Sections

Celebrating employer excellence in the video games industry

8th July 2021

Submit your company

Intel pulls ads from Gamasutra in response to #GamerGate

Gamasutra says Intel was "flooded with complaints over a recent opinion piece" concerning video game equality

In what seems to be the first actual corporate action in response to #GamerGate, computer chip firm Intel has pulled its advertising support from game development website Gamasutra. "Intel has pulled its advertising from website Gamasutra," Intel spokesperson Bill Calder confirmed to Re/code. "We take feedback from our customers very seriously especially as it relates to contextually relevant content and placements."

More stories

The cannibalization takeaway | This Week in Business

Ubisoft's free-to-play faux pas simply reflective of the industry's increasing hunger for lucrative brand extensions

By Brendan Sinclair

Bohemia revenue up 10% for 2020

Czech developer attributes higher revenue to DayZ and Arma 3

By Jeffrey Rousseau

Latest comments (66)

The #GamerGate hashtag was born from concerns about how women have been treated in games and specifically the ethics of games journalism, but in recent weeks it's unfortunately been closely associated with harassment of women online.
This... is rather inaccurate. That particular hashtag was originally coined by Adam Baldwin to encourage the harassment campaign against Zoe Quinn. It was founded in harassment from the very start.
18Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
James Brightman Editor, North America, GamesIndustry.biz6 years ago
My bad Jessica, I was on vacation, and should have double checked those details first! Fixing now, thanks for pointing out.
8Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Bloody hell, Intel... did no one ever teach you not to feed the trolls?

Edit: Why do you hate grammar?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jehferson Wohllerz Curupana da Rocha e Mello on 2nd October 2014 10:08pm

0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Show all comments (66)
Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 6 years ago
The only explanation I have is that Intel read the article, did not find anything offensive, but regardless took the chance because it means the brand will be all over the Internet for the rest of the week.

The article in question, Gamers are Over, is a very concise, very methodical argument as to why one should not use that term to self-describe. The opposing campaign is working with the politician's toolkit. I have seen this a millions times, it is your basic play if you want to manipulate people with text. Express your emotion, suggest to reader he should have the same emotion, reassure that there are reason why having this emotion is right, then point to walls of text nobody will read at this point. Throw it at enough people and you shall have your personal witch hunt consisting of people angry enough to do what you say, while still to lazy to ask the right questions. It is the 21st century in a nutshell so far, if you ask me.

If the public perception of gamers is dominated by people organizing into virtual witch hunts without offering any sort of reasonable arguments, then the term really will be forfeit, since it will no longer be attached to a positive culture. I rather use #Elene from now on, ELectronic ENtertainment Enthusiast.
8Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Asif A. Khan, CPA Financial Reporter 6 years ago
Welcome back, James!
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Tanya Rei Myoko Programmer 6 years ago
I'm just glad they didn't threaten to kill anyone on this one. Anita wouldn't have associated feminism with deception had they reacted this peacefully to her
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Robin Clarke Producer, AppyNation Ltd6 years ago
I can just about give Intel the benefit of the doubt that some ad buyer far down the chain saw a load of emails coming in and pulled the ads until further instruction from their client.

But the fact that they still haven't publicly addressed this mistake or apologised is disgraceful. They need to defuse this soon before it becomes an even bigger PR disaster for them.

@Barrie Tingle: You understand "#notyourshield" is an astroturf campaign by the harrassers, yes? If you think there's any upside to vandals being able to disrupt the business of a legitimate industry resource, you need to have a bit of a think.
6Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Nicholas Lovell Founder, Gamesbrief6 years ago
I used to be proud to say I am a gamer. I am not anymore. I now call myself "someone who plays games".
3Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
@Christian

*facepalm*
#Notyourshield was literally started as an astroturfing effort by 4channers to make it appear that #gamergate had significantly more support outside of the privileged straight-white-male demographic than it actually has. Gaters were given detailed instructions and directions on creating fake Twitter accounts with stock photos to pose as women, members of ethnic minorities and LGBT individuals in order to, ironically, shield #gamergate from criticism. There are plenty of chatlogs and screenshots to prove this, it's not even just supposition.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jessica Hyland on 3rd October 2014 5:20pm

4Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Nicholas Lovell Founder, Gamesbrief6 years ago
#12 #13 Wow. Just wow.
2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Hector Moran 2d/3d Artist 6 years ago
I'm pretty sure around 10 or so articles in the same day from the games press pretty much giving the finger to "Gamers" has nothing to do with this whole fiasco... Whichever side is right or wrong, that level of "Let them eat cake!" type of attitude from the gaming press is only gonna backfire. *Grabbing some more popcorn to watch the rest of this unfold*
4Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Feel free to never come back to this website again then Scott! I am sure you will be missed.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Rachel Weber Senior Editor, GamesIndustry.biz6 years ago
Hi Scott,
What GamesIndustry.biz promotes is sensible, adult discussion about issues and anything offensive (including personal attacks) will be moderated.
Thanks for taking part in the conversation.
4Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Nicholas Lovell Founder, Gamesbrief6 years ago
I see no argument, Scott. I'm not ashamed to be a gamer because of SJWs. I'm ashamed to be a gamer because of people who believe that games they don't like can only be reviewed well because of corruption. Who spread innuendo about someone's sex life. Who believe that their industry is under attack (It's not). Who believe the majority of "gamers" are on their side (they're not; the majority of people who play games have no idea what you are talking about and wouldn't care if they did.)

This is not about a social justice agenda (although why anyone would be against the systematic poor representation of minorities is beyond me). It is about a campaign that makes me ashamed to be a gamer.
5Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
John, a game developer's sex life is nobody's business but her own. But since you bring it up, nobody Zoe is accused of having slept with has ever reviewed her game nor promoted it beyond occasionally mentioning it in an article alongside many other games. Perhaps the journalists in question also slept with every other game developer whose work they have ever mentioned in passing? Must be busy guys. Strange that the actual journalists accused of being so terribly corrupt haven't been targeted with anything like the same level of hatred and harassment, isn't it?

