sexism in the video game industry

5

Adult women are now the biggest demographic in gaming. But the industry hasn’t done much to make its many new users feel welcome. The existence of misogyny in spaces that have traditionally catered to men isn’t new or surprising, but the insistence that it doesn’t exist is particularly vociferous in gaming.

If these charts aren’t enough proof, take the #Gamergate movement, which purported to focus on gaming journalism, but spent a sizable amount of its time harassing women gamers.

So when can we stop elevating people to celebrity status for playing video games? Everyone plays video games. We’re putting content consumers on the same level as content creators and it’s sad. Especially when a beloved content creator with decades of experience expresses concerns over sexism and just gets called an “ignorant dumbass” by fanboys blindly siding with another mere fanboy who has no actual inside knowledge of the industry or any other credentials other than liking games a lot and filming it.

Why GamerGate Is Destined To Fail

What Is GamerGate?

It’s the Tea Party of video games. And Zoe Quinn is its Benghazi.

Okay, But What Is GamerGate Really?

GamerGate has been disingenuously framed as a grassroots campaign of gamers “concerned with the quality and integrity of video game journalism.” The campaign is, in truth, an effort to fold in, rehabilitate, and retroactively justify a previous campaign of blatant gender-based harassment against a female videogame developer for the capital offenses of having (a) a vindictive ex-boyfriend and (b) friends within the industry.

GamerGate is a campaign run by people who don’t understand what a real conflict of interest actually is, and who would institute standards of disclosure and prohibition on reporting so restrictive as to essentially disqualify all actual journalists from the space. They sincerely believe that the mere act of patronizing a developer precludes one from objectively reporting on that developer - a standard more stringent than that found in political reporting, and for a field of journalism that is far less important.

Yet even if GamerGate’s proposals were reasonable (they’re not), it wouldn’t matter, because no matter how noble its purported aims, the campaign sprung up from one of the most noxious onslaughts of sexism to rock the gaming industry in years, and a not-insignificant number of its proponents continue to engage in that harassment to this day, tarnishing the rest by association. #NotAllGamers, you say? Tough. Welcome to the word of open-invite politics, where anyone who lays claim to a movement is technically part of that movement. See also: the Tea Party. You live and die by your worst members, and right now, your worst members are utterly and openly putrid.

Admittedly, the Tea Party has managed to do well for itself in certain parts of the United States, so why couldn’t GamerGate? The answer is simple: The stakes are too low to stomach the vitriol seeping out of the movement’s underbelly. The Tea Party, laughable as it may be to some, seeks to address real-world issues impacting the country at large, where lives, jobs, and communities are actually at stake. That people within the games industry sometimes hook up doesn’t quite rise to that level of seriousness.

GamerGate, at its core, is about a woman being denied sexual agency. Yes, there is high-minded rhetoric about a lack of integrity in journalism, but with a curious inability to point to any examples of inaccurate journalism that can be traced back to any sort of influence-peddling. It is impossible to see the tenuousness of these claims and the ferocity with which they are made as anything but overcompensation for what gamers have done to Zoe Quinn. And the refusal to admit this is only making it worse.

The Unflattering Genesis

For those unaware, GamerGate can be traced back to a single event: The Zoe Post.

In short, indie game developer Zoe Quinn was recently made the subject of a novella-sized blog entry by her scorned ex-boyfriend (“The Zoe Post”), who laid out a sordid and overwrought tale of interpersonal betrayal. His professed goal was to “warn the public” as to what kind of person Quinn supposedly is. The immediate reaction was predictable: burner Twitter accounts began to pillory Quinn with cruel invective, memefying her alleged infidelity and hounding her on every corner of the Internet.

Around this time, digital hazmat teams were deployed by many websites to stop their message boards from being used as coordination hubs for harassment campaigns against Quinn. The hue and cry of “censorship” reared its head, forming one of the core conspiracies of GamerGate: that the upper echelons of the gaming industry attempted to suppress any discussion of The Zoe Post to protect “one of its own.”

This is where accusations of corruption begin to fall apart. Zoe Quinn, while certainly a colorful personality in the gaming industry, is not by any means a power-player, and her peers are not beholden to her from any sort of financial or publicity standpoint. How easy would it have been for Kotaku et al. to run stories on The Zoe Post and rake in easy ad revenue thereby? They forfeited these opportunities, however, in the name of integrity and an attempt to elevate the collective image of the gaming industry – to show the world that we are not captive to sub-TMZ levels of malicious voyeurism.

