TalkBack Challenge #1: How GamerGate Affected Me #NBI2015

I should preface this post by saying that the inspiration for this first Talkback Challenge came from Kelly’s post over on Link Saves Zelda. Not only is Kelly a fantastic writer, but she covers the most important points of GamerGate and how it affected the gaming community. I encourage you to read her post, as some of what I’m going to say is going to be a rehash of the story of the movement, and she goes into more depth that I am going to.

So, GamerGate.

It started in August of 2014 when Zoe Quinn (a female developer) was accused of dating and giving sexual favors to a Kotaku journalist in exchange for a high review score of her newly released game, Depression Quest. That’s where the moniker of “it’s about ethics in games journalism” came from. Whether or not that was the real reason for the movement, whether there’s actually people out there who believe that, the hashtag was hijacked by anyone with a hateful agenda, and has persisted for 8 or so months. Soon, some prominent female content developers were being threatened with death, rape, had their personal information leaked (doxxed) and the whole concept of “swatting” took off right around the same time. It was becoming a bleak landscape for gamers. People were afraid to speak their minds. Many no longer wanted to be associated with the word gamer.

Anita Sarkeesian was also attacked, being a feminist who calls for equality in games. Others took similar harassment, particularly if they were female, a minority, or a supporter or equality/feminism (social justice warriors and white knights). It was only a few short months before GamerGate really took off that I was also one of those people who weren’t all that interested in equality, didn’t care about social issues, and wanted politics and the like left out of my gaming spaces. GamerGate changed that.

Being apathetic about politics, social issues, equality, feminism, etc, doesn’t help anyone, myself included. I have come to understand that as a white male, I’m the default. I come from a privileged background, because the world revolves around me and my viewpoints. Equality threatens that default status, and the perception of things being taken away from me is a scary thought. However, equality and all of the solutions that would make the world a better place don’t necessarily take away from me, they only give others what I was born with. Coming to this conclusion took some thought and effort on my part, and watching GamerGate unfold made me realize that I didn’t want to be part of that problem, I’d rather be a part of the solution. This doesn’t mean attacking GamerGaters, this means taking attention away from them and letting them fizzle out and die.

I don’t think there is anything that could really take the gamer out of me. It’s been three decades. Gaming is for life. But associating with the hateful discourse that happened over the past few months is horrible, and being apathetic about it tends to be worse than being a part of the problem. These reasons are part of why I started the Couch Podtatoes podcast, to bring a more positive voice to gaming and highlight some of the underlying social issues surrounding the culture.

I used to be someone who used the word “fag” and used “gay” in a pejorative sense. Other racial slurs. Degraded women. Made commentary that could hurt people’s feelings without a care. These days I want the LGBT community to have equal rights. I want women to be just as valued and paid well for their time. I want everyone to just get along, and I want to play video games with members of any and all communities. I’ve curbed my language, I’ve changed my attitude, and being a part of the community that has sprung up around the NBI has done more to broaden my horizons than any group I’ve been a part of prior to it.

So how did GamerGate affect me? It encouraged me to be a better person, and to seek out like-minded individuals. Thanks to you all, I have grown so much in the past year. I know it’s only a matter of time before GamerGate disappears and is just something we reference as a “dark time in gaming culture,” but that doesn’t mean I’ll forget the lessons it taught me.

In the words of the late George Carlin, in his role on Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure:

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#NBI2015 #talkbackchallenge #newbiebloggeriniative

There Just Wasn’t Enough Time #NBI2015

nbi_2015

I’ve known this day was coming for months. I thought back to last year’s NBI, the first one I was involved with, and recalled many fond memories. I looked forward to this year’s NBI with much excitement. The gameplan was discussed. Leaders came forward. Things needed to get done.

Then I just up and went out of town for a week, and next thing I knew the day was here and there was so much to do!

