Greg, this has been one of the truest and real things I have heard throughout this entire debacle. I applaud you on this piece, and hope to see more great things coming from you in the future. I really wish your mentality was spread more across the gaming media.
Bingo. Spot on and a constructive message I for one can only applaud and fully support. Coming to The Escapist (as a full member, not just reader) now feels even more like the right thing for me as a video games enthusiast.
Mr. Tito, what you, Archon and the rest of the Escapist hierarchy have said and put into place this day have really stirred the gamer spirit within me. What has been written in that note is something of a beacon to us all: a reminder, a remembrance...and a hope. I think the only other thing I can add is a moment 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
Some sanity in this ugly mess, big applauds to you Greg. I knew there was a reason why I only visit The Escapist on a regular basis when it comes to gaming sites.
If I could shake your hand and give you a big thumbs up I would.Instead I'll do the next best thing and give a round of applause.
Thumbs up Mr. Tito. Good show, good show!
*stands up and claps* Thank you for such a calm, thoughtful and balanced response.
Looks like keeping the forum thread open has brought some new eyes to the The Escapist, much more importantly peoples ears were unplugged and actually listened. I can't thank everyone involved enough, except by sticking around.
Have to point out here that The Escapist in general and Greg Tito in particular have always been pretty progressive in preventing harassment of female developers in the comment section. The Escapist handled a stalker making inappropriate sexual remarks and personal attacks in the comment section of an interview I did on the site a few years ago very well, and fairly quickly.
Sexual harassment of female journalists and game developers is not "free speech", and removing such remarks is not censorship. Male journalists and developers do not have to tolerate this kind of abuse, and there is no reason that women in this industry should.
Editor's Note: Why I Still Call Myself a Gamer
We're all here because we love games, and we shouldn't treat each other poorly because we have differing opinions about them.
Read Full Article
Thank you, Greg.
And with you as a proxy I am thanking everyone here on the Escapist that helped make these discussions a bit less painfull to endure.
I just hope that we can salvage the debris of gameing culture now and take the few positive things and thoughts that came out of this mess.
Lets be good people and work together, focusing on our one true enemy: The Publishers!
(just joking. A little bit at least.)
We'll said and thank you. Both for this post, and for keeping the discussion open (please give Topaz and crew a fruit basket and a day or two off, from all of us.)
We all fully respect your stand on harassment. Making it vile and personal is never a good thing. But one other important takeaway from this. "Don't read the comments" helped create #Gamergate. On top of calling out and standing up to the harassers there is another step which is critical. One that you either intent or through the best snap judgement ever made you highlighted these past three weeks. Reading the comments are important. The conversations need to happen. But let them happen in places that can be kept safe and fairly moderated. Where we can discuss ideas and not people. Your forums are useless to you if you are not reading them. Walk away from Twitter and have the conversation with your customers in your backyard. Learn from your superb moderation staff and spread their example. Don't fear the conversation, just don't tolerate the assholes.
Well said! And the Ethics policy seems fair and straight forward. Bravo on all fronts!
While what you say makes perfect sense and I agree with you, I can't help but feel you're preaching to the choir here. As far as abuse go, the Escapist has very little of it. It rears its face now and again, like with the I hit it with my axe videos, but compared to other places on the internet, this is like a damned zen garden of peace and tranquility.
Greg we may not like the same games and we may not even agree about why they are good or bad, but today we agree on this issue.
I thank you for letting the discussion to continue despite the horribly behaviour displayed early on by people in that thread, while anger and bile does still crop up from time to time it has become a mostly civil discussion that I feel has led to changes for the better, it must have been tempting to close it and forget the whole thing, but as a fan of the site thank you for keeping this a place that respects it's user base.
I hope that you do not receive any abuse by anyone for any perceived "giving in" to whatever the detractors feel it is appropriate to call us today, if nothing else comes out of the discussion or discourse at least we can say there was one and it was for the better.
I wish we could have the discourse with others, any or all of them, free of the anger bile and abuse that seemingly permeates every aspect of the internet from the smallest site to the biggest, we can work together and keep abuse down.
I can't believe we reached a point on both sides of this debate where "Stop abusing people" is something that needed to be said. Sadly we did. But abuse and silencing from those with the biggest influence and voice is often the most troubling. I think those sides who partook in that need to have a long, hard look in the mirror.
The Escapist has done this. They took a long hard look at themselves and generally i think they have come out okay. Where mistakes were made they have been addressed. New policies have been implemented even though this site was never involved in this scandal.
We now have a model, an example of what we want those still being belligerent and informatory to do. Kotaku, RPS, Polygon, Destructiod, Gamesasutra and many many more. Take a good look at the positive steps made here. The positive comments sections. The Escapist has no need to censor debate because it has nothing to be ashamed of.
I implore those who still aim to crush those who disagree with sheer weight of shame and hate to think again.
I'm glad to see The Escapist taking a firm stance in defence of the gamer.
Also, I'm keen to see how gaming sites like Gamasutra and Kotaku fair following the supposed death of their gamer audience.
Nicely written Mr. Tito. Thank you for working to give all of us a voice, thank you for giving us a fair shake. Not one person has stood up for harassment, but likewise nobody should using the existence of harassment on the internet as a defense against valid criticism. Engage people as equals and individuals, and understand that a fellow human being is on the far end of your communications.
