Why I Don’t Feel Welcome At Kotaku

Why I Don’t Feel Welcome At Kotaku

As part of an ongoing discussion on Twitter and on The Border House with Mattie Brice about Kotaku‘s openness towards minority sexualities (or perhaps just minority issues in general), I asked her to write a piece we could put on the site explaining why she doesn’t feel welcome around here.

I definitely don’t agree with a lot of the presumptions she has about our editorial perspective but that’s why we’re having the discussion in the first place, isn’t it?

***

Tamagotchi. Remember those?

They became popular when I was in fourth grade. Sometimes my mother took me to a nearby Target to pick a toy — she told me it was for good grades, but I knew it was because I got bullied often at school. One of these times, I raced to find a Tamagotchi, as all of my friends were getting them. I liked the idea of something with me at all times, to take care of it and make me feel like something needed me.

And there it was, a whole wall of glittering purple eggs. I remember that exact, uncreative display panel to this day, and my mother stopping me. She told me to wait, that my aunt wanted to get that for my birthday when she visited. I protested, but the answer was the same: be patient, you’ll get it soon enough. We went a week later and all of them were gone, sold out from every toy store in our area. For some reason that memory is lodged in my brain. I brought it up to my mother recently, but she’s forgotten.

The stray times I visit Kotaku, it’s like I’m seeing an empty panel that the reward for my sitting, smiling, and internalising should be. I was supposed to find somewhere to escape to, maybe even a place that needed me a little. You told me to wait, and I did. Where’s my Tamagotchi?

There is only a wrong way to go about this. So let’s just get to why I’m here:

Me too.

I’m part of the gaming community, but Kotaku doesn’t see me as a gamer. No, instead I’m a multi-racial transgender who-knows-sexual possibly-feminist woman gamer. A boogie monster. Someone who uses too many –isms and –ists in their daily tweets to actually enjoy anything. I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone ask what it’s like to be me in this pocket of society.

You know that invisible ink in detective movies? If you could get an internet lighter, you’d find “This site is for heterosexual white American men gamers.” Kotaku will never include me until it’s figured out that “gamers” is skewed to one identity and asks me to deal with that. No. Me too.

Gamer culture isn’t Kotaku‘s fault. That skewing Japan as a land of weirdoes is humorous. That gamers like to look at galleries made up of T&A shots of women in cosplay. So what if someone like me doesn’t fit in with typical gamers? The editors are just providing what gamers want, how is that a bad thing? Are you using that lighter?

When I wasn’t bullied as a child, I was creating games. My favourite thing to do was to give my friends superpowers based on their personalities. When we played, they were empowered to be themselves. It was always fun because each one of us mattered. I mattered. Ever since, I knew I wanted to be involved with games, maybe even make them. I contemplate what I would say to kid-me now that I figured out what a gamer is. What kind of treatment I would receive if I ever got into the industry. Would it be more humane to convince my past self I didn’t actually matter?

I’ve turned away from Kotaku because it doesn’t like my answers. There’s a reason I can’t find you bountiful resources of sexually liberated cosplayers not posing for straight guys. [I had asked Mattie to help me find some sources of cosplay images more in line with what she would like to see on the site. — Joel] Why there’s a scant amount of criticism of manchild culture. How the LGBT community is still the elephant in the room. We haven’t thought of what a gamer community that assumes diversity instead of homophobic adolescent dudes looks like. There are plenty of stats of who the “average” gamer is, what the actual demographics are. However, the image in our mind hasn’t changed in decades.

There’s a taboo against saying that. Me too. It’s radical liberal talk, an attempt to kill everyone’s fun. The common denominator response is “Why won’t you just go somewhere else?” I usually do. This attitude polarises the community between large, mean-spirited marches of “the old guard” and a few impenetrable bastions of rigid but progressive niche philosophies. I’ve run to places like The Border House because “me too” isn’t deliberated upon, it’s the law. I turn away because Kotaku doesn’t ask me “Why are you leaving?”

Me too.

I’ve stared at those two words and deleted them often enough that I forget what they mean. I can’t say those words here without preparing myself for the sling-fest, and some days I just can’t summon the strength. This is after I go through my life dealing with crap society presents me just because I exist. And you know what sucks? That many times, my words are shrugged off, or given the fatal “I’ll think about it.” That isn’t inclusivity. Being benign doesn’t help. Letting commenters spew toxic isn’t inviting. Looking to defend yourselves doesn’t solve anything when it’s so obvious there’s a problem. I’m not looking to shame you, I just want to set things right.

Must I be a martyr? Must you be a machine? Are our only choices to become symbols and lose our humanity? Do you understand what you’re asking of me when you tell me to be patient? Do you know how long I’ve been waiting?

The games I play now won’t let me be myself. No game dares to feature a transgender character that isn’t on the wrong end of a joke. Sometimes I pretend that my party members know, but are too scared to ask. God, I don’t even know if most actual people know what it means to be transgender. Or multi-racial. Or anything other than what they are. I don’t know if they know it’s OK to ask. Then maybe we could figure out what a gamer really is. Halfway isn’t enough, but I will accompany you on the journey.

I wish Kotaku would tell me “We don’t want you to go away.” You’ll have to scroll down a bit to see if that comes true.

Me too.

Mattie Brice writes about diversity and narrative topics in video games. Along with her article work she hosts a podcast at The Border House and reviews games for Game Critics and the Moving Pixels column at Pop Matters. Sporadically blogs at Alternate Reality.

Comments

    • I wasn’t planning on posting this. You guys know the toilet edition publishes whatever you’ve typed in this field if you navigate away from the page right?

