Yes, Kotaku, you WERE the reason why we started TIN! And also, Santa is real.

Brian Crecente of Kotaku has tried to take credit for the inception of The IRIS Network. I’m not even joking:

In my caveman like attempts at prodding talented, strong-voiced women into writing more vocally about gaming I have stirred the ire of several feminist gaming writers who recently banded together to launch the IRIS Network a group, which will strive to bring women’s perspectives into the mainstream.

And if you don’t think that’s an obvious enough attempt to steal credit, then please review this exchange in which Crecente uses second-hand information in order to rebut Brinstar for saying that TIN wasn’t a direct response to Crecente’s post.

First, Brinstar says this:

However, Kotaku’s reporting isn’t completely accurate. The creation of the IRIS Network wasn’t in direct response to Crecente’s blogging. From what I understand, it has been in the works for a while now. This just seemed to be the opportune moment for the creator to launch.

To which Crecente responds:

@brinstar: To quote the Guilded Lillies post:
Their resolve to make this happen was fueled in part by a recent post on Kotaku which asked the question – Why aren’t there more female gaming bloggers? – written by editor Brian Crecente.

To which Guilded Lily responds that he was misconstruing what she said. Which, really, isn’t surprising given the amount of lazy journalism on Kotaku. Crecente not only puts GL’s banner up to promote TIN (ignoring the button that is being used elsewhere for that purpose), but then he also quotes someone who wasn’t even one of the founders of the group in order to “prove” that he deserves the credit for the inspiration of the organization. Even after his mistakes were pointed out to him several times he has not taken the time to correct his post.

Mia from Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney has something to say about that (thanks, Revena!). As do the awesome bloggers at Feminist Gamers.

If you want to know the real story behind how TIN was launched and conceived, go here.

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This entry was posted in Feminism, Privilege, Tabletop RPGs, LARP, etc, The Internet is Serious Business, Video Games. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Yes, Kotaku, you WERE the reason why we started TIN! And also, Santa is real.

  1. My goodness, if ever I doubted that men tried to neutralize feminism by making it All About Them.

    For what it’s worth, Andrea and Revena – I never even heard of Crescente and/or Kotaku before his “I can’t see women!” post, and I’m really a tabletop gamer rather than a video gamer – and I’ve been jonesing for a site like this since forever. So, uh, he can’t take credit for my joining of the project.

    Plus, since Andrea has a history of making feminist and/or geek sites – y’know, like this one or Jade Reporting – trying to claim credit for inspiring her to make a feminist geek site seems kinda conspiracy theory-ish. Or hugely egocentric. Take your pick.

    Also: I don’t require men to apologize for their penises. Really, they’re fine where they are. What I do require, however, is when they insist on doing all their thinking with them.

  2. Sara says:

    What is it with people and the cavemen insults? Did Geico teach them nothing?!

  3. Brinstar says:

    It irritates me that he didn’t do simple due diligence. If you’re going to blog about something, surely you should at least go to the site you’re blogging about to understand what its aims are, yeah? I would think, anyway.

  4. Darth Sidhe says:

    When I was working as a journalist, I had it hammered into my head that you learn your facts and you confirm your facts or else you look like an idiot, you make your organization look idiotic and you get your ass and your editor’s ass sued for defamation.

    How things have changed.

  5. tekanji says:

    The most mind boggling of all of this is that, Crecente apparently has journalist credentials. I’m half tempted to ask on the Talk page if it would be relevant to cite some of his recent journalism no-nos on Kotaku. I also know of a journalism wiki, but I’m not sure if it’s subjects only or if it involves people too.

  6. Amber says:

    If Crecente were serious at all about bringing more diversity to Kotaku, he would back it up with word and deed, instead of thinly veiled insults.

    A challenge for Brian: If you’re serious about supporting gender diversity at Kotaku, then step up and do it. Post a gender-friendly editorial policy for all to see (I’m sure there are plenty of Iris Networkers who would be willing to help develop one), and say goodbye to writers who aren’t on board with it. Enforce a diversity-friendly ToS for commenters, and warn/kick violators. Start embracing non-white-male gamers as part of the community, and stop condescending to them.

    Until then, it’s all just words. And not very good words at that.

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  8. Katie says:

    Very cool, though I’m disappointed “Gamer Majority” didn’t make it as the final name.

    I’m not sure how something like “The Iris Network” is going to become the mainstream thing you hope it’ll be. :-\

    I mean, even “Girl Wonder” is, well, I mean, it’s easy to remember and catchy because it rides on the catchiness & embeddedness in memory of many people that “Boy Wonder” has.

    Okay, okay, “Daily Kos” caught on with a weird name, but even it’s got a name that, in English, just rolls off the tongue in a funnier, more lighthearted way.

