What It’s Like To Write About Race And Video Games


I’m no stranger to controversial takes. I ask people at parties whether or not a hot dog is a sandwich (it’s not). I think Jupiter Ascending is a fun movie, and if I never see another superhero flick again I think I would be OK. But every time I mention race on this site, even if my opinion isn’t nearly as controversial as thinking Samoas are bad cookies, the reaction is surprisingly strong.

I write about a lot of things on Kotaku, including, sometimes, race. I’ve written about the lack of black female characters in Overwatch. I’ve written about how much I liked the box art for Far Cry New Dawn, which features two black women.

Most recently, I wrote about how refreshing it was to see black women in Apex Legends. Each of these articles discussed race in a way that felt pretty cut and dried. I pointed out facts: Overwatch, a game that prides itself on its diverse cast, does not have any black female playable characters.

Far Cry New Dawn has two black women on the box, and there aren’t very many black female characters in video games. As is part of my job, I temper these facts with my own opinions: I think the presence of more video game characters who are women of colour is good. In my article about Apex, I wrote, “Just seeing those characters, and knowing those small lore details about them, does actually make a difference to me. It makes me want to explore more of the game and its systems, spend more time in the world, and figure out how to be even better at it.”

These should not be controversial statements — I’m simply stating something I appreciate, something that’s relevant to me — and yet some readers responded as if I’d suggested that all gamers should amputate their pinky toes.

When I wrote about the lack of black characters in Overwatch, people asked me if Symmetra, an Indian woman, or Pharah, an Egyptian Arab woman, are black. Some of these questions felt honest; they seemed to be coming from people who genuinely did not know. I was surprised — I don’t often have to explain that Southeast Asians are not part of the African diaspora — but I appreciated that they were asking questions to further their knowledge.

I wanted to engage with the the truly curious who want to understand something that might be new to them. Part of the purpose of my job is to inform people. If I can take some time to respond to a comment and help someone out, I want to do it.

Other people asked questions that felt less genuine. When I wrote about Overwatch’s lack of black female characters, one reader horrifyingly wrote, “Don’t you already have Winston?” referring to the game’s playable gorilla. When I wrote about Apex Legends, people advised me to “leave Apex Legends alone” and accused me of “perpetually complaining” or “race-baiting” because I broached the subject of race at all.

Some even called me the “real racist” for my assumption that people from different races may sometimes have different experiences of the world. Some questions, such as the oft-repeated “why does it matter if there are black characters in a game?” felt like they were trying to lead me into a trap where there was no right way to answer. If I start explaining why it matters, I know I’ve already ceded to the notion that it might not. The only winning move, it seems, is not to play.

What confused me about some of these questions was that some people read any statements I make about race as a sign that I’m angry or offended. I’m not sure they would believe it if I told them that very few things actually offend me. I’d like to see a black female character in Overwatch, but in terms of pressing issues in racial justice, it’s just a video game, you know? Diversity in reality, such as the people who make games, is more important to me.

A lack of it in media itself is annoying, but isn’t something that keeps me up at night. I’m not going to say it’s not cool to see people on screen who look like me or share some characteristics that I also have. It’s just more meaningful overall to see real life people in the world break through glass ceilings.

Alas, my job here at Kotaku is, in part, to look at things I see in games and reflect on them. Sometimes that means injustices like a model whose likeness is being used in a game without her permission, and sometimes that means thinking about things in games I’d like to see improved.

But sometimes readers see me pointing out these minor flaws and seem to think it’s the most important thing I have going on or the only thing I care about. New Yorker writer and former Jezebel staffer Jia Tolentino wrote about a similar experience in her essay “No Offence.”

She wrote, “There’s a large gap between ‘this is bad’ and ‘you should be offended’ that seems to vanish on the internet, and the harder we try to widen it on this website [Jezebel], the more we are constrained by that lingering expectation: That Jezebel exists, as some have always imagined it to, for the infantilising purpose of telling women when they should get mad.”

That certainly rings true to me. My recent article about Apex Legends was merely stating something I appreciate. I was praising the game, and yet it seemed hard for some readers to see a discussion about race and not immediately take it as an attack on a game they like. They didn’t seem able to see that I like the game too.

Many of the times I write about a game in-depth, I at least like it. In the case of Apex Legends, I freaking love it. Nothing about Overwatch or Apex offends me at all. When I write about things, I often point out the complications in them that I find interesting. If I hated video games, or thought they were all racist, I wouldn’t have a job writing about them. What would the point of that be, to wake up every day and make myself angry? I so much more enjoy doing something I love. For me, taking the time to take apart a piece of media is an act of love. Seeing that love confused for being offended leaves me at a loss.

Against my better judgement, I want to engage with the people who think I must be offended. I’m the daughter of a professor; if someone’s argument is based on a misunderstanding, I want to correct them. But, like Jia, I find myself in this trap, where I worry that responding only further compounds this idea that people have of me or where I’m coming from. I don’t write things with the intention of making other people mad, or being divisive.

But if I respond to bad faith questions, more people acting in bad faith come out of the woodwork to hurl insults at me. If I ignore them, I find myself ignoring the people who actually want to engage with me as well, helping no one.

Sometimes in fandoms, “passionate” can be a euphemism for “needs some fucking chill.” Our all-encompassing love of something can make us resistant to having conversation about how it could be better, or how other people might experience it differently than we do. It can be easy to see any critique or complication about something we like as offence.

If you read media criticism as saying nothing is ever good enough, then it can be easy to accuse every critic of being perpetually offended. In actuality, many things are good. It’s just that nothing is perfect. Engaging with media we like, in all its mess and complication, is what makes it better. It can even make your connection to a piece of media stronger.

Sometimes I fear that when I write about race some of the angrier commenters think I am some grand arbiter of what can or can’t be in a game. In truth, I’m only a person who has opinions, just like you have opinions. They might be opinions you’ve never considered before, and I know it can be hard to be shown an aspect of something that you never had to see before.

Hell, I’ve long said that I don’t play or like competitive games, but here I am logging onto Apex as much as I can because I love it so much. Listening to each other and thinking critically about the things we like only makes our fandoms stronger.

My friends who like Overwatch, or at least the ones who align with me politically, took some time getting used to the idea that there might be things that the game could work on, but they came around. They understood that I’m not asking them to dislike a thing they like, or that they are bad for liking it. It’s just that it’s got this one weird aspect to it, and it’s good to remember it, even as you enjoy it. That realisation didn’t come without its own internal tussling.

As someone who has a knee jerk reaction whenever someone talks shit about pop music, I get that when you make something you like part of your identity, any criticism feels like a knife in the back. But it isn’t. It’s just a conversation, one that can be had clearly and plainly, without anger.

I don’t know how to relay that message to the people who think I’m constantly offended. There aren’t enough hours in the day to be mad about all the things they think I’m mad about, but they’ve already decided what I feel for me. The best I can do it to keep writing about the things I notice in games and my opinions about them, in the hopes that I can reach the truly curious. For the angry ones, I’m just hoping one day they’ll be able to listen.