If you really must get exercised about 'corruption in games media', there are plenty of actual ethical issues worth investigating. Zoe Quinn's sex life is categorically not one of those things.
5Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Iain McNulty Person doing things 6 years ago
@Jessica

That list you linked to is a list of ethical issues in games as a whole, and whilst it is a decent list for what it is the discussion here is about corruption in games media. If the alleged issues that have arisen recently (specifically those of cronyism collusion and nepotism) are not ethical issues in media (be it in games media, or any other kind of media) then what are they?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Iain McNulty on 3rd October 2014 8:38pm

2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Many points in that list pertain specifically to games media, ie. the concerns about Youtubers taking money for coverage and games press being beholden to the wishes of large publishers.
If the alleged issues that have arisen recently (specifically those of cronyism collusion and nepotism) are not ethical issues in media (be it in games media, or any other kind of media) then what are they?
If we're still talking about Zoe Quinn's sex life, they're an incredibly transparent excuse to attack a moderately visible woman, her friends and supporters, and the social justice causes many people involved in games stand for.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jessica Hyland on 3rd October 2014 8:45pm

1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Here's a challenge: find a review of Depression Quest written by any of the guys Zoe has been accused of sleeping with.

I'll wait.
3Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
I think we're digging pretty thoroughly back into 'none of anybody's business but their own' territory there, John.

@Christian
'Damage control'? Leigh has been talking about those issues for years. Not her fault people didn't listen until she hurt the precious feelings of some people who cling a bit too closely to the carefully constructed hypercapitalist consumer identity her article criticised.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jessica Hyland on 3rd October 2014 9:24pm

1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
@Christian
Damn right I'm 'salty'. I am sick to utter death of watching and occasionally being subjected to torrents of abuse from hypersensitive overgrown children because people in the games industry dared to make games not deemed 'real' enough, because people dared to speak up about harassment, because people dared criticise the unhealthy culture that encourages people to build their entire identity around buying and consuming videogames.

You don't know the meaning of 'hateful harassment speech'. Having to sit here and watch you and people like you whinging about your hurt feelings that somehow justify a months-long campaign of harassment, abuse and threats is blood-curdlingly insulting.
4Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Iain McNulty Person doing things 6 years ago
If we're still talking about Zoe Quinn's sex life, they're an incredibly transparent excuse to attack a moderately visible woman, her friends and supporters, and the social justice causes many people involved in games stand for.
I'm not talking about that developer's sex life (in fact I make zero mention of it). The root issues of nepotism, cronyism, and collusion are blatantly ethics that the gaming media (and any other media for that matter) should be concerned with. If I am wrong, please tell me why.
2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
I wouldn't say you're wrong. Leigh's list is by no means intended to be a complete list of every possible ethical concern going in games media at the moment. Hence why it says '(partial)'.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Iain McNulty Person doing things 6 years ago
@Jessica

True, and yet the article lists:
"YouTubers have and continue to accept money to put games before their fervent consumer audiences and are not meaningfully obligated to disclose those relationships."
Why target specifically YouTubers as a one of the "real ethical concerns"? Does that same concern not apply to gaming media as a whole?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Iain McNulty on 3rd October 2014 10:27pm

2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
If the people having tantrums over Leigh's article, harassing, abusing and crusading against Zoe and Anita and Leigh and anyone who breathes wrong in the general direction of that damned hashtag are 'my audience', then I do not want to work in games anymore.

Luckily, they are an incredibly tiny(if extremely vocal) minority. I don't need the custom of people who think that sort of behaviour is in any way justified.
3Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 6 years ago
Let's think Zoe Quinn and gamergate through from beginning to end, yes? How did it start? Oh, really, relationship drama. Srsly, wtf! This is not about feminism, or the media, this is about dicks, plain and simple. Why is this spawning all those proxy wars, they merely exist to lead you around by the nose and attempt to recruit you into a series of personal attacks motivated by private life occurrences. Why is everybody trying to reenact a bad reality TV show? is this some giant flashmob art project trying to do satire on a massive scale?

Same goes for Leigh Alexander, her arguments are not contested with better arguments, but with desperation attacks and generalizations. Sorry, that is not discourse, that is trash. If intellectuals formed groups enforcing their law in the style of an Islamists religious police, there would be no end to the lashings in town squares as a result of this.

You may now cry yourself to sleep over there not being enough supermodels of low moral fiber creating, or reviewing games. Because that was the point in time the games industry went to hell: when people started having relationships. Help me, I want to facepalm but have no hands.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Klaus Preisinger on 4th October 2014 12:53am

0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Rachel Weber Senior Editor, GamesIndustry.biz6 years ago
Hi Scott,
I didn't actually moderate your original comment, merely explained our policy, but I can understand if you're not happy with the standard of discussion required at GamesIndustry.biz. I'll amend your account as requested.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Rachel Weber on 3rd October 2014 11:22pm

1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Tom Keresztes Programmer 6 years ago
I am not sure whats worse, the tone of the comments, or the fact that an industry site started to ban users.

A Slashdot style voting system on comments would do better, but thats only my opinion.
3Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Ben Borthwick Games Journalist 6 years ago
@Iain Of course it does, the entire point of that concern is to ask why said YouTubers are not often held to the same standards as gaming media as a whole.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Ben Borthwick on 4th October 2014 4:18am

2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Konstantinos Giatilis NA 6 years ago
As I saw this whole thing unfold on twitter, as well as most other major sites

Here is a somewhat detailed laying out of facts:


kotaku article: http://tmi.kotaku.com/the-indie-game-reality-tv-show-that-went-to-hell-1555599284
Talks about a televised gamejam, during which ZQ spearheaded a walk-out and the production tanked, even after their demands were met.

