Feminism / Internet / Video Games

Video Games and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Community

As someone who likes video games, these past few weeks have been horrifying and embarrassing. Two women in the community, a developer and a critic, have been subjected to incredible harassment that affirms the image of gamers as misogynist babies. Zoe Quinn, creator of Depression Quest, was targeted around the time her already controversial game was finally released. Having already faced similar treatment last winter, Quinn is now the subject of a massive smear campaign claiming she cheated on her boyfriend with several men in the games industry to get herself and her game attention and reviews. While this was going on, Anita Sarkeesian released the newest entry in her Tropes vs Women in Video Games Youtube series, which, possibly due to the gamer blood already boiling over Quinn, prompted a very zealous troll to release the home addresses of her and her family, along with serial-killer style threats.

We should take gamers, and push them into a million toilets

“We should take gamers, and push them into a million toilets!”

Hating women has always been part of the stereotype about gamers, and over the past couple years, we’ve seen it proven beyond a doubt. While the community at large flails and screeches about how wrong and stupid Sarkeesian’s misogyny-pointing-out videos are, it goes ahead and demonstrates that venom and deep sickness burbling in its gut. While gamers attack Zoe Quinn over contributing to the toothless and vacant state of gaming press, they cry man-baby tears over anyone actually taking their hobby seriously.

The Strategy Against Zoe Quinn Outweighs Any Wrong She Might Have Done

dep Allegedly, Zoe Quinn cheated on her boyfriend. There’s a blog I won’t link, authored by said ex, that goes into exhaustive detail that nobody but his mother would ever care about if Quinn hadn’t created a video game that made gamers mad. The men she cheated with are involved in the games industry, because Zoe Quinn has pretty heavily invested herself in that world and spends a lot of her social time at events. For some reason, the ex decided to post this story on the internet, in corners such as 4chan and Reddit, where bile against Zoe was already established. Naturally, the story was picked up and twisted into a fantasy exposé of corruption and nepotism in games journalism. Because why would any woman sleep with a nerd, if not to extract something of value? How would any woman succeed, if not by offering up her body?

As the story spread, Reddit and other sites began removing all discussion of it, prompting cries of censorship. And, you know, maybe an accurate word, but let’s keep in mind what was being censored. Unsubstantiated rumors with the aim of career assassination, based on an open letter that should have never been. Sexual slander. Nude photos of Quinn. Personal information. A video detailing the controversy that focuses strongly on how many men she slept with. There’s complications here that one could pick nits about, but the fact of the matter is the conversation being had was not in any way worth having. Corruption in the gaming world? That’s worth talking about. Kind of. That is not what people talked about.

Games journalism has always been garbage. With few notable exceptions, it’s just of no intellectual or critical value. The vast majority of content written about games is either buyer’s-guide-style reviews or affirming, extra fun facts or fan content. The relationship between review sites and publishers is shady, to say the least. From Jeff Gerstmann’s termination from Gamespot for his subpar Kane & Lynch review, the default 8.0 or above score for each year’s wretched AAA titles, the constant clickbait Reddit fodder from Kotaku-like content aggregators, this is not a landscape that has been somehow sullied or brought into sharp focus by Zoe Quinn’s alleged behavior. And if it has, what does it say about gamers that it took a female indie dev boning a couple people in the industry for them to really get up in arms about it? What makes this woman, who is sexually active, unconventional, and succeeded in making a boring game about depression before they could manage to sell a major publisher on their brilliant idea for an open world shooter in yet another exotic eastern locale, such an attractive scapegoat for the state of games journalism? Loaded question, I guess.

Anita Sarkeesian Continues to Prove Her Point Just By Existing

In the beginning, I found Sarkeesian’s videos a little boring and basic. Damsels in Distress is a tired old thing to talk about. But they demonstrated their value by gamers’ vehement denial of the trope’s prevalence and meaning. Sarkeesian said “There are a lot of games where women are made to be the victim for the purpose and benefit of the player and male protagonist,” and millions of gamer voices suddenly cried out in terror. Now, the videos are getting more interesting, analyzing games’ use of women and violence against women as flavor and window dressing, and the gaming community has grown even more agitated.

On Monday, Anita published her latest video, which was met with the usual specious arguments about “context,” sexual insults, harassment, and protestations that while the game developers took the time to plan, propose, approve, program, voice, and animate scenarios depicting sexual violence against women, the player doesn’t have to let it happen in the game. Death and rape threats against her are so disturbingly common that Sarkeesian just has to ignore them at this point, but one particular set of threats Tuesday included accurate home addresses for her and her family. She contacted police and left her home out of legitimate fear.

