One Thought On re/Action’s Response To “One Thought On Porpentine’s Revisions to ’7 Thoughts on Women in Games’”
Since writing this piece this morning, the original article has been restored. Managing editor Andrea Shubert has posted an apology on her Twitter, as has EIC Mattie Brice. As of the time of this writing, Porpentine has not responded, although she’s made several clever arty tweets since.
Brice wrote the following tweet as explanation:
Hi, seeing that @reActionZine isn’t a funded venture with many people staffing it, no one has been awake to deal with what’s brought up.
This brings up a very interesting question: If none of the editorial staff was awake, how were the changes made?
The obvious answer is that Porpentine has been given editorial access to the site. Seeing as it’s “Posted by Porpentine”, that seems the most likely: Second Quest is on a WordPress site, as is re/Action, and therefore she has been able to edit her own writing. In this case, she was able to edit her own writing to make herself look better. Since Shubert and Brice claim that this was not their editorial intent, one thing is clear: An ethical breach, by Porpentine, occurred under the noses of Shubert and Brice while they were sleeping. Had I not written my article, this would have gone unnoticed. One wonders what other breaches of integrity have been performed by re/Actions staffers.
re/Action positions itself as a certain community voice. It is a new publication; that such a scandal is plaguing it before it’s even been out two weeks speaks extremely badly for it. For re/Action to carry itself in this way is for it to be a complete joke. For Porpentine to commit this breach of ethics and integrity is to sully re/Action’s already questionable name. For Brice and Shubert to not censure Porpentine for this act–for going against their editorial wishes, for acting out of their control, for the misrepresentation of the IF community–is for them to condone it.
To this end, a simple couple of tweets and a vague note from the editors are not enough. In order for re/Action to make good with the community, I would ask a more extensive apology, on their site. I would also ask that “7 Thoughts on Women in Games” be the last published piece by Porpentine on this site.
re/Action is a Zinester arm. I have never found the Zinesters to have much worthwhile to say. I have not found their techniques to be professional or their thoughts cogent or meaningful. I applaud the re/Action staff for eventually getting to the correction; and yet, I would urge every one of us to think twice before trusting the site again. Much as the staff of re/Action might not like rules, might not like structure, might not like accountability, it must have that in order to give the public the perception that their words can be believed. As it were, Porpentine’s actions, and the lack of urgency on the part of the community around re/Action, must sour any relationship that we, the readers, have with re/Action, and we must treat them with the arms’-length distance they deserve until they learn the meaning of integrity.
re/Action is going to be asking us for money soon.
Decide for yourself whether or not the site’s writers deserve it.
Filed Under: Blog