A Note To Readers

Image: Buzzfeed

Yesterday we published a story about a group of transgender players being barred entry into an esports tournament. The details surrounding that have since been revealed to be a hoax, and we apologise for the mistake. The original story has been updated; you can read the update, as well as the story as it was originally published, here.



    Mostly amusing given how righteous some people were being about the entire thing in the comments...

      The only thing that was a hoax was they're not transgender. The rest (trying to join the competition as a transgender women's team, ESL's response) did actually happen.

        But the fact that it was a hoax (and required nothing more than a wig to perpetrate) entirely supports some of the comments which were made (and howled down) at the time - i.e. that it would be incredibly easy to claim to be a woman for the purposes of a woman's league if it is considered "transphobic" or insufficiently "inclusive" to require any sort of evidence beyond someone's word.

      That is a little harsh, even if you don't agree with far left sentiment, at least they have good intentions.

      It was a little funny that it turned out to be a case of what people were worried would happen; people pretending to be in or post transition. Hopefully ESL can be less hopeless (very sceptical though) in the future, after all ESL is a joke before you even add identity politics issues into the mix.

        That is a little harsh, even if you don't agree with far left sentiment, at least they have good intentions.

        There's an old proverb about roads and intentions and fiery underworlds that seems particularly relevant in today's political climate.

          If hell is accepting people for who they are I'd hate to see heaven.

    This is why we love you guys

    Seems pretty easy to dupe click factory outlets these days when you go straight for their favourite hot buttons.

    Verifying sources is for chumps.

    Thanks for the correction, Alex. The crux of the problem was ESL's response though, and that part was genuine. Hopefully their consultation with AnyKey will avoid this kind of thing happening in the future.

      That's what has stuck out to me as well. Things might work out well at the end despite the original intentions - ESL will handle transgender players and issues with a bit more sensitivity as a result, which is better for the gaming community anyway.

      But as always, if we make a mistake (whether it's from our end, or the US), we'll endeavour to update and correct as promptly and honestly as possible. Always.

        Glad there's still a positive in this for Trans gamer's.

    Understandable that this happens from time to time. Sure, verifying sources is a key tenant of journalism, but the internet has changed time frames just a tad.

      * tenet, not tenant.

      And yeah, the time pressures suck - have to be first. But I think it's probably better to be correct than first.

        Journalism is a terrible landlord. I've had a leaky tap for months that he refuses to fix.

        Eeep thanks! Fail English, unpossible etc.

          Bugbear of mine. :)

          At least it wasn't a "should of." Arrrrrrgh. :D

    Hoax or no hoax doesn't change the fact that too many commenters ambush any article on this website remotely involving women or gender and either outright abuse the subject or author, or cowardly downvote anybody they see trying to engage with them but offer a counterpoint.

    All in the name of free speech, amirite? It doesn't matter that what you were reading didn't actually happen, you just had to have another platform. Absolutely wretched.

    Says more about you than it does about Kotaku, really.

      The only comment I saw yesterday harping on about free speech was yours, which is now suspiciously absent.

      Were there others?

        You're going to have to be more specific.

          Were there comments by other people justifying mean things with "free speech" (which is silly because we don't actually have that in Australia, at least in the sense the yanks do)?

            You would know that the moderation here is pretty hands-on and if a comment is deemed as shouldn't be there, it can get nuked, and sometimes innocent (and not so innocent) bystanders also get theirs removed.

            But I didn't post in the original article. You mean the Overwatch Reddit one I take it.

            That's still there.

            Stuffed if I know.

      "Cowardly downvote". lol. As opposed to the "brave" upvotes I guess.

      I think what you're speaking of on Kotaku especially (where the community is largely smart and articulate and reasonable) is people pushing back against situations where people are focused on policing perceived micro-aggressions instead of focusing on solutions to more pertinent problems.

      That's not to say like "We've got more important things to worry about than social justice". But more "We've got more important things to worry about in the realm of social justice". Problems that are explicitly obvious and intentional, rather than ignorance confused for malice.

      The internet based left are moving dangerously close to the realm of "The Non-Gender Specific Child Who Cried Wolf". It's becoming self sabotaging and allies are trying to let them know only to be shouted down for internalised blah blah blah or "tone-policing".

      I personally would love to see more articles where people have found problems and have created solutions or are in the process of it. More positive stuff where we're seeing actual change than simply articles about people being outraged but seem more content to remain so than work on correcting things.

      Last edited 10/05/17 4:20 pm

        I think it's an issue of perspective. I see an article about the potential for better female representation in Red Dead 2 as an exciting read from someone who doesn't work for the site and can perhaps offer a fresh perspective to those from whom we'd only see articles on anime pillows.

