I do not know if this will help but I sincerely hope it does. I can at least say that I tried.
This is not a typical transmission. There won’t be intense research carried out by me and I’ll take no ownership of the hard work of those who did. There won’t be any detailed visuals either. In fact I’m already doing something I try to avoid as I am currently using the first person. While this presentation goes against the channel’s theme it seems recent events have placed us in a position and I feel have to speak.
Just as with my previous videos, this transmission should be viewed by everyone but parts of it are directed at the game industry, more specifically the gaming press.
So to anyone in the industry who is watching, Good evening and thank you for your time.
The fallout and response surrounding Zoe Quinn’s private life has demonstrated the ever present rift that separates those of us who are passionate but disagree. While neither side is free from blame this has shine a light on the rampant cronyism that plagues the gaming press and where vilifying dissent was once sufficient people are now being silenced. This is a sign that those of us who dared to be skeptical were not unrealistic in our conclusions.
When people were confused by Gone Home’s pre-emptive praise they were demonized not just for asking questions but for feeling different. Before Lauren Wainright pressured Eurogamer and Rab Florence into changing an article that questioned the ties between press and PR, there were signs there for those who cared to look. There were signs that something was wrong. The lack of insight by those new to medium, small omissions and shaming of alternate views was enough to maintain appearances.
Part of the press has presented itself as morally superior and those who disagreed with them as any number of awful things; immature, sexist, racist, entitled, elitist, exclusionary, etc. These are the same people who want to champion the maturation of video games as an art form but at the same time are quick cry bigotry when presented with ideas and opinions they find objectionable. How can we have art, if it is not allowed to make us question the human condition? How can it be art if the artist and the appreciator and discouraged from exploration?
This is of course not directed to all people within the gaming press. There are those amongst you who do good honest work. You get paid very little but still work very hard. There have been people who have come and gone and some that have made mistakes and learned from them. We cannot speak in absolutes and generalities about each other. This is unfair. Callously making those generalities is how we have gotten to where we are.
With regards to Zoe,
I do not know her personally. I do not know what her deepest fears and most ambitious dreams are and I cannot speak about her with the same absolutes that she and her peers use to vilify others. I can only speak of the actions that have been displayed and comment on the results of them. She presents herself as a moral victim but acts callous and celebrates the intimidation of others. She misjudges people and encourages those who look up to her to act just as harshly. She has proven her own lies with contradictory statements and even branded a charity effort to promote female game designers as being hateful, regardless of their efforts to communicate with her.
She has hurt so many and instead of apologizing she acts indignant. Regardless of what she’s done I am sorry she has been harassed. I am sorry she has gotten calls and threats. I have received death threats before. My peers have had their houses called. None of us has acted like she has but I would not even wish that on her.
The details of her private life should not matter but it is her status as victim and moral authority that she has built her career on and the bonds she has formed are a clear conflict of interest..
Do not forget what has been done but do not attack anyone for it. Do not carry that anger in your heart. We can do better. Let this incident be another in the list of grievances that already outline the lack of integrity within the gaming press.
I regret that she has been harassed but I can understand the anger felt by the gaming audience. The press is fortunate enough to be paid for their involvement where those outside their privileged circles must pay out of pocket to enjoy their hobby. Gaming audiences have been repeatedly insulted for their dissent, offered no chance for discussion and conveniently scapegoated for the failures of others.
As a spectator to recent events the passionate gaming audience could not be blamed and when more people came forward to share their experiences, those new voices could not be so easily demonized. Now people are being silenced. Accounts have been banned, threads deleted, a video trying to discuss it was hit with a DMCA, an article was temporarily removed after someone contacted the web host and that article was stricken from an internet archive.
This is censorship. These are acts of people used to writing their own truth. No one person or group of people should be allowed to suppress discussion like this. We cannot learn and resolve our conflicts if only one side is allowed to speak and the bravery of the minority is met with guilt.
This is wrong. This is unjust. This is not who we are. This is not who we should be.
I will not be silent. I refuse to be silenced.
To those who might share our views,
Now, more than ever we must speak up. Online groups that previously did not like each other are working together. People have begun to organize a protest against the cronyism and yellow journalism that has become the status quo. This could be a turning point, a moment of change we may never get again. Tell everyone you can and especially those who might care. The truth does not need to be written in text on sites owned by million dollar media corporations.
Share your voice and if you are too scared then support the brave voices that share your views. Let them be heard far and wide. Honor their courage and do not let their efforts fall on deaf ears. Let us be united by the love of our hobby and build on the rubble left by those who would act so unkind. Embrace the professionals whether the be publisher, developer or press who understand and support the need for change. They are not only our allies but they are our friends and they are our family.
Be patient and tolerant when faced with disagreements. We do not need to create more pain. This is not how we will find our resolution. We can make the choice that cruelty goes no further than us.
We can do better. We deserve better. We should not lose ourselves to despair as long as we long we keep sight of hope.
Do not be afraid. If there is any backlash I will stand as best I can and encourage you to stand with me. Regardless of what awaits us, I have done this before and I will do it again. Together our voices and views can be heard and our efforts made even stronger. We do not need to be shamed any longer for the love of our hobby.
So please, help me. Help me repair the damage that others have done and lead by example of who we really are. We must try. Our failure is only certain if we refuse to try.
We can do this. You can do this. Be the change you want to see.
Until next time.