Gamer Discrimination by Media

FekLeyrTarg

Rear Admiral
Hi my Friends,
I don't know if you've heard it already but the german TV-Station RTL broadcasted lies about us who love to play games when reporting about the Gamescom in Cologne. So I'm interested to know how the Media reports about Gamers in the countries in which you live. Do they discriminate against us or do they rather stay neutral when reporting about us Gamers?
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Sorry, I'm usually too busy running down grandmothers on my way to my job at the child-eating factory to pay attention to the news media.
 

Dyret

Super Carrot!
Yeah, what did they say? They're always neutral here.

That being said, I don't see how you can really demonize gamers these days considering how much time 'normal people' spend with Halo, FIFA, The Sims and such.
 

FekLeyrTarg

Rear Admiral
Things like that we have no life, no girlfriend or boyfriend, that we don't have any social contacts outside the Internet and that we don't get our hair cut, don't shave ourselves, don't take baths and don't change our clothes.
And also, games like Counterstrike are being made the Scapegoat for the Amok runs on a few german schools like the Gutenberggymnasium in Erfurt. (The reason why those people made those Amok Runs was because they were bullied.)
 

Karakkaze

Spaceman
They'll always blame video games first. Even if it's no better than, say, blaming CD burners for ruining mix tapes. Or blaming loss of profit on digital distribution. Or blaming Nintendo solely for casual gamers entering the fold of console gaming.

Just citing a bunch of random examples that everybody might not get, though.
 

Worf

Vice Admiral
Videogames is this generation's rock and roll, TV, radio, comic books, ...

Every new thing has been blamed except the parents for child delinquency, really.
 

cff

Kilk'dymga'qith laq Ik'vikvi
Or in other words - German TV needed something to fill the summer recess and the German gamers actually fed the troll. This non incident really should have been ignored.
 

FekLeyrTarg

Rear Admiral
I disagree. You don't know how much power TV-Stations, especially RTL, have over people. Many believe everything they say. There have been lots of complaints because of this incident.
 

Worf

Vice Admiral
That's true everywhere. A very large number of people believe what the TV tells them. Shocking, but true.

It gets a lot worse during election time...
 

cff

Kilk'dymga'qith laq Ik'vikvi
This may well be true, but the clip yould have long been forgotten if not for the public outrcry of the gaming community.
 

Worf

Vice Admiral
That's the whole point of a lot of TV. And a lot of "news" in general. Write something imflammatory to get eyeballs and sell ads.

Remember, the customer of TV stations are the advertisers. Everything they do is about increasing the eyeballs seeing the ads.

It only works because a lot of people believe what the idiot box tells them, they believe it, and spout it to others. Then others get shocked, it gets blown out of proportion, and boom, a 10% increase in viewers and an increased ad rate.
 

FekLeyrTarg

Rear Admiral
Yeah, that's a very shocking fact. Someone I know thinks that before the private TV-Stations (RTL and Sat.1) showed up in Germany during the 80s, the public servies ones (ARD, ZDF, NDR, MDR, WDR, etc) were more neutral, objective and didn't want to get more viewers. Also, their original assignment was (and actually still is) Education but the same person thinks that since RTL and Sat.1, they don't care about it any longer.

But it looks like that ZDF is more open to PC-Games, especialy FPS-games like Counterstrike, now. They've recently shown some sort of an CS-Tournament. (I got this information from an Internet-Show called "Fernsehkritik-TV". Also, I don't watch TV any more. If I want to watch my favourite Series or Movie, I get their DVDs)
 

Ijuin

Admiral
Things like that we have no life, no girlfriend or boyfriend, that we don't have any social contacts outside the Internet and that we don't get our hair cut, don't shave ourselves, don't take baths and don't change our clothes.
Hey! I bathe daily! :D

Worf said:
Remember, the customer of TV stations are the advertisers. Everything they do is about increasing the eyeballs seeing the ads.
Pretty much--the only purpose of even having any content that they aren't being paid for (or commanded by the government to run) is to ensure that the viewer does not touch that dial. Things like actual truthfulness or newsworthiness of news program content are irrelevant as long as nobody sues them and nobody changes to another channel or shuts off the TV.
 

Prometheus

Spaceman
Yeah, what did they say? They're always neutral here.

RTL? Hard to imagine...
They're the worst bunch of TV stations here in Germany, even apart from this "incident" -- it's where the localized versions of "American Idol", "Big Brother", and similar stuff is being aired...
 

Silanda

Rear Admiral
That's the whole point of a lot of TV. And a lot of "news" in general. Write something imflammatory to get eyeballs and sell ads.

Remember, the customer of TV stations are the advertisers. Everything they do is about increasing the eyeballs seeing the ads.

It only works because a lot of people believe what the idiot box tells them, they believe it, and spout it to others. Then others get shocked, it gets blown out of proportion, and boom, a 10% increase in viewers and an increased ad rate.