      Also, am I the only one who has image alignment issues on the toilet edition. You images don’t scale, so half the text is off screen and it won’tet me resize, so I can’t read the article.

    • agreed. Kotaku is the worst website ever.
      It doesn’t cater enough to MY needs. I am not an Australian or American, why doesn’t Kotaku write articles in MY native language? Why are you discriminating against ME?

      I also don’t play Skyrim, why do you cover so much Skyrim? Why don’t you cover more stuff that I play? And articles that I want to read??

      Don’t you realise that the world revolves around ME??

  • “I’m part of the gaming community, but Kotaku doesn’t see me as a gamer. No, instead I’m a multi-racial transgender who-knows-sexual possibly-feminist woman gamer. A boogie monster. Someone who uses too many –isms and –ists in their daily tweets to actually enjoy anything. I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone ask what it’s like to be me in this pocket of society.”

    I had no idea who Mattie Brice was until this article popped up. I still don’t really know who Mattie Brice is. But upon reading this I was given a ready-made mental picture of the author that was made up almost entirely of cliches and stereotypes of the author’s choosing. Not that I’m saying people should never talk about themselves, but I do think immediately slapping labels on yourself isn’t going to help people get to know you any better. Or even think of you as a real person…

    Obiviously I don’t represent ‘Kotaku’ or speak for the majority of ‘Kotaku’, but it *does* so happen that I am an American male who, while of mixed race, would likely be identified as ‘white’ by the common passerby and who also happens to be attracted to the women whom I find to be attractive. In describing myself as such I have now labeled myself as well, and if Mattie were to read this I’m sure she’d be immediately lumping me in with all the rest of ‘Kotaku’ as she sees it. Whereas if we had simply begun talking about how she thinks Max Payne 3 will be great and I think it’s going to be a ‘successful dissappointment’ neither of us would have all kinds of labels hanging off of us outside of things like “She must love Rockstar brand kool-aid” and “God, this guy is an annoying fanboy who needs a life” 😛

    I agree that Kotaku(US) tends to skew towards the ‘adolescent male’ mindset in the areas of ‘article content’ and ‘average commentor’… and it’s pretty annoying… but I also feel that wearing labels on your forehead and basically baiting people into starting arguments will get you exactly what it sounds like it will get you. Not really defending it, just pointing out that human beings, in general, work that way.

    Like I said, prior to this post, I had no idea who Mattie Brice was, and after reading it over a few times I still have no idea who she is as a person. I know she’s referring to herself as a ‘woman’ but only after using lots of generic stereotype-referancing labels that allude to something more ‘complex’ and I know that she’s apparently had it ‘up to here’ with hetero-dude-rican-ists 😛
    I don’t know what the impetus of this letter was; if it was some kind of issue with the editors or maybe a run-in with some flamey comments on an ariticle that she happened upon. (I also have no idea what the whole “Me Too” thing was referancing… if anything…)

    I just thought I’d point out that ‘You get more flies with Honey than you do Vinegar’ is generally true of most human beings… and that because of that, I think posting a letter like this, at least on the US site, will likely just attract the kind of reaction Mattie is complaining about here. But like I said, I’m unfamiliar with the situation and the person in question… that could be the point 😛

    TL;DR
    I don’t really care if Mattie reads Kotaku or not, but she’s likely in for a flamestorm of some kind… also, who is Mattie and what’s all these ‘me too’s about?

    Also, am I just extremely tired, or does ‘Thom’s comment up there make absolutely no sense whatsoever?

    • Darn you Aerin, I wanted to have the eloquently written rebuttal, and you had to beat me to the punch with your tasteful wordsmanship. Darn you to heck, good sir.

      • lol, I was just about to reply to your post and claim that you said basically what I said, only with less rambling, but I’ll say “thanks” just the same 🙂

        Also, Did she ever get that damned Tomagotchi?? The suspense is palpable…

        • Right?
          Her talking positively about how cool her kid self thought Tamagotchis (Tamagotchii?) were was the most endearing part of the article.

  • +1.

    The reality is Kotaku is a general gaming news site. Expecting it to uniquely cater to every user is ridiculous. This is exactly why there are more specific sites dedicated to sub-groups/cultures/minorities within just about every area of interest. It’s not discrimination, it’s common sense.

  • Thanks for the guilt trip.

    If that’s the sort of attitude you bring with you everywhere, it’s no wonder you got/get bullied (nobody deserves to be bullied, but this sort of self-defeatist attitude definitely invites it).

    If you choose to identify yourself as a multi-racial, transgender, X-sexual, maybe-feminist, if you choose to apply those labels to yourself, then you accept the pros and the cons of those demographics, one of which is always going to be under-representation

    I am ethnic, multi-racial. I am a teetotaller, which is a very marginalised position in Australia. But I don’t go harping on about how “Oh woe is me, why are there no characteristically Greek-Australian gaming heroes? Why are there no stoically sober heroes?”.

    If you want more characters that represent your minority demographic, then just say as much, and hell, maybe make a case as to why it would be a good thing, or how best to represent them. Don’t go guilt tripping all of the other people in the community about how them enjoying characters they can identify with is making you feel unwelcome.

    You applying labels to yourself and expecting people to psychically understand that they should go out of their way to cater to your labels is making you feel unwelcome.

  • Cry me a river. Read it all and sorry but that’s the biggest load of self aggrandising, self martyrising, ‘look at me and feel sorry for me because a website doesn’t hug me’ shit I’ve seen in ages. Did the community not make you welcome? Nowhere is it stated youd be welcomed with open arms. Instead of dipping your toes in and running screamong ‘ITS COLD OH LAWDY ITS COLD!’ try doiving right in instead. You adjust quick. We arent exactly 4chan. Take a spoon of cement and harden up a little.

