And now seems like a good time to repost this and remind everyone that abusive management and abusive fan bases generally work in tandem, whether or not it's intentional:…
Like, there's a LOT of good stuff in there, and you should read the whole thing, but I want to pull out a few quotes:
"Angry gamers can easily be understood as a pool of reactionary scabs that serve as a resource for videogame companies that prefer it when its workforce is afraid, quiet, and deprived of the leverage it needs."
"Most [game workers] who spoke to me asked for anonymity, and many described an undercurrent of intense paranoia that contributed to a desire to stay quiet, keep to the grind, and be grateful for their continued employment."
I cite this article a lot because it's the only one I've found that talks about the way abusive management uses the constant threat of a force of angry, abusive fans to keep workers in line, but I also find it frustrating that it doesn't delve further into that.
(I don't really blame the author--it would actually take pretty extensive investigative journalism that most journalists can't *afford* to do to get any receipts, and receipts are often hard to come by since threats by management are veiled and almost always verbal.)
But to be very clear: game companies push marginalized employees to *use* their marginalization for the company's benefit.
They want women and people of color out there representing the company (and often aren't subtle about "hey, we need a woman on this Twitch stream") for the optics.
They want marginalized workers on panels talking about the sexism/racism/homophobia/transphobia/ableism/etc. problems with the industry at large, and how THEIR company is doing better than most.
Their workers' marginalized identities are something for the company to consume and use as marketing. (It almost never translates to more than lip-service culture change in the company itself--they want you talking to the public about change, not them.)
They rarely, RARELY acknowledge that talking publicly about issues of marginalization, about abuse in the industry, about toxicity, comes with a LOT of risk to marginalized workers who do it.
When they do acknowledge it, it's almost always in terms of "oh, okay, we'll talk to convention security about having extra security in the room for your panel."

And that's the extent of it. As if the threat is only in that one physical space, for that brief time.
But just because they don't acknowledge the threat doesn't mean they aren't aware of it.
And once you've gone along with the company's urging to be on this panel about racism or sexism or whatever in the industry, you've made yourself a target. You're on the radar. You've got rage-filled reactionary gamers watching you closely, looking for any excuse to pounce.
And now the company has leverage. Because all they have to do is put out a statement that implies that maybe they didn't agree with EVERYTHING you said on that panel, or in that interview, and they've signaled to the mob that their protection is withdrawn and you're fair game.
And it's been interesting to see the difference between, say, younger women in the industry who want to talk about this stuff and are eager to get out there, and older women who are very, very gunshy.
It's easy to look at the older women who don't want to talk publicly, who don't volunteer to be on the panels, who don't volunteer to be interviewed, and think that it's because they lack courage or are getting more conservative as they get older or don't care.
Like, I used to think that.

And sometimes it's true. There's definitely a lot of "I got mine, and I'm not risking it, screw you" in there, and it doesn't help to ignore that.
But I've also had older women in the industry take me aside and be like "Do NOT volunteer when the company asks someone to be on this Women in Gaming panel.

And increasingly, I've come to believe that there is an element of gaining leverage in game companies' pressure on younger marginalized employees to "be their authentic selves" publicly, on the company's behalf.

They know it's painting a target on you. That's leverage.
And everyone keeps acting like there's no intent behind any of this.

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More from @Delafina777

25 Nov
I don’t think any of the Christians going “how can someone lose their ethnicity?” re: Jews converting to Christianity are in good faith, but on the off chance that any of them are:

Jewishness probably maps more closely to *citizenship* than anything else.
Like the Jewish conception of peoplehood predates modern conceptions of race, ethnicity, and religion by a lot, which is why if you try to pin it down to any one of those things, it gets weird.
Membership isn’t defined by religious practice, and religious practice isn’t required, but religious practice can, in some circumstances, get you kicked out (if you choose to follow an incompatible religion).
Read 42 tweets
25 Nov
I mean, converting to an idolatrous religion so clearly puts you outside the borders of peoplehood that the on-the-books response to it is EXECUTION.

That’s not a response I’m okay with, but it’s notable that the contemporary Jewish response to it is *less* harsh.
Christians are all out here insisting that Jews MUST consider Christians with Jewish ancestry to be Jews (and by extension, their Christianity to be Judaism) because they want to define Judaism solely in terms of blood (which, btw, is literally a Nazi position).
And it’s fascinating that they insist, that in 2021, Jews can’t kick out members of the community that practice idolatry, as if this is some sort of new development, when the Torah literally says we should remove them from the community BY KILLING THEM.
Read 5 tweets
23 Nov
Like I dunno, maybe we should talk about how weird this belief is? And how most cultures’ spiritual practices are centered around living with *each other*, and the world and often ancestors/spirits in *this life* and see consequences as coming from THOSE sources in this life?
Judaism says you leave the corners of fields free for the poor to glean. Why? Because God says so.

What happens if you don’t?

The land doesn’t support you. Your community deteriorates. Other nations abuse you. Your relationship with God deteriorates.
None of that is about what happens after death, except in the sense that you’re also screwing over your descendants.
Read 4 tweets
23 Nov
I also want to say something that’s not going to be popular, but since when have I given a shit about that?
Sara Marie and I did not get along when we worked at Paizo, which was fine because we had very little interaction.

I didn’t like that she accused Crystal and me of exaggerating when we talked about experiencing harassment at Paizo Con, and I’m sure she didn’t like…
…cleaning up the forums in my wake.

I do however respect the hell out of the relationship she built with her team, and how hard she tried to protect them.
Read 6 tweets
23 Nov
don't marry cis men

they can't handle having successful wives
True story: friend was married to a guy who, on the surface, seemed like a Wife Guy.

I mean, if you hung out with them for long, there were tells, like how she was constantly getting up to get him another glass of water or whatever, but he never returned the favor, but...
...if you didn't hang around with them at their home, if you were relatively casual friends, you would have been like "this guy really loves his wife and is proud of her."
Read 16 tweets
18 Nov
It's a cold, dark wintry night in Seattle with a big old full moon, so gather round while I livetweet my readthrough of one of my childhood favorite spookybooks, John Bellairs' Curse of the Blue Figurine
I first discovered this book when I was in elementary school, tucked away in a back corner of the school library. It wasn't like anything I'd read before. It was atmospheric and spooky and smart.

It's the first book in a loose series about my favorite of Bellairs' protagonists.
So it opens up with Johnny Dixon, our hero, sitting and listening to a spooky radio show in 1951.
Read 57 tweets

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