Saturday, 30 June 2012

How Not To Get Ahead In Game Journalism

At the risk of being accused of White Knight Syndrome, let's discuss what happened today. A game journalist named Ryan Perez from Destructoid.com took to Twitter and I guess decided to bait the bear a bit by poking fun at geek icon Felicia Day. What began as a random musing 'out loud' as it were -
Escalated when Perez decided to address Day personally on the social media site -
Rude, certainly. Still perhaps he was leading to a point. The nature of celebrity in online culture, the true value of the 'geek dollar'. Or again whether a creator like Day who took her acting career in a whole new direction by creating The Guild, inspired by her addiction to World of Warcraft and earning her a much larger fanbase than, say Buffy or Bring It On fanatics, is exploiting this niche interest in gaming. No?
Felicia Day Paste Magazine
Source - http://mplayer.pastemagazine.com/issues/week-15/articles
 Now while Perez is still phrasing these points as questions, I imagine claiming they are defensible as fair comment, with this third ejaculation he has moved from devil's advocate posturing to offensive screed. Here's how it breaks down. He questions Day's worth as a creator and a person by implying she has no talent beyond her attractive personality. He then compares her to booth babes, those models hired to catch the eye of male convention-goers to whatever tat the vendor has on offer. In effect, he is accusing Day of only becoming famous because she made herself sexually available to male gamers. 

This is both tiresome - because we've been here many times before - and idiotic. Perez makes these proclamations from his personal account, but identifies Destructoid as his employer, so now they're in the firing line. The site's own response has been to announce that the chap's services are no longer required, after apologising to Day.

There is a simple enough lesson in this. Good writing can come from personal feeling and impassioned argument, yes. Not every journalist is expected to be entirely objective when commenting on events and trends - they each and every one are speaking from their own experience. However, to make ad hominem attacks on anyone, public figure or no, on the basis of race, sex or creed is....bad for business! Folks this is not political correctness run amok here, this is just common sense. All publicity is not good publicity. There is something worse than not being talked about at all

If you read Perez's articles, see his recent piece on Skyrim for example, it starts off well enough ('gee it would be nice to have greater diversity in cultural source material for fantasy games') then goes off the reservation arguing that all European fantasy tropes are banal. That is just another sweeping generalization without foundation in structured argument. It's a rant.

Look it is sad that this fellow lost his writing gig. I am sure it meant a lot to him, as it does to all of us online folks who spend our days thinking up what to write about our various passions and interests. The problem is the internet is not just Speaker's Corner - especially not on an industry website. There is such a thing as a professional manner with regard to games, comics and movies - yes we all have strong feelings on these topics, but it is our responsibility to express those opinions in a manner that is communicable to others. What Perez did was an interesting example of how this entitled view of the entertainment industry is actually hurtful to proper conversations on these issues. 

We can be better than this.



24 comments:

  1. hate him, but i agree this time. She is as useless as mudguards on a turtle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Even if she was objectively not contributing anything to the industry, insinuating sexist shit like that over Twitter is both uncalled for and demeaning to everyone involved.

      Delete
    2. You morons need to stop deciding that anything negative that happens to have a female victim is sexist. Oh, don't forget to throw the word "misogynist" in there without actually knowing what it fucking means.

      Delete
    3. "Useless?" She's given me hours of great entertainment. Cheers to Day.

      Delete
    4. Except in this case it actually WAS sexist. I mean he accuses her of using her sexuality to get ahead in the industry. If that's not sexist... well, I guess you're going to need to define at exactly which point that line is considered to be crossed.

      Delete
    5. How is that sexist though? It's a specific criticism leveled at a specific person.

      If he'd said something general about women, then that would be sexist... Saying something about this specific woman is not even remotely close to sexism.

      Delete
    6. So Kenneh, if a woman in your office was approached by her boss and told, "Damn, good thing you got such nice tits, or I'd never have given you that promotion," that wouldn't be sexist? Rrrrright.

      Delete
  2. Mate, not called for. Whatever our feelings on Day as an actress/geek icon etc., she's successful because she wrote and starred in her own show. Some might call that entrepreneurship. That The Guild, and everything that followed it, proved to be a success shows that there is an interest in Day as a creator. So 'useless' is not accurate.

    Now if someone was to say - I don't like her work - fair comment. That's a matter of taste.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Did she kick his cat? Those attacks read like it was personal.

