[#SavePoint] Dear Community,

Dear Community,

We regret to inform everyone that the panel, “#SavePoint: A Discussion on the Gaming Community”, has been cancelled by SXSW effective immediately. The event page has been removed, and our access to the session production guide has been revoked. This comes as a shock to us, but we weren’t unprepared. We’ve spoken with representatives from SXSW Gaming and they explained to us their reasoning behind the decision.

A lot has happened since we submitted the panel, and we’ve been overwhelmed with both support and disdain. However, SXSW’s team has had to bear the brunt of the backlash. They received countless emails, phone calls, tweets, and messages across all social media both praising and condemning them for #SavePoint and the Level Up panel organized by Randi Harper. SXSW explained to us that they are a very neutral organization and wanted to provide a platform for both sides to speak on and have their voices heard. “We wanted to do something interesting that hadn’t really been done before” one SXSW official said in our phone conversation earlier today. SXSW feels that both the organization and its staff have been under siege from all sides and from all parties since they announced the panels early this month. They want to encourage open discussions, but they don’t want to fuel a vicious online war between two sides who are extremely opposed to one another. We’re all very passionate about this medium and sometimes we let that passion get the best of us – and that’s on both sides of the table. This entire thing grew out of control very quickly and was more intense than anything that they have had to deal with – and they hosted a panel on Snowden just a few years prior. Once the SXSW director got involved it was a done deal. The SXSW Interactive and their Gaming teams came together and made the decision to cancel both panels.

While this is disheartening news there is a silver lining. The Open Gaming Society believes in open discussions and would like to announce our “Plan B.” We formed this plan almost immediately after we submitted the panel to SXSW. Though SXSW has cancelled the panel, we still plan to have a panel regardless. This has been a backup plan from square one and now we are forced to act on it. We will organize, fund, and host the panel ourselves. We plan to do so around the same time as SXSW to allow for the largest possible audience.

We are more than happy to hear everyone’s thoughts and opinions on this idea. We will also be speaking on Honey Badger Radio [edit] tomorrow at 8PM Easter(7PM Central) to discuss this in further detail.

 

One final note to everyone, GamerGate, anti-GamerGate, and everything in-between: Don’t attack SXSW for this. They did what they felt was best for their team(s). They have a massive event to plan that literally encompasses all of downtown Austin and consists of 3 major festivals. The last thing they need is for two panels (on a major topic) to absorb all of their time and resources. I know all of you, on both sides, must be incredibly upset that this has happened, but take our honest advice; Step away from your computers/phones for a moment. Go outside and take a breather, play a video game that calms your nerves, pet your cat or dog, and spend some time thinking. Don’t let that anger and unrest plant itself in you – it will only ripen into hatred and lead you to say things you could someday regret. Let’s all be calm and civil about this. Don’t flood SXSW’s inbox with “Fuck you” emails. They have enough on their plate as it is.

We look forward to providing a platform for all gamers, regardless of political affiliation, to come and voice their opinions.

Thank you,

Perry Jones

Founder and President of The Open Gaming Society

[edit] The time of the honey badger stream was incorrect. It has been changed to reflect the proper time.

Written by Perry Jones

I'm the Founder of and Editor for the Open Gaming Society. I've played games since the age of 6 and hope to someday make a career of making them. I love this industry with all my heart and want to see it move on to a better place. You can almost always find me buried in some game whether it be The Witcher, GTA, League of Legends, or The Elder Scrolls - I'm always playing something.

This article has 12 comments

  1. Jake Was Here Reply

    All this proves is that anyone who can’t go to SXSW isn’t actually missing anything of value.

  2. TrivialGravitas Reply

    Please contact the FBI about this and have them investigate the threats.

  3. J. Carl Henderson Reply

    I’d like to add my voice to those calling for you to ask the FBI to investigate the threats received. I suspect that they are from the Social Justice Bullies that have been harassing Gamergate from the beginning, but if they are not—and someone from Gamergate made them—then they still need to be prosecuted.

  4. GG advocate Reply

    I too would like you to report the threats/trolling to the FBI. After being in the Gamergate movement for over a year now, I strongly suspect most of this harassment had nothing at all to do with us.

  5. Niklas Reply

    Have you contacted the police with this threats? This is something to be taken seriously! Threats and demands of censorship of any public forum is a threat against democracy it self.

  6. Hammer Reply

    Isn’t that what they’d call domestic terrorism?

    If you tried some like that in the UK you’d be arrested, why not in the US

  7. Chris Charabaruk Reply

    I think it’d be great if the funding would also cover Harper’s “Level Up” panel, as a demonstration of our belief in free speech. Of course it’d be up to Harper & co. to agree to still do their panel, but if the funds were there and the offer made, it would help demonstrate both that we truly mean that we support speech that we may disagree with, as well as our basic humanity — something our opponents love to deny.

  8. Profile photo of Kenny
    Kenny ReplyReport user

    You know what, I agree with Chris Charabaruk. As a gg’er from the UK, I’d happily offer a proverbial olive branch to the other side, and put their ideas to the test in the free marketplace of ideas.

  9. Tom Reply

    I am all for Freedom of Speech, but Harper can suck on a lemon. She isn’t interested in a debate or a conversation. She wants us to go away and would use any means necessary to achieve it.

  10. Jimbo Reply

    Funny you every time an incident like this pops up, anti-gg and their crony media are like “see, this proves how evil theses gargblegoobers are, and we proved it by quoting our friends and not providing any context such as who the threats were specifically aimed at, comments are closed so you can’t debunk our smears with actual facts”, whereas pro-gg are “Please have this investigated by law officials, we do not condone any type of harassment. We just want proper debate and equal representation”

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