Contains: praise of person, mention of game by name, link to article on Gamasutra, various quotes, her intentions to run a game jam of her own. Sources: ZQ, friend she stayed with, friend she slept with.

Article comes out on the 3/31, they start "dating" on 4/1 (next day).http://kotaku.com/in-recent-days-ive-been-asked-several-times-about-a-pos-1624707346 he didn't inform his boss until August.

A few months earlier an article called; Admission Quest: Valve Greenlights 50 More Games
http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2014/01/08/admission-quest-valve-greenlights-50-more-games/#comments
A list of games is provided, 3 games are given praise and internal link to the site: "standouts: powerful Twine darling Depression Quest,".

indiestatik article: http://indiestatik.com/2014/03/31/most-expensive-game-jam/
Contains praise of ZQ, describes how she rallied the troops, she slept on the guys couch after the debacle. Sources: ZQ, friend she slept with.

Worth to note: a 400K show was tanked a man was attacked in public for doing what he was called in to do: spice up a game jam tv show, admittedly not in the best possible way, but the only obvious drama when you decide to film a room of people sitting on computers.

Shortly after the game jam mentioned in the articles is announced (rebeljam), a page is created, there is a donate button, but no other details. Paypal is personal.

Game says part of proceeds go to a charity she has no affiliation with, she had to contact them to make them aware of her presence over a year after the game went on sale. Wiki: In the United States, prevention of charitable fraud is mostly a function of state governments,[7] and laws vary widely from state to state. Approximately 45 states have laws regulating charities and require registration before soliciting donations.


Then in the mid August a blog appears detailing abuse and these affairs. There are pages and pages of chat logs, this is where the connection was made.

Weak or strong it doesn't matter, suddenly coverage for what some people considered a none game on sites that indie developers want to appear on make sense.

Some people focus on the behavior of the person described in the chat logs. They become pretty nasty with their comments. Her nude photos were paid for are downloaded from a site and distributed (not personal - commercially released pornographic photos).

Other start digging around to figure out what has happened, who the other people are and most importantly: DO OTHER PEOPLE DO THIS?


Amongst the 5 people she revealed she cheated with, 1 was the blogger above, the other being her married boss and a few others.

As it turns out things are pretty connected between some devs, indie organizations and journo-bloggers.

The main sentiment here being that indie wasn't tainted by all this crap AAA outfits have been accused of in the past. Suddenly a lot of hyped games get their hype questioned.

And then comes the ban hammer, the DMCAs and all sorts of mass deletions on various sites.

As this is unfolding a familiar face in gamer controversy decides to drop her latest video in the middle of all this. Each video she has posted has created controversy - basically because games in her videos are misrepresented to fit a narrative.

This fuels the fire.
A twitter shit storm falls upon all involved. Some characters get involved, their publicity is questioned, some fishy connections in funding are exposed.

All the sites involved and similar outfits don't allow discussion on their forums, but also don't cover any of this. Suddenly a storm of 14-20 articles drop with titles like the above. This is just kerosene.

The thing really takes off. All the while accusations of misogyny and sexism are hurled left and right, trying to paint the mob as a hate group, yet it is a group as diverse as the human kind. A new hashtag appears. The origin of the hashtag is documented and clear: a black gamer (I'm European) came home and saw the what was happening and started it, gamers from around the world used it, use of the hashtag to people not on twitter was explained in order to boost the signal.

A mailing list of over 150 games journalists and tech bloggers was revealed. Discussion on how to handle the ZQ issue as well as the accusations of collusion was part of leaked emails. Apparently discussing how to cover subjects over a variety of sites is common practice and nothing to worry about.

The digging continued. The writer of the article that led to Intel removing ads has a history of posting racist remarks and attacking or as she boasts: terminating careers with a click.

Anyway there are a lot more details, but these are pertinent to what you have talked about so far.
- There was limited coverage of ZQ on sites someone she was later involved with was working for.
- The #notyourshield is not astro-turfing, limited astro-turfing might have occurred (twitter is rife with that), but there are just too many photos with the tag handwritten that it is simply nonsensical to discard it as astro-turfing.
- The articles on the gamer identity were instigated by a person with frequent racist outbursts.

Some information to note:
- the developer's current boyfriend is a vocal supporter of tearing gaming culture limb to limb (all 5 implicated in the infamous post were also straight white males),
- the boyfriend of the video creator is also her producer, also a vocal supporter attacker of games and gaming culture, Both are straight white males, as is the majority of the staff on all the sites involved (upwards of 80%).

Besides these three very vocal women, all other women implicated have relations (public on twitter) with developers they have covered.

Also worth noting:
- some sites changed their ethics policy,
- some sites went back to old articles and added notes on Conflict of interest - retroactively, although marked as updates.

There are a lot more details, I won't focus on the attacks and doxxing both sides have been a part of. There a lot of details on another feminist crowdfunding campaign that got derailed and then resurrected - an interesting story and catalyst.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Konstantinos Giatilis on 4th October 2014 1:51am

7Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Iain McNulty Person doing things 6 years ago
@Jessica
If the people having tantrums over Leigh's article, harassing, abusing and crusading against Zoe and Anita and Leigh and anyone who breathes wrong in the general direction of that damned hashtag are 'my audience', then I do not want to work in games anymore.
Wait a second, how did we get from discussion to implications of tantrums? Let's get back to discussion, eh? The thing is, with this being life is that not everyone has to agree with everything and everyone from one side of a debate. You see, there are plenty of developers out there who are actually pretty neutral to all the vitriol and pseudofacts that the extreme end of both sides of the debate have been spewing. I count myself as one of the people who would call themselves neutral, I review the facts as I see them, and decide my own opinion based on those facts. And I do not have to take a side, as I see merit in what both sides have to say. However, the second one lumps everyone into the same category as each other because they do not agree with everything you have to say, or have the "If you are anything less than 100% with us then you are against us" mindset then everyone loses, there is no progress, only large steps backwards, detracting from the debate to the point where it gets completely derailed. I am against harassment, I am all for conversation. Both sides need to talk, not harass, or spew vitriol, but talk. It seems to be an emotional issue from both sides, and with good reason, but without conversation the vocal minority from both sides who are waging hate campaigns against the other will find no progress in their words, only an echo chamber of hate.