  • TL:DR

    From what I did read, its like being a straight female and complaining that playboy doesn’t cater to you, specifically.
    Other women still enjoy it, even if you don’t.

  • Why are all these American female gamers such whiny crybabies? Thank god we have ladies like Tracey, informed, articulate, and most of all, enthusiastic!

  • The first thing that struck me was this “Someone who uses too many –isms and –ists in their daily tweets to actually enjoy anything”. That is a fundamental problem right there, you’re so caught up in your own pompous, post modern, PC, bullshit self righteousness that you can’t even enjoy life? You need to get over it, and yourself, because after you do that you may actually be able to enjoy life and start living.

    This is a website about gaming news, it doesn’t really cater to any gender/sexual preference/race specifically, it has news and reviews and the occasional opinion pieces ABOUT VIDEO GAMES. It’s not about everything, it’s not made to cater to EVERYONE interested in ANYTHING. Chances are 99% of websites/book/magazines don’t cater to absolutely everyone interested in anything. It’s about games, and last I looked it’s pretty objective, in it’s analysis and reporting about VIDEO GAMES. There are the occasional cosplay posts, but aren’t entirely female, hetero specific, I don’t know about you but I don’t look at people and see gay/straight/black/white/asian i see people, people dressed like video game characters because that’s what they like to do. No one is forcing them to dress like that, if they want to dress in a skimpy elf costume or like Mai from KOF then they’ll do it because they want to, not because they are being forced to, there are plenty of un-skimpy characters to dress up as, or the option to not dress up at all. If there aren’t that many people of different sexual preferences then that’s not really a reflection of kotaku’s bias, it’s a reflection of a cross section of a subculture, a subculture, whether you like it or not, includes mostly adolescent males. The opinion pieces, especially lately, all seem to consist of people complaining about how they don’t ‘fit in’ or how gaming is misogynist and racist, which is actually an indication of how far kotaku is actually going to appeal to everyone and include everyone’s opinion to create a level playing field, which is better than most sites.

    I’m getting pretty sick and tired of these whinging articles about virtually nothing, if you feel like you specifically are not being catered to enough then do something about it: Start your own site catering specifically to people like like you, in a similar situation if you feel like you are being neglected, instead of just whinging about about it on the fucking internet. It’s just as bad as these occupy morons, they want change but all they do about it is sit on their ass on the street, what will that accomplish? NOTHING. Positive action is needed, there’s no point sitting on your ass and complaining, you need to do something about it, that’s just the way the world works. I’m not defending the system, I’m saying if you want to win, you have to play their game because they make the rules.

    But you know what? Even if you start your own site for people in a similar situation to you, I am willing to bet that in order for it to do well and grow and become popular you will eventually include articles that aren’t 100% inline with your acute point of view and you’ll get an email, just like this article, from someone saying how you’ve alienated them because your site doesn’t appeal to them specifically. Then the circle will be complete.

  • Don’t join a community and expect it to cater to you. A community is not a “thing” with a set of characteristics that can be controlled, it’s just a collection of people, and takes on the characteristics of those people. You are only one person, so while other members of the community might accept you, the community itself won’t change for you to become what you want.

    I say this as respectfully as possible, but you may be looking in the wrong place. Find a community that already has like-minded people, or stick around and just be yourself and eventually more like-minded people may find their way here too.

    • I’d just like to make sure you know that I have no problems with your gender, sexuality, etc. I just don’t see why it should even matter to a gaming website. Just come here for your love of games, stick around and be yourself.

  • I still find it hilarious that there’s a big contingent of posters here who seem to enjoy lapsing back onto busted arguments from Derailing for Dummies (derailingfordummies.com) like how the author has to ask really really nice pretty please and complaining about whining and whinging — you’re all proving the author’s point. “We don’t want to listen to you”. “We don’t care about your concerns”.

    Your predictability is a constant source of mirth. Congratulations. *golfclap*

    • I think it’s fair that people don’t want to be threatened with kneecapping like that militant one did a few weeks ago, or be asked to chuck in for therapy bills because someone’s mummy didn’t buy them a tamagotchi.

      • Where were those posters threatening you with “kneecapping” or asking for “therapy bill” money?

        Sounds like you don’t like to hear criticism. Or you don’t like to hear people being angry about you.

        Boo fucking hoo.

      • I think you’re entirely missing the point here. I wasn’t the one who posted an entire article basically pouring shit on a WEBSITE and it’s ‘community’ saying how they didn’t accept or cater to me.

        The best way to make friends is to be understanding and reach a common ground, so it would stand to reason that the common ground here would be video games, after all kotaku ISN’T a site about everything, it’s about video games. But the author hasn’t done this in order to be ‘accepted’ (which is what they seem to want) they instead have come out swinging.

        The best way to make enemies is to insult someone, especially in a generalised way, not taking into account their own personality and indivuality. Sexism, Racism or attacking something that they are passionate about are the most common and worst ways to insult someone

        What the author has done here is insult me, the rest of the people who post here and the people who run the site by lumping us ll together into one bigoted faceless monster, basically saying that we are bad people because we don’t bend over backwards enough to cater to someone we don’t know and who themselves doesn’t make an effort to participate and who admittedly doesn’t even really know who they are or what they want.

        BULLSHIT.

    • Talk about missing the point.

      People are merely pointing out if you act like a *insert here*, your going to be treated as *insert here*. If most your articles and what you write about is what is wrong with a community, well prepare to take responsibility and receive your cheers and jeers.

