He's the Mike Pence of Twitch.
August 21, 2018 4:01 PM   Subscribe

Ninja explains his choice not to stream with female gamers [Polygon] ““I don’t play with female gamers,” says Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, Twitch’s biggest streamer and one of the faces of the Fortnite fandom. This edict may be surprising to hear, especially as emphatically as Blevins said it when we spoke at a recent Samsung event. Though Blevins isn’t shy about being married, and his more than 10 million subscribers include people of every gender identity, the internet’s love of gossip has convinced the Twitch star not to invite women to participate in his Fortnite Battle Royale livestreams. With fame comes scrutiny of every thing you say or do, he suggested, and that can sometimes lead to questions about who you’re sleeping or flirting with on the sly. “If I have one conversation with one female streamer where we’re playing with one another, and even if there’s a hint of flirting, that is going to be taken and going to be put on every single video and be clickbait forever,” Blevins told Polygon.”

• Ninja responds to criticism of his refusal to stream with women [Polygon]
““I wanted to take a moment to address the discussion around the article that came out over the weekend,” reads his tweeted statement, referring to his interview with us, in which he explained why he won’t play with women. “While I understand some people have implied my views mean I have something against playing with women, I want to make clear the issue I’m addressing is online harassment, and my attempt to minimize it from our life.” By “our life,” Blevins is referring to both his wife, Jessica “Jghosty” Blevins, and himself. His intention behind keeping his channel female gamer-free is to protect his relationship from the rumor mill, he told us. “It is something that affects all streamers, especially ones that make their relationships public,” he continued. “I wanted to bring attention to this issue and my comments should not be characterized as anything beyond that.””
• Ninja’s unwillingness to stream with women is a problem that points to a larger problem [The Verge]
“The circumstances surrounding Blevins’ stance are sticky. As the foremost Fortnite streamer, Blevins has the power to take a stance against the sort of harassment he’s speaking of. Twitch is notoriously thorny for women. Some female streamers are stamped as “Twitch thots,” harassed, and doxxed. Sidelining women only alienates them further. It perpetuates a system in which they are denied the same opportunities as male streamers simply because of their gender. Blevins doesn’t have to stream with anyone — but by declaring that playing with women is “just not worth it,” he’s contributing to false narratives that men and women can’t coexist in non-sexual relationships. Blevins’ fear of harassment cannot be ignored or underplayed, either. Online celebrities are entitled to their privacy, even when part of their job requires them to let viewers in. Creators facing blowback from fans over feelings of ownership or entitlement is, sadly, a well-documented occurrence: viewers who consider themselves privy to the relationships and personal lives of their favorite stars, whether it’s women on Twitch, YouTube power couples, or live vloggers.”
• For women on Twitch, disclosing their relationship status is a minefield [The Verge]
“Based on conversations with dozens of streamers, women in particular often struggle with how to present their romantic availability to viewers who expect a more intimate relationship than they would from Hollywood personalities. Twitch streamers, after all, invite fans into their bedrooms, banter with their audiences for hours on end, and often share details about their day-to-day lives. Much like women in service roles who have to suffer the advances of men who mistake work hospitality for romantic interest, the relationship between viewer and women streamers can quickly become more personal for a viewer than the broadcaster intends. When a man on Twitch is nice to a viewer, that’s typically that. When a woman is nice to a viewer, it can more often get misinterpreted as romantic interest or availability, which viewers claim leads to more donations. “As streamers, people get to know us and our personalities as we play games and through our social media,” said variety Twitch streamer Miss Leshkee. “They may feel connected to us on a personal level because they will go and follow all my offline social media and hang out in my Discord. For the people that grow feelings for a streamer, there are some that don’t have the courage to express their feelings, or others that have this impression that our kindness, humor, etc is us sharing feelings back.””
• Ninja Should Stream With Women [Kotaku]
“It’s disappointing to see him draw the line at playing with women. From his actions, he’s clearly a kind, giving person who wants to make things better for others. But with fame comes a certain degree of responsibility. And Ninja is famous—not “internet famous” like Pizza Rat, but really famous. Twitch, and gaming in general, is an environment that can be majorly inhospitable to women. While coordinated efforts to keep women out of games absolutely do exist, much of it is not premeditated. It’s a cultural issue, a systemic one that—in the absence of currents running counter to it—self-perpetuates. It’s death by a thousand slow, painful cuts. On Twitch, men are the default. As long as high-profile male streamers shy away from streaming with women, there’ll be gossip and the possibility of harassment every time it happens. Ninja could have a significant effect on the issue by boosting women on his streams the same way he boosts men.”
• Men – women gamers are not trying to get in your pants or wreck your marriage. They just want to play [Metro]
“Instead, he’s taken the Mike Pence route and implied that men and women can’t do things alone together without shenanigans, and that’s so misguided, it makes me wonder whether he spent more than a minute thinking it through. As a bisexual woman, if I adopted the same rule as Ninja, I’d have to ban everyone: I’m attracted to men, women and everyone in between, so that’d leave me precisely no one to game with. But I wouldn’t need to do that because my relationship is stable – my partner wouldn’t believe some random commenter saying I was bedding someone just because I streamed with them, so why would Ninja’s wife? It’s incredibly arrogant to assume that just because Ninja is attracted to women, those women are attracted to him and trying to get something other than a win out of playing against him. What about all the female gamers in happy relationships? What about the lesbians? And for that matter, what about the gay men – are those banned from Camp Ninja too? The fact is, a small segment of gaming fans are vocal trolls who ruin it for everyone else, and the solution to that isn’t to capitulate to them.”
• Fortnite Superstar Ninja Defends His Awful Decision Not to Stream With Female Gamers [The Mary Sue]
“It’s true that female streamers face a unique set of hurdles, with many viewers aggressively sexualizing and romanticizing them, rather than respecting them as gamers. They are notoriously subjected to the kind of gossip and rumors Ninja describes here. That’s why it’s so unfortunate that he chooses to perpetuate that treatment of women, rather than work to change it. Obviously, Ninja is free to stream with whomever he chooses. But he’s also going to be criticized for effectively denying all female streamers, no matter how talented, access to his 10,000,000 followers. Streaming has a persistent reputation as a boys’ club and players like Ninja refusing to ever share that kind of platform with a woman is exactly why. How are women ever supposed to rise to the top of this or any field when they’re actively and deliberately ignored by major players in their industry? (How does one get to be a major player in the first place? By forging connections with other players and offering each other shared exposure.) By refusing to play with female streamers, he may feel like he’s staying out of things. But in reality, he’s only reinforcing the idea that female streamers should be avoided, that they come with drama attached, and that there is an inherent sexualization when playing with them.”
posted by Fizz (95 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 
*sighs*
posted by Fizz at 4:02 PM on August 21, 2018 [14 favorites]


Ninja, you are Mike Pence, and I claim my five pounds!
posted by tclark at 4:07 PM on August 21, 2018 [11 favorites]


See, this is why I default to "everyone's pansexual" until proven otherwise. Try having "just friends" now, sucker! Haha, that's right! So many friends! AWESOME
posted by fritillary at 4:11 PM on August 21, 2018 [19 favorites]


Seems the only winning move is not to play.
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:23 PM on August 21, 2018 [6 favorites]


Seems the only winning move is not to play.