Although Sarkeesian’s videos have markedly improved, and their arguments are, contrary to popular gamer belief, fairly unassailable, it doesn’t even matter. She set out to expose a misogyny problem in gaming, and at every goddamn turn, gutter gunk gamers help her out and threaten to drink her blood. She could be as inaccurate, off-the-mark, and dishonest as they say, and she would still be right. She could hate video games, she could be a “fake gamer,” trying to destroy video games, and she would still be contributing to the goal of making video games better.

Video games are so fucking stupid, and so fucking bad. It is infuriating that people care so much about video games continuing to be stupid and bad that they will risk prison to keep women in the community feeling unwelcome and unsafe. Gamers want to whine about the state of games journalism? Look what happens when someone actually examines games. Gamers are always fantasizing that they’re under attack and their video games are being threatened. Maybe it’s time we oblige.

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76 thoughts on “Video Games and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Community

  1. Im not as millitant as some gamers but I understand their anger. We used to be left alone to enjoy our hobby, now that its big business all these fucks that never cared before come in and tell us everything were doing is wrong. how fucking dare you. like I said, alot of us are lifers, rookies comming in trying to change things for there political agenda isnt gonna sit well.

  2. Regardless of who she screwed, if she did tank The Fine Young Capitalists, and if she was taking donations for a game jam that was never actually going to happen and putting the funds into her personal account, and if there was a sexual quid pro quo between the journalists and sites that plugged her content, games and patreon, that makes her a shitty person.

    That said, her ex-boyfriend is a sociopath and the people who are making this about the sex or using it as an opportunity to try to shit on feminism have made it impossible to actually objectively look at what’s going on. And how shitty is it that there may be lots of dude gaming journalists who are plugging content for no other reason than they are trying to have sex with the subjects they’re covering? What if other female indie devs think they’ve got to sleep with game journalists to make sure that their content gets seen and plugged on the big sites?

    • one of the huge problems this “culture” has is taking the experiences of one person and expanding them to the entire gender.

      “Zoe Quinn cheated on her boyfriend, but claims she’s a feminist/sjw. ALL WOMEN WHO IDENTIFY AS FEMINISTS/SJWS ARE TERRIBLE PEOPLE. OMG LOOK AT THIS.”

      “Anita Sarkeesian is not as well educated on games as she could be and makes some sweeping generalizations under the guise of ‘research’. ALL WOMEN ARE DUMB CUNTS WHO WANT TO RUIN OUR GAMES.”

      if people were able to say “wow, this is a sort of shitty thing that this one person did. I’m personally not going to support that person anymore, but realize that one person’s behaviors are not the behaviors of an entire group of people.” I feel like this wouldn’t be as bad. however, all the fucking doxxing to get people’s information is RIDICULOUS.

      • this literally has nothing to do with anything that is going on with this thread. people are buying and enjoying her game. that has nothing to do with ANY of her other actions. based on your other comments in this thread, you are looking for any small excuse to attack this woman for no other reason than she supposedly cheated on someone. unless you’re going around trying to bring vigilante justice to anyone who cheats in a relationship, your attacks are totally baseless.

    • the boyfriends a sociopath? Shes the one who put her shitty game no one wants to play above their relationship and the feelings of someone she supposedly cared about and whored herself out for reviews

      • What kind of broken person airs that much dirty laundry about their ex to the public? This isn’t as bad as posting naked revenge pics, but it’s still messed up.

        • What kind of broken person fucks till there taken seriously? the kind that has to, beacuse their game sucks

    • “Quid pro quo” is a really distorted way of looking at this. I think it’s far more likely that the indie community is just rather tight and sex happens and people want to plug their friends’ games. That may not stand up to gamers’ standards of journalism, but I really see no problem with things working that way.

      • You’re correct in this. I guess my worry is that if someone IS sleeping with journalists AND getting positive coverage, the takeaway will be that you will have to sleep with journalists to get positive coverage, which would be a really crappy thing.

        • And whose fuckin fault is that? Whores taking the easy way out, as whores do..but you dont wanna hear that, true as it may be

          • If you were a real person, I’d say that maybe it’s the systemic fault of a society which puts significant amounts of pressure on women to please men and where success for women is strongly dependent upon how attractive men in power perceive them to be.

            Unfortunately, you have yet to convince me that you’re anything but a shrieking robot that someone maliciously hacked out of a primitive ELIZA program.

            • Im the realest person here. I dont try to inject my retarded ideologies where they dont belong and no one cares then throw a hissy fit when they snap back at me. face it, women pull the ass card as soon as shit gets tricky, dudes fall for it cuz there retarded too but you cant deny the dynamic, I dont like it anymore than you but ive seen it too much to deny it

                • Did I? Have it again: Im the realest person here. I dont try to inject my retarded ideologies where they dont belong and no one cares then throw a hissy fit when they snap back at me. face it, women pull the ass card as soon as shit gets tricky, dudes fall for it cuz there retarded too but you cant deny the dynamic, I dont like it anymore than you but ive seen it too much to deny it

                    • Your twisting words, hoe. thats not it at all and you know it, its the way you assholes go about it, your fucking pricks to a community of pricks who were happy being pricks in their own way, alot of them are already bitter people, like I said they just wanna play there games and be pricks to eachother, join in or fuck off

                    • “The in-game action sequences that had originally been built for Krystal were converted to feature Fox instead. Krystal is given a skimpier more sexualized outfit.