@Ben
Of course it does, the entire point of that concern is why said YouTubers are not often held to the same standards as gaming media as a whole.
I might have stepped into a time machine upon reading your comment, but was there not an outcry over YouTubers being held to the same standards of disclosure only weeks ago? And in regards to that, from what I can gather part of the Gamergate campaign has been the wanting and need for such transparency from gaming media, be it on blogs, actual games journalism sites, or on video sites such as pre-recorded content on YouTube, or sponsored live streams on Twitch (to name but two examples).
The sad thing is that from an outside view it seems video content producers actually opened up about this at the time, weeks before Gamergate was even a thing (during the aforementioned outcry), even doing interviews with the BBC about the issue, yet the gaming blogs have seemingly done the opposite and close ranks, seeming to refuse to even acknowledge that the transparency issue was even legitimate until the issue started to spiral out of control. As such, it seems that a lot of people have been given the impression that YouTubers want to keep an open dialogue with their audience, but the blogs and website journalists are keeping a very much "us and them" attitude of disconnection towards their audience, seemingly only engaging with their audience only when it benefits them.
Case in point (and to tie this into recent events): John Bain wanted to chair a roundtable discussion about the recent controversies associated with Gamergate, and put out an open invite for YouTubers and "traditional games press" journalists to appear on said show. However although YouTubers were apparently willing to participate, "traditional games press" journalists and bloggers from online gaming websites were generally not so willing, and by that he can be quoted as saying he was met with "walls of silence".
5Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Konstantinos Giatilis NA 6 years ago
This is the Editor At Large and the site's former News Director.:
http://theralphretort.com/gamergate-exposes-leigh-alexander-part-2/

Some of my favorite from this person you want Intel to support:
http://theralphretort.com/wp-content/uploads/EVIDENCE4.jpg
http://imgur.com/o0iWc79.jpg
4Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Ben Borthwick Games Journalist 6 years ago
@Iain - Yes, there was an outcry "weeks ago" - Leigh links to one of the articles that started said outcry in that very post. It's great stuff is happening, and sure some are indeed making steps. It doesn't mean the issue has yet been fully solved - nor does any item on that list magically go away or become any less prominent just because small steps are being taken. To be completely honest from a personal perspective, I'd say a lot of the "old style" media has indeed been open, but sure - there's likely lots of ways they can do better too. But people seem to have much shorter memories for YouTubers than they do old style media - very, very generally speaking. (See how many times in the "games media = corrupt" argument someone brings up Gerstmann/Gamespot stuff - an event that happened in 2007)

@Konstantinos Frankly, I think all those show is a person who goes combing through someone's timeline for tweets that appear to fit the original person's narrative with no consideration or information of the actual context or nuance the poster had at the time of posting.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Konstantinos Giatilis NA 6 years ago
@Ben: I wish it was so. The blog theralphretort has got two posts about her ( http://theralphretort.com/racist-tweets-leigh-alexander-discovered/ ). What is there to consider? Are you saying that there is a right time to be racist on twitter? Hmm, I think it was in the US, fairly recently also, that some business man - not even a journalist - made comments and from what I understand the backlash was pretty severe, I don't even think he went on twitter with his comments.
2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Konstantinos Giatilis NA 6 years ago
from an outside view it seems video content producers actually opened up about this at the time, weeks before Gamergate was even a thing (during the aforementioned outcry), even doing interviews with the BBC about the issue, yet the gaming blogs have seemingly done the opposite and close ranks, seeming to refuse to even acknowledge that the transparency issue was even legitimate until the issue started to spiral out of control. As such, it seems that a lot of people have been given the impression that YouTubers want to keep an open dialogue with their audience, but the blogs and website journalists are keeping a very much "us and them" attitude of disconnection towards their audience, seemingly only engaging with their audience only when it benefits them.
This is exactly what has happened. One group dealt with it, because it was the way forward, you can't just ignore an economic reality. The group that is under fire now is just hiding behind misogyny and sexism, hoping that the tumblr crowd will fight this for them. In the end though the tumblr crowd isn't in this for a living, so I think people should wise up, apologize and stop the preaching.

You have an article here about a game being about sex and the gamers of Steam didn't want it, so Valve took down the Greenlight submission, I don't think an overtly patronizing group of "ethics police" that can't even abide by it's own profession's ethical code, is required. Games are all inclusive by nature, no one knows how you really look and no one really cares, unless they are losing to you, but you aren't going to cure sore losers by attacking all your audience with sweeping generalizations.

