Most gamers at some point or another get asked the question “Why do you play that game so much?” For me, I do it for the happiness and enjoyment factor. It gives me a few minutes of escape time from the challenges of real life. In the 24 hour news cycle day we live in, politics and social problems are all around us and often invade everything that we do.
Thankfully, gaming usually steers clear of much of that. As we seek to expand on our gaming experience, many of us turn to blogs, podcasts, twitter, and twitch to help us boost the most amount of enjoyment out of it. It is unfortunate when gaming media allows politics to creep in. Often times the very issue that needs to be addressed is buried under partisan politics and the strong beliefs of the audience.
An interesting example of this occurred yesterday with the release of The Instance Podcast. At about the 30 minute mark the conversation of the hosts turned toward Gamergate and the poor behavior of some individuals on the internet. During the course of discussion one of the hosts tars half of the United States with a pretty wide brush, which based on Twitter responses is not exactly to the liking of all gamers. Sadly Scott Johnson is reporting receiving threats similar to the ones The Instance Crew were trying to discourage in the first place.
First of all let me say I am a big fan of The Instance Podcast and I wish them every bit of success in doing what they do. I have found that their analysis of the game and game issues is usually spot on. However, politically I am not on the same page with the hosts and never have been. Rage quitting the show seems rather silly and pointless, so the happy medium I found is that I listen to the show and follow the show account on Twitter and Facebook, but I don’t follow the personal accounts of the hosts. Thus far this has worked out well for me. I get the great news, information, and content that the show puts out while filtering the politics that are better left in the real world.
I think it is unfortunate that the analysis of Gamergate that the Instance Crew got lost in partisanship and political spin. I absolutely support the idea that the Internet should be a safe place for all gamers and that opportunity and equality within the gaming industry should be open to everybody. As a community we need to do everything we can curb bad behavior and if and when things escalate, we need to work with authorities to address any criminal and civil wrongdoing through the appropriate channels. I think in the end, I am hopeful this is something we all can agree on, and hopefully The Instance Crew might consider dropping an apology for painting people that happen to agree with them with such a wide brush.