...not to play online. And/or if you do with humans you love and who love you back. Fuck everyone else. I still enjoy games and what they can do for my mind/mental health. There's a lot of terrible but there's some good if you search it out. I'm not letting the trolls take this away from me. Fuck that noise.
posted by Fizz at 4:24 PM on August 21, 2018 [5 favorites]


Seems the only winning move is not to play.

Isn't that the problem though?
posted by pan at 4:25 PM on August 21, 2018 [11 favorites]


A somewhat roundabout way to opt out from having to deal with his audience's and gaming's misogyny. On one hand he has a pulpit he could use to make the gaming world a better place, on the other his livelihood is entertaining neckbeards by playing games so why rile them by putting himself in a position where he would have to actively, publicly defend women. It's not a brave choice but its probably a good commercial choice .
posted by Damienmce at 4:27 PM on August 21, 2018 [3 favorites]


I must be missing something fundamental, why he can't he play videogames with women and just not talk to them about stuff that isn't related to the game? How difficult is this?

How does he like, go outside and live in the world?
posted by trackofalljades at 4:31 PM on August 21, 2018 [63 favorites]


In the spirit of inclusion and acceptance, fuck this guy.
posted by Cogito at 4:34 PM on August 21, 2018 [58 favorites]


Literally the only take that made me sympathetic to this was from a female streamer I used to follow (and who I am not going to link for a few reasons).

She hid her relationship with her now-husband for a good long while because she knew what would happen when she announced. They announced they were together, and, yup -- her 'fans' spent hours and hours and hours trying to 'prove' to her that he was cheating on her. Someone hired a PI to follow him. Someone found porn stars who looked like him and sent her porn screenshots and just porn, period. They found his family's contact info and harassed them, too.

She and her husband (both streamers) did NOT try to go single-gender for their streaming. But she was intensely sympathetic to the moment of completely desperation, searching for anything to make it stop.

Aaand that's literally the only thing that made me sympathetic.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 4:35 PM on August 21, 2018 [51 favorites]


What a cowardly piece of shit.

And why the fuck aren’t people on Twitch to do something about their fucking platform?
posted by schadenfrau at 4:36 PM on August 21, 2018 [4 favorites]


It's not just Twitch, literally the entire internet has to come out against these assholes, and as long as Reddit and Twitter are still allowing racists to use their platforms, and 4chan is not dying anytime soon, online harassment, especially towards women gamers, are never going to stop. I'm sympathetic for his wife's sake, because they're public, and the women that he'd playing with. But I still agree that he can figure out how to play with women in a way to never give anyone ammunition.
posted by numaner at 4:43 PM on August 21, 2018 [3 favorites]


Yeah, fuck this guy and all of his nodding sycophants.
posted by tzikeh at 4:44 PM on August 21, 2018 [3 favorites]


> online harassment, especially towards women gamers

How is refusing to interact with them harassment?
posted by piter at 4:50 PM on August 21, 2018


How is refusing to interact with them harassment?

It's a form of public shunning. You don't target an individual directly, but rather encourage an atmosphere where women are blocked from platforms, opportunities and visibility. If you can't hold the mic are you even speaking?
posted by fritillary at 4:55 PM on August 21, 2018 [77 favorites]


I think I misunderstood schadenfrau's comment, I read it as both Ninja being cowardly and that Twitch could do better about harassers on their platform, instead of Ninja being kicked off of it.

My reply was that even if Twitch tried to control harassers on their platform they'd still spill out to other corners of the web.

And I should probably restate: yes, he's a goddamn coward. The Mary Sue piece makes some very good points.
posted by numaner at 4:57 PM on August 21, 2018 [1 favorite]


How is refusing to interact with them harassment?

It's the fucking Billy Graham Rule. It's misogynistic, predicated on disgusting principles, and undermines the careers of women.
posted by NoxAeternum at 5:00 PM on August 21, 2018 [36 favorites]


Makes sense. Its also a good thing men never flirt with each other, and nobody has ever cheated on their opposite-sex partner with a same-sex person.

Oh wait, my bad, none of this makes any sense at all. If you are a guy whose fans are so terrible that you literally can't publicly interact with women in any capacity, maybe that's on you?
posted by surlyben at 5:00 PM on August 21, 2018 [31 favorites]


How is refusing to interact with them harassment?

It's not, but it's part and parcel with the really profoundly fucked up way we perceive and treat women in society. Twitch is awful, but this isn't just a Twitch or a gamer problem.

There needs to be a major reckoning with this, and I have no idea what that would be or what it would look like, but it needs to happen. #MeToo wasn't it, because assault and harassment is part of a bigger, deeper problem. Liberals and leftists aren't exempt from it, MetaFilter isn't exempt from it. I'm not exempt from it.

I would like to think, though, that if I was in a position where I had to swear off interacting with women in a professional capacity because of the intensely sexist nature of the industry I was working in, that would occasion some real soul searching, if not a grim march directly into the cold embrace of the sea.
posted by prize bull octorok at 5:04 PM on August 21, 2018 [12 favorites]


Even more troubling than the misogyny and weird gender-interaction issues being discussed here, I find it incredibly troubling that someone has used the word 'industry' to describe 'watching other people play video games', apparently without sarcasm.
posted by piter at 5:06 PM on August 21, 2018 [6 favorites]


If your fans are such total garbage then the only ethical choice is to quit. Or, you know, fight for women's rights I guess, but that might be hard or something.
posted by 1adam12 at 5:06 PM on August 21, 2018 [16 favorites]


Even more troubling than the misogyny and weird gender-interaction issues being discussed here, I find it incredibly troubling that someone has used the word 'industry' to describe 'watching other people play video games', apparently without sarcasm.

