Extending this until Monday
July 07, 2016
BENEFITING: AUTISTIC SELF ADVOCACY NETWORK
EVENT DATE: Jul 11, 2016
About 2 years ago Gamastura published an article making a claim that gamers are over, that "Gamers Are Dead". The author then proceeds to in thinly veiled terms describe what can easily be interpreted as autistic males (or females) that love video games. Many other websites that were suppose to speak for the video game community followed suit.
The author failed to make the case that people like me or Satoshi Tajiri, the creator of Pokemon, aren't worth caring about. That our opinions are worthless, that we're not a worthy audience, that people who love video games aren't a worthy audience for video game companies, that Minecraft (aka Autism: The Game), created by Markus Persson, has an audience that's not worth anyone's time. The author fails to make a case for this cause no case can be made. It's all based in self interest and unethical practices and is part of a larger problem called unethical journalism (which has spiraled out of control). There's no way to know for sure what the author's opinions on autistic people are though but that's besides the point.
There's been a major push for the discussion about autism to be held by people who aren't autistic. To view it as a disease. To profit off of raising awareness of it. AutismSpeaks is the biggest example of this. The "negative images of autism that Autism Speaks uses in their videos undermines the efforts of the autistic community to gain acceptance and integration of autistic people into a society that poorly understands our differences." They claim to speak for autistic people when in reality they're speaking over autistic people and thanks to the media ties Autism Speaks founder, Bob Wright, has they're guaranteed to dominate the conversation when it comes discussions of autism. Their message is clear. Autistic people shouldn't be part of the conversation. Just like the author of the "Gamers are Dead" article this is all based out of self interest and unethical practices.
In the end there's a common problem here. Large vocal majorities' voices were and are being ignored because there's money to be made. In the case of gamers I saw a powerful response to this. It dominated the media landscape for a time. I truly believe that part of this powerful response was thanks to the power of autism. Dedicated autistic gamers who spent countless hours digging for leads on exposing corruption within video game journalism and mainstream journalism deserve recognition for their hard obsessive work. Autism deserves recognition for being a force of good within people's lives instead of being viewed as a demon that steals children away.
Basically Autistic people deserve a voice and thanks to the events of the last 2 years after that "Gamers Are Dead" article was published I gained a voice and learned to not be afraid of speaking up. I know many autistics have as well. I'd like to see the gaming community give back to autism which is why I'm doing a fundraiser for The Autistic Self Advocacy Network. Unlike Autism Speaks they're run by and for Autistic people. "Nothing About Us, Without Us!" is a sentiment I think gamers could adopt too.
So if you have any money left over please consider helping your fellow gamers with the tism out by giving us a voice.