i don't feel safe anymore with gaming culture

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fruitionpaper
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i don't feel safe anymore with gaming culture

#1 Post by fruitionpaper » Wed Sep 17, 2014 11:10 pm

If you kept up with current gaming news, you probably know how bad it is right now. For those of you who don't know, quick overview

- Zoe Quinn's ex posts their sexual history together and she is bombarded by death and rape threats.
- Anita Sarkeesian has been forced to flee her home and most recently have been issued a bomb threat at an awards show
- Supporters, defenders, article writers, hell, anyone with an opinion opposing the harassment have gotten hacked attempts at their personal information.

Do you guys feel safe making your games? I don't.

Death and rape threats aside, it's the doxing and the swatting attempts that scare me.

Admin Edit: (sake-bento)

There are a lot of different directions this thread is heading, and a lot of them don't necessarily respond to the initial topic or this community in general, but we want this discussion to be something constructive and healthy for our community.

So first, the rough truth: No matter what you do, where you are, or who you are, things will not be 100% safe. I get police notices about once a month warning me that a car's been broken into somewhere in my neighborhood. In the past year, there have been two gun incidents less than a block from where I live. Merely existing means I am not safe. However, that doesn't mean I'm going to stop owning a car (just so that no one can break into it), and my reasons for living here are important, so I'm not going to move. Of course, I'd really like this to be a safer neighborhood, and I am working hard to make sure it is. I don't just roll over and go "Well, guess I'm gonna get shot someday and there's nothing I can do about it."

Any online community will be the same to varying degrees. We (the admins) want LSF to be a safe space for anyone to make games, but we know it's not perfect, and we know that sometimes we mess up. We hope that you understand that as imperfect humans with limited experiences, sometimes we'll do or say the wrong thing, but that doesn't mean we don't want to learn more and make this a better place for you. It just means we're not going to get there immediately.

And so to that end, we'd really like this conversation to be more about what all of us as a VN community (not just LSF admins) can do to make this a safe space for creators and players. For instance, could we build a feedback circle that can look through other peoples' writing for things that may be problematic (e.g. racist slurs that might not be obvious to the person writing it)?

We can't change the whole world, but if we can change our corner, that's a start.

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Re: i don't feel safe anymore with gaming culture

#2 Post by chocojax » Wed Sep 17, 2014 11:23 pm

Those people were not harassed for making a game, only for public opinions. The moment you have an opinion on something controversial or against the norm, there are always people who overreact. Badly.

If people ever do harass you, the best thing to do is politely ask them to stop, then stop responding to their threats. If it escalates, gotta call the police. It's sad, but it's hard to stop people from being idiots.

Doxxin' is pretty scary though, not gonna lie. Which is why I almost always try to keep my personal opinion on stuff like this to myself, or try to maintain a neutral position. :I

(Edit: And it goes for any creative medium. Under any public position. The moment you have an opinion, the public reacts. So you're not really safe... anywhere.)

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Re: i don't feel safe anymore with gaming culture

#3 Post by madomadomadotsuki » Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:18 am

Browsing gaming news and all, there's always so much drama and tension when it comes to being a game developer... But it could be perhaps that drama is always so popular (grab the popcorn!) and because of that, that's all we really get to read these days. That's certainly a cynical view of it. puppygames wrote this very interesting perspective about customers in the games industries these days and the amount of respect, PR nightmares (hi Phil Fish), and chaos behind all of that. You can read that post here.

