narrative convenience is everything
And now, there’s shitload of articles on ”how gamers should be stopped” and how ”gamers as a identifying term is going to die” and ”how they (gaming journalists) are saving games and gaming from misogyny”, and if you ask me, these bunch of articles is pretty much insulting me, on INTELLECTUAL LEVEL.
I really don’t understand this. I mean, are you guys for real? Are you ”journalist” pieces of human waste aware that ”gamer” as a descriptive term is actually gender neutral? That ”gamer” nowadays includes men and women equally? That you are making super gross generalization of shiiiiitload of people that consume games and enjoy them? Are you fucking aware of that?
I’ve seen that one guy boasting on twitter how he’s putting end to misogyny and that ”gamers” should accept that women are people too or some shit? Like, good lord, you have these journalists on Kotaku, Polygon, etc. pretending to be like ”yeah look at us we are so socially advanced compared to these neckbeards fedora shits, we got our cock sucked by feminists so we are allowed to say what’s what and who’s who”, and then there’s part of Tumblr that’s also sucking on his e-peen because ”yeee damn right you tell those shitlords” while good majority of reblogs don’t even understand whats going on and have no connection to gaming scene whatsoever, but they reblog it. They reblog it because it mentioned them buzzwords.
What I find extremely funny is this people are latching on so called ”harassement” and ”sexism” between gamers and some shit, and tbh I do endorse calling out idiots and trolls. I do endorse alienating people who are toxic to the community and actually don’t belong there because they are hateful, sexist, etc…
But to go around and lump all of the gamers (I repeat, gamer today isn’t gender exclusive and it includes men, women, and everybody else who doesn’t fall into normative genders) to be this ‘vicious group of monsters who seek out to destroy women or some shit is wrong. It’s actually quite silly. Because these gamers you actually lumped together, do call out trolls and idiots in their rows. We do call them out. But no, we are all equally bad because we dared to question stuff around. But god forbid these journalists and dev to call out rotten links in their rows… oh wait, I forgot they also harass people who think differently and threat their co-workers with lay-offs if they dare pointing it out.
I wonder who’s closer to terrorism here? Bunch of people who criticize and widely discuss shit going on or people that are criticized who threat people around themselves for daring to point out bullshit in their rows? I mean, so much people speaking up against it have to use aliases because they fear for their personal life. That says something about it.
Did the title catch your attention? Good. It was meant to.
Before you run off, I’m going to let you know a secret:
I consider myself, in some respects, all of the above.
Don’t like that, other folks? Don’t worry. I’m still a gamer.
In 2008 I went to watch Obama speak in Ohio. I got the word out. I convinced many people, in a very conservative part of the country, that he would be a better choice for president. While I don’t agree with all his choices, I still believe I made the better choice given the options.
Gender Equality is a real issue, whether you believe it or not. Women do usually make less than men doing the same job. Harrassment for being different (race, sex, sexual preference, etc) are real and common everyday occurrences. Trayvon? Ferguson? Those things happened.
You see a woman being sexually harrassed by her boss? Call it out. Hell, I’ll hit the guy for you. You see some kid being bullied because he’s gay? Step up if you have the capacity/ability to defend him. I wouldn’t tolerate it either. Some kid getting called a “nigger” or a “faggot” for being different? You can stop it.
There is a time and a place for everything and video games are not it.
You’re hurting what you, and I, stand for by coming out in favor of the bullies. Anita is a bully. She doesn’t even play the games she talks about. You don’t have to believe me, proof is in the video that’s all over the net where she specifically says so.
The other person involved, who i don’t want to name, is also a bully. You can check my two other blog posts where I explain why, as well as many other sources outside… If you just TAKE A MOMENT and look for it.
I’ve been called misogynist, terrorist, “white cis male,” and told I have some “white privelage and entitlement.” Are you kidding me? Do you see the color of my skin? I’ve been stopped by the cops in Brooklyn more times than I can count just because I was “darker skinned” or “walking while tan.”
These issues are things that happen and they’re something that needs to be, and will be, dealt with as society evolves.
I don’t deserve to be shouted at and called a misogynist, terrorist, bully, women-hater, ableist, tea-partier, etc.. for having a differing view.
If that’s what being liberal or feminist is, I don’t want anything to do with it.
Blind followings are why I believe so many people are still conservative. I’m sorry to my conservative gamers, but this is my opinion.
In gaming.. it doesn’t matter.
If I got upset everytime I played a game or watched a movie where Arabs are the antagonists, I’d probably never play another FPS or watch another action movie. Most games with war in them usually have an arab/russian/german bad guy. Someone is always going to be offended by something.