A game isn't bad if it allows you to do bad things and that's as simple as it gets. (I've even heard that sandbox games allow for too much freedom, yes, what we developers have tried to do for years now is too much...I ...what do you say to that?)
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Iain McNulty Person doing things 6 years ago
Yes, there was an outcry "weeks ago" - Leigh links to one of the articles that started said outcry in that very post. It's great stuff is happening, and sure some are indeed making steps. It doesn't mean the issue has yet been fully solved - nor does any item on that list magically go away or become any less prominent just because small steps are being taken. To be completely honest from a personal perspective, I'd say a lot of the "old style" media has indeed been open, but sure - there's likely lots of ways they can do better too. But people seem to have much shorter memories for YouTubers than they do old style media - very, very generally speaking. (See how many times in the "games media = corrupt" argument someone brings up Gerstmann/Gamespot stuff - an event that happened in 2007)
@ Ben
You're right, the issue has not yet been completely solved, with video content producers NOR traditional media in fact, given the latter have been around as long as the games industry itself, it is somewhat lame that they have not cleaned up their act by now, yet are accusing video content producers of making the same mistakes, sounds like a classic case of projection if anything. However unlike the traditional media it seems that video content producers are actually addressing such concerns, and quickly too, making declarations where there is a conflict of interest and such, so in seeing that the consumers have been asking why traditional media journalists and bloggers are finding it so hard to make such declarations themselves. And that is a very good question to ask.
Using online video hosting sites as a means to disseminate gaming news and gaming media is only a very recent thing (something which has gone MASSIVE in the past two to three years, and is something which will continue to grow), so you would be hard pressed to find such a controversy from the YouTubers from 2007. To say that people have a short memory for YouTubers and then use an example from 2007 seems very much to be false equivalence. The real test of such things will be in about five years time, and whether recent controversies will be remembered, and how they are remembered.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Brook Davidson Artist / 3D design 6 years ago
Honestly, I try my best to ignore this kind of stuff. It's all non sense on both sides. People need to learn to just relax and not take everything so seriously.
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Konstantinos Giatilis NA 6 years ago
When exposure is the biggest problem indie games are facing at the moment I think it's not something to take lightly. You have to pay attention in order to understand where things are going and who will be open to covering your game.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Ben Borthwick Games Journalist 6 years ago
@Iain I'm not saying the traditional side is clean, but if we're waiting for a "those without sin casting the first stone" situation we're going to be waiting an incredibly long time, frankly. I would argue that most traditional media indeed HAS been making constant steps to improve transparency ever since the 2007 thing, certainly in my experience - fair enough, it can be argued that therefore obviously it hasn't been enough - but I would also argue the way the methods YouTubers are putting into practice has come from the several years that traditional media has done it to fine out what constitutes "enough" and making it clear, and on top of this there's the argument that video - as a medium - gets stuff over more quickly. This is a very quick and dirty example, but compare a three second disclaimer at the start of a video compared to big banners all over a webpage leaving barely any room for the content. All sides are still learning. The thing is for most "traditional" forms of media, there have been ethics rules and guidelines in place for many years that have changed as time goes on. Relatively speaking, YouTube is young yet has grown exponentially, and many YouTubers don't even have any background in traditional media practices for stuff like ethics etc, so it's right that they should be trained up in it.

And that's before we come to the whole argument as to what actually constitutes "corruption" and not. That's a whole other issue, and that's not going to be something solvable in one swoop. It's completely understandable why YouTubers aren't aware or as learned in these things as traditional media as they're a younger medium. But many of the audience seem to take for granted both are already held to the same standards when they're not. It's almost exactly like the whole debate about whether games "journalists" should be held to the same standards as "real" journalists when the majority of us don't even consider ourselves "real" journalists or have many, many, many different roles within our remit, we just have the title as there's no real other good way to categorise our roles as a catch-all term.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Ben Borthwick on 4th October 2014 6:42pm

0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Ben Borthwick Games Journalist 6 years ago
@konstantinos I'm not saying there is a "wrong" or "right" time to be racist on Twitter. I'm saying without context we have literally no idea how actually racist someone may or may not be being with their statement. Many of those tweets might be personal conversations with friends, or in-jokes that we're not privvy to, an angry heat-of-the-moment outburst or a multitude of other things in between - not to mention the fact many of those are pulled from years and years ago. People seem to forget that voices on the internet are people. And as such, they can make mistakes, change their minds and viewpoints over time and situations. Taking someone's tweets - from their personal twitter account too mind - without any frame of reference, you can potentially make any narrative you want to believe, whether that's to confirm already held suspicions, debunk someone else or whatever.

I'll admit I'm slightly biased as I've been following Leigh and her work for a long time (and I'm sure some will take that statement to disregard anything I may say), but I don't always agree 100% with every single tweet she may or may not make - and I never expect to. I also don't expect everyone else to have the same prior knowledge of Leigh or context of stuff she's said in the past as I do either, but that's exactly why taking old tweets out of context is an inherently flawed method of proving almost literally anything.

It should also be noted that Intel have now (rather half-heartedly at 5:30pm on a Friday mind) apologised, insisting they didn't want to "take sides." So now it seems there's very little evidence to suggest that their actions have been much more than reacting to mob pressure.
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Konstantinos Giatilis NA 6 years ago
So is it okay to be a little racist?
I know a lot of people too. None of them have had the need to express such opinions, let alone in public. If she can't behave in public maybe she isn't cut out for the job. I know that a lot of the minimum job workers she also routinely makes fun of have probably never needed to resort to racial remarks and can probably critique games more objectively, since they aren't "traumatized" by gamer nerd bullies when they were twelve or at least they don't let that taint their whole lives.

What you are saying is basically that someone is a person, so they can make mistakes. OK, fair enough.

Do you know what else is true? People get fired over these mistakes. Leigh would know, she brags about ending careers all the time. They made the mistake of being in her path and looking at her wrong.

Look I understand you might have an appreciation for someone, because they have written something you like. I like Lovecraft, I know he had racist sentiments, I don't apologize for him and I understand why he had those views. That doesn't make them right, that doesn't make them defensible, that certainly doesn't give him/her the right to call others what she has done, with proof and stay beyond reproach. To be frank if I had a boss and I was such an idiot that not only I had offended black people, Irish people, the main demographic supporting the whole industry I am part of, lost a high profile advertizing client I would think he would at least have the decency to fire me on the spot, let alone defend my drunken rants.

This is not an attack on you, you might like LA, but I understand that you are not her and I certainly don't think you agree 100%.

I do expect you to condemn her actions and not act like there is nothing to see here or that Intel wasn't right to pull support from a site that tries to antagonize a whole demographic with inaccuracies.