  • Yep, race is a confronting subject for many.
    It doesn’t help that practical discussion is met with resistance or that some use it as means to actually breakdown the dialogue.

    Deep down we still suck at dealing with differences between ourselves and others while entering an age defined by who we stand against rather than what we stand for.

    • Exactly. I mean, say what you like about the Catholic Church (and many other villains du jour) but there’s a whole lot of good it has done in the world. Issues like race and ideology have been stripped of all nuance by the internet. People lash out without taking the time to consider things fully and come to a reasoned conclusion.

  • I don’t think you can detach race in any social or cultural fabric with out attracking hate. This is because of the stance of the radical left in refusing to have logical or human conversations with people about the subject, rather they would verbally stack them with the term of racist before conversations can take place.
    For context on the next paragraph, the left likes to put victim social justice points depending on your race and sexuality. Transex people or black women are higher on this points system then white men. As such they have more of a rite defence and representation then someone lower on the ladder.

    So discuss black women in whatever cultural property, you appear to be virtual signalling.

    People now appear to be having enough and creating backlash and responding, hense the naming the article for click baiting.

    Personally I see nothing wrong in asking if there could be more black characters in a game. However, I rather have memorable characters in games like Alex from hl2, then generic crap ones like the apex lot.

      • If I start explaining why it matters, I know I’ve already ceded to the notion that it might not.

        It’s almost as if she is denying that ‘what matters’ can be subjective. This would explain a lot!

    • If that’s genuinely what she’s trying to do (i’m not so sure tbh), do you see the irony in clicking and commenting on her articles as a form of protest? Clicks and comments drive ad revenue and are the sole metric for measuring engagement by readers. An advertiser literally can’t tell the difference between the two types of click – there is no difference to them between someone who’s clicked on the article because they’re genuinely interested and a hate-click.

      If you hate-click on one of Gita’s articles, or if you comment on one of her articles, you are boosting her numbers and tacitly encouraging Kotaku to publish more of the same.

      If you want these type of articles to be less prevalent – stop commenting on them.
      (that’s not to say that you can’t comment on them or that you shouldn’t fwiw)

  • Gita you sit in your own echo chamber for so long that you are incensed when people don’t like your opinion. So much so you wrote a huge long winded article where you’re basically saying only you ‘get it’ and you’re surprised people think you’re wrong.
    I mean get over yourself. This is incredible arrogance.

    • This is it. It’s like she thinks she is the sole arbiter of ‘what is true’ and that anyone who disagrees is ‘misguided’ or else deliberately provoking her.

      • She literally, explicitly says she doesn’t do this in the article. She calls it by what they are, her personal opinions.

    • Man, the hate is real over an article that is clearly meant to have a conciliating tone towards the critics she acknowledges that her articles consistently get.

      I wonder, did you read it at all, or did you read “race” in the title, her name and then scrolled down to comment this?

      • The truly odd thing is the article was likely written in response to a USA audience yet the Australian audience is incapable of responding in a way that reflects this and/or doesn’t provide an example of Gita’s concern.

        I get that Australians on the whole are incapable of assessing and discussing race issues without turning into a rat king of tin ears but woooooooow.

  • I wrote, “Just seeing those characters, and knowing those small lore details about them, does actually make a difference to me. It makes me want to explore more of the game and its systems, spend more time in the world, and figure out how to be even better at it.”

    I think that line right there is probably part of the problem. It could be read as suggesting that you didn’t think the game and its world were actually good enough to warrant such time and effort, but the inclusion of two black female characters were enough to get you play it more than you would have have if those were white male characters.

    If the narrative of the game is addressing race issues in interesting ways with well developed and well written characters, that is fertile ground for interesting discussion. Suggesting that the race and gender of some characters somehow makes the game’s systems more interesting and worth interacting with than they would be if it was characters of a different race and gender interacting with those same systems feels more like tokenism or virtue signalling.

    In games like Apex, Overwatch etc where there is a whole range of characters the player can choose from – it seems to require less of a commitment from the developer because they can play it safe and just produce a range of characters covering a whole range of races, genders, etc. Players are free to play the game without ever actually choosing those different characters. It’s also less of a factor in a FPS where once the game starts, the character is reduced to little more than a pair of hands holding a gun and perhaps a special ability or two and any character or story is pretty much forgotten about during actual gameplay.

    • It’s a worthy point though. Thematics and attachments we make to something in a game can have a huge impact on how we play the game. I myself experienced this is in dying light where I got the preorder ninja costume.
      Everyone else was playing as boring old Crane, but in my game in my head I was the master infiltrator Hanzo, who was able to convince everyone else I met of a fake identity Crane.
      It completely changed how I played the game and I got waaay more enjoyment from the story this way, than had I been playing the regular way.
      And I daresay in Apex the choice of character is much more impactful than just a pair of floaty hands, thematicly and mechanically. Part of what makes games amazing will always be what the player brings to the table, how we can identify with characters and what facettes of ourselves we can express through them aswell. Did you know players playing Winston displayed a greater vocabulary than when they weren’t and those same people when playing mcree would put on a cowboy accent.
      It’s a small thing but thematics and characterisations can and do have a massive impact on how we consume the medium.

  • My friends who like Overwatch, or at least the ones who align with me politically, took some time getting used to the idea that there might be things that the game could work on, but they came around. They understood that I’m not asking them to dislike a thing they like, or that they are bad for liking it. It’s just that it’s got this one weird aspect to it, and it’s good to remember it, even as you enjoy it. That realisation didn’t come without its own internal tussling.

    I know Gita will never see these comments but anyway; perhaps if even your friends are reacting like this you should consider that it’s not what you’re saying but how it’s being said. I know the recent article about Apex in particular was a positive one but the header and opening paragraph made it seem more like a hit-peice which obviously drew more of the feedback mentioned here…

    Even things like this that you say..
    I’d like to see a black female character in Overwatch, but in terms of pressing issues in racial justice, it’s just a video game, you know?
    seem reasonable but every one of your articles even close to the subject (including this one) suggests the opposite with the way you seem so angry about Overwatch not having a black female yet.

    • I totally get being frustrated about not seeing an important fragment of what has become your identity not being represented in the type of media you enjoy. I recall my gay mates complaining about not having gay characters to play in RPGs and associated romance plots, and it became very easy to identify with their want after realising that everything is served up to me on a plate as a breeder (in Baldur’s Gate II I could hook up with a sexy, evil Drow Elf!).
      People like seeing their people being depicted. And depicted correctly at that.

      It like how Aussies scrutinise every instance we pop up in foreign media to ensure it is done correctly. Last night in Dragon Quest XI I saw Australian tourists being mocked and our words being spelt wrong (like “bonzer” instead of bonza and “struth” instead of strewth). In it we were also depicted as being pushy and overly enthusiastic at the expense of others when travelling abroad (the context for the part of the game was a Cambodia equivalent being over run with Australian equivalent tourists at the expense of, presumably, Asian equivalent tourists who want things to be quiet and polite).