      However, if she wrote about games as a gamer. She would be constructing a positive role model and not as a person who continually trying to stir the pot.

  • I don’t want you to go away..

    I want you to play the games that are out there to be played and if you are not enjoying them do something constructive about it or stop playing them.

    All the other stuff is rather making a mountain out of a mole hill, just look at the comments, no one really cares that your X-Y-Zisms, what they care about is the venom that you are spreading about in an effort to highlight what.. that you want to be treated differently?

    I don’t want you to go away but I don’t want to buy into your negativity either, be who you want to be, it is really none of my concern and I am going to pander to your desires no differently than any other gamer here.

    • FYI..

      I get that you want to be represented and accepted both in game and irl
      I also get that you object to people dismissing your specific identity but consider your own reaction to a typical ott white Anglo homophobic male.. that is how many people feel about you.

  • Blogs are built by users, sadly. They get what they ask for. If they respond favourably with clicks and comments to T&A cosplay galleries, then that’s what they get.

  • Wow great replies from the people above me. I think the author should stop placing labels on herself and just use her love of gaming to enjoy the site.

  • I guess I didn’t study this article very well, as far as I can tell she is complaining about not feeling welcome, yet doesn’t actually give a specific reason?

  • Looking at most of the comments for this article, I can see why the writer of the article has the opinion that they do.

    • Because the best way to be accepted by a group of people is to insult them in a generalised way (much like how the author is said they are ‘not being welcomed’ in a such a generalised way), and then wonder why people get offended and want to defend themselves.

  • I don’t get it, I’m a woman that works in the gaming industry and i have never felt excluded or that its a boys club full of manchilds….
    Sure there isn’t as many chicks in the industry but instead of bitching we should be celebrating the diversity of gaming culture, because it is diverse.
    I’m proud to be a gamer chick, who respects the gay community and transgenders and different races and all that other stuff, the more diversity the better.
    But you are only a minority if you make yourself out to be one.

    • -1 for missing the point that the arguement wasn’t about the community and individuals but that gamer spaces such as this one cater to the majority demographic to the exclusion of almost all else.

      • She’s complaing that she doesn’t feel welcome at Kotaku because she’s a girl. She’s actually making females look bad.
        Seriously, we all know the issue is out there, but these articles don’t help at all.
        I think that no one here at Kotaku AU has ever felt out of place. I know I sure as hell don’t.

        • “I think that no one here at Kotaku AU has ever felt out of place. I know I sure as hell don’t.”

          You are joking right? Being sarcastic? Trolling?

          If you’re being serious I need to call you on this – just because you feel perfectly cocooned in your gamer niche surrounded by those who support your opinion and do nothing but bolster your perception that everyone here is somehow swinging their anglo american/australian dick in time with your own, it just ain’t so.

          I skip most of the junk on Kotaku and I’m exceptionally happy and interested when these articles come along.

          Kotaku is full of guys getting hard over gun renders and military shooters, which is not a bad thing! Just not my thing.

          The author of the article was invited to write about why she stays away from Kotaku, obviously because the editors of this site are not swinging their dicks in time with yours either.

  • She lost me when she said ‘daily tweets’.
    When will 99% of the people on this planet understand that they are unimportant and no one gives a shit what they did 5 minutes ago or what they think about.

  • Gay… Lesbian… Straight… Transgender… Who Cares?
    The only time I can really see these things becoming an issue to the people who read Kotaku is when you bring it up.

    We’re gamers. The only time someone’s sexuality is truly relevant, is when someone gets in a rage about their own sexuality. Up until that point, we just enjoy playing games with each other, and on our own.

    • “Up until that point, we just enjoy playing games with each other, and on our own.”

      And if you don’t agree that our bread and butter could have more texture, more flavour, you can shut the fuck up and fuck off, right?

      Fuck you.

  • So did anyone here stop and consider their own priveleged position before they commented harshly on the concerns of a minority that most game sites seem to ignore them?… anyone?

    /tumbleweeds

    • How should gaming sites welcome people based upon things that have nothing to do with gaming? If you create a daily post for mixed race transgender thalidomide-affected lesbians before long they’ll be clamouring “why can’t we be treated like any other gamer, why do we have to be singled out with a daily post aimed at us and us alone!” and at the same time they’ll want to be acknowledged as a minority. They want to have their cake and to eat it too. No-one cares about your race or sexuality. We’re here for the games. I’m not sure how that puts me in a “privileged position”. People on this site in a privileged position are the ones with a PC fat enough to run BF3 while owning all the other consoles too.

      • Yeah… what I was trying to convey was the fact it’s difficult for people not in a minority position to sympathise with someone who feels marginalised by their natuire.

        Rather than trying to even consider for a second the view point of someone not yourself people are leaping to defensive positions and being unwarrantedly aggressive and unpleasent, generally taking a ‘deal with it’ stance.

        I don’t know what the solution is, making the site content as generic as possible would bland things, likewise token minority focused articles would feel just that as you rightly pointed out.

        But gee whiz wouldn’t it be nice if people stopped and analyzed where the writer was really coming from than immediately assuming it was a criticiam of themselves first.

    • I don’t follow your logic.
      If you were going about your daily routine, and someone you barely know comes up to you and says “Everything you do makes me feel unwanted”, of course you’re going to defend yourself. Even if you do the proper thing, stop and consider what they said, and determine it not to be true, you would still defend yourself, and if you gave a damn, maybe explain to that person why you think they feel unwelcomed.
      If you read a lot of the longer posts, they’re not flaming this person, they’re explaining to them how the problem might lie with them, and what can be done to resolve the issue.