Yeah, to the tune of several billion dollars a year globally.
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:10 PM on August 21, 2018 [22 favorites]


Definitely the coward's way out.

What if he just played with women. That would be tremendous, especially with his audience. Use his channel to promote dozens if not hundreds of fantastic players.

The more power you have, the more responsibility you have to use it wisely. Not just hide behind your castle walls and mope about how mean people are if you go outside.

Coward.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:10 PM on August 21, 2018 [14 favorites]


I find it incredibly troubling that someone has used the word 'industry' to describe 'watching other people play video games', apparently without sarcasm

Can we not do this shit where we (a) grump about kids on our lawn and (b) minimize a multi-billion dollar industry in a way that implies that maybe it's not such a big deal that women are being gatekept out of it?
posted by tocts at 5:22 PM on August 21, 2018 [93 favorites]


I don't necessarily get that this guy is a douche or that he has any particular problem gaming with women. Rather that he is aware of a huge problem in this community and has chosen the easiest, albeit least progressive way of attempting to prevent it from impacting his personal and professional life. Certainly he could have chosen better, albeit ultimately more costly courses of action. That makes him lazy and perhaps cowardly, but I'm not sure he has a moral imperative to be the keen edge of the knife on this issue. Of course he could be, though, and eventually someone should be.

Mostly, this and the fact that an outsized percentage of terrible internet-enabled things seems to emanate from gamers solidifies my thinking that the gaming community harbors a festering cesspool of everything that is the worst about internet-enabled culture. This may be, and probably is, a minority of gamers. But boy are they a virulent bunch of assholes. Why is this?
posted by slkinsey at 5:28 PM on August 21, 2018 [5 favorites]


I'm not sure he has a moral imperative to be the keen edge of the knife on this issue

The problem with this argument is that he's literally the person with the most power to do anything about this problem, and he is not just failing to help but is actively making it worse by saying that the solution is for women to not be present in this space. This is a guy who could lose 90% of his audience and still be making an upper-class paycheck, and his reaction to his shitty entitled fans is basically "you win, women aren't allowed".
posted by tocts at 5:34 PM on August 21, 2018 [58 favorites]


Every time before this when someone has said “then that means the terrorists have won” I found it annoying , but it was my FIRST thought when I read about this guy’s stance
posted by Kemma80 at 5:38 PM on August 21, 2018 [7 favorites]


The "Billy Graham rule" is inherently misogynist. Its very existence is a verdict on the society as a whole.
posted by runcifex at 5:40 PM on August 21, 2018 [10 favorites]


Oh, I 100% agree that he should do something. If it were me and something like this came up, I might start a [whatever it's called] where I did nothing but stream sessions with the very best women gamers. But I have to acknowledge this is easy for me to say when my livelihood and marital harmony aren't potentially at stake.
posted by slkinsey at 5:40 PM on August 21, 2018


From his actions, he’s clearly a kind, giving person who wants to make things better for others

His actions are shitty towards half of the population based on their gender. From his actions he clearly doesn't make things better for women. Oh, but he wants to.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 5:49 PM on August 21, 2018 [17 favorites]


“If I have one conversation with one female streamer where we’re playing with one another, and even if there’s a hint of flirting, that is going to be taken and going to be put on every single video and be clickbait forever,” Blevins told Polygon.

I have a novel idea, actually. If you're genuinely worried about being thought of as flirting with women you stream with, maybe before you get to "I should not interact with women" you should try actually streaming with a woman you genuinely don't find attractive. If you can't find a woman streaming who you don't find attractive, then maybe that suggests something about how hard it is for women to be taken seriously for reasons other than looks in the industry--which is not to say pretty girls who stream shouldn't also be taken seriously--but geez, there are so many non-optimal results here that would have at least been recorded as "made an attempt".

If you're worried about a girl flirting with you, invite a lesbian. Lesbians exist. You shouldn't have to do this, but any of these things would be better than "I'm sorry I can't interact with women because someone will read it wrong", like every woman who exists in his universe is there to be his potential love interest and he can't even conceive of streaming with women who don't fit that mold. Being unwilling to associate professionally with attractive women would still be awful, mind, but if you're refusing to associate professionally with women period on the grounds that you might find them attractive, it says a lot about the way you picture the women in your profession.
posted by Sequence at 5:49 PM on August 21, 2018 [16 favorites]


It's a classic case of bias-by-proxy, similar to situations like advise one's African-American clients not to buy homes in a certain neighborhood purely out of concern for their safety in the face of other people's racism.

It may be well-intentioned (and for the sake of argument I'm letting that "may be" do a lot of heavy lifting) but the net effect is to amplify the consequences of the original racism several fold, until it's the majority of the problem itself.

It's a situation where a person really can't remain neutral, not so much as a moral imperative but as a bare fact: how you respond to other's bigotry inherently makes you part of one side or the other.
posted by traveler_ at 5:54 PM on August 21, 2018 [22 favorites]


I'm not sure he has a moral imperative to be the keen edge of the knife on this issue

I'm fairly certain this guy is nowhere near the "keen edge of the knife". Women streamers, for instance, are a nice buffer zone -- plenty of them getting sliced to ribbons out there.
posted by Cheerwell Maker at 6:03 PM on August 21, 2018 [11 favorites]


streaming with lesbians, with actual nuns, with affirmed and resolute lifelong virgins, none of that would make a difference to his disgusting audience, to whom anyone female on earth is just a series of holes for them to imagine fucking. There is no woman on earth they wouldn't objectify and no possible verbal or nonverbal interaction anyone could have with any woman what wouldn't be sexually coded in some way inside their creepy fevered little rodent brains.
posted by poffin boffin at 6:08 PM on August 21, 2018 [58 favorites]


Third parties are outside his control, even if he really ought to be a better influence on them, but if he's concerned on the impact on his own actual real life, like, I'm presuming here that he has higher opinions of himself and his wife than he does of his audience. If he doesn't, that's by itself an enormous thing that he needs to be called on directly, not just that his audience is terrible, but that it isn't them, it's him. He's personally responsible for that. It can't be pushed off on strangers.
posted by Sequence at 6:23 PM on August 21, 2018 [1 favorite]


Third parties are outside his control, even if he really ought to be a better influence on them, but if he's concerned on the impact on his own actual real life, like, I'm presuming here that he has higher opinions of himself and his wife than he does of his audience.