I have an exercise for you. Flip the gender of the author and change games to clothes.
4Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Tanya Rei Myoko Programmer 6 years ago
@Jessica, the accusation is "One of his most contentious (and unproven) accusations: that she slept with a gaming journalist at Kotaku who helped secure favorable coverage and publicity for her game Depression Quest.", not that she slept with someone to get a better review. Given how many times Anita Scamseesian was caught lying, you shouldn't do the same. It's bad enough she associated feminism with deception.
5Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Depression Quest got good reviews all over many websites; Zoe didn't need to sleep with anybody to get recognition for her genuinely interesting and insightful game and the conspiracy theories idiots like you have been concocting because you can't handle the idea that a woman could actually be successful off her own talents are goddamned sad.

Also, are you twelve years old or did you somehow manage to mistype Anita Sarkeesian's name? You need to do some serious growing up, man.
4Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Maged Hamdy Studying Computer Science, Rochester Institute of Technology6 years ago
Did you really just get corrected into an even WORSE innacuracy?

The GamerGate hashtag was made to combat journalistic corruption.

'Gamers' sent those letters as a response to Leigh Alexander's hate articles which essentially marked a demographic with a big broad brush of evil.

People then used that to go ahead and doxx a 10 year old, several female and male youtubers, transgendered teenagers, and the rest.

So yea, I'd tell intel to back out. Why? It's hate. It's caused several people to lose their livelihoods. And it's also racist.
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Ben Borthwick Games Journalist 6 years ago
@Konstantinos I think you misinterpreted what I said - I wasn't saying it's OK to be a little racist, I'm saying some remarks taken out of context mean we can't tell just from a tweet if she was actually being racist. Or indeed if she was using an example of something to make a point. We can't really tell anything about the situation that caused those words from an out-of-context tweet.

And frankly, I'm not just going on because Leigh's written something I like. Like I said, I've followed her career for a long time. Is she outspoken? Hell yes. Is she always perfect? Hell no. "If she can't behave in public maybe she isn't cut out for the job?" how the hell is how she acts in public in any way a reflection on how she does her job? If that were the case, maybe you should go down to a nightclub or similar and tell anyone walking past they shouldn't be doing their job. Has she bragged about ending careers? Sure - but Leigh has a very bullish personality. Should she therefore not be surprised when she receives an equally hot-tempered response? Maybe, but that's largely irrelevant to the conversation. (And frankly from the evidence I've seen no-one, no matter how bullish, deserves the response many similar folk in the industry get for daring to speak up.)

Part of Leigh's job IS to have opinions. You don't have to agree with them, but she can have them and isn't doing anything that's against her role by putting these opinions down in an opinion column. Her experiences inform those opinions, as do her reactions. So the article that this whole thing comes from isn't what I'm calling a mistake. But like I said the other tweets we have no idea the context of what they're from. Would you like to be fired (for example) for something you said five years ago in a thing that had nothing to do with anything you're doing now? Yes, things come back to haunt you, but again, there is no context to base these tweets in to relate them to anything. My point is not so much that they're mistakes rather that there could be any number of plausible explanations for them. Using them is just akin to confirmation bias.

As for what this whole article thing is, it's pretty irking that - for the most part - it stems from a complete misunderstanding and misinterpretation of what Leigh's article was about - it was not "insulting a whole demographic" - it was about how the typical idea of a gamer as a primary audience to make a game for is dead, because the label is these days too broad to have a separate meaning. And the real kicker is - Gamasutra's "audience" - unlike what many people attacking that article seem to believe - isn't "gamers" but developers. So it was an indication that many developers are no longer making their games to the concept of gamers as a niche, because now everyone is - to varying degrees - a gamer. To put it another way, Activision doesn't make a game for "gamers" - they make a game for "shooter fans". And thinking that just the act of playing games should mean you're more important to a studio than other members of the audience just isn't true, because there are no true "other members of the audience." Everyone plays games now, and game development is by and large reflecting that.

Could it have been worded better? (Heck, I'm certain my explanation I just tried to make can be too) Maybe, maybe not - I think it's kinda too early to say and that's more her decision than anyone else's after all is said and done, but people attempting to go over her head to petitioning to have advertising removed from a piece that was always meant to be an opinion - which, let's be honest - is essentially an effort to silence her, and reeks more of censorship than anything else!

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Ben Borthwick on 5th October 2014 12:22am

0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
For once, I actually agree with Christian.

The problems with games media aren't Leigh Alexander penning an angry critique of the concept of the 'gamer' on a developer site, they're not the existence of indie developers like Zoe Quinn, they're big PR departments and huge amounts of money being spent on parties, swag, hotels and 'exclusive previews'. They're Metacritic scores being used to determine developer bonuses and they're websites running enormous advertising campaigns for the very games they're supposed to be reviewing for their audiences.

Until the #gamergate group starts actually taking an interest in real issues in the games media rather than chasing women and feminists and screaming at tiny indie developers, their objective is clearly nothing but harassment and formless, pointless rage. Until then, nobody outside of their angry little pity-party will take them seriously.

Don't mistake Intel's kneejerk response(and half-hearted 'apology' for the implications of said response) to being spammed by these people as 'taking them seriously'. Huge corporations are stupid and reactionary and that's exactly what this kind of mailbombing campaign relies on.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jessica Hyland on 5th October 2014 10:25am

2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Ben Borthwick Games Journalist 6 years ago
@Christian Don't get me wrong, I do agree the trad side also needs work too, I was just addressing why YouTubers are seemingly being put forward as one of the main issues - if only because the main issue there is because they're such a relatively young medium that they don't - or didn't until very recently - have guidelines to follow, yet comparatively seem to get much less vitriol on those issues.

