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This Gamergate Thing Makes Me Want To Take A Shower

I'm sure you're aware of the details by now.

If not, go look 'em up. I'm not interested in spewing them all over another Internet page.

I've been saying for years that if the video game industry as a whole ever wants to be taken seriously, if we ever want to progress in the eyes of the world, we're going to have to grow up. Instead, all we seem to do is regress. All we seem to produce are more disgusting headlines that only give decision-makers more ammunition. Toss in the obligatory death threat and the constant stream of online abuse and hostility that is everywhere you go, and you just start to feel exhausted. And a little nauseous.

I remember years back, doing an editorial about how I really dislike introducing myself as a "video game journalist" when among other journalism or business professionals. I thought at the time that over the years, given the mainstream direction the industry was headed, I'd one day be proud to say it. But really, now I just want to disassociate myself from this mess as quickly as possible; I have found that sometimes, it can actually hurt you to have such a thing on your resume/CV. I don't care if you worked for GameSpot and IGN for five years apiece; you will be at the bottom of the hiring pool if you intend to branch out and try your hand at - I'm sorry, but it has to be said - real journalism.

What we do online doesn't qualify. I've said many times over that it doesn't. It wouldn't fly in any other industry. And the behavior definitely wouldn't fly. I'm not saying other entertainment venues are squeaky clean, and politics is even more disgusting and abhorrent to me (if that's humanly possible at this point). But when it comes to adults acting like children, it seems that gaming keeps winning the booby prize. And I think I'm too old for that now.

Tags: gaming culture, video games, gaming community, gamergate

10/23/2014 10:17:33 PM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (34 posts)


WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, October 23, 2014 @ 10:42:35 PM
Reply

I don't even know what happened, I was off the grid burying my brother but I've heard of it. I also don't have the will or energy to look it up.

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kokoro
Thursday, October 23, 2014 @ 10:52:41 PM

Sorry to hear about your brother. Hope you're doing okay. God Bless.

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Karosso
Thursday, October 23, 2014 @ 11:07:40 PM

My most sincere condolences World...

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Deleted User
Thursday, October 23, 2014 @ 11:14:57 PM

An irrelevant incident that happened months ago.

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Underdog15
Friday, October 24, 2014 @ 8:58:51 AM

Damn World. -Very- sorry to hear about that.

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SaiyanSenpai
Friday, October 24, 2014 @ 11:13:02 AM

World, very sorry to hear about your brother. I can't even imagine...

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, October 24, 2014 @ 2:47:48 PM

Thanks for the condolences friends, that's why you all didn't see me for awhile, but I am kind of curious about what went down.

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SASSYGIRL82
Thursday, October 23, 2014 @ 10:55:16 PM
Reply

Lol post a link cause apparently its not as big a deal as you may think cause no one knows what it is

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Geobaldi
Thursday, October 23, 2014 @ 11:32:42 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gamergate_controversy

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sawao_yamanaka
Friday, October 24, 2014 @ 12:25:21 AM

Clearly you can't use google.

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TheWuziMu
Friday, October 24, 2014 @ 1:03:43 PM

I looked up Gamergate on Wikipedia and read an interesting article about ants.

...the more you know...

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jimmyhandsome
Thursday, October 23, 2014 @ 11:36:34 PM
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Preach, Ben!

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Gordo
Friday, October 24, 2014 @ 1:12:44 AM
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Yes, if we want our hobby to be respected as a grown up medium like movies, literature, music or the arts we need to start acting more grown up and that starts with treating everyone equally and respecting other peoples views and their right to voice an opinion.

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souljah92
Friday, October 24, 2014 @ 1:38:58 PM

Rather than push equality, gamergate makes you just wanna go outside and slap a hoe

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PSTan
Friday, October 24, 2014 @ 2:06:03 AM
Reply

It's been blown way out of proportion. Both sides have their valid arguments, but they also took it to far and ended up flaming each other under self-righteous banners.

You're right, Ben, it's immaturity and lack of professionalism expressed by both ends. It could have been stopped after the first few revelations if things were discussed and sorted out in, dare I say it, a legal way... instead, it devolved into death threats and clickbait. Terrible.

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xnonsuchx
Friday, October 24, 2014 @ 4:58:42 PM

Death threats vs. demanding video games be less violent/misogynistic towards women is quite a false equivalency.

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Scarecrow
Friday, October 24, 2014 @ 2:22:04 AM
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Spawned by the xbox generation of gamers/journalists.

Look at Gamespot getting caught for paid reviews
Or IGN being notorious for giving high scores for games they advertise on their site (Call of Duty).

I have 0 respect for 99% of game sites. I only truly visit this and the official playstation blog or the nintendo fansites. Any of the multi platform sites are nests for hatred, pure and simple.

To me this is not angering Ben, to me this is all funny because it shows what kind of gamers these other sites breed. You don't see those kinds of actions and discussions in sites like this one that are dedicated to one product and just love gaming.

