Many of you met me through the ABC NightLine Segment highlighting harassment for women who associate with GamerGate in the gaming community. The piece was spun to make it look as if I was playing CS:GO and was harassed by people associated with GamerGate. Since then I’ve worked to reveal that that wasn't at all the case; the video showed me being harassed while playing in a casual server that had nothing to do with GamerGate. After hundreds of messages with questions about the use of the video I did an interview about my situation based on how they spun it to clarify:
Here is something that you may not know about my interaction with ABC, I was later asked how I felt they represented female gamers and my video. I gave them my opinion of the piece in detail; you can click the images below to read the reply in full.
They asked for more information as to why I disagreed and asked for more topics to “market”. I gave them many screen shots of instances of men and women dealing with everyday harassment and asked that they try to offer the public solutions on how to combat these situations. The focus was solely on women and painted all men as harassers which was not how the community functioned. Harassment was a problem for everybody and the topic needed to be addressed with solutions, not with victim showcasing. Here was their response:
I spoke with their representative on the phone after these emails. They first asked why I felt their piece was so widely rejected and was wondering what they could do to fix it. After explaining the issues with the portrayal of men and women who game, their definition of harassment, and how the piece looked more like a hit piece against Gamergate, I was informed that the “story” was too hard to “spin” to fit their ideals. They asked me to try to make solutions for women gamers only and made it very clear all they wanted were “female victims of the video game industry” because it was an easier story to market. I was shocked; they asked for my opinion on the piece and for more information, agreed that these issues should be addressed, and yet when I expressed my disapproval they focused only on women and what could and could not sell. The final message I got from ABC was:
There you have it, solutions to help deter online harassment is too “in the weeds” for ABC. I provided countless screen shots of both men and women addressing the issues with harassment and calling for change per her request. The people of the gaming community are not enough for ABC to show the truth. Gamers are too small of a market to help but plenty big enough to badger and humiliate to make a quick buck.
As a community it is time to refocus. We need to talk more about solutions when dealing with harassment and not whether it exists, to what extent it happens, or showcasing victims without moving forward to make a change. The developers need to be held accountable to make a change that is effective, that shows they care for their customers, and shows that they are actively taking measures to end this very serious issue; and not just for gamers. The world view of gamers is changing due to the misrepresentation and it is not going to stop until console producers, Microsoft, Sony/Playstation, Steam, etc. stand up and start combating the stigma by actively implementing new and evolved systems to combat harassment.
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