To the feminists specifically.. please understand. I’m all for your cause.. I know there are injustices in the world, but you can’t follow these misguided people blindly. You’re hurting the cause more than you’re helping it. There are real things to be upset about. The fact that Mario saves a princess is REALLY not one of them. These “tropes” are nonsense and shouldn’t be endorsed as real issues. This detracts from, and distorts, what the real issues are.
Real Feminism is not what this nonsense going on today is.. When I think real feminism, I think of the women of the past who fought for women’s suffrage. Women who fought to tell people that they were just as good as men, or better, in lots of jobs/positions that they couldn’t get before. When I think of feminism, I think of this picture below.
It will be easy for you to dismiss me as just another “dumb misogynist,” but coming from someone who has stood with you/for you so many times before, this is a stupid fight. We grew up with fairytales where princesses were kidnapped and Prince Charming fought the evil dragon to save them. This isn’t some new thing that popped up with video games.
Most gamers grew up with Metroid. Samus is a revered character in the video game world.Lara Croft from Tomb Raider, Chell from Portal, Faith from Mirror’s Edge, Joanna from Perfect Dark, Jill from Resident Evil, Rayne from BloodRayne, Bayonetta.. The list goes one. Strong female characters that play a huge role in who we are as gamers.
If you don’t want to play a game with a male protagonist, there are many games that you can play with strong female characters. The list is only growing as more women join the game development scene.
I can, quite literally, say that gaming saved my life. To leave out specifics, when I was younger, I was in a “bad crowd.” I lived in a shitty part of Brooklyn. One of the parts that most people who go visit don’t dare go, “the Hood.” In my secret life I played games. I decided to stay home one night to play a MUD event called “QuestFest” where you quest for about a week on and off with a group to earn points and win a competition. I lied to my friends and told them I was sick. I dodged what, most likely, would have been a permanent arrest record and maybe even lengthy sentences like some of my friends who went out that night got, for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
When times were hard, I knew I could always go online and talk to my gamer friends. Even when it was depressing and shitty, they listened. Even if it was “Walk it off” or “That sucks man,” it was more than I was getting anywhere else. More times than not, it was always encouraging, always helpful, always some type of advice that helped along the way. Even to this day it happens.
They never excluded me because I had a different skin-tone, background, or political views. Believe it or not, most people I game with actually share my views. In every guild I’ve been in on WoW, every “Ventrilo group” or “teamspeak group” I’ve been in for other games, there were always females a part of them. If anything, they got more attention than the other guys. That’s what they were considered, just “one of the guys.”
If you play games, they can be an excellent place to voice your opinion and maybe even change minds. I’ve had plenty of political debates that evolved into much more. I actually convinced my Israeli friend who once said “We should just bomb them all [Palestinians] and wipe them off the planet” to see a different perspective and thank me for showing him the opposite side of the picture. I convinced my conservative friend, who was blatantly racist and hard-headed as can be, to see that there are injustices in the world. He didn’t go “full lib” but he actually did change his outlook on many things. Everytime he links me a video, denouncing and calling foul, on an atrocity or wrong-doing that, at one time, he would have laughed about, I know I changed his mind.
People can change. People are listening. I didn’t get them to change by shoving my views down their throat. I didn’t get them to listen to me by being an asshole about it. I talked. I listened. I explained my side.
For those two guys, i can probably count a dozen, hundred, thousand, or more that don’t care. They’ll never care, and that’s okay.
That’s the biggest thing that I wish to get across to you. It’s okay if someone doesn’t agree with you. We are all different, but we’re all gamers.
Some people will dislike me because I’m not white. Some people will dislike me because I don’t agree with Anita Sarkeesian. Some people will dislike me because I don’t like anime. (People are converting me to actually like some of it, it’s crazy what can happen if you open your mind and try new things) Some people will not like me because I am a man.
This is their decision.
When I’m playing Team Fortress 2 or Diablo III or CS:Go, no one can tell what race, gender, or age I am. No one can tell if I’m straight or gay.
Again.. in gaming, it doesn’t matter.
I’ll debate you on politics, I’ll debate you on global warming, I’ll debate you on most things, but I can’t debate you on whether or not you’re a gamer. If you play games, you’re a gamer.
Even if you want to “kill the word” or “change the word” you’re always going to be a gamer as long as you play games. Let’s stop the “bloodshed” and focus on the issues. I’ve noticed over the past few days that many people who are trying to remain civil are on my side of this argument. Some of them oppose my political views, but we’re in this together. In this campaign to smear the identity that is a “gamer” you’re only empowering us.