All in all it's more of a societal problem than it is a gamers/gaming media problem. It's a dog eat dog environment, more than ever.

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maxpontiac
Friday, October 24, 2014 @ 1:13:28 PM

Thumbs up for your last paragraph...

"Gamergate" is nothing more then a symptom of a serious problem.

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Beamboom
Friday, October 24, 2014 @ 3:21:13 AM
Reply

For some weird reason it was such a relief to see you write those words, ben; " I'm sorry, but it has to be said - real journalism".

You've always been such an avid defender of gaming "journalism" in earlier discussions we've had on the subject, and while I assumed to understand why (to do with our tendency of defending what we do ourselves, I guessed) it was at the same time kinda odd stance, based on mere observations at what goes on around.

And I do of course agree. I think gaming journalism is in an infant stage now, related to a medium that's in itself very very young. Todays gaming journalists are by and large uneducated, with editors that are amateurs too. The result is for all to see, all over the net.
To generalize: Professional, experienced, serious journalists just don't do gaming journalism.

Will it change? But of course. Gradually things will get better, but right now the biggest threat to *all* real journalism is the internet quick'n'dirty left-handed and under-handed free flow of (mis)information. And it's not a coincidence that this is where gaming journalism lives.


Last edited by Beamboom on 10/24/2014 3:25:06 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, October 24, 2014 @ 11:12:34 AM

"Will it change? But of course."

I'm sorry, Beamboom, but I don't think it will.

It's showing no signs of changing, as it's going in the opposite direction. There are two major hurdles stopping progress:

Firstly, the Internet will always have to rely on "quick and dirty" because it's all anyone knows or wants when online. The biggest fallacy in the world right now is that the Internet encourages reading. It's exactly the opposite, as any experienced digital editor or webmaster will tell you right now. The shorter the article, the more explosive the headline and many times, the dumber the content, the better chance of it getting traffic. And as traffic is the only chance for revenue, the idea that real journalism will somehow magically come into being online just doesn't make sense.

Secondly, if you can't pay for talent, you won't get talent. The overwhelming majority of video game journalists work part-time and earn pitiful wages. Some positions are entirely voluntary. Even those that are full-time are ridiculous; I know what full-timers at even the biggest sources make, and it's a joke. If someone is in high school or college right now and they talk to a learned career adviser, that student will be told to avoid a game journalism career at all costs. It just doesn't amount to anything.

And that's because the entire ecosystem of gaming journalism is online and THAT doesn't work. Nobody actually has to pay for your services. If there is no foundation in the real world - something all the digital freaks just can't accept - you will always struggle to make money, unless you're in eCommerce (Amazon, eBay). Informational sites that are free and rely only on ads to pay the people who work there? That just doesn't fly. It's not a sustainable business structure, something a lot of people are starting to realize.

And you can't really change any of this.

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Beamboom
Friday, October 24, 2014 @ 2:03:11 PM

It has to change, It just has to. We can't allow ourselves to believe anything else, the thought is unbearable.

I think (hope?) it will mature along with the audience and gradually broader appeal.
If we look at teenage magazines, you know those pop magazines, they are filled with poorly written junk, mostly done by a very young staff.
That's where I see gaming journalism today, broadly speaking. But just as those readers drop those magazines as they grow older, so will gamers as they mature seek content more in tune with themselves.

Journalism as a whole do stand against the worst challenge so far in the history of serious journalism, of that there is no doubt.
But things must evolve, simply cause the audience will demand it. How? Don't ask me. But that very question is what the entire press world is working on now. Someone will succeed.

Sure, those who just want quick'n'dirty, free and easily digestive junk will receive only that, in vulgar abundance. But even today there are outlets of serious, real journalism also on the internet. Seek, and one shall find.
Just like the TV world, where 98 of 100 channels are just trash, fantastic content are created on those remaining two.

Quality will prevail. It must! And to what extent that will happen is very much up to us, each and everyone of us.


Last edited by Beamboom on 10/24/2014 2:16:54 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, October 24, 2014 @ 3:56:07 PM

"simply cause the audience will demand it."

That right there is the only thing on which we'll disagree. And unfortunately, it's critical to the argument at hand.

I'm not seeing enough demand for anything better. If anything, I'm seeing increased demand for dumber. I certainly don't see any demand for quality journalism on the video game side, and that's unfortunately due to the obvious rampant immaturity of the audience. I don't know any other way to interpret the situation right now.

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Beamboom
Friday, October 24, 2014 @ 4:34:07 PM

I agree that is the current situation.

But there is a tomorrow, where we've all grown a day older. That includes gaming itself - the content and the way it is delivered.

Sure, the demand for junk will always dominate. It always has. Just like the glossy gossip press sells more than more in depth magazines, or the mentioned 98 TV stations who only do cheap reruns and brainless reality shows.

But gaming will sometime in the future too have a segment that is above that level. Not the entire scene - no way - but the demand will be big *enough* for it to make a decent market.

It's at least a viable scenario. One can hope.


