terça-feira, 2 de setembro de 2014

Os jogadores de videogame são, sim, tóxicos

Em um thread na timeline de um amigo no Facebook, algumas pessoas comentavam sobre a comunidade gamer, em relação a um artigo publicado no Examiner ("The gaming community is not a wretched hive of sexism and misogyny", 1 de setembro). O argumento principal de alguns comentadores é que, na verdade, jogadores de videogame não são tão tóxicos enquanto comunidade e que fazer esse tipo de afirmação poderia ser um tipo de estereotipação.

Meu comentário na discussão foi o seguinte (em inglês):
Okay, I've read the article, and now I can reply properly do Liam Jones and comment on the piece as a whole. As Ashley said, I was just joking on my inability to open the article, but it's true that I don't hold gamers in the highest regard.

It's true that it's a generalization to say that gamers as a community are toxic, but it's a useful one. In my experience, it's like saying that drunk people shouldn't be trusted behind the wheel - a useful rule of thumb.

I don't play online games mostly (only with friends, so I can cut down on the abuse), but my current girlfriend and my previous one do. They have been harrassed multiple times just because people listened to their voice during games. They tend to not talk for precisely that reason. I've seen complaints about online communities in several games (in this case, I can testify that League of Legends and WoW have terrible fans - and that taking into account that on average Brazil players are even worse, with their childish antics and stupid laughs). Ryot has even hardened their stance on toxic behavior online, because it was unbearable. They've recently banned a few pro players (the ones who bring in the cash) because they were being deemed a liability. Eve Online's developer did the same.

The harassment of Anita Sarkeesian is another case in which gamers as a community failed to act as if they deserve to be treated like adults. There are several other cases I could mention.

So yeah, in a sense it might be stereotyping, but my experiences and the experiences of people at large I've read about really do seem to paint a bad picture on gamers.

The article itself is very poor; the author says it's annoying to have people complain you're immature and inadequate all the time, and that games should not try to cater to a demographic they are not targeted at.

Well, first of all, of course it's annoying, but activists aren't trying to be nice. As a feminist friend once said, if they wanted to be nice, they would make a lasagna, not do activism. And saying that developers shouldn't be concerned by the content they put in their games is a copout - it's like saying that blackface performances aren't targeted at black people, so lighten up, blackie!

People are trying to be heard and to have their concerns represented. And games are part of culture, and as such promote or replicate messages that can and should be assessed by their value as a whole. I'm not saying that *all* complaints about video games are valid, but that gamers have been acting as if the medium is above critical analysis, because fun! It's not.

My Masters is actually on games and narratives. From my own interactions with some communities, it has been a problem to have them recognize that the content they consume is important to analyze critically, taking into account all the "social justice concerns," and to have them see that there are large segments of their player base who don't feel welcome or are harrassed in one way or another. That doesn't apply only to minorities, but also to very standard nerdy, white or otherwise not-"alpha" enough people who try to interact online.
Gamers, enquanto comunidade, precisam deixar a ideia de que sua expressão cultural é exclusivamente de nicho. Respeitabilidade enquanto cultura traz algumas responsabilidades e uma delas é que o conteúdo que você produz e consome passará por escrutínio público.

Eu ainda não tenho claras para mim quais são as causas desses comportamentos ruins nas comunidades gamer, mas é fato que eles existem e que devem ser combatidos. Se é possível eliminá-los por inteiro sem remover parte do que torna os jogos únicos, é uma questão em aberto.