What does this even mean? That someone has a jealous spouse does not give them the right to discriminate against whole classes of people. If you're thinking that only working with "ugly" women or lesbians to appease his wife would be even the tiniest bit of an improvement, let me tell you: you are incorrect!
posted by tocts at 6:32 PM on August 21, 2018 [1 favorite]


I am struggling to decide who is more pathetic, this worthless excuse of a person or his misogynistic fans.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:37 PM on August 21, 2018


Mod note: Piter, if you think this conversation is about something trivial or pointless, you are cordially invited to go find a different one.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 6:42 PM on August 21, 2018 [19 favorites]


Seems the only winning move is not to play online.

Amended. Codified. The "aye"s have it.
posted by turbid dahlia at 6:43 PM on August 21, 2018 [1 favorite]


Boy. He seems like a real Cleveland Streamer.
posted by UltraMorgnus at 6:44 PM on August 21, 2018 [2 favorites]


If you're thinking that only working with "ugly" women or lesbians to appease his wife would be even the tiniest bit of an improvement, let me tell you: you are incorrect!

What I'm saying is that saying it's about his audience takes away his personal responsibility from this, the degree to which this is about who he is personally and who a lot of these streamers are personally. He isn't being horrible because he has a horrible audience. He's being horrible because he's horrible and he's not even slightly trying to find way to integrate women professionally into his life in ways that have bad implications.

His audience could be angels and he still wouldn't be a better person than this. The horrible streamers have attracted the audiences they have and have personally contributed to this environment every step of the way.
posted by Sequence at 6:46 PM on August 21, 2018 [4 favorites]


hide behind your castle walls

The princess(es) are in a different castle...
posted by ikahime at 7:05 PM on August 21, 2018


My reply was that even if Twitch tried to control harassers on their platform they'd still spill out to other corners of the web.

Then we keep hounding after them with relentless fervor, deny them any haven among the civilized, deny them every dark den to lurk in, and raze the fucker to the ground if it won't turn them out. Yes, if we turn the lights on, the little bastards will scatter. Good. We have more lights than they have dark corners, and it's high time we realized that and acted on it.

I think I'm going to ask my ISP politely to block 4chan and 8chan. I think I might start a petition - hate-sites are opt-in only, and that's just to preserve net neutrality. I'm going to send a feature request to our web-proxy vendors to categorize subreddits like they do web URLs for content blacklisting hate. I want to check off that box that blocks hate sites, and know that the evil subreddits will be blocked as well. Let's do it with Facebook groups and twitter accounts, too!

No safe haven. NONE.

"And they ran through the briars and they ran through the brambles
They scrambled right through where a rabbit couldn't go!
They ran so hard that hounds couldn't catch'em
All the way down to the Gulf of Mexico!"

I love patriotic songs where everyone who's an American can feel like a hero.*


*A lot of patriotic Black and Creole soldiers who loved freedom held the line against the British in the Battle of New Orleans.**

** The slaves and Creoles were denied their due, but that's one of many reasons why "Old Hickory" is on his way out, and a true patriot and Hero of the Republic, Harriet Tubman, gets to take his spot on folding money in 2021.

posted by Slap*Happy at 7:27 PM on August 21, 2018 [8 favorites]


I'm not sure he has a moral imperative to be the keen edge of the knife on this issue

I have more than zero sympathy for his "look, it's not me, the audience is fucking nuts" because it probably is? But I think the reason a lot of people are calling him out here is - really, what's the worst that is going to happen to him? The most legitimate concern I guess is that it's going to damage his relationship with his wife but it doesn't look so good for the strength of that relationship if it can't survive that aspect of fame anyway. And on the other side he is, as I understand it, the number one guy in his business right now, and has tremendous power to put other streamers on. So refusing to do that for any women? That's a seriously chickenshit move.
posted by atoxyl at 7:30 PM on August 21, 2018 [18 favorites]


Wouldn't this then logically mean he has to vet all his male streamers to make sure they're also straight? He can't play with anyone gay or bisexual either, given that the problem is sexualisation. Maybe the other streamers could wear paper bags over their heads.
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 7:36 PM on August 21, 2018 [9 favorites]


Welp, if you're gonna be terrified of women then you're gonna be terrified of women. I guess avoiding them is better than the alternative.

Also being a "celebrity" Fortnite player ought to come with a financial advisor. Or maybe it shouldn't.
posted by East14thTaco at 7:45 PM on August 21, 2018


There's lots of things he could do to correct the circumstances that he says led to this choice -- if he really cares about the broader issue. (I think he just wants to make lots of money and play games, with his head in the sand.) He could host women when he's offline. He could start raids to their channels. He could promote events like LadiesNite to his audience. Or, crazy thought, he could play with *so many* of the skilled, fun female Fortnite streamers that any single rumor is inconsequential.
posted by HarshLanguage at 8:11 PM on August 21, 2018 [5 favorites]


Fortnite, the game Ninja is playing, is immensely popular in the age group of teenagers and elementary school children, for whom the subtleties of marriage/gender relationships is lost. Ninja probably also knows that his popularity can come and go at a moment's notice, so him being as inoffensive as possible reduces risk.
posted by meowzilla at 8:12 PM on August 21, 2018 [2 favorites]


I don't necessarily get that this guy is a douche or that he has any particular problem gaming with women. Rather that he is aware of a huge problem in this community and has chosen the easiest, albeit least progressive way of attempting to prevent it from impacting his personal and professional life. Certainly he could have chosen better, albeit ultimately more costly courses of action. That makes him lazy and perhaps cowardly, but I'm not sure he has a moral imperative to be the keen edge of the knife on this issue.

What if the fans carried out a campaign of harassment when he played with non-white people, or gays, or Jews, or Muslims? Would the choice to shut those categories of people out still lack moral significance?

This guy makes half a million dollars per month. He could completely stop at any time and still have already earned more money than most of us will in the course of our entire lives. It is absolutely on him if he wields his capital to the detriment of disadvantaged people: this is the fucking 21st century and “but everyone screws women out of participation in the apex of the economy” is no excuse if it ever was.
posted by XMLicious at 8:19 PM on August 21, 2018 [54 favorites]


Fortnite, the game Ninja is playing, is immensely popular in the age group of teenagers and elementary school children, for whom the subtleties of marriage/gender relationships is lost. Ninja probably also knows that his popularity can come and go at a moment's notice, so him being as inoffensive as possible reduces risk.


This is a novel way to be "as inoffensive as possible" if you ask me.

