I've just sent this to Machinima.com:


I'm writing to you today out of my disappointment with several of your directors under the "Machinima Respawn" channel, and whose collective behaviour has led me to unsubscribe from all of your services. I'm previously a fan of both the Machinima Realm channel and the original Illegal Danish series, but I feel I can no longer support an organisation that gives tacit support to obnoxious individuals that wrap messages of hate, intolerance and misogyny under the banner of games journalism.

Recently one of your directors (WoodysGamerTag) posted a video that included the phrase that "women were built for rape" (Painkiller Already Ep 80, 51:30). Considering that a proportion of his subscriber base is made of impressionable teens, sending those kinds of messages is everything from grossly irresponsible to outright reprehensible. Even though the video is "age rated" it's still readily accessible to anyone with a registered Youtube account, something most of his subscribers will have.

That said, it's almost unfair to single out WoodysGamerTag as an individual - several other directors under the Machinima Respawn banner encourage such comments, either through their explicit approval of misogyny and discrimination, or their implicit approval of intolerance and hate through the comments they embrace from fans. The only person to stand against it is Gavin "Miracle Of Sound", whose video response (RAPE, WOODY AND YOUTUBE 'ROLE MODELS') sums up the opinions of many observers.

I've always seen Machinima.com as one of the champions for what can be great about video gaming and gamer culture, but now that viewpoint has been tarnished by the directors that work for and represent you. Video gaming culture has always been about sharing awesome experiences. It's not mattered who you are or what company you keep, just that you're keen to pick up the d-pad and get stuck in. I'm disappointed to see gamer culture tainted by other messages, and I'm even more disappointed to see them echoed by your advocates.

We have a hard enough time getting our culture accepted by mainstream media and society. We've often been seen as outsiders because of our interests and passions. Yet if we invite them to join us and share the culture we've built, this is what they'll see. It won't be the games and how we feel about them. It won't be the fun we've had with our clan or guild, the teams we've defeated or the raids we've downed. Instead it'll be about the language we use and the subtext it shares.

There are better ways for us to share how we feel about games, gamers and gamer culture. There are more intelligent and engaging discussions to be had on the games we play. There are more entertaining ways to share those messages that still appeal to the demographics you want to reach. None of these require or make excuses for the messages some of your directors are sharing in their videos. "Jokes" are no excuse. "Just a word" is no excuse. "Being stupid" is no excuse.

As a firm that's held as an ambassador for gaming, I expect better from Machinima.com. As it stands now you do gaming a disservice.


Gareth Harmer
Founder, Manaobscura.com´╗┐
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