Publisher's Note: The State of Gaming

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Publisher's Note: The State of Gaming

Alexander Macris, Publisher of The Escapist, offers a few words on the enthusiast gamer culture.

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Excellent post. I've said all along that the term "Gamer" absolutely has cache and meaning in that it refers to the more dedicated and enthusiastic of the game playing audience, and it's nice to see that The Escapist agrees with me. "Gamers" are not dead or dying, they're just in a position where they need to be start looking outside of their bubble even just a little bit.

"This type of absurdity does not happen in the automotive industry because car companies understand that creating consumer goods is not a zero sum game. By segmenting their market and selling products that are different for each segment, they can service the mainstream and the enthusiast."

Exactly, but this isn't just something that the development companies need to realize, it's something the consumers of games need to realize as well. More games being more diverse and inclusive doesn't mean that games will stop being made for the enthusiast audience. It hasn't happened in any other media format so there's no reason to believe it will happen to games. In fact, the better situated the developers get in the new era of gaming, the more they will be able to create games specifically for the enthusiast audience, just as we've seen in other media forms.

As someone who has refused to take a clear side in this whole debacle, and someone who has enjoyed The Escapist for years, I want to take the time to applaud you, Mr. Macris, for taking an almost unseen stand in this whole thing. Almost all alone and against all odds, it seems like this perspective, the one of simple honesty and fairness in reporting, is the only one I have been able to legitimately say that I support wholeheartedly. Thank you for helping me regain some semblance of hope that something truly positive will come out of this.

Very much enjoyed reading this, especially your analogy with the driver vs. Gearhead nomenclature. As someone who is very much into both games and cars your argument came across clear and clever. To be honest I'm not even completely sure what part two was about, because I rarely pay any attention to internet witch hunts and whistle blowing, nor do I particularly care all that much what some journalist said or did. But I like the Escapist and its content. I sometimes struggle with the community and find myself avoiding the forums, but I do enjoy coming here and finding a site that's dedicated to the idea that Gamers are a distinct group and have passion for video games that many do not.

Another nail, another head hit. Very well reasoned, thought through and enlightening explanation as to what the overarching goal is. Congrats to all involved at The Escapist!

I came back and logged into my old account solely to show my appreciation for this. Both your own article, Greg Tito's and the announced guidelines are a breath of fresh air after these past 3 weeks of craziness.

Much kudos all around.

I read this whilst listening to my Skyrim OST. I'm pretty chilled out tbh.

Quite fascinating to read an article which seems immaculate in it's diplomacy.

Hopefully, this will be an end to the fiasco. The message in this article will be something to rally around and take to heart.

We should all hold ourselves to higher standards than pointless bickering.

To the future then, and a games industry where we can all find our escapism.


This is a wonderful post that addresses many of my concerns over the past few weeks. If all the sites involved could put out a statement likes this and be this rational and articulate the firestorm would deescalate overnight. Gamer is not an insult. That is what outsiders tired to turn it into when they wanted to say gamers were violent or gamers were losers. It's an important term for a community that is actually staggeringly diverse.

Well done Alexander Marcis.


I seriously think, with you and Greg, yall have nailed most every point that this movement had issues with. You did it in such a calm and awesome manner, and helped to explain both sides of the issue. For one of the first times, I really feel like there is a middle ground where both sides can meet and agree, and to have a ton of issues rectified at the same time.

I really believe that this did help, and the automotive analogy really did hit home with the issues of developers focusing on markets. That Ford quote was also amazingly relevant.

If I ever meet you in person, I will buy you a drink.

I have to give you a big thumbs up with this, not only explaining your point of view, but providing an updated and clearly defined ethics policy. Massive thumbs up and I will carry on advising people of the escapist as a place to go to get news.

Hopefully other sites will follow suit, its all us gamers want out of this and a second kudos for taking on board what has happened in the past and using that to better yourselves for the future.

This is so good to see.

In the wake of everything Gamergate has become, it's been hard to see the journalists as anything other than antagonizing. I'm glad that Greg turned himself around on this and that the Escapist as a whole is working to better itself as a journalistic entity.

Here's hoping other publications follow suit.

How odd...

Gamers aren't dead, but merely changing. In the relatively short time of gaming's existence, perhaps we all overlooked a simple truth: history repeats itself. What we failed to realize, in all of our dicussions/bickerings up to this point, is that we've stayed in one area for too long. But, all of us need to do this together, in every aspect of this hobby, and all of us need to be willing to embrace, or at least be able to examine and allow, things we'd generally avoid given any other option. Well written, Archon. You have earned my respect, yet again.