      People wouldn’t go to the effort to explain that unless they gave a damn about this person to some extent. That people are taking the time to inform this person on how to feel more welcome in the community WITHOUT making moral sacrifices shows those community members being extremely accepting and welcoming.

      • You have two options, you can defend yourself, or you can stop and ask why what you do makes them feel unwanted, and ask what you can do to stop that from happening.

        • But why do I have to change? I write the occaisonal comment 99% of the time relating to the video game mentioned in the article i’m commenting on. What’s wrong with that? does that mean I have to make sure every single post I write caters to people of all sexual preferences/races/genders/interplanetary origins? Does that mean I have to change my opinions to make every single person in the universe happy? no it doesn’t, because then there would be no individual thought, it would all be one big bland mess.

          Change goes both ways, you want to be accepted for what you are (even though no one knows who or what you are unless who actually go around telling everyone all the time) you have to be accepting of them. If your opinion differs from them, discuss it, don’t lash out and accuse people of things right off the bat, that will only impact negatively.

          • I don’t say you need to change. But if you want to allow for an open, welcoming community, then you should ask what the problem is, and what they would want. Then encourage others to do the same. It would have been so good to see everyone, instead of getting on the defensive, just asking what changes she would like, then discussing those changes. They may not be implemented, but at least it would show that this is a community that is willing to consider the views of others rather than a blanket denial of a problem.

          • Unfortunately, in response to Kotaku seeking an article from Mattie to explain why she feels unwelcome (aka “what the problem is” as you put it) she provides no actual examples of “the problem” apart from a short reference to cosplay.

            I’ve no idea what the “Me Too” stuff is in relation to, and after reading the article am left uncertain if Mattie feels unwelcome due to the content of articles or due to comments by the community (or both).

            If it’s the articles, then do as I do for the majority of the Cosplay / Japanese “cultural” articles (which I’m assuming may be Matti’s issue), and simply ignore them as not of interest to me. I think the site could do with less of them, but I don’t feel unwelcome because of their existence.

            If it’s the community, then I’m at a loss as to the relevance of the sexuality of the posters. Sure there may be the odd articles that spark debate on sexuality/minority issues raised within games or their advertising but I can’t recall an instance of widespread condemnation of anyone who isn’t a straight male by the commentors.

            Right or wrong I’m left with the impression from her article that Mattie defines herself purely by her sexual / minority status to exclusion of any thing else and needs to have that justified by others, even when it’s irrelevant. If that’s an inaccurate perception then all I can say is that she blew a great opportunity to initiate a positive debate on the real issues at play.

      • I know people who are social workers and have people say almost that exact thing to them on a daily basis. Getting defensive is universally considered the wrong thing to do in that instance.

        The problem is that people then something about their belief must be wrong, and that’s not the case. But if your immediate reaction is to be defensive then clearly you feel you have something to be defensive off. What exactly are you threatened by?

  • I dont want people to be driven away from Kotaku. I’d like to know what the author of this article would like to see on the site. I’m interested in points of view that are not similar to my own, and even if I don’t agree with them, I’d like to read them, and have the opportunity to comment on them.

    To be honest, I understand what she’s talking about with being driven away. Some of the commenters above dont seek to engage and understand, they are trying to drive away this one person who has raised a dissenting voice. It’s natural, you want to defend that which you hold dear. But it is disappointing.

    It’s a shame. There are some terrific individuals whose comments I truly enjoy reading. But those above, who have made no effort to comprehend the authors issues, or ask the questions that she wants to have asked, are definitely no amongst them.

    I think challenging the lack of tolerance and respect within the gaming community is something that each and every one of us should be doing. We should never become a closed off community, and we should always be asking ourselves what we can do to make it better.

    • I may seem harsh or negative but actually what I’m trying to get across is that YOU have to be the change you want to see in the world. Instead of the author writing an article about they aren’t accepted or that they don’t fit in and everyone excludes them, why not write an article for people just like them? That would mean there is at least one article that caters to them and people like them, thereby making it easier for them to participate in a POSITIVE way, and change the status quo.

      Whinging and complaining does NOTHING. i’m sick of the culture of apathy of today, writing blog posts about how you aren’t accepted isn’t helping anyone, if anything this article serves as a reminder just how badly it DOESN’T work.

      People need to take positive action to change a situation, this isn’t it.

      • She’s informed us of a problem. Now we are aware of a problem, so the onus is upon us to ask the question, how do we fix this.

        Ultimately, her response to that question will direct how the community proceeds. It may be a suggestion that everyone can get on board with. Or it may be completely unreasonable. But we don’t know unless you ask.

        So I agree with you, people do need to take positive action to change a situation. That’s all people, not just the author, but the rest of the community as well.

        • I get what your saying Jeremy but why should I have work at making the Author feel better about themselves? That is their job not mine or yours..

          If something I am doing is causing offense well then, sure, lets discuss it.. like many of the posts here are attempting to do but a complaint without the offer of a solution is just a complaint and the article is walking a very fine line between being constructive or being just a complaint.

          • Because it takes next to no effort to ask, and that tiny amount of effort may make a considerable difference to making that person feel more accepted.

          • But isn’t that what Kotaku editors have done – asking what the problem is?

            Unfortunately, while the article title gives the impression that the “why” will be answered, Mattie has failed to do so, instead presenting an article that non specifically indicates it’s something to do with sexuality/minority group status.

            The specific complaint seems to be not about Kotaku, but about game developers not allowing her to play a transgender character.

        • I agree, but i also think there is a shorter route to fixing the ‘problem’ that the author has with the community: omit the ‘complaint’ article and dive right in a write a positive open article that is meant to cater to people like the author (as that’s what the author says is the problem, not enough overly specific articles), rather than a negative, generalised whinge.

