***Update 2 – 2015-12-23 – 18:23 CET***
I´m glad to inform you guys that our interview with Mark Kern has been accepted at N4G.com! Not only that, I´m not suspended anymore either =) So a big thank you to everyone who supported us in this (I thought that I would have to fight this battle alone). Anyhow, this is what Christopher (his a mod and community manager at N4G) wrote in his update on our Mark Kern interview yesterday:
After a very long discussion with @AndyFrogman, I have decided to unfail this submission under the fact that the policies as outlined previously were not specific enough as it applies to submissions involving developers. In order to account for this, this submission alone will be allowed.
Furthermore, the rules associated with our policy on GamerGate, SJW, and similar social issue items have been updated – http://n4g.com/user/blogpos… – in order to help remove the confusion from this happening in the future.
Thank you, Christopher”
So once again, thank you for making my Christmas a great one folks =) Cheers!
***Update 1 – 2015-12-21 – 19:21 CET***
You know what they say about Christmas miracles right? Well, it seems like a Christmas miracle is about to happen to us (hopefully at least). Sure, I´m still suspended on N4G for yet another three days (counting from today). However, I did receive a final comment from Christopher late last night (his a mod and community manager at N4G). So what did Christopher say to me then? Well, basically he informed me about N4G´s “basic” rules for what they accept as “news worthy” and Gaming related content. I know that´s not much to go on, but there was one particular part of Christopher´s response to me that stood out from the rest. And that would be this part:
“our rule is that this specific type of news that is not directly related to a developer or publisher is not allowed” – Christopher, Mod and community manager at N4G
You see. That part was Christopher´s strongest argument and reason behind why he pulled the plug on our Mark Kern interview (so I guess that the five-day suspension was just a disciplinary punishment on his behalf). Anyhow, do you remember that “Christmas miracle” that I mentioned earlier? Well, it seems like N4G might have to change their mind about our interview with Mark Kern. Because less than one hour ago Kern informed me that his working on a brand-new game IP:
“I’m building an entire IP. I don’t want to say too much now because the timing would be slow during Xmas. Will announce in late January. It’s part of my sci-fi universe called Crixa. We’ve been doing universe building and concept art since May.” – Mark Kern, founder of League for Gamers
In other words, there is now no reason (whatsoever) for N4G to pull the plug on our interview with Mark Kern yet again. However, it´s Christopher´s call to make that decision and not mine (his the community manager at N4G after all). So I have sent him an update about Mark Kern and his new IP. I hardly doubt that he will change his mind though, as it seems like his having something personal against League for Gamers and Mark Kern.
N4G.com “News for Gamers”?
I was quite surprised when I found out that N4G.com (a mod named Christopher) had pulled down our interview with Mark Kern (the founder of League for Gamers), and not only that. I also got suspended for five days. At first, I thought the mod was joking with me, because I thought that I hadn´t done anything wrong (I actually think that my interview with Kern is one of my best interviews to date). Apparently, I was incorrect, as I was given the red card by Christopher (mod and community manager at N4G). Funny enough though, N4G.com´s slogan is “News for Gamers“. And our interview with Mark Kern did indeed get approved by N4G´s community. However, one single mod´s opinions weights more than a whole community on N4G (in short, biased mods decide what´s news worth on the behalf of the community). I informed Kern about this yesterday, and he reacted the same way as I did when I first heard about my suspension on N4G.com (Mark thought that it was a really strange decision by N4G).
Nevertheless, since I´m not a trouble maker. I reached out to Christopher (the mod who suspended me) and asked for an explanation to his behavior towards me and our interview with Mark Kern. Well, this is what my and Christopher´s conversation looked like at N4G:
The N4G community Vs the N4G mods
In other words, N4G is just like GameFAQ, NeoGaf, Capcom-Unity and Shoryuken when it comes to political correctness. Simply put, you can´t mention, write or discuss topics such as “SJWs”, “censorship“, #GamerGate” or “PC Bro´s”. So no, I don´t buy into what Christopher told me. As it´s quite obvious that his decision was a biased one. And guess what? It´s not the first time that Mr. Christopher has killed off my (our) posts either. In fact, when I started to dig around a bit. I found out that he had actually pulled the plug on quite a few of our articles:
And it didn´t take me all that long to realize that there was a pattern to be found in all of this. It´s quite easy really, simply don´t write about (or mention) anything that´s related to censorship, #GamerGate, corruption, SJW or PC-Bros on N4G. Because if you do, then you might get suspended (or banned). I would also like to mention that there were other articles which got slayed by the N4G mods as well. Articles such as:
“SJW´s want´s to remove Tifa´s big breasts from Final Fantasy 7 Remake” (Ironically enough, this article became a big hit outside of N4G)
All of this actually made me think about that one time when the Reddit mods fought over the thread about Totalbiscuit (the news about his cancer) at r/games (they removed their Totalbiscuit thread back in October). Because I have seen similar mod battles taking place at N4G (one mod pulls the plug on a post, and another mod approves the post again), so it seems like there is an internal power struggle going on at N4G. Even so, I´m quite fed up with having to deal with censorship and suspensions simply because I tell it like it is. In a way, this is pretty much like that old joke from the British comedy series “Fawlty towers”. You know, that scene when John Cleese (Basil Fawlty) says “whatever you do don’t mention the war” (“trigger warning”, “safe places”, “I´m offended” “don´t tell the truth as it might upset someone” and so on).
There needs to be an alternative to N4G.com
However, I´m somewhat curious to know if we have to self-censor our future interviews with game developers and industry people, in-order to please N4G mods such as Christopher? Sure, I understand that N4G has their rules and all that. Even so, come on. I mean, it´s quite obvious that “some” of N4G´s mods are really biased (just check out blogjob´s “N4G CENSORING GAMES INDUSTRY CORRUPTION” and “N4G Mod Discusses Policies, Corruption And Guidelines” article). For example, let´s say that I get an exclusive interview with Hideo Kojima. And during my interview, Kojima starts talking about the DOAX3 backlashes, the censorship issues with “Street Fighter V” or that he thinks that the SJW movement has become a huge problem in the games industry. My point would be this, would I get suspended from N4G again if I posted my (our) interview with Kojima-San on N4G?
I bet that I would, unless I edited out everything that “might” upset “some” N4G mods. If you ask me, N4G just reshape the news to fit their own agenda. And if they find something which they don´t don´t like, then they make up an excuse to justify them taking actions against you (“lame”, “not Gaming related” does that familiar to you?). I also find it to be really strange that N4G didn´t think that our Interview with Mark Kern wasn´t worthy of a read for the Gaming community. As we spoke about a lot of Gaming-related things (censorship, League for Gamers, Kern´s time at Blizzard, games journalism and much more).
In fact, Mark Kern actually mailed me and thanked me for the interview that I did with him (he was really happy with the result). And quite a lot of people enjoyed the article as well. Nevertheless, none of that matters all that much since interview´s (and articles) of that kind is not welcome at N4G.com (that´s also why I think that there needs to be an alternative to N4G). And I wouldn´t be surprised if I (we) end up getting banned from N4G because I chose to speak up about all of this. If that turns out to be the case, I still don´t regret speaking up though. As I believe that staying silent is much worse than any potential punishment could ever be for speaking up (especially when it comes to matters such as this).
With that said, what do you guys and girls think about all of this? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comment section down below!
This is a personal opinion of the writer, and it doesn’t necessarily represent the other writers (nor The Gaming Ground´s) opinions.
I am signed up to LFG´s homepage.
Robin “V-Act” Ek
The Gaming Ground
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