Tobold's Blog
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
A gender-neutral thought

I totally get where this article on sexist video-gamers being terrorists is coming from. Nearly everything in that article is true. But I feel that there are two issues here, and mixing them up that way isn't all that helpful. One is sexism, which most certainly exists, and the other is video gamers behaving extremely badly under the cover of internet anonymity, which also most certainly exists. But if you drew a Venn Diagram of this, you would find that while there is a substantial overlap, the overlap isn't total.

For example the terrorist accusation has as example the bomb threat called in on a plane carrying SOE's John Smedley. Which is certainly an example of extreme video-gamer behavior, but not motivated by sexism. So is the example of the gamer calling a SWAT team to the house of his opponent after losing at Call of Duty. I mean in no way to excuse the abominable behavior recently shown by gamers that *are* based on sexism. But I think that it would be better to separate those two issues. If we would magically end sexism tomorrow, the problem of video gamers calling in bomb threats on video game executives would still remain.

Feminism is a broad church that is not speaking with one voice, but with millions of them. Many of those voices speak out against actual discrimination and are totally right to do so. But some other voices are fueled by hate against anybody with a Y-chromosome. And just like you can be a true Christian without supporting everything the extreme Christian Right says, you can be for gender equality without supporting everything the extreme feminists say. And in the above case it becomes very hard to stand up against video gamer hate if that means having to subscribe to feminist hate to do so. We could get a much broader support, especially from men feeling uncomfortable with some parts of some feminists' agenda, if we considered the two issues here separately. That doesn't mean you can't fight for both issues, but we should accept the two issues as different and quote sexism as an example instead of the underlying motivation for all video gamer hate. The kind of video gamers we are talking about really just hate about everything, not just women or feminists.

That brings me to the gender of the video gamer spewing hate on Twitter. Twitter has 271 million monthly active users. And increasingly the tweets are hateful in nature. There is something about the format that makes it easier to fire off a short hateful remark than a balanced, reasoned opinion. And sorry, but that isn't limited to male users of Twitter. Even on videogames you can find extremely nasty tweets written by women. While I am pretty much convinced that the majority of video gamers spewing hate is male, again it wouldn't be correct to paint that 100% as a gender issue. I am also pretty sure that the majority of the video gamers spewing hate is under 35 years of age, but it wouldn't be helpful to dress this discussion as a generational issue either.

We live in a civilization based on laws and certain rules of civilized behavior. Some people have discovered how internet anonymity can sometimes allow them to act outside of these laws and rules without consequences. The long-term effect of this will most certainly be that we will lose our right to remain anonymous on the internet. Everybody who uses that anonymity for a fake bomb threat or similar illegal activity makes it harder for the rest of us to insist on our right to privacy on the internet. As video gamers, regardless of gender, we need to speak out against the lawless sub-culture of video gamer hate. Because we don't want to mention at the water-cooler that we play video games and get a reply "Video gamers? Isn't that this terrorist outfit I hear so much about in the news?".

This sounds perilously close to trying to excuse very real, very visible, very vile behaviour, with a hand-waving straw man (straw woman?) about "some" feminists being "fueled by hate against anybody with a Y-chromosome".

What part, precisely, of "some feminists' agenda" am I supposed to feel uncomfortable about?
Your comment sounds perilously close to seeing every issue as simple black & white, where everybody has to see any movement like feminism as either "good" or "bad", and isn't allowed to agree with just part of a very wide movement.

Even feminists disagree with that.
I just found some new research that allowed a new insight about "trolls" and "mean people":
What percentage of gamers are calling in SWAT, making bomb threats or threatening women with sexual violence?

Less than 1% I guess. What have they got to do with me?

This is a non issue. Why do people feel that because I bought The Last of Us this suddenly becomes my problem and something I need to confront or address?

I hate to break it to the extreme feminists and social justice warriors but I couldn't give a monkeys.

It is nothing to do with me and nothing to do with 90% of gamers.

I go on Amazon, buy a game, play it, sell it, done. At no point did I sign up to take responsibly for these nut cases.

