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Post by trog @ 11:25am 14/03/12 | 67 Comments
It's been a while since we've had an old-fashioned beat down on video games from the mainstream press (at least, one that wasn't flogging the boring dead horse of violence), so it was with some surprise that I read this morning's blog post on the Brisbane Times from journalist Katherine Feeney.

The article bounces somewhat wildly around several issues - to the point where it is hard to identify a central theme, other than (obviously) to make people like me froth and fume as I frantically hammer out a comment to what is almost indistinguishable from flamebait. It really just harkens back to the days of yore where gamers were criticised as being basement dwelling nerds, and as such is actually sort of offensive.

The article begins by implying that playing video games is not social - not in that "real-life, face-to-face interaction" way that you get when you trudge outside. As someone that has made some of my best IRL friends from playing video games - both from going to LANs and simply meeting people in the flesh after playing them online - this whole premise just seems laughable to me. I know with the age of broadband that LANs are less common, but I still know a whole bunch of people that have become at least "real-life" acquaintances, if not friends, after playing games together online.

And that's before we even get into the people that get happily married after meeting in World of Warcraft!

The article then - somewhat bizarrely - treads into the realm of religion, based on a single anecdote in which a gamer described their game playing as "spiritual", and then goes on to imply that gaming is somehow worse than religion because it fails to offer the same sort of social crutches and "handy how-to relationship messages" as religion.

I don't even know where to start here; this section makes the article read almost like a stalking horse for how great religion is for managing your life (and to yet again mention De Botton's new book?!) - just because gaming can't support your emotional needs or help you manage your relationships. That is not what gaming is for. It is entertainment. It is not a magic book that is supposed to be a life guide. You are comparing very unlike things.

The conclusion then takes the time to conclude that because of how women are portrayed in video games, us gamer types are struggling to "have healthy adult relationships". It stops short of calling us misogynists, I guess, but again the implication that we're basement dwelling geeks unable to interface with humans of the female variety outside of typing "A/S/L?" is a bit disappointing to see in 2012.

I guess there are still people out there that haven't noticed that video gaming is now one of the biggest industries in the world. Treating people that partake of gaming like we are socially maladjusted and need to get out more is, frankly, old fashioned and offensive. I would encourage people who still have this belief to explore the world of gaming a little bit more - our universe is filled with more amazing people than you can imagine and everyone can find their own place here.












Latest Comments
bepatient
Posted 11:42am 14/3/12
by implying that playing video games is not social

This kills me. It really drives me crazy, I know its not their fault for thinking it, but the people that say this are usually uninformed or just out of touch.

My parents are included in this, they give my youngest brother a hard time saying that he should get away from the computer and be more social. What they don't understand, although I think they are starting to, is the crazy amount of friends he has made playing competitive multiplayer games.

He is in a clan focusing on Blops, is a bloody amazing player in one of the top clans on CyberGamer for it, and every single day he is playing with mates. Talking, laughing and playing games. I s*** you not, I'll be working/playing behind him and he is spending hours talking and joking around with these people he met online to the point I want him to shut up :P

These people who write things like this need to wake up and see how things actually are these days. Times have changed, not every gamer is as you said, a "basement dwelling nerd".

And another thing, most of these people who complain about people playing too many games etc spend just as much time, if not more on their asses watching TV or movies.
grug09
Posted 11:43am 14/3/12
Just reading the article makes it clear she really has very little clue on what she's talking about. Seems more likely than not she's just upset at some guy who brushed her off at some point to play a few games one evening.
Khel
Posted 11:45am 14/3/12
Yeah, bulls*** its not social, I met a whole bunch of new people in WoW last year when I joined a new guild, then ended up driving over to SA mid last year and meeting up with a heap of them for a weekend of drunken shenanigans and had an awesome time.
deadlyf
Posted 11:45am 14/3/12
It sounds like she got ditched for COD by her boyfriend.
Enska
Posted 11:48am 14/3/12
reading her article makes me think whoevers supposed to be giving it to her is too busy playing CoD, and she's not too happy about it.
Eorl
Posted 11:49am 14/3/12
They are usually older people bepatient. That or just people out of touch with social media and see it as the devil's gift. My mother was like that with me, she gave me a hard time at first when I played Ultima and Tribes and WoW when I was younger, but after awhile she realised it was actually more beneficial to me, I still went outside, enjoyed sunlight, went over friends houses etc.

