See this Zoe Quinn shit? This is exactly the reason I don’t call myself a “gamer”. I don’t want to be associated with this toxic bollocks.
I love video games. I play them every day. I fucking spend weeks writing and drawing and putting together big critical analyses about video games that end up stretching to half an hour. But I am not a gamer, because there is a latent violence there. A palpable frustration writhing away under the surface. The worst one I saw perpetrated against a male was the Call of Duty thing, when people threatened to murder a man’s entire family because he extended a gun’s reload time by 0.2 of a second, or some shit. The worst one I’ve ever experienced personally is being on the receiving end of expletives, before being told I’m retarded, which is objectively not a great thing to say to a total stranger whose worst crime was not being the best Engineer at Team Fortress 2.
Fortunately for me, I’m male. So I don’t come under the worst of it: no, that’s reserved for people like Anita Sarkeesian, who has the unmitigated gall to point out that the representation of women in video games is less than ideal. Anyone can see that. A child could see that. I don’t agree with everything she says, but her underlying point is manifest and demonstrable. Except to gamers, who threaten to violently rape her and her family, for having the sheer audacity, the temerity to point out that maybe Princess Peach getting kidnapped every second week is kind of setting the representation of women back a bit.
So that leads us onto Zoe Quinn. She (apparently, and if she ever gets a hold of this I am so sorry I have to discuss the sex life of somebody I’ve never even met) slept with somebody to works at Kotaku. Who cares? I mean, besides the two parties involved, of course. Then, Kotaku (inevitably, it’s one of the world’s biggest game sites) reviewed her product. Not the same guy; the same website. This was all revealed by an angry ex who (quite blatantly) had an agenda. This is the story as I understand it; I can’t hope to know the truth, I don’t want to know the truth. But this is the story as it is being presented.
Now, of course, in an ideal world - sorry, no, scratch that - in a sane world, that wouldn’t even be news. But nah, because she’s a woman, and because there’s the slim potential for getting away with a bit of misogyny, gamers have leapt on her, mouths foaming.
People have offered the thin justification about corruption in games journalism. Uh-huh, right. So why is it that they’re targeting the game developer, rather than the journalist, in this hypothetical scenario where someone - anyone - did something wrong? In fact, for that matter, why are they not going mental at the bigcompanies, the ones that are blatantly buying review scores, the ones that don’t need all the publicity they can get because the second theyfart Kotaku’s on that shit to write about what they had for lunch?
That’s rhetorical. It’s because they’re not women.
The most galling thing is how stubbornly these people will hold onto their misogyny. There is an almost desperate grab to maintain it in these cases: the slightest inkling of wrongdoing on a woman’s part and all of a sudden there’s a mob. They were waiting for this. Their moment has come.
When I do my fucking inconsequential videos about the shooty woman I get comments like “Don’t get me wrong, I love a desperate hussy as much as the next guy,” and have my reasoned points dismissed because I drew a picture of an arse as a joke. I don’t mean to compare my situation to Zoe Quinn’s, of course. But it shows how ready these gamers are to clutch onto their misogyny: to justify their hatred of women to themselves by screaming “feminazis!” the second anyone points out an injustice, or even an incongruity, towards women. Thus far I’ve received ignorant but mostly harmless comments on my videos. I shudder to think what would be being said were I female.
Does anyone remember that fighting game tournament, where the guy said that misogyny was a part of the culture? He is, unfortunately, quite correct. That is game culture. These are gamers. I am not a gamer. I am something else.
(Edit: To make extra-specially clear, my point is here that it doesn’t matter what she’s done, this kind of abuse is unjustifiable. Unfortunately, it’s also commonplace. If it were a calm, reasoned call-out, then I wouldn’t have a problem with it, but it’s actively violent!
Apparently there’s some wrongdoing on her part I’m unaware of. In that case, we need measured, calm discussion. Perhaps a petition? Not harrassment and violence. That just makes people who play games look insane, as well as obfuscate the actual potential issue.
Anyway, offski. Peace out.)