Also, he's broadcasting to exactly the age group that does NOT need another media voice telling them "only boys can be gamers".
posted by mmoncur at 10:14 PM on August 21, 2018 [28 favorites]


Mostly, this and the fact that an outsized percentage of terrible internet-enabled things seems to emanate from gamers solidifies my thinking that the gaming community harbors a festering cesspool of everything that is the worst about internet-enabled culture. This may be, and probably is, a minority of gamers. But boy are they a virulent bunch of assholes. Why is this?

I don’t know, and you’re probably right about it being a minority, but I feel the same exactly way and I’ve come in close proximity to far too many gamers that were shitty humans. And I used to be one, before any number of reasons I stopped. In part because I was working my ass off while my gamer husband checkout of many of life’s responsibilities via games and media. And far too many other gaming friends left a bad taste in my mouth.

Hell, I dated a guy who was part of the Twitch culture, which was actually new to me. The whole thing was so bizarrely status driven, besides the problematic women stuff. And this guy was really shitty towards women, I’m embarassed to say (embarassed because it took so long to really recognize the gaslighting that was happening to me). The women involved with that gaming corner were often those that got involved as partners of a gamer, current or previously. I saw a bunch of women who were trying hard to be into whatever their boyfriends were into. Most much younger than I; I recognized my younger self in their foibles. That’s not to say there aren’t women genuinely interested in that corner of gaming culture, but so many were Ann from Parks n Rec. If they didn’t actively participate, they often just sat and watched. A point of contention between the guy I was dating and myself (cuz I’m a grown ass woman and I don’t have time to watch you play a game for 4,5,6 hours a few times a week).

Having been dipping my toe back into the dating pool, I have seen many of this ex’s friends show up in the dating apps. All have really horrible profiles that let their beta misogyny seep through every crack and crevasse of their profiles.

Anyone who has “gamer” in their dating profile, I avoid. So I suppose that could be a problem in changing my opinion that gamers are not largely shitty misogynists. But I’m too fucking tired to find out.

(And sadly, I do actually enjoy video games now and again. I’d probably play them more if the culture around them had not left such a terrible taste in my mouth.)

All this is to say that I am absolutely unsurprised by this. Of course a guy who is at the top of this pile of sexism is going to fail and fail hard when it comes to his attempt to fix the problem in his life. Cuz that is the important part, right?
posted by [insert clever name here] at 10:27 PM on August 21, 2018 [11 favorites]


Seems the only winning move is not to play.

Online multiplayer has been a toxic contribution to gaming
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 2:23 AM on August 22, 2018 [3 favorites]


It's misplacing the consequences. His audience are dicks, so he punishes women streamers. That makes him part of the problem.
posted by Dysk at 5:03 AM on August 22, 2018 [9 favorites]


Some of my fans are terrible! Just terrible! I have to avoid all women out of fear of their retribution! But I'm still OK with making my money off them.
posted by stillnocturnal at 5:17 AM on August 22, 2018 [6 favorites]


There certainly is a large contingent of trolls/dicks on Twitch (not denying that this is a huge problem) but I personally like to focus on the parts of that platform that can be good and fun.

Casual gamers (and I like to think I am a good person who doesn't engage in this kind of toxic behaviour) such as myself who seek out smaller streams to just chat/hangout and get to know different people, young kids who just like to watch or maybe cannot afford to play Fortnite but all their friends are into it, people of colour and lgbtq streamers who show how diverse the gaming community can be. There's a lot of fun and good in game streams on Twitch and YouTube, it's just being drowned out by that more vocal contingent.

I hate how toxic gaming has become, but I also love playing video games and talking about them. And I like to try to find the good things buried among the shitty things. It's sad that Ninja is not using his platform to amplify and empower diversity in gaming b/c that would send a powerful message to these trolls.
posted by Fizz at 5:46 AM on August 22, 2018 [7 favorites]


I want to add:

I'm really bummed at the female streamers saying this is not a big deal because they wouldn't want to stream with Ninja anyways because of the likely harassment. To be clear, I'm not saying that they shouldn't make that choice -- I think an individual choosing to not be involved in something because of potential harassment is a totally legitimate decision (though it's super shitty that it's one they have to make). But, I am bummed that they're giving cover to Ninja on this, because he's not saying e.g. "harassment is bad"; he's saying: "women just bring drama and trouble so I wouldn't allow them to stream with me anyways, regardless of their choice of whether they're willing to risk it".

Basically, one woman making a choice for themselves is fine (but regrettable). An industry leader making that choice for all women (and signaling to other industry leaders that it's totally acceptable to do this) is incredibly shitty and perpetuates the toxic culture that has grown up around it.
posted by tocts at 7:19 AM on August 22, 2018 [19 favorites]


I absolutely love the claims of these Call of Duty Lotharios who are just so virile and charming that *anything* they say or do could be seen as "flirting"
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 9:14 AM on August 22, 2018 [2 favorites]


In fairness, it's about audience perceptions. I find it entirely believable that your average gamer bro thinks any kind of kindness of any kind at all from a man towards a woman must be about sex. Like, why would you ever be nice to a girl other than to get in her pants?

(I do not endorse this attitude, and I think it's bullshit to bow to it, but I suspect it's more based on that widespread perception among twitch viewers than any self-assessment of Ninja's flirting game. Or maybe I'm giving some rando streamer too much benefit of the doubt.)
posted by Dysk at 9:18 AM on August 22, 2018 [2 favorites]


The arguments people are making here are ridiculous. The idea that ninja has any more power than anyone else is laughable--his fans are chaotic and changeable middle schoolers who would dump him in a moment if he tried to moralize. People here are completely blowing off the dissolution of a marriage as just the price you might pay for being a person on the internet, as if his actions to avoid it are complete cowardice. I don't think this is a great outcome, but his choice could very well be the best for him and his life.
posted by TypographicalError at 10:41 AM on August 22, 2018 [2 favorites]


If his marriage can't stand him merely sharing a screen with a woman while playing video games and talking about them, the problem is with his marriage. Pointing out the grossly misogynist background of this type of behavior, or the messages it sends to both his audience and gamers at large (especially women), is precisely 0% at fault.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:51 AM on August 22, 2018 [23 favorites]


“I don’t play with female gamers,” says Tyler “Ninja” Blevins, Twitch’s biggest streamer and one of the faces of the Fortnite fandom...

...Though Blevins isn’t shy about being married, and his more than 10 million subscribers include people of every gender identity, the internet’s love of gossip has convinced the Twitch star not to invite women to participate in his Fortnite Battle Royale livestreams. With fame comes scrutiny of every thing you say or do, he suggested, and that can sometimes lead to questions about who you’re sleeping or flirting with on the sly.

