Michael Abbott of The Brainy Gamer and Angela of Lesbian Gamers recently collaborated on a short essay aiming to address what they define as "the hostile climate that frequently arises within the gaming community." They tried isolating specific concerns about some gamer behaviour and raising questions about how to handle them, and just published what they've come up with.
Here's an excerpt:
Ironically, the medium we love that provides us with so much joy has also developed a fanbase with a reputation for anti-social, intolerant behaviour in both Australia and the United States where we live. We know it's a gross and unfair mischaracterization, but the broad set of cultural assumptions about games and gamers is largely negative, and we too often affirm those assumptions by our own behavior.
It's a topic I've also written quite a lot about. Like Michael and Angela, I've no designs on lumping everyone together under some big gruesome umbrella, or at tossing stones from my glass house. But as the essayists point out, negative gamer behaviour on the internet and in online play has ramifications for all of us:
We're not interested in being scolds or behaviour police, but we face an uphill climb convincing a parent or new gamer whom has visited a tirade-filled forum, or whom has been repeatedly attacked on Xbox Live as a "faggot," that video games are good for our souls, as James Paul Gee suggests.
Michael and Angela wonder just how broad the desire for a more civil environment among us is. They've asked some interesting questions — have we got any good answers?
Food for thought.
Questions for the Community [The Brainy Gamer]