The End of Gamers

dangolding:

The last few weeks in videogame culture have seen a level of combativeness more marked and bitter than any beforehand. 

First, a developer—a woman who makes games who has had so much piled on to her that I don’t want to perpetuate things by naming her—was the target of a harassment campaign that attacked her personal life and friendships. Campaigns of personal harassment aimed at game developers are nothing new. They are dismayingly common among those who happen to be women, or not white straight men, and doubly so if they also happen to make the sort of game that in any way challenge the status quo, even if that challenge is only made through their very existence. The viciousness and ferocity with which this campaign occurred, however, was shocking, and certainly out of the ordinary. This was something more than routine misogyny (and in games, it often is routine, shockingly). It was an ugly spectacle that should haunt and shame those involved for the rest of their lives.

It’s important to note that this hate campaign took the guise of a crusade against ‘corruption’ and ‘bias’ in the games industry, with particular emphasis on the relationships between independent game developers and the press.

These fires, already burning hot, were further fuelled yesterday by the release of the latest installment in Anita Sarkeesian’s ‘Tropes vs. Women in Video Games’ video series. In this particular video, Sarkeesian outlines “largely insignificant non-playable female characters whose sexuality or victimhood is exploited as a way to infuse edgy, gritty or racy flavoring into game worlds. These sexually objectified female bodies are designed to function as environmental texture while titillating presumed straight male players.” Today, Sarkeesian has been forced to leave her home due to some serious threats made against her and her family in response to the video. It is terrifying stuff.

Taken in their simplest, most basic form, a videogame is a creative application of computer technology. For a while, perhaps, when such technology was found mostly in masculine cultures, videogames accordingly developed a limited, inwards-looking perception of the world that marked them as different from everyone else. This is the gamer, an identity based on difference and separateness. When playing games was an unusual activity, this identity was constructed in order to define and unite the group (and to help demarcate it as a targetable demographic for business). It became deeply bound up in assumptions and performances of gender and sexuality. To be a gamer was to signal a great many things, not all of which are about the actual playing of videogames. Research like this, by Adrienne Shaw, proves this point clearly.

When, over the last decade, the playing of videogames moved beyond the niche, the gamer identity remained fairly uniformly stagnant and immobile. Gamer identity was simply not fluid enough to apply to a broad spectrum of people. It could not meaningfully contain, for example, Candy Crush players, Proteus players, and Call of Duty players simultaneously. When videogames changed, the gamer identity did not stretch, and so it has been broken.

And lest you think that I’m exaggerating about the irrelevance of the traditionally male dominated gamer identity, recent news confirms this, with adult women outnumbering teenage boys in game-playing demographics in the USA. Similar numbers also often come out of Australian surveys. The predictable ‘what kind of games do they really play, though—are they really gamers?’ response says all you need to know about this ongoing demographic shift. This insinuated criteria for ‘real’ videogames is wholly contingent on identity (i.e. a real gamer shouldn’t play Candy Crush, for instance).

On the evidence of the last few weeks, what we are seeing is the end of gamers, and the viciousness that accompanies the death of an identity. Due to fundamental shifts in the videogame audience, and a move towards progressive attitudes within more traditional areas of videogame culture, the gamer identity has been broken. It has nowhere to call home, and so it reaches out inarticulately at invented problems, such as bias and corruption, which are partly just ways of expressing confusion as to why things the traditional gamer does not understand are successful (that such confusion results in abject heartlessness is an indictment on the character of the male-focussed gamer culture to begin with).

The gamer as an identity feels like it is under assault, and so it should. Though the ‘consumer king’ gamer will continue to be targeted and exploited while their profitability as a demographic outweighs their toxicity, the traditional gamer identity is now culturally irrelevant.

The battles (and I don’t use that word lightly; in some ways perhaps ‘war’ is more appropriate) to make safe spaces for videogame cultures are long and they are resisted tempestuously, but through the pain and suffering of people who have their friendships, their personal lives, and their professions on the line, things continue to improve. The result has been a palpable progressive shift.

This shift is precisely the root of such increasingly violent hostility. The hysterical fits of those inculcated at the heart of gamer culture might on the surface be claimed as crusades for journalistic integrity, or a defense against falsehoods, but—along with a mix of the hatred of women and an expansive bigotry thrown in for good measure—what is actually going on is an attempt to retain hegemony. Make no mistake: this is the exertion of power in the name of (male) gamer orthodoxy—an orthodoxy that has already begun to disappear.

The last few weeks therefore represent the moment that gamers realised their own irrelevance. This is a cold wind that has been a long time coming, and which has framed these increasingly malicious incidents along the way. Videogames have now achieved a purchase on popular culture that is only possible without gamers.

