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Gaming Who benefits from the idea of gamers?

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Combatus, 5 Sep 2014.

  1. Combatus

    Combatus Bit-tech Modding + hardware reviews Staff Super Moderator

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  2. David

    David Take my advice — I’m not using it.

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    I agree that the stereotype no longer holds true for the majority, but knee-jerk reactionary adolescent males are still a significant and very vocal element. Like it or not, they will always represent part of the gamer community, and those outside will continue to tar us all with the same brush.
     
  3. hoochy

    hoochy Need moar cooling

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    Fantastic article. I can not only relate to this as a 'gamer' but also in the wider context of my current working life

    This did make me smile....

    :D
     
  4. adidan

    adidan Guesswork is still work

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    Yup, you may be knee-jerky and vocal mate but you're far from adolescent. :)
     
  5. John_T

    John_T Member

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    I think the important thing to always remember when talking in online forums with people you don't really know is that, while most people are relatively 'normal' and reasoned, there are some who, regardless of their age or whether they disagree or agree with you on any given subject at any given time, are simply stark raving mad!

    Even more worryingly: They almost certainly don't know it themselves.

    I do disagree with the second from last paragraph though - as I'm pretty sure you do see film reviewers, feminist authors and the like receiving abuse and death-threats. In fact, I'd happily stick twenty quid on feminist authors receiving abuse and threats of the kind that the average game reviewer / programmer has only ever had nightmares about.

    This kind of behaviour sadly applies to every single solitary field in existence, not just gaming and 'gamers', (although perhaps in differing quantities, granted). Short of demanding some kind of IQ / compos mentis test to be allowed onto the internet, I'm not sure if there's really a cure for the problem.

    I know it's easy and somewhat glib to say 'take it with a pinch of salt', but, (direct threats or sustained abuse aside) I think you generally have to. For the sake of your own sanity if nothing else...
     
  6. David

    David Take my advice — I’m not using it.

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    Damn you! I shall immediately whip up a smear campaign and name you as a hateful girl gamer (not too far from the truth!). :p
     
  7. Anfield

    Anfield Well-Known Member

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    So "gamers" have succeeded in pushing back the date where you can openly admit in real life that you sometimes play video games without repercussions by another couple years.

    Congratulations, Not.
     
  8. Red 5

    Red 5 New Member

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    If you play football, you're a footballer. If you ski, you're a skier. If you read, you're a reader. If you manage a workplace, you're a manager. If you play games, you're a gamer. It really is that simple. Some people wish to attach more to it than that, but some people wish to associate 'football fan' with 'football hooligan'. Just because there is a problem, doesn't mean everyone is the problem. Does that sound like #notallgamers? Does it sound defensive? Well, people tend to become defensive when they're under attack. What a shock.

    But there in itself is a problem in perception of who the attack is coming from. The press/websites are reporting that "gamers" feel under attack from "non-traditional gamers" but the situation has moved on and it's actually the press and websites who are now doing the attacking. When the press and websites associate "gamers" with sexists and racists you are creating your own definition, and yes it will piss off people who aren't. What method of response do those people have? Somebody writes an article, it's on the front page of the website, it says "you're all disgusting" and there is no method of response which will gain equal prominence. The articles in recent days have been saying exactly that, in addition to "you're wrong, we're right", but if anyone wants to say "actually, I think we both have valid points and are both right" it's lost in the fog. I have yet to see one article address the recent issues and "Gamersgate" (I hadn't read the term or knew it was a 'thing' until yesterday) which hasn't in the process launched attacks against people who are innocent of the allegations. When the press say gamers are racist, sexist, make death threats etc. etc. you sound no different from Jack Thompson, or Putin saying homosexuals are paedophiles.

    The problems which have arisen aren't a "gamer" issue, they're an internet issue. You say book writers and film critics don't receive similar levels of abuse. Do you know that as fact, or are you just making an assumption? Unless you closely follow those industries as you do games, you probably don't know what gets said. I'd go the other direction and assume the dickwads of the world will threaten anyone for any reason, especially while anonymous. I know people receive abuse and death threats for voicing opinion on Scottish independence but I don't think Salmond has expressed a preference for either Xbox or Playstation.

