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After video game tournament shooting, Reddit gamers are turning their anger towards … game journalists

Another day, another mass shooting in the US

By David Futrelle

After a man identified by witnesses as a participant in a Madden video game tournament in Jacksonville, Florida opened fire on fellow gamers, killing several and wounding numerous others before turning his gun on himself, some of the regulars in the Kotaku in Action subreddit are directing their anger at one of their favorite targets — game journalists, who these Redditors are accusing in advance of blaming the shootings on violent video games and game culture.

Yep. The mall at which the shooting took place has only just been cleared by police, and no articles have yet been published on video game news sites blaming games or gamers or game culture for a mass shooting allegedly carried out by a gamer at a game tournament, but Redditors are already getting mad online about the hypothetical articles they think are coming that will dare to suggest that this mass shooting might just have something to do with the incredible toxicity of the gaming subculture.

Currently, these are the top comments in the main thread on the shooting on Reddit’s Kotaku in Action, which desccribes itself as “the main hub for GamerGate on Reddit.”

 [–]Taidan-X [score hidden] an hour ago Games journalists now eagerly awaiting the news of the race of the shooter, so they can decide whether this is a "senseless tragedy that we shouldn't politicise" or "more evidence of the toxicity of Gamers". Or as I call it, The Atrocity Ethnicity Lottery. permalinkembedsavereportgive goldreply [–]peargarden [score hidden] an hour ago It's sad to think that some journalists are probably disappointed that it was a Madden tournament and not something like CS:GO so they can't spin the "violent videogame shooters make gamers violent" angle. permalinkembedsaveparentreportgive goldreply [–]Stark0s [score hidden] 58 minutes ago It's Madden. They can still try to play the "toxic masculinity"TM card. permalinkembedsaveparentreportgive goldreply [–]GarrioValereBest I can do is half homo. Make sure it's hot. [score hidden] 56 minutes ago If the shooter is who some people are claiming it is, he also extensively played Counterstrike, so merry christmas journalists. permalinkembedsaveparentreportgive goldreply [–]christianknight [score hidden] 54 minutes ago They always have the gun control issue to fall back on. permalinkembedsaveparentreportgive goldreply [–]B-VOLLEYBALL-READYThe internet was a mistake. [score hidden] an hour ago Seriously, keep an eye out for those pieces of shit trying to blame video games for this on Twitter. We had some utterly reprehensible comments after the Orlando shootings. https://www.reddit.com/r/KotakuInAction/comments/4nvfmz/misc_listing_all_the_people_in_and_around_the/ permalinkembedsaveparentreportgive goldreply [–]PikaTools [score hidden] 59 minutes ago I've already seen some randos comment blaming games. I expect it to be ten fold since it was at a gaming event this time.

Some on Twitter had similar reactions to the shootings.

https://twitter.com/realh0r1z0n/status/1033802067964583936

Glad you’ve got your priorities straight here. Wouldn’t want a horrifying tragedy at a games tournament to cause any needless self-reflection.

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opium4themasses
opium4themasses
2 years ago

Oh.. uhh. I was beaten to the punch by hours. I saw the story and rushed here to post it. Yep. I’m not just blindly posting. *cough* sorry.

Full Metal Ox
2 years ago

@Buttercup Q. Skullpants:

A rough English equivalent of “kivil” might be the (far less concise) Elephant in the Living Room.

Robert
Robert
2 years ago

Kindasortaharmless – the Kivila language is spoken in the Trobriand Islands.

KindaSortaHarmless
KindaSortaHarmless
2 years ago

@Robert

Thanks!

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
2 years ago

Yes, sorry, KSH, I borked the spelling earlier, thus rendering Google totally useless. It’s Kilivila.

@Full Metal Ox – Yep. It also brings to mind Cliff Pervocracy’s “missing stair”. Though that one is really more about the work that people do behind the scenes to compensate for a problem that no one wants to confront openly.

Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy

@wwth (and others, re JP and PhDs, etc.)

I guess it’s because privilege is just as big if not a bigger factor in how well one does in school than intelligence or work ethic. I think we want to believe that the best and brightest are the ones that have the most academic success and academia is the only real meritocracy, but it’s not so.

Academia has a few more safeguards than some workplaces, but yes, privilege still plays a massive role. The sheer cost of going to university in the first place is just one factor (during the brief golden period of free tertiary education here, student populations diversified considerably). A person’s background, home life, etc. is another: if you’ve grown up in the kind of home where study, reading, and literacy are highly valued, you already have a huge advantage (this factor is not discussed enough, imo). I see this kind of divide constantly with my students.

That said, unless you’re at a really dodgy institution, you can’t bullshit your way into a PhD, no matter how privileged you are. A doctorate is bloody hard work and not given out lightly. It’s possible that JP was well looked after by his uni department, and didn’t have to put in much at home (re domestic and parenting stuff). That would certainly ease the path 🙂

I’m not fully familiar with JP’s early work, but I do know that he used to publish fairly reputable articles, usually with other authors. The whole “I don’t need ethics boards and I don’t collaborate cos I’m a lone genius” shtick seems to have developed later (this is also noted in the article a few people have shared).

Rabid Rabbit
Rabid Rabbit
2 years ago

The warning sign for me in that article (well, I mean, aside from the fact that it came out well after JP had proved himself to be an asshat) is the “self-educated in the humanities” bit. Obviously, it’s completely possible to be self-educated in any area; but it’s also more or less the definition of Dawkins Syndrome for privileged white guys who are brilliant in one area, particularly a more or less scientific one, to assume they’ll be brilliant in all others, and that the humanities aren’t hard. The fact that the guy on the hiring committee didn’t notice this is disturbing, though not surprising.

Jane Done
Jane Done
2 years ago

@rainwoman0451
“it makes sense in evolutionary terms” is just code for “I just made this up out of thin air but it makes white cishet men feel good”. Pop-evopsych explanations that justify the status quo also have a strange tendency to be totally self-contradictory, because patriarchy is self-contradictory. Like how you say that early man needed to save energy for his mega advanced brain but his super smart advanced brain couldn’t tell an individual woman apart from half the entire rest of the human race.

@everyone else
Re: JP and PHDs

Regressive anti-activists can be good at things and can know how to play by the rules to get ahead in life. Because just like mass murderers, many anti-activists can indeed be “really nice” before they begin their hate crusade.

Whether or not jp was actually a “nice person” or if he just got a free pass on being a jerk because of privilege, we’ll never know, but I strongly suspect the latter considering this is the dude that thinks it’s commendable to punch someone in the face because they disprove your arguments.

Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy

@Rapid Rabbit

it’s also more or less the definition of Dawkins Syndrome for privileged white guys who are brilliant in one area, particularly a more or less scientific one, to assume they’ll be brilliant in all others, and that the humanities aren’t hard.

Very well put. This is such a common assumption. And the limits to JP’s “self-education” are pretty obvious. From a recently published article on this (forgive the long quote; it’s just so good):

The term Peterson uses most ubiquitously, “post-modern neo-Marxism,” is pure piffle. While sauntering into legal discourse, he ends up arguing against crimes that do not exist. In an invited lecture that has “Marxist” in the title, he radiates confusion about what Marx did and did not write. Though he likes to rail elaborately against these philosophers, Peterson cannot seem to distinguish his Derrida from his Foucault, nor does he reference the titles of any of their books — a key practice when critiquing researchers whose arguments changed substantially over their careers — or the considerable scholarship that followed in their wake. He styles himself as a critic of historical fascism, yet he consistently downplays the essential role that anti-Semitism played in German Nazism.

