66 thoughts on “Joystick Unconfined

    1. Rob_G

      While I understand that you are often very pass-remarkable about personal appearance, etc. of people whose political views you don’t like, I don’t know why are are having a go at some young lads playing computer games; I can’t imagine what they might have done to you.

          1. Starina


            No, in all seriousness, though, I poke fun at them because my personal experience has taught me that a room of enthusiastic gamers will more likely than not have a certain pungent smell. I’m glad they’re having fun, but I do hope they grow up to be well-groomed and respectful to their fellow lady gamers.

          2. millie st murderlark

            Rob, with respect, you know that smell.

            We all do. Teenagers after a particularly rousing PE sesh. Or after a particularly rousing game of Super Meat Boy.

            Gnarly, I believe they call that smell.

          3. Rob_G

            Ah, it was their attitudes to women, rather than their personal hygiene, you were making unfounded assumptions on? WEll, that’s fine, then…

    1. rotide

      Would you like to highlight the inquality on show here for the class?

      It’s not like there’s a gender test to enter.

        1. rotide

          I’m sorry what?

          Apart from the fact that the term ‘lads’ is basically gender neutral in this country, how does me referring to the ‘lads’ highlight inequality?

          Does saying COYBIG mean that any women playing football are burned at the stake at witches?

          There may have been a dedent conversation about why the gaming world consistantly attracts a male demographic to be had here but you had to go full broadsheet. feck off back to twitter with your identity boo boos

        2. Starina

          I call my female friends “lads” too…as in “lads, anyone up for a pint this evening?” in practice it’s kind of gender-neutral.

          1. Nigel

            Well, yes, outrageous things often generate outrage. Lack of outrage at outrageous things is usually a very bad bad sign.

          2. rotide

            Point being that there was more than enough people outraged by it to show it wasn’t a one way street.

          3. Nigel

            ‘One way street?’ I don’t understand. Are you implying an equivalence between sending rape threats and doxxing and being outraged by said behaviour? That can’t be right. The only real question about it is whether gamer culture has significantly changed since then. Every now and then I see some stupid nasty controversy pop up that suggests otherwise.

          4. Rob_G

            @ Nigel – are you holding every individual video gamer responsible for the actions of a small number of their community?

            If someone were to do similar, but instead of with ‘gamers’, with ‘Travellers’, or ‘Muslims’, or ‘blacks’, I imagine that you would be against tarring everyone with the one brush.

          5. Starina

            rob_g, you can’t draw comparisons between somebody’s hobbies and somebody’s unremovable ethnicity.

          6. Rob_G

            Well, ethnicity is just another social construct, buy anyways…

            … my point is, it seems a bit unfair to blame the vast majority of gamers for the actions of a small number of their cadre, any more than you could hold all plumbers responsible if some rogue plumber killed someone whatever.

          7. Nigel

            Meh. I’m not tarring anyone with anything, except to note that Gamergate happened, it was incredibly hostile to women, and judging by these photos, female participation is low, which is not a great indicator of positive change. If you can’t deal with that, at least spare me the whataboutery. For what it’s worth i also would like to see Muslim (bit vague, they’re all over the world with different levels of traditionalism), black (even vaguer, there is no singular ‘black culture’) and Traveller cultures become less miogynistic also.

          8. Listrade

            @Nigel. ” and judging by these photos, female participation is low, which is not a great indicator of positive change.”

            That may be the problem in these comments, we’re judging by pictures. I was there and am a pretty regular attendee of a few cons here in Ireland, they are always diverse. I’ll admit, it wasn’t 50/50, but it wasn’t like portrayed in the pictures either. You aren’t seeing the stall areas, just the gaming areas.

            My son loves conventions, loves the cosplay (I just wish my craft skills matched his ambitions), but each year the cons have gotten more diverse and are also friendly places with people with similar interests geeking out and spending way too much on collectibles.

            I’m on your side with regards to Gamergate, it was horrendous, but I remember the cons (not so much here) before GG and they were exactly how the picture looks and they were far more hostile places and rife with groping and creeps (and creep photography). I don’t see that anymore, I’ve just seen a year on year increase in diversity and friendliness.

            Caveat is I’m going with an 8 year old, so we’re not there later on, but I can only give you what I saw in the few hours I was there and it isn’t what the pictures show. It might have been different if he’d have tried to do any of the Fortnite dances he was threatening to break into.

          9. millie st murderlark

            Entirely unrelated, but nice to see you back posting Listrade. Your voice of reason has been greatly missed.

          10. Starina

            Listrade, that’s great to hear. have you taken your son to Token yet? Kids are allowed in until 4pm.