    Another problem is over-reaction to criticism. Gamers have over-reacted to criticism of themselves, as you and multiple other journalists have pointed out, but the industry believes itself immune. Using your book example, plenty of people have said 50 Shades of Grey is rubbish and EL James is a hack, and that's accepted by society. People criticise and joke about Harry Potter and Twilight, and again it's accepted. People criticise Depression Quest and they're sexist, end of story, no discussion allowed. People criticise the press and websites not allowing that discussion and they're sexist too. "This press/website is above criticism, it knows best, shut up". And then you wonder why people get angry. Except you don't wonder, you instead decide to turn the word "gamer" into a slur and tar everyone who complains with it.

    In case it needs saying, yes I am opposed to harassment, bullying, death threats and everything along those lines. It is completely unjustified. As I've been typing this I've been listening to various NATO and Ukraine related press conferences and getting mightily pissed off at how Putin has gotten away with his ****. I cannot stand bullying of any form. This is also why I found the open letter going around a few days ago so amusing. Websites tripping over themselves to sign up to people having the right not to be abused and everyone having the right to criticise, either oblivious or pretending that they're guilty of bullying and stifling criticism themselves and knowing full well they won't abide by it. "Oh no, this letter isn't about us, we're in the clear. It's about everyone else" they think, like Billy Connolly's antelope which thinks it's a zebra.

    There was probably more but I've been at this for over an hour and have forgotten other things to say. In conclusion: Bullying: no. Bullying while pretending not to be: no. Fair criticism: yes. Stifling fair criticism: no.

    Being able to call yourself a gamer without false connotation: yes.
     
  9. d_stilgar

    d_stilgar Old School Modder

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    I've tried to stay out of this "#Gamergate" mess, but there is one journalist who, I believe, has been the champion for people like me. You can read his articles on the subject here:

    http://www.slate.com/articles/techn...arassment_a_letter_to_a_young_male_gamer.html

    http://www.slate.com/articles/techn...are_over_but_they.html?wpsrc=sh_all_dt_tw_top

    He seems to simultaneously recognize and acknowledge the issues from both sides, championing those who support both struggles, while vilifying those who have turned the issue into horrible personal attacks or threats of violence.
     
  10. pimlicosound

    pimlicosound New Member

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    I think there are legitimate things for gamers to be angry about.
    - Gamers seem to get their consumer rights trampled on with buggy or incomplete games, and games journos don't raise enough red flags over these issues.
    - A lot of games journos seem to take a perverse pleasure in deliberately taunting/teasing/trolling their audience. There's very little respect and love in the community, and unfortunately I often see the media making it worse.
    - Business models in gaming are turning towards microtransactions, the scourge of every right-minded gamer to remembers paying once and getting access to all of a game, forever.
    - Some genres of game, often loved by people who have been gaming for a long time, aren't made much any more. I personally lament the fact that RTS games barely exist outside of microtransaction-fuelled mobile nonsense.

    So I don't think it all comes down to tribalism and infantile rage. There are plenty of legitimate concerns in the gaming community, and sadly I think the media does little to champion these good causes or stand up for the very people they claim to represent.

    (Not BitTech, of course - you guys are always cool.)
     
  11. Byron C

    Byron C No liability accepted as a result of this post

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    The industry isn't immune to criticism, but those making accusations need to make sure they have solid evidence otherwise they're going to be ignored or dismissed out of hand.

    "Gamers" - whatever that even means any more - aren't immune to criticism, but they need to not react to fair criticism with hostility.

    Games themselves aren't immune to criticism either, and that criticism is now starting to come from wider parts of society than those already involved in games.

    There isn't going to be an easy way out of this; at least not while the 4chan/reddit/twitter/whatever hate machine is in full swing and people are forced out of their own homes for fear of their personal safety.
     
  12. Pliqu3011

    Pliqu3011 all flowers in time bend towards the sun

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    Great article, very calm and reasonable. This whole #gamergate thing is really tiring me, and most of it is indeed bordering on conspiracy theory.