Blame our poor mental health services, poor education or poor parents.

I am not responsible, I don't have to excuse anything, address anything, change anything, deal with anything, campaign for change etc.
Sadly the majority of people "don't give a monkey" as you put it, when stuff does not affect them directly.

Imagine for a second it was your daughter, sister, spouse, or mother receiving threats of rape and death simply for expressing an opinion?

Imagine some anon posted their home address and private numbers on the internet.

Imagine they then started getting these threats not just through twitter but in "real life" at home in the one place we are all supposed to be safe.

Because most people, like you said "don't give a monkey", this happens and is tolerated by the internet community.

Regardless of whatever opinions are expressed NO ONE deserves that treatment. PERIOD.
The problem here is one with society at large and not gaming.

I work with youth everyday because of my job. The prevailing attitude with a large chunk of them both make and female is that anyone you don't like or agree with is instantly an enemy.

That enemy is immediately referred to with derogatory language and any time they are seen or heard they are deemed irrelevant.

This same attitude translates and is amplified by the anonymous internet.

They may not express this to people who are not their friends in real life but on the internet they suffer no consequences by doing so.

Gaming didn't do this. Bad parenting and a ton of other issues did.
Bigeye you attacked a strawman.

I never condoned what a tiny minority do or suggested that people should put up with it.

I just said that I bought a digital home entertainment product and that doesn't make me any more responsible for sorting out these people than Joe Blogs who never played a game in my life. Furthermore I have no powers to stop them.

I'm reluctant to use a whataboutery fallacy but this and far worse things happen everywhere.

Am I to suddenly be made responsible for the Ipswich prostitute killer because we both bought the same style of boxer shorts from Asda?! Do I have to "address the serious problems amongst the Asda boxer shorts community"?

I buy a fully legal bbfc classified entertainment product and I will not tolerate people using that as excuse to brand me as being responsible for a tiny percentage of nut jobs out there.

Give me a police powers and a big gun and I will fix it overnight. Otherwise leave me alone (not you, the Campaigners) , my entertainment choices are my business and unrelated to the actions of crazies.
Woody, I'm not saying we are responsible. But I will say that the actions of that tiny minority still have an impact on us. Because they influence the general public's perception of what a video gamer is.

Of course on you personally the influence is probably minor. But when somebody at the water cooler on Monday morning asks you what you did on the weekend, do you say that you played video games all weekend? Or do you talk about the weather in spite of not having set a foot outside?
I'm not attacking anyone or anything nor is what I'm saying a straw man.

I'm also not saying you or people who simply don't care are to blame.

What I'm saying is that the reason these types of abuse and harassment are so common on the internet is because the community at large tolerates it or simply does not care unless it's happening to them.

And sure far worse things happen every day. Russia just invaded the Ukraine. That's worse then online abuse yes.

But does that mean that the online abuse is OK just because worse stuff happens?

You have to realize that by just saying "oh there are worse things that happen" IS in fact you taking a side on the issue and implies that this abuse is not a big deal.

And thats the problem.

Jim Sterling made a point like that in one of his Jimquisition's a few months back.

I disagreed then and I disagree now.

The "community" (who signed me up for that again?) do not "tolerate" it at all.

Jim Sterling claimed it was up to us (members of this mythical army called the "community" that we were apparently conscripted into) to stop tolerating it and stamp it out.

Only problem is that he didn't tell us how to stamp it out or why it was anymore my responsibility than that of old Granny Smith who lives a few doors down.

We have no power other than using words and words are like a reward to these nutters, they do it for the attention.

The reason I said that bad stuff happens else where is to emphasise that it is not a gaming issue. The extremist nutters exist independently of games. ISIS don't have PS4's after all.

To answer Tolbold, I do genuinely tell people I game. They do laugh because they view it as nerdy. Ironically because I play RPG's as opposed to games like COD.

There are some guys that used to pay COD and no one seemed to have an issue with that at the time. Ironic given that it is supposedly the worse "community".

