Lead the way in healing the rift in video games.
This petition had 3,692 supporters
An Open Letter to Kotaku and Polygon and VG247.com
UPDATE: VG247.com refuses to let me respond to their hit-piece about this petitionI've added VG247.com to the petition because of their refusal to allow reasonable, moderate discourse about this petition to heal gaming after publishing a piece warning people not to sign it.(see petittion update below)
What I write below goes for VG247 as much as any other press publication that stands in the way of free speech and peace.
On Feb. 11, Law and Order SVU aired an episode about video games called “Intimidation Game” that is being called the “Reefer Madness” of our times. It was a relentless and histrionic parade of slander against video games and gamers. It has helped set back the public image of the video games by years if not decades. It made absolutely nobody happy in the gaming industry and it made serious issues like women in gaming a sensationalist joke rather than a topic worthy of the public's support and discussion.
This result, this episode, shown to millions of non-gamers worldwide is the inevitable result of months of gaming press coverage on the rift between gamers that currently plagues our hobby. A rift that the gaming press are accountable for conflagrating through a slew of articles that only served to fan the flames, celebrate the hate on both sides, magnify the rift and sensationalize the issue. There is a term for this, called yellow journalism, and it has started wars before. It has no place in a gaming press that is supposed to support our industry and gamers in particular, of all walks.
Now we're asking you, as the vanguard of the face of gamers to the mass media and the wider non-gaming masses, to help heal this rift and fix the damage you have caused.
You are our first line of defense when our industry and our hobby is attacked by a mass media and our own law-makers bent on either trivializing or demonizing our past-time, or worse, legislating it out of existence. You were there for us when Jack Thompson attempted to shut us down. You were there for us when we won 1st Amendment protection for video games in front of the Supreme Court of the United States. We want you to be there for us now.
At stake is no less than decades of work that we have all put in to win the right of games to stand alongside other media as art, as free speech, as valuable learning tools for our children, and more.
Help us. Help us restore the damage that has been done. Help us stop this wasteful, self-defeating, sensationalist coverage that does nothing to solve our differences, but only serves to drive us apart. Find the common ground, drive productive dialogue, and find solutions instead of simply pointing fingers. Stop celebrating the hate and start serious coverage of the issues of ethics, women in gaming and video games as a positive medium for change.
We know you can do it. You've defended us before and we need you now more than ever. Wield your pens not as swords, but as the connective, collective narrative that will pull us together once again. Don't let “Intimidation Game” stand as the last word on our hobby and the face of gaming to the public. Do not go silent into that good night...
@Grummz on Twitter
CEO of MEK Entertainment, Inc., President of League For Gamers, and Game Developer: Firefall, World of Warcraft, Diablo II, Starcraft
Today: Mark is counting on you
Mark Kern needs your help with “Kotaku: Lead the way in healing the rift in video games.”. Join Mark and 3,691 supporters today.