Rabid Rabbit
Rabid Rabbit
2 years ago

@Mish

Thanks for the link – I admit I may have an unhealthy obsession with articles tearing JP to shreds, but I never object to that obsession being fed…

Diptych
Diptych
2 years ago

Oh, lord, that conflating of Marxism and postmodernism. I got into a Twitter debate about racism in Australian politics with someone that, over the course of a week, pulled the subject matter more and more into how racial vilification were not only Orwellian but also the product of Cultural Marxism.

They didn’t actually use that term, mind you – they were far too genteel a conspiracy theorist for that. No, they just suggested that such laws were products of the thinking of one or another members of the Frankfurt School. Not any specific theories proposed by the academic in question, but its general vibe of “the ‘deconstrucion’ of western values”.

Now, leaving aside that Marxism is about a western as a philosophy can be – developed by two Germans in the UK describing the conditions of industrial capitalism in western Europe – the allusion to deconstruction implies the influence of Derrida, who was a child for most of the Frankfurt School’s existence and didn’t start publishing proper until after it was basically over as an academic phenomenon.

It was only after the debate had wound down that I realised the person I was arguing with worked for the bloody Daily Mail.

Rabid Rabbit
Rabid Rabbit
2 years ago

@Diptych:

The Frankfurt School may have ended as an economic phenomenon, but alas, there are still politicians who subscribe to it… Here in Canada, we underwent eight years of a leader who swore by it. Bah.

That being said, I’m fascinated to find out that Daily Mail employees actually believe the crap they spew. I always figured they just swore an oath when they signed on to propound nonsense when on company time.

Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy

@Rapid Rabbit, Diptych

The Frankfurt School may have ended as an economic phenomenon, but alas, there are still politicians who subscribe to it… Here in Canada, we underwent eight years of a leader who swore by it. Bah

*is confused*
Which Frankfurt School are we talking about here? Not Adorno & Horkheimer, or…?

Also, Diptych, are you sure that wasn’t Chris Uhlmann in disguise? 😀

Bryce
Bryce
2 years ago

It’s difficult for an institution to end academic tenure once granted.

Notable racist academic Philippe Rushton published a lot credible peer-reviewed work on Genetic Similarity theory, in stark contrast to the scientific racism garbage (which misapplied r/K selection theory and made ridiculous claims trying to correlate social extroversion with head circumference and IQ, for example).

Ariblester
Ariblester
2 years ago

@Rabid Rabbit

Did you mean the Chicago School?

Lumipuna (nee Arctic Ape)
Lumipuna (nee Arctic Ape)
2 years ago

general vibe of “the ‘deconstrucion’ of western values.

I figure this is the common denominator between ‘Marxism’ and ‘postmodernism’ and the general social justice movement, when the two former are used as alt-right dogwhistles for the latter.

(I know next to nothing about either Marxism or postmodernism, so I consider myself competent to estimate how the typical alt-right audiences might perceive these things)

Diptych
Diptych
2 years ago

Man, lotta dang ol’ typos in that post. Sorry about that.

(I know next to nothing about either Marxism or postmodernism, so I consider myself competent to estimate how the typical alt-right audiences might perceive these things)

Suffice to say, Marxism is not particularly interested in deconstruction (a postmodernist concept referring to… I’m not an expert, but it’s basically the philosophy of language?), and postmodernism isn’t particularly interested in organising the proletariat and seizing control of the means of production (I’m not saying they’re never interested in doing that, but generally it’s a bit more abstract), and neither are particularly interested in undermining the west and bringing about its downfall (that’s an obvious far-right bugbear).

Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy

Add to that, that people tend to think that “deconstruction” means “destruction”, and that to “critique” something means that you oppose it. These misapprehensions go hand in hand with the notion that “socially constructed” means “fake, artificial, not real” (a particular bugbear of mine; drives me mad).

To be fair, if you look at Foucault (he’s my favourite, so why not), a lot of his work historicised the fuck out of* western traditions and concepts, many of which we experience as permanent, or the most rational (rationality being another idea that he interrogated). My point being, I guess you could see that as an attack, if you were deeply attached to such western traditions.