There's another related reason that TV in particular seems to have a vendetta against gamers: when people are playing video games they aren't watching TV, and therefore aren't watching the ads. Television companies must therefore try as hard as humanly possible to make gaming appear to be evil, only enjoyed by social rejects and not of course the right minded people who watch their good, wholesome programming. They have to make some attempt at stopping their core audience from trying something new.
 

Mace

Vice Admiral
The main problem that TV, especially in this time has, is that little good is on, from all the channels and tv-shows in the world, I maybe find three hour's worth of interesting stuff that is not a re-run each week. German TV has Tatort, a detective show and that's about it for me.

But the strange thing about this Item in german news, is that gaming is now very, VERY common umong adults. Also those with a relationship. And those of us who have a job, like me, shower..

Maybe they saw this image from south park;
south+park.jpg
 

Aginor

Vice Admiral
I'm pretty active in that whole debate about "murder simulators" in Germany, and as far as I can see we have to distinguish here a bit between different types of discrimination against gamers.

One thing is the thing RTL did. It was impolite, it was discriminating, even a bit sexist and full of clichees.
...but IMO gamers failed to realise that RTL does that with everybody and everything. Every show and every program I've ever seen that was produced by RTL (except "Domino Day") is like that. It's not just against gamers.
So I think while it can be considered trolling it is still something that gamers should just shrug off.

The other thing are the movements to really ban video games, the whole censorship laws in Germany that people want to establish. This is serious and has been there the whole time, even when there haven't been any school shootings for quite a long time. There are certain institutions that blame a lot of things to video games and a lot of people believe them. Members of that anti video game groups can be found in high positions so they can actually be a threat, they are not seen as lunatics by a broad audience like I have the impression in the USA for example.
And that's not a thing about video games but about democracy and freedom of speech. Video games are the tip of the iceberg here.

Sometimes I think it is more a European thing: Many people believe that the US military invented "killer games" to desensibilise soldiers, and conspiracy theories are quite popular, especially if the Americans are the bad guys. So a lot of people WANT to believe that. Not only in Germany (Roland Näf in Switzerland for example).
So gamers (and other democrats) should tell people who don't know video games about video games in order to provide a possibility to develop a more realistic opinion. That's the democratic way to prevent further censorship and that's what I do, even if people who watch RTL don't like me. I go to demonstrations and I regularly talk to politicians about that. Gamers have to show they are not a minority but the majority.

If you speak German and are interested in that kind of thing, I invite you to visit www.stigma-videospiele.de which is a news page with forums to talk about anything linked to this debate.

Uh... Sorry for the wall of text I guess. I tend to be carried away in that topic because it is so huge and complex.
 

Mace

Vice Admiral
The other thing are the movements to really ban video games, the whole censorship laws in Germany that people want to establish. This is serious and has been there the whole time, even when there haven't been any school shootings for quite a long time..

Fairly recently in the Netherlands, a counterstrike/call of Duty player walked into a mall armed with a fully automatic rifle and opened fire on random people, killed 8 people and wounded more, and when his weapon locked up shot himself through the head with a pistol. He was dressed in camouflage costume. Since that moment some jokingly but some deadserious attempts have been made at schools, one as recent as last week.

Ofcourse, this gamer was also mentally unstable and had been admitted to a psychiatric hospital several months earlier.(And he got his weapons under license because he is member of a shooting range!)

But since I never heard of anyone kidnapping a jet and taking it for a joyride, wing commander should be okay. And everyone was grossed out by the guy from belgium who filmed himself skinning a live kitten and putting it on youtube?
 

Aginor

Vice Admiral
Fairly recently in the Netherlands, a counterstrike/call of Duty player walked into a mall armed
(...)
And there it is: The mistake the media does! Please don't do that.

==> Fairly recently in the Netherlands, a mentally sick person walked into a mall armed (...)
That's the way one should write it.

Because when somebody tortures and kill a cat and goes to prison you don't write "A Wing Commander gamer killed a cat" but you write "Some asshole killed a cat."
When someone drives too fast and has an accident you don't write "A Colin Mc Rae Dirt player had a car accident" either.

Everybody and their mother plays Call of Duty and/or counterstrike and/or a dozen other games. There are a lot more violent crimes by people who don't (those people are a minority in their age group normally), but nobody says "A person who didn't play video games at all murdered 10 people!"
So being a gamer is not the single most important attribute that person has. Naming it in that way implies it is. But it isn't. With that kind of sentence the media suggests this connection so it is linked in the brains of people who hear that regularly.

Imagine someone would write in a US paper: "A US citizen stabbed a cat owner yesterday in Hopkinsville, Kentucky". You would ask whether the cat or being a US citizen has anything to do with it. It hasn't. The journalist is a cat-lover and british though, so why does he write that? go figure.....

So basically that is just statistics and people misusing them.

EDIT: I have an even funnier example:
==> Fairly recently in the Netherlands, a soccer fan walked into a mall armed (...)
There is no reason to mention that, if he didn't at least wear a soccer-scarf or a soccer dress.
But if he played video games, OF COURSE that has to be the reason. What else... Why?
We call it the "Pornoblick" which means "porn gaze". The word describes the fact that if you want to want to perceive something as offensive then you will.
 
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