome? Because Brenda Romero is Awesome. (Also the rest of the panel.) Thank you for posting this.

    • Rinu says:

      I was very sceptical and cynical about Shaker but I started to follow her on Twitter sometime after the Kickstarter project was cancelled and started enjoying her personality. She is definitely an interesting woman.

    • Mr Coot says:

      Yer, enjoyed her segment on the panel. Espesh her reflection on going to E3 with no make-up in the closest thing to a burqua she had in her suitcase and thinking ‘Why am I doing this? &c’ lol The persistence of ‘booth babes’ does seem strange when you consider it objectively in the light of modern workplace rules on sexual harassment.

  36. Rinu says:

    Thank you for linking the video. I’m always grateful when someone bothers to record these panels.

  37. Michael Fogg says:

    Unfortunately Branda B has very little cred, not only after the failed kickstarter, she is often blamed for ruining the Wizardry series. A lot of old schooler are likely to be not impressed by what she has to say.

    • Dominic White says:

      How did she ruin the series? Wizardry 8 was great, and I’d loved to have seen more like that, but people just kinda stopped buying trad-CRPGs round about that time. Well, in America, at least. The series kinda split off and remained big in Japan for some time to come.

    • Erinduck says:

      Cleve Blakemore spotted.

  38. Kitsunin says:

    Hearing Brenda talk about Booth Babes felt so earnest and logical, I really find it impossible to imagine someone listening to that and still being okay with them.

    It’s not that we have a problem with sexy: It’s that when you put sexy somewhere it shouldn’t be, it sexually charges the atmosphere, and makes things really uncomfortable!

    • Mr Coot says:

      Ya, none of this is strange to me. It’s perfectly reasonable and baseline to me for women to be in the game industry and to be able to function in safe and comfortable workplaces. It’s strange to oppose it!

      Actually prolly the only strange thing about this article for me was how the hell John Romero managed to pull any woman working in the game industry (lol). After his embarrassing advertising effort in the 90s for Daikatana “John Romero’s about to make you his bitch. Suck it down”. I hope he didn’t propose to Brenda like that.

  39. minervaxander says:

    The notion of “gender equality” in gaming (or computing) is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever come across. What a disgrace to those of us women who actually have a passion for such things and barely encounter any sexism or related-problems at all!

    Most of the “difficult experiences” some women keep talking about have very little basis in reality. The reality is that misogyny/discrimination is extremely rare. The vast majority of women I’ve run into have barely made any useful contributions, if at all (for some reason, a lot of them have “Women’s Studies” degrees which is 100% ideologically driven bullshit). Then they take to victim-hood in order to gain attention. I have seen far more of these types around than those who actually work towards and try to do things. These so called allegations of “harassment” are also publicity stunts.

    The under-representation of women in gaming and computing has nothing to do with discrimination but everything to do with choices. Most women simply aren’t interested in object-oriented fields — a decade of attempts have shown this to be true. Even among the small pool of those who are interested, I have found very few who come up with anything impressive. I’m no genius either, but I don’t go around blaming others for it. Similarly, most women are not paid less because of their gender; rather, they are paid less according to the standard of work. Men who come up with shoddy work don’t get good pay either.

    It’s sickening to see women blaming men for their own problems. It’s even more sickening to see some men who blindly believe and promote these notions. Remember Adria Richards at PyCon? Because of her and her feminist friends, a lot of developers are now hesitant to hire women. Why hire someone who can get one of your employees fired (and ruin his life) for the stupidest reasons? Why hire walking-talking lawsuits? Why should conferences like PyCon inscribe specific privileges for women and punish men?

    From my experience, I can tell you with certainty that men are the ones who keep the industry moving; they are also the ones who innovate and take risks. I know teenage boys whose geniuses put the majority of “victim-hood women” to shame. Do most men possess a biological affinity for object-oriented fields? It seems very likely and if that’s the case, then gender equality agendas are inhuman because they prevent a lot of men from doing what they actually want to do.

    I really hope that this rabid gender equality rhetoric does not end up marginalizing men, like it has in some other industries and fields.

    • darkmouse20001 says:

      I must admit, I suspect something like this is probably the case. I don’t work in the computer game industry, but have dabbled in all sorts of industries, including some that are notoriously male dominated, and have found that in general, if somebody is good at their job, regardless of their gender (or race, religion, sexuality for that matter) they are payed and respected accordingly.

      In the few cases where people are generally acknowledged to be no good, it is much easier for someone who is ‘different’, either female, or black, or gay for instance, to kick up stink and say they were discriminated against when they are held to account for being shit.

      I also suspect that the ‘under representation’ of women in the computer game industry is because in general fewer women are attracted to that type of work – when the ‘industry’ was composed of guys or groups of friends programming in their spare room, there was nothing to stop girls getting involved and yet they didn’t (I know its not really as simple as that!). That may change as the player base of games changes, but I suspect it wont change dramatically. Once upon a time women weren’t allowed to fly in the RAF – that changed just over 30 years ago, and whilst their are plenty of female pilots now, they are still a tiny minority, despite their being no bar to their entry – in fact they are positively encouraged. Those that do fly are payed no differently, and treated no differently to their male counterparts, because they have to achieve the same standards – Hell, the Boss of my last squadron was a women, a superb pilot and a superb boss.

      I didn’t really want to post anything serious under this sort of article, as its only a matter of time before my reasons for posting and the content of my post are misconstrued, but I just wanted to say that I think this ‘sexism’ in the gaming industry needs to be scrutinized a little closer before Walker heads off on his crusade to crush the infidels.

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