Posts Tagged ‘gaming editorial’

Gamers Are Part of the Problem: The Stanley Parable

the-stanley-parableI have another editorial that has been in the works for the past month.  It is affectionately titled “Gamers Are Part of the Problem: We Can Also Be the Solution.”  It’s a subject I feel strongly on and will be finished in the near future, but today, I want to discuss part of the problem that we, as gamers, are a part of in society.

Destroying individuals for their opinion, their feelings, for being offended, for feeling something is (or is not) racist.

This came to a head last week with The Stanley Parable and one of my reporters/writers and close friend Oliver C.  He’s taking a lot of heat over his opinion that many others, myself included, felt the same about but he had the balls to speak out about.  I agreed with him so strongly that I encouraged him to write up a post about this for VGS, he refused, saying he didn’t want to put us through the sh*tstorm that was soon to follow – and I appreciate that.  I, as the Director of Operations, however feel strongly enough about this situation that I am more than willing to put myself right along side him.  I’ve got my flame retardant suit right here.

But before you decide to bring out the torches and flame throwers, I encourage you to read this and hear me out.

Who are we, as gamers, to tell anyone else that their opinion is not valid?  Who are we to tell someone that something it isn’t offensive or racist because we don’t find it offensive or racist?   How would you feel if you were in his shoes?  Put yourself there for  a moment.  How would you feel to be insulted for having an opinion that differed from other individuals?  How would you feel to be harassed, called names?  Oh, wait…most of those that did that hide behind monikers and are anonymous, faceless jerks.


While Oliver didn’t hide behind monikers, I’m protecting both him and the individuals who harassed him because it’s just not cool to share stuff like that and cause reverse harassment.

Oliver didn’t hide behind a moniker.  He didn’t hide behind an anonymous name to put his opinion out there.  He had a pair of balls and put his real name out there, which links to his works both on VGS, EOGamer and other websites as well as the books he has published.  He defended his position with logic and reason, not with passion and opinion.

He has been accused of causing the game to be “censored.”  I am pretty sure some folks don’t know the meaning of that word.  You might want to look it up.  Nothing was censored.  Nothing was blocked. Nothing was forced to be removed.  A civil discussion ensued and a civil, logical conclusion happened.  That makes me praise the developer of The Stanley Parable.  He could have just as easily blown Oliver off and said “Screw you, I have a successful game, I don’t have to change it.”  He didn’t.  He realized there might be an issue that he didn’t realize before.

So let’s look at a few things here:

Would the scene in question that is being changed been racist if the child was:

  • White?  No
  • Native American? Yes
  • Muslim?  Yes
  • Asian?  Yes
  • Hispanic?  Yes

Why?  Because if you haven’t forgotten history, you would realize that every one of those races have had struggles due to the great white man discriminating.  For the record I’m white and saying this.  I shouldn’t have to review elementary and junior high school history to explain this.

image-in-questionBut the bigger thing to look at over the fact of racism is why the image is offensive.

Ignore the race for a minute.  It’s offensive because the options shown are teaching a kid to smoke a cigarette or pouring gasoline on him and setting him on fire.  Yes, I understand that in the 50s that it was a different world, but in what world is it okay to set -anyone- on fire?  The execution of the joke was badly done and even the developer admits this.

But the fanboys and girls just can’t see it.

I’ve not played the game. I’ve watched the play through on YouTube.  I get it.  I do.

So let me ask these questions.

  • Would the scene have been offensive or discriminatory if the picture showed him lighting a gay/lesbian/transgender/bi teen on fire?
  • Would the scene have been accused of being sexist if it had been a female child?
  • Had it been a different joke – perhaps a rape joke instead – would that have been okay?

If the answer to any one of those questions would have been “Yes” (or “No” to the last question), then why is his argument any less valid?  It’s not.

The reaction of the “fans” to the fact someone was offended and had the balls to admit they were offended is more than just immature.  It’s abhorrent.  And that’s what’s wrong with the gaming community.

And more importantly, how the gaming community voiced their anger and opposition IS NOT OKAY.

no-symbol-mdLet me repeat this.  The behavior of many individuals and the negative, immature ways they responded is not okay.  It is what is wrong with gaming.

Gamers seem to forget that there are feelings associated with the person behind the name, behind the moniker, behind the screen.  They feel that if your opinion is different than theirs, you are wrong and should be crucified, drawn and quartered, or whatever other medieval torture ideas can come to mind.  It shouldn’t be that way.

You claim he’s “Censoring art” or “Censoring the game” and for him to stop.  You insult him, and call him names because he said something that you dislike and perhaps even scares you.

Are we in junior high again?  High School?  Seriously?  Grow up.

Respect.  We have to start showing respect for each others.  Start being mature.  Stop ripping people apart for having differing opinion than you, for pointing something out that you think is okay.  We are all gamers.  We all have our opinions.  We are all entitled to voicing their opinions.  More importantly, I firmly believe that all gamers – including the ones who voiced their disagreement with Oliver’s opinion – are entitled to being able to share those opinions without fear of retaliation, without fear of harassment, without name calling.

For this to happen we have to start respecting each other.

It doesn’t matter how upset someone makes you, how angry you get, you should be a mature individual and not hurtful.  You should be respectful.  You should treat someone else’s posts as you would want yours to be treated.

Start treating others with respect.  Think before you post a reply.  Is it hurtful?  Then don’t post it.

I leave you with Wil Wheaton’s famous quote:  “Don’t be a dick.”

About Grace "Kayhynn" Snoke

Grace Snoke is a corporate journalist and author who enjoys gaming, reading, writing and jewelry making. Outside of her day job, she writes for a number of sites including: Video Game, Obsolete Gamer, SciTech Nerds and for a couple blogs and sites she owns. You can learn more about her adventures as an author here.


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