But anyway what they do not do is associate my gaming with harassment, sexism, hate etc. My colleagues have no knowledge of the existence (imagined or otherwise) of a community or any of the alleged crimes attributed to it.

It seems that it is only the social justice warriors on the Internet that make the link and brand millions of innocent people as sexist, racist and homophobia due to a few hundred extremists. All because they share a tenuous link relating to some home entertainment products. As I say it could be our choice of underpants or favorite TV show.

What you appear to be implying (correct me if I am wrong) is that I am forced to take responsibility and take action to mitigate the crimes of others, otherwise we all face being blamed and tarred with the same brush.

May I draw a parallel with another story in the news today?

A company is developing nail varnish that allows a woman to discretely dip her nails in a drink and see if it has been spiked with the date rape drug due to the varnish changing colour when in contact with it.

Feminists were absolutely outraged.

They said "why is it our responsibility to check that our drinks have not been spiked, how about men stop drugging and raping women instead". They said "why should women always be blamed and held responsible if they don't take measures to stop others commiting crimes".

Well why is it my responsibility to stop racist/sexist nutters who wear the same underpants/use the same entertainment products as me? Why am I being held responsible or blamed because I didn't stop someone commiting hate crime or making death threats?
I'm still not sure why you keep saying someone is blaming you for the actions of others.

OK let's try this a different way.

If you are in a public space and someone or a group is yelling death threats, rape threats and obscenities at others wouldn't you do something? At the very least notify the proper authorities?

Or would you say "oh there are worse things happening in the world" and walk away?

Oh to draw another parallel; if a black guy robbed a local store, would all the local black "community" be blamed and told that they better stop the guy stealing again or all black people will be branded as thieves?

Of course not! That would be shocking racism right?

But hey its ok to do that to me just because I enjoy similar entertainment to a criminal or obnoxious person.

Talking of this frankly outrageous assumption that people are automatically members of a "community", is it not odd how ethnic minorities are always described this way in the media but white people aren't?

You always hear the phrases "black community" and "Asian community" on the News. I am sure a black guy who gets up at 6am, goes to work all day, comes home, makes dinner, puts the kids to bed, watches some soaps and then goes to bed (much like me) is absolutely amazed to learn that he is suddenly a fully signed up responsible member of a "community" based on his skin colour! He may well have more in common with me than he does some other person in the same street who just happens to look like him! It's racism pure and simple.

Hell am I member of a secret white community that is so secret I don't even know I'm a member?!

Am I a member of the blue eye community too?

Feminists have decided that because I have a Y chromosome I am a member of this evil male community and responsible for its actions and responsible for policing it. That tarring with the same brush is blatant sexism. I don't identify myself as a member of a gender group anymore than I do a white skin colour or blue eye group.

Then of course we come back to the social justice warriors and my supposed membership of the "gaming community'.

Presumably along with the McDonald's community, Coca Cola drinkers community, ikea community, Casio watch community etc.

It is all just mass bigotry. Pigeon-holing people into a group based on observed similarities and traits ("they all look the same", or "they all play games") and then subjecting them to abuse and hate because of the actions of a few people that have the same skin colour or leisure pursuits.

Sorry but no. I don't care what a tiny number of video game players did /do and if I am "guilty by association" then the people accusing me are as vile and disgusting as any sexist or racist.

Key point now : if I attempt to stop these bad gamers from committing hate crimes etc, I am merely cementing the bigoted belief people have that I am a member of community and responsible for it.

Hence I am very clear in saying "it is not my problem, I'm nothing to do with it, I'm innocent, leave me alone".

Did you not read tolbolds post? In particular the final paragraph?

This isn't about your flawed public space analogy.

Well I can modify it for you.

Of course in the situation you describe I would take action, not least because I CAN take action by calling the authorities.

I CANNOT stop online abuse. If I tell people to stop being abusive they just do it more as they want that attention. Remember don't feed the troll?

But back to your analogy.

I am in a crowd in a public space. A guy starts yelling death threats.

