Picking Sides

I’m having a hard time coming up with the right way to type what I’m about to say because I realize the moment I step “out of line” in terms of wording I’ll be attacked.  Nonetheless I’ll do my best but I figured I’d let you know this isn’t going to be your standard article that typically comes from Frantic Talks.

A year ago I brought my friend Grunt on to write articles with me and I have really enjoyed bouncing ideas off of him and giving him a platform to write on since he wants to be a journalist.  Upon seeing it was our “1 Year Anniversary” I did some reflecting on everything I’ve written and the criticisms it has entailed.

First and foremost I am no expert.  I have opinions that I believe to be true and I have had personal experiences with video games, music, and movies and that’s why I started this site.  Recently the focus has been more on gaming than on the other 2, which is totally fine, but I really wish I had written more about the other topics.  Those topics just didn’t get much feedback, interest, or discussion like I wanted them to so I had us focus on something else, or rather the one thing people seemed to always come back to the blog for.

Gaming, got the biggest responses in terms of feedback, interest, and discussion, both negative and positive.  What I found was the more controversial we got with topics, the more negative responses we received.  I can’t say I’m surprised, but I did get some negative responses for what would seem to be more “factual” or “attempted factual” topics.  Let me give you a prime example:

A few weeks ago I wrote about GamerGate and how I pretty much supported the cause for ethics in gaming journalism.  Well that received great support, albeit from the GamerGate community.  Again, can’t say I’m surprised.  Anyways after I wrote that article I started browsing KotakuInAction (KiA) daily because my interest in the topic was unfulfilled just reading the timelines.  After a while I noticed that the people on the sub seemed to be pretty flagrant towards opposing opinions, just like the people they were “protesting” (“Feminists”, SJWs, etc.) and I started questioning my stances on being a Feminist.

I decided to create a survey to which people could answer on how “offended” they were given specific types of scenarios.  Here’s the survey if you’d like to see it yourself.  What this survey was intended to do was find out just how many people in the gaming community were really offended by the things many gaming outlets were claiming were offensive.  I’ll admit it’s not the best survey ever, but I submitted it to KiA to get an overall feedback as to whether or not the survey was neutral enough to be released to the masses.  I got more flack for submitting it to that sub (along with a rude response here and there) than real feedback.  One person mentioned adding another option to the survey while others were just basically saying “Half of these questions don’t even apply to me” when the questions were simply “Are you offended if race/gender isn’t represented in a game” which applies to everyone.

I decided to stop accepting responses to the survey and was honestly avoiding my Reddit inbox for a whole weekend because I just didn’t want to read some of the responses. Maybe I was afraid of extremely harsh criticism, maybe I just didn’t have faith in my own survey.  Either way, I avoided it but it lingered and lingered until I checked it.  Nothing really terrible or hateful, just harsh criticisms.  Again, what can I expect?

About a week later I was browsing CircleBroke2 (basically circlejerk except they talk more in-depth about some of the dumb stuff that happens on Reddit than just being a parody) and I came across a post about KiA where the title was “UPDATE: removing revenge porn apparently makes you “hard-line SJW” according to KiA” and it was talking about how KiA labeled GitLab as terrible because they interpreted what the CEO had said as he didn’t support Free Speech.  While I won’t comment on what he said, I commented on the CircleBroke2 post by saying, and I quote:

I’m relatively new to KiA and I sometimes feel like they argue for ethics when in reality they get upset at companies having moral codes they want others to follow.
Believe me Im all against censorship and what not but banning revenge porn is something I totally agree with. I totally understand banning Fat People Hate but didnt get why Coontown stayed.
KiA seems to say they want people to keep their agenda out of everything but in reality they just push their own agenda and hate when its stopped.
The more and more I browse, the more I feel like they fight for ethics but are extreme in their own way, just like the people theyre fighting

If you don’t follow Reddit drama then that second paragraph might not make total sense but nonetheless that comment got a good amount of upvotes.  Someone responded to me:

The people they’re fighting don’t exist, FYI.

And this got me a bit upset because I know for a fact that they do exist.  Maybe not in terms of a vast majority of social activists but there are a lot of people.  Anyways I responded:

Idk Ive seen some pretty bad articles of people theyre fighting against. Like one that was upset you couldnt play as a girl in Legend of Zelda… like… why cant you play as a guy in Metroid?

They are figthing a loud minority, but they do a good job making it seem as if its a majority

To which he responded:

If you think this is something worth “fighting” against, then KiA is probably a more suitable sub for you than CB. The “why can’t you play as a guy in Metroid?” Excuse illustrates the fact that the issue flys right over your head to begin with.

Edit: Never mind. I was on mobile. I had a feeling you were a sealion and checked on PC and sure enough you’re tagged as a Gamergater.

Makes so much more sense now. Fuck off.

And then from there on out everything I posted in that thread (including my original comment with lots of upvotes) got downvoted. The moment someone found out I supported GamerGate I was labeled as something they hated.

My purpose of sharing this isn’t to show you a conversation I had with some random internet person but to bring to light something I’ve witnessed all too much and that is taking sides.

Ah yes the “if you’re not with us then you’re against us” mentality.  In a world obsessed with labels I guess it makes sense.  Instead of calling someone a Pro-Choice, Anti-War person, we instead call them a “Liberal” because it’s less syllables, less breath, and much easier. We move about our day because we associate the label with those beliefs.  The problem with this is that we label people who may have differing opinions than the majority.  Prime example: Feminism.

Ever heard the term Femi-nazi?  Well it’s the generic term for an over-zealous Feminist who is typically anti-male.  They take the Feminism belief and typically misconstrue it to make it seem like women are so much more better than men.  They tend to give classical Feminists a bad name.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard or seen Feminists labeled immediately as Femi-nazis. I do realize I just gave you a label for a minority of a bigger label… But it’s hard to prove my point if I don’t bring that up.

My point in all of this isn’t to just educate you on labels and why they are bad when we start over-generalizing, my point is to make you rethink hating someone for a specific label they’ve been given.  I’m not what the media has painted a typical GamerGater to be like.  I don’t spread hate towards SJWs or Feminists, I try to spread awareness of ethics in journalism. Because GG has such a negative stigma I instead get my fair share of hate for being associated with it.  I get a fair share of hate from Conservatives for being a Liberal.  I get a fair share of hate for not being aligned with any one religion from those who are aligned with their own.

Picking a side is how many people identify with themselves.  It wasn’t until I got into Feminism that I realized how much of a love for animals and the planet I have (I realize the 2 may have literally nothing to do with each other).  The problem is that it’s a double-edged sword.  I’m absolutely guilty of seeing a big Ford F-150 and immediately assuming the person is probably a “country-boy conservative who measures his manhood through his capability to fight someone” and that is horrible of me.  I never voice this, but the fact that it comes into my mind just upsets me.

If you are to take anything away from this, then take away the fact that you shouldn’t assume someone believes XYZ just because they’ve been associated with people who believe those things.  It’s pretty crazy how the “Make an Ass out of U and ME” really applies to this situation… But I digress.

In other news we are going to shift the focus of Frantic Talks into 100% gaming instead of splitting it 3 ways.  It just makes the most sense from the information we have and the amount of interest it sparks up.  So I hope you’re looking forward to that as much as we are!

Until next time…

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