FOF #2127 – How to Have Nice Things

Mar 4, 2015 · 1985 views

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A quiet war has been brewing over the right of video game fans to make and play outrageous anti-social video games. At the core of the controversy, Gamergate shows how some have lost the ability to engage constructively with people they disagree with and instead attack them in some of the most vicious ways possible.

But it doesn’t have to be a losing battle. Joining us today is Zan Christensen, from Northwest Press, to explain how we can better handle conflict online.


  1. YesterdayPants says:

    I feel like you touched the topic of gamergate and then made it seem like all gamers are anti-social and pick fights with anyone who wants to have different content. When you asked Zan if he was a proud gamer he backed away from it like being a gamer is a pariah. There are going to be assholes in any community who just want to bring people down for whatever reason and most of the time they are just a vocal minority.

    Should the people who threaten people under the guise of being for ethics in video game journalism be shamed? Sure. Burn down the gamergate hashtag? I’m cool with that. But y’all made it sound like us gamers (and maybe some gaymers) are anti-social assholes who don’t want new experiences. There are plenty of interesting games out there that, though not being AAA games, share different experiences.

    Gone Home lets you explore the house with excerpts from the main characters little sister who is finding out that she’s in love with her female friend.

    To The Moon is an adventure game about fulfilling the final wish of a dying man (it will make you weep like a baby).

    Papo & Yo is a game where the main characters friendly monster pal goes crazed and tries to hurt him when he eats a certain fruit. It’s about how the game creator’s father was an abusive alcoholic.

    There are so many wonderful gaming experiences and people within these communities. I wish some attention was brought to them.

  2. Chickengirl says:

    I don’t know why, but when I am on Chrome, signed in onto my FOF profile, I can’t see the comments on each show, I can only see the the comments from the most recent shows in the right side bar…

    Anyway, when I saw this episode, I was a bit concerned because I was afraid you guys were going to go into it very misinformed, especially seeing you guys linking to a Gawker article about Gamergate. Using Gawker, or even worse, Kotaku or Jezebel to become informed about the Gamergate debacle, is like oh, going to the WBC’s website to learn about what gay people are like. It’s not gonna do you any good.

    As a passionate gamer myself, I’ve avoided the Gamergate issue because it’s tuned into an utter clusterfuck at this point. I will correct you guys on one thing you missed. Gamergate didn’t start only because Zoe Quinn made a video game that was “different”. It was because she allegedly slept around with 5 or 6 guys to get positive reviews of her game from them that they’d post to theirb logs, one was Kotaku I think. She then revealed herself to be a really shitty human being, and handled the whole situation rather poorly. She lied about many things, hacked into some of her own social media account, and tried to blame her haters. She would later attack the kickstarter of this woman-led indie gaming development company, temporarily causing the kickstarter project to be shut down, it got messy. So Zoe being a deplorable human being spearheaded the Gamergate movement, but things got awkward when all the sexist trolls started to get involved.

    The thing is with these female-game developers and/or critics who use feminism as a platform to get their message about women in gaming out there, when they do a really bad job at it, and have really shitty, poorly formed opinions, their supporters will always use the sexist trolls to drown out the constructive criticism from other folks, who are often other women.

    The thing is, as YesterdayPants pointed out, these games that stray from your typical formula that you see from the big AAA are out there, they just don’t get as much attention. People on the internet are stupid, simple-minded people. Everything on the internet is presented so black and white when it comes to these issues. People just want to pick sides and argue with each other rather than have meaningful discussions. “News” stories about Gamergate, women in gaming, sexism, sexism in AAA games, bring a lot more page views to gaming blogs. It’s much easier for people to consume, like junk food.

    but of course, that’s the way the internet works, like what happened with that gay actor you guys talked about on the show

  3. Chickengirl says:

    I probably should have included this in my previous comment, but the feminist game development group that Zoe Quinn led a crusade against is called The Fine Young Capitalists. You can lean about the battle between Zoe and them here if you are really interested

    Zoe’s excuse for attacking the indiegogo of these guys along with her supporters, which involved a lot of verbal harassment, doxxing, and ultimately the temporary shut down of the indiegogo itself, was over the fact that their campaign was transphobic, but that would later be proven to be a bullshit excuse, because Zoe Quinn is just a shitty human being as I stated earlier.

    The indiegogo would be funded, and now this group will hopefully complete this video game, made by women. This event was really what fueled the fires of Gamergate, but as time went on the movement evolved into many things, negative things.

    the thing is, you guys only talked about Gamergate from one perspective, that everyone who is pro-Gamergate is some basement dwelling white straight guy who is afraid of change in video games. But that’s not the whole picture.

    The Fine Young Capitalists know what they are doing. This is the thing with most online feminists when it comes to video gaming. They only want to attack and criticize already established, successful video game franchises, find sexism in everything, and tear down anyone who disagrees with them. They don’t want compromise. It may seem on the surface all they want is equal representation in gaming, but really they just want to pick fights because doing THAT is much easier to do then actually trying to create change in video gaming.

    The Fine Young Capitalists aren’t about all that, they know fighting against already established video game franchises is a fruitless effort. They want comprise and are trying to do that by giving women the chance to make video games. Yet, they have gotten lots of hate from other online feminists because their movement, doesn’t match theirs. When these online feminists think that you are not on their side, then you are against them, you are their enemy, and they will crucify you and tear you down which is what they tried to do to TFYC, but failed. If you really wanted a much better perspective on this whole issue you’d interview one of the women from The Fine Young Capitalists, but they are pretty busy ladies.

    like I said, independently made video games by indie developers that stray away from your typical path ARE being made, it’s just all this pointless fighting distracts from that.

    and I know you guys may be thinking, hey Chickengirl why you gotta be so harsh on the online feminists, all they want is equality!!! Well, believe me, there are A LOT of other women out there who are fed up with the bullshit that is often perpetuated by online feminists. Not just lil ol’ me.

  4. Zan says:

    Hey there! Sorry if I gave the impression that *all* gamers are scary, misanthropic trolls. Although all the gamergate stuff has made it sometimes feel like that, I know far too many fun, interesting, open-minded gamer types of all kinds to write off the whole industry. My backing away from being identified as a gamer during the podcast had more to do with me feeling like I’m not involved enough in gaming, either as a player or as a industry type, to really present myself as a “gamer” myself. I’ve been following the news about it because it has a lot of crossover with my work in LGBT comics and fandom, and I know a lot of people in the thick of it, and I think it’s an important topic.

    As for Zoe Quinn, I don’t know her personally and I imagine not too many people who have been talking about her for the past year do either, but one has to ask oneself: how many times have you heard of a man in the gaming industry being grilled on his sexual history to paint him as “sleeping around to get good reviews”? As far as I know, there’s been only a passing positive mention written about her game from anyone she was personally involved with, not a pattern of favors-for-coverage that’s being described here.

    I know there’s a lot of genuine fear and frustration towards people who are pushing for what they feel are positive changes in the gaming industry, particularly the opportunities for women and minorities, but it’s my opinion that most of those fears are irrational and based on gut feelings rather than actual outcomes. Someone else having a game that represents their experience doesn’t *replace* the ones that reflect yours, it adds to the choices. That the industry is paying attention to those choices is a good thing, as far as I’m concerned.

    Anyone who’s at PAX East and wants to say hi in person and chat, feel free! Northwest Press will be in the Diversity Hub and Lounge all weekend!

  5. Than says:

    @chickengirl, I have the same issue in both Safari and Firefox. When logged in I cannot view comments. When logged out I can view comments, but of course, I cannot comment as me.

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