Yet as the old adage goes, you can’t save someone from themselves. With members of the press refusing to validate The Zoe Post as an actual story, schoolyard cruelty turned to outright animosity. The details of this chapter are highly disputed, yet simultaneously unimportant – whether Quinn was “doxxed,” or doxxed herself for attention, there is no doubt that the campaign against her hit a fever pitch of venom and outright misogyny. One way or another, gamers were going to make Quinn into a headline.

And it worked.

The press finally took notice, but not for the reasons that GamerGate proponents wanted – they had unwittingly become Exhibit A for why the gaming industry was still widely considered a cesspool, unbefitting the respect accorded to traditional media. Quinn was a victim, and the gaming community her assailant. Well done, gamers!

The Incredulous Transformation Into GamerGate

To most outside observers, the discussion of Quinn was not only highly offensive, but downright embarrassing for the community at large. It was a tawdry affair with no real public interest component, one conducted with a high school-level of maturity, and the fact that so many gamers seized on it with such fervor only reinforced the “man-baby” image that our industry has been trying to shed for years. The refusal of the gaming press to validate it was, in fact, an attempt to save the community from itself. But the community made clear that it wanted nothing more than to set itself on fire.

At this point in time, it was safe to say that the campaign against Quinn had been a failure. If the intent was to ruin Quinn’s personal life, her detractors certainly came close – she and those around her endured weeks of harassment and personal threats, made even worse by the suggestion that they not “feed the trolls” by fighting back against the torrential abuse. Yet Quinn’s professional life had never been more secure. Her Twitter followers went up by 50%, Patreon funds flowed in, and the industry realized more than ever how much it needs people like Quinn – people capable of revealing just how much adolescent rage and misogyny still exists amongst rank-and-file gamers.

Quinn’s detractors quickly found themselves on the receiving end of some well-justified scorn for how they had collectively conducted themselves. They realized that, in order to gain any sort of foothold into legitimacy, they would have to shift focus away from “Zoe Quinn is an awful person” as their mantra, as too many of their members could not resist dragging Quinn’s irrelevant sexual exploits into the discussion. Instead, they attempted to seize on the one kernel of The Zoe Post that might conceivably serve as a springboard for objective critique: Zoe Quinn once dated a video game journalist.

Seriously. That’s all they had.

Gamers Put On Their Journalism Hats

The story goes that Quinn got into a relationship with a guy shortly after he wrote a piece on her involvement in a scrapped webseries. The guy then went on to write for Kotaku, where he never reported on Quinn again. Somehow, this non-story got spun into a whole web of accusations about bias and corruption in the media, failing to identify a single instance of alleged bias in the journalist’s writing. Even now, people still accuse Quinn of sleeping with journalists to generate good press and/or reviews for her games, yet have been unable to provide any examples of this actually occurring.

The hysteria of GamerGate has, amongst other things, reduced the concept of a “conflict of interest” to absurdity. Are gamers simply unaware of how industry - not just video gaming, but any industry - functions? Do they think restaurant critics are not friendly with chefs? Film critics with actors? Music critics with musicians? Without relationships, there can be no reputation-building, no insight, no nuance or holistic understanding of subject matter. To reduce every point of interest to a presumptive conflict, as GamerGate does, both fundamentally misunderstands and kneecaps journalism, and will inevitably result in journalists getting worse, not better.

The unfortunate thing is that there is certainly corruption and a lack of ethics in many pockets of the video game industry’s journalistic wing. Suspect sponsorships and payola have been standard for years; anyone remember when Jeff Gerstmann got fired from GameSpot way back in 2007 after writing a middling review of Kane and Lynch, advertisements of which were plastered all over the website? Where was GamerGate back then? Why did it take The Zoe Post, a story utterly bereft of actual corruption, to galvanize gamers into pushing back against these entrenched practices?

No matter how desperately GamerGate proponents try to sweep this detail under the rug, the fact is that they only got truly interested in this subject when there was a woman to sexually shame for it. And that’s more damning than anything in The Zoe Post.

The Oppressors As Victims

Right out of the gate, GamerGate has only managed to find traction as a data point in a wider discussion of sexism and persecution in the video game industry. It is a desperate attempt to put a constructive gloss on what started and continues to operate in the shadows as a vehicle for gendered abuse and scorn. And so the narrative has taken another turn, this time towards “gamers” as an oppressed minority, vilified simply for wanting a certain level of decorum in discussion of them and their activities.

