Harassment in gaming

Eltab

Villager
This will be relevant for any number of cases where one is part of, or heir to, a group that committed some wrongs.
Groups do not commit wrongs. Persons commit wrongs.
Time and again, blaming the group directs punishment onto the wrong persons.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
Groups do not commit wrongs. Persons commit wrongs.
Time and again, blaming the group directs punishment onto the wrong persons.
Actually, while persons commit individual acts, it is not uncommon for groups of people to commit wrongs. See "mobs", "invaders", "gangs" etc.

Recognition of group culpability is hard coded in law in many western legal systems. See "felony murder" and similar laws.

And again, when a group knowingly & intentionally allows miscreants within it to misbehave, they are morally, ethically, and- occasionally- legally culpable for allowing that behavior to occur. Gotta drain the swamp to get rid of the 'skeeters.
 
The writing eloquence of those who have tried to draw attention to the issue is not the issue.
Sure, it is. Because posters have tried to excuse the use of cheap shots (such as "terrorist") on the basis that not using cheap shots means that the message won't be heard.

So, this is _entirely_ about a writer's ability to write persuasively. It is about the piss poor excuse that such cheap shots are needed in order to be heard.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
Some of the behavior described in the original article- threats of assault, rape or killing- in order to modify the writer's behavior can actually sustain a conviction for making "terroristc threats", punishable by up to 20 years in prison, depending on jurisdiction and seriousness of the threat.

http://criminal-law.freeadvice.com/criminal-law/violent_crimes/terrorist-threats.htm

So, no, her writing isn't an issue at all. It isn't even really hyperbole.
 
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to claim that the depiction of females in gaming art is not relevant to how females are seen seems naive to me. The overly-sexualized style with which females are often depicted in fantasy art presents women who are typically less-competent, less-prepared, and more fixated on appearance than their male counterparts.
Which females in CMB are shown as less-competent, less-prepared, and more fixated on appearance?
When I think of women in CMB, I think of
Red Sonja, http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/marveldatabase/images/1/17/Red_Sonja_001.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20070305144409

Belit the Pirate, http://static.comicvine.com/uploads/original/2/29837/2727659-belit_dark_horse.jpg

and, sure, let's throw Wonder Woman in with the others (though she doesn't technically wear CMB, her bikini is magic) http://www.onemillioncomix.com/onemillioncomix/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/superman-wonderwoman-2-750x400.jpg

etc. "Less-competent, less-prepared, and more fixated on appearance" are simply not terms I associate with these characters. They are bad ass alpha females who kick ass and take names.
In fact, many feminists think Wonder Woman is a great fantasy heroine role model for young girls. (IMHO they'd probably consider Belit and Red Sonja likewise, if they took the time to learn about these characters).
 
Some of the behavior described in the original article- threats of assault, rape or killing- in order to modify the writer's behavior can actually sustain a conviction for making "terroristc threats", punishable by up to 20 years in prison, depending on jurisdiction and seriousness of the threat.

http://criminal-law.freeadvice.com/criminal-law/violent_crimes/terrorist-threats.htm

So, no, her writing isn't an issue at all. It isn't even really hyperbole.
Examining her words in her context
White male terrorism is the white underbelly of the gaming community, meant to terrify and disrupt the lives of those who threaten the status quo by race, gender, or sexuality. It succeeds because the majority of men in the community are too cowardly to stand against the bullies and the terrorists. At best, these cowards ignore the problem. At worst, they join the terrorists in blaming their victims for the abuse. The point of online terrorism is that it is endless, omnipresent, and anonymous.
Why is it "white male terrorism" instead of "sexist terrorism"? Why does she double-down on "white" with phrases like "white underbelly"? Why does she call the majority of men "cowards"? Has she met the majority of men? If she is having so much trouble raising awareness, why doesn't she think that men have likewise tried to raise awareness and have failed not because they are "cowards," but for the same reasons she has? "Omnipresent" Really? After lambasting WHITE MEN, she tosses in a word like "omnipresent," but no? She doesn't actually mean "omnipresent," right? She actually means that sexist terrorists exists, right? Only, that's not all that she's saying.

In the final tally, her words do nothing to help the situation. Sexism exists. Sexism is awful. Some of the stories she told made me nauseous when I read them. Men and women, both, can be victims of sexism. They need to find allies, not paint an entire group of people with one giant, broad brush.
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
Why is it "white male terrorism" instead of "sexist terrorism"?

(Edit)
She doesn't actually mean "omnipresent," right? She actually means that sexist terrorists exists, right? Only, that's not all that she's saying.

(Edit)
Men and women, both, can be victims of sexism.
In case you missed it, she used the acronym "POC" to describe certain victims of similar mistreatment. That acronym stands for "persons of color"- hence "white" terrorism.

You can also note that 90%+ (could have been all- I don't currently feel the need to go back and check each one) of her personal AND 2nd hand anecdotal exemplars involved heterosexual harassment of women. Hence "male" terrorism.

Given the same personal and anecdotal accounts, coupled with the documented reports of other women in the hobby as participants, reviewers/journalists, and content creators- some recounted as the personal experiences of participants in this very thread- "omnipresent" may be hyperbolic, but not by a hell of a lot. One might even characterize it as a slight exaggeration for emphasis.