Now imagine everyone else in the crowd does nothing but all simultaneously turn and point at an innocent black guy and say "hey that guy shouting death threats over there is black, you are black too so it is your job to call the police and stop him or it is all your fault".

Or they point at me and make a similar comment about video games.

Do you get it?

Please stop trying to change the subject from what the original post was about.
Ok to really clarify it in a short way!

I think Tobold is wrong to so willingly and unquestioningly accept that people are allowed to brand us as terrorists due to the actions of a minority that share a similar trait.

If a new guy started work in my office and he was Asian, and if I was chatting to him at the water cooler and he mentioned he was a Muslim, I would be fired on the spot (and quite rightly too) if I said "oh you ain't wearing a belt of explosives are? Do you know Bin Laden? Are you in that Al qaeda gang?"

Rather than feeling obliged to speak out against terrorists just because he plays Wildstar, Tolbold should instead be saying "don't you dare ever associate me with those people you disgusting bigot".

even if they don't dare to say it aloud, some people do worry if they meet a Muslim. And the identifiable Muslim *is* treated with more suspicion by the TSA at the airport than the elderly white grandmother, even if they claim they don't do racial profiling.

And I don't think anybody expects from any single gamer that somehow magically he would be able to stop all abuse and all idiots on the internet. But if each and everyone of us on hearing such stories would express their disgust instead of writing "lol", we would already be a good step further in the fight against internet jerks. Ultimately it is a case of Edmund Burke: The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
Well Tobold you can apologise and speak out against unrelated people who are nothing to do with you if you wish.

But you might want to look at what other groups who suffer from bigotry do.

You won't see a black person speaking out against another black guy robbing a store.

They know it doesn't work. They know that speaking out leads to two things happening :

1, nothing changes. People with black skin still rob people (as do people of all colours).

2, they face even more abuse and bigotry because by speaking out they simply reaffirmed the bigoted belief that because they share a similar trait they are all in cahoots in a giant gang and responsible for the actions of others.

It just makes it worse.

I will speak out when there is no danger of bigots like the social justice warriors and extreme feminists drawing a phony link between me and the perpetrator.

Also have you read any Internet discussions about these jerks? People are overwhelmingly speaking out against them! It makes no difference!

What has come of it that speaking out? It just further reinforces this believe the public have in the existence of a "community" that shares collective responsibility for their actions.

Far better to simply dishone these people.

State that "these horrible people are found in all walks of life, their behaviour is not related to gaming". Then highlight some positive aspects of gaming but under no circumstances be seen to apologise or imply a collective responsibility with the ridiculous phrases we keep seeing like "gaming/gamers need to clean up their act" or "gamers need to stamp out this behaviour".
"You won't see a black person speaking out against another black guy robbing a store."

Do you really believe stuff like this? Wow.
Intelligent debating style there. Pose a question and then add "Wow" on the end. We haven't seen that one on every social justice tumblr going have we?

Tip: it doesn't add any weight or validity to whatever point you are trying to make.

Absolutely damn right I believe that btw.

I've never heard it happen in real life and I know for a fact that if I even expected a black person to speak out against a robbery because the perpetrator "looks like you" I'd be branded a racist. If I made such comments in work I'd be fired on the spot for racism and I'd damn well deserve it.

I've never seen a news crew reporting on a robbery walk up to a black bystander and say "hey do you want to speak out against this".

Christ what a train wreck that conversation would turn into.

"why are you asking me mate? "

" well sir I noticed you are black just like the robber so you better speak out against this crime else we will think you lot are all like that"

" you what mate? Who is "you lot" exactly? "

" well you black types sir, you all look similar after all"

Deary deary me....

Are saying the media would dare approach a black "community" representative for a quote following a crime committed by a black person?

You would be the first person screaming "racism" I'm sure.

But hey its fine to call me a terrorist, misogynist, violence/rape threatener etc just because I bought Super Mario 3d World. I damn well better speak out against it at every opportunity otherwise it's perfectly ok to believe that I condone such behaviour and can't be trusted not to behave like that myself.

