I just read “Why I Don’t Feel Welcome At Kotaku” by Mattie Brice–another in that damn thing where gamer culture comes off as sexist and homophobic and all of that and we’re sick of it. I’ve written about Brice’s work before, but I think this article is excellent and worth a read. My issues with her initial article, written on The Border House, was that I thought that her work wasn’t critical enough–I thought that it was looking too much for an opportunity to open up a dialogue that would never really get much done.
What I like about “Why I Don’t Feel Welcome at Kotaku” is that it openly damns the community for the problem. This community is a big community, it says, and I’m tired of having to find my own community where I can be tolerated. There’s not much more I have to add–the article speaks for itself and does so very well, so give it a read.
One thing I find hilarious, however, is the implication that Joel Johnson thinks that the problem will be fixed by adding pics of naked dudes. In the middle of a bit of rhetoric on Brice’s part where she mentions that she “can’t find you bountiful resources of sexually liberated cosplayers not posing for straight guys”, Johnson interrupts with the inane note, “I had asked Mattie to help me find some sources of cosplay images more in line with what she would like to see on the site.” I cracked up upon reading that. I realize that yes, one of the problems is that so many images of scantily-clad ladies is a symptom of fratboy gamer culture, and that it’s a problem, but that’s not the angle to attack it. It’s not going to help the tenor of the comments. You think a gallery of dudes is going to engender positive, fun comments? It’ll be even more homophobic. Come on, Joel. You’re not a stupid man. Stop making that the biggest issue here.
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