The statement was released in reaction to what’s come to be known as Gamergate. No, not the ant variety. Read the Wikipedia article I just linked for complete details. As I understand it, in mid-August a passionate freelance gaming blogger decided to use her gender as a means to bring down some of gaming’s biggest internet personalities on Twitter. How? She put out a blanket statement to the effect “anyone who disagrees with me or even challenges me is a sexist, hates girl-gamers or is a bully”. Those smart enough to call her bluff either had their Twitter accounts banned (for “harassment”), had their sites shut down, lost their corporate sponsors or a combination of all three.
I’ve been meaning to discuss this since it broke in August but I decided to wait until things calmed down first. I am not naming the person who caused what’s literally become the biggest scandal in gaming history (which is funny because it actually has NOTHING to do with gaming). They have enough notaritey as it is so…yeah. They don’t need my help in that regard.
I WILL say that my stance is the same as Gamespot’s and as I’ve said many times before, I created this blog to talk about video games first and foremost. While yes, I do talk about specific gaming communities from time to time, it’s to point out the two truths most gamers won’t readily admit to over the internet:
- For the majority, playing video games is nothing more than a fun, harmless hobby for those of us who play to enjoy.
- Gamers are the most well-informed consumers when it comes to all things video games. Most extensively research video games to the point it would put the most frugal bargain shoppers to shame.
…The problem is sometimes that passion is channeled in unhealthy ways. This is Gamergate in a nutshell. I myself have no interest in getting dragged into that. I guess I should consider myself lucky I do what I do free of charge and have no corporate sponsors then, huh? When I do my game reviews, unlike “the professionals” I play video games for the enjoyment first and foremost. No having to do clever wordsmithing to keep the sponors happy.
This is an aspect of gaming journalism that I always hated seeing in Game Informer and Gamepro back in the 90s. I was just a kid then but even I could tell gamers weren’t the target audience they wrote the reviews for. It was the industry itself. Speaking of reviews by others: I don’t go to sites like Metacritic and Joystiq when a new game comes out. I’ll speak more to how I decide if I like a game or not in a separate blog but as a reminder, my favorite genre is Role-Playing Games.