However, that’s being generous to people like JP who don’t appear to have even read Foucault et al.

*genealogy is the preferred term for “historicising the fuck out of” 🙂

Diptych
Diptych
2 years ago

JP seems to fit neatly alongside Ayn Rand in the category of “writers who constantly criticise philosophers whose ideas they obviously don’t understand”. Among many other categories.

reggie, the neighbour's cat
reggie, the neighbour's cat
2 years ago

@Diptych

Sounds like your daily mail twitter sparring partner’s arguments on cultural marxism and the destruction of the west were the it’s Mabo, it’s the constitution, it’s the vibe version of racist dogwhistling.

Mabo, the constitution, the vibe reference for non-australians:


Rabid Rabbit
Rabid Rabbit
2 years ago

@Mish et al.

I have no idea how I managed to mix up Frankfurt and Chicago. It was late. Forget I said anything. Carry on.

tim gueguen
2 years ago

@Diptych it’s not hard to see parallels between Rand’s fandom and Peterson’s, specifically their appeal to (mainly) young men who think the world is against them. I suspect Peterson’s shelf life won’t be as long.

Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
Weird (and tired of trumplings) Eddie
2 years ago

believe the crap they spew. I always figured they just swore an oath when they signed on to propound nonsense when on company time.

I write a blog for my workplace, and I try to tilt it ever-so-slightly to the left, just enough to irk the bosses, but not enough to inflame….

As we’re in the railroad industry, the history of our interaction with the folk is… well, not very pleasant. My boss once asked me to write a blog post explaining why the railroad land “grants” were actually a very good thing, and, as you know, the “robber baron” era was substantially exaggerated by the modern liberal media….

… 🙁 🙁

I never did get that post done….

Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy

@Rapid Rabbit,

I’ve done similar (and far more embarrassing) simply because I was tired, or in a rush, or upset. Welcome to the club! 😊

Full Metal Ox
2 years ago

@Buttercup Q. Skullpants:

Out of curiosity, are you yourself a Trobriander?

Z&T
Z&T
2 years ago

@ Rabid Rabbit,

Perhaps you were thinking of the “Chicago School” of economics?

Our fellow drunkard right here has an MBA from U Chicago. She says “I came out of that more stupid than when I went in.” They don’t teach any particular type of socioeconomic ideology though. And what people point to in the past of that, was like way back in the day.

Self and pals here all have undergrad engineering. Some of us have more ed., as noted above, or an MS in the sciences or applied sciences.

Our Miss T here has an MS in math. She had an idea for Phd. work, based off arithmetic, thinks she should get a Phd. for this idea, which is: “You could get a lot more than 99 bottles of beer on the wall.”

Our other Z here (the one with the MBA) thinks this is BRILLIANT! Because it’s “blatantly obvious”.

This is High Level Sciencing right here! Ivy league grads included.
Don’t let’s get started on the one who went to Harvard Design School. Wound up in a crappy job anyway! Not even Harvard will help you! Or the IIT grads who imagine themselves as some kind of Einstein but are about one step away from an abject moron.

This is all people like us know about “serious academia”. Most of us were done at the MS level, in the applied sciences.

T thinks she should get a Phd. for the “99 bottles of beer on the wall” idea. It’s an arithmetic and architectural breakthrough!”

Our usual miscreants are nodding along here.
Why do I keep falling in with these people?
😀

epitome of incomprehensibility

The first time I heard of the Trobriand Islands was in the film Circle of Friends. Main character goes to an anthropology class and the prof says something about the Trobriand Islanders’ sexual freedom. That’s contrasted with the more repressive attitude of the Irish church & such…

Thing is, I didn’t know the Trobriand Islands were real. This is what comes of watching/reading fiction and not paying enough attention to history and geography! I thought the name was made up for the movie. Now, I’m thinking that somewhere in the Islands someone is going, “Huh, so our whole community’s existence functions to help some fictional Irish college student realize she’s horny? Ooookay then.”

