I have to admit, today’s discussion in class was really what I wanted and needed. Recently one of my greatest issues has been that we find a million and one different things that are wrong with the way we perceive and respond to culture and identity. Yet, when we reflect upon the possibilities for a better future our solutions to problems have been as large as “it will be fixed in a post-gender world” or it would be different if a, b, or c key attributes of western society and upbringing were also different. It leaves me feeling a little forlorn and certainly more than a little hopeless. (I get the same sense from any climate change class I’ve ever taken, but that’s a different / the same story).
What I loved about today was the ability to open the discussion to reasonable and doable tactics to begin striving for change. Together and alone, there are so many options. And absolutely none of them should be do nothing. I’m speaking mostly to cyber-bullying and “fag discourse” right now. Though I believe that more research could also end a lot of the issues we’ve read on about blaming videogames for violence and aggression when that may not be the case most of the time.
The internet is this vast practically living thing (ala the map for you all). It seems like such an impossible task to make it a safe space for playing, sharing, whatever you use it for. When you take away the accountability for the statements you make, when you are given anonymity that can mask the hurtful things you say, that’s a kind of power that people can and do take advantage of. It may be an oversimplification, but the fact of the matter is we are dealing with real human beings.
We can’t be everywhere in the internet at one point in time moderating and mediating. But! But we can troll trolls as Phillips proposed. We can choose not to be a bystander. And we can hold those we interact with accountable for what they say and do. We can work towards reminding one another that “it isn’t a joke if someone gets hurt” and that although we may be communicating through these other mediums, we are talking to and working with other people. We can hold each other accountable. Whether that be towards offensive and hurtful behavior or to game developers who create more problems than solutions. This doesn’t have to be an uproarious call to action that spans the internet from one tube to another (though that would be nice). Just a little more awareness from all of us. From class, we proposed ways to fix the problems. I think that might be the most difficult step. Go ahead and check that off our list. Hell yeah.
P.S. Someone beat us to Slenderwoman.