“If I have one conversation with one female streamer where we’re playing with one another, and even if there’s a hint of flirting, that is going to be taken and going to be put on every single video and be clickbait forever,”
...

“[Not being connected to other women online,] that was something I made 100-percent sure,” he said. It was his decision alone to keep his streaming partners men-only. “That was not even her. She had nothing to do with it. That was me being, ‘I love our relationship,’ and, ‘No — I’m not even gonna put you through that.’”
...

"While I understand some people have implied my views mean I have something against playing with women, I want to make clear the issue I’m addressing is online harassment, and my attempt to minimize it from our life."
[where our = him & his wife]
This is not a man hiding his romantic relationship to protect himself & his partner from online harassment (the way too many women have to). He's very public with his marriage.

This is not a man who is (misguidedly & ineffectually) trying to protect female Streamers from being harassed. In the linked interviews he doesn't appear to have expressed concern for anyone other than himself and his wife.

This is not a man saying he was pressured by a jealous partner to not interact with other women. He says he made this decision unilaterally.

This appears to be entirely about him trying to prevent people speculating publicly that he's cheating on his wife, and he's throwing every female Streamer he could potentially game with under the bus in order to do so. It looks like either his thinking is so heteronormative that he hasn't even considered speculation about him being in a homosexual affair, or he's only concerned with gossip about affairs that he thinks his wife might consider plausible.

He's saying that his reason for discriminating against female gamers is to protect himself and his wife from the type of relationship gossip & speculation that he himself has been recorded engaging in at/about other Streamers (as cited in the Polygon article). The hypocrisy of that is astounding.
posted by Secret Sparrow at 11:03 AM on August 22, 2018 [20 favorites]


This pink-haired chucklehead is a misogynist, full stop. He can not conceive of women as anything other than potential temptresses, and this concern overrides any moral, ethical, or professional obligation he might have to use his enormous, lucrative platform to treat female streamers as equals. Fuck him.
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:07 AM on August 22, 2018 [22 favorites]


People here are completely blowing off the dissolution of a marriage as just the price you might pay for being a person on the internet, as if his actions to avoid it are complete cowardice.

Because the Billy Graham Rule is cowardice. It's a form of moral cowardice in which the male places any and all blame on accusations of cheating on the women, instead of on himself.
posted by NoxAeternum at 11:10 AM on August 22, 2018 [21 favorites]


I'm really bummed at the female streamers saying this is not a big deal because they wouldn't want to stream with Ninja anyways because of the likely harassment.

I am also certain there is a level of “cool girl” behavior that many women who want to be involved in such a toxic atsmosphere have to adopt, knowingly or not. Support popular Twitcher, or die.

I was on dial in bbses and internet newsgroups and listservs in the early/mid 90s as a young girl in my teens and early adult years. The culture was misogyny, driven by techy men, with such a small minority of women that we all had to be cool girls to fit in. Then I worked in an ISP in the late 90s/early aughts and the work culture wasn’t much different. The internet was still a white privileged male toxic shithole, and many of the people I worked with came from that culture. I had to be able to both tolerate shitty male behavior and be able to burn others to the ground in various flame wars to exist both online and at work. Often times spitting out misogynistic venom I had internalized. I was the cool girl, never asserting my needs or protecting myself (well, rarely). I loved being scrappy and able to scrap, but it wasn’t until much later that I realized my own abusive upbringing taught me to tolerate behavior that a healthy person would have noped out of, this the much lower rate of women in tech.

And while much of that has improved. At least on some level, it still thrives in gaming culture. And that is hard to see. I both get why women wouldn’t want to endanger their passion and in some cases livelihood. But their behavior often has to fall within what is acceptable in the toxic hellhole of gaming.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 11:30 AM on August 22, 2018 [11 favorites]


The idea that ninja has any more power than anyone else is laughable--his fans are chaotic and changeable middle schoolers who would dump him in a moment if he tried to moralize. People here are completely blowing off the dissolution of a marriage as just the price you might pay for being a person on the internet, as if his actions to avoid it are complete cowardice. I don't think this is a great outcome, but his choice could very well be the best for him and his life.

There's always some way to shrug and say, “Aww gee I'd love to do the right thing but these other people are just forcing my hand!” Getting the very best for yourself is usually going to involve exploiting or participating in the marginalization of disadvantaged people and doing the right thing is usually going to involve sacrifice or at the very least opportunity cost.

In the pre-Civil-Rights American South and elsewhere there were white people who would throw racist tantrums if there was a chance they might have to eat in the same room as a person of color or not get to ride at the front of the bus. But that does not absolve someone who had such people as customers and put up a “Whites Only” sign and refused to sell a black person a sandwich to cater to the wishes and vanity of white supremacists. Doing so was participation in white supremacy.

You don't have to somehow be superlatively powerful to be culpable in racism, sexism, or other forms of bigotry.

But ninja isn't deciding whether to quit a minimum-wage diner waiter or bus driver job or anything like that. If his marriage would really be inevitably destroyed by refusing to participate in shutting women out of the heights of the streaming profession which he is a conduit for then the alternative choice would be for him to retire at 27 as a multi-millionaire.
posted by XMLicious at 10:31 PM on August 22, 2018 [9 favorites]


his fans are chaotic and changeable middle schoolers

If this is the case, then it shouldn't matter what they say about his marriage or relationship with any other streamer. Who gives a damn what they think? This is just the cowardly flavour of misogyny.
posted by harriet vane at 7:05 AM on August 23, 2018 [9 favorites]


Can we not do this shit where we (a) grump about kids on our lawn and (b) minimize a multi-billion dollar industry in a way that implies that maybe it's not such a big deal that women are being gatekept out of it?

On the one hand, I see your point. On the other hand, just because something is a multi-billion dollar industry, doesn't mean it *should* be. I feel like a society that rewards getting people to watch you play a videogame over e.g. teaching kids to do math or read is a pretty sick society.

This guy is a stupid, sexist shit, and everything about this is dumb, including the fact that he makes a lot of money being a stupid, sexist shit on the internet.
posted by aspersioncast at 8:49 PM on August 23, 2018


The idea that ninja has any more power than anyone else is laughable--his fans are chaotic and changeable middle schoolers who would dump him in a moment if he tried to moralize.

