Having a difficult time understanding the ‘Gamergate’ situation? So was I.
Apparently, I have been living under a rock (mostly being outside/not on the internet) – for which I will not apologize.
Now – ON! TO GAMERGATE!
From what I have gathered, it all started when a female indie game developer and her boyfriend split up. He then decided to write a blog that supposedly named names of the men she cheated on him with. These supposed trysts included game reviewers and perhaps even her boss. This was meant to point fingers at the fact that she (allegedly) did this in order to gain better reviews for her text-based (emo) game, Depression Quest (no, I’m not kidding). Sorry, but any game that ends with a link to the Suicide Prevention Hotline is a strange emo version of entertainment and begs for attention at best. Sadly, depression and suicide are quite common in a world so jacked up as this one (see above/below).
Ok. At this point I can understand the supposed conflict of interests. A person is using sexual advances in order to… advance. Well, so does porn and we all know the internet was made for that (see joke here). What is the real issue? It is the fact that this apparent spark has ignited a powder keg of misogynistic outrage that is overflowing around the internet.
What started as some blip on the indie-game radar (that many of us never would have known about otherwise) has now started to increase into some sort of blob of misplaced chauvinistic rage. These apparent ‘men/little boys’ have now resorted to threatening numerous women that are speaking out about the issues of women in gaming. It has gotten rather ugly with threats and harassment following many of them – including Felicia Day. Again, I must live under a rock (that doesn’t include watching TV more than 7 hours a week (Sunday football)… I had no idea who Felicia Day was until I saw a story about her getting harassed by internet scumbags. She is on a show called Supernatural (of which I have heard of thanks to Netflix and a friend of mine that apparently worships the show – you know who you are.)
This isn’t some issue that is going to go away at this point – nor should it. It is supposedly about the ‘ethics’ of gaming journalism which in and of itself is hilarious (consider your current position on the internet, reading my views – it is all biased and willing to sell out in most cases). In case you haven’t noticed, we are now living in a society that demands the TMZ ‘style’ of breaking news that we hope will pique our interest until the next Gangnam Style video surfaces. (Oh, humanity… we’re screwed).
This is showing the ugly face of misogynistic gamers and game developers out there. I will admit that when I was 13 I certainly tried to find a code for Tomb Raider… don’t play coy – you know what ‘code’ I’m talking about – and if you are 27-35 you probably did too! The gaming industry has been dominated for decades by men and typically when those men decide to plaster hugely busty (and always almost naked) women into their games as selling points it isn’t hard to see the issue.
They are digital pimps and their artistic creations are their digital prostitutes. This isn’t something new to the world of entertainment. Whether it is movies or music it is always about selling sex for the most part. It just so happens that right now in a multi-billion dollar industry they are selling it in droves. It would be one thing if scantly clad characters (not just women) were included for obvious ‘situational’ reasons. However, the fact that women are being portrayed nearly naked or with severely exaggerated features in situations that really don’t demand that is a bit insulting to females and gamers as a whole. One example is a screenshot from the new Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (which I am admittedly excited for – because of the story, not the example below).
I think this speaks volumes about what feminists everywhere are trying to say. Keep in mind that being a feminist doesn’t mean feminazi-women - it refers to men and women that want to see the world view of women shift from where it has been. Women are active and valuable members of society and we should all do our part to make sure that we are the voices of reason in the midst of a vocal minority that is screaming out of fear of having their digital cleavage taken away.
What is the best part about Gamergate? The fact that these noisy little hate-mongering misogynistic pukes are showing how small they really are.
What is the best thing to do in this situation? Educate yourself, voice your views of reason to developers (believe it or not they do listen) and let the cry-babies cry themselves to sleep… in their basement, streaming internet porn – alone.