Watch this clip of Oz… It’s not a shower scene. This is the state of Game Nation right now.
“NOW LET’S GET ORGANIZED!”
Gamers have been making a lot of waves in recent weeks, in recent months and in recent years. When gaming pops up in the media, every side clings to the bits that support their cause instead of looking at a bigger picture. For instance there have been several studies about violence in video games. Some studies show there is a link, other studies show there is no link… so more studies are done to find more conclusive evidence. I did not dig deep to find evidence of these studies throughout the years, therefore you’re either going to have to google it yourself or take my word for it. There is a study suggesting that video games may not make the player more violent but could influence them to be more aggressive. Because of the improved realism of video games, there is a very real possibility they are desensitizing the player. Finally, there is a study that would suggest that this rise in aggression stems from incompetence rather than ill will. Whether you believe games influence violence or not, looking at the bigger picture; there is something going on. I think it is simple as the most aggressive and most malicious among Game Nation are the most incompetent. We must stop giving them shelter.
Getting organized now is bigger than simply being unified. The media cares about video games beyond fear mongering and blaming them for social woes. CNN is watching the industry but we know NBC and even Russia Today want a more juicy, familiar story about video games. Guess what Game Nation? We keep on giving it to them, served in a Platinum Trophy, filled with gamer’s sadness.
I am here to help stop the anarchy, be a PR rep for gamers and turn this back into the beautiful controlled chaos it used to be. I do not have a list or a set of commandments, just some simple suggestions relative to our position in society.
1. Stop treating women like shit.
I hate the idea that Game Nation’s motto went from “Play it loud!” to “If you see something, say something.” But guess what? That is where we are at. Twitter can’t or refuses to regulate or curb this commonplace behavior. PSN and XBL can’t or won’t swing that ban hammer. I do not know who is or is not to blame but it is quite clear nobody is doing a damn thing to stop this behavior. If there was a system in place, sweet Anita Sarkeesian wouldn’t have to cancel a speech about online harassment because of online harassment. I have no idea what point anybody is trying to prove with that logic. If Anita Sarkeesian was truly a coward, she would stop trying to spread her point of view under these very scary circumstances. She does not need my defense but she deserves it. Why?
She liked games at one point. I bet she still likes Nintendo games. At some point, the product turned into something she did not want to play. I would bet she owns a 3DS or DS or something. In the end, I do not care what games she plays, if any. Her and I are linked in our fond childhood memories of playing Super Nintendo. Then she grew up in a world that values a woman’s worth at about 75% to a man’s, goes home to play a game and gets to see women in the background existing for the pleasure of man. Sooner or later something has got to give. Her opinion is no less valid because of her own life experiences. My opinion is no more valid because I may or may not be as privileged as other males who game. Anita and I were both weened on Nintendo and that’s good enough for me.
2. Stop breaking the law, Asshole!
Swatting is a crime. I would absolutely adore more coverage on the aftermath of these successful swatting attempts. The rate at which swatting happens may not be all that often but if gaming news is what you read the most, it happens way too much. Forget the fact that it is against the law. Consider the fact that police have as much of a problem trying to keep their bad apples from shooting unarmed people in the daylight as gamers do keeping their bad apples from scaring women out of their homes. Smashing two communities with shitty public relations together is resulting in disaster.
I hesitate to even bring this up. Hackers need to really evaluate the necessity of bringing down infrastructure in the online space. It is one thing to bring down EA’s website in protest to rampant DLC. I’m not saying I agree with the logic, but it sends some kind of a message. Bringing down any online space that an end-user pays for does not generate goodwill for your cause. Gamers do expect the online service to work no matter what but more sympathy is set aside for the developer or manufacturer if gamers are aware that they have to fight a digital war against people determined to wreck the experience of video games.
I like online crusaders to a degree. I’m just never sure if there is a real point being proven or if an abuse of power is occurring. As a general rule… don’t break the law.
3. Chill out and play something else.
I can’t tell you how to enjoy video games but if any aspect of the art is causing you extreme rage or frustration then you’re doing it wrong. No, not all video games fit into the category of “fun” or allow the player to “relax” but all games are meant to entertain. Most games are meant to give the player a sense of joy or sense of accomplishment. Games should not be filling you with the urge to utter death threats at those who create them or ask you to think critically about them. Seriously, either calm down or seek help because you are bringing harm to something you claim to love.
4. Stick together.
Forget “If you see something, say something.” If you see something, DO something. Sure, articles getting thumbs on Facebook is great. Commenting and saying “Keep up the good work, Jaded.”; Much encouraged. But share and embody the words of progress you believe in. When I write or when you see an article condemning online harassment, share it if you are not the type to speak out yourself. Show others that you do not tolerate the behavior by stepping in immediately. It does nothing to ignore the problem. Admins in online spaces be them text based or virtual worlds, need to exercise a lot more diligence and vigilance when it comes to keeping the digital playground reasonably stress free.
Sticking together means a lot more gamers will play freely online. The world needs more hero gamer types like Frankie On Pc. For those who are unfamiliar with him, he plays DayZ like a hero and helps to protect users against the harassment that would otherwise ruin their experience of the game. Sure, dealing with bandits is all part of the game but the world itself seems short on heroes and art imitates life.
5. True gamers play games. Period. End of sentence.
Stop trying to determine the qualities of a true gamer. Listing qualities is evidence of Game Nation’s insecurities. The only reason anybody comes up with criteria for what makes a “true gamer” is to exclude somebody or a group of people. The Kim Kardashian game is played by vapid twerps who idolize a feminist nightmare. So what? That game brings them some level of happiness. Call of Duty caters to a juvenile and childish urge to glamorize conflict. So what? It brings together millions of dudebros who may have nothing else in common other than shootin’ guns and blowin’ shit up. And there is nothing wrong with that. There is nothing wrong with wanting to play a video game and calling yourself a gamer. The reason why there are so many genres of video games is because people have more than one interest. True gamers play games that interest them.
In closing, we need to get organized and we need to stick together. We need to stop the bad apples from spinning out of control. People are fearing for their lives over gamers acting a fool. This needs to stop.
The Jaded Gamer