Finding a Face for Gaming

So I finally got around to watching that Anita Sarkeesian interview on the Colbert report and while it was just as pointless as I thought for the average person in the gaming know it’s still interesting to see how she has been propped up lately to be the face of Gaming in popular media. It seems all these attacks have done was create attention around here and her brand. It is these things that have created awareness around her to the point that her name has gone beyond our gaming community, and that reach seems to be growing.

However I don’t think I would want her as the spokesperson of gaming. I am already sold on what she’s selling, hell, i’ve sold it as well but I’m just not really sold on the sales person. Now it’s not because of any complaints or concerns about her credentials, you play games or identify as a gamer then that’s good enough for me. You research something as well and that gives you the right to critique it. It’s more that I don’t feel her passion in the same way I do when people like Mark Jacobs and David Georgeson, or even people like Hideo Kojima speak. There are so many youtube personalities out there as well that I think would be far more suited. As much as I hate Pew die Pie .. why not?

It seems that’s what is kind of needed right now within the popular media. Someone to look towards as a spokesperson, maybe not even one person to look towards instead of constantly refferring to whatever “expert” they pick out at the time. Most of the time we get no voice in those arguments, just the same old gaming is evil line so it would be nice to have someone that could be the voice, that is known and respected for it. That people admire.

Sooo.. quick question then, Who would you want to be the face of gaming?

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25 thoughts on “Finding a Face for Gaming

  1. No one, because I don’t believe there is anyone that meets the criteria. Actually, I’m not even sure if there’s any universally agreed criteria in the first place?

    As far as I’m concerned if you wish to represent a body of people in some capacity, you need to have a popular majority mandate (over 75%) and need to have been democratically elected. Considering the nebulous and tribal nature of the gaming community, I’d say the likelihood of anyone achieving this is highly unlikely.

    Even if you did find someone who satisfied the above conditions, there would be endless debate and disagreement over who it would be. Nationality, gender, race, politics and all the usual stumbling blocks would all rear their ugly head. Plus the only thing the mainstream press would care about would be how they looked and what they were wearing.

    I have no problem with the concept of experts and it saddens me that their status in society has been diminished in recent years. The cult of “my opinion is of equal value” has slowly eroded the weight of their position. I prefer the use of independent experts to provide an informed overview for the wider public, rather than a designated spokesperson.

    The gaming community is not like other traditional social bodies. It is extremely diverse and multi-faceted. It has no structure or hierarchy, nor does it have any universally agreed agenda. #GamerGate has proven this. All it really has are high profile personalities with individual agendas. Some have integrity, others do not.

    I actually think that a so called “face of gaming” would do more harm than good. It would end up being about them, rather than games and gamers. Plus on a personal note, I’ve never really trusted anyone to represent my needs. The only person who can adequately speak on my behalf, is me.

    Great post by the way 😉

    • way to skirt the fence haha… I don’t just mean one in general either but maybe who you would pick, that represents your interests. Have a little fun with it =p

      I agree that the gaming population is incredibly diverse but that’s like most media usually. I see quite a few popular figureheads within those though, experts but not really in gaming. It’s still a little more underground than that.

      The problem with experts in my mind, especially in this interactive field is that they are more concerned with the theory rather than the practice which ends up not representing what the general population feels. I agree the cult of opinion is an issue as well, it’s hard to break from certain biases those group holds and either polars in those debates often aren’t representative.

      • People who work in the industry may fit the bill, but then I’ve never cared for the “Rock Star” mentality some develop. I agree that experts may not approach the subject from the same angle as Joe public. So if I have to pick someone, then why not a comedian or social commentator like Dara Ó Briain or Charlie Brooker. They at least can bring some much needed levity to the proceedings.

      • like blood from a stone =p

        A comedian would be fitting although I’ve never heard of either of those haha. Guess I have some googling to do

    • *If* we had to chose a spokesperson, I think Felicia Day would get my vote. This is a gamer so hardcore that she made a video series about it that inspired other gamers to make video series, which has helped make Youtube even more popular as far as ecelebs go. Geek and Sundry is truly a magnificent thing. It celebrates the hell out of all kinds of games and I’d vote that the cast has enough “expertise” to speak for gaming in general.

      However, I agree that there’s not really such a thing as a spokesperson for gaming. We’ve got our ecelebs and resident experts, star devs and star players. There would need to be at least a few dozens such spokespersons to speak for the entirety of gaming.

      I tend to think of Anita as more in the legacy of Roger Ebert. She’s just a critic, and critics are important. They help expose the culture and create it. If Anita *must* be representative right now, I don’t think she’s ideal, but we could do worse (Pewdiepie comes to mind, shame on you J3w3l).

  2. Roger beat me to it, in that I believe that having only one face of gaming isn’t going to represent the majority of gamers around the world. I think it takes many faces to accurately personify the diversity of gamers, their ideals, wants/needs and dreams.

    As much as I have been a supporter of Anita Sarkeesian and her Tropes vs. Women in Video Games series, I fear that this media spotlight is going to take away from the issues surrounding games/gamers — the things we care about — and the focus will shift towards her and dare I say it, feminism.