          • Yep. That would also be good too.

            Doesn’t mean we still can’t respond positively to this article.

          • Interestingly enough I spent ~half an hour looking for a way to contact the author do politely ask for more information in an effort to better understand where she is coming from.
            However that still doesn’t make it my responsibility to do so, it is an option available to me and in the end I didn’t find any way other that tweeting or blogging, neither of which I am going to do.

  • I often used to go to LGBT clubs and feel mega out of place and awkwardly continue to get hit on. People there expect me to participate in their idea’s of sexuality and try to force me to think and do things that I do not want to do. Its not me, but I want to fit in.

    Me too.

    The thing is; I cant expect these people to make changes for me. As long as what they are doing isn’t actively setting out to do me damage its OK. I can choose to participate in the culture of the environment. I can choose to separate myself from the environment. I can choose to make a new environment where I feel accepted. Or I can complain about it and sit around feeling left out and inadequate.

    Acceptance is a difficult thing, but its not a one way street. You cannot live life expecting people to cater to your needs specifically, sitting in a pool of your own tears until you are listened to. In fact people will often eventually become concerned and make allowances for your needs due to human nature. In this instance I chose to remove myself from the situation, which is disappointing as I now only see my LBGT friends outside of these environments.

    Life is hard. But you shouldn’t make it more difficult for yourself than it already is, and feeling sorry for yourself because you don’t fit in is one of the ways to fast track yourself to a bad bad place. (High school anyone?) It sucks but it is how it is. I just hope that one day you are able to make yourself happy first, without worrying about what everybody else is thinking, feeling or doing..

  • This feels like a person in a wheelchair complaining because they have a ramp instead of an elevator.

    Political correctness aside, doing extra to cater for the characteristic of someone that doesn’t directly relate to the reason for the place existing in the first place? All that does is hang a lantern on how different you are, and will further drive you apart.

    It’s like GLBT Mardis-Gras, or pride marches. Complaining with one hand that you’re not being treated like everyone else. then proclaiming to the world that you’re different and proud of it. Make your damn mind up.

    Sexual orientation and gender orientation make no difference to me in here. Up until this moment, Mattie Brice was just a gamer to me.

  • Alright here’s a question: how do i, a person who sporadicly posts on a gaming site go about ‘asking’ someone else who i don’t know, who I’ve never seen post on here before or met or had any contact with EVER about their problems with the community on the site because i somehow telepathically know that this person i’ve never had any contact with whatsoever has a problem with the community?

    I understand that this article is meant to bridge that gap to some extent, but instead of showing up to the party and complaining about people not accepting them straight away but saying something like “hey you guys are all jerks, you don’t accept me because i’m a certain way even though no of you know me or who/what i am” how about just showing up and saying “hey i like video games too and I want to be part of this community, i have different experiences as a person which can make for more interesting discussions”?

  • This doesn’t seem about the general attitude (or really Kotaku itself) but a desire for special treatment.

    I just feel that if you go out into the world always expecting special treatment (like from news sites designed for gamers) your always going to feel let down. Acting like you should be catered to specifically because of your orientation seems counter productive, you want people to accept you but you want them to acknowledge that you are different?

  • Wow. I’m impressed by how (generally) lucid the comments have been so far.
    WD to the responders and those who can only flame for not responding.

    I wish that gaming was less sexist/alcoholic/drug dependant/violence dependant. It shits me to tears when I see some of the unrealistic, sometimes dangerous stereotypes portrayed in the guise of “hard edged” games.
    In fact I hate a lot of things about gaming (and the internet in general) and sometimes I even bring it to forums and to the comments of kotaku.
    But there is also a lot I like about gaming and the internet, which is why I call myself a gamer and a netizen, and a lot I like about other gamers.

    One of the things I like so much about the internet is that on the net there doesn’t have to be gender, race, religion, social cast or fashnistas (there is only the ping, embrace the ping). You are generally judged by the ideas you bring with you and the opinions you espouse.

    I’m sorry you feel excluded. But I think that’s more about what’s going on in your head than in any of ours. I hope you get your head right ’cause we could always do with more diversity of opinion. It does tend to stink of testosterone around here some times.

  • I decided to read the article on The Border House (linked in the main post). What was written there is VERY different to what was written here. I think that her issue isn’t with the Kotaku community and the general mentality around here as this article would have us believe, it’s more to do with the content of the articles themselves.

    It would be really nice if Mattie could give us a clear and concise explanation of what she wants or what Kotaku is doing wrong, instead of something ambiguous. It would sound much more constructive that way, and I think we’d be getting much more constructive comments in response.

  • I too, do not feel welcome here most times.
    Ever since the Editor in Chief has changed i have had many comments sanctioned and not approved.
    This is the first site i have ever had my comments deleted or not approved.
    As such i only come here once or twice a week

  • Ah, the hypocrisy. So many of the comments here are hilariously predictable. They call anyone who wants to object to the discrimination they’ve faced a crybaby, yet as soon as they feel slighted as a community they’re up in arms, bless their fragile little privileged egos.

    • I can only speak for myself but my ego sometimes does gets up in arms when accused of doing something that I have not done.

      Mattie can go ahead and object to being unable to play a transgender, mixed race character that is understood and loved by all in Dragon Age 2 but calling out the whole Kotaku community over that same frustration.. is it any wonder we are up in arms?

    • Is it discrimination to not FEEL included in something that does not significantly appeal to you? Its like seeing people being given apples, and thinking ‘hey they get free stuff. I want free stuff, but I HATE apples…. Why aren’t you giving away free pears? I need free pears. Otherwise YOU are sexist because I am different’.