And what he said isn't a version of 'moraliz[ing]' because?
posted by PMdixon at 11:39 PM on August 23, 2018 [2 favorites]


I am completely confused that anyone thinks the "dissolution of his marriage" is on the table because someone on the internet might make a meme about him having an affair. Like... what? How is that even a possible outcome? AT WORST it seems like the outcome is "my wife is slightly irritated by all these people implying I'm having affairs." If his wife will GENUINELY LEAVE HIM if a high school student who has never met either of them says "omg he clearly fancies this other woman" then I think he has bigger problems.
posted by stillnocturnal at 4:34 AM on August 24, 2018 [4 favorites]


On the other hand, just because something is a multi-billion dollar industry, doesn't mean it *should* be. I feel like a society that rewards getting people to watch you play a videogame over e.g. teaching kids to do math or read is a pretty sick society.

I will take seriously the moralizing around "watching people play videogames" when a similar amount of handwringing is aimed at, oh, I dunno, watching people flip around, or watching adults play a game, or watching people cook.

tl;dr if your response to Twitch is to cast it as a uniquely immoral kind of entertainment that indicates something has gone wrong with society: congratulations, you've become every old person who screamed about the music you liked when you were a child.
posted by tocts at 5:17 AM on August 24, 2018 [10 favorites]


I feel like a society that rewards getting people to watch you play a videogame over e.g. teaching kids to do math or read is a pretty sick society.

Um, we can do both? Are you saying that any time not spent learning is a waste because sometime people just want to have fun or watch other people having fun. Doesn't mean there isn't room for learning too.
posted by LizBoBiz at 5:44 AM on August 24, 2018 [2 favorites]


I feel like a society that rewards getting people to watch you play a videogame over e.g. teaching kids to do math or read is a pretty sick society.

Um, we can do both?


Indeed. And I think this speaks to the larger issue with Ninja. People/children are watching Twitch and Ninja play and they learn quite a bit through this kind of interaction. They see how people communicate on the web, they learn and will model the behaviour they see displayed in the game. How Ninja and/or other streams behave towards others in online chat/talk is something they'll pick up and mirror, because children are sponges that way.

All the more reason that Ninja should use his privilege and influence to show that playing with other women, people of colour, LGBTQ, anyone, that you should play with everyone fairly, honestly, and with dignity and respect. But to just remove women from that group of online play, it lets kids think that this is an ok thing to do, that it should be similarly modeled in their own lives with their own gaming and play.
posted by Fizz at 6:44 AM on August 24, 2018 [5 favorites]


I'm fine with there being people paid to play videogames and people who like watching such things, but I do think there things that make this shift in culture more fraught than just saying its the same thing as sports. There is something really notable about having a lot of young teens spending much of their time hanging out with "peers" who can be considerably older and maintaining some, what I would consider, really toxic values.

That's a different thing than hanging out with people your own age and from similar circumstance and location. In some ways it could be a good experience if it were handled with awareness, but without checks it sure seems like it can be a bad growth experience that may be causing added difficulties for lots of young people.

That's just my impression though, not something I can prove, but no less concerning to me for that until we have a better sense of what this new entertainment will lead to.
posted by gusottertrout at 7:47 AM on August 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


There is something really notable about having a lot of young teens spending much of their time hanging out with "peers" who can be considerably older and maintaining some, what I would consider, really toxic values.

I'm nearly 40 years old, and this literally describes my teenaged years, except instead of Twitch the venues were IRC, comic book stores, game stores, and hobby shops. Just as every generation does not invent sex, every generation does not invent impressionable teenagers spending much of their time being influenced by older people who frequently should be doing much better by those teens than they are.
posted by tocts at 7:56 AM on August 24, 2018 [4 favorites]


Just as every generation does not invent sex, every generation does not invent impressionable teenagers spending much of their time being influenced by older people who frequently should be doing much better by those teens than they are.

You're suggesting the internet hasn't made any significant change in the scale and nature of interaction children are experiencing? I'll just say I don't agree at all, even as I won't say I know what it means.
posted by gusottertrout at 8:18 AM on August 24, 2018 [2 favorites]


I'm suggesting that while the internet has made significant changes to the scale and nature of all human interaction, I am unwilling to take serious the majority of the ire pointed at Twitch as being uniquely bad for kids compared to other media, because most of what I have seen of that is, as I have stated, the digital equivalent of shaking a fist at kids for listening to their immoral rock'n roll music.
posted by tocts at 8:24 AM on August 24, 2018 [2 favorites]


Well, I didn't say that. Twitch being uniquely anything wasn't the point, but since this is seems to be about defending Twitch at all costs, I'm not going to bother pursuing the conversation.
posted by gusottertrout at 8:37 AM on August 24, 2018


No, it's about not pretending that all this is somehow new. I remember that, when I was growing up, an athlete put out an ad where he said that he wasn't a role model, in response to concerns that he was teaching children improper morals.

This is nothing new, save for the venue.
posted by NoxAeternum at 9:53 AM on August 24, 2018


the digital equivalent of shaking a fist at kids for listening to their immoral rock'n roll music

The fuck? This only makes sense if you don’t consider the actual victims of the harrassment these cultures promote and encourage. Like if you just view women and girls as a bunch of NPC objects, yeah, maybe it’s just the youths being youthy.

Of course, then you are part of the problem.

It fucking matters to the women and girls who are attacked by these cretins that they’re being taught to treat women and girls as objects, even if it doesn’t matter to you.
posted by schadenfrau at 10:03 AM on August 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure tocts was refuting the characterization of gaming and streaming in general as being some uniquely horrible thing in terms of what The Youths are into.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:14 AM on August 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


Also, they specifically mentioned that this characterization is harmful to the fight against harassment because it "minimizes a multi-billion dollar industry in a way that implies that maybe it's not such a big deal that women are being gatekept out of it[.]"
posted by zombieflanders at 10:16 AM on August 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the point was that arguing that Twitch streamers being somehow emblematic of society's moral decline is just the modern incarnation of the evergreen moralizing of the older generation over what the youth are enjoying these days. It is in no way meant to say that there aren't serious problems with bigotry in streaming and online culture, just as saying that blaming rock music for the fall of Western civilization is pointless moralizing doesn't imply that bigotry and discrimination in rock fandom doesn't exist.
posted by NoxAeternum at 10:23 AM on August 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


The entire comment I was responding to:

I'm suggesting that while the internet has made significant changes to the scale and nature of all human interaction, I am unwilling to take serious the majority of the ire pointed at Twitch as being uniquely bad for kids compared to other media, because most of what I have seen of that is, as I have stated, the digital equivalent of shaking a fist at kids for listening to their immoral rock'n roll music.

