CBC conducted a recent interview with the developer behind Revolution 60, Brianna Wu. The interview mostly focuses on #GamerGate following the Law & Order: SVU episode based around factually inaccurate articles from mainstream websites that have been reporting on the hashtag. Interestingly enough, Wu took the last few minutes of the interview to blame developers, publishers, and major websites like IGN, Game Informer and Giant Bomb as being the core problem for sexism in gaming.
The radio interview is supposed to be available for public listening via the CBC’s website, however at the time of the writing of this article the interview is not available through the CBC’s website.
[Update: The link that was posted is broken for whatever reason but here is an updated link to the CBC’s radio show]
However, YouTuber YTheAlien has up the interview in two parts that you can listen to below.
At around the 3:50 mark in part 1, Wu states that the media spoke out on #GamerGate for about a week and then moved on. This is untrue. The enthusiast games press started negatively hammering in on #GamerGate back in August with their infamous “Gamer are Dead” pieces that were highly inaccurate. The mainstream media followed with additional pieces published throughout September, October, November, December, and even continuing the negative barrage of coverage up until recently, with the New York Post publishing news about #GamerGate on February 24th, 2015. That’s a day before this article was published.
What’s interesting is that Wu goes on the attack against the press, mentioning around the 4:45 mark in part 1 that out of Game Informer’s 18 editors only one is a woman. Although, technically there are only 17 editors on staff. If it helps any, they have a female intern on staff… and the publisher of Game Informer is also a woman, Cathy Preston.
Around the 2:25 mark in part 2, Brianna claims…
“It may be hear no evil, see no evil in the way the industry reports it, but I can promise you that we are hemorrhaging women.”
Regarding the industry reports… this is not true. InfoSec Institute recently had up an article by Kim Crawley that was riddled with factual inaccuracies in order to paint 8chan and #GamerGate in the worst light possible, published on February 20th, 2015.
The article was pulled, which is why it’s blank if you try to visit the original URL. Why? Allegedly the editor sent Crawley this message, as posted by Crawley on a joke sub-reddit called “GamerGhazi”…
“Regardless of any possible merit in the Gamergate article, it has caused more than a little grief for me and for InfoSec. At best, it was a bad fit for us. At worst – which I am now in my third day of being called on the carpet for – it has tarred our name and damaged the brand. Whether or not the haters coming after you and us have any legitimacy is irrelevant. This is exactly the kind of bad press that can cost us business. In the end, that’s the sole criteria that counts for anything around here.
“This isn’t the first time I’ve been taken to task for content appearing under your byline but it is the last. They wanted to can you outright and pull all your articles. For the time being, they are being kept up, but that can change at any moment.
“To the extent that you can call off anyone out there making noise on your behalf, please do so.”
Crawley alleges that #GamerGate made InfoSec “fire her”.
It would be in the media’s best interest not to promulgate inaccurate data or misinformation for the sake of someone’s ego. It’s damaging to all of journalism and makes the media look like more of a farce than it already is, especially given all the other factually inaccurate pieces of information floating around regarding #GamerGate.
At the 4:35 mark in part 2, Brianna Wu states…
“I’m going to be really clear here: what [GamerGate is] doing is awful”
Wu praises a recent iMore piece for calling #GamerGate “emotional terrorism”, but a lot of that comes from Wu and the author of that piece, Peter Cohen, being good friends, as noted on the Ralph Retort.
Additionally, is calling a journalist out for having an undisclosed relationship with an employee of the company whose games they cover regularly “awful”? Is calling out a journalist and making them take accountability for failing to report on 40,000 people having their information accessed from a hack, “awful”? Is informing the public about a secret mailing list of tech and games journalists – some of whom used the list to illegally blacklist others or get competing journalists fired – “awful”? Is getting Gawker to clean up their disclosure and privacy policies by contacting the FTC, “awful”?
Condemning those who stand against corruption is abetting the status quo of corruption.
Strangely, though, Wu turns the tables against game developers and publishers. At the 4:50 mark in part 2, Wu states…
“This is not a problem with gamers. This is a problem with the people and culture of making games.”
“When women cannot get careers in game journalism as easily as men get careers in game journalism, this has horrible consequences for the industry. It skews coverage. It means the work women do is devalued. And it means we can’t get a fair shake.” […] “It also has consequences on how #GamerGate is covered.”
So what’s stopping anyone from becoming the next TotalBiscuit? There are no gatekeepers on YouTube.
Also, all the coverage on #GamerGate in mainstream media has been negative and inaccurate, focusing on random internet trolls being harassers.
Wu continues to point fingers at gaming media at the 5:40 mark in part 2, saying..
“If I were asking the media to do anything it would be: don’t let big game companies and media like IGN, Giant Bomb and Game Informer off the hook. They are the primary reason this problem exists.”
Well, there you have it. One of the people responsible for running to media to demonize #GamerGate is now saying that the media is the problem. In that regard I think most people using the GamerGate hashtag will agree with that. This rings especially true for developers like Mark Kern who has been reaching out to journalists attempting to get them to do the right thing after sites like VG 24/7 and journalists like Ben Kuchera put out thinly veiled threats against developers to keep them from supporting #GamerGate.
“…you really know nothing about what we do or why, and you have never called to ask us our thoughts you just make it up”
They continue the conversation a bit more on Twitter… if you’re interested.
Wu finishes up the CBC interview by saying that the industry needs to shift focus because 49% of women are gamers. However, the number mostly represents casual gaming, which is dominated mostly by female gamers – people who occasionally play Candy Crush or Farmville. This isn’t 49% of Halo, Gears of War or Battlefield, known as the niche core market. In fact, the statistics is firmly, and factually, corrected by Christina Hoff Sommers from the American Enterprise Institute within the first two minutes of the video below.
To further corroborate that information, the 49% statistics about female gamers was previously 46% back in 2013, but even then it was found out through a Peanut Labs and Arkadium study consisting of 1,500 survey participants that 46% of female gamers make up for Facebook and mobile gaming. Out of the 1,500 participants they had an “even mix of males and females”.
Even more than that, MocoSpace had conducted a marketing survey a year before Arkadium and did a report indicating that majority of casual gamers preferred using their mobile devices for gaming over home consoles. In fact, out of those surveyed 47% mentioned that they preferred playing on mobile devices even when they had home consoles. Only 26% acknowledged playing on home consoles along with their mobile devices, and, to no surprise, more of the mobile users were women over the age of 30.
All of that is to say that focusing money and resources on trying to forcibly get people to play games that they’ve already said they had no interest in playing is careless and flawed. If the audience isn’t growing organically then it’s not the place of progressive agitators to force anyone to take interest in something they aren’t entirely interested in.
What’s more is that the CBC seems to have put very little effort in challenging any of Wu’s claims during the interview, and they’ve yet to do any sort of follow-up based on their own inaccurate coverage in the past.
There’s already a post on Kotaku in Action pointing out how to contact the CRTC about the CBC’s erroneous coverage of #GamerGate and perpetuating a talking point that has no merit or factual basis.