Friday, October 3, 2014

No integrity

Gamergate is continuing to be a thing that sucks up all the air in the gamer blogosphere.  There are endless examples of people arguing back and forth about what did or did not happen to specific people, accusations of fraud, intimidation, and fabrication and there is no end in sight.  The details of all the things that have happened to the people involved in this mess are far beyond my knowledge, but I don't need to know those details to know what is going on.

It isn't about journalistic ethics.  It isn't about the reliability of game reporting.  It is about a giant internet battle with feminists and social justice warriors on one side and misogynists on the other.  There are plenty of people who don't identify as one or the other out there blasting away but realistically these are the battle lines that have been drawn.  Supporting one side or the other is going to get you lumped in with that group, like it or not.

Game reporting is not some kind of responsible, trustworthy industry, nor could it ever be.  Game articles are based on guesswork, false hopes, and most importantly are entirely subjective.  If you think that game articles could somehow be all about objective truth you are deluding yourself.  The money from game developers certainly does affect game articles, but so what?  Even if the money wasn't there the articles would still be random shots in the dark subject to the whims and deep seated prejudices of the writer.  Game reporting isn't objective and it never will be.

All the people out there making serious faces and talking about cleaning up the corruption of the video game reporting sector are kidding themselves.  If you want gamers to have a better reputation, if you want games to have a more broad appeal, and if you want to make the world a better place for gamers then the way to do that is to support women in game development, to push for more variety and diversity in games, and to tell the assholes to shape up.  Objective reporting about games is an unrealistic and ultimately unimportant goal compared to changing gamer culture to be more inclusive.

If you really do want to talk about corruption in game reporting then take the time to do it right.  Make sure people know that you aren't talking about the minutiae of gamergate but are specifically referring to big game companies buying reviews.  Be clear that you support the people standing up for diversity in game production and game worlds and that you don't support the harassment campaigns against Quinn, Sarkeesian, etc.  I won't care much about your opinions on the matter quite frankly, but at least you will be on the right side of history.

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