Yup as soon as someone that plays video games does something bad, I need to immediately ask my boss for a few days off work and speak out against it to as many people on as many forums possible or face "guilt by association".

And that's fine. We should not speak out against that bigotry, we should instead just "shut up and apologise".
I'm not having a debate with you. It's obvious we are just talking past each other so that's why I've stopped talking.

I said wow because it truly amazes me.

I am a minority that grew up in the south. I am Hispanic not black. I have lived with racism and socio-economic issues my entire life. That is why my opinion is the way it is. I believe that one must always strive to improve life for all those around us all the time.

I would make a sincere suggestion that you try to broaden your views and get to know other cultures and minorities.

The way you write and phrase yourself says a lot about the mentality you have.

And please don't take that as some attack towards you. I am not your enemy nor are you mine.
We aren't having a debate, because you didn't make a point or address my arguments!

Aside from posting some wishy washy social justice warrior nonsense about "improving life around us" (sounds like a Miss World speach), you still have not addressed my points!

Why are you telling me your race? Am I telling you about my sexuality or disability?

Shall we hold an "oppression olympics"?

Let's see who is the most oppressed by those awful ableist CIS white males? I think I've got you beat easy my son.

Don't you dare make assumptions about whether I am a member of a minority and what I know about minorities. Disgusting bigotry.

You would never tolerate people demanding that you speak out against rape because a Hispanic guy who lives 1000 miles away and who you never spoke to before in your life commited a rape.

Is it OK for people to assume that if you don't immediately speak out that you are condoning it and a potential rapist yourself? Are they right to expect you to speak out?

I wonder if you would be more likely to tolerate such bigotry if you were expected to "speak out" because you share the same gender as the perpetrator as opposed to the "association" being racial?

Or because you both wear Nike trainers?

Or you both play golf?

Or you both play video games?

What if the rapist is an Hispanic golf playing male wearing Nike trainers and who plays video games?

On behalf of which group are you obliged to speak out on behalf of?

Can I excuse myself from speaking out in defence of the "gaming community" if I am not CIS?

Is that my free pass? My get out of jail free card?
Woody, Bigeye,

You two have devolved this conversation into a tangential discussion that ultimately leads to nowhere and serves no one.

Why these discussions tend to devolve into aspects of race, gender or bigotry/racism is beyond me. What we are dealing with here are cultural issues. Full Stop. Tobold could have written this entire article with the use of inflammatory rhetoric or labels, but hey, that's his style.

This entire discussion revolves around the acceptance or rejection of a belief or practice that people bring "with them", as part of their real lives, when they enter the virtual gaming space. Can an avatar really be a racist or a bigot? Or are the avatars representative of the real-world person(and their cultural practices and beliefs) behind them? Hopefully, the answer to both those questions are quite clear to everyone.

A game, by design, -can- have cultural elements that people might find offensive to their own cultural beliefs and practices, but as individuals we have the innate ability to self discern if we want to be a part of that game world or not.

In any situation, whether it be real-life or virtual, we have a "right" to discern the statements or actions of others, and based on this discernment we have the "right" to make a personal decision about "who" we let inside our inner circle of influence so as to best protect ourselves and family. There is no -demand- that can be placed on this discernment ability where acceptance or rejection is concerned, and this is the mechanism that creates cultural diversity and allows people to form groups that are insulated by their own discernment processes.

Can the cultural beliefs and practices between different cultural groups clash? Absolutely, but I'm not aware of any mainstream game-space that was designed to facilitate the discussion of cultural differences between groups.
Chris, my interest was purely in one statement Tolbold made in his post:

"As video gamers, regardless of gender, we need to speak out against the lawless sub-culture of video gamer hate. Because we don't want to mention at the water-cooler that we play video games and get a reply "Video gamers? Isn't that this terrorist outfit I hear so much about in the news?"

In other words: I am obliged to speak out against crimes committed by people that share a tenuous link with me else I will face bigotry and possible discrimination resulting from that bigotry. Plus of course there is the assumption that if I do speak out it will actually help and protect me from the bigotry and possible discrimination.

