Sorry for the long wait. I’ll return to the gender discussion next week. GamerGate is a touchy subject, and it took me awhile to (try to) understand everything. It’s been depressing reading through everything that I’ve avoided during the height of the controversy.
In the previous article, I centered my discussion about Anita Sarkeesian and her general discourse about the female presence in video gaming. There’s still much more to be said. In response to my statement in the previous article where I claimed “Anita wasn’t the right person” and that “it was an opportunity squandered upon her”, some have requested I recommend a new advocate or campaigner for pro-female gaming rights(if that’s what you call it).
Felicia Day comes to mind.
You might know Day from web-series The Guild and Dragon Age: Redemption, or have come across some of her various works; either in minor roles on TV series or video games. Her fanbase grew exponentially as The Guild got wildly popular on YouTube almost half a decade ago. I suppose it’s something you call a B-rate series; it’s not superb in any way whatsoever, but the quirky nature and over-the-top representation of the video game culture is something I appreciated. It was also through The Guild that I got to know of Day. She actually plays video games instead of just babbling on from the sidelines like a know-all bystander. She’s our prime choice, right?
Well, she got caught in the GamerGate controversy as well.
A while back, her blog post and interview caught the attention and disappointment of many.
A line, crossed.
But reading through her blog post reminded me a little of what I wrote a few years ago. That’s a long time back, where I took a temporary retreat from MOBAs. I had my own reasons for doing so, and whether it’s justifiable is anyone’s guess. There’s arrogance and contempt in those words that should be take note of should you choose to read through these two posts. Back then I was really bothered about the incredibly vocal minority of the gaming community that is responsible for the vitriol. And though I still despise inconsiderate behavior as much as I did, I just want to point out that the anger was misused. Avoidance and pretension was never a solution to the problems, and did absolutely nothing to improve the situation.
Pretending to take the high road can help you feel better – it’s not your fault, right? The more you move away from the uneducated, boorish plebeians, the better your experience will be. It’s just a matter of shutting it all out, because you’re better than that. Those people are not worth your time, right? Better to shove them all in a box, labeled “Misogynists”.
You adopt a “Us-vs-Them” mentality, and this is where it all starts.
The whole GamerGate controversy is fueled by raw emotion and a dash of logic. There is sense behind both sides of the argument, though the argumentation only served to draw a larger wedge between the multiple theaters of war. The entire event has thankfully waned during the writing of this article, and let it be known that I’m in approval of journalists being called out for their bullshit, but never for the treatment they receive.
It all seems a little silly, in the end.
Because everyone involved in the debacle was brought into it by the one thing they love dearly – Video Games.
It’s like the adult re-enactment of cajoling your kids and your neighbor’s kids to play together and share their toys.
The entire GamerGate debacle is incredibly, and unnecessarily complex. It’s all become very ugly, and there’s a lot of hostility going around, and it’s been piling up since the last few months. But like I’ve said before, the entire controversy has brought important issues to light – be it journalism in ethics, the gamer identity or misogyny and sexism, albeit in a terrible fashion.
It started as a colossal mess, and still is.
And as far as it had gone, it has been loud and obnoxious whilst not being entirely sure of what it wants.
But for the press and corruption – they deserved the sacking, but not the harassment. As a journalist, your role in the Video Game industry is to provide fair analysis and getting information out to the consumer. Implicit contempt has no place here. If you lose sight of that goal and sway from your position, may god save your soul. And as it turns out, the claim that Zoe Quinn had a ‘sex-for-reviews’ thing – was unfounded.
Still didn’t stop things from imploding into a giant ball of hate as game lovers jumped on each other, though.
So… who’s flag do we fly again?
The female presence in gaming is on an undeniable rise. There’s been calls to “make sure geek culture is safe for women”, and it seems there’s a need for female role models to suit their needs.I can’t tell you who to ‘follow’, because honestly – it’s the first time anyone of us has seen this phenomenon. And probably because it’s always been a “boy thing”, I’ve never actually needed a metaphorical pillar and safe zone to reside in.
I think it’s incredibly cheesy for me to say it, especially in such a context; but all true love needs is a sincere heart.
Girls have it tough, and thankfully it’s been a tad easier these days. To talk about gender issues in complete seclusion from societal issues is delusional, and to believe that they are unrelated, worse. Video gaming has a much more social aspect than some people give it credit for.
Societal values have undoubtedly affected the gender disproportion in many aspects of life, and will be continued in the next article.
There’s also the issue that I’ve written something similar to Day’s “I Cross The Street To Avoid People Who Play Videogames” article, but I’ve escaped criticism due to unpopularity. I was a fool to believe that any prose of that sort would be constructive, and a hypocrite to think I was any better than my comrades and fellow friends.
I will not take down these articles, and they serve as a reminder that I am not beyond introspection.
Together with next week’s article, I will put together a ethics and standard policies draft. I apologise if this article wasn’t as well-articulated as I wished it had been; after a year of writing mainly Java and Ruby, it’ll take awhile to get the gears and words flowing again.
See you soon.