          11. Listrade

            Not yet, had heard of the place but didn’t know kids were welcomed. It’ll be on the cards this weekend.

          12. Nigel

            @Listrade – i did mean to put in a big caveat somewhere about how these pictures represent one data point at best and not something to draw conclusions from, and I should have, but i didn’t, that’s on me.

            Cons in general have come on in leaps and bounds with safety guidelines and strictly enforced codes of conduct and general outreach. It’s great to hear you’ve seen so much improvement for yourself. Cons are awesome, this looks like lots of fun for all involved and I hope they had a great time and, yes, comments about mother’s basements and relative attractiveness are mean and unfair and out of bounds.

            Teenage BO is a bit harder to ignore, but God love ’em they can’t help it, it’s strong enough to overcome regular showering and strong deodorant, and everyone who’s been a teenage boy can relate.

          13. rotide

            With regards to female participation, it’s ALWAYS going to be lower than 50/50 for the same reason that sports participation isn’t a 50/50 split.

            Less women like games than men and specifically less women like competitive games than men. it’s obviously not a hard and fast rule, but in general thats where it is.

          14. Listrade

            I’d disagree because it is bloody close to 50/50 and that’s for many cons like ComicCon too. But games aren’t just competitive. Granted some of the competitive games may not have a 50/50 split, but damned if Minecraft hasn’t created a whole generation of women gamers and even without that games like Undertale have been popular (as with a lot of RPGs).

            The cons aren’t just hardcore eSports or competitive games, it’s those who’ve only seen YouTubers playing Fortnite, Pokémon fans, etc. The success of the Switch has brought way more into the family too.

            The rate of success of these cons (being safe and being friendly) will bring more and more to it. It will be 50/50 and not too far away.

            And even my hamfisted costume efforts still get appreciated.

          15. Clampers Outside!

            Aye, the widening of game types is working for increasing numbers of female gamers.

            The traditional blokey games, like FPS’s, are still blokey dominated though.

          16. Nigel

            What would that prove about the reasons for low female participation in those sports? After all, that’s where the peculiar and loaded assumption lies.

    1. Dub Spot

      I think they have that covered themselves; although the turned-backwards baseball cap quotient could be higher.

  1. Holden MaGroin

    Stop saying “Mom”.

    Ah sure lads leave them off. They’re not hurting anyone except computer generated enemies.
    Is it their fault there’s not many girls there?

  2. rotide

    Remember when we had a grand old time commenting on certain females in the ‘going to electric picnic’ post and it was a grand old laugh and completely unmoderated?

    Yeh, I don’t either.

    1. Nigel

      Yeah. Weren’t the comments literally about a million times worse and directed at teenage girls? Or was that a different electric picnic post I’m thinking of?

      1. rotide

        I wouldn’t say they were a million times worse. Certainly not than the ones directed at teenage boys here.

          1. rotide

            The bad ones must have been deleted before i saw them but in terms of the cliche-o-meter ‘would ye let yer daughter out in that’ and ‘Sure isn’t it grand that they are out of mom’s basement, the bang of bo’ are pretty similar.

          2. Nigel

            I remember a depressing amount of commentary about their weight and their dress. Don’t get me wrong, people make those sorts of comments about boys too, particularly boys associated with anything vaguely ‘nerdy,’ but I haven’t seen any here so far. Also, the sheer volume and viciousness was worse. It was like a Journal.ie influx.

  3. Clampers Outside !

    Started with a Commodore 64, Spectrum 48k …both only ever used for gaming, unfortunately. Moved to consoles, starting with the 8-bit Sega Megadrive, got a booster for it to make it 16-bit, then Super Nintendo (hated it), then PS1, PS2, PS3, PS4… and now with VR headset :)

    I’d still feel on “gaming” terms somewhat out of my league in that room :)

    Fair play to them! Hope they have a crackin’ time!

    1. pedeyw

      The Megadrive was only ever 16 bit. The Master System was Sega’s 8 bit NES rival. You may be thinking of the 32x add on for the Megadrive which supposedly doubled its power.

    2. Scundered

      I remember having an Atari console/ games brochure but couldn’t afford one, life would have been complete with one of those and a bmx.

      1. Clampers Outside !

        I played a friends’ machine ..and I did so with green eyes :)

        We sold the Commodore 64 to Michael D ! He arrived with the kids to the door after an ad in the Galway Advertiser :)

      1. Neilo

        *packs bowl of pipe, tamps payload and exudes a sibilant sigh, freighted with longing* Starina, I know you’d drown me in the jacks after half an hour of lukewarm Sims action but our story would be a violently abridged Surprised By Joy.

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