If played for excessive times sure, it can be detrimental to health and social life in some aspects. Majority of the time no one plays stupidly long hours unless they are LANing or pulling a long night or something out of the ordinary. Actually that reminds me, LAN's are probably the biggest social thing to do when playing games. I have had countless hours in LAN's and it was extremely fun, extremely healthy and overall a worthwhile experience.

Overall, it's not just woman who are out of the loop with gaming. Sure she sounds like she has more problems then a guy playing video games (her relationship doesn't sound to healthy), but that's just the way some people are. Her arguments are flawed though, and she obviously hasn't done enough research and is using it as a soapbox for her own problems.
Woblzz
Posted 11:52am 14/3/12
not just the fact that we talk online via multiplayer games, but we also join online forums such as this one and laugh at how out of touch the people who are not playing games are, because they don't have the same level of social interaction as us gamers, which keeps us more informed on the important issues! such as Diablo 3 release date
greazy
Posted 12:05pm 14/3/12
It's hilarious that she is making wild generalisations and assumptions about gamers who she argues themselves make wild generalisations and assumptions about women.

This blogs are written on purpose to elicit such rage from their targets (gamers!) and their target audience (ignorant people). Writing a comment won't help in my opinion, send a compliant.

I want to know how I can get a blog on news sites like these. I can write equally flame worthy blogs with little to no references and make wild generalisations.

I just noticed this part on the blog (left hand side):
Katherine Feeney is a journalist, talking head, multimedia guru and pop culture critic
Surrrrrrrreeee you are.

edit:Checkout one of her older blogs - http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/lifestyle/life/blogs/citykat/angry-young-men-20120221-1tlob.html So not only is she ignorant, but a dat bit misandric .
grug09
Posted 12:05pm 14/3/12
The most disappointing and frustrating part of these sorts of editorials is that they have zero evidence based arguments and no professional opinion. The writer even says this, yet it will be easy for her readers to form an opinion based on her jaded and one sided views.

How editors can express nothing beyond opinion frustrates me to no end.

Give us evidence based pieces, or go back to your own personal blog.
DEVDOGG
Posted 12:05pm 14/3/12
the thing that annoys me the most is the simple fact that because i spend my spare time at home playing video games instead of sitting in front of the TV mindlessly taking in everything i see, according to people like this I must be a socially inept addict.
trog
Posted 12:06pm 14/3/12
This blogs are written on purpose to elicit such rage from their targets (gamers!) and their target audience (ignorant people). Writing a comment won't help in my opinion, send a compliant.
Yep. That's why I didn't write a comment. I actually normally wouldn't have even clicked through, but it's been like, MONTHS, since I read some wild speculation about gamers from the mainstream media and I figured my blood pressure had probably subsided to the point where I could read one without having an aneurism.

It's basically a higher class of trolling. I felt bad for falling for it, but I thought it was a good opportunity to draw attention to just how out of touch some people are with gaming, even though it's 2012 and gaming is now so mainstream that it is just not even comparable to anything else.

last edited by trog at 12:06:55 14/Mar/12
jconradr
Posted 12:09pm 14/3/12
I know Katherine in real life. We studied together at the University of Queensland. She is an absolute idiot - she writes for a "news" website but never even finished her Journalism degree (which I finished long ago) and has a tendency to hark on self-righteously about issues she clearly has no knowledge of (unfortunately in this case it was video games).
Steve Farrelly
Posted 12:11pm 14/3/12
My girlfriend and I have sex WHILE playing games together! Take that, uninformed lady :P
jconradr
Posted 12:13pm 14/3/12
*harp on
Nerfy
Posted 12:14pm 14/3/12
Lol, column writers say the darnedest things.
Zakson
Posted 12:24pm 14/3/12
When did it become so important to put across the most trivial of opinions, researched properly or not?

The mere fact we have a term "talking head" ... WHAT.

Ooo lunch time!
*** Zakson is now known as eating head.
MARLINBLADE
Posted 12:24pm 14/3/12
Ha Ha Steve i'll Hi 5 to that!!
DeadlyDav0
Posted 12:28pm 14/3/12
My girlfriend and I have sex WHILE playing games together! Take that, uninformed lady :P

That i dream of. She only plays fruit ninja ATM but its a start.