You can’t take my hobby. You can’t take my games. You can’t change who I am.
A few years back, I made a lot of forum posts that made people think of me as a horrible, manipulative person. Like, I was very honest about the fact that I intentionally wrote characters in a way that would make people grow attached to them, and acknowledged that one of the benefits of writing Elder Scrolls fanfiction is that it gave me an automatic, interested audience. I’ve always been very open about the fact that I consciously make decisions in a way that will maximize their impact.
I haven’t really changed much in that regard, though I think people have come to understand me better. They know that I’m actually very passionate about the Elder Scrolls series and game design in general, They understand that I break things down into formulas because I want anyone to be able to do them. Even when I do something outright evil it’s out of a love of my fans and ideals.
Can you imagine what would happen if I said “Elder Scrolls fans are trash, I just use them to get my name out there”, or “games are for little kids, but assholes on the internet will still read it if I write about game deisgn”? I mean, surely, nobody in their right mind would get into writing about something they aren’t passionate about, nor would they outright attack their core audi-
This whole GamerGate thing is amazing if you look into it. Like, I originally didn’t care that a game designer slept with a reviewer. Except, then she started accusing people of misogyny and anti-feminism if they brought it up. I originally didn’t care about the whole journalistic integrity aspect of this. Except, then more and more journalists and developers started attacking gamers as not caring about feminism, and acting as though gamers weren’t literally their audience.
Everyone implicated just keeps digging themselves deeper and deeper. You have a bunch of big-name gaming figures and journalists saying “let’s talk about the harassment of female gamers!”, and you have a whole bunch of gamers - and even feminists - saying “no, let’s talk about this whole journalism scandal you’re ignoring”. And then, you have a bunch of smaller or has-been gaming news outlets saying “Yes! Let’s talk about this journalism scandal”, while the more well-known journalists quickly change their tune to “yeah, maybe you’d talk about that… if you’re a fucking gamer!”
This started with one developer sleeping with a reviewer, and has descended into this frantic web of developers and journalists trying to talk about feminism instead instead of themselves. If you look at the #GamerGate tag on Twitter, people are trying to flood it with pictures of babies behind gates and talking about how childish gamers are for not wanting to talk about feminism. It’s reaching the point that some bigger names in feminism are even stepping in and saying “yeah, this is not okay. This is people using feminism as a coverup.”
The important thing to understand - especially if you are a feminist - is that the people implicated in this are gambling on feminism to be their salvation. They’re trying to make this a feminist issue, so that if you speak out against Zoe Quinn, or corrupt journalism, or the nepotism in the indie gaming scene, or even the openly unprofessional and slanderous conduct of their writers, you are also speaking out against feminism. They are not supporting you, they are desperately clinging to you - trying to make it so an attack on them is also an attack on feminism (I wrote about this exact concept two months ago!).
The best thing you can do is not let them make the tie. Say “yes, I am a feminist. Yes, let’s talk about the harassment of female gamers. But let’s do it after we talk about this separate issue with Zoe Quinn”. Don’t let them change the topic, don’t let them walk away from this, and don’t get discouraged when they call you a misogynist because you stood up for the very ideals feminism supposedly champions.
No matter what happens, 4chan, gamers, and The Fine Young Capitalists have already won this. There are enough of them to independently support gamer-positive news sites and feminist organizations and be their own niche, with the added benefit of being non-exclusionary to outsiders. Remember, 4chan doesn’t care if they’re called misogynists. If gamers as a demographic also reach the point where they don’t care, that will be a huge loss to feminism. If you make people choose between being feminists or gamers, all it’s going to do is reduce the number of people who identify as feminists - even if you reduce the number of gamers even more.
I guess what I’m saying is don’t be stupid. This is a beautiful real-world illustration of many of the things I write about. You can see defensive generalization, you can see information control, you can see helplessness fetishization, and you can even see offensive fear tactics happening right now. You have a very real villain, posing as a hero, applying these ideas to save their own hide.
Whether it ultimately works or fails, it will be a beautiful example of social manipulation.
EDIT: I feel I should add that we saw a gaming fracture like this once before. People who were dissatisfied with the casualization and entry barriers in the gaming industry broke off and formed “indie gaming” - a niche market of games by-and-for gamers. Now, you are seeing those same two elements re-emerge in indie gaming. The question is simply whether it will stamp them out or relive its genesis with a new split.