Op Ed

  • Poynter - Video games are popular as ever. Why aren’t more Black writers hired to cover them?
    "A key component of those conversations two years ago was the lack of Black voices hired, and doing the hiring, in the workforce of the games industry. Last year, I spoke with several developers in the field to discuss the progress made and found little had been achieved since the early 2000s. I learned that the International Game Developers Association, the nonprofit whose annual and semiannual reports provide snapshots of the industry’s demographics, noted in 2005 that just 2% of their respondents identified as Black. The 2021 report showed, 16 years later, that number had only grown to 4%. While the growth may indicate progress, it actually fails to meet the percentage representative of the general population, which is closer to 13.4%. The gap is similar to that in journalism, which has faced its own problems with recruiting, training and retaining Black reporters and writers since the late 1960s."
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17.
 
Re: Op Ed
Jun 30, 2022, 14:44
17.
Re: Op Ed Jun 30, 2022, 14:44
Jun 30, 2022, 14:44
 
Will W wrote on Jun 30, 2022, 13:46:
To me, it seems like someone who is upset he's not getting full time work in a field he has little provable experience in and wants to blame it on systemic racism.
ding ding ding, we have a winner!
16.
 
Re: Op Ed
Jun 30, 2022, 13:46
16.
Re: Op Ed Jun 30, 2022, 13:46
Jun 30, 2022, 13:46
 
Is this about game reviews, or game journalism in general? I understand gravitating to reviewers who share characteristics (sex, gender, culture, highest level D&D character, city or rural lifestyle (Thanks Adam Orth), etc) with me, but I've never really thought race would play much role in that apart from it's intersection with culture. I think of Journalism as articles that present factual accounts or issues, then support them with facts. For me it's like "Entertainment News" vs "The News" although today I'm not sure there's much of a difference in that anymore.

I'm not really sure I'd put this article as "trusted" journalism.

The author starts with an anecdote about an unnamed "video game outlet". What is a video game outlet? I would guess he doesn't mean writing copy for GameStop's outlet stores (if they even have any) but instead is talking about a review site. He doesn't name the "outlet", but then details he noticed no black writers on their staff. At this point, he should name the outlet and detail how he determined the race of the writers they employ. That is important to having this anecdote taken as anything more then then a random story. Assuming it's a true story, I can understand why an "outlet" would sever communication with someone once they start asking diversity initiatives, especially if that person is a journalist. At that point I would do the same, either cut off contact, or refer them to legal council (assuming it was unrelated to the previous conversations, and was more "out of left field". But again, one can't determine any of that because there are no facts presented to support this story).

He then talks about the support minorities received during the summer of 2020. He posts some links, and I checked them out. None of them link to anything about equity in the Journalism industry. I'm not sure how this relates to his initial point about minority representation in journalism. None of those sites addressed what he is talking about. The "publishers" link just goes to a Rockstar tweet where they were shutting down 2 online games for 1 day in memory of George Floyd, the "journalists" link goes to a tweet by Polygon which just links to a page with a bunch of donation links for anti-police brutality and supporting protestors (nothing about journalism or other career/industries), and finally a "halted story" link to GamesRadar stating they're not posting stories for a day. I'm not sure how any of that is momentum to address a lack of Black writers and video game creators at the structural level. He would be just as correct to state those sites were helping address the lack of Black research submarine captains.

Where I really feel this article falls out of the "news" category and into the "entertainment" category is when he mixes together statistics. He uses the International Game Developer's Association statistics liberally, but fails to mention that those statistics are for a combination of Canada, the UK, Australia, and the US. The US made up 66% of the responses in 2005. In 2021, the country of work selected as "US" falls to 39%. This, by itself, invalidates all conclusions he makes related the the "13.4%" number he puts for "percentage representation of the general population" as that is the US % representation. There is no way, based on the facts given, to know how much of the 4% of respondents in 2021 chose Black as their race, come from the 39% who also selected "US". For example, Canada accounts for 12% of the respondents where 3.5% of the population identifies as Black, Finland accounted for 8% of the responses and they have a 1% Black population. This makes the statistics useless for any type of comparison since the author is mixing and matching statistics from different countries. Does it mean there's a 13.5% representation in the gaming journalism industry of Black Americans? I doubt it, but...I DON'T KNOW because the data he provides is flawed in a major way, making it useless.