Except that it is uniquely bad, because the platform tolerates and thus legitimizes and normalizes harassment of women. It is teaching an entire generation of kids that this is not only ok, it is accepted. There are women in this thread who have spoken about what it’s like to grow up in that atmosphere. And a girl’s choice at this point is accept degradation and harassment, the kind that seeps into your head and heart, or be excluded from what looks like the fucking future.

I don’t...I don’t know how plainer it can be. It’s not like Twitch is some passive entity here. Just like Facebook, just like Twitter, just like YouTube, just like every other for profit platform, Twitch makes active decisions about who gets to use their platform. Who gets to take up space, and who doesn’t.

And Twitch has decided that they’ll accept violent misogyny and harassment as a norm on their platform. They don’t get to evade responsibility for that.

And neither, frankly, does the larger culture of gaming. The actors in those spaces who actually have power — the game companies, the platforms, the people with an audience — also bear responsibility. That’s what this entire thread is about.
posted by schadenfrau at 10:46 AM on August 24, 2018 [3 favorites]


I mean, if you're going to attack me as being part of the problem by laser-focusing on one quote out of the context of everything else I've said in this thread that directly refutes the shit you're dumping on me, I don't even know what to say other than, peace out, I guess? I'll drop out, carry on demonizing.
posted by tocts at 10:59 AM on August 24, 2018


That seems to be very much not the viewpoint tocts was advancing, and I feel like you've misread someone who fundamentally agrees with you, but I really don't want to keep speaking for them.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:02 AM on August 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


Also FWIW tocts has been strongly pushing back on harassment and shutting down our local bigots and contrarians when it comes to gaming/streaming here on the blue since at least the very first gamergate thread.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:08 AM on August 24, 2018


Except that it is uniquely bad, because the platform tolerates and thus legitimizes and normalizes harassment of women. It is teaching an entire generation of kids that this is not only ok, it is accepted. There are women in this thread who have spoken about what it’s like to grow up in that atmosphere. And a girl’s choice at this point is accept degradation and harassment, the kind that seeps into your head and heart, or be excluded from what looks like the fucking future.

You mean like every form of media ever? One of the things I remember from reading about the hearings over the PMRC pushing for labeling of music - something that gets glossed over in the popular recounting - is that part of why the PMRC was pushing for this was because of the sexism and misogyny that was prevalent in the music industry. And it's worth remembering why that gets glossed over - because it's a lot harder to vilify someone when they have a strong point about the harms being caused. We saw something very similar with the hearings that created the ESRB as well - you had critics coming in and pointing out the industry's use of casual misogyny and how that was harmful.

What is happening with Twitch is a massive problem - but it is not a new or unique problem. Rather, it is once again how our media reflects our culture, and as such reflects the bigotry in our culture. And by acting like this is somehow new or unique harms the efforts to actually combat the problem, because it goes a lot deeper than Twitch.
posted by NoxAeternum at 11:23 AM on August 24, 2018 [3 favorites]


Twitch is for certain a new and unique offshoot of a much bigger and older problem.

Listening to the devil's own rock and roll music in your room or at a seedy club is not very usefully analogous to this form of passive entertainment where you have a single maestro figure who performs while interacting with their viewers while a shrieking horde of your peers vomits the contents of their id into a ceaselessly scrolling sidebar.
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:02 PM on August 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


and like, on re-reading that I can totally see the response "well PBO, the way you described that kinda does sound like a rock concert" but on every experiential level these things are not even remotely similar.
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:04 PM on August 24, 2018


and like, on re-reading that I can totally see the response "well PBO, the way you described that kinda does sound like a rock concert" but on every experiential level these things are not even remotely similar.

Except that they really are. We have a bad tendency to want to think that somehow, adding technology to something is utterly transformative - but it's not. At most, the newest aspect is the immedeacy of the responses, but we've had similar models on radio and TV for decades. Again, this entire discussion began when a Twitch streamer...decided to pick up the playbook of one of the first and most notable televangelists, written over half a century ago.
posted by NoxAeternum at 2:25 PM on August 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


I'm gonna have to vehemently disagree with you there re: the capacity for technology to utterly transform things, and take the position that sometimes similarities are superficial and the fact that you can make an analogy between two things does not always lead to a better understanding of them.
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:57 PM on August 24, 2018 [2 favorites]


What is happening with Twitch is a massive problem - but it is not a new or unique problem. Rather, it is once again how our media reflects our culture, and as such reflects the bigotry in our culture.

This reminds me of something that First Lady Michelle Obama said about her husband and President Barack Obama, [NPR]
“"Being president," she said, "doesn't change who you are, it reveals who you are," a sentiment that struck some in attendance.”
I feel like this technology, this evolution of gaming is somewhat similar. We may have altered how we play games, how we communicate with each other, but the underlying social/political/cultural behaviours are still there. The medium has just magnified them. It's more accessible to see these issues play out and how they impact us, they're not as hidden or removed as they once were.

I hope that makes sense. I'm struggling with what I'm trying to say here, so apologies if that's a murky comparison.
posted by Fizz at 7:01 AM on August 25, 2018 [2 favorites]


It’s not murky, but it’s still a lot of work to carefully absolve twitch and gaming itself of responsibility for making the violent misogyny that already existed in our culture worse. By, like, orders of magnitude. It’s an accelerant — you can’t enable hundreds and thousands more of a certain kind of interaction for a given user and then wash your hands and say “but the underlying problem was always there.”

No. Twitch, and gaming in general, has taken the shitty ...scoby? Of violent misogyny and grown it into a festering, evil, giant fucking Stay Puft nightmare that is now fucking up the rest of our society.

That’s a lot of mixed metaphors, but you know what I mean.
posted by schadenfrau at 7:24 AM on August 25, 2018


Oh, I should be clear, I'm not absolving these platforms of anything. They tolerate, they profit, they allow these behaviours to fester and grow and it's gross as shit. There need to be accountability and moderation, but we all know that profit tends to win at the end of the day. The rest is just theatre.
posted by Fizz at 7:50 AM on August 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


It’s not murky, but it’s still a lot of work to carefully absolve twitch and gaming itself of responsibility for making the violent misogyny that already existed in our culture worse.

Nobody is doing that. What people are pointing out is that Twitch supporting misogynist streamers is just the latest incarnation of a longstanding tradition of media owners fueling misogyny for profit. It's a fucking problem that needs to be dealt with - but it's part and parcel of the same problem we've been dealing with forever.
posted by NoxAeternum at 9:44 AM on August 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


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