In conclusion, I will state what I stated in Greg Tito's note, from Wild ARMs 1:

"The light that has been forgotten is waiting among our people. The power that is derived from Courage is the power to conquer the past. It is the essence of the inner revolution. The power to protect the precious is the power of Love. The powers of Love and Courage are the powers of the west wind. The hope for tomorrow. The belief in possibilities is the power of Hope. The great flapping wings of Zephyr will ultimately open Filgaia's future." - Baskar Chief

Can we imagine for a moment the editors of Gearhead magazine or Top Gear announcing that gearhead culture is dead because everyone drives now? The notion is laughable.
But the automotive industry does something amazing that the game industry does not: The automotive industry sells a car for every type of consumer. They sell cars aimed at entry-level drivers (Scion), and cars aimed at car enthusiasts for whom money is no object (Ferrari); cars aimed at red state patriots (Jeep Liberty) and blue state progressives (Toyota Prius); cars for people who think driving fast is awesome (Corvettes) and for people who think driving fast is scary (Volvos). They sell affordable cars that are easily tuned-up (Honda Civics) and expensive cars that can be absurdly tuned-up (Toyota Supras).

And as a result there is never any conflict between car consumers and car enthusiasts. Why would there be? They have nothing to fight about!

I disagree, and here is why:

The games industry has games for everyone. Consoles, PC, tablet, smartphone, casual, hardcore, social, single and multyplayer and any combination of all these categories and more.

Never have i heard about a conflict between hardcore gamers that play darksouls 2 newgame + blindfolded and people that play farmville. In truth these two groups barely take notice of each others existance and couldnt care less about each others games. Because the enjoyment of one does not take away of the enjoyment of the other.

I do not see this conflict between "game enthusiasts" and people that "just" play games.

What i see is holier then thou types (wich isnt directed at you) trying to sell us that such a conflict exists in the first place, speaking for people that dont even know that they are spoken for by people who never even take a real look at the people they claim to speak for.

This whole shebang has never been an interconflict between gamers to be honest. It has been a conflict between people that want to have fun with games, and people that want to make games into an abstract concept that shouldnt even be fun. (there was an article published recently on kotaku i think with a list of 15+ "steps" to save gaming, one of those steps included abadoning the notion that games should be "fun" because "fun" is the devils work or something)

The notion that games should transcendent and raise above being mere "games" for people to play is as ludicrous as saying that holywood should evolve above and beyond mere entertainment and that movies should not be entertaining anymore because they have the potential to be more then that.

Gaming just like cars can be enjoyed by everyone, no matter gender, sexual orientation or race. Theres an entire industry of hidden object games catering exclusively to the tastes of women for example that makes millions upon millions each year but barely gets any coverage at all... because aparantly those games arent "exciting" enough or are to cheap to produce to take notice of.

Yet its an industry completly dominated by female gamers.

We allways get slammed with statistics that almost half the number of active gamers are composed of females yet we barely see any coverage of the games that these women play.

Game journalism has ignored these franchises and genre in favour of trying to force females into AAA gaming, wich they dont seem to have any interest in to begin with due to the genres that are typical of big budget gaming and the money you have to pay for such games. A single AAA game cost as much as three or four of the games most females play. Why should they switch?

Yet for some odd reason the AAA industry is not allowed to cater anymore to their traditional market. This would be like game journalism trying to force FPS gameplay and AAA tropes into hidden object games because they are not interesting enough for male gamers.

Game journalism has to learn that everyone in the industry allready has a place and that the only thing left to do is improve all these places and make them better. That does include diversity and better written characters, what it does not include however is to force developers to bend backwards and change their products to apease a non existing audience.

Thanks Archon. A great read.

I do have one question though. With regards to writing about allegations, will such articles include attempts to contact and get comment from the accused? Even if the article mentions that they couldn't be contacted at that time would help to show no bias to such a story.

This man has my vote, hopefully people will now take a time out and have a think on how things can be made better for everyone.

Bravo guys, bravo.

Some of my previously favourite gaming sites have earned a place on my blacklist in the past few weeks but The Escapist is fast becoming my most frequently visited gaming site, and it's because of things like this: transparency and impartiality.

I hope you enjoy the increased traffic that myself, and many other users sympathetic to the GamerGate cause bring to your site; an aspirational beacon of journalistic integrity.

And most of all; thank you for acknowledging that gamer is not a dirty word, it is a moniker of pride and passion.

Thank you for such a thoughtful post and for making me happy that I support the Escapist.

As of today The Escapist is the only gaming news site that I will link directly to or patronize. Thank you for appreciating your readers and treating them with respect.

Thumbs up Mr. Macris. Good show, good show!

I signed up with The Escapist to express my appreciation of this piece. Considering how much had been written about the death of gamers, I am happy that there's at least one site out there that does care about the gaming enthusiast community. Thank you.

Publisher's Note: The State of Gaming

Alexander Macris, Publisher of The Escapist, offers a few words on the enthusiast gamer culture.

Read Full Article

Thanks for posting this. It's a great take-away on the whole situation.

I signed up with The Escapist to express my appreciation of this piece. Considering how much had been written about the death of gamers, I am happy that there's at least one site out there that does care about the gaming enthusiast community. Thank you.

