It's been over a month since I've submitted a blog (hello, again, by the way!), and it's because I've had nothing that I felt was profound to say. I believe that if Im just echoing somebody else in my ideas, then there's no point in me writing them.
Okay, well now I have something to say, and you are all free to rage in the comments below. I brought my crowbar for protection this time ;).
NOTE: I won't be posting about the catatrophe that was the XboxOne announcement today. I do have something to say about it all that hasn't been said yet, so I should probably say it soon before someone else beats me to it...
Zyxe's latest blog discussed Gamespot's recent increase in articles discussing social issues in gaming, and asked for the community to respond to tis question: love it or leave it?.
Now, such user blogs are usually met with a lot what I would call pushback from those reading it, but Zyxe took an approach that was purely to generate discussion, and it worked. She refrained from putting in too much of her own opinion so as not to turn anyone away from the question she was asking, there were only a few comments on her blog that I would deem worthless (i.e. not contributing anything to the discussion at large). I applaud Zyxe for her ability to generate such civilized, thoughtful discussion.
I must admit, I expected less from the community, but Zyxe refrained from putting too much of her own personal opinion on her blog, which is what would usually generate less-than-desirable responses from other users.
So, where am I going with this? I'm very glad that I finally saw our community engaging in intelligent discussion, but Im sad that we cant do that with opinion-filled pieces and articles. Whenever an article that is slanted and someone's personal bias appears, a lot of people cover their ears and yell, "LALALALA, I cant hear you!" and then comment as to why the writer of the article is stupid/fat/ugly/communistic/closed-minded/too biased, et al etc. It's a disturbing trend that needs to be discussed.
The issue we're running into as a community is that when someone presents an opinion thats remotely dissimilar to our own, we consider it as an attack. We can't even discuss our opinions on consoles without calling each other out for being elitist/stupid/retarded, or whatever insult you can come up with. It's ridiculous. Choosing a console is a rather arbitrary decision in the first place, and arguing over which one is superior is childish and silly. It comes as no surprise that when we talk about something of considerable magnitude, such as sexism, that we cannot hold civilized conversation, either.
This is my statement to the community at large:
Gaming is a unique industry. It wasn't too long ago that video games were constantly under attack by the media for being too violent, sexual, for bringing down test scores and grades, for creating socially backwards outcasts, and more. Thankfully, that era is, for the most part, over. Video games still get attacked for violence, but I think we can safely say that those arguments are holding less and less sway over the general public because gaming as a whole has become widely accepted and adopted by an increasingly mainstream audience. This is what we've wanted for a very, very long time.
However, with such advancement in gaming's scope, there comes the inevitable scrutiny that comes with being so massive. It's not a bad thing; every form of media undergoes it. Television, movies, books, music, it hasall been brought to the table and examined for hints of sexism, racism, homophobia, and other things that we as society would see as detrimental to the medium and insulting to the groups being affected. Its to be expected, and instead of screaming at those trying to generate discussion about those things and telling them to go away, we should be engaging with them and showing them how we have matured as a community.
Its completely fine to be OK with these problems. If they don't affect you, why would they bother you? That's fine, that's fair, but please, please don't yell at people who recognize the issues still present in games who try to bring light to and correct them. Just because you're okay with them doesn't mean they don't exist.
Diana Allers' personality goes as deep as her cup size.
If you really think they dont exist, that's fair, just be civilized when creating a counter-argument. Both sides exhibit the issue of plugging their ears and ignoring each other when debating about these issues. Instead of listening to each other, the community wishes to engage in a massive dick-measuring contest to see who can insult each other the fastest. This gets us nowhere, and it shows that perhaps we havent grown up, we havent matured, and were still a bunch of bickering children who cry when we are told weve done something wrong. Can you imagine what that makes our community look like to outsiders?
"Why should we care? They aren't gamers." We should care. What do you think those senators that are making decisions about violent games being sold see when they go into the comment sections of our websites? If we want to be taken seriously and not be seen as a bunch of 14 year olds in our parent's basements, we must start taking discussion seriously.
When someone sees something sexist or exploitative of a certain group in games, they're not trying to take your games away from you, they're trying to improve a medium they enjoy. I am a proprietor of the idea that too many times female characters are robbed of their agency in games, but that doesn't mean I think that games (or game developers) are evil or sexist as a whole, and I certainly dont believe that people who play and enjoy these games are bad people. Much of the community would think otherwise, simply because I think that sexism is an issue in games I am automatically viewed as having a certain set of viewpoints and will immediately be attacked for them. It's childish. It's presumptuous; it's everything we dont want to be viewed as.
We need to open our ears and hear every side of the argument, and we need to consider it.
We need to stop talking and take Navis advice for once. We need to listen.
NOTE: I have been suffering some issues with LiveFyre, sometimes the comment section won't load, and sometimes it will load but I won't be able to post a comment. If I cannot respond to a comment, it's because of that.