Off the Media

I Was Summoned by #GamerGate; Here’s What I Saw

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I don’t play videogames and generally think that online activism is a giant waste of time. Both of these factors make me a rather unlikely prospective ally to #GamerGate, but I do have a coffee mug that says “Certified Media Manipulator” so I guess it made sense that we’d cross paths at some point.

Which is how a little over a week ago, I found myself in the middle of an AMA (“Ask Me Anything”) in #GamerGate’s infamous subreddit “KotakuInAction.” I’d been trying to assign an unbiased explainer piece on the controversy for weeks and found that several writers were intimidated and reluctant to participate. So when I saw that someone who had read my book and columns here at Off the Media, put up an AMA request, I figured I’d wade in, answer some questions, and see what I couldn’t find out about this infamous movement. Read More

Studies Show

Almost No One Believes the Internet Is a Safer Space for Women Than Men

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According to MRAs — that’s Men’s Rights Activists, for those who are uninitiated in the ways of complete sociopathy — the world is imperiled by entitled women who are using the Internet as a prime battleground for subjugating helpless men. Thankfully, they’re just about the only ones who believe that bullshit.

A Pew Research poll released today revealed that while most people believe that online communities are equally friendly toward women and men (take that with a grain of salt), those who found the Internet unequal think it’s a much safer space for men. The study took a deep dive into online harassment, prompted by a number of heinous events, such as a number of women in the gaming community being driven from their homes by violent threats. Read More

Go Home Science You're Drunk

Study: Kids Who Play Video Games For an Hour a Day Are Happier, More Social

Healthy, apparently. (Getty)

Prepare to question everything you once thought was true, because science is now claiming that kids who play video games for up to an hour per day are happier and more sociable than those who don’t play at all. So much for human interaction!

The Oxford University study polled around 5,000 boys and girls between the ages of 10 and 15 who spend varying amounts of time playing video games, the Telegraph reportsRead More

Expert Thoughts

Octodad Is a Brilliant Kafkaesque Piece Of Art — And a Pretty Fun Video Game, Too

It might happen at a grocery store, it might happen in your living room. You reach out for some banal task, something you’ve done a thousand times before, only this time, it’s impossible. You’re body freezes, your mind locks up and a thousand horrible failures swirl around in your future . You don’t know how, but it’s all gone wrong, so quickly. Normalcy is lost to the ether. You look around you. You know that nobody else feels this way. They just do things. It looks so easy. And my god, they’re all looking at you because they know.  Read More

Online Gambling

Professor: Teens Playing ‘Candy Crush’ Could Have Gambling Problems Later

CLASSIFIED (Photo: Candy Crush)

Important people in Britain are cautioning that children playing online gambling games like “Candy Crush” could see problems like transparently pale skin and failure to lose their virginity as they transition into adulthood.

Not really, but the worrywarts over there claim that teenagers who are hooked on online games and apps could increase their chances of having gambling problems later in life. Read More

Play Your Video Games

CNBC Says Call of Duty, Not Crippling Insecurity and Sriracha Breath, Is the Reason Some Guys Can’t Get Dates

Obviously what all gamers look like. (Photo: Gamepodunk.com)

When video games aren’t precipitating violent acts IRL or dangerously cutting into study time, they’re also keeping young men from nailing chicks. The future is terrible, isn’t it?

In a segment for CNBC’s The Kudlow Report, two experts–one an online matchmaker named Lori Zaslow and the other CNBC contributor Carrol Roth–attempted to parse just what first person shooter games like Call of Duty are doing to the young men of America.

Naturally, obsessive gamers who opt for virtual worlds instead of reality are being deprived of important rites of passages like feverishly making out in parked cars then running home to brag about it on Reddit. Read More

XX in Tech

Almost Half of All Gamers Are Women So Stop Calling Us Bitches on Xbox Live

(Proof: playstationlifestyle.net)

The next time someone calls you the c-word on XBox Live, politely remind them of this neat little factoid: nearly half of all gamers are actually women, according to a new report published by CNN.

The report, crafted by the Entertainment Software association and titled “2013 Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry”, states that “45% of all game players, and 46% of the most frequent purchasers of games, are female. Adult women make up 31% of the game-playing population.” Read More