ETA – @Z&T – the whole “99 bottles of beer” thing made me laugh. 😀

And don’t forget about entropy affecting the allegedly infinite nature of “The Song that Never Ends” 😀

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
2 years ago

@Full Metal Ox – No, nothing as exciting as that. I’m American (ethnically, mixed Irish/English/Scottish). I’m interested in languages, though, especially words that express complex concepts.

Jane Done
Jane Done
2 years ago

@Mish

These misapprehensions go hand in hand with the notion that “socially constructed” means “fake, artificial, not real”

I also see people misunderstand this nuance soooo much. Everyone needs to go through a Taxology 101 course. Maybe that would help people begin to understand the concept.

Saying how we classify animals is abstract and not real =/= animals don’t real.

Austin G Loomis
2 years ago

neither are particularly interested in undermining the west and bringing about its downfall

For my part, I’ve always been a supporter of the scheme for toppling the West that Michael Bérubé and a friend came up with back in 1991: “He will kneel behind the West on all fours. I will push it backwards over him.”

kaybee
kaybee
2 years ago

Hi Buttercup, a friend just gave me a copy of “Schottenfreude: German Words for the Human Condition” (you can find it on Amazon). It’s just what you’d imagine: gloriously complicated German words that build a very precise meaning — Schadenfreude? Und so weiter… You might enjoy it too!

For non-native German speakers, this can be read as a companion piece to Mark Twain’s “The Awful German Language,” which still makes me laugh out loud, about learning German as an adult. He feels my pain!

Newt
Newt
2 years ago

@Z&T:

“You could get a lot more than 99 bottles of beer on the wall.”

Advise them to visit Bruges.

http://www.shortandtalltales.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/2014-08-27-16.39.56.jpg

Moon_custafer
Moon_custafer
2 years ago

@ epitome of incomprehensibility :
At least in my experience the Trobriand Islands are the kind of place you don’t hear much about unless you’re an anthropologist or friends with an anthropologist in which case you hear about them all the time.

@Z&T Did the song ever actually state that 99 bottles was the maximum, or just the amount that happened to be on one particular wall?

hapnadsmannen
hapnadsmannen
2 years ago

You may argue on other grounds that gaming has a toxic culture problem perhaps, but making the connection to this incident is very dubious. More than a billion people probably play video games, and this is 1 accident and I think the first or one of the first of its kind. When someone is a mental powder kegg anything can be the spark, including losing a video game.

If this had been a Swedish or French tournament most likely the guy had just started yelling and kicking things over. At the maximum, he would have broken a glass bottle and tried to stab someone with it, and most likely failed to. But in the US, everyone that wants to can have a gun, which makes it both physically and psychologically much, much easier to kill people from just a moment of rage. That seems to me to be the important point here, not about video games.

hapnadsmannen
hapnadsmannen
2 years ago

I meant to write 1 INCIDENT, not accident…

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
2 years ago

Pertinent question time: why did he bring a gun to the game? That choice was made before he lost.

Frederic Christie
2 years ago

What I find hilarious is their utter inability to differentiate between the not-obviously-false-but-definitely-not-as-true-as-people-often-think-claim “Video games cause people to be violent” and the idea that “Video game culture, including ideas in video games, may not so much cause people to be violent as encourage toxic behavior that, yes, in some extreme cases can become violence and far more frequently becomes harassment and cruelty, and that’s not a result of violent video games but crappy people playing them absorbing crappy ideas from other crappy people”. As a gamer I get the fear that me playing Friday the 13th will lead me to be lumped in with mass shooters, but it’s time for adults to get over that, fight the censorship battle when it’s actually there, and fight other battles when it’s not.

hapnadsmannen
hapnadsmannen
2 years ago

Surplus, maybe he is the type of guy that always has the gun in the trunk of his car, when he lost he went out and got it, for example. Police investigation will have to answer that.