Are there women in the hobby victimizing men? Homosexual men or women in the hobby victimizing those of their own gender? It IS possible. But in a niche hobby with an overwhelmingly white male demographic, and a statistical average rate of homosexuality in the USA roughly the same as that of left-handedness, odds favor that most of the bad actors will be straight white males, and most of the victims being women.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
I mean, let's be honest here: if someone were to do an ENWorld poll with some version of this question:

I have been a victim of verbal or physical sexual harassment in a game store, game group, convention or other gaming environment, and I am a:

1) Male

2) Female
What do you think the breakdown would be?
 
So, this is _entirely_ about a writer's ability to write persuasively. It is about the piss poor excuse that such cheap shots are needed in order to be heard.
It's not a cheap shot at all.

On the contrary, it's dead on accurate.

And before you trot out the tired false comparison about men being victims too, make sure you can provide examples of male gamers, or men involved in the gaming industry, that receive rape threats and death threats on the same scale that women do, to the point that they fear for their personal safety and that of their families, and worry over their job security.

That's part of the real life problem being discussed here.

******

Morrus mentioned earlier that he's not sure about how to keep the discussion focused. I'd say one way to do it is for EN World to write it into the Code of Conduct that the website recognizes that harassment exists in gaming, it is largely targeted at women, and such is to the great detriment of the gaming community.

Because of this, discussions on harassment will be moderated tightly. The value of generating useful discussion on how to deal with the problem will be emphasized. Complaints about the sources of information are not allowed.

Or something to that effect.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
I'd say one way to do it is for EN World to write it into the Code of Conduct that the website recognizes that harassment exists in gaming, it is largely targeted at women, and such is to the great detriment of the gaming community.
I don't think that would have the effect you desire. Even if discussions like this get heated or ugly, a policy along those lines might ultimately end meaningful discussions the topic on the merits. It's too specific.

My own perspective on the 2 recent threads is this: while things HAVE gotten ugly at times, on the whole, I have personally been enlightened as to the pervasiveness & breadth of the issue. I don't attend that many gaming cons. 99% of my gaming exeperience has been in groups dominated by straight white males- thinking HARD, I can name 6 women, 1 gay guy, two black guys and one Asian guy with whom I've gamed since 1977. So a lot of what has been described here is alien to my personal experience, and something I only hear about when things get truly out of control.
 
I
And before you trot out the tired false comparison about men being victims too, make sure you can provide examples of male gamers, or men involved in the gaming industry, that receive rape threats and death threats on the same scale that women do,
This offends the hell out of me. First, there is NO documentation in her letter which allows actual fact checking of any of her stories. so you are favoring a double standard. Second, you are further victimizing male victims by marginalizing them with the piss poor excuse men are the primary players of RPGs. This is the same dynamic which has made it hard to respond appropriately to male victims of domestic violence, male rape victims (which is worse given Hermessmann v. Seyer), (such marginalizing enforced by the FBI definition of rape, making it difficult to get good records on male victims) etc.
 
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Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Sure, it is. Because posters have tried to excuse the use of cheap shots (such as "terrorist") on the basis that not using cheap shots means that the message won't be heard.

So, this is _entirely_ about a writer's ability to write persuasively. It is about the piss poor excuse that such cheap shots are needed in order to be heard.
And that's the problem with all these identical threads. That's the takeaway, that it's about a writer's ability to write well, not about the issue of harassment.
 

Rottle

Villager
You missed the Winnipeg Free Press article?
I really wish we could move away from that artical, it's become a poison pill to this subject.

Is the artical really more important then the topic? Is it? Seriously if one artical matters more then harassment in the gaming community then maybe we can just assume harassment is so minor it simply doesn't matter. Both sides keep bringing up this poison pill, but I am mystified why those who want to make change keep allowing themselves to get dragged back into this quagmire.

Please if you really want to address the topic of harassment and what we as gamers can do to make it safer for each other, please do not allow yourself to be dragged into the debates about the artical.
 
maybe we can just assume harassment is so minor it simply doesn't matter.
To me, the issue isn't about whether harassment is so minor it simply doesn't matter. ALL harassment matters. The issue is what to do about it. Using cheap shots like "white male terrorism" is counter-productive. In fact, it is harmful.
 
And that's the problem with all these identical threads. That's the takeaway, that it's about a writer's ability to write well, not about the issue of harassment.
If the original writer made the attempt to write persuasively, maturely, and appropriately about the harassment, the issue wouldn't be about their inability to write well.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
If the original writer made the attempt to write persuasively, maturely, and appropriately about the harassment, the issue wouldn't be about their inability to write well.
I'm not going to be drawn into hypocritically contributing to the problem I'm describing. That means I'm absolutely not going to discuss the author's writing style.

Still not talking about harassment!
 
I'm not going to be drawn into hypocritically contributing to the problem I'm describing. That means I'm absolutely not going to discuss the author's writing style.

Still not talking about harassment!
I see no value in approaching the problem in a counter-productive manner (promoted by her writing style).
 

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