I am afraid to write about this because in the community I am part of, the gaming community #Gamergate is among one of the largest trigger tags one can use. I am afraid to write about it because it involves a lot of angry people claiming they know best, and that other people are wrong. I am afraid to write about it because I don’t know best, and I don’t want to sound like I do. What I do want to do is share something that is important to me and how I relate to it.
To start, here is where I first became part of what would be #Gamergate
And more recently here.
Now these are just two videos in a long series of videos that exist that make many solid points about the role of women in videogames. While I disagree with some of the content, the overall message I got was more important, “Women shouldn’t be treated as secondary characters”. This makes sense to me.
Making a game like this does not.
This comes from the game made before any videos were even posted. This game was made when the videos were still in kickstarter form. This is not my gaming community.
This is also from 2012, so if you aren’t familiar with it, welcome to 2 years of what being a gamer has become defined as. This sort of behavior became generalized to much of the gaming community, which was an unfortunate turn of events. I like to believe much of the gaming community does not care who the protagonist of their game is, they care that the game is good. T
This stood as a launchpad for much of what #gamergate addresses now, the generalization that all gamers are misogynist bullies.
One of the most recent attacks on gamers came in the form of #describeagamerin4words. While you won’t see too much in the terms of negative speech there now, it was for a short period this
This does not represent the community I am part of. This does not represent the many women that are now picking up the controller and enjoying the games I have loved for so long. This does not represent the majority of people who pick up their nintendo after tucking it away for a few years for some well timed nostalgia. This is not me.
Now, there are 100 things I could continue to talk about, but I will choose one. Zoe Quinn is the actual kick-off point for #gamergate. After being accused of infidelity by her boyfriend this indie game programmer was harassed by many people in the internet community, and unlike some people, she didn’t stay quiet about it. She raised to attention that she felt threatened and made it public the psychological effect that the harassment was having on her. She also spoke out against causes she didn’t agree with like The Fine Young Capitalists which received a large support from 4 Chan in their pursuit to promote Female Programmers. The problem Quinn had was that 4 Chan was also the community that harassed her.
At this point, #gamergate exists as a hashtag where a lot of interesting conversation is being had about feminism in videogames. Sometimes its useful, sometimes its full of hate, but it is important for me to keep track of.
At the end of the day, I just want everyone to be able to see gaming for what it is, a chance to sit back and have fun in a world that is beyond our own. We should all be able to be part of that world and see ourselves in it. I also hope that media can finally see that it is the radical ends that are the problem here, and the general mass of people talking about the issue at hand are pretty level-headed people that just want to kick back with their friends and play some games.