I was intrigued by the way in which gamers have seemingly accepted this demand being placed upon them (it isn't just Tolbold) without questioning whether they should be fighting against the bigotry and discrimination instead.

I actually felt that it could serve us to discuss whether we should continue endlessly apologising for what is a never ending flow of bad eggs or whether we might be better off with a more permanent solution of distancing ourselves and breaking the association with them instead.

Apologies if I went off topic by focussing on one narrow statement Toldbold made but hopefully you can see that my posts were at least based on his blog post.

I will duck out of the convo and allow you to discuss the meat of Tolbolds post unhindered.

My apologies as well if I came across as somehow demanding that your line of thought was not valid, or serving of the conversation. My issue is with the tossing around of the words "bigot", racist and other labels that were being used. We could intelligently discuss each of the issues that Tobold raises in his post without ever using those inflammatory labels, and on a level befitting the gamer culture where it might actually serve to make some positive contribution to some of these topics of interest.

I agree with you, though. Tobolds "call to arms" that you address is fundamentally misguided for the very reasons I stated in my last post.
Woody, are you aware of the contradiction in what you are saying? You claim to have only a tenuous link to "gamers", and thus aren't obliged to speak out against bad gamer culture. On the other hand my post is clearly addressed only to gamers, and you obviously felt addressed by that post to the extent that you posted a thousand words and started a fight with Bigeye. If you only have a tenuous link to gamers, why would my post even bother you?
With some nuances, I am mostly with Woody on this.

Try going to YouTube comment sections and you will see the same trolls insulting based on gender, race, looks, pretty much anything. This is not a "gaming community" issue. It's about the broader internet anonymity thing you have described pretty well in this post and previous posts.

Though I am barely playing MMO in groups anymore, I would definitely kick someone who is disrespectful and offensive in any way. There is about all what I can do - preserve my small corner of the universe. Rest is the problem of internet at large; I am not ignoring it but it's a problem for all internet users worldwide, not just gamers
I'd look at how the English football league handled the issue of hooliganism. There are some interesting parallels. The hooligans were faceless thugs that couldn't easily be distinguished from real fans and were able to achieve anonymity in a large crowd.

Millions of innocent football fans were demonised, branded as thugs and even banned from Europe due to the actions of a small sub culture.

Throughout the 70's and early 80's the millions of innocent fans tried Tobolds "speaking out" tactic and it proved futile.

Just as I said at the start of this debate; speaking out did not and could not stop the thugs but the more they spoke out the more they associated themselves with the thugs and strengthened the publics belief that they were responsible for and inextricably linked with the thugs.

Yet nowadays being a football fan is a socially acceptable activity. It is viewed as a family spectator sport even with large numbers of female followers.

Whereas once football was viewed as being exclusively for working class males (like gaming is viewed in the media as being for teenage boys) it is now viewed as a sport for all ages, genders and classes.

But hooliganism still exists. Gangs of thugs formed around team allegiances still fight. They were unable to stop hooliganism just as we can't stop the abusive people online.

The football league managed to break the link between the minority of thugs and millions of innocent soccer fans and the majority no longer have to constantly apologise for the minority.

When thugs are involved in violence the public now view them as thugs and nothing to do with football even though the thugs wear team logos and sing football songs.

I could write another thousand words explaining how they did this and trying to draw parallels between those techniques and what we could do in gaming. I'm on my phone so I can't unfortunately.

What I will say is that last night Totalbiscuit was discussing enabling his Youtube comments again but posters would have to pay to be whitelisted with the money going to charity.

This got me thinking about all the ID checks that were used to access football grounds.

I think a small part of what football did was create a vetted gated community and then severed the link with those outside.

The "official" fans are those on the inside, a well behaved community that is easy to police and permanently eject any bad egg for the slightest indiscretion.

They are put forward and markets as the face of football. They represent the sport in the publics eye. The thugs outside are "nothing to do with us" but are instead viewed as the toxic waste of society as a whole as opposed to the football fans and clubs responsibility.