    Feminism and Gaming are two separate things. They do cross over at times, as she’s pointed out in her critiques of games, but the feminist movement has overarching goals that have nothing to do with gaming and her own personal motivations probably won’t help gamers out either. I think it’s becoming more about her and her angle than it is games, and that’s why she shouldn’t be the face of gaming.

    I can’t choose just one person as a replacement though. I suggest TGEN as a roundtable voice of gamers everywhere, but that’s probably a bit biased 😛

    • You guys and your literal thinking. i vote tegn as well haha… although I’d be partial to a crazy yahtzee and jesse cox combo… maybe a bit of jimquisition ranting. Oh and the crazy ambition of dave jorgensen. With their powers combined, they make captain gaming…=p

      I’m not sure what her personal motivations are either… I believe in quite a few saying those same things that they want it for gaming. For better stories and characters. For creative reasons. For growth. But from her all I feel is some kind of apathetic view on it all. ehhhh.

      • Well yeah that’s why GamerGate was attacking her in the first place, saying she’s not really a gamer, doesn’t really care, and is just trying to push her feminazi angle on everything.

        In some cases that might be true, but I acknowledge and respect her critiques on gaming nonetheless.

  3. My boyfriend and I have been saying the same thing; that we just don’t think Anita Sarkeesian should be used as the face of gaming. It also feels like the only reason behind this is due to the attacks made on her. Some of her ideas are worth listening to, but the way she presents herself doesn’t always help (Like making out that men hate women, which many don’t despite enjoying certain games.) I think if there was a face for gaming, It’d be better if it was someone who is seen as being more balanced rather than being on one extreme side or the other. Anita can sometimes feel like a feminist foremost, gamer second. Not that I’m saying equality isn’t important, but some people seem to think the word feminist means greater rights for women rather than same rights for both. I personally would rather not fly a feminist barrier over my ideals simply because of the connotations the word now carries.

    • YEh, anyone in gaming knows thats not how men are. I’m in a great guild and while we certainly rib each other it’s a close connection there. No harm or ill will ever thought.
      I would definitely say a balanced person would be better, someone knowledgeable and passionate about gaming first and foremost but it is hard at times to remove one’s own agenda from the thought of it all. The connotations of feminism in it all have become overwhelmingly negative and it seems good to distance from them but then, I kind of want to reappropriate the term back to it’s original intentions.

    • It seems to me that the problem with Anita is that she didn’t ask for this. A mob of angry “gamers” have made her a celebrity, that’s it. I don’t see this is as something she set out to achieve and that’s why its kinda awkward for us to see her as the spokesperson. She’s just someone who got picked on so much and to such extremes that she’s been thrust into the position of having to keep talking about games. I think she might have moved on to critiquing Youtube channels by now if not for the hate gushing out of the gaming community towards her.

  4. Is there a “Public Face” of going to the movies? Reading? Listening to music?

    “Gaming” is waaaaay to big a concept to have a single public face. The problem is that, as yet, the gatekeepers of the mass media have not fully accepted gaming as a mass-market, multi-generational activity. Those gates, however, are ajar and slowly creaking open.

    Once that process is complete we’ll have more “public faces of gaming” than we know what to do with. In a few years there will be game designers and artists and producers on current affairs programs and chat shows giving us their considered opinions on global warming and terrorism and sharing their amusing celebrity anecdotes – just the way actors, directors, singers, musicians and writers have been doing for decades.

    These last decades before the mainstream noticed, that’s your Golden Age of gaming right there. It’s all downhill from here!

    • that’s kind of what i mean. Mass media hasn’t accepted the medium of yet. The others have a range of people within the mass media that give information, critiques and opinions. I can think of a few, special people those morning shows call on for movie information for one and then there are many major reviewers for it. The movie stars themselves create a multifaceted face too getting interviews and giving opinions on talk shows.

      Gaming really doesn’t have that which is why I think it is kind of looking for a face to move it to the next stage. To gain more mainstream mass appeal. I agree it would kind of be downhill from there… it’s cosy here but growth is important as well.

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  6. As much as I approve of her work, and think that it is needed in order to move gaming culture forward, Anita can never be the face of gaming purely for the reason that she is an academic first and foremost. That is what she is known for, that is where she comes from, and that is her public face. Yes, she is a gamer, but her career is a media analyst and critic. She came to games criticism from a history of mass media criticism, and that is how she presents her gaming to the world. Her profession is not an enthusiast one, like a developer, journalist, or youtube personality like AngryJoe or TotalBuscuit. That’s why you don’t see that passion in her work, because it’s not about the games or gaming, it’s about the culture and how it shapes or reflects societal issues. She is passionate about her feminism, and about her critiques, not so much games or gaming.

    It’d be like having a lawyer at EA be the face of gaming.

    If we were to have a public Face of Gaming. a Game Face if you will, I’d prefer a High Council of Bloggers, Devs and Journalists.

  7. I think it would be hard to pick a spokesperson that represents everyone, or at least a majority of gamers.

    However, I’ll play along and say that I’d want to be the gaming spokesperson. I’m very reasonable and I always agree with my own opinions 😛

  8. Vin Diesel… As Riddick. ;p

    Mostly kidding. The serious answer is that I’d like for all gamers to be their own spokespeople, be it through forums, blogs, Reddit or other social media. I get a better sense of the diversity and representation of all those who love games, and what types they love, by trawling through the entirety of what is said on the internet.

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