One of the big stories this week has been around one of the (female) Bioware writers, Jennifer Hepler, being a target of rants on reddit. Naturally, because she’s female and they’re ranty gamers, this took on a sexist note very very quickly. I’m not saying that this per se is better or worse than the random death threats that male writers also get, but it’s definitely an unpleasant thing.
One thing this clarified in my mind is that how my favourite blogs and news sites respond to this type of ‘story’ is going to strongly affect whether I’m going to bother reading them in future. The internet is not about freedom of speech, it’s about being able to curate the views and content you receive. None of the websites that posted those hateful comments chose to moderate them out. They could have done, but they didn’t.
So I’ll stick with sites like:
(Both links are to coverage of this story which is respectful to Ms Hepler while still discussing her views, and gives no space to the haters.)
I realise there is a portion of the gaming fraternity for whom getting online and talking racist, sexist, homophobic smack talk is part of the fun, but they are not my community and I’m not interested in any websites which actively engage with them. I’m also not interested in playing any games with them. LTM (learn to moderate).