Friday, September 06, 2013


So, I have a bit of a long view on the whole "PAX is run by over-entitled whiny man-children" debacle.

Me deciding whether or not to personally ban PAX means absolutely nothing, because it's not the sort of thing I like to attend. Crowds give me headaches.

But I did watch all the various people weigh in. Lot of people have decided to not have anything to do with PAX. Lot of people see nothing wrong with being an exclusionary, whiny man-child. And a lot more people saying that they didn't like the whiny man-children in charge, but the whiny man-child conference was bigger than just one or two individual whiny man-children.

Let me explain my view. Because I know everyone is dying for one more whiny man-child to weigh in.

For everyone who wants to change the industry, the problem isn't specific instances of specific people doing specific things. It is a general culture of exclusion, oppression, and arrogance. The core gamer culture is made of whiny man-children, and they've built a very whiny, childish culture.

For people who want to change that, PAX is an excellent, easily-gripped example. It is saturated in that culture, even if it occasionally struggles not to be. Regardless of what PAX planners intend for their con to represent, it is mobbed by - yup - whiny man-children. So that is what it represents.

Someone who wants to change the game industry can hold up PAX and say "this is the problem, and as you can see, it goes to the top."

Then you can watch the rationalizations come in. "He's not actually siding with rapists", "PAX is bigger than him", "you're over-reacting"...


Look, I'm not asking you to avoid PAX. That's not my decision to make. But I am asking you not to play down how awful gamer culture is, and that definitely includes - perhaps is exemplified by - PAX and its primary audience.

Cars are bad. Meat is bad. We understand these things, and we choose how much car and how much meat we are willing to accept. Personally, I don't accept car, but I do accept meat. Despite knowing full well that meat is bad - much, much worse than most people realize. Everything about meat and its related industries is just a nightmare.

I don't rationalize my meat-eating away by trying to trick myself into thinking it's okay to eat meat, that meat isn't bad. Instead I accept that I'm participating in something immoral. And, more and more, I limit the amount of participation as my conscious burns a little hotter.

If you want to or need to participate in core gamer culture, that's your baileywick. It has a lot money, power, and camaraderie to offer. Some people want some of that. Some people need some of that.

But it is pretty noxious.

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