    We should get "gamer" back to mean what it originally meant: a person who plays games.
    Nowadays I would never call myself a "gamer" to anyone, it just has too many bad connotations.
     
  13. Mr_Mistoffelees

    Mr_Mistoffelees The Lunatic on the Grass.

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    All this just confirms what I have believed for a long time: Anonymous trolls and their stupidity, are not easily parted.
     
  14. Umbra

    Umbra New Member

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    Exactly, Caroline Criado-Perez got rape threats on Twitter after she took on the Bank of England because historical women were being wiped off banknotes, she succeeded in getting this changed but then the hate started, there doesn't have to be a reason it's just the trolls, who are some of the most socially inept and dis-functional people in society, being trolls, and it's good to see some of them have been prosecuted.
     
  15. SuperHans123

    SuperHans123 Well-Known Member

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    I am a person who plays games. I am not a gamer.
    Playing games doesn't define what or who I am as a person.

    It is simply an enjoyable way to pass the time, as is reading, cycling and playing football.
    I do all of them but I am neither a footballer, cyclist or 'reader'
     
  16. Beasteh

    Beasteh New Member

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    Loved the article. Reading around this has been so depressing. So much hate from a vocal minority of gamers. So it was encouraging to read this on BT. The "Gamer Gate" raised a few giggles :)

    In fact, I welcome critique of videogames, whether through a feminist lens or otherwise. It's proof that games are finally being taken seriously by society. The same goes for new game types, like Gone Home or, indeed, Depression Quest. They're driving the medium forward, adding more and more diverse voices, so that games reflect and appeal to a wider cross section of society. Representation is important - isn't it annoying when games are dismissed as being only for teenage boys?

    Speaking of teenage boys, the dudebro shooter isn't going to go away any time soon. CoD and BF4 have made far too much money to be ignored, so it's not like the Steam Store of 2020 will be rammed full of "walking simulators" with no room for anything else. Families picking up the Wii didn't kill off the rest of the games market, it made it bigger. Sames goes for Gone Home. With that in mind, the claim that "outsiders" are "ruining gaming" is ludicrous.

    The "Gamer" identity seems to be designed to keep people out (tribalism) when there's no reason it should be that way. I'd extend that to including people who play casual games or console titles. Games are games, and games are fun. Games should be for everyone.

    +1. I'd never tell people I spend my free time playing games, there's just too much baggage associated with it.

    Is there not any way to shun these arseholes? Can we (not just Bit-Tech, but people who make and play games) create spaces where women and minorities feel welcome? Where rape and death threats, even in jest, aren't tolerated? Is a little bit of proactive moderation too much to hope for from community admins?
     
  17. Umbra

    Umbra New Member

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    As a biker for over thirty years I've heard all the preconceptions, misconceptions, general hatred and insults, but it goes with the territory, I couldn't give a toss what anyone thinks about me because I ride bikes and if they also want to add a few more stereotypical misconceptions because I tell them I play games, that's their problem, F*** them, really, why would I give a S*** what anyone thinks because I play games.
    Oh great, 'Born to be wild' not heard that for a while, that's original :rolleyes:
     
  18. David

    David Take my advice — I’m not using it.

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    I don't care about admitting that I'm a forty-something gamer - If anybody asks, I just tell them I grew up with games and games grew up with me.

    You want to judge me? Fine, but stop watching Big Brother first.
     
  19. GeorgeStorm

    GeorgeStorm Aggressive PC Builder

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    If someone were to judge me on being a 'gamer' before judging on who I actually am/what I actually tell them about myself then I don't think I'm that bothered about them liking me :p
     
  20. ajfsound

    ajfsound Member

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    I second a laugh at 'Gamebraham Lincoln'!

    Interesting point that this could be a result of big publishers 'marketing to the predictable audience for monies' (to attempt paraphrase). In part I wonder whether all the analysis, write ups and hypothesis for why this has happened gives too much credit and explanation to what is essentially a load of clueless immature teens with no real perspective on life.

    What's so sad is that their voice is so loud - but I guess that's often the case with kids :p
     
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