But on the flip side, it's certainly not all bad – the passion to create something and those aspirations are extremely rewarding, after all – and the positive, warm fuzzy feelings of people taking the time to enjoy your work is far better than the minority of trolls and nincompoops. It's an achievement of itself to be able to finish a project, say that, "I made this," and have that determination pay off. :)

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Re: i don't feel safe anymore with gaming culture

#4 Post by fruitionpaper » Thu Sep 18, 2014 1:31 am

madomadomadotsuki wrote: That's certainly a cynical view of it. puppygames wrote this very interesting perspective about customers in the games industries these days and the amount of respect, PR nightmares (hi Phil Fish), and chaos behind all of that. You can read that post here.
The amount of balls that Caspian Prince had when he wrote that article, Damn! His inbox is probably filled with raging gamers (not that it matters to him, haha).
madomadomadotsuki wrote: But on the flip side, it's certainly not all bad – the passion to create something and those aspirations are extremely rewarding, after all – and the positive, warm fuzzy feelings of people taking the time to enjoy your work is far better than the minority of trolls and nincompoops. It's an achievement of itself to be able to finish a project, say that, "I made this," and have that determination pay off. :)
Well, yeah the fans who both love the game and respect the developer are great. But I'm talking about worst case scenario. I've read that in order to prevent information hack attacks, it's best for the developer to have a dummy email address and dummy account everywhere else.

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Re: i don't feel safe anymore with gaming culture

#5 Post by Mad Harlequin » Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:44 am

People are kidding themselves if they think they can get away with this crap---especially the extreme threats. I'm sure Ms. Quinn and Ms. Sarkeesian are taking appropriate action.
I'm an aspiring writer and voice talent with a passion for literature and an unhealthy attachment to video games. I am also a seasoned typo-sniper. Inquiries are encouraged. Friendly chats are welcome.
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Re: i don't feel safe anymore with gaming culture

#6 Post by Taleweaver » Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:45 am

fruitionpaper wrote:If you kept up with current gaming news, you probably know how bad it is right now. For those of you who don't know, quick overview

- Zoe Quinn's ex posts their sexual history together and she is bombarded by death and rape threats.
- Anita Sarkeesian has been forced to flee her home and most recently have been issued a bomb threat at an awards show
- Supporters, defenders, article writers, hell, anyone with an opinion opposing the harassment have gotten hacked attempts at their personal information.

Do you guys feel safe making your games? I don't.

Death and rape threats aside, it's the doxing and the swatting attempts that scare me.
Don't be scared. Nothing is going to happen to you. You have neither the publicity nor the influence to be the target of troll campaigns like the ones you have read about. Put simply, you are not interesting to trolls.

Zoe Quinn's a game-maker who went looking for publicity. She had created a game that was important to her because it covered a sensitive issue - depression. It wasn't a particularly well-received game among gamers (like many VNs or, in her case, IFs are) but she had a few personal contacts to the gaming press who were willing to write positive reviews for her. At the same time, other game-makers felt it was unfair that she was getting so much attention while they weren't getting any and alleged, in a decidedly ungentlemanly way, that Zoe had gotten the good press by sleeping with said press. And when her former boyfriend, probably as some sort of revenge, said that Zoe had, in fact, been sleeping around, voila: Troll food!

Anita Sarkeesian became famous for a vlog in which she analyzed games from a Feminist viewpoint. And by "analyzing", she meant "pointing out which parts can be considered sexist and degrading to women". She did that not only to games with actual controversial content (say, the GTA series with its hookers and pole dancers) but also to the Mario games ("Are princesses only there to be rescued?") or games like Watchdogs ("Women in this game appear only as the victims of male violence"). From that, she concluded that these games indoctrinate people to become sexists, started a Kickstarter campaign to fund her videos and, predictably, was found and attacked by trolls all too happy to pour their venom at a woman who was guaranteed to react.

Really, #gamergate? In my opinion: a media stunt, pulled to gather attention and, eventually, money.

