Et Geekera’s Stance on GamerGate

gamergate-headerWell, since the rest of the games “media” happened to all release letters from the editor within hours of each other about GamerGate (I guess GameJournoPros is still just a discussion group), I shall follow suit.

Our official position shall be kept simple and is as follows:

Games journalism needs an ethical overhaul. If a writer for a major site didn’t sleep with a woman interviewed for a feature story, none of this would have blown up in this way. Considering the questionable practices of games journalists which has included participating in promotional campaigns for gaming (for example, Keighley for Halo 4 and MGS5, Game Informer cover stories and IGN’s exclusive coverage of various games), paid trips on promotional junkets, reviewing in ideal closed environments and passing those off as legit reviews and more that we likely haven’t heard about, games journalists have a long way to get to the levels of real journalists.

Adopting ethical standards similar to that of major reporting pools such as the Associated Press or Reuters would be a start. Stopping accepting gifts or paid trips from publishers would be another. No longer treating reviews of games, which are supposed to be fair assessments of games, as makeshift op-ed columns will also quiet critics.

Similarly, the publishers have to get on board with overhauling the ethics of games journalism. Offering paid junkets or supervised review sessions does nothing to make people think everything’s on the up and up. From a personal standpoint, suggesting that review copies may become available if promotional-ish preview content is posted for said requested games is a practice that must be stopped. Those hype pieces played off as news by the big sites calls them into question from an ethical and journalistic standpoint.

In my opinion, we shouldn’t need to talk about women in gaming. That’s because women are gamers and game developers too. Just as in every walk of life, women belong in gaming. We condemn any attack on anyone because of their gender, race, creed, age or sexual orientation. You might disagree with their opinion but if you feel like arguing, please do so in a respectful manner. The hate, vitriol, name calling, doxxing, threats and so on and so forth hurt everyone involved. I don’t know why people do this but this is wrong and hurts the people it’s directed at and reflects badly on your cause and gamers as a whole. Please be respectful in what you say, don’t allow a situation to escalate and if it does, walk away. The fact that people believe that anyone doesn’t belong in gaming is wrong. This needs to change.

And the mainstream press might love playing that stereotype of gamers all being misogynistic but most gamers are genuinely great people and are accepting of everyone. I know the stereotype makes more money but you’re just getting everyone defensive and perpetuating the problem. Please stop and try to take a more facts-based approach to reporting. After all, not all gamers are terrible people and not all terrible people are gamers.


About Steve Murray

Steve is the founder and editor of The Lowdown Blog and et geekera. On The Lowdown Blog, he often writes about motorsports, hockey, politics and pop culture. Over on et geekera, Steve writes about geek interests and lifestyle. Steve is on Twitter at @TheSteveMurray.

Posted on October 20, 2014, in Games and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Mister Truth to You

    The ideals you’re espousing are great.
    Thinking that #gamergate stands for *ANY* of it is beyond ignorant. Gmaergate does not represent “gamers.” It represents a bunch of dillweeds who think they have a mission to never allow a feminist perspective to have anything to do with game development or review. Ever. Go try reading the 8chan group’s discussion forum. Post a thread suggesting that the job is to establish journalistic ethics, and that feminists should still be allowed to speak out on the topic. See how long it takes for someone to call you a splitter, defeatist, or shill (for starters).
    Your article is incorrect. Your endorsement foolish.


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