As I said before, if anyone was waiting for one "side" (for want of a better phrase anyway, the "us versus them" mentality does no-one any favours) to be completely clean before they're allowed to criticise the other group, we'd be waiting an incredibly long time. If there's one thing both camps agree on is that yes, there is work to be done. The argument comes from the aspects being ill-prioritised by various angry mobs claiming to represent both sides and the ill-advised reactionary responses from corporations.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Ben Borthwick on 5th October 2014 1:22pm

0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Iain McNulty Person doing things 6 years ago
@Ben
Relatively speaking, YouTube is young yet has grown exponentially, and many YouTubers don't even have any background in traditional media practices for stuff like ethics etc, so it's right that they should be trained up in it.
And what is what is so awesome about the video content producers, recently it seems that they have been putting traditional games media to shame when it comes to consideration of ethics issues, and a lot of the video content producers do not even have a background in journalism! For you to say they need training up in ethics when traditional media demonstrates an inherent lack of ethics is, again, blatant projection.
It's completely understandable why YouTubers aren't aware or as learned in these things as traditional media as they're a younger medium. But many of the audience seem to take for granted both are already held to the same standards when they're not. It's almost exactly like the whole debate about whether games "journalists" should be held to the same standards as "real" journalists when the majority of us don't even consider ourselves "real" journalists or have many, many, many different roles within our remit, we just have the title as there's no real other good way to categorise our roles as a catch-all term.
You keep saying how these "YouTubers" do not know what ethics are, except it is abundantly clear that in recent times they seem to have been showing more awareness of ethical issues (and been better at adapting to the consumers want and need for more transparency) than the traditional games media. I guess traditional games media just feels threatened by YouTubers and other video content producers taking their market share, and rightly so, since video content producers (be them on YouTube, Twitch, or elsewhere) will continue to grow their share of the market, and will do as long as traditional games media continues to treat it's consumers the way they have done with an "us and them" attitude. But that is nothing new, gaming media holding such an attitude towards their consumers, it was like that back in the early 1990's too, and has not changed since.
2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Iain McNulty Person doing things 6 years ago
I actually referred to that in one of my earlier comments ;)
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Ben Borthwick Games Journalist 6 years ago
@Iain The thing is, I would argue many traditional media were already doing the things the YouTube folk are being praised for now. Yet still some will bring up something that happened ages ago and claim nothing's changed. Again, I'd personally say it's a bit more to do with the nature of the different mediums wherein video generally gives you all the information in one, while it's harder to make sure someone reads every word on a page and getting the balance right between not patronising the reader and making things absolutely clear. And of course, the fact a YouTuber generally has to answer to no-one but their own audience, where traditional media often have people behind the people - and sadly it's the front line folk who end up taking the brunt of the heat.

Whether trad-media sees YouTube as a threat, I don't want to speak for anyone on that - I personally think it's better if they're working together - but the way again all of these debates are seen by many as "us versus them" between trad-media and YouTube - just the same as seeing the "audience versus trad-media" thing are all perception problems. I'd like to think people from all sides don't intend to do that consciously, but yeah - I'll agree it's a tough one.

Edited 2 times. Last edit by Ben Borthwick on 5th October 2014 7:32pm

1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Konstantinos Giatilis NA 6 years ago
@Ben: seriously? you are defending those tweets? What other meaning do they have, please speculate freely. She is free to have opinions and Intel has the right to pull advertizing when those opinions are a liability.

How can someone seriously defend someone calling people hoodrats or calling people ghetto something and calling that mild in the same sentence.

Other people - usually men - don't get such: well maybe context. I will repeat: just a few weeks ago someone was crucified for what they said in private and you have the gal to defend this person who doesn't think before she writes?
2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Konstantinos Giatilis NA 6 years ago
They owned up to it Anthony, they didn't hide behind misogyny accusations, nor did they produce: gamers are dead videos. A lesson maybe there.
0Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Konstantinos Giatilis NA 6 years ago
@Jessica: Are you accusing Adam Baldwin of encouraging harassment? Seriously?

OK... would you please tell him that on twitter, I would love to hear his reply.
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Why would I willingly interact with that mess?

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jessica Hyland on 5th October 2014 10:36pm

1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Ben Borthwick Games Journalist 6 years ago
@Christian I don't think at any point I claimed there was a squeaky clean record on either side - like I keep saying, there's work to be done on all sides. Do companies attempt this sort of thing often? Yes. But are those attempts actually successful often? No. That's not to say they never are - but the occasions they do are very few and far between, and -at most - a tiny minority. But the companies offering the bribes in the first place? Of course that's an issue - and it's one that trad media - at least in my experience - is trying to rally against as much as people are. Yet - relatively speaking - those offering the gifts seem to get off relatively scott-free by the users, while the media outlets take the heat.

You say none of the "journos" got fired (whether they should be outright fired is another debate entirely frankly) but to use an example I'm more familiar with, let's go back a couple of years to the Rob Florence/Doritosgate scandal from a few years ago. Can you - without looking it up - name the game or company that the free PS3s given at the awards ceremony were for that kicked the whole scandal off? People call for the firing of writers, and make controlled campaigns like this one this original article this entire comment thread is about - which is essentially an attempt to get an opinion columnist fired for writing an opinion piece ie: her job - and yet (back to the Doritosgate example) barely a peep about anyone from the publisher/PR company who caused the whole mess.

To give a further example, Ubisoft recently tried to give journos at a Watch Dogs event a free tablet. Many gave them back without accepting them, many still then went on to write about this happening with a view of exposing the practice and how they were against it.

