Hey, Gamers – ‘Amazon-Bombing’ Probably Isn’t the Best Way to Voice Your FrustrationsBy Justin Massoud
When author and psychiatrist Carole Lieberman told Fox News that playing out sexual situations in video games could lead to an increase in violent sexual acts such as rape carried out in the real world, gamers understandably freaked.
Like an overprotective parent guarding their doe-eyed offspring (even if he or she does have a slingshot tucked away in their back pocket), the reaction to Lieberman’s claim that playing a hyper-violent game like “Bulletstorm”- the focus of the original article – might encourage players to rape was intense. And not in an “I’m writing a strongly-worded letter to her!” way. No – some people decided bombing her books’ Amazon.com listings with unflattering fake reviews would teach her a lesson: don’t mess with video games, lady!
Instead, it reinforces one of the worst gamer stereotypes: that we’re knee-jerk reactionaries who lack the intelligence (or grace) to argue reasonably and instead get personal.
Now, some video game sites got it right. RockPaperShotgun posted some great insight (and actual reporting) on what was humorously dubbed “Bulletstormgate.” The fact is, Lieberman’s claims are baseless. Nothing really supports them. Gamers win, right?
Sure, the folks who posted spurious, inflammatory remarks about Lieberman’s books (or emailed her with video game-themed threats) are in a way fighting fire with fire; the author had essentially done the same on a much grander, more serious scale. That doesn’t make it right – or effective.
Digging out the truth is effective. Reaching out to the source of a controversial statement to verify they weren’t misrepresented or taken out of context is effective. Countering assumptions with facts is effective. Angrily writing fake reviews as some sort of payback? Not effective. (Reddit via Forbes)