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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Anti gay-gamer conference and AirborneGamer: everything that is wrong with games journalism, right here

Following my usual daily process, I clicked along to N4G this morning to check out the big news over the last day or so.

And I saw this as one of the top stories – an article from a gaming blog claiming a gay gamer convention should not exist. I’m rather angry. AirborneGamer represents everything that is wrong with games journalism. While it was always going to be a problem that anyone with time to spare is able to become a “games journalist” now, it annoys me that people are able to spread unsubstantiated hate-opinions and are not only not held accountable for their actions but actually get to be influential thanks to social aggregate sites like N4G. People like this writer from AirborneGamer ruin games journalism for those of us who understand the concept of ethics.

The piece itself is written terribly so I would hope anyone with a shard of intelligence would not have paid attention from the outset (though judging from the comments this is unfortunately not always the case), but let’s break down the crux of his argument here for the sake of it.

Essentially, this author is claiming that there is no need for a gay gamer convention, because gaming is “for everyone,” and apparently if a gaming convention out there is not for “everyone,” then it’s unnecessary.

In other words, the author is quite happy to demand that gay gamers only like to play games the way he likes to play games. And how dare they want to gather together to enjoy their taste in games and gaming culture! To this author it’s inconceivable that a human being might want to gather with like-minded people to celebrate a common interest.

Never mind that the world is filled with examples of businesses, conventions and social groups designed around special interests. There are women’s health clubs, there are magazines that are designed for teenagers, there is Halal fast food. Men might not be able to go to a women’s health club, but there’s always a gym down the road. There’s MacDonalds for people who don’t care to eat Halal.

And then there’s a freaking E3 convention for the people who couldn’t possibly handle spending a few hours around gay people. I hear that’s pretty big.

And never mind that gay gamers are so marginalised in gaming culture. When "fag" is the most common word heard (in a negative context) when you're playing Call of Duty, you're looking at an culture that, despite what this moron thinks, is in desperate need of an event where gay people can engage with their hobby without being assaulted by hate-speech.

To make matters worse? This guy is an American. As in one of those people who love to stand up and demand that freedom of speech be held sacred. Apparently those freedoms shouldn’t exist for the gay folks out there. It boggles the mind that anyone at all would rail against a convention that they don’t have to attend, simply because it’s not of interest to them.

If it was just the rant of a fool on his personal blog, read by ten people, then I wouldn’t be so angry by this. There are a lot of stupid people in this world, and nothing can help them. But thanks to the wonders of the Internet, this person, who quite clearly hasn’t completed a basic media ethics class, let alone a journalism degree, is able to have a real voice.
Anti gay-gamer conference and AirborneGamer: everything that is wrong with games journalism, right here
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