    I like Day. I've only seen a few of her projects, but I don't think someone making efforts to follow their positive goals is bad at all. In fact it's inspiring.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I agree with Emmetocuana on this, to simply state that a person is useless without actually giving any sort of basis for that argument. Day has done something that a lot of women have not been able to do, which is to make a name for herself in the gaming industry without having to sexualize her identity. She's a girl, she's attractive, sure. But are those the only two criteria needed for someone to succeed in the gaming industry? Hell no. She's a smart, creative individual who works hard and who, in my opinion, has earned her way to where she is. I respect her because she is the kind of person that gaming, in general, needs to elevate it in the eyes of society as a reputable artform and pass-time. What has Day done? She's successfully identified herself as a gamer with acting, writing, and production talents, she's rallied a fanbase around their hobby, and she's giving girl-gamers a sense of self-respect. I think that's pretty significant.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Who decided she has to "matter" anyway. I don't like a lot of stuff I see everywhere, it doesn't matter to me and that's okay!

    ReplyDelete
  6. She's only successful because she created a bunch of video where she stars half-naked singing about video games.

    Gaming industry doesn't need more internet whores.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're really that clueless/stupid aren't you? Her success came from The Guild videos she and her friends made. The "Do you want to date my avatar" vid came after that.

      Delete
  7. Bob Dobalina1 July 2012 15:00

    He's right. She is a glorified booth babe. It's rather pathetic.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Here's the problem though, regardless of what you think of Day, this fellow, Perez, has attacked her while also alleging he has no idea who she is or what she has done. Called for? I don't think so. How you can accuse and attack someone without basis I don't know. Unless, of course, it's because you feel she's a pretty girl using her charm to get ahead on the internet, which is apparently okay. Jealous, much?

    I also don't really buy that someone who claims to be a games journo is completely unaware of who Day is. Although having read some of his articles, I can well believe he is neither aware of Day's work nor is he a games journalist!

    ReplyDelete
  9. "You morons need to stop deciding that anything negative that happens to have a female victim is sexist. Oh, don't forget to throw the word "misogynist" in there without actually knowing what it fucking means."

    Dear Anonymous - so if I follow you correctly, victimising women is not sexist? I don't think you've followed your own logic through there.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Insulting *A* woman isn't sexist.

      It's only when people start insulting women because they are women that it becomes sexist.

      Delete
    2. Making assertions about A SPECIFIC woman is not sexist in and of itself. If somebody wants to accuse him of sexism it requires a little more than one specific case of him attacking one specific woman. If anything, there's a certain sense of sexism in this kneejerk assertion that his comments were driven by prejudice against women in general. "Oh a male in the videogame industry insulted a woman in the video-game industry, he's probably a huge sexist."

      Delete
  10. I have to say I kind of love this comment:

    "You morons need to stop deciding that anything negative that happens to have a female victim is sexist. Oh, don't forget to throw the word "misogynist" in there without actually knowing what it fucking means."

    Did you read the article, or just have an axe to grind? I don't think the article mentions the word misogynist, which, by the way is someone who hates women, although if you'd rather soften it, it probably also includes people who are threatened by, mistrust or dislike women. Nor does it say that criticising someone's work or profile, female or otherwise, is wholly off limits as a topic. However, what it does say is back up your argument, or at the very least have one. Being sexist, racist, homophobic etc is not an argument.

    This article is not about declaring that "anything that happens to a female is sexist", rather a brief discussion of how we can do better, as writers, as critics, as journalists, than to criticise someone just because we don't like her face.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Glad he was terminated (even though he wasn't a paid contributor) the gaming industry has to grow up, and getting rid of jerks like Perez just makes the whole industry better.

    Well done Destructoid.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Kenneh - I can only assume you haven't read the article.

    ReplyDelete
  13. The internet really is full of cocks isn't it? Really, wall to wall, standing room only. Who has the right to ask for someone to prove their worth? Regardless of gender, this is a question of "who the fuck are YOU to ask ME to prove myself?"

    Don't like her? Don't support her. There really shouldn't be any argument beyond this point but sadly, the aforementioned cocks.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Day > Kardashian.

    ReplyDelete
  15. So Day creates some stuff. People objectify her. Then they and others like them try and tear her down for being a sex object? Women who want to be in the public eye just can't win.

    ReplyDelete

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Blogger Template by Clairvo