Frederic Christie
2 years ago

At hapnadsmannen, “You may argue on other grounds that gaming has a toxic culture problem perhaps, but making the connection to this incident is very dubious. More than a billion people probably play video games, and this is 1 accident and I think the first or one of the first of its kind. When someone is a mental powder kegg anything can be the spark, including losing a video game”: While you’re right to note that losing video games can be a problem, can you admit that the likelihood that they’ll then be called a loser, a f*ggot, etc. might worsen it?

The fact that an event is rare doesn’t mean that the correlation isn’t with a common event. That’s a statistics fallacy. Winning the lottery may happen rarely, but getting rich off of winning the lottery has a 100% correlation with playing the lottery. It could be that, yes, other factors were obviously in play, but gaming culture could still have been a key cause or in fact even the key cause. If, say, jackass-with-gun was motivated to shoot because he was angry about a team in the tournament, and his entire ideology had been shaped by a toxic culture, that too would matter. And gamer culture today includes a contingent that uses it as a means to deliver a quite specific, developed ideology of far-right vitriol and hate, which tends to lead to this kind of behavior.

I get the instinct to want to deflect and point out how many gamers are decent people (probably the same as the general population, as happens with any broad group). Hell, due to their socioeconomic status and position in more stable communities on average, it’s probable that gamers commit less violent crime than the average population. And it’s 100% possible that this event had little to nothing to do with toxic masculinity. But just like it’d be inappropriate to arrive at the conclusion that it didn’t before the facts are in, so too is the preemptive counter-narrative also inappropriate.

tim gueguen
2 years ago

Katz had a gun with him in case some bad guy with a gun showed up and decided to shoot the place up.

Oh, wait….

Z&T
Z&T
2 years ago

All,

Our Miss T here is amazed and inspired that so many people “Are interested in the truly important issues, in the applied sciences”.

🙂

And this Bruges place, oh I think I’m going to have to go there!

I was reminded of something, here, too, and they might exist elsewhere. Our other Miss Z thinks they also exist in Oz. Anyway, what this is, is a “beer cave”.

It’s a small back room at a gas station where they keep beer (and maybe some pop and water too, I haven’t looked for that). These might only be regional here also. Not sure.

Most gas stations here have these. And it looks like a hidden door or another fridge panel, no it’s the entry to the beer cave. And yes you can go in there and help yourself. There are signs right on the door.
I figured it out! Ha

It’s a pretty small room, and the entire thing is refrigerated.

Ahhh…….

I was thinking of these for the cool air, since my AC broke. And I was in one the other day and thinking – I wonder how long I can stay in here before anyone notices?

🙂

More applied sci. Chilling in the beer cave 🙂

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
2 years ago

@kaybee – Ooh, will have to look that one up!

My current favorite words are tsundoku (Japanese), the art of buying a book and never reading it; and hanyauku (RuKwangali), the act of tiptoeing across hot sand. Makes me think we need an English word for tiptoeing across Legos.

@Z&T What happens if there are 99 Klein bottles of beer on the wall?

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
2 years ago

What happens if there are 99 Klein bottles of beer on the wall?

“If one should fall, there’ll be the square root of minus infinity bottles of beer on the wall…”

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
2 years ago

@Alan Or maybe there’s one wall inside 99 beer bottles. But simultaneously outside them.

Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Intergalactic Meanie
Redsilkphoenix: Jetpack Vixen, Intergalactic Meanie
2 years ago

What happens if there are 99 Klein bottles of beer on the wall?

“If one should fall, there’ll be the square root of minus infinity bottles of beer on the wall…”

Well, in order to figure out the answer to this, you’ll need to figure out the size and properties of the bottles in question, including how much beer each bottle can hold.

Start here: http://www.kleinbottle.com

Choose the 99 Klein bottles you want to work with, and go go GO! 😛