Its been thrown about that various people some in the community, some in in the press, and some in development have used either numbers, or influence to bully others into silence and it needs to stop. All of them. Not simply trying to shout down troublemakers with faceless accounts, but people with higher profiles need to act responsibly with that influence.
I cancelled my pub-club a year ago. I'll be back in by the end of the night.
Liked this article!
Honestly, those "gamer culture is dead" articles all seemed a little over-dramatic to me. I mean, I've always maintained "gamer" is a bit of a silly word, but all the same, they came across as insulting to anyone playing video games.
I'm very happy to see peoples tempers cool down, and though the escapist isn't a perfect site, I like that their stance has been level-headed.
Just stopping by to say thanks, this website really was going around in circles without learning anything from its mistakes.
This whole thing dragged me in when I saw abuse used as a surrogate for discourse on some of my most prized beliefs. As a humanist I felt I could not sit by as ideals meant to bring dignity and respect to all people were used to attack harass and bully others. There have been attacks on all sides and I condemn them all. There has been none I have found more upsetting, however, then those using the ideals of inclusiveness as a vehicle for hatred.
Thank you Greg, and The Escapist in general, for embodying the best of these ideals in your call against harassment and abuse. You have my deepest respect as a gamer and as a human being. I hope this will be the start of a new trend.
Well done Mr Tito, thank you for not caving to the likes of other gaming sites and actually standing up for gamers and not just decrying them. You and the Escapist has proven itself without doubt a far better gaming site than the rest involved in this gamers are dead travesty.
I approve of this article, specifically how its message is "Don't be a dick" as opposed to "Don't be a dick unless someone deserves it". That needs to be more of a thing.
I've always been on the argument that felt the term "gamer" was irrelevant instead of alive or dead, but I fully support people who are willing to say they are gamers because of games and not to be a part of the culture.
Great editorial. Also props for doing some actual journalism in that write-up last week.
It looked like something out of Reuters (that's a compliment).
Good article, makes me glad I joined this forum.
Thank you. And thank you especially for keeping already mentioned thread open. The issues being discussed are important to the future of games as a medium, even though the diversity of gamers themselves virtually ensures that there will be conflicts of some nature.
I agree completely that gaming doesn't have any more problems with bigotry and vileness than any other mainstream hobby. It brings together people from different walks of life and different backgrounds, and they sometimes bring extra baggage with them from the offline world. It's a wider problem of online harassment, brought by lack of accountability, that somehow gets attributed to gaming itself.
Greg, Thank you. Sometimes it's hard for the little guys trapped in the middle to stand up. We sometimes get attacked from both sides. Thanks for standing up for and with us. You and Mr. Macris have shown what it means to have integrity in the industry and we salute you.
I've never understood "Don't Read The Comments" as a positive statement for authors on something like the Escapist. Practically by definition, everyone in the forums is a fan of gaming in general and the site in particular. I've seen far nastier things said on Twitter, Facebook, or other integrated sites where people can leave a comment with no effort and move on than I have even seen on the Escapist or another dedicated site where people are getting together to celebrate and talk about a specific thing. I know Tito and various editors and contributors do read the forums, and it's gratifying to see they don't paint all their fans as such awful stains on humanity that even the potential comments on ANY article would be too horrific.
We may not always like everything you do, and we may get angry about some stuff, but we wouldn't be here if we didn't want to be happy, and we wouldn't pour literally hundreds of hours into maintaining an account if we didn't care about you and this site.
great job rising above all this, I consider myself a much more moderate person amid this controversy but any website that proclaims me or my hobby to be "dead" doesn't deserve my business anymore and I don't plan to frequent any of those sites going forward. I really have to respect the escapist for being much more fair about this than any other site I've seen and in allowing as free a discussion as possible while still policing the more extreme members on both sides. I've always been of the mind that threats and harassment are wrong but what I saw was equal if not more coming from members of the press as random internet dwellers. so i'm in favor of stamping it out equally on both sides.
Well said, Greg.
I believe people calling for the end of the 'gamer' identity are missing the point. There's nothing inherently toxic about gamer culture; the problem is, as always, internet culture. Get gamers out of an online setting and they can all be generally lovely people (if a bit socially awkward sometimes); it's just that so much gamer culture exists primarily online, where the Penny Arcade GIFT applies.
Also, nice reference to the Dragon Age 2 review response. I know I'd be fed up of that after three frigging years.
You just won me back Greg. Thank you so much for this.
You had my respect when you left the forums open and free from censorship Tito. You now have my trust.
You're the man Greg, thanks! :)
I know ive been naught but a cheerleader for the escapist but, I feel that you guys really deserve the gratitude for being awesome. You guys have been, the best out of all the websites about the issue and I applaud you for it and hope that others do as well. Also the jimquisition this week was awesome.
Picture aside, great article. The Escapist has been the only site where this topic could be discussed without mods taking the banhammer to half the debate. And I'm very pleased Greg can see through the BS on both sides and realize there are actually legitimate complaints to be made against the canoodling between bloggers and developers.
Keep up the great work Greg! Don't let the debate die!
It's one thing to earn back the respect one has lost. It's quite another to earn back the trust.
With this display of genuine emotion and rationality, I think that you, Greg, and indeed this site, have started winning back that trust within whom it was lost. At least, I would hope as much.
Kudos to you and your staff. Not since signing up back in 2007 have I ever been more proud to be an Escapist member.