Don't worry. Not gonna happen to you.
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Re: i don't feel safe anymore with gaming culture

#7 Post by Mad Harlequin » Thu Sep 18, 2014 2:56 am

Taleweaver wrote:She did that to the Mario games ("Are princesses only there to be rescued?").
Well, she's not wrong. I can't count how many times I've heard people make crude jokes about how Mario should "get more than cake" for rescuing Peach all the time, or how Peach must be sleeping with Bowser, and so on and so forth. I'm pretty sick of it.
I'm an aspiring writer and voice talent with a passion for literature and an unhealthy attachment to video games. I am also a seasoned typo-sniper. Inquiries are encouraged. Friendly chats are welcome.
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Re: i don't feel safe anymore with gaming culture

#8 Post by Taleweaver » Thu Sep 18, 2014 3:54 am

Mad Harlequin wrote:
Taleweaver wrote:She did that to the Mario games ("Are princesses only there to be rescued?").
Well, she's not wrong. I can't count how many times I've heard people make crude jokes about how Mario should "get more than cake" for rescuing Peach all the time, or how Peach must be sleeping with Bowser, and so on and so forth. I'm pretty sick of it.
I'm not saying she's wrong. I'm saying she's publicly taking (and defending) a controversial position - that's her "thing". And it's perfectly fine that she does it. It's great to see people who are passionate about what they do, even if I don't share their opinions.

All works are open to interpretation, but some interpretations are more likely to attract opposition. And on the 'Net, "opposition" more often than not means "vitriol".
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Re: i don't feel safe anymore with gaming culture

#9 Post by Mad Harlequin » Thu Sep 18, 2014 4:11 am

Taleweaver wrote:All works are open to interpretation, but some interpretations are more likely to attract opposition. And on the 'Net, "opposition" more often than not means "vitriol".
Criticism is one thing, but violent threats made against a person's safety are quite another. Internet or no, there's no excuse for such behavior.
I'm an aspiring writer and voice talent with a passion for literature and an unhealthy attachment to video games. I am also a seasoned typo-sniper. Inquiries are encouraged. Friendly chats are welcome.
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Re: i don't feel safe anymore with gaming culture

#10 Post by Taleweaver » Thu Sep 18, 2014 4:44 am

Mad Harlequin wrote:
Taleweaver wrote:All works are open to interpretation, but some interpretations are more likely to attract opposition. And on the 'Net, "opposition" more often than not means "vitriol".
Criticism is one thing, but violent threats made against a person's safety are quite another. Internet or no, there's no excuse for such behavior.
Absolutely. Trolls are bastards and idiots, and the internet would be a better place if they didn't exist.

But guess what? They do exist. And their behavior is predictable. Say something against gamer culture, trolls rush in. The more publicity they get by rushing in, the more trolls come, and they get louder and more aggressive if they find out what they're doing has a discernible effect.

And now consider what the trolls see: "Hey, that dumb chick who says we're all sexists was forced to leave her house because we wrote her death threats! Let's write her even more death threats! Woo-hoo!"

When you're dealing with trolls and you want them to stop bothering you, you ignore them. Any sort of reaction to their behavior - especially the sort of reaction that goes through the mainstream media - will not make them stop. That's common internet knowledge. It's sad, but it's reality.

And it's why I'm calling this a media campaign: provoke predictable aggressive behavior, then point out how terribly aggressive it is.
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Re: i don't feel safe anymore with gaming culture

#11 Post by Mad Harlequin » Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:09 am

Taleweaver wrote:When you're dealing with trolls and you want them to stop bothering you, you ignore them. Any sort of reaction to their behavior - especially the sort of reaction that goes through the mainstream media - will not make them stop. That's common internet knowledge. It's sad, but it's reality.

And it's why I'm calling this a media campaign: provoke predictable aggressive behavior, then point out how terribly aggressive it is.
No. They don't get to issue rape and death threats and get away with it "because it's common Internet knowledge" to ignore them. That's not reality. That's burying our heads in the sand when we ought to let people know that this is not okay. Maybe it's true that it only gives them more incentive to spew their garbage, but I'd rather speak out instead of staying quiet and communicating assent.
I'm an aspiring writer and voice talent with a passion for literature and an unhealthy attachment to video games. I am also a seasoned typo-sniper. Inquiries are encouraged. Friendly chats are welcome.
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Re: i don't feel safe anymore with gaming culture