        Others see this as not just a micro-aggression - as you put it - but an all-out declaration of war on Their Games.

        Haven't we got more important things to worry about in the realm of video games then I Just Want To Play Good Video Games(tm)?

        It's a forum to discuss video games and their impact on the world, and the impact of the world on video games themselves. You're pushing a barrow in at least two of your paragrpahs, clearly, but that's cool.

        If you want to act like a militant IRA member visiting an pub on St Patrick's Day, in a place such as this, that's your business. Paddy doesn't get to act annoyed and Be Outraged by someone who's there just to get drunk on Guinness, though.

        If I were you I'd submit an article about "identity politics" or whatever and go to town on whatever or whoever I wanted, then you could even hash it out with people in the comments, as smart and articulate and reasonable as we are.

        Be the change you want to see.

          Thanks for taking the time to reply Leigh!

          Others see this as not just a micro-aggression - as you put it - but an all-out declaration of war on Their Games.

          I was actually talking about the micro-aggressions the self-designated left perceive. For example I saw an article today about how that one youtube channel where the dickhead "pranks" his girlfriend over and over again for views. It basically said it's not an issue of this guy being an individual trashbag for clicks, but it's a gender issue about how women are exploited by men and the problem is inherently gendered. That's a real stretch.

          Things like this actually distract from issues like how Bill Shorten's recent Australians First Ad campaign had only white people in it, and when challenged about the lack of multicultural representation, he referred to his exclusion of every race but his own as an "oversight". That's a real problem, a politician, especially one of his influence, has a responsibility to represent the real Australia.

          It's not just an issue of people have limited time to pay attention to different issues, but one of these issues sounding similar enough that when people see enough of the bad articles that create problems out of nothing, they get fed up and can't discern the ones that do matter. It turns into a "oh, another leftie article about feelings, i'm going to ignore that". Whether that's a fair position or not doesn't change the fact that the people who need to know about this stuff and change their ways are already a tough sell, so we gotta have a laser focus in our messages.

          Extrapolating from that point, while Shorten 100% does have a responsibility to every group in Australia, game developers do not. So when it comes to Red Dead 2 representation, it's totally fine to pitch it as a "hey I had some thoughts, wouldn't it be cool if there was more of this?" article, but not as a "GTA 5's all male protagonist situation was a problem, Red Dead 2 needs to fix that" article.

          When I talk about solutions rather than problems I'm actually talking about your last "be the change you want to see" remark. Instead of "hey change this to fit my agenda!" It's be really cool to see people saying "I wasn't seeing content that was relevant to me as an individual, so I made my own!"

          We actually agree on the principles, but I think that one is a unhealthy response to the situation, and the other is a constructive one. I'm not asking for less identity politics or less representation, god knows the games industry needs more variation in its triple A scene especially. What I'm really asking for is a more positive and proactive approach to an industry that could benefit from being more inclusive. Less pointing the finger, more getting our own hands dirty.

            I really don't want to talk about actual politics in this article's comments thread, so I'll leave the ambulance chaser's ad campaign woes to the "experts". It's too early.

            It's a stretch only if the youtube channel article cannot prove its point beyond reasonable doubt, or at least shed some light on an argument hitherto not yet heard. I never used hitherto before in a sentence. Again. Early.

            I appreciate your response as well. but I can only go off my experience on this site and I can tell you, it's every damn week we see drive-by posts from otherwise sound-of-mind individuals in any sort of article "like this". I can tell you they don't see the difference between 'the leftie complaints' and 'here's a Feminist Frequency video highlighting a game that does what we want to see more of'.

            I don't think the female readers here would appreciate having to be expected to 'fight' or 'speak up' themselves in every article about gender. If I was female you can bet your bottom dollar I'd share my experiences - point the finger, like you say - as much as I offer up 'proactive' approaches. I think your term of identity politics is what they would call treating them like a bloody human being.

            I do think we are on the same page for most things, but it's probably not the best thread for what we discussing. I probably won't reply but hey thanks for the chat.

    Nice work, Alex. A lesser publication might not admit an error like this.
    It's classy.

    Thanks for the update.

    This kinda puts those "Males won't try to enter female only tournaments, it'll never happen" type of comments from yesterday into a different light though, doesn't it?

      I know this sounds like backtracking, but that's still correct. Males won't try to enter female only tournaments as a form of cheating. They're claiming this is a joke but I'd class it as a really stupid form of protest. Either way they didn't do this to win.
      That sounds like splitting hairs but it's very important to acknowledge the difference. This is not proof that males will be allowed to win female competitive events. This is just trolls seeing an opportunity to make the idea of accepting transgender people look stupid.

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