Games Journalism 2018: We're taking it back!


Once again, you and Nesrie are describing the world as it ought to be. I ought to be able to take that shortcut through the dark alley without getting mugged. I don’t think anyone is disagreeing with that vision. What I and others are talking about, however, is the world as it actually is. If I think about the risks before I walk down the dark alley and choose the longer lit route, I don’t have to worry about making myself into a victim.

I still think you, Nesrie, and others are fundamentally misreading Rick’s statement that started all this. He’s not making a proclamation that no one should every take nude pictures. He’s making the almost tautological statement that if you don’t take nude pictures, you don’t have to worry about people seeing them that you didn’t intend. It’s a good reminder to everyone and completely leaves the decision of whether it’s too risky to everyone to make for themselves.

And that’s a great goal to work towards (although I question how likely it is to be accomplished in real life, desirable though it may be.) In the meantime, however, be smart and think about the potential consequences before you act.


I think you may be right, she may not be saying that it’s always victim blaming. But maybe she is. It’s difficult to tell in this post early on in the discussion, and I understand why someone could read this and think that’s exactly what she’s saying:

I’ll move on from trying to interpret the intent of RickH and Nesrie’s posts to trying to interpret yours… :)

“…stop trying to make women more prudish or feel inhibited in order to keep them safe…”

I agree with that statement as written. I hope you’re not suggesting that’s what everyone here is doing. I’m not trying to be cute with the world play, but there’s a big difference between being prudish and prudent, even if the result is the same advice. We all need to be careful how we talk about this, and how we listen to others, to make sure the difference is clear.

“…and instead look at educating teenage boys and young men…”

Yes, of course to all that as things we should do as well.

So you’re granting it’s not a useless thing to say. In that case I only disagree slightly with your conclusion, on a matter of degrees. I think for people in your life you care about, this could be appropriate advice even into their 20s.


I think I’m going to bow out of this conversation, because @WhollySchmidt keeps saying things much better than I can. So, uh, what they said!


That’s kind of you, but given how long my posts were last night, there’s a good chance I still screwed something up. But unless I do need to specifically correct something I said, I think I’m done too. I am glad I actually took the time to read Cher’s entire piece, because it was complicated and deserved better than the quick skimming I gave it early on. I don’t know if trying to summarize it here helped anyone else, but it was helpful to me.

Anyway, I think at this point pretty much everyone is aware of where everyone else stands. Maybe the discussion will move on naturally at this point.


If that was Nesrie’s message, I didn’t get it from the way she was wording it.

Edit:I do pretty much agree with everything you wrote Tim and I agree that efforts should be made to move the needle closer to the ideal. Women should not have to worry about being harmed in any way due to how they dress or express themselves.

I think almost everyone here has agreed with Nesrie’s sentiments (and what you tried to clarify). People (myself included) are getting tripped up by the semantics.


Hasn’t Facebook tried to claim ownership rights of photo’s posted? Wasn’t that in the news a while back?


Very thorough and insightful, WS.

What I thought at the time was that the writer was telling her story as a cautionary tale to warn others about the dangers of creating such pictures. Which I summed up in what I thought was a duh-type statement, and one that I have repeatedly made to my sons when they got cellphones. Those things are bad idea magnifiers in the hands of the young and dumb. I take every opportunity to point out when famous people do dumb stuff like Brett Favre and his junk-pics a while back, and emphasize that they need to stay on the smart side of this issue.

If, instead, the writer was trying to say that she’s entitled to make whatever pictures she wants, hand them to multiple parties, and that Congress should pass new laws to give her legal authority over them if they escape into the wild – then I’m not really on her side. But if I thought that, I wouldn’t have tried to be pithy and instead dug into the pitfalls of such legislation.


Thanks for your replies @WhollySchmidt and @robc04, I think we’re all on the same page.


No they don’t, but they do the next best thing: you give them royalty free rights to use your image. You still control who sees it, but they can make as much money off your image as possible, and they will owe you nothing.


Once you realised that whilst Nesrie is replying to your post, she’s not actually responding to what you wrote, it makes more sense and the conversation easier. I learnt this in P&R. It’s why I generally respond to the subject or speak to the thread.


Video games do not create murderers. With his Thursday meeting, the president was merely engaging in political distraction.

And yet Mr. Trump was absolutely right when he said that “bad things” are happening on the internet. Video games do have a big problem, but it is not stylized virtual violence. Rather, it is the bigotry, social abuse, sexism and other toxic behavior to which players too often subject one another when gaming together online.

In other words: It’s not the content; it’s the culture.


Yes we are.

Thanks for the couple of PMs from folks as well. I didn’t exit the conversation so much as allow it to complete.


So, it’s not a videogame problem, just the internet being the internet… which is just a symptom of the modern dog eat dog culture.
Surprised NYT didn’t add some both siderism into the piece, it would fit right in.


So it’s not just that videogames are responsible for violence, it’s that videogames are responsible for people being assholes?

Man, the NYT never seems to miss an opportunity to disappoint.



I don’t know, I feel like there are lots of examples of toxic culture in the gaming community.

I don’t know how much that differs from the internet as a whole, but the gamer segment is by no means clean.


For instance, it was called GamerGate, not SomethingElseGate.


Given my own experience in online FPS games since the late 90s, I don’t think it’s particularly controversial to argue that some gaming cultures can be quite toxic. Strategy games, boardgames, RPGs not so much. Even MMOs frequently foster a positive community that can last years.

And I agree with the general point of the argument: Study the culture more, and correlate outcomes with prior associations less.


Yeah, the communities for competitive FPS games, or MOBAs, are notoriously bad. Many people here have reiterated themes about not playing certain games, or disabling all in game chat and communications, because of toxicity.

The claim that many online gaming communities are toxic beyond repair isn’t controversial, it’s fact. It is an actual problem, and rightly so he article points that out as more of an issue than depictions of violence.


Ban all in-game chat.


The implication of the article – which is pretty facile so maybe I’m reading too much into it – is that the videogames are to blame. Call of Duty doesn’t make people call someone a nigger in ingame chat. It doesn’t make someone put a swastika on his player tag. It doesn’t make someone use of the word “fag”. Being a racist homophobe makes someone do that stuff. Videogames provide an easy, consequence free, and anonymous way to express racism and homophobia, but I don’t believe they cause it.

But isn’t this the same issue as people being dicks in YouTube comments sections and on Twitter. Why would you single out videogames as if they were somehow to blame? Why would you characterize this as “the real problem with videogames”? It strikes me as the same scapegoating behind attempts to connect videogames and violent behavior.