    I’m just not so sure about the name it’s got jiving with the dream of it being anything but another small, obscure corner of the gaming community internet. :-(

  9. Katie says:

    I mean, what kind of nicknames can you make out of a key word (the only one in it really being “Iris,” since “The” & “Network” are kind of, well, descriptive)? That’s one way to make a strange name become mainstream.

  10. Katie says:

    …gender-friendly editorial policy…

    …say goodbye to writers who aren’t on board with it. Enforce a diversity-friendly ToS for commenters, and warn/kick violators. Start embracing non-white-male gamers as part of the community, and stop condescending to them.

    Until then, it’s all just words. And not very good words at that.

    Hear, hear. Of course he’s under no obligation simply as a person on the internet to execute all of these suggestions; he’ll simply have no credibility, ever, as a nonmale-friendly site admin if he doesn’t.

  11. S. Labyrinth says:

    Katie -

    The Iris Network is in Beyond Good & Evil (PS2/Xbox/GC game). It’s the resistance movement the main character (strong woman!) becomes a part of to fight the corrupt majority. I’m taking a wild guess in saying that this is where the name comes from.

  12. tekanji says:

    Katie said:

    I’m just not so sure about the name it’s got jiving with the dream of it being anything but another small, obscure corner of the gaming community internet. :-(

    From the Site History page:

    As S. Labyrinth pointed out, the name was used as homage to a cult hit video game called Beyond Good and Evil. It has pretty good name recognition for video gamers, but I do agree that it doesn’t have the same resonance with other kinds of gamers. I discussed it with Revena beforehand, and she said that since it read as “neutral” to her, and neither of us could think of a good name that would resonate with both sets of gamers, that The IRIS Network would do. Perhaps it was the wrong choice, but it’s already been made. And, really, a name won’t make or break our site; it’s all about how we market it and what efforts we make to bring it to the mainstream.

    In terms of nicknames, we use TIN. I sometimes call it Iris as well.

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  14. Faith says:

    I love that women gamers are active in the gaming industry and taking the time to create dedicated sites where we can be free from the haters. I still feel that all gamers of all sexes, races and sexuality should be able to read and post on any site without dealing with nasty comments from others.

    I have never been a fan of Brian Crecente and hate the fact that I even worked for him on another gaming site. Thank god I was smart enough to stick with Destructoid and drop him and his site.

    I understand why most women shy away from Kotaku. They have always been a hater blog and the only writer I like on that site is Flynn.

    I may not always agree with the views on your blog, Tekanji, but I do agree everyone needs a place they can always feel safe.

  15. tekanji says:

    Faith said:

    I still feel that all gamers of all sexes, races and sexuality should be able to read and post on any site without dealing with nasty comments from others.

    I agree 100% and that’s one thing that I hope TIN will help to accomplish. The point of our site isn’t to be separatist, but rather to provide a platform for women to get our opinions heard and, if at all possible, I would like the forums to become a role model for how discussion can still be productive even with strict guidelines in place. Personally, I think discussion is much more rich when all parties feel safe voicing their opinions.

    I understand why most women shy away from Kotaku. They have always been a hater blog and the only writer I like on that site is Flynn.

    Yeah, I have stayed away from Kotaku as much as possible, but I was digging through some of the archives for a post I have lined up and the stuff on there is truly reprehensible. I also had no idea exactly how vicious they were to you… like, I knew it was bad, but they really did single you out for some nasty abuse. But, of course, given the other material on the site, I’m not overly surprised that they have no problems harassing women.

    I may not always agree with the views on your blog, Tekanji, but I do agree everyone needs a place they can always feel safe.

    Well, if everyone agreed with all the views on my blog, then I’d be dictator of the world and everyone would be happy! BWAHAHAHAHAHHAAaa… 8D Seriously, though, I know we have our differences, and I know you once felt that I hated you and women like you, so you coming here and showing your support for this cause really means something to me.

    No one deserves to feel unsafe, and no one deserves to be personally attacked for their views. I know sometimes it’s a thin line, and so I do hope that if you ever feel that I cross those lines while engaging with your posts that you will come and tell me — either here or via e-mail.

    Thanks again for commenting, and please consider signing up for the boards if you have some free time to chat with other gamers. :)

  16. Mickle says:

    Okay, okay, “Daily Kos” caught on with a weird name, but even it’s got a name that, in English, just rolls off the tongue in a funnier, more lighthearted way.

    Only because people mispronounce it.

    And since I haven’t said this lately:

    tekanji – you rock and so does everyone else who worked and is working on this project.

    PS – I finally bought Beyond Good and Evil and will be playing it on the PS2 I’ve temporarily stolen from my brother as soon as I have some actual free time. ;)

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