In a new post on ThinkProgress.org, Alyssa Rosenberg compiles a concise and useful guide for those wishing to better serve as feminist allies in our gaming culture, as well as for those who may have little exposure to the issues at hand. In a brilliant move, Rosenberg reached out to pro-feminist male gamers throughout the twitterverse, asking them to share their experiences and offer advice on different ways to be an ally.
Much of the advice sent in by allies speaks not only to engaging in thoughtful debate around feminist issues, but around heated cultural issues in general. One such point reads as follows:
–Use yourself as a safe zone: LeBoeuf-Little also says that when he encounters people who think that it’s other gamers’ responsibility not to be offended or to remove themselves from situations he finds offensive, he does the following: “I try to get them to see their responsibility for creating a healthy environment. I point out the harm in what they said. I point out that not caring what other people think is kinda dickish. This often works. When it doesn’t, I ask them if they could just not say those things around me.” If you’re willing to speak up, and to explain what you’ll tolerate and what you won’t, you can create a safe space for the people who play in your vicinity, who may not be willing or feel able to speak up about things that hurt and offend them.
Indeed, if it was everyone’s responsibility “not to be offended,” perhaps social progress wouldn’t exist whatsoever— yikes! This collection of sage advice offers ways to speak to our offenders with constructive criticism and compassion towards a more egalitarian gaming culture.