Well, thank you! I hope you enjoy what we have on offer.

Thank you, Archon and Greg.

I think this might show how you move with the shifting landscape within the culture. You don't resist it, you move with it. As a gamer, I'm proud to say that this will be my first stop for everything game-news related.

But do make sure you keep to those guidelines, please, I don't think any of us want to do this all over again, but the gaming community is going to be very critical for some time.

Thank you Archon and thank you Greg Tito. This whole debacle has been exhausting and it's a breath of fresh air to see a major gaming site take the concerns of gamergate to heart and use it as an opportunity to improve.

Also I was extremely happy to see someone from a gaming site outright say that the state of gaming journalism was the heart of this mess, even if noone else is willing to admit that

This really is a wonderful post. As a humanist I admire your dedication to diversity and your support of making more games and games content for all people. As a proponent of #gamergate I deeply appreciate your commitment to a higher standard of journalistic ethics and transparency. I've never been happier to be a member of the escapist community. This is a testament to what can be accomplished if we sit down and talk to each other.

This is good stuff. Very much appreciated.

I have to say that it shows mastery of writing when you can use a car analogy effectively, given that so many try, but few succeed in doing that on the Internet.

Regarding the ethics policy, especially having at least two sources before reporting on allegations is a basic thing that every journalist should pay attention to, so I'm glad to see it included.

Also, the crowdfunding rules are a nice compromise.

I'm hopeful that other online magazines will follow suit. Visible and enforced ethical standards have been something that has been sorely needed in the "new" media, and the lack of them has very much been preventing the medium from growing up.

Bravo Greg and Archon, it takes courage to admit you were wrong and to not only apologize but change the way you conduct yourselves. I am happy to continue being a supporter of the Escapist for many more years.

Greg Tito,

Among the many disconcerting things that GamerGate has brought forth, your early comments on the subject of fact-checking (or lack of) upset me the most, both as a gamer and a newspaper reporter.

I'm glad to see that The Escapist has gone from being on a list of sites I intended to never visit again to an outstanding example of everything that most of the people involved in GamerGate wanted to see come from this mess.

Adblock: Disabled on this site.

As a long time lurker (for about five years now) and a hopefully future indie dev (unrelated to any scene or clique, even geographically so) i'd like to humbly thank you for this article.

The Escapist was and is my preferred site as a gamer, a video game enthusiast - i appreciate this more than i can express. And as someone who has spent years working on something i'm hoping to one day publish - i appreciate this just as much.


Well done Archon, and Mr. Tito, I'm extremely impressed with this show of reason and dedication to preserving our culture. I believe you're right that that times, they are a changing and we will have to change with them. But that should not be at the expense of our heritage, our shared history and on a personal note every one of us who felt that rush when they realized as a child that FF7 had a world map.

This place in particular is special to me, it's why even though my time for gaming has diminished I still drop by here as often as I can to consume content about games I may never get to enjoy myself. I remember one night many years ago I was incredibly stressed out for upcoming exams and mentioned it here as a sort of shout into the wind. The amount of members who sent me well wishes and linked motivational speeches and more was at the time unbelievable and helped so much. The community here's always been one of the best I've encountered and I can't imagine a better one for the job of shaping our culture for the 'new age'.

Anyway, I'm rambling but again.. well played Escapist.

I really, really liked this article. It feels like the first one in this entire mess not biased one way or another. Greg, Archon, and Jim have reminded me of why I started coming here in the first place.

Thank you for engaging with the community in a professional manner. Various 'journalists' could learn a lot from your example.

I will add that of course trust in gaming media has been severely damaged by this incident and mere lip-service to 'make this go away' will not be accepted. I do not trust that your words are sincere, but I truly hope that they are.

Irrespective, many people don't deserve careers after this. They have burned their bridges with their audience forever.

Reading this filled me with a sense of pride. Hopefully this will be a beacon to others. You've now been cemented as my primary source for news.

Adblock: Disabled :3

Can't get much more transparent than that.

A good effort and a thoughtful approach, I think.

Either way, I haven't myself been caught up in all this GamerGate hubaloo. These articles just recently are the first I've heard of it.

This was a good article, and I liked the cars comparison, though I am not really that into cars. However, I'd like to know what kind of gearhead the Hyundai Elantra is designed for. Because in my experience it is designed for one who isn't particularly interested in getting to work on time. Indeed, he'd rather sit outside his house turning a large key in a small lock and listening to the 'errrrcchhhahhchahchchhh' sound of an engine refusing to fire, on an entirely random basis, because sometimes they do, sometimes they don't! I do love an adventure (but my boss never enjoyed my adventures).

The Hyundai Coupe (or Tiberion in the states I think) is entirely different. It is a lovely car to drive, and just a very pretty shape. But I spent a very arduous weekend doing something very physically wearing and stressful. As a result, getting in and out of my Coupe is hard work.

tldr: I read this and thought very seriously about what was said. My face is incredibly serious.

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