It seems we’ve accidently been lingering through the alphabet. It’s unintentional, but an interesting method of getting thought out there.
I’ve been thinking about equality a lot lately. For those of the more technological flavor, I’m sure everyone has heard about #GamerGate or possibly know someone who has mentioned it. There is also Anita Sarkeesian and her vlog, Feminist Frequency, in which she reviews games with a feminist eye.
The GamerGate thing has been discussed to death, but if you’ve been living in a hole (I’m looking at you there, G-uno), essentially a jilted lover posts almost every written thing he and his ex-girlfriend shared online and proceeds to break it down piece by piece and tear her apart for lying and cheating on him. At some point, its probably something we have all felt like doing due to someone in our past. Some may even go so far as to write a letter and seal it up. Those of us who are adults, burn that shit without showing a soul.
The girl happened to develop a game called Depression Quest and submitted it to Greenlight on Steam (site that sells games, G-uno). It was published as a free game in which you could donate if you wished, your choice. Apparently, at some point her ex-lover’s post was the catalyst to a shirtstorm accusing of her pretty much controlling the entire gaming industry with her vagina. Makes sense, right? This came down shortly after Anita Sarkeesian was chased from her home from trolls publishing her personal information and threatening to rape and kill her. The same started happening to Zoe, the ex-girlfriend/game developer.
Most of these trolls have since been trying to make this about “ethics in gaming journalism” and twist it as sound reasoning for violent misogyny They bully others into trying to get them to join their “cause”. It was that “ethics” bit that was sadly picked up by Adam Baldwin one day and the term “GamerGate” was born from his lips. Not only did these dickwads have a cool hashtag now, they got a celebrity endorsement. It didn’t matter that he doesn’t play video games, he was Jayne on FireFly for christ’s sake!
Felicia Day as well as other females in the gaming industry came forward with their own opinions on it, only to have their personal details release minutes later. Chris Kluwe was a lot more emphatic about his own take on the whole thing, but as far as I can tell he has gotten none of the same. They attempt to explain their side, they attempt to convert him, they attempt to garner his pity, but they don’t attempt to dehumanize or threaten him.
My own history with video games came just a few years before Chris’ and it looks like we played some of the same things, but I do not recall these issues being this big or this hostile. Maybe it was the giant elephant we politely ignored or maybe my taste in video games attracted the type of people who didn’t think this way. Or maybe I just didn’t notice the hate when I converted my player to look like Wonder Woman for an online deathmatch of Quake II. Sure she stood out, but it was funny to see the superhero machine gun down a bunch of military looking guys, in high heels no less. We didn’t call it “modding” then but that’s essentially what I was doing. I did Barney and Hello Kitty too, just to piss off a little brother.
When MMORPG (bunch of people playing the same game online, G-uno) were the next thing and I’d delved into the world of Ultima Online, I remember many guys were completely enamored when a fellow male gamer found a female gaming mate. There was awe, envy, as though they found the last goddamn unicorn on the planet, but there was never hate.
Now as I came to understand, women really weren’t that rare in games, but it was easier to just let it go if someone accused them “LOL WTF, uR nOt aReel cHix!.” We called those guys “doods” and termed their lack of basic grammar skills “l33tspeak.” They were outside of us real gamers and we wanted nothing to do with them. Usually, their influx was generally the reason we left one game and went to another.
I’m playing World of Warcraft off and on and the “doods” seem to be…more. Not always, but enough that even someone I might have gotten along with no longer has any patience if I ask them a question about an area that is new to me but familiar to them. I feel much more distanced and isolated there than I have ever felt. I get where I don’t want to talk to anyone and I turn into that hostile being who is defensive and perpetually irritated. Instead of MMORPG’s being a great open world to make new friends, I prefer now to play with people I know in real life beforehand. Too bad ESO blows, I had high hopes for a more current addiction…
What happened? Women were playing, guys who love women to play were playing. No one on earth can understand a 15 hour gaming session better than another gamer, non-gamers find this ridiculous wastes of time. When did gaming become the toy women were not allowed to share with men? When did this intangible sense of “real gamer” not include the female aspect? They control 80+% of the purchasing power in this country, even if they only make .75 of every dollar a man makes. Is it a matriarchal society that terrifies these people? If so, why?
Society would not be here, LITERALLY… without women. Technically speaking, everyone… every one of us, starts out female until the Y chromosome kicks in. But why is any of this important? Women officers have been found to be more effective in tense situations than their male counterparts, due in part from their empathy and ability to negotiate. Why is that a bad thing? One more hormonal teenager talking smack didn’t get shot today. Isn’t that a good thing? Isn’t the whole point of having a fully functional and harmonious society due in part to our using our resources effectively and having respect for one another?
Emma Watson gave a speech on feminism and equality. The main points being 1. Feminism needs to stop being a dirty word and it most certainly doesn’t mean you hate men; and, 2. Men should feel that they can discuss and express their emotional side without being condemned for it. I couldn’t agree more. We could fix up most of society’s problems just by following Wil Wheaton’s credo…”don’t be a dick.” I kind of wish our legal system would dumb it down to this level.
Now as for my own opinion on Zoe Quinn, I read the ex-boyfriend’s rant, I’ve read her own posts and she does sound like a pretty immature person. But so what? Rape and death threat worthy? He was just as, if not more, immature. She didn’t air their dirty laundry online.
I read about the boyfriend’s “complete surprise” (bullshit) that such a shitstorm was made of it, but he goes on to say he doesn’t feel any guilt. He has no remorse whatsoever that his ex is having to leave her home, change her cell number or gets abuse every moment of the day. For the petty and hurt ex-lover, it sounds awesome right? The evil ex getting their comeuppance?
If she is physically harmed or worse, dies because of it, wouldn’t that make him an accessory?
She’s more famous now because of his actions than she would have ever been doing what she has been accused of doing illicitly to gain popularity. Way to go, guys!
When things like this occur, the police basically refuse to do much, or they cannot do much when the animosity is coming from online. They disbelieve its a real threat. They lack the technological manpower to drag the little cockroaches to daylight. I have never seen an entity sworn “to protect and serve” and yet been more incapable of doing so, either due to jurisdictional issues or bureaucratic ones. I still don’t get why these actions against Anita, Zoe, Felicia and others haven’t been classified as a hate crime. Even Wikipedia seems to be missing “gender” on that list in their definition, “gender identity” is there but apparently gender is not a meaningful enough group?
I tend to think that if a woman walks naked down the street flirting with anyone who passes by, she is still not “asking for it.” I also tend to think that women spend more effort on trying to be polite than honest, which can confuse men. Jeffrey Dahmer relied on the kindness of women, please keep that in mind the next time you’re trying to be nice to the guy who just won’t go away. Or, for the more generic asshole with the emotional IQ of a two-year-old, keep your shit offline.