Raw with Jay: Let's Ditch The Gatekeepers

Raw with Jay: Let's Ditch The Gatekeepers

Update: 2021-04-09
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Let's Ditch the Gatekeepers

Who cares what you're playing, as long as it's fun to play. I hate gatekeepers, and see the behaviour all over the place. So let's talk a little about gatekeeping, and why it's all nonsense.

Series Intro
This is The Waffling Taylors Raw with Jay, a series of shorter episodes of indefinite length. These episodes will cover shorter topics which don't really fit well within the scope of the show, or topics that I want to cover in my own way. That's not to say that we won't cover these topics in the main show, but I'd like to take a whack at them here, first.
I can't guarantee that all of these shorter episodes will be as deep or technical as this one. But I wanted to start big.
Anyway, let's get to it.

Gatekeeping
Have you ever been mid-conversation with someone about some new thing - a game, an album, a book, movie, whatever -and they turn to you and say:You're not a real fan unless you...
- A gatekeeperand they always emphasise the "real" bit, as if trying to disprove their point
If so, they're attempting to dismiss your new-found enthusiasm by claiming that you don't qualify as a "real" fan of whatever it is - hopefully you can hear the bunny quotes around "real" there. Well, guess what? You are a "real" whatever. But you don't need me to tell you that.
I remember being told by someone that I wasn't a "real" Star Wars fan because I hadn't read any of the (at the time) extended universe books - they've since been renamed "legends" or something. I don't know
I retorted with:Whatever dude. All I know is that I really like Empire, and the story of the original trilogy. While you're complaining about me not being a "real" fan, whatever that is, I'm going to head over here and eat some cookies. Best of luck to you
- JayMaybe I'm a little more level headed when it comes to gatekeepers, or maybe I was just really hungry for cookies. The real answer is lost to the ages.

Exclusionism
As a supportive community, somewhere along the way we've gotten lost.
I can remember a time when I was bullied at school for playing video games. I can also remember the gamers at the school banding together for support, and swapping tips and techniques for beating whatever boss we were stuck on. Over time it's become more acceptable to spend some of our free time at play in virtual worlds. But somewhere along the way, parts of the communities we've started have turned on us.You're not a real gamer unless you..."
- A gatekeeperI hate that phrase.
One of the ways that I deal with criticism (constructive or not) is to deconstruct what was said so that I can apply something from it. So let's do that.
First, this sentence is the opinion of the speaker. They are telling you that, in their opinion, they don't think that you are whatever whatever. Here's the great thing about opinions: we've all got one. And here's the bad thing about opinions: we've all got one.
There's a comment here about opinions being like butts: we've all got one, and they all stink from time to time.But I won't make it.
So what they are saying cannot ever be fact. Meaning that we've immediately debunked what they've said.
Next, what does "real" mean? I'll be that if you asked them, they wouldn't be able to tell you without talking about themselves. That should tell you everything you need to know.
I agree that gatekeeping is a form of bullying and exclusionism, and we need to stamp it out. I don't have any advice to give for dealing with this other than, "call them out and move on," which is way easier to say than to do.

Full Show Notes

A full transcript of this "raw with Jay" episode is available over in the full show notes - because there are loads of books you can read, and web resources.
What are your key techniques for dealing with gatekeepers? Is there such a thing as a "real" gamer? If so, what does a "real" gamer look like?

Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, leave a comment on the show notes or try our brand new contact page.

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Raw with Jay: Let's Ditch The Gatekeepers

Raw with Jay: Let's Ditch The Gatekeepers

The Waffling Taylors