#12 Post by maricon » Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:18 am

Mad Harlequin wrote:People are kidding themselves if they think they can get away with this crap---especially the extreme threats. I'm sure Ms. Quinn and Ms. Sarkeesian are taking appropriate action.
Yeah, no. While it is illegal to make threats, I've never heard of trial for "online harassment" or "anonymous threats on the internet".
So nothing will come out of it.
The thing is, let's not pretend they were the first to receive such treatment (anyone remembers flappy bird creator and why he pulled his game out?) being in spotlight on the internet will bring out hordes of people who are dicks for various reasons.
No one is saying it's okay. But there's nothing you can do about it. That's the reality of the situation.

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Re: i don't feel safe anymore with gaming culture

#13 Post by Taleweaver » Thu Sep 18, 2014 5:24 am

Really? Issuing death and rape threats is not okay, and we ought to let people know?

(Really got to restrain my current urge to answer sarcastically now...)

Honestly, my understanding of the matter is that people already know it's not okay to threaten people, be it on the internet or elsewhere. In fact, I suppose that's even more common knowledge than "there are trolls on the internet, and in the perceived anonymity of the web, they revel in antisocial behavior".

The internet would be a far, far better place if there were no trolls and if everyone behaved in a civilized, respectful manner. However, in order to achieve that, the internet would have to become more regulated than it is now. Much, much more regulated. We're talking about an end to anonymity here. We're talking about obligatory real-name user accounts, and if not those, then internet accounts that have to be registered at a central authority that is able to prosecute misbehavior. Do you want that? Do you want, say, the FBI reading every line you write on the 'Net to see if you've committed any crimes or misdemeanors? Because that's the only thing I can imagine that would actually make trolls think twice about doing crap.

We pay for the liberties the internet gives us by having to endure people who abuse these liberties. It's sad, but this is how it is. You're not going to make trolls stop by making the point that trolling is not okay. You are absolutely right by saying it, but you're not making a difference. And everybody - including the trolls - already knows that.
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Re: i don't feel safe anymore with gaming culture

#14 Post by Mad Harlequin » Thu Sep 18, 2014 12:01 pm

maricon wrote:
Mad Harlequin wrote:People are kidding themselves if they think they can get away with this crap---especially the extreme threats. I'm sure Ms. Quinn and Ms. Sarkeesian are taking appropriate action.
Yeah, no. While it is illegal to make threats, I've never heard of trial for "online harassment" or "anonymous threats on the internet".
So nothing will come out of it.
The thing is, let's not pretend they were the first to receive such treatment (anyone remembers flappy bird creator and why he pulled his game out?) being in spotlight on the internet will bring out hordes of people who are dicks for various reasons.
No one is saying it's okay. But there's nothing you can do about it. That's the reality of the situation.
Ever hear of an IP address? It allows law enforcement to track down people making threats like that. And Ms. Quinn certainly knows the name of her ex, so she can take appropriate legal action against him for defamatory comments.
Taleweaver wrote:Really? Issuing death and rape threats is not okay, and we ought to let people know?
Yes. We absolutely should.
We pay for the liberties the internet gives us by having to endure people who abuse these liberties. It's sad, but this is how it is. You're not going to make trolls stop by making the point that trolling is not okay. You are absolutely right by saying it, but you're not making a difference. And everybody - including the trolls - already knows that.
Nobody, absolutely nobody, has to "pay for the liberties the Internet gives us" by enduring rape, bomb, or death threats. That is a disgusting notion.

And maybe you or the trolls don't think people make a difference when we speak out against this behavior, but I assure you that there are other people who do.
I'm an aspiring writer and voice talent with a passion for literature and an unhealthy attachment to video games. I am also a seasoned typo-sniper. Inquiries are encouraged. Friendly chats are welcome.
"Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other."
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Re: i don't feel safe anymore with gaming culture

#15 Post by MaiMai » Thu Sep 18, 2014 12:57 pm

"Gaming culture" at this point in time is a big joke.
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