      It frustrated the shit out of me at first. We ain’t like that! We’re just more forward in making shit happen (like getting a photo taken in front of Angkor Wat) and are a bit more open when communicating in public (hence public instances of the “C” word being a thing you’ll over hear in polite society).

      What I guess I’m saying is, I just really want to see an Australian in a mainstream Street Fighter game…

      • People like seeing their people being depicted. And depicted correctly at that.

        The thing that disappoints me is how people define “their people”. We’re all part of groups, but we are first and foremost individuals. Furthermore, as a hardcore video game fan, Gita probably has more in common with a lot of the white Australian dudes here than many black people. Using race to sort yourself is the same as using terms like “Millennial” – the only thing that ties Millennials together is a bracket of time that they were born in – it’s just too broad to really gain any kind of real insight about the person or their interests and values.

        I think it’s disappointing when people need to see “their people” in things to enjoy them, or that they get a kick out of seeing someone who looks or sounds like them in media. I think that anyone who thinks something can be improved by adding someone who looks like them to it should do some serious soul searching about what that actually says about them. What does it say about your potential narcissism, or tribalism, or prejudice when you react this way? Why are you happy to feed that close-mindedness? Aren’t you embarrassed to demand that others (such as developers) feed it too?

        • It’s hard not to feel a “tribal” identity towards people that most closely resemble ourselves and our family. It’s genetic. It’s SO genetic, in fact, that rats even discriminate against each other based on colouration. Wolves too. However, when we domesticate wolves (into dogs) they show less-to-nil bias towards genetically dissimilar variants within their own species (so a French Mastiff, for example, can get along swimmingly with a Yorkshire Terrier).

          With humans, well, we’re the species that domesticated itself. And traditionally, we did that in groups of people that looked, worshipped, ate, and lived like us. It’s only recently that we’ve started to mix blood and culture, so OF COURSE it’s gonna be ugly and uncomfortable in places. And OF COURSE, that for every step forward, more underlining issues will or can be pointed out and addressed. It’s never going to be quick though. Despite our distinctly human “burden of conscience”, we still have to accept that there is never a sense of arrival with these things. Certainly not in this life time. It just is what it is and we can all make it a little better by humanising each other more, ya know?

        • While it is true that not every single bit of media /must/ represent every possible trait humans identify with, it is a valid criticism when generally speaking there’s an under-representation. A lack of representation in media allows majorities to form their own ideas and narratives about the folks that they consider “the other”, which are usually made up of their own group’s harmful stereotypes, mockery and/or fear.

          • But under-representation using which metric? What would be considered a fair representation? Once, for example, black representation in games meets the black population in the US? A quick Google search show that’s 12.1%. That’s not a huge number and I wouldn’t be surprised if we’ve already exceeded it in the age of hero ensemble games and battle royales.

            And who are these majorities you’re referencing? Again, we’re speaking in tribal terms and only on the axises of identity that have been cherry picked to support this argument. We’re part of hundreds of overlapping groups at once and the colour of our skin is regularly the least among them.

            The desire to be properly understood and the fear of being misrepresented are not the exclusive domain of minorities. Everyone feels that way, and most well-rounded people never feel fully spoken for in the media they consume.

            Can I also ask a question that’s sort of on a tangent?

            What’s with this “folks” language? I see it everywhere in left-leaning journalism and internet comments and it’s quite bizarre. Is there a reason for it? Has “people” been deemed problematic somehow? That’s a dead serious question.

          • Those are valid questions. I used the word “majorities” because it’s a matter of ethnicity, rather than of skin colour and that varies from country to country. We all know that I’m talking about white people in our first-world western cultures, but it is different among other developed cultures such as Middle-Eastern or Asian. As much as I personally could criticise lack of representation of different ethnicities in the predominantly “white” countries, I’d fight for just representation of white people in cultures where they are a minority.

            As for how much… I’ll admit that I don’t know. I find iffy talking about numbers (i.e. meeting a possibly arbitrary quota) when a more correct approach should be telling stories that make sense but also, showing a willingness to give representation to people who usually don’t get it. Storytelling is an art, and I’m of the opinion that, generally speaking, art should attempt to create a somewhat more idealised version of reality at any given point which becomes the footsteps that the rest of humanity follows. Right now, I believe it’s important for art to drag us forward to a point where we know better about each other and can abandon the negative stereotypes, caricatures and/or fear which have so far replaced true understanding and compassion.

            Regarding “folks”… I seriously have no idea? I cannot even tell I’m aware of other people in my side of conversation using it, though it’s entirely possible. The only reason I use it is that I tire of repetitive words and when talking about people, “people” is one of the most overused words. So you may see me say “folks”, “peeps”, “dudes”, etc.

          • I’m all for more representation in games, whether it be characters, settings or genres (we desperately need new genres). But diversity in games must come from a diversity in creators. The only way to fix this is the people asking for “different” or “more” actually putting their money where their mouth is and making the games they want to play.

            There’s no other way around it. Anything else would risk misrepresentation or tokenism. You can’t ask someone else to represent your story for you, they’ll get it wrong. When the creation is earnest and of quality, we won’t need quotas, people will see the value in it and naturally want more.

            I’m certain if we were seeing an article about someone who didn’t see the characters and stories they wanted in games so they made their own, the reception would be far more positive. Someone complaining endlessly that someone else’s art / product / idea isn’t the way they wanted it is not an appealing mindset, it’s why female Ghostbusters failed, it’s why this article and ones like it fail.

  • I’m of the “these discussions are important!” crowd, BUT I’m also acutely aware that I’m white, that I do 100% suffer through white guilt, and that I’m constantly finding myself challenged by things I thought I had sorted out.

    I think, Gita (and I know you likely won’t read this), the sad fact of the matter is that the VAST majority of your audience is white. And whilst White Guilt is a thing, the operative word for the defining term is the “guilt” part. People deal with guilt by not wanting to hear about it or think about it. Especially when it is contextual to a medium that is used for escape for most people (i.e. video games).

    Also, you have a tough crowd: The internet is that old Penny Arcade equation through and through (Normal Person + Anonymity + Audience = Total Fuckwad). People will more likely challenge their convictions when it does in person. Online, the like-minded individuals have time on their hands (i.e. a comment is there for some time and can gain traction and controversy before anything meaningful comes of it).

    I do not envy your position, Gita Jackson. Whether we like to admit it or not, one of the fundamental things about being a white person (or a white-passing person in my case) is that you feel threatened when people that don’t look like you assert themselves.
    When I was in highschool my aboriginal best mate and I used to get up to shenanigans as teen boys often do . We’d both get into trouble at the same time, except I was the white kid just “being a boy and gettin’ up to mischief” whereas he was delegated as an “aboriginal kid with no dad about” and it had already been decided upon that he would turn out to be a piece of shit.

    For every movement and step forward, we pull society’s pants down just a little bit more. And now we’re at the point where we are exposing it’s skid marks. And no one wants to own up to shitting themselves. I shat myself racially quite a bit in my youth, but I’m not about to Liam Neeson myself by opening up about it, even though I do think that’s part of the way forward.