I’ll let the irony sink in for a moment.

The big problem with that angle is that GamerGate proponents conflate the act of gaming with their self-ascribed identify as gamers. Gamer doesn’t simply mean “one who plays games” – rather, it describes those who build a lifestyle around games, who emotionally invest in gaming subculture, and who take an active interest in the internal politics of gaming. And many of those so-called “gamers” are, in fact, the ones who were first to seize on The Zoe Post in its nascent, most prurient stage. Before anyone was interested in “journalistic integrity,” it was gamers launching incendiary volleys of slut-shaming Quinn’s way, choking her Twitter feed with blatant harassment.

Gamers are not being vilified for the mere act of playing games. They’re being vilified for constructing and nurturing a subculture that readily allows fiascos like The Zoe Post to take hold. One simply doesn’t see this level of sustained, community-based harassment in other spheres of media; not even comic book nerds would have the gall to conduct themselves in this manner. To throw up one’s hands and whine “#NotAllGamers!” is to abdicate any responsibility for taking care of one’s own house - a house that desperately needs tending before termites destroy the whole foundation.

Video gaming has come a long way in the past decades, from being a niche nerd hobby to now constituting a multi-billion dollar global industry. Attempts to shed its reputation as the #1 hobby of stunted man-children, however, have been regularly stymied by the “core” fanbase of gamers who perceive any critique of their subculture as a personal affront, one requiring not merely a retort, but retaliation. It is this childish mindset that prohibits many gamers from perceiving what is and isn’t fair game in a discussion.

In case they need it spelled out, the number of people someone has slept with isn’t fair game. Nor are weak gestures at legitimate issues when they operate as Trojan horses for gendered animosity. And until a sufficient number of community members digest that lesson, the remainder must accept that they will be judged alongside their brethren.

Don’t like it? Tell your brethren to knock that shit off.

Why GamerGate Won’t Succeed

The preceding should make it abundantly clear that the ostensible overarching goals of GamerGate have been entirely subverted by the muck and mire it crawled out from. The prevailing headline is not about any journalistic crisis in video gaming, as the GamerGate community has failed to provide any journalistic product that demonstrates inaccuracy linked to bias. Instead, the headline is about how gamers attempted to destroy a woman’s entire life (additionally targeting anyone in the blast radius for the sin of proximity) largely based on alleged crimes of gender.

(Again, #NotAllGamers is irrelevant. They were gamers. They came from the gaming community. They did it in the name of gaming. And they get away with it because of the nature of the gaming community’s prevailing subculture, which many gamers continue to defend in substance, if not in form. The community is culpable for what it births, and that culpability grows every time its member try to sweep the abuse under the rug.)

Whether or not you agree with the preceding capsule summary is irrelevant – that’s the headline. It’s the one that’s been carried from The Guardian to Time Magazine, with only a handful of low-level webzines and YouTube channels buying the GamerGate version of events. And every subsequent attempt to change the narrative has only collectively dug the community in deeper as it runs from one corner of the Internet to the next, desperate to avoid a mea culpa - to find something, anything, to exonerate it, instead of lifting a finger to try and help the people hurt by its own members.

This is the conduct of children. This is the conduct of screaming toddlers unable and/or unwilling to admit the extent to which they transgressed, desperately deflecting to purported issues of substance in the hopes that enough flailing and kicking will make everyone forget what got them in trouble in the first place. This is why gamers are infantilized – because they so often act like infants. And GamerGate won’t change this perception, because it’s an extension of that infantile aversion to responsibility.

Conclusion

Let’s not mince words: GamerGate is stillborn. It will not be salvaged by a public relations cleanup. No number of cute mascots or appeals to broader principle like censorship or journalistic integrity will negate the damage its members have done to their own cause, simply because the cause is not one of sincere origin. It would be as if the Ku Klux Klan (or a group that includes members thereof) tried to convince the public that their real concern is high levels of inner city crime created by low-income residents – knowing where the Klan came from, why wouldn’t their superficially legitimate concerns immediately be seen as suspect?

(A note for the slow: No, this is not to compare all gamers or GamerGate proponents to Klansmen. It is to say that the foundational movement of GamerGate, borne of The Zoe Post, is a heinous one, and the linkage between the two still manifests to the detriment of every single constructive element of the campaign’s current form.)