So here we are. It’s May 1st, and the #NBI2015 has officially kicked off. I’m not the first person to post about it, no I’m probably one of the last. However, I did manage to collate a list of those who have already posted about the event, and there’s plenty of pertinent information to be read. If you are a person who has wanted to get started with blogging but don’t know how, we have the information and guidance for you. If you’re an established blogger and want to help provide tips and advice to newbies, we have the tools to do so. If you’re a blogger who hasn’t picked up the “pen” in quite some time, we’re here to welcome you back, and get you back on track. No matter who you are, if you are/want to be involved with blogging, the NBI is for you.

The most important steps to follow to get involved are as follows:

  • Follow @newbieblogger2 on Twitter. If you don’t have Twitter, get it. Everyone uses it, and it will keep you the best informed.
  • Bookmark and/or add http://www.newbiebloggerinitiative.com to your reader. It will have major announcements posted on the front page.
  • Sign up for a forum account, and add your blog to the list of sponsors or newbies depending on your status. Don’t know which would be more appropriate for you? Feel free to ask.

Here’s a list of bloggers who have already commented on the topic of the NBI:

Alternative Chat: Words
Bio Break: Join the Newbie Blogger Initiative Revolution!
Clean Casuals: New or Aspiring Gaming Blogger?
Contains Moderate Peril: The Newbie Blogger Initiative 2015
Grimoires of Supremacy: Start Blogging
I Have Touched The Sky: NBI ’15
Harbinger Zero: Blog You Fools!
Murf Versus: Announcing the Screenshot Safari
Party Business: It’s May, The NBI has started
Tales From the Aggronaut: Newbie Blogger Initiative 2015

Keep an eye on this blog and the main page of the NBI for more information. I have a couple of writing challenges in mind along with an announcement coming for a gaming event I’ll be running.

#nbi2015 #nbi #newbiebloggerinitiative

Couch Podtatoes Episode 42: TGEN Tribunal #2 #NBI2015

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This week’s episode of Couch Podtatoes is special in that we volunteered to be the host for the second quarterly TGEN Tribunal. Don’t know what TGEN is? Well there are some handy links on my side bar that you can check out for a bunch of awesome podcasts that are part of the network. The Tribunal is the network’s quarterly show where members of the various shows get together and discuss the hot topic around that time. This time around I’m joined by Roger of Contains Moderate Peril (whom has been a guest on CP many times, you should know him by now) and Braxwolf of Beyond Bossfights. We discuss at length the upcoming NBI 2015, which will be kicking off in May for it’s 4th consecutive year. If you’re a new blogger or would like to get involved in blogging (or podcasting for that matter) you should give the show a listen which should answer some of your questions, and head over to newbiebloggerintiative.com.

 

Download this Episode Subscribe via RSS Download on iTunes Listen on Stitcher

Couch Podtatoes Epsiode 42: The TGEN Tribunal #2 #NBI2015 (runtime: 1:40:50)

What are we playing? (starts at 2:08)
Discussion: #NBI2015 (starts at 20:07)

Host Contact information:

Izlain
Blog: Me vs. Myself and I
Twitter:@mevsmyselfandi

Guest Contact information:

Roger Edwards
Blog: Contains Moderate Peril
Twitter: @moderateperil

Braxwolf
Blog: Gaming Conversations
Twitter: @braxwolf

Music Credits:
“Level Up” by Cookie Monsta (from the Riot! EP)
“Challengers” by Riot Games (from the album The Music of League of Legends)

Couch Podtatoes is a podcast about gaming, though we might stray into other forms of media. Sometimes we use strong language, but we try to keep that to a minimum. All opinions expressed by us or our guests are our own and are in no way to be interpreted as official commentary from any companies we discuss. You can visit our official podcast page at http://couchpodtatoes.libsyn.com/. Be sure to follow us on iTunes, and/or Stitcher Radio.

Questions, comments and feedback are welcomed and encouraged!

#couchpodtatoes #podcast #gamesdiscussion #gaming