    • Life hard for everyone, if you feel you have white guilt, then your just a lucky bugger who hasn’t had a ruff life.

      Do you just think, that they thought you were just a white kid up to mischi? Chances are they just thought you and your kori friend where just being little shits.

      If you start looking for racism, you will find it everywhere. People can make connects out of anything, especially of they are unfounded or not true.

      • Nah, it was clear cut. We had this Irish headmaster who was pretty open in his biases. We’d see him, Shannon would get the cain, I’d get told “that next time I won’t be so lucky” (Spoiler: I would be totally as lucky). He wasn’t Koori, he was Millingimbi IIRC.
        The reality is, just because you have never seen/experienced, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take on the experiences of those who have. It’s like the #metoo movement’s stance on listening to the accusers, not just going about “evidence” or “why didn’t you go the police?”.
        In order to eradicate something from society, we have to acknowledge and recognise it. And then be mindful not to proliferate it. In order to get to Star Trek levels of inter-racial harmony, we need to all be on top if it. Society comes with burdens and responsibility. And sometimes it’s shit you didn’t cause but still have to have a hand in cleaning up.

        That’s where I’m at anyway.

      • Ah, apparently you missed that one meeting… Don’t worry, I got you.

        It was the one about how all white people are collectively supposed to forever apologise and pay for things some fucking assholes, who just also happen to be white, have done.

        They gave out pamphlets, there were donuts, and anyone who was white had to use the privilege calculator to see just how evil and unacceptable our own private thoughts and opinions were.

        It was a real hoot, you should have been there.

        • You seem to be implying that it was just a couple drunk dudes who happened to be white and did a few reproachable things a hundred years ago or something and for which ALL white people have to pay now. As opposed to, you know, something done by the overwhelming majority of white people over centuries and centuries, generations and generations.

          And yet, when finally a generation comes where those things start to actually be called out, it’s a terrible outrage, “the imminent extinction of the straight white man” and other angry sob stories. Get over yourselves. If you are racist and get called out, then learn to take discrimination in the same way that you dish it. If you are not, stop getting offended over racists being called racists for some sort of unwarranted race solidarity, or whatever is the rationale.

          And yeah, let the cowardly downvotes without arguments rain. (This comment not aimed at you Kasterix, btw, I know you do engage.)

          • Yeah I get there was a lot done throughout history… My point stands that it doesn’t matter if billions of X race of people did something, doesn’t mean that the rest that have gone about their lives treating everyone decently or simply leaving them the fuck alone means they have to pay for what those billions did, apologise for it, etc.

            People who were NEVER EVEN ALIVE during bullshit throughout history being held accountable for it is beyond ridiculous. I can be having really good conversations with people, and the moment things like this come up and I say anything the reaction I get is like I’m a fucking criminal for daring to even HAVE an opinion, let alone voice it. There was a time in places like this where I would avoid bringing up my own race/gender purely because the tone of responses would shift immediately. Because these days if you’re white, everyone thinks they know you and that you couldn’t possibly ‘get it’ because of all that supposed privilege you must simply bask in on a daily basis.

            I don’t believe there’s some sort of ‘extinction’ for straight white men going on, but I do enjoy making people feel super fucking uncomfortable by pointing out they’re being just as racist and/or sexist as those they are bitching about when they dismiss someone based on nothing more than skin colour and gender.

          • But the problem is not exactly about accountability over specific past crimes but rather about acknowledgment of consequences. Let me provide an example from real life:

            After the somewhat enforced abolishment of slavery in the US, racism took a more insidious and systemic form, that of segregation. Black folks were legally free but they were also rarely restituted or recompensed, meaning that after being freed, they were basically left with nothing, compounded by the fact that distrust/hatred fueled by racist stereotypes also meant that they had a hard time finding jobs or they were usually paid less/ripped off. As they huddled together with other black people for mutual aid, they formed impoverished communities which were conveniently capable of being discriminated geographically as cities grew and progressed. All of that was inevitably compounded through the generation where such segregation and discrimination occurred.

            Now, segregation and discrimination of people of colour in America are clearly at a comparatively low point. However, the repercussions of generations of institutionalised poverty have undeniable shaped their situation nowadays. So the point is not that people are trying to exact revenge or repayment on the descendants of the white people who wilfully enabled and enacted such reality, but rather create awareness that people of colour start from a point of disadvantage. That means that even if you believe unfair in a vacuum that they seem to demand what seems like preferential treatment, the reality is that all that we’re trying to do is to remove that historically accrued disadvantage. The faster we do it, the faster we’ll be able to stop making special concessions.

          • Hey, I’m not the people mass-upvoting or downvoting posts in this article’s comments (or similar articles) in a circle-jerky way ;). Regarding which behaviour do I need to get over myself?

          • The fact that you went to downvoting as a the be all end all of the debate shows you have a lot to get over.

          • If you think that downvoting was the “be all end” of my initial post, then you just didn’t read it. I mentioned downvoting only because it has been undeniably used as a silencing tool for opinions that certain people would rather not see. I’ve explained this to you before and you basically shrugged and deflected blame to Kotaku’s refusal to change the system.

            Also, sorry for bringing up something from a different branch of the comment thread but I’m really curious about this:

            actually on the left such as myself

            You silently downvote (and from time to time, comment against) almost every pro-woman/anti-sexism, anti-racism, anti-LGBT bigotry, etc post made in threads like this one. So, what exactly does make you believe that you are “on the left”?

          • @plygrim
            Sure pal. You keep peddling that narrative, im sure one day youll find gold.
            Especially how much you whinge about downvoting, and then in the next post while claiming you dont see it as the be all end all, you use it as a point to try and start the “youre not left”
            Perhaps if you want to take something from another convo, perhaps you could read the rest of it and maybe then youll see why i dont agree with your rhetoric, philosophies and actions. And more importantly that there is more than one axis.
            but if you want a TL;dr version.
            Because quite often you have people like you defend ‘women’ when they are the instigators, claim bigotry when they cant see their own, and claim racism when there isnt any. Just because im on the left doesnt mean ill believe it everytime someone claims an ism and upvote toxic opinions such as yours.

          • (Missed your latest message until now because the tagging had a typo)

            You say that all I do is keep whinging about up/downvotes but if you look at my original post which you first answered two, I dedicated a whole of /two lines/ to it as an addendum to two much bigger paragraphs. But those two lines are all you saw and keep claiming that it’s all I have to say.

            Humorously, it is you the one who focus solely on the voting aspect, even going to the lengths of accusing me of blindly upvoting anything on “my side” of the argument (something easily verifiable as false–I upvote rarely and downvote even more rarely). You, on the other hand, distribute upvotes liberally to every variation of the basic “Shut up, black woman, let us white men tell you how you must feel” and heavily downvote anybody who dares to propose otherwise. So tell me, who is truly the one “whinging” about voting?

          • “As opposed to, you know, something done by the overwhelming majority of white people over centuries and centuries, generations and generations.”

            lol. the rest of the world would like a word with you. Slavery has always been and is still more prevalent in the Arab and African world than it ever was in the Western world.

