#7312739, By Shinji Fahey's twitter outburst

  • Shinji 4 Apr 2011 04:15:50 5,902 posts
    Seen 4 years ago
    Registered 16 years ago
    Hey all - long time no see. Tom pointed me at this thread, and I've just had a read through. Sorry I didn't respond in here sooner - for all that I make a policy of ignoring the comments threads on GI's articles when they're cross-posted to EG on Saturdays, I've always had a ton of time for stuff in the forum about my articles. (In fact, I do wish I still had time to keep up with the forum in general, much as I'm sure that plenty of you were delighted to see the back of me...)

    Firstly, thanks to those who have contributed to the thread - either in defence or in disagreement with me. There are some good points raised here about the article, which I have taken on board. I stand by the basic conclusion and beliefs in the article, and I still think Gearbox are out of line here - but people are quite right to call me out for failing to flesh out and fully follow through some of the logic.

    It's a tricky topic and (contrary to some of the bashing I've had this week) it's not simply a case of saying "Duke is sexist!" - I was criticising a single, isolated feature of the game which I think crosses a line due to a whole bunch of societal context, and explaining that inside a thousand word piece is tricky. I could have done it better. I'm not sure that doing it better would have changed the reaction I got, but still - it could have been better, and I'll bear the points people have made here in mind next time I decide to step into a snake-pit of a debate like this one.

    Secondly, I want to talk about my apparent Twitter "outburst" a bit. It's a bit eye-opening that in a thread about this "outburst", the context of it doesn't appear until Page 8 - with people taking it on good faith that I was outright slagging off Eurogamer's readers in a blanket statement. That's a bit unfair - I'm a rude bastard and sometimes I need to tone that down (christ knows you forum lot know this), but I never made the kind of sweeping "they're all cunts" statement that's being attributed to me.

    Here's the full context - in response to a friend on Twitter expressing disappointment at some of the misogynist comments in the EG thread, I posted these two comments directly after each other:

    The reaction to anything like this is always basically, "where's your sense of humour" or "it'd be fine if it was a man!"

    The latter of those arguments is particularly odious. Selfish, ignorant, fuckwitted white male whinging. Cunts.

    I think it's pretty obvious that I'm not blanket describing everyone who disagrees with me (let alone everyone who reads EG!) here. I'm talking about people who fall back on those two cheap, thoughtless arguments to dismiss every suggestion that something is discriminatory and wrong.

    There's a really strong thread in a lot of discussion online, where you get fairly privileged white guys who have never actually experienced discrimination in their lives basically claiming to be discriminated against constantly - and using this as an excuse to foster hatred for minorities, immigrants, women, gays, or whoever the hell they don't like this week. I hate seeing that kind of BBC Have Your Say argument and tone crop up every time anyone broaches the topic of sexism or racism in games. That's who I was talking about, as you can see from the context, and well... I stand by that, but I'm under absolutely no impression that EG's audience (and especially not the forum, which has always had a reasonable serving of idiots but by and large is one of the better discussion spots on the Internet) can all be lumped together into that category.

    Finally, Tom and I have been talking about the fallout from this a bit - it's something of a storm in a teacup, I think, but speaking personally I'm a little concerned by the idea that I as a writer here (let alone Tom as Editorial Overfiend or whatever the hell his job title is this week) hold the readership in contempt. Sure, I hold the badly-spelled screaming fanboys and thinly-veiled bigots who crop up in the comments in the same contempt that all of the rest of you always have, but when I worked at EG and even now as a freelancer for the site, I've always been struck by the genuine affection for the readership among the staff. I share that, and as I said at the start, wish I still had time to engage with the site community - I never ragequit the forum or stormed out in a huff, I just got caught up in a new job, a university degree, a relationship and ultimately a move to the other side of the world, all of which made it impossible to keep contributing my customary wall-o-text responses here (except, er, this one). Much to everyone's relief, no doubt.

    On that basis, while I'm not going to apologise for my Twitter comments (which, seriously, hardly comment an "outburst" or some kind of angry meltdown...), I do want to apologise to anyone in the EG community who was offended by the implication that I or any of the other writers or staff see the whole community that way. That's not the case now, never has been - and never will be.

    (I'll keep an eye on this thread if anyone wants a direct response on anything else. Timezone differences mean I probably won't reply terribly quickly but I'll try to respond to anything relevant that's raised in the next few days.)
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