30th August, 2014

A Man-Child Is Not A Gamer

Things have been a little crazy in my academic life as I prepare to start my PhD career, so I still don’t have an original blog post for you this week.  However, I do have another repost commentary, this time from Dr. Jeffrey S. Smith of Central Michigan University, a very good friend of mine.  The post is on response to the death threats received by Anita Sarkeesian, a feminist critic, most known for her website “Feminist Frequency“.  Sarkeesian has been publishing a series of 20 minute videos of rational, academic critique regarding female tropes in video games.  Despite her style of delivery (as well as publishing transcripts of her videos to allow others to analyze and critique her own argument), Sarkeesian was met with threats to herself and to her family.  Even misogynistic douchebag, fucker #1, Roosh (I’m not gonna even link him, cause it it’s not worth giving him any money) had something to say that Sarkeesian is putting up a stink for “one little death threat”…cause you know, it takes two death threats at least, when you get concerned.  Worse yet, when other game critics, both male and female, came to her defense, they were met with the same psychopathic backlash.  Polygon has stated that it has been a crazy week for gamers, and I couldn’t agree more.  My only hope that this will open the eyes of many people who are on the border regarding violent threats from gamers to other gamers.  While this is mostly an attack on women in the gaming industry…it is very obvious that it affects anyone who dares have an opinion that challenges the status quo.

I hope to have a more original blog post soon, especially regarding this issue is so important.  But for now, enjoy this great read from a very a smart man…and he didn’t even pay me to say that.  Although, I do not mind if he does. :)

A Man-Child Is Not a Gamer
Dr. Jeffrey S. Smith
Original Post

Gamer. That title gets applied to so many types of people, but they all have one thing in common: They play games. So, technically, anyone who’s ever played dress-up as a kid, or imagined that the monkey bars on the playground were a massive fort, or tied a sheet around their neck and pretended to fly around the back yard, is a gamer. You may not have played in a while, but maybe you have. If you play euchre, or poker, or chess, or backgammon, or monopoly, you’re a gamer. And, of course, anyone who plays role-playing games, console games, computer games, or games on their mobile devices, those folks are gamers too.

What do all of these games have in common? The ideas of a) following the rules, and b) the concept of sportsmanship. No one likes to play with someone who’s a bad sport, and everyone knows someone like this. And sportsmanship is something that the man-childs are wholly lacking. So here’s a little bit of education, from a real professor, free of charge:

http://ift.tt/1qPI49f – “conduct (as fairness, respect for one’s opponent, and graciousness in winning or losing) becoming to one participating in a sport.

Yes, I know, I’m committing the cardinal sin of equating gaming with sports. But right now, football players, basketball players, hockey players, gymnasts, golfers, and participants of every other sport on the planet are better people than you man-childs. See… athletes understand that respect for one’s teammates and one’s opponents, as well as everyone else who participates in the sport, is a requirement for appropriately participating in said sport. Schools, from elementary, through middle and high, and into college, teach sportsmanship as a requirement for playing. It’s not an option, it’s an expectation.

Well, guess what, man-child gamers? It’s time for you to follow the same rules. Learn respect for your fellow gamers, regardless of who they are, or what gender they are. I hate to break it to you, but women have just as much right to play a game, video or otherwise, as men do. You may not want to hear that, you may want to scream about the ruin of your gaming culture, but here’s the truth of the matter: Your gaming culture needs to be ruined! It is an abomination, an insult to every evolved personality in the free world, and it needs to be abolished in a big, bad way.

As one of the “original geek generation,” I know how Geek culture was created, as a “band together for warmth, protection, and to share our common interest” survival mechanism. The fact that it’s grown into an international market force is very gratifying, but having man-childs like you defile it and embarrass the majority of the community will no longer be borne. We originally banded together as a means of protecting ourselves from the bullies, and now you’re the ones doing the bullying. Nothing could be more counter to our culture than that! Nothing!

So, my misanthropic, neanderthalic brethren, the time has come: Either evolve, or you’re excused. If you can’t behave like a Geek, we don’t want you sullying geek culture. And we’ve reached the tipping point, just so you’re aware. No more will we sit quietly by and listen to your phobic prattle. No more will be stand silently and let you harass and threaten our gamer sisters with your insecurity and brutal verbocity. I’m declaring open season on you and all like-minded relics of an era no one wanted in the first place. If I see this type of behavior, I’m going to call it out in a loud, nasty, public way. To paraphrase Doctor Who, “Fairness falls no more.”

I honestly don’t know why you behave like this. I don’t know why you’re so afraid of women. I’m married, have many female friends, and teach many female students, and it’s simple instinct to treat them with as much respect as I treat my male friends and students. In my world, gender doesn’t factor into how I treat someone. I’m sad that something happened to you that causes you to fear them, but the time has come to either evolve or get out of the geek gene pool. It’s time for simple Virtual Darwinism: The strong will survive, and the strong ain’t you. The strong are the people who know that people are people, regardless of gender, and that embracing all people will not destroy gaming but rather will enhance it and bring it fully into its next great era.

So, make your choice, Get with the program, or shut your program down. We don’t want your bigotry and hostility in our culture any more. Shape up or ship out. It’s your choice, and we hope you’ll grow up and stick around. But then again, we’re gamers, and we always try to see the best in people. If you don’t, then you’re not a gamer. You’re just a jerk.

Originally Posted on The Gameful Scholar

29th August, 2014