                      Clip- Star Fox Adventures
                      Wow. She’s beautiful! What am I doing?!

                      And yes, that is cheesy saxophone music playing to make sure it “crystal clear” that she is now an object of desire even while in suspended animation – to add insult to injury Fox is now using her magic staff to fight his way through the game to save her.”

                      pretty rude i guess

                • whose the one sitting here mirroring and backpatting eachother with shit arguements and even shittier insults? The ‘real’ people? Thats what real people do?

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  4. Sorry solomon wang, I had to start a new one, but I saw it. And who cares? maybe if chicks took and interest before it was the cool thing to do (hah!) thered be more representation or watever yer word for it this week is, but thats not the case, like I said, either have fun with the brutal name calling with the rest of us or fuck off, there only gonna get meaner, trust me

        • what is there to say to someone who believes the bullshit idea that girls and women have only been interested in gaming since it became “cool?” should i talk about gendered advertising and toy/game marketing that has nothing to do with market forces or demand?

    • missing the point again, im glad if you actually care about videos games, whoever you are, I dont care, good for you good for all of us. what pisses people off is the pushing of some outsiders political agenda through a ‘new’ medium , in the most arrogant and dickheaded way possible, which brings in whores like miss quinn who has a free pass to do watever she wants because sjws will rally behind her cuz its a her

    • so the earliest statistic I could find was from 2006 where according to the Entertainment Software Association, 38% of game players were female. you can look at the steady increase from that point onward, and, extrapolating on that data, it is pretty likely that women didn’t just decide “LOL GAME IS COOL NOW. I’D LOVE TO ASSOCIATE WITH A SUB-CULTURE THAT CONSIDERS ME A SECOND CLASS CITIZEN.” and magically decided they’d like to infiltrate your shitty boys club. I have been playing games since 1993-94ish and been a part of several different demographics of gamers. the “brutal name calling” you keep touting about is generally only associated with the extremely misogynistic and immature player bases. it is not the norm. you guys are going to die out. congrats.

      • never mind the dates bitch, the dates were not the point, you know what the point was so stop nitpicking. also hahahahaha on the brutal namecalling part, hardest ive chuckled all day, I love how you zeroed in on the misogynistic part, its way worse than that, trust me, gamers and brutal namecalling arent going anywhere, congrats, wuss

            • dude why are you so butthurt about women making fun of gamers
              what does it mean for “girls'” hurtful comments about gamers to be repeated again and again on that chart? what persecution complex do nerds and gamers carry?
              i’m not making fun of you, i’m making fun of your argument. that chart’s argument is literally “fuck girls who like games because they made fun of me and didn’t want to hang out when i was younger”

        • your original butt-hurt meme-center image seemed really set on dates. like. one might even say it was the whole fucking post. I’m unsurprised you’re only familiar with the ass of the gaming community. let me guess, your favorite games are League of Legends and Call of Duty?

          • Hey I said right at the beginning im not the millitant one, but I understand some frustration. The meme was a half joke example with some truth to it (if you just shut the fuck up about the dates) change your fucking tampon and go water yer crops,gam3r6urrrl

            • >I’m not the militant one.

              LITERALLY ONLY PERSON IN THIS THREAD THROWING AROUND SLURS AND BEING A GENERAL SHIT DICK.

                • Get yer mind out of the gutter, you cant even tell shes naked.for the record tho, at least I dont hide my douchebaggery behind a feel good veil

                  • ah yes, based on her visible shoulders and back, she must clearly be wearing the latest in the Emperor’s New Clothing. amirite?

                    my comment said nothing about you disagreeing. it addressed the fact that you’ve continued to call anyone posting in this thread a cunt or a bitch or a slut, you’ve referred to the author with a dick joke, and you’ve generally had baseless, ad hominem attacks on anyone who thinks being a decent human being is something the gaming community should strive for.

                    what are you trying to accomplish? no one here is going to be swayed by emotionally-charged comments with no supporting evidence. any issue you have with Zoe Quinn or Anita Sarkeesian is a problem you have with one individual that cannot be generalized to female gamers as a whole.

  5. I don’t play video games, so I only had a rough idea of the sexism that occurred in gaming. However I had NO idea it was this bad. We are normalising and henceforth actually promoting and almost enforcing rape culture and violence against women.

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