As others have said, its an opinion blog without evidence. Pretty s***** way of brainwashing people to think her way.
Booka
Posted 12:32pm 14/3/12
I can't help but take the bait. It just tastes so good!
greazy
Posted 12:33pm 14/3/12
I know Katherine in real life. We studied together at the University of Queensland. She is an absolute idiot - she writes for a "news" website but never even finished her Journalism degree (which I finished long ago) and has a tendency to hark on self-righteously about issues she clearly has no knowledge of (unfortunately in this case it was video games).
I f*****g knew it. But how the hell do you get a job in journalism if you don't have at least a degree? Or is this what happens to all the flunk outs, they write really bad blogs?
Steve Farrelly
Posted 12:37pm 14/3/12
My gal actually is a hardcore gamer. She'd whup most people at CS I know, but she plays everything from Skyrim to Mass Effect to Call of Duty and beyond. We have an awesome relationship, and dress our recently born baby up in gaming-related baby clothes (as well as Batman stuff). I s*** you not.
grug09
Posted 12:41pm 14/3/12
Living the dream Steve...
Chester
Posted 12:45pm 14/3/12
I have had countless hours in LAN's and it was extremely fun, extremely healthy and overall a worthwhile experience.


I am all for Lan's but I dont see any way that one is 'extremely healthy' when you compare it to other social activities..

Would ask Steve for pics of partner but by the sounds of it it is usually the kind of chick you don't want to see pics of. If she is hot... well done fella!
Steve Farrelly
Posted 12:48pm 14/3/12
Very hot :)
Eorl
Posted 12:51pm 14/3/12
Your baby has been approved on my list of cool children for wearing baby clothes.
Freewheelin
Posted 02:14pm 14/3/12
Romper
Posted 02:37pm 14/3/12
She should be working for A Current Affair......

Steve, have you been shopping and Jinx.com again?

If not, some great gaming T-s**** and stuff there....
DocterMoist
Posted 02:51pm 14/3/12
i always lol @ these reporters who think because they have played 5 minutes of super mario they know everything about gaming.

I have made more friends online than i have made friends offline. The online friends are then converted into offline friends.
eski
Posted 02:52pm 14/3/12
Sounds like she has been hanging out with Lana Del Ray
Fuzzy
Posted 03:19pm 14/3/12
It's funny... out of my closest friends I think only one of them plays video games as much as I do, the rest only really know the big titles, and even then wouldn't know how to play anything. My last ex had only ever played Mario and Monster Hunter, and didn't really care about video games at all, yet we had a strong 4 year relationship.

Journalist is probably just bitter because her boy would rather play CoD then listen to her talk all day.... with an attitude she seems to have I don't blame him one bit.
Rukh
Posted 03:20pm 14/3/12
Sounds like she's some church goer who's mad that people stopped going to church to play games instead.

What's the difference between games and religion? The people that play games know that games are make believe.
SnotOne
Posted 03:32pm 14/3/12
Im not a psycholigist but i have assembled lots of game pc's since departing from my beloved Amiga for myself and other people or assist thier 1st and sometimes 2nd build.

Ive think more so then a console a fast game PC and especially since MP can affect a young persons life as it puts some of them at risk of being recluse and then when they realise life is passing by they can find it hard to get out again and mingle etc.. For two i know it seems impossible and even though it must be a godsend for people who cant get out and about for whatever physical, mental reason, i worry about them greatly.

On the other hand i think most of us do get something better out of it wether its software/hardware knowledge, game interaction, MP comms, manners online :) and plain old fun.

Digital games shouldnt be allowed on students pc,s .... whoooa yeah
ShwaMiller86
Posted 03:43pm 14/3/12
She's onto you now, Trog ;)
Raven
Posted 03:52pm 14/3/12
She says too much gaming.
We say too much make-up.

OR:
We like games, you like guys who treat girls like conquests. Each to their own.

*shrug* It evens out.

last edited by Raven at 15:52:51 14/Mar/12
DM
Posted 04:02pm 14/3/12
1st comment on the blog about sums it up for me.

2) You're completely wrong. It's probably not your fault though. Extroverts are typically unable to comprehend the type of social interaction that is enjoyable and preferable for introverts. Being 'face-to-face' is not better if you are shy and lacking in confidence.


also

and then goes on to imply that gaming is somehow worse than religion because it fails to offer the same sort of social crutches and "handy how-to relationship messages" as religion.

I don't think we need to go here do we? I mean nothing good will come out of it except a lot of flamming and possible nuking.

last edited by DM at 16:02:45 14/Mar/12
trog
Posted 04:09pm 14/3/12
The other thing that I was going highlight was the stuff about how women are portrayed in video games. I am continually amazed when people - especially women - focus on this issue in video games, while at the same time almost every single industry devoted exclusively to women, like fashion and jewelry and magazines and all that stuff, focuses almost exclusively on having models that are young and skinny.