One more thing stuck out as disingenuous use of statistics. As others have mentioned, the author pulls out a "25% identified as being part of an ethnic minority" statistic from the 2021 ESA report. He links it right there, and looking at it....page 3 shows the breakdown. 8% of the respondents identified as black. Why would the author use that larger number when the data was right in the report he linked. He's not investigating Latino/Hispanic, Asian/PI, or Native American writer hiring practices, so why would he suddenly include them? He jumps right back to a single race in the next paragraph.

Then he jumps into quoting a deputy editor from Eurogamer that he claims is trying to help rectify the situation, yet he is quoted as talking about how they literally have 1 minority (not black, but minority) intern for 2 months a year, and then they give them freelance work. Which is exactly what the author is complaining about in paragraph 1! I'm not even going to get into using a Youtube channel with fewer then 500K subscribers as an actual source.

At the end, maybe this writer got ghosted because he doesn't support his points and uses statistics improperly. I clicked through his website and I see 4 stories written for RPS and 3 for GamesRadar, all within the past year. His Linked In shows he was a writer for the Duke student newspaper in 2018, and he lists a MFA from NC State (where he is also an English Comp Instructor), so I assume he graduated in 2020. To me, it seems like someone who is upset he's not getting full time work in a field he has little provable experience in and wants to blame it on systemic racism. Is it possible? Of course, but he provides no proof to outweigh the doubts IMO.
15.
 
Re: Op Ed
Jun 30, 2022, 10:27
15.
Re: Op Ed Jun 30, 2022, 10:27
Jun 30, 2022, 10:27
 
Rectal Prolapse wrote on Jun 30, 2022, 02:45:
Beamer wrote on Jun 30, 2022, 02:15:
I guess it's just odd to me that the evidence says black people are 6x underrepresented and many here are saying that the system is unfair to white people.

Wait, here in this thread?

Yes. What else do you think the "quota" people are whining about?
14.
 
Re: Op Ed
Jun 30, 2022, 09:46
14.
Re: Op Ed Jun 30, 2022, 09:46
Jun 30, 2022, 09:46
 
I am going to be "that guy" and say it how it is...
who.. the actual hell, cares about the skin color of a "games journalist" or youtuber?

Content is either tight, or it ain't. My favourite reviews (don't judge) are still from only 4 people....
https://www.youtube.com/c/SsethTzeentach
https://www.youtube.com/c/indeimaus
https://www.youtube.com/user/chilledsanity
https://www.youtube.com/c/MandaloreGaming

Reading reviews, as in text? Barely never do that anymore.
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13.
 
Re: Op Ed
Jun 30, 2022, 06:55
13.
Re: Op Ed Jun 30, 2022, 06:55
Jun 30, 2022, 06:55
 
Benzer wrote on Jun 29, 2022, 19:52:
Where in the article did they interview several black writers that were unable to get jobs writing about video games?

The article does do a ridiculous bait-and-switch by citing a survey of 4000 gamers of which 25% identify as a minority. They don't specify what fraction of those 25% identify as black. They also don't do a survey of writers, which is the group they are actually discussing, to find out what percentage of them are minority/black.

Maybe black people feel like they have better things to do with their lives.

Good points, show me proof some one is discriminated against, not stupid sophomoric conclusions based on tinfoil hat grade ideas like gingers make up X percent of the population, therefore if game journalists are not made up of X percent gingers, evil is about.

It's just sad how deftly the Republican think tanks came up with the southern strategy, and painted Demos in to indefensible theoretical extreme corners on race (like quotas), and the Dems bought it hook line and sinker, and will likely never ever have a majority in Congress, much less the judiciary.
"Meet the new Boss, same as the old Boss." - The Who.
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12.
 
Re: Op Ed
Jun 30, 2022, 02:45
12.
Re: Op Ed Jun 30, 2022, 02:45
Jun 30, 2022, 02:45
 
Beamer wrote on Jun 30, 2022, 02:15:
I guess it's just odd to me that the evidence says black people are 6x underrepresented and many here are saying that the system is unfair to white people.

Wait, here in this thread?
Avatar 58068
11.
 
