How GamerGate affected me: It didn’t.
Not interested in Twitter. Not interested in social justice warriors.
I don’t need a self-elected “look-at-me” celebrity purportedly fighting for “my” rights. Keyword: fighting.
1. the action of fighting; violence or conflict.
2. displaying or engaging in violence, combat, or aggression.
I neither want to enable or acknowledge.
You may very well have a point but if you use the wrong means to do it, it can very well become counter-productive and shoot your own cause in the foot (or knee)… several times over.
Extroverts or those with a western bent (or perhaps just the activists with the herd mentality and lack of critical thinking) may think this bystanding behavior is “hiding” from issues and allowing more vocally obnoxious groups to get their way, that if you don’t automatically join up with every social group that comes your way espousing the same belief, that you must be “against us” if you’re not “with us.”
I’m an introvert.
I come from a pragmatic culture that blends both east and west in equal measure, that is used to keeping their heads down when political speeches start getting thrown around (cos you can get sued or thrown in jail for saying the wrong thing against the right people) and finding other quieter (almost sneaky) non-confrontational ways to affect change and sway the hearts and minds of a populace over time.
I don’t believe in binaries, dichotomies or black-and-white thinking.
The obnoxious people are doing just fine making a fool or a nuisance of themselves and getting into car accidents with a lamp post (in the case of obnoxious drivers) without anyone’s help or involvement. In fact, you risk getting hurt via their stupidity and confrontational behavior if you do join them. Let ’em win their Darwin Award elsewhere.
You don’t feed a troll with attention. You starve it by utterly ignoring it and not letting it succeed in getting a rise out of you.
(You can also quietly moderate them out with as little fanfare as possible so that their efforts go unnoticed and unremarked, or even better, costs them money, which makes them take their focus elsewhere to someone more “fun.”)
No need to bring yourself down to their level or get into a car wreck fighting with them.
You want to know who I think the real game-changers are?
The many girls and women who are simply out there playing games each day, making it a perfectly normal, everyday, boring, no-need-for-commenting-on experience. (“Dude, I Played A Game With A Girl Today!” would be kind of an amusing blog post to make in this day and age, right?)
Everybody who just goes right on ahead in our games treating everyone equally, following female raid leaders just as respectfully as male ones without a single off-color comment or sexist remark.
Folks who build, lead, join or support communities where mature, rational, respectful behavior is the norm.
Whoever in the game industry who supports and introduces more choice and customization in art assets and the depiction of PCs and NPCs to represent a broader and more diverse representation of humanity (and other fantasy races.)
It’s a slow process, but patience and little everyday things change minds and cultures a lot more successfully than direct adversarial confrontation.
We can normalize open-minded behavior through our everyday actions – you don’t reject sexism (or any kind of -ism, really) by waving a banner or noisily cheerleading and then feeling good and continuing on with your lives like you’ve done your part:
- You reject it by treating everyone you meet equally regardless of their gender (or whatever)
- You reject it by choosing not to label others or thinking before you say sexist (or whatever-ist) things
- You reject it by calmly saying, “hey, that’s not cool” to someone acting like an ass and proceeding to model desirable behavior
- You reject it by creating and supporting positive egalitarian diverse communities that can discuss and dissent (not ghettos of one color or gender, or cults that support only one way of thinking, or groups that automatically default to dichotomous “us vs them” viewpoints)
- and by teaching the generations to come to be just that little bit better a person than our generation.
Until then, here’s Jeromai – the wolf of indeterminate gender, providing a perfectly gender-neutral blog, hoping to make a point of their own – signing off.
NBI Writing Prompt #3: “Dude, I Played A Game With A Girl Today!”