I actually consider myself quite lucky to have gotten my name on the open letter put up by Andreas Zecher a few days past. By no means due to it being difficult to get on there. No, a simple tweet was all it took. I consider myself lucky because – and amazingly no more than an hour before the opportunity to do so had passed – that I actually allowed myself to do it. You see, I’m the guy that will crack a joke during a serious debate, simply because I don’t want to have the discussion, often because it actually matters to me in some way. It should come as no surprise that beyond this, I’ve not been very vocal about the whole GamerGate thing. Obviously, I have had my stance, but ultimately kept my mouth shut through lack of desire to get into a crap flinging contest that I will lose the desire to be in prior to it’s commencement.
“We believe that everyone, no matter what gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion or disability has the right to play games, criticize games and make games without getting harassed or threatened. It is the diversity of our community that allows games to flourish.” – Excerpt from Andreas Zecher’s Open Letter to the Gaming Community.
I chose to put my name on the open letter because this is my view on life in general, and while that shouldn’t have to be reiterated for games specifically, it is. And I support it.
The subjects of race and sexuality are two such topics I find difficult due to my not being what is generally – though not unanimously – considered the norm. Therefore I empathise with, and naturally take the side of those who are, in any way big or small, oppressed and disregarded due to factors outside of their control. Words like fag, queer, homo, n****r and c**n are just a handful of words that I’ve generally had to overlook since the advent of gaming taking root in a broader social structure. While I’ve not enjoyed having to deal with the fact that I have often been in the immediate minority for taking offense to these words, I’ve known that I was far from alone and taken some small semblance of solace from that. This is not an assault on anyone who does, through no choosing of their own, fall into what is in fact considered the norm. Simply an acknowledgement of somebody out there finally saying: “that’s about enough” and others agreeing. The Codec Moments team included.
Despite the fact that the opportunity to have your name on the list has passed, the opportunity to do what’s truly important is still available and encouraged. In fact, the open letter was never anything more than symbolism. We all have our grievances with the industry, no one person truly considers everything to be perfect, but what matters is that we respect one another… and have fun.