Re: Op Ed
Jun 30, 2022, 02:15
11.
Re: Op Ed Jun 30, 2022, 02:15
Jun 30, 2022, 02:15
 
I guess it's just odd to me that the evidence says black people are 6x underrepresented and many here are saying that the system is unfair to white people.
10.
 
Re: Op Ed
Jun 30, 2022, 00:01
10.
Re: Op Ed Jun 30, 2022, 00:01
Jun 30, 2022, 00:01
 
The Half Elf wrote on Jun 29, 2022, 16:10:
So we are to hire people based on a quota and not skill?

Hey man, it's been this way since the 80s.
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9.
 
Re: Op Ed
Jun 29, 2022, 19:52
9.
Re: Op Ed Jun 29, 2022, 19:52
Jun 29, 2022, 19:52
 
Where in the article did they interview several black writers that were unable to get jobs writing about video games?

The article does do a ridiculous bait-and-switch by citing a survey of 4000 gamers of which 25% identify as a minority. They don't specify what fraction of those 25% identify as black. They also don't do a survey of writers, which is the group they are actually discussing, to find out what percentage of them are minority/black.

Maybe black people feel like they have better things to do with their lives.
8.
 
Re: Op Ed
Jun 29, 2022, 19:44
8.
Re: Op Ed Jun 29, 2022, 19:44
Jun 29, 2022, 19:44
 
The Half Elf wrote on Jun 29, 2022, 16:10:
So we are to hire people based on a quota and not skill?

Games journalists aren't hired based on skill to begin with. Most of them struggle with anything more complicated than Tic-Tac-Toe, and their writing isn't any better. So clearly the pool is mostly low-talent low-skill people willing to work for pennies. It's still worth hiring a diverse group of voices, even if it's a choice of an incompetent group of diverse voices vs. an incompetent group of identical bearded white guys.
"It's like you have a neon sign that just says 'raw dog me! I'm a bottom!'" -Queen Maeve
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7.
 
Re: Op Ed
Jun 29, 2022, 18:54
7.
Re: Op Ed Jun 29, 2022, 18:54
Jun 29, 2022, 18:54
 
Hellcinder wrote on Jun 29, 2022, 18:23:
Article isn't wrong to ask these questions. Not getting a response to a question such as why not more blacks, that's a company I wouldn't want to work for anyways because that also includes other questions such as, "Why are revenues down?" , "How come we are not allowed to say negative things about this game when it's clearly crap?".
I outsource a bit of my work to coders on upworks, and I usually end up with talent from all over the globe. I do believe if we all hired by talent alone, we would get a mix of people from all walks of life. Unfortunately, companies are run like a dictatorship and change is rare to happen, even with HR quotas applied.

Give this man a cigar!
6.
 
Re: Op Ed
Jun 29, 2022, 18:23
6.
Re: Op Ed Jun 29, 2022, 18:23
Jun 29, 2022, 18:23
 
Article isn't wrong to ask these questions. Not getting a response to a question such as why not more blacks, that's a company I wouldn't want to work for anyways because that also includes other questions such as, "Why are revenues down?" , "How come we are not allowed to say negative things about this game when it's clearly crap?".
I outsource a bit of my work to coders on upworks, and I usually end up with talent from all over the globe. I do believe if we all hired by talent alone, we would get a mix of people from all walks of life. Unfortunately, companies are run like a dictatorship and change is rare to happen, even with HR quotas applied.
5.
 
Re: Op Ed
Jun 29, 2022, 17:05
5.
Re: Op Ed Jun 29, 2022, 17:05
Jun 29, 2022, 17:05
 
The Half Elf wrote on Jun 29, 2022, 16:10:
So we are to hire people based on a quota and not skill?

No. Literally no one is saying that.
But to turn that around, are you saying white people are better skilled at reviewing video games than black people?
And are you saying that video game reviewers seem frequently hired based upon skills?

4.
 
Re: Op Ed
Jun 29, 2022, 16:10
4.
Re: Op Ed Jun 29, 2022, 16:10
Jun 29, 2022, 16:10
 
So we are to hire people based on a quota and not skill?
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1.
 
Re: Op Ed
Jun 29, 2022, 13:07
1.
Re: Op Ed Jun 29, 2022, 13:07
Jun 29, 2022, 13:07
 
I blame Steve Urkel, the icon who ruined geekdom for generations, because every guy wants to be smooth and cool like his alter ego Stefan.
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