The media and public do not attribute anything that happens outside the gated community as being a problem with football.

If there is violence amongst thugs, the football community can show videos of a well behaved diverse family crowd inside the stadium. That immediately neutralises any new attempts to link them with thugs.

One assumes that Totalbiscuit could do the same by saying "here is the gaming community" and pointing to a polite well behaved group of charity donaters and then do what I propose and say "those guys being abusive on Twitter might have gaming avatars just like thugs wear football team scarves but they are your problem (society as a whole) and they are not "gamers" as you can view our official community here.
As usual, I am impressed at how discussions on your blog are still civil even when people strongly disagree, Tobold. Kudos. I'm sure you had to block a lot of trolling.

@Lazie Chan

On the contrary, it sounds more like you're with Tobold and the rest of us who take these issues seriously. Rather than saying that we all need to be taking drastic action, he's saying that we should be conscious about these issues, and take small action, because minor action by many people will add up to something significant.

At one time I may have agreed with most of Woody's arguments, but my experiences over the years led me to read and learn more, and now I think it's less about, say, "bad guys and good guys", and more about "bad guys, good guys, and apathy" (and obviously even that is pretty simplistic because among each group there's degrees of engagement, and differing opinions on how to act and react. But I think it's better than the former arrangement).

A lot of people get very defensive when they think they're getting grouped in with people they don't identify with, it's unfair, but unfortunately, it's something human beings do. A lot. If I tell someone I'm a gamer, they're going to think a number of things about me, and I may not like some of those things, and I'll work to show that I'm not like that. Maybe I'll point out my interest in biking as well so they don't think I never see the sun (silly, but I have done this before).

I don't want to have to have a long discussion with someone about how gamers actually aren't any more violent than any other group of people. I also would rather not have to follow it up by pointing out that at least gamers aren't any more likely to rape someone than, say, a member of a college fraternity. Or a member of the clergy. And I definitely don't want to have to give up the ability to be anonymous, or even partially anonymous, online.

But those are things that may happen in the future, because of the stupid acts of a handful of gigantic assholes. So yeah, I'm going to do my best to at least shame those people into silence, along with the people who aren't as big of assholes, because for every additional asshole willing to spout his nonsense, the more comfortable the gigantic ones are to pull off worse shit than just shouting.

TL;DR: No way am I taking responsibility for these nutcases, as you said Woody. I'm taking responsibility for doing my small part to make the world the way I want it to be. Part of that is it being a place where it's still okay to be anonymous, and I can identify myself as a gamer without worrying that someone who isn't a gamer might think that I'm violent and misogynistic. I
I don't disagree with your goals. I'm querying how you hope to achieve them.

I mean first we have to dispel the myth that gamers don't speak out against hate.

On the game forums I use hate is called out and policed. On Twitter people speak out against hate when they see it.

But it achieves nothing. "Reducing" hate is not enough (and we barely reduce it if at all) , as we have seen in the #gamergate scandal it only takes one or two abusive people and the games media mobilises and smears the entire gaming community with a coordinated campaign against it's own readership!

You won't achieve your goal of having a clean reputation unless you can stop all hate.

On an Internet that allows free anonymous speech! Good luck with that! There will always be that one person who sends a death threat to a woman.

You have as much chance of entirely eliminating the crime of speeding using words and education alone.

You will be "tarred by the same brush" forever.

This is why I say we have to create gated communities and break the association with uncontrolled elements.

As long as comment is free and anonymous you will never stop abuse.

As long as some abuse exists you will always be tarnished with it.

You need to create heavily controlled environment(s) in which it can be stopped and eliminated. Then use it as a safe haven and market it/them as our official voice.
I think it's a matter of degrees and scale. If you X number of players to play Y amount more politely, it will reduce the probability that some asshole will consider doing something really mean by Z percent because peer pressure always works to some degree. But that's a long term view.

In the short term, things like "gated communities" are probably a more effective quick solution. But again, I think it's important to provide ways for those gated communities to grow, or else you get other potential problems that are probably more involved to discuss than this space is suitable for.
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