Today, videogames are for everyone. I mean this in an almost destructive way. Videogames, to read the other side of the same statement, are not for you. You do not get to own videogames. No one gets to own videogames when they are for everyone. They add up to more than any one group.

On some level, the grim individuals who are self-centred and myopic enough to be upset at the prospect of having their medium taken away from them are absolutely right. They have astutely, and correctly identified what is going on here. Their toys are being taken away, and their treehouses are being boarded up. Videogames now live in the world and there is no going back.

I am convinced that this marks the end. We are finished here. From now on, there are no more gamers—only players.

(via t-campbell)

comicsalliance:

REVIVAL, REINVENTION, RESURRECTION: THE POWER OF GREAT SUPERHERO COSTUME DESIGN
By Andrew Wheeler
We live in a time of awesome superhero costumes in comics. The rise and rise of cosplay culture, the emergence of comic artists with a savvy understanding of fashion, and the slow diversification that’s making heroes palatable to a broader audience, have all contributed to a costuming culture with more to offer than capes and pants.
Superhero costumes have always been an asset to the industry, because iconography helps establish character and create a brand. But the value of costumes in reaching audiences and reinventing characters seems to be recognized now as never before, leading to the rise of artist-designers like Jamie McKelvie and Kris Anka, who don’t even need to be on a particular book in order to be called in to make-over the characters. This is a great leap forward in understanding just what a good costume can do — and the special skills required to do it.
READ MORE

comicsalliance:

REVIVAL, REINVENTION, RESURRECTION: THE POWER OF GREAT SUPERHERO COSTUME DESIGN

By Andrew Wheeler

We live in a time of awesome superhero costumes in comics. The rise and rise of cosplay culture, the emergence of comic artists with a savvy understanding of fashion, and the slow diversification that’s making heroes palatable to a broader audience, have all contributed to a costuming culture with more to offer than capes and pants.

Superhero costumes have always been an asset to the industry, because iconography helps establish character and create a brand. But the value of costumes in reaching audiences and reinventing characters seems to be recognized now as never before, leading to the rise of artist-designers like Jamie McKelvie and Kris Anka, who don’t even need to be on a particular book in order to be called in to make-over the characters. This is a great leap forward in understanding just what a good costume can do — and the special skills required to do it.

READ MORE

(via deantrippe)

"You act like your job is so hard! You only push two or three buttons, and you’re DONE!"

(via acarback)

If that’s all my job is, why are you paying me to do it?

(via joyeuse-noelle)

"Okay. You do it."

"I don’t know how!"

"Really? Huh. Okay, well learn. I’ll wait. I won’t even bill you while I’m waiting."

"Um… well, how do you—"

"Oh, no. Sorry. If you ask me how to do it, then I need to charge you both my rate plus a consultancy surcharge, four hour minimum. [scribbles an estimate] This is what you’d need to agree to in writing. Since my job’s easy, I don’t see why you’d want to pay that kind of money when you can just pick it right up.”

"…uh… well…."

"Also, you’ll note that bit at the bottom? Where I’m agreeing to show you how to do it, but not guaranteeing you’ll understand it. I don’t know why that would be a problem. It’s easy. Right?"

"So… okay. Um…."

"Bear in mind, you still need to pay me for the work I’ve already put in, but hey — it’s simple now, right? So at least—"

"…can you get these changes done for me?"

"You don’t want to do it?"

"No."

"No problem. I should have them for review 6 pm tomorrow."

"Why so long?"

"Hey — you can always—"

"Oh shut up."

(Source: clientsfromhell, via joyeuse-noelle)

itswalky:

Dumbing of Age: Never
tomorrow’s strip is up early on patreon

This right here?
This is so fucking College.
This is so fucking College it hurts.
Though that could also be the bit where they took an organ out of me. Which didn’t happen in college. I left college with all my body parts.

itswalky:

Dumbing of Age: Never

tomorrow’s strip is up early on patreon

This right here?

This is so fucking College.

This is so fucking College it hurts.

Though that could also be the bit where they took an organ out of me. Which didn’t happen in college. I left college with all my body parts.

(via dumbingofage)

websnark:

(via Iverly)
I am enjoying the Hell out of Iverly. It is by Jeff Rowland so you know it is good. This is the first strip. As of this writing, there’s only 12 strips, so it’s not like you’ve got a huge threshold to get through to be caught up.
So… that’s all, I guess. Iverly.

websnark:

(via Iverly)

I am enjoying the Hell out of Iverly. It is by Jeff Rowland so you know it is good. This is the first strip. As of this writing, there’s only 12 strips, so it’s not like you’ve got a huge threshold to get through to be caught up.