Yet still, most of these campaigns often target the outlet, not the publisher who offered it in the first place. My point is that YouTubers were mentioned specifically in that linked list of "actual" issues not because other media is necessarily clean, but because there's often attacks on trad media not getting the complicated stuff right, while some YouTubers aren't even doing the basics right yet - I'm not meaning to take anything away from what those YouTubers who have managed to do in terms of transparency, of course.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Ben Borthwick on 6th October 2014 1:18am

3Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Ben Borthwick Games Journalist 6 years ago
@Konstantinos Why should I speculate freely when my exact point is that they are not good enough to prove she's being racist as all we have to go on is speculation? I'm not necessarily defending the exact words. What I am saying is that they have no basis to be used to prove a thing that's happening now without any context from when they were made, whether they were public or private isn't even a relevant factor here because all her tweets are public. They were addressing someone, sure that's relevant, but that's a separate thing from being said in private or public, and unless we know both parties and their points of view and intent, what they were discussing and a whole multitude of other things from snippets of posts made at completely separate and often unrelated times we literally don't have enough information to go on without making jumps to conclusions that will inevitably be made using our own already seated biases.
2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 6 years ago
None of the publications digging through piles of free games as their business model ended up spearheading the Let's Play movement. The ethical dilemma of getting all games from all publishers is something the media have found ways to deal with, there is a way to retain credibility with the consumer. At the same time, the free games deliveries trapped the publications in a narrow way of thinking, which lead to trends being missed. It is not like there was competition between games media channels and grass root Youtubers, which then lead to grass roots Youtubers winning due to their ethical stances and credibility.
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Craig Burkey Software Engineer 6 years ago
It's sad the games journalism industry seems intent on attacking the long term audience, and enjoys talking down to them, making mass generalizations based on the actions of an idiotic vocal minority... a lot decent consumers identify with the term 'gamer', so it's highly inflammatory to declare "'Gamers' don't have to be your audience. 'Gamers' are over" in an editorial, while commend Intel for making a stand on behalf of their customers, I'd much rather gamasutra had published a counterpoint article offering an alternative opinion.

Rather than bashing the audience that exists, focus on growing the audience, but it's going to be a slow multi generational slog to get the audience levels for new types of games aimed at other audiences to get to the level that, when the next generation of console/processor/gfxcard is released that they'll be in the queue side by side with the "straight white male gamers" and "lonely basement kids"
6Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Robin Clarke Producer, AppyNation Ltd6 years ago
@Konstantinos Giatilis

This is a site for industry members, not conspiracy theorists. Please go away.
5Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Robin Clarke Producer, AppyNation Ltd6 years ago
@Christian

No it isn't. Documentary evidence of this has already been linked to.

Please feel free to argue in favour of a harrassment campaign on your own site. This is supposed to be an inclusive industry site.
2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
There's 'different opinions' and there's 'actual reality'. In the real world that most of us inhabit, #gamergate is a vector for sometimes startlingly vicious misogynist, anti-feminist, anti-social justice ideology and harassment of anyone who doesn't toe the party line.

I've lost count of the number of times I've seen it used as a rallying cry to call in reinforcements, to intensify harassment against women who never wanted anything to do with the hashtag but happened to be talking about their experiences of sexist harassment in games on Twitter. It's organised harassment, you cannot possibly give that behaviour any other name.
3Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Robin Clarke Producer, AppyNation Ltd6 years ago
I am sorry you feel victimised for speaking up in favour of a harrassment campaign.
2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Craig Burkey Software Engineer 6 years ago
This toxic narrative that all "Gamers" are misogynistic harassers is completely uncalled for and deeply hurtful to many people
8Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Ben Borthwick Games Journalist 6 years ago
@Christian I didn't mean to imply you specifically asked for people to be fired, but you did say that "The Journalists that were involved in both cases are still writing articles, reviews, opinion pieces, etc." - if they're not doing those things, what else are they doing? You are - even if not overtly - essentially calling for them to cease writing, ie - their jobs.

Again, the entire crux of what this article is about - a campaign to get Intel to pull their sponsorship for a website hosting an article with the eventual end goal that the website decides to drop the writer and furthermore so the writer they are unable to work again anywhere because advertisers are no longer willing to have their ads associated with the writer is for all intents and purposes a campaign to get that writer fired and blackballed, even if in an indirect fashion.

I don't follow Sterling's work so I can't really comment on that incident(quite frankly, up until recently I would have put him in the YouTuber category, that's how little I follow his work) - but sure, there will be examples of making mistakes, his views aren't necessarily those of the whole industry - we don't agree on many things ourselves at all more often than we do. The very same behaviour that's being held against the anti-GG lot: lumping a subset together under the actions of a small minority, is exactly what the pro-GG lot are doing back - assuming all gaming outlets speak for all other gaming outlets. It's rather tiring because many perceive highlighting areas that need work from one side means that side putting them out must think they're scott-free or absolved from things themselves.
1Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Ben Borthwick Games Journalist 6 years ago
@Craig I said earlier, but that's not even really what the "Gamers are dead" articles were about though. Ironically enough, Asus posted a great example today of the message those pieces were actually about - https://twitter.com/L1keMike/status/519072318912749569 - the idea of "gamers" as an easily pigeon-holed stereotype based on negative archetypes that should be pandered to. Those are what is dead. I'll concede maybe it can be argued that they're a little too easily open to interpretation, (I'm not going to pretend I read every single one nor that I could hope to write one better myself.) but it's sad that the voices that are intent on having them destroyed are way, way louder than any genuine rebuttal pieces that don't see them as attacks on people rather than concepts.

(And to note: Asus quickly pulled the ad and apologised for it too: https://twitter.com/ASUSUK/status/519072382280294400 )

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Ben Borthwick on 6th October 2014 3:06pm

2Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply
Ben Borthwick Games Journalist 6 years ago
@Christian The thing is, I would argue many of them do indeed realise when they've made a mistake, but there will always be exceptions. And sometimes people might not realise if they've made a mistake until later after they've had time to take it in and see what they've done wrong and talk about it with others in the industry. The thing is, if they - even freelancers - talk with each other to discuss things - it's seen as collusion. (See things like the GamesJournoPro list) Damned if they do, etc...
3Sign inorRegisterto rate and reply

Sign in to contribute

Need an account? Register now.