I know there's a lot of women that are pissed off by that as well, but I can't help but be bemused when people call foul on video games before trying to address stuff like body image issues caused by women's magazines. It is weird.
Dazhel
Posted 04:13pm 14/3/12
I f*****g knew it. But how the hell do you get a job in journalism if you don't have at least a degree? Or is this what happens to all the flunk outs, they write really bad blogs?


I don't think writing shoddy opinion pieces a few times a week really requires a journalism degree.
Not all of the flunk outs go on to write bad blogs, some of them manage to score a plum gig on breakfast tv.
Outlaw
Posted 04:18pm 14/3/12
The headlines on her blog look like they are pulled from ACA/TT. Ausgamers should interview her.


http://katherinefeeney.net/
ridor
Posted 04:19pm 14/3/12
I'm starting to see a trend. I've seen videogames, bodybuilding, and pornography getting heavily criticised from certain parties. It just goes to show that the world is changing and people can't keep up. It seems alot of people choose to be willfully ignorant and assume that these things have a straight up negative impact on our lives. I think people need to stop criticising and accept these things. If they want to help or should I say 'stop being useless', they should say "Gaming is OK", "Bodybuilding is OK" etc, but importantly they should ask "Are you doing it too much? Have you left any room for other things in life?" There are those who might be emotionally or mentally weaker than others and are consumed to an obsession/addiction to gaming, bodybuilding or porn. This is a completely different story. The first obstacle to this problem is overcoming our ignorance.
DM
Posted 04:20pm 14/3/12
focuses almost exclusively on having models that are young and skinny.

Not just skinny, but borderline sick half the time. Some of those girls look like they would be able to slide under a closed door or get sucked into an open air vent, that sure as hell isn't healthy.

Phandaal
Posted 04:51pm 14/3/12
@torg

Why would you bother to write about this and give it more attention? It's so obviously brain-dead gutter-journalism, yet here you are essentially syndicating it.

Gaming does not need to be defended from every little attention whore that writes a shock piece to try and bump up the circulation of their irrelevant site or newspaper. Rebutting this gives it more credibility than it ever could have achieved if ignored, and frankly does more to expose your own insecurities than the fallacy of her argument.
Dan
Posted 05:02pm 14/3/12
@Phandaal the blog in question may be relatively irrelevant, but the platform it is published on, brisbanetimes (a subsidiary of Fairfax), is absolutely mainstream media and although rebutting something like this really feels like responding to and validating a trolling link-baiter, I feel that it's important for people like us to hold those kind of opinions to account when possible and at least play our small part in stemming the flow of such obnoxious misinformation.
bepatient
Posted 05:03pm 14/3/12
Why would you bother to write about this and give it more attention

To start a discussion with the type of people she is writing about I'm guessing...
trog
Posted 05:03pm 14/3/12
@torgWhy would you bother to write about this and give it more attention? It's so obviously brain-dead gutter-journalism, yet here you are essentially syndicating it.Gaming does not need to be defended from every little attention whore that writes a shock piece to try and bump up the circulation of their irrelevant site or newspaper. Rebutting this gives it more credibility than it ever could have achieved if ignored, and frankly does more to expose your own insecurities than the fallacy of her argument.
Normally I would completely agree - I am big fan of the "just don't look" method of minimising the spread of weird stuff. If you look at our history we don't post stuff like this very often, precisely for that reason.

However, the sheer... wrongness of this article, combined with the fact that it was presented to a large audience on a popular mainstream media news site I felt compelled us to say something in this instance. We've put up with the basement dwelling anti-social geek nerd image for so long that to see it raised again today, in 2012, like it's still a real thing is extremely frustrating, and I think calling it out and drawing attention to the fact that it is Not That World anymore (if, indeed, it ever was) is important.
Zakson
Posted 05:10pm 14/3/12
It's his job to write stuff up on this, trog is a typing hand.
Phandaal
Posted 05:21pm 14/3/12
I understand your reasoning and what motivated you to respond to this article, I just completely disagree with it

I don't think it is necessary for us to hold an _opinion_ to account, because as the saying goes, they are like a******* and everybody has one. As you have outlined yourself, this so-called article is vacuous and devoid of even rudimentary causal logic, let alone some kind of evidence based exposition. I highly doubt that the person who wrote this is quite as stupid as they come across in the piece, which makes it a troll in the purest sense of that words meaning on the internet.