Last edited by Beamboom on 10/24/2014 4:50:02 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, October 24, 2014 @ 4:44:07 PM

I suppose.

I just don't think I have the strength to wait that long. ;)

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mk ultra
Friday, October 24, 2014 @ 4:33:24 AM
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Your not quitting are you? I don't believe this problem to be specific to the gaming community. As Scarecrow put it, I believe it to be more of a societal problem.

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Vivi_Gamer
Friday, October 24, 2014 @ 7:01:39 AM
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I'm sorry, I've been looking this term online.. but it seems like it doesn't even have a clear definition... Some say it is about women being harassed by the gaming community, other say it is gamers defending their bead reputation and then others are saying it is about developers and game journalists cutting deals to over sell their products. So consider me baffled.

However, I do feel the gaming community really does have a stigma hanging over it, which is justified by the pure stupidity of a lot of the people involved (Not all of course). I mean if you ever went on Playstation Home, you'd see a flock of juvenile males surrounding one female avatar... it was just really embarrassing to watch. I mean luckily here at PSXe we have a decent community, but if you've ever looked at the flood of comments on somewhere like IGN it's filled with anonymous morons cursing and trolling. The only other comparison I can make to this is Youtube. So my question is, is this something which has gotten worse because of the access of the internet, because prior to it, I was never aware of such hostility. I'm wondering the easy to access and anonymous nature of the internet is the cause for the rise of such an aggressive and stupid culture.

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JonnyR
Friday, October 24, 2014 @ 11:00:51 AM

I would say internet access (and the annonymity that comes with it) has definately had an affect on the prevalence of abusive speech. This is not even exclusive to gaming in any way, its a by product of modern communication, it dehumanizes us. Who would of thought we would reach a point where you'd have a sub culture of people online who gain obscene delight at stirring the pot and going out of there way to be as hurtful and threatening as possible. These fucking trolls have to GO!

The unfortunate reality is that there is a loud bunch of assholes in the world, some of them play video games (and some write about them) the internet has given them a soapbox and now we're here in this god awful mess which has led me to stop going to certain sites, and left me very annoyed that gamers are once again being shat on from on high because of a minority of degenerates who think its fine and dandy to send rape threats.

at least i can still come here for good gaming coverage. Thank you Ben for all you do.

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mid10smaradoarg
Friday, October 24, 2014 @ 12:04:22 PM
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Play h-hour and u will grow up.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, October 24, 2014 @ 1:25:46 PM
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To everyone saying this isn't a gaming-centric problem and it's more societal, and due to the inherent nature of the Internet, that's mostly true.

But it's absolutely not true that you can find this type of behavior anywhere online. I like to frequent message boards that focus on books and literature, and I've seen communities that discuss music and the arts in general. The hostility level is basically nonexistent and you can tell mature individuals are behind the posts. Comparing gaming communities to communities such as these is night and day, and beyond depressing.

The gaming community is woefully immature. The only way to fix it is to admit it. Saying, "eh, it's like that everywhere" is a massive cop-out. It's not true at all; demographic and audience do matter, even online.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 10/24/2014 1:27:14 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Friday, October 24, 2014 @ 2:48:33 PM

Ben I'd like to know which literature/book boards you go on.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Friday, October 24, 2014 @ 3:57:08 PM

Depends. I usually go just to read some of the discussions so I can regrow brain cells lost during the day dealing with the gaming industry.

Very sad to say that, but it's true.

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JonnyR
Saturday, October 25, 2014 @ 12:30:09 PM

so are you saying it's something inherently unique to the gaming community? The kind of immaturity you speak does indeed come up in other spaces on the internet, usually spaces that have high popularity and draw in people from many differing backgrounds so youtube, tumblr, twitter etc.

Though i suppose its feasible these are all the same people and it could all link back to the gaming community, its a subject that needs more indepth analysis. Id be interested to hear if you had any thoughts on a solution to this kind of behaviour. Personaly (and i know it would be very unpopular) i would do away with anonymity online. There definitely needs to be more accountability for poor behaviour online. What do you think?

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Rachet_JC_FTW
Sunday, October 26, 2014 @ 12:52:23 AM
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i thought it sounds stupid and anoiying atleast the way it was being portrayed

i don't think anyone cares anymore this awhile back

but its good that you put ur 2 cents in nun the less

happy gaming

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apdgat
Wednesday, October 29, 2014 @ 2:37:06 AM
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As of today, it's mainly gossip. So, it's this psx-perez-hilton.com now or what? I'm a 48 year old gamer and believe me, have I survived lots of criticism (well, mostly ignored it). No game have made my life angrier, bitter or unhappy. Eventually, life takes good care of that part regardless of anybody's hobbies.
Ben, in the last year lots of your comments have been negative, almost unhealthy for a "VG journalist".
If you're ashamed or bored of your job, then let someone else do it, but please stop the complaints, otherwise you will become what you most hate.
Younger audience's issues are a different problem, and believe me, they are feeding on very different websites, not here.
Saludos

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