      • D00d, comparing something you’re born with like race or sex or whatever to a preference for apples or pears is a bit silly. Unless you’re born part-fruit…which could be delicious if a little impractical.
        Plus, oranges are way better than both, so there!

        • Haha,
          I am in fact at least 80% mango. It helps get me the nondescriptindividualattractivepeoplewithdifferentviewpointswhomirespectandlovedespitetheirgender.

          But that’s besides the point. In this example. Apples and Pears are an example of the Video game content being consumed / experienced / reported on and the gender / identity issue presented here remains the same.

          Mattie feels that she deserves to be identified, respected and catered for individually on a free website that does not target her specific interests in respect to her gender but is still popular within the wider gaming community.

          It does not mean that Mattie needs her own article in kotaku to demonstrate how she feels underrepresented. And if it actually does then I want my own article in kotaku to cater for people who dont like their character in pokemon wearing hats. Because I feel under represented in that I cant wear a hat because my head is too large. And if this is not included then I shall boycott kotaku despite my love for videogames and the brilliant reporting that takes place here (In kotaku AU at least..)

          Having said that though, it is an interesting topic that has generated alot of conversation. So maybe we do need a LGBT gaming section on kotaku? I dont know what they would put there…. Transgender cosplays (Link mostlikely) and a LGBT community Kudos? I guess it couldnt hurt? It might just have to be heavily moderated though…

  • I’m just confused as to what kotaku was was apparently discriminating against. I know she doesn’t out rightly SAY that Kotaku is discriminating, but it all the wording is just a round about way of saying how terrible white “american” males are.

  • What a rediculous comment.

    Last time I checked, the vast amount of media outlets, Kotaku or otherwise, tend to focus on their target audience. GG:Spawn Point for kids, Women’s Weekly for older women, etc.

    To expect Kotaku to cater to evey single segment of the “gamer” audience is unreasonable, arrogant and just plain daft, regardless of how many letters you use to categorise yourself.

  • WTF is this SH!T?

    The title told me it was an attention whore post, but the the tamagotchi stuff started. I thought it was going to be a tamagotchi thread. I was presently surprised.

    Then I get “but Kotaku doesn’t see me as a gamer. No, instead I’m a multi-racial transgender who-knows-sexual possibly-feminist woman gamer.”
    WTF?
    No, youre an attention whore.

    Im going to write an article about being a 36 year old white gamer male with a wife and two kids who hates coming to Kotaku and hearing attention whore rants.

  • Something I wish I’d said earlier, when it would be read. When have you, as a (statistically) white, male, straight gamer feel marginalised in the gaming community? If your answer is today, when you read this article, then you’ve just gotten an understanding of how the author feels a large amount of the time.

    • If you were a mixed-race transgender asexual lactose-intolerant polygamous astronaut who lives on the moon, then you’re always going to be a minority.

      There is a big difference, however, between being a minority, and being unwelcome. You may not find articles here that specifically cater to you, but you can take part in the discussion, and present your view-point in the comments section. IF the community then responded to your minority perspective with “GTFO out of, you don’t belong”, THEN you have a reason to not feel welcome. I strongly suspect, though, that that reaction would not take place.

      What the author has done is write a full page article about how they have a chip on their shoulder, and how they don’t feel welcome in our community, without providing a single example of what they would prefer, and where every ‘wrong’ example was presenting mainstream content, rather than specifically tailored to her/his 0.00000*1% of the population/demographic.

  • The author was invited to write the article by the US editor about these issues.

    But that’s beside the point. This is the one occasion where someone has come and said ‘I dont feel comfortable’ and it has made EVERYONE here feel uncomfortable, to the point that they’ve felt the need to come out and defend Kotaku to the death. Once. And it happens every time a minority challenges gamer culture, which is, at most, once every two weeks.

    But imagine if you feel that uncomfortable with every second or third article. Or imagine you’re transgender and you read articles about Kayo Satoh that feel the need to mention, every single time, that she is transgender. And some of the accompanying comments. Of course she would feel unwelcome.

    • It’s not that they said they don’t feel comfortable; It’s their reasoning (or lack there of).
      The only solid examples they gave were 1. The lack of non-hetero cosplay, and 2. The lack of transgender characters in games.

      To begin with, neither of these are properties of the Kotaku community.
      For 1. All cosplay is shown. I don’t think anyone found that Garrus cosplay to be sexually attractive, but my god how we marvelled over the impressive realism and detailing.
      For 2. Many games let you choose to be a man or woman, and treat you equally. How is that in any way different to being transgender? you pick the gender that suits who you are as a person, and get treated equally.

      I’m more than willing to consider that I or my community have treated someone incorrectly. After consideration, however, this is not one of those times.

      As for the Kayo Satoh mention, has this site or general community ever condemned her for being transgender, or just said that it is notable/interesting?

  • The problem, as pointed out a few times in the article, isn’t Kotaku but the wider gaming industry. Which is true – the gaming industry is still convinced that it’s largest audience by far is white heterosexual 15-25 year old males.

    And that’s true.

    Unfortunately this is shown to such a degree that “minorities”, including females (no matter their sexuality, age or race) and the LGBT audience is not represented.

    Yep, I said females. This is true. Whilst, to even out, around 50% of everyone on the planet is female and they are becoming more prevalent in gaming, they are still seen as a “minority” when it comes to a game’s target audience.