The article does not hope to achieve anything. It has no plan, and no call to action. It's victory condition isn't about changing anyone's mind, but of coming to the awareness for as many people as possible.
funky
Posted 05:28pm 14/3/12
argh - i wrote out a thoughtful and reasoned comment on brisbane times, and the f*****g comment system ate it. cannot be arsed doing it again

Fuzzy
Posted 05:31pm 14/3/12
Sure it's not pending Funky? I made a few comments on the site as well, one of them took a while to get through pending but ended up there.
funky
Posted 05:32pm 14/3/12
well it's been pending for a while then... but possibly
Fuzzy
Posted 05:38pm 14/3/12
Yeah, I just did a response to someone and it's been sitting in pending for about 5 minutes... looks like it's caused quite a stir.

I don't see it getting rejected though, my responses/comments have all been particularly narky and they went through.
Dazhel
Posted 05:54pm 14/3/12
I reckon after the circumcision thread it's not fair to deny the CityKat blog the opportunity to stumble through the Ausgamers territory of games and related topics after we stumbled through the CityKat blog territory of penises and related topics.
trog
Posted 06:00pm 14/3/12
The article does not hope to achieve anything. It has no plan, and no call to action. It's victory condition isn't about changing anyone's mind, but of coming to the awareness for as many people as possible.
Sure! It's idle speculation, based on poor information. I hope that my post, and the posts of others in response, will provide more information for people who do not understand what "gamers" are today to adjust their worldview so their future opinions will better match reality.

I totally take your point though.
Steve Farrelly
Posted 06:19pm 14/3/12
people who do not understand what "gamers" are today to adjust their worldview

Why would that happen when gay people aren't even considered to be people?
Superform
Posted 06:21pm 14/3/12
It sounds like she got ditched for COD by her boyfriend.


this
Reverend Evil™
Posted 06:35pm 14/3/12
too much gaming and not enough active socialising make grown men dull boys…

Too much of anything is bad for you. She could have put this at the beginning and saved us all from reading thru that crap.
kr0wb4r
Posted 06:37pm 14/3/12
I know Katherine Feeney IRL and I would not consider her column articles to be any more than sensationalist s*** to get more viewers. Thankfully she usually writes about Love, Sex, and other s*** that nobody actually gives a f*** about.

I met her partner a couple of years ago and he came across as quite shy and nerdy so I wouldn't rule out that she may have been burnt by video games once or twice in her time.
kos
Posted 07:35pm 14/3/12
...flogging the boring dead horse of violence.

Lickdove
Posted 07:51pm 14/3/12
I think i need to go read the original article now.. rage incoming.
Shaexen
Posted 08:06pm 14/3/12
Now that my 56 year old dad who is a wealthy white right wing racist is playing mmos I think that gaming beat downs are totally obsolete, sole fact is that gaming has already completely permeated through society.
TicMan
Posted 08:33pm 14/3/12
I'm not going to comment on the article because, well it's stupid but gaming is probably one of the biggest positive influences I've had on my life since I started getting madly into it ~20 yrs ago.

Through gaming I met some awesome people at QGL LANs (where's my achievement trog, I damn well showed up!@) and ironically I was talking to hoggy about this a week or so ago and he asked what it was like to play at one of the LANs. I had no idea - I used to go to hang out and talk to the people I met playing them online.

Wifey and I also enjoy a shared interest in gaming, although it's probably more a competitive streak applied to everything than just gaming. We used to play Tetris head to head on game boys, take turns on the consoles trying to beat each other and she even got into WoW for a bit and was totally hooked - in fact I know just as many chicks playing WoW than I do guys these days.

Fast forward to me being all grown up and I've ended up having business relationships and currently contract to people indirectly because of gaming and the people involved in it. Most recently we're doing a bit of SWToR raiding once or twice a week and the few hours shooting the s*** on TS is probably one of the biggest social (for fun) parts of my week. These days (see thread about quitting job) it seems that every phone call, chat over coffee or meeting is about work.

In summary, gaming rocks and the outdated view points in that article belong in the Katter party policy.
jconradr
Posted 12:01am 15/3/12
Agree kr0wb4ar!
Izzy
Posted 08:28am 15/3/12
I'm a girl gamer and have been for many years, and I choose to game over going out on weekends because I like to stay home. Games don't make me stay home, troglodyte men in bars make me stay home! Also, I love my gamers, you guys (mostly) know how to treat the ladies. Gamer boys are smart, funny, and educated. Katherine Feeney is an idiot who has no clue what she is talking about.
Nerfy
Posted 08:40am 15/3/12
Gamer boys are smart, funny, and educated.

Nice try, gamer boy.
trog
Posted 02:59pm 15/3/12
is there a way we can make this woman aware of this?
I'll send it to her now (original source). Good find.
Outlaw
Posted 03:01pm 15/3/12
Send her my love
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