PvP and Chan Culture and What we can do

Stop treating people like obstacles.

I’ve written very specifically in the past about PvP culture, and some of the problems I’ve had in relation to the attitudes that unrestrained and non-consensual PvP seem to generate.  I’ve pointed to trends and studies and other things as I’ve seen them in an attempt to understand the culture better and try to think of better ways to live and deal with it.

I’ve also commented (though perhaps too early), on Gamergate.  In retrospect, my own response to the situation, while at the time felt appropriate, now feels grossly inadequate.  There are active campaigns being waged against women, people (and especially women) of color, trans people, and everything else not CIS hetero white male.  Given that now, I think my condemnation of the whole thing came off as too soft.  I don’t want to be misconstrued.  GamerGate is a horrible tragedy and its proponents need to seriously re-evaluate their lives.  That being said, it was interesting to me as I was watching it unfold, how similar PvP culture and Chan culture were in many respects.  (For a brief primer on what I mean by chan culture see Jay Allen aka A Man in Black and this excellent storify on the subject.)

As is tradition, while I’ve fumbled around trying to figure out everything that’s going on, someone else on the internet, smarter, better, and more worthy of your time, has gone ahead and written beautifully on the subject already. Tegiminis wrote a piece called Gaming’s Cruelty Epidemic.  They write about the link between violent media encouraging aggressive attitudes and how this makes gaming cruelty inevitable.  They write about consumer culture and how our attitudes and perceptions are shaped by it.  And then, they talk about how to fix it.

every person has personal agency on the same scale that you do.  You aren’t the protagonist.  Afford others the same benefit of the doubt you give yourself, and don’t treat people like obstacles in a video game.

Why are you still here?  Go read that whole post now. And then if you like what they write, throw some money their way.

All I will attempt to add to the discussion is this:  We’re on the cusp, right now, of nothing less than a cultural revolution.  There is already an explosion in representation and diversity, bringing in new viewpoints and ways of thinking that are slowly changing everything.  There are forces who are actively fighting against this change.  Some out of fear.  Others for power.  Lana Polansky, another person who you should be reading (and giving money to), helped bring up the point that the people fighting this revolution realize that when the culture moves away from CIS white males, so too will the power that culture affords them.  And we desperately don’t want to lose our power.  But power concentrated, benefits only a few, and I look forward to the day when many more will benefit.  There is enough to go around.  It’s time to start sharing and stop treating people like obstacles.

Go read it!

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