    I wouldn’t bat an eyelid if Kotaku started doing more articles to appeal to these crowds. Yep, there’s the cosplay ones (which I just find plain weird anyway). They’re primarily skewed towards pleasing males because the source material itself is. If you find a load of cosplay showing a topless Link or topless Mario (actually no, let’s not go there) then by all means post it.

    Females are becoming more prevalent in gaming. This is slowly being recognised in the games themselves, whilst a lot of the time the press sees it as being a novelty. Perhaps if the press didn’t do this, and instead simply accepted it and moved on (I do regularly see articles about “the rise of the girl gamer” on various sites) then that may help in that fashion.

  • While i could give an eloquent response I don’t see the need.

    Stop bitching or GTFO.

    Gamers dont care what you are we dont care if your black, white or asian male or female (guys play girl chars and girls play guy chars) in most multiplayer games your just an avatar and the chat responses, how you perform and how you treat other players are what makes us form an opinion of you.

    The truth is you more then likely have been a social outcast all your life and have defined yourself as a “multi-racial transgender who-knows-sexual possibly-feminist woman” when you cant be what you have defined your whole life as you can’t cope this is indicative of deeper mental problems. Games require imagination, something you clearly dont have if you can’t roleplay as a “transgender multiracial person”.

    Games are the only place everyone is treated based on their personality alone. Especially MMO’s but also games like Battlefield 3 (and some other shitty shooter that came out almost directly afterwards that i dont want to mention by name because it can go DIAF). The truth of the matter is simple, you dont want to be treated like everyone else you want to be “special”.

    In your story about the tamogotchi do you know what I see. I see a story about a child that gets picked on at school like 70% of the kids in australia (yes almost everyone gets picked on even the big strong athletic alpha males) but unlike most other kids who either deal with it internally or by fighting back you didn’t deal with it instead you used it as an excuse as to why you deserve things (oh the world is so cruel to me i clearly deserve more then you) your mother wanted to buy you a gift its a gesture of love but you dont see it that way you see it as she feels sorry for you because your pathetic.

    Get psychiatric help.

    Oh and I would like to label myself in the same fashion you did just to prove everyone is unique which makes none of us unique. Hi my name is [Retracted] and I am a Bi-polar Dissociative Asexual Male with no real friends who can’t hold down a job because every now then i “skitz out” and terrorize or hurt people.

    meh turns out i cant just say stop bitching and GTFO without trying to defend my platform bugger.

  • Hey guys, she’s actually complaining about Kotaku US. I don’t think she even sees Kotaku AU at all.
    I always feel welcome here. If she was to say I am a woman and I enjoy video games and then did a post on what games she likes, she would be accepted easily.
    No one likes whining. My little pony proved that =/

  • Mattie, if games aren’t letting you “be yourself” why don’t you perhaps make your own game full of transgender he/she woe is me types and be done with it. I think all people decide their own level of involvement in any community. Stop being a victim and find some like minded people. Oh and I’m not sorry for being a 23 year old white male with a well paying job and friends, I have worked too hard coming from nothing to be told I have everything.

  • I enjoy my self control. I see images of people with none all the time. “Sexy” images, of cosplayers, game characters or whatever. I’m not a slut, I don’t want to sleep with all these women/men. So they’re sexually attractive. I’m still not a slut. I don’t care if they’re straight/gay/lesbian/bi/transgender or not. Soulless shit is soulless. People will flame me for saying this. I know because people always do. I don’t care about sexuality. I’m happy to treat you as you are. The issue I’m concerned with is are PEOPLE around to talk to? At all? All these sluts. Where are the people?

  • I don’t think I’m defensive I’m just really confused about the main article.

    I’ve read the whole thing and all the posts here trying to understand it and I just don’t.

    What I got from the article was
    #1 She identifies herself as she
    #2 Her Mom/Aunt made her wait a week for a Tamagotchi, not understanding that these things would sell out and so she didn’t get one. I think as Gamers we all understand not getting a game you really really want sucks.
    #3 She does not like Cos-play articles.
    #4 Feels alienated by this site because Games and hence sites that are about games focus on Young White Males.
    #5 Kotaku doesn’t like her Answers, But what was the question?

    I’m sorry but I just don’t know what you want, could you please just say what it is you want?

  • I know the soapbox is empty and the crowd has moved on but these soapbox articles bug me. I’m sympathetic to the feelings of the gay gamer, the feminist gamer, and the multi-racial transgender who-knows-sexual possibly-feminist woman gamer, however, they all seem to think that as a straight, white, male gamer we are the ideal, that adonis of perfection in the gamer community.

    If Mattie had done any kind of research she would have found there are a plethora of examples out there of criticisms of manchild culture. We’ve had women rip into guys because they are the MTG champion, girl mags that say “Is your guy a gamer? Ditch him.”, and every other week there’s some article about how we are socially retarded, violent, sociopathic criminals in training who sit in a darkened room wasting away our lives. Oh, and don’t forget all those stereotypical comics and videos of the guy who never does anything round the house and plays games all day, or the socially inept geek who can’t talk to women and has no social skills.

    Apparently that stigma isn’t a problem, apparently we are immune to bullying, never made to feel unwelcome or unwanted because of our interests. Our morals and beliefs are uncompromisable because all white, straight, male gamers hold all the same beliefs, have the same morals, and lives so there’s no way we can be offended by barely clothed women and bare chested, buff macho male heroes.

    We all watch the videos and read the articles and go, “Corr, that’s awesome” because there’s no possible way a straight, white, male gamer can be any different from the guy beside him. We have to have a different sexual orientation, or sex, or race to ask for people to show a little respect and diversity.

    Well, “Me Too” applies to us as well.

Show more comments

Log in to comment on this story!