If gamers really want to make a positive impact on the perception and function of their community, they will get their priorities straight. The first goal should be to make sure what happened to Zoe Quinn can never happen again – at the very least, not on the appalling scale that it did. After that, maybe we can start to talk about those ”standards of conduct” that were curiously absent from GamerGate’s entire first act.

Research Questionnaire: Sexism within the video game industry and its effects on female gamers.

Hey guys! I am currently writing a research paper on sexism within the gaming community and I would love to hear from any of my gamer followers about your thoughts on representation in video games and your experiences with sexism within the gaming community. If you are interested, here is a link to the questionnaire that you can download and fill out. You can message me your responses (anonymously if you wish) or contact me for my email address. Thank you so much! 

Research Questionnaire 


EDIT: A couple of you have so graciously suggested putting these questions in to a google survey (how did I not know that was a thing?!?) so here you go: 

Google Survey
I’m not going to stop speaking up about issues that impact my life and livelihood. I’m not going to opt out of public-facing positions so that I don’t have to put up with this. I’m not going to stop trying to make the tech industry a better place for women. I’m not going to stop trying to make the Internet a safer place for women.

These things scare me or hurt me because that’s what they are meant to do. And that’s precisely why I keep going.
2

Friendly reminder that Tropes vs Women definitely does not come from a place of love for games and passion for the industry, not even a little. (If the many inaccuracies in their videos, Anita Sarkeesian on camera admitting that she disliked games and thought they were gross lying about her history of loving them, and some of their social media statements weren’t enough of a dead giveaway already.) 

It’s not automatically sexism if these people or their project get critiqued.

I never know whether to laugh or cry that people like this are now constantly placed up on a pedestal of infallible authority in the media concerning a subject that so many people care and know more about.

  • game publishers: well, girls don't seem to be as technologically inclined as boys, so let's market video games towards cishet males only
  • game publishers: marketing our games to cishet men has caused cishet men, but not women, to buy them. this means that men are just more inclined towards buying video games, let's make them our focus market
  • game publishers: btw game developers, if your games don't cater to our core (cishet male) demographic, we're pulling your funding. the women must all be sexy, and LGBTQA+, disabled, and PoC individuals creep white cishet men out, don't include them (unless they're a gay pedophiliac villain or will get killed off).
  • game publishers: women make up a huge chunk of the gaming industry, especially so in social games that don't have scaintly-clad sexy females and enforce strict gender roles, let's reinforce the idea that social gaming is "for casuals" and "not true gaming," which has nothing to do at all because it's female-dominated no sir
  • game publishers:
  • game publishers: the AAA game scene is unsustainably expensive, how can we bring in more sales?

I need feminism because I shouldn’t have to worry that my gender will stop me from being successful in the male dominated games industry.

Do we really have to keep doing this? I hate how we completely dehumanize the majority of people working within the games industry by labeling it as a “male dominated games industry”.  The way we use words can be so incredibly manipulative sometimes. When you use words such as “male dominated” it completely removes any sort of human context and replaces it with negative stereotypes because we are throwing around the word “dominated” which will always invoke negative connotations.

When you say words like “male dominated” you are almost implying that all the men in that particular industry are women-hating bigoted sexists who want to dominate over all of the women. That is a shitty and hurtful generalization to make. I’m going to slightly re-word the above quote:

“I need feminism because I shouldn’t have to worry that my gender will stop my from being successful in the games industry where 80% of the workforce happen to be really passionate and genuine men who are doing what they love.”

Yes, I understand that there are still people out there who are still inherently sexist towards women, to the point where it could be considered bigotry. These people are the minorities. There really is only a handful of people who will look at mind blowingly awesome work and deny the applicant because all they saw was the female gender of the creator behind the design.

Do you know what will actually stop you from being successful in the games industry (or any creative industry for that matter) 99% of the time? Lack of motivation, passion, talent, ambition, and creativity. You need all of this to succeed. We are all on tumblr, and we’ve all seen those amazing images, videos, music clips, or art… Yet the people who created them are absolute nobodies. It goes to show that just because you are insanely talented doesn’t mean you are going to make it if you don’t have the motivation and the passion to dedicate most of your life into getting your work out there and recognized. You can’t expect to have everything handed to you on a silver platter. 

Saying things like “I can’t be successful because there are