          • I didn’t mean to imply that racism and slavery are exclusive or endemic to white people. Merely that it was a fixture of the Western world practiced by the dominant “race”. In other words, we are talking about racism and white people. The fact that racism exists in other cultures, while a true and important fact that deserves discourse, is adjacent to this particular discussion.

    • Whether we like to admit it or not, one of the fundamental things about being a white person (or a white-passing person in my case) is that you feel threatened when people that don’t look like you assert themselves.

      Whether you like to admit it or not, that’s a personal position that you’ve extrapolated out to everyone (and a pretty reprehensible one at that). The same with your ideas of white guilt. You only feel white guilt if you fully subscribe to flawed ideas of racial identity, in which case, yeah, you probably do have something to feel guilty about.

      What one white person did has nothing to do with what any other white person did. And the same goes for any race or group of people.

      • I think subscribing to a “racial identity” is a pretty profound thing when you are part of a minority group. With my white guilt, well, I’ve listened to enough stories to understand that there are a series of complexities white Australians don’t empathise with due to lack of exposure. For example, when I was implementing an Aboriginal employment incentive for NSW Health, for example, I became innately aware that there actually WAS a part of our society that resented seeing our indigenous population integrated into roles and being successful (diminishing comments and so forth were prevalent in meetings with stakeholders and mid-level management). It was demonstrably hard not to feel guilt for what the “norm” actually is for a lot of these colleagues. Mockery was rife behind closed doors.
        I really do think that our responsibility towards societal inclusion and overall equality doesn’t end with the sins of previous generations. Time doesn’t work that way, and neither does generational trauma. I’m not saying I know of a solution or overall outcome, just that something needs to happen in order for us all to adapt to allow society to be an equal playing field.

        • I don’t think any person on the journey to getting their own life sorted out would feel resentment towards anyone else who’s on that same journey. If you’ve seen that then you’re probably hanging out with the wrong kinds of people.

          • If only the reality were that simple. Anyhoo, I suggest we all drop the topic, as anyone disagreeable to notions expressed by the majority are likely to get downvoted for speaking their mind. I’ve already got that @hansoloai dude downvoting me for everything I post despite his not actually contributing to the topic via conversation.

            I really do thoroughly dislike that Kotaku provides us with a mob-rule moderation system, and then places articles such as this in order to exercise how destructive their own system can be. People are going to bite their tongues rather than coming in and offering differing opinions due to fear of being down voted for thinking differently.

            More people WOULD agree with Gita’s sentiments, or at the very least take information from it, however, the perceptual aspect of it is always going to be owned by the disagreeing party. Yes, it cuts bother ways, but in articles like this, perhaps the voting system needs to be switched off. Or better still, scrap the whole system. It’s crap.

          • I down voted you because I didnt agree with what you said. I didnt know it was internet law that I had to provide any input at all. If it was then I geuss they would have made it like that.

            If internet points mean that much to you. Maybe you’re really isnt that bad.

          • You can look at it anyway you want. I downvoted you because I didnt agree with what you were saying.

            it saves me time going down and typing out I dont agree with you on all of your posts. Hence and upvote and downvote system.

            Get over your self dude.

          • The site’s own rules state downvotes are for comments that don’t add to the discussion. Up votes for those that do. Report function for any offensive content. Downvoting because you disagree is actually not how the system is designed to be used but we are all set in our ways I guess.

          • fwiw I remember you mentioning a while ago about disagreement downvotes and being put into moderation because of it. It didn’t really sink in until recently. Thanks for pointing it out.

          • Could direct me to where it states that? I tried having a look but couldnt find the site rules.

          • I have a hard time believing you genuinely think this doesn’t happen or is somehow uncommon. With no disrespect intended, it doesn’t take much observing of others to have seen exactly what superdeadlyninjabees is talking about all over the place.

          • Oh I believe it happens. I’ve seen it happen. We have the writer of this article as a perfect example of it. And I don’t doubt yourself or @superdeadlyninjabees have seen it first hand as well. There are sad underdeveloped people in the world and they can hold malformed opinions of others their entire lives.

            What I am pushing back on is that the kind of toxic mindsets that they have are some sort of ubiquitous quality of an entire race of people. When you phrase the assertion like that (and that is the assertion that’s being made), it sounds exactly how it is; racist.

            When you see someone behaving in a way that is regressive and close-minded, remember that they represent nobody except themselves, and find people who are worth your time instead.

          • I don’t think anyone here is suggesting that that toxicity is an innate property of any specific race. I may be wrong and invite him to correct me if I am, but when superdeadlyninjabees referred to ‘white people’ being uncomfortable with challenge I believe he was referring to a common mindset of the dominant racial group in our culture, not to the white race specifically.

            The difference may seem subtle but it’s important because the way the dominant racial group acts – in particular, defensively when accused of systemic problems – isn’t innate to whites, it just happens that whites are the dominant group here. The same thing happens in other countries where other racial groups are dominant.

            The same applies to ‘white guilt’; it’s not guilt at being white specifically, but rather a sense of collective guilt at the mistreatment of minority racial groups by members of the dominant racial group, which in western culture happens to be white. But again it’s not ascribing a trait to a particular race, it’s describing a sociological problem.

            I hope that explanation makes sense, I’m in a hurry right now. But I think it’s important to try to explain that these problems are ones of power in a racial context, not of traits belonging to specific races.

          • The claim was made that with whiteness comes a covetous view of power, especially when others try to take it.

            Whether we like to admit it or not, one of the fundamental things about being a white person (or a white-passing person in my case) is that you feel threatened when people that don’t look like you assert themselves.

            I get what you’re saying. There are dominant groups, depending on specific temporary contexts, and minority groups, depending on specific temporary contexts. Race might be one of them but the amount of people in Australia who are, for example, purely from here (and “white” – but what is “white” anyway?) down to their convict ancestors is so small. I can count on two hands the amount of people who can claim as such in my own life. Most people are immigrants or at most twice removed from immigrants.

            Other dominant groups include those who speak english vs. those who don’t, those who watch and like AFL vs. those who don’t. Those who have jobs vs. those who don’t. Women in higher education vs. men in higher education. The list goes on. And here for example, those who play video games would be the dominant group. But even in another article, say, one about anime, the dominance shifts again.

            You can try keep track of these ever-shifting power structures if you want to, but honestly the task is insurmountable and you’ll go mad trying. You’re better off freeing yourself from this group-based worldview and acknowledging that everyone is an individual who moves in out and between groups all the time. Sometimes they’re better off, other times they’re worse off.

            It is true: Unless they specifically work on it, people have a tough time relating to people who they perceive are different from themselves (if race is how you perceive difference, you might want to really sit and think about what that means), but even the smallest minorities share this quality.

          • @geometrics Sorry for the long one, here.

            I know what he said, it’s my reading he used ‘white’ as shorthand for the dominant racial group in our particular culture, not to objectively single out the white race in all cases. I’m certain he would agree that the same sense of feeling threatened by minority assertion exists in predominantly non-white contexts too, such as several African nations where whites are a minority.