So… that’s all, I guess. Iverly.

skalja:

  • Favorite thing about this scene: the Doctor acknowledging his part in sending a companion mixed signals instead of blaming their response to his signals on irrational human-ness (and femaleness). Now go back and say this to Martha, Doctor, preferably with an actual “I’m sorry.”
  • Least favorite thing about this scene: fandom missing the point and continuing to insist that Clara’s a horrible shallow person who just wanted Eleven to be her boyfriend and dislikes Twelve because of that

(Source: storybrookewinchesters, via philkahn)

demonsee:

Hawkeye’s new duds.

Hawkeye’s new uniform is one of the Juniper Uniform Coats from Star Trek Online?

demonsee:

Hawkeye’s new duds.

Hawkeye’s new uniform is one of the Juniper Uniform Coats from Star Trek Online?

How to be a good ally to Rromani people

chirikli:

(Inpsired by this post)

-Don’t say “Gypsy”. Or “Gypped”. No matter how it’s spelled.
-Correct others who use the words.
-Punch Holocaust deniers in the throat.
-Avoid supporting businesses or musicians that use offensive terminology. Or at the very least, be aware of how damaging they are.
-Don’t accept “historical accuracy” or “art” as excuses for people to be anti-Rromani.
-Don’t perpetuate stereotypes.

Thank you! Najis tuke!

I blow some of this one sometimes. And it humiliates me when I do.

I’m trying to do better. The problem with decontextualized racism is that learning you’ve been using racist terminology literally your entire life without knowing it’s actually tied to anything or anyone doesn’t mean you instantly break your habitual uses.

But I’m trying. And if I blow it, I have good friends who call me on it.

It’s not an excuse to say that. It’s an admission. A humiliating one.

And maybe that’ll break it down too.

(via skyliting)

skalja:

  • Favorite thing about this scene: the Doctor acknowledging his part in sending a companion mixed signals instead of blaming their response to his signals on irrational human-ness (and femaleness). Now go back and say this to Martha, Doctor, preferably with an actual “I’m sorry.”
  • Least favorite thing about this scene: fandom missing the point and continuing to insist that Clara’s a horrible shallow person who just wanted Eleven to be her boyfriend and dislikes Twelve because of that

(Source: storybrookewinchesters, via creepingmonsterism)

bitcy:

i think there should be some sort of true satanists’ confessions for this

Dark Dungeons II. Dungeon Harder.

bitcy:

i think there should be some sort of true satanists’ confessions for this

Dark Dungeons II. Dungeon Harder.

(Source: lacooletchic)

Wow, Storify mangled a bunch of that, and I don’t have time to clean it. :/

(Source: demiurgent)

Story /= storytelling

dresdencodak:

darrylayo:

In comics, the “story” isn’t the words in the balloon, and the storyteller isn’t just the person deciding on plot elements. Storytelling comes from the artist/s of the comic as well as the writer/s of the comic.

The best way to explain storytelling to comics readers is to instruct the student to read “NEW X MEN,” sometimes erroneously called “Grant Morrison’s X-Men.”

The comic had one writer and several artists. The comic’s clarity and stability corresponds heavily with which of these artists has joined up for whichever storyline is going on. Grant Morrison, for all of his talent, isn’t in control of the storytelling as much as some people give him credit for. The issues that people like are the issues that Frank Quitely drew. The common denominator is Frank Quitely’s ability to convey what is needed, not Grant Morrison having a good or bad streak.

In this way, the person drawing the story is controlling the story in ways that the writing collaborator doesn’t control the story.

I FIND IT ODD that in comics, where visual style is so identifiable and individual, the artists are considered a lesser element of authorship than the writers. In film, a director exerts far less proportionate control over a project’s outcome and yet enjoys (or suffers) the overwhelming percentage of the credit (or blame).

-Ayo

Truer words have never been spoken.

4ragon:

i bet before carlos moved to night vale he used to regularly reinvent really useless household appliances all the time.

like ‘hey check this out it looks like a regular umbrella but it’s also COMPLETELY FIREPROOF’

and everyone would be like ‘carlos why the hell would anyone NEED a fireproof umbrella if it’s already raining seriously stick to science’

but in night vale everyones like ‘aw man this is PERFECT for when it starts raining fire/gasoline/literal death’ and carlos is just like ‘my time has come’

Anyway, long story short, now he’s the Penguin.

NIGHT VALE!

(via ladyshinga)

and now for a dumb joke not many will get XD by nebezial