Enough Of The Mainstream Media’s Lies About eSports

Chris Hills

No one listens to the mainstream media on much of anything any more. So why should we take what they have to say about eSports seriously?

2016 has been a devastating year for the mainstream media as a whole; both in print and broadcast journalism. In terms of political events, Brexit and Donald Trump’s election were two things that many mainstream media outlets did their upmost to prevent. In Trump’s case in particular, media outlets such as CNN must have been incredibly embittered to find out that the millions they poured into the Clinton campaign were all but wasted.

And whilst not everyone is happy about Brexit and Trump’s election, the media’s lies and agendas regarding both of them have exposed not only the fact that mainstream news outlets are outdated and dishonest, but also the reality that simply nobody trusts them any more – this would explain why so many people are turning to alternative news outlets online to get their fix.

Despite all the waves of backlash, the media have opted not to rethink the ways in which they report the news. Their attitude towards eSports is no exception to their disregard for the truth, as highlighted in the featured video. Various members of the mainstream media elite are almost proud to boast their lamentable ignorance towards eSports as an industry.

Video games as a media form suffer from relentless attacks and petty criticisms. Whether it was Jack Thompson during the 1990s and early 2000s claiming that Grand Theft Auto and Mortal Kombat were breeding a generation of children that are hungry to commit genocide (he also amusingly blamed Microsoft for the Virginia Tech shooting for supposedly being inspired by Counter-Strike), or Anita Sarkeesian complaining about none of the female characters in Overwatch being fat (I wish I was joking), video games and those who play them have taken a relentless beating over the years from various self-serving and dishonest people.

This has been exacerbated by controversies such as GamerGate, whereby many people (including a wealth of the mainstream media) attempted to paint the gaming community as a group of misogynists by lying and pushing very malicious agendas, painting Anita Sarkeesian in particular to be a victim, whilst giving maximum exposure to her various dishonest campaigns against the gaming industry and community.

Source: ESLGaming.com

For years the mainstream media at large have tried their best to ignore the very existence of eSports. However, the industry has grown so much in the last few years that it became too big for them to ignore. The BBC recently published an article online regarding the CS:GO pro scene. Was it about the huge growth of the game in the last two years, the huge viewerships or the game’s overall popularity? No. It was about the apparent woes of female CS:GO pros.

The article in question is this monstrosity. Which focuses in particular on two of the most well known female CS:GO professional players, Julia “juliano” Kiran and Stephanie “missharvey” Harvey; interviewing both of them in a video segment at the very top of the article. In it, both players talk about their careers to some extent before seemingly going on to complain about the issues that they face as a female in the professional gaming scene.

Source: HLTV
Source: HLTV

On the surface, the point of contention for both Harvey and Kiran appears to be the attitude that people have towards women in gaming. However many people had suspicions that soundbites of their raw interview had been pieced together to form a narrative and ultimately; misrepresent what they said. More evidence of this would be seen as Kiran said on Twitter after the article was published that what she said had been edited together to mean something that it didn’t originally.

Lying in a news piece is one thing, but using tactics of deceitful editing by taking soundbites of someone else’s words out of context to push an agenda is another, calling the BBC’s journalistic ethics into serious question… but is anyone really surprised at this point? Even after it being as clear as daylight that most people simply do NOT trust them, they continue to lie in order to portray a narrative (and a dishonest one at that).

Another of the BBC article’s main points was to highlight how seemingly bad women in gaming have it. They brought up a graph which compared the difference in overall earnings between men and women in gaming. The argument that the BBC have tried to use is so weak it borders on being offensive.

Source: BBC.co.uk

The article also failed to mention anywhere in their article that women can compete in any tournament they wish. There is no rule disallowing women from competing in whatever competition that they choose. When Juliano says that female only competitions reinforce gender divides, she is absolutely right. But the solution to any problem with female CS:GO professionals finding their feet is not to lie to and manipulate people into thinking that gaming as a profession, or even just as a hobby, is one big misogynistic sausage fest.

This lie has been peddled for years, and it’s about time that more people started calling it out for what it is.

How did the BBC think they could get away with this? So many people in the community, including many other professional players and desk talent know both Juliano and MissHarvey as well as the industry itself – just who did they think they were kidding here? It’s about time we stopped giving any credence to the utter crap that these mainstream media outlets peddle. These kinds of articles do nothing to help the eSports industry whatsoever. There is such a thing as bad publicity.

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