            I’m sure you’re familiar with the term, but it’s worth looking deeper into the concept of tyranny of the majority, particularly historical examples. Humans have a vestigial instinct to divide things into ‘us’ and ‘them’, a remnant of primitive threat assessment. That instinct creates a sense of safety from the similar and a sense of distrust from the different, and that kind of tribalism still influences (and sadly dominates, for some) present day decision-making, from sports teams to car brands to politics. Of course race is something the human mind perceives as different, so is hair colour and political beliefs and sports preference. The problem isn’t in seeing or acknowledging difference, but in using that difference as a justification to treat another person differently.

            It’s easy enough to obfuscate the issue by academically dividing the concept of majority until it isn’t one any more, but that’s disingenuous and the practical reality, historically demonstrated, is reasonably evident. Naturally there are variations over time driven by whatever particular metric of ‘otherness’ is being manipulated (eg. prejudice against the Irish, despite being white), but it shouldn’t be controversial (or upsetting to the point of triggering defensiveness) to acknowledge that in western cultures, what we collectively consider ‘white’ is the dominant racial group.

            And likewise, it shouldn’t be controversial to acknowledge that the burden of avoiding the problems of tyranny of the majority would fall on that majority. Democracy is not a perfect system, and a laissez-faire approach is demonstrably incapable of ensuring a just and equitable outcome. I agree with the sentiment that we who are alive today are not responsible for the injustices of our forebears. I believe we are all responsible for correcting the imbalances caused by the mistakes of the past. But more to this topic, most people are nevertheless members of a majority and by virtue of that we do have a burden of responsibility to ensure that the majority doesn’t exploit or harm the minority – even if you and I aren’t the ones actually doing the wrong thing, we still bear that responsibility to stop others from doing it.

            I’m going to leave this here. I genuinely enjoy talking about the topic, but I just don’t think this is the place for it, especially trying to read anything at max comment depth. I encourage you to respond to anything you feel you want to, but I think under the circumstances I’ve said my piece.

            And since one person apparently finds it confusing, I’ll be clear for their benefit: I highly value civil disagreement and never discourage anyone from doing so. It’s the crucible by which we test our thoughts and beliefs, melting away those that don’t stand to scrutiny and strengthening those that do. Insult, sarcasm, mockery and disrespect on the other hand might as well be smearing a thought in mud, a makeshift attempt to mask its flaws and dirty whoever challenges it. The former is how we grow wisdom and understanding, the latter is just stagnation.

  • It’s a “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t, Catch 22, Can of Worms Filled Rabbit Hole” kind of world we’re in. If you don’t mention a problem it will only continue to fester and get worse. Mention the problem and people will wonder why things need to change because “everything’s fine as it is now”. Point out how someone is being supportive of diversity and it will look like you’re putting them up on a pedestal. Don’t say anything and no one will notice the example and emulate it. Celebrate one particular demonstration of diversity and you will be berated because the majority isn’t being mentioned. Mention the majority inclusion and people will point out you’re not noticing the minority. Include the option to be a minority character and people will want a character to represent their specific minority. Don’t include any options for diverse characters and people will complain they can’t be who they want to be.

    I think you get the idea… basically as long as there are other people in this world you are going to annoy someone.

      • Kinda, yeah. I think the point is to absorb and contemplate somebody else’s standpoint on this stuff based on the fact they have lived a different life to you. It’s not there to illicit defensiveness or aggravation. It’s there to give you a perspective from an angle you’d normally not see from.

        • So… It’s an invincible opinion then because no matter what, if you disagree you are a “man baby” or being defensive.
          This is actually laughable.
          And you and gita are the gate keepers of this opinion that can’t be debated? What other subjective opinions can I automatically win?

          • Meanwhile, one could argue Gita is being incredibly defensive based purely on the fact this ‘article’ even exists.

            But I guess stipulating the rules of engagement and moving the goal posts on the fly to suit them is how people like that ‘win’ these discussions.

          • It really doesn’t read as defensive to me (and, without wanting to offend anyone, is there a whiff of confirmation bias in some of the comments here?). Some of her writing irritates me – I prefer a writing style that’s less personal and less subjective – but this piece, it’s just her asking questions about why she illicits such a negative response. It genuinely reads to me as ‘I don’t get it, what’s the go with this?’ rather than ‘why is this happening to me, this is wrong’.

          • Yeah, look: I’m sorry I leveraged off of the man baby part. That was outta line. It doesn’t make you a man baby. I ain’t no gate keeper. I don’t want that shit on me, man. I just communicate my perspective, like Gita communicated hers, and you yours.
            The reality is, I think, that there is no “winning” a debate like this. Especially here. And, perhaps, the race issues being discussed are uniquely American. But also they draw parallels to ours.I’m not gonna back track on anything I say, but no-one is gonna prove anyone else wrong and nor is anyone’s mind going to be changed. So we drop it, learn to respect what’s being put on both sides of the table here, and go off out into the world where we seek out our own truths.

            At best, we get through these kind of experiences by sharing ideas, at worst, the peeps with the unpopular opinions get downvoted into moderation.

          • The reality is, I think, that there is no “winning” a debate like this. Especially here.

            Honestly Kotaku Australia is one of the most level-headed and respectful comments sections i’ve come across online (aside from some knee-jerks and bad apples here and there). If we can’t make some sort of headway here, where the hell else is it going to happen?

          • Honestly, I think you’re seeing affinity bias. You see it as level-headed and respectful because there are more people aligned to your particular biases now. My view is quite different – there used to be a balance of people here from all sides and views, but that balance has since shifted as what was once a small group of provocateurs has grown their influence and exploited the voting system to drive off a lot of the people they disagree with. These are people who revel in starting arguments, being negative and inventing conflict pushing out people who were more interested in cooperative conversation than adversarial. The reaction to Gita’s Apex Legends article, and even to this one, exemplify the lack of respect and level-headedness that now seems to characterise the way this community reacts to things.

            The thing that makes the least sense to me is Kotaku has always been left-leaning and always will be, but the people most keen to start fights and shit on authors and throw accusations of incompetency are people who explicitly dislike the left. So people who know they’ll be aggravated by Kotaku’s reporting hang around on Kotaku picking fights and driving off people who do enjoy Kotaku’s reporting, for what? In exchange for the cheap thrill of picking internet fights, they’ve managed to drive away enough of the active community that Kotaku AU is down to one or two permanent staff, comment activity is at its lowest ever since the site started, and there’s a real risk of the AU presence shuttering altogether. All this so a bunch of people can visit a house they obviously don’t like and alienate the people who do until they leave. (I’m fully aware that politics is a multi-axis spectrum but I’m using the French-originating left/right terms for simplicity sake.)

            To put your mind at ease, I don’t consider you one of them. I mentioned in another post that there’s a difference between politely disagreeing and throwing a tantrum, and while we clearly disagree on plenty of things, as best I can recall you’ve stayed in the former camp. I won’t name names, but it’s obvious to anyone who’s been watching the past few years who the people I’m talking about are. There’s no ideological battle to be won here, Kotaku US isn’t going to magically shift its political position and nor should it have to – left-leaning gaming sites have as much right to exist as right-leaning ones do. The only thing this ideological scrap stands to accomplish is losing the part most people here consider the best of it – the Australian stuff. And if we lose the Australian site and the great reporting that people like Alex and Mark and the others have contributed, it’ll be because of those people and the destructive effect they’ve had on the community, all because they can’t or won’t accept that maybe the site just isn’t for them.

          • I agree with everything you’ve said, and i’m all for more robust discussion across the board. Especially between people who disagree with each other. I am here a lot less now so if things have gotten worse i’ll take your word for it.

            I think that the appraisal of those who cause of a ruckus in the comments section is a little simplistic though. Not everyone likes to get into essay length responses, not everyone’s good at it. People who push back on the perspective of the Left at the moment are railing against something that is tangible and real.

            There’s this assumption of underdog status that is prevalent in left leaning journalism, despite that the institutional power when it comes to culture and media lies squarely on the left. It’s a bit like someone telling you they have no voice through a megaphone. To acknowledge this contradiction would shatter a lot of what the left’s identity is built around, so I understand it’s unlikely to happen soon. But to not understand that often they are punching down when they believe they are “punching up” is how people like Trump get elected. That’s the danger of putting group identity above individual identity.

            As someone who is by all rights left-leaning, I think it’s my responsibility to hold the left to a high standard and be one of its harshest critics. It’s an easy trap to fall into to believe that good intentions result in good outcomes, and too many on the left believe their conclusions are ironclad and will result in net positives for society. I’ve seen little evidence to suggest that’s true.

          • @m2d2 Enough people here know what I’m like to know that’s a pretty flimsy accusation.

          • @zombiejesus
            would those people be the same people who agree with your outlook and rhetoric perhaps?

          • @m2d2 Those would be the people who know the difference between me valuing disagreement as long as it’s civil, and your “wanting an echo chamber” straw man.

          • @zombiejesus
            *looks back at what you have posted in this topic trying to dictate what can and cant be said against a writer and her intentions and claiming anyone who doesnt follow your idea on civility its having a tantrum*
            *looks back at you writing advocating that people disagreeing with your ideology is the reason why kotaku AUS may shutter*
            *looks at you claiming there is a organised effort to get you and other who think like you to leave this website by using the voting system*
            *looks at you trying to advocate that its a left vs right problem when multiple people who have an issue with the way Gita & other kotaku writers approach, handle & write a topic (which even had one of Kotaku AUS staff members go “i would have handled that differently”) are actually on the left such as myself*

            I mean you say youre not an echo chamber strawman, but the posts youve been making lately scream that you want your echo chamber and everyone who does not like gitas or other kotaku writers handle of complicated matters and will voice that opinion as ‘having a tantrum’ and advocating that they should leave if they dont like it.
            What would you call it then?

          • @m2d2 Here are a few quotes from comments I made prior to your echo chamber straw man. I know you read them both, since you downvoted them both.

            There’s a difference between disagreeing and the kind of childish hostility, mockery, stereotyping and brigading that happens frequently in response to Gita’s articles. Anyone can politely disagree without attacking the author, their integrity or their intentions.

            I mentioned in another post that there’s a difference between politely disagreeing and throwing a tantrum

            I think it’s clear from those comments that the problem I’m referring to isn’t disagreement, but tantrum, hostility, mockery, stereotyping, brigading. I even exempt polite disagreement by using it to contrast against what the problem is.

            I’m not dictating what can and can’t be said. What I am doing is criticising uncivil responses as destructive to the community. If you choose to act that way that’s your choice, and I’ll criticise you for it.

            I’m not suggesting that people who disagree with me are why Kotaku AU might shutter. What I am suggesting is hostility and a combative approach to conversing with others has driven people away from the site. Without people there’s no revenue, and without revenue the site dies.

            I’m not suggesting a left v right problem. What I did say was that Kotaku is a left-leaning publication (this should be evident) and the people most interested in starting fights in the comments here dislike the left. I appreciate I may have been unclear on this – anyone can dislike the left, even if you happen to be one. It seems like you’d agree on this, I don’t think I’ve ever seen you speak positively of the left despite apparently identifying as one.

            If my comments have been unclear for you, let me clarify them now so there’s hopefully no more confusion: I value polite disagreement. I’ve had polite disagreements with Geometrics, with Simocrates, with plenty of others. I condemn combativeness, hostility, mockery, derision, stereotyping and vote brigading. Those things accomplish nothing and drive people away.

          • @zombiejesus
            I guess its a point i fundamentally disagree with your statement which is why i downvoted both, you know just like you do, *points at all the things you continuously downvote as well*
            and ill quote the specific reason.
            Anyone can politely disagree without attacking the author, their integrity or their intentions.
            I disagree. The authors intentions are not ‘off limits’ and if they are brought up does not mean they are having a ‘tantrum’ and are ‘uncivil’. I understand why you would believe that, but considering weve had authors try and twist multiple narratives to fit what they want to broadcast. Which is why so many people have a scepticism to alot of the political ideologies from authors and in turn authors themselves.

            As far as not “speaking positively of the left despite apparently identifying as one.” Thats mainly because as you stated in another post, There isnt just one axis.
            But the reason why i dont speak positively of the left, is because more than ever, the left wants to control the debate, and just like youve done here, when ever there is an opposing voice, youll claim ‘combativeness, hostility, mockery, derision, stereotyping and vote brigading.‘ Even though you upvoted someone calling anyone who disagrees with Gita is manbaby. you downvoted anyone who proposed that Gita posts articles designed for hate clicks, and im sorry, she 100% does with some of those headlines she offers, there have been multiple times the content of the story is well wriiten and thought provoking yet the headline is 100% hate clickbait. Now in saying that, im assuming kotaku editor(s?) in chiefs arent the ones picking the headlines. So i could be wrong there and if so, i apologise.

            Years ago when i first started coming to this website, and posting opinions, it wasnt the people who are disagreeing with you now that started the downvoting brigading. If you really dont want downvoting brigading to take place, maybe look internally first. (personally i just wish it didnt exist at all but we dont get what we want).

            Now you can ignore this question as im not sure you or anyone can give me a solid answer on this.
            How could i ‘speak positively of the left’ when the people that are speaking for the left in this decade, pretty much behave like the right, try to shut down debate, constantly claim sexism, racism or any other ism they could possibly throw at anyone, have deleted context from their vocabulary and any empathy they preach is only reserved for minorities.
            I had a debate with someone a few weeks ago, who preached nothing but hate to people who disagreed with his ideals and refused to see how the way he was acting, was the exact same the people who he hated acted, because to him, he was fighting for justice, he was fighting for minorities, so because he felt he was in the right and there was no hypocrisy to his behaviour. completely ignoring the fact that the people who he hate, probably did the same mental gymnastics he did to validate their own toxic beliefs.
            When people like that are now the vocal representation of the left, how could i possibly speak highly of people like that?

          • @m2d2 I absolutely agree with your assessment of the Left currently. It’s hard to find something worth praising these days. The left are a greater threat to society than the right are currently. This dynamic changes all the time but this is the current state of things.

            But i do think you’ve been unnecessarily hostile. You’ve got some valid points to make, so make them and attack ideas, not people. This discussion will be better for it.

          • @m2d2 It’s true that this particular article has had me downvote much more than usual. I’ve found the now constant attacks on specific authors here aggravating. My usual rule is I only downvote things that I see as a discourse problem (uncivil, mockery, you know the list by now), and I think I’ve done a mostly good job of sticking to that to date, with this exception.

            An author’s intentions are irrelevant to the soundness of the points they’re making, and can’t be used as a means of defeating those points. An argument that the sky is blue is either sound or not, whether it comes from a factory worker or a blue paint salesman. That the latter may have a vested interest in it being true changes nothing – if an argument is sound, it’s sound no matter who made it; if it’s unsound, it’s unsound no matter who made it. In all cases, since ‘who made it’ has no bearing, any connected to them is irrelevant. It might explain why they’re making an argument, but it has no bearing on whether the argument is sound. Since it’s irrelevant, it’s considered faulty reasoning (as well as bad manners) to try to use personal detail to undermine or dismiss an argument. Ad hominem.

            You wouldn’t want your arguments to be dismissed not because they’re wrong but because they came from you. The same courtesy should be extended to everyone else, too. So my point is that it certainly is uncivil, and may amount to worse.

            I don’t claim combativeness, hostility, mockery, derision, stereotyping or vote brigading simply because someone expresses an opposing voice. I don’t know how to make it clearer to you that I welcome civil disagreement, and there are dozens of examples of someone doing exactly that with me, even in this article’s comments, where I’ve made no such accusations. An opposing voice is perfectly fine; a combative, hostile, mocking, derisive, or stereotyping voice is destructive.

            And I think you’ve misunderstood me if you think I’m expecting you to speak positively about the left, or indeed about anything. I don’t care if you speak positively about the left. I only noted that you haven’t done so, not that you’re expected to do so. You strike me as an odd example, is all, because it’s very rare for anyone to identify as left, who understands that not all the left believe the same thing, then somehow in the same breath makes a blanket statement about ‘the left’ as though it were a monolith of all the same people.

            If ‘the left’ is the problem, and you consider yourself left, then you’re the problem. And I’m left, so I’m also the problem. But obviously that doesn’t make sense, so it’s not really ‘the left’ that’s the problem, it’s just certain philosophies that exist within the left that you take issue with. Surely it would be better to speak to that narrower group than to label the entire ‘the left’ as the problem. This is why you saying you consider yourself left struck me as unusual, because it’s usually not people who identify as something that make blanket negative statements about ‘the something’, it’s usually people who aren’t part of that something at all.

            For what it’s worth, I do remember you being on the receiving end of downvote hell. I think sometimes it was deserved, and sometimes it wasn’t, and I’m sorry that you experienced those times when it wasn’t. If a comment is on-topic and isn’t hostile or disrespectful, it shouldn’t be the recipient of downvotes. It shouldn’t matter if it’s left or right people doing it, or Holden or Ford people doing it, or PC or Mac people doing it, the principle should stand regardless.

            Now with that done, I’ll share something I’ve been thinking about. For a long time now – years – I’ve watched the comments you’ve made and the way you downvote other people and to me you’ve always come across as a troll. I’d written you off as just a shit stirrer who only posts to aggravate or insult someone else, mock an issue someone finds important but you don’t, or otherwise cause grief. This brief exchange of replies here is the first time in a long time you’ve made me unsure about that conclusion. I’m genuinely not saying this to patronise you, I’m saying it because there’s a glimpse here of someone who could give valuable insight into some of the conversations that happen here, if only it weren’t masked by hostility and mockery all the time. I think it’d be great to see more of that and less of the other stuff.

            I think I’ve done the best I can to explain myself and answer your questions, so I’m leaving this here. Hope you had a good weekend.

          • @zombiejesus
            i had a whole reply, hit post and kotaku ate it.
            So lets just leave it there and ill say, i hope you had a good weekend too.

        • ‘Absorb and contemplate’ does not mean one also has to agree… And it is incredibly dishonest to even remotely imply that it does.

          Especially when the stipulation is very much ‘AGREE, OR ELSE!’

          Where the else is you being labelled a ‘manbaby’ or any other number of lovely titles people spit out to discredit someone critical of them or whatever they are defending.

          • There’s a difference between disagreeing and the kind of childish hostility, mockery, stereotyping and brigading that happens frequently in response to Gita’s articles. Anyone can politely disagree without attacking the author, their integrity or their intentions. If someone fails to meet that already-low standard of decorum, they’re having a tantrum.

  • I don’t know how to relay that message to the people who think I’m constantly offended.
    While I’m not too fond of the “the majority MUST be right!” deal… If you’re constantly having to explain yourself to people, logic says something you are doing is clearly at fault.

    I have an idea… How about, oh I dunno, maybe not race baiting for clicks every chance you get? Crazy I know, but take it for a spin and see how it goes.

    • Censorship is back in a big way because people don’t know how to avoid articles (like this) that they are simply not equipped to weigh in on. If it’s gonna piss you off, look away. Come back to it when you’re ready. Don’t lead with your defensiveness at the expense of being empathetic and humane, is what I’m getting at.

      The truth is that as many people here grow older, their views will no longer mirror a lot of what has been said. Your worlds will get bigger and so will your minds.

      At the very least, I’d urge everyone to accept Gita’s perspective and allow yourselves the right to change your own mind when new information is presented. Diminishing sentiments like Gita’s to the point of finding them frustrating is something you do to keep your world small, safe, and pretty. Also it’s much easier than adopting new views and information.

      • I’m all for talking about issues, bit I’m over talking about in the forum of the one escape from reality I’ve had for 25 years.

        If I’m wanting over bloated politics, ideological rants, and crazy expositional crap near my games…I’d be playing Metal Gear Solid 2

        • It wasn’t the intention, but if you say that element to it there, then I trust you are saying it honestly. Sorry for putting it out like that.
          It was just “Dude-hurtling-towards-40” speak.

          • What you say comes with age, doesnt necessarily come with age, to alot of people who are also hurtling towards 40, and they see the disingenuous attempts at making everything racist, everything sexist, and constant ways to reframe the narrative so they are right and others are wrong and scream everyone who disagrees is sexist or racist.

            Thats one perspective from alot of people who are growing up with the new face of old media which tends to do alot of opinion blogging that has found a way to kotaku.

            Your perspective isnt coming from age, its coming from what you are personally seeing.
            Just like my perspective isnt from age, but seeing alot of the boy who cried wolf.

  • Personally I love her articles and I do tend to agree people see anything other than say game x is perfect as an attack on them personally. Which is silly unless Cyberpunk 2077 is involved which will be the perfect game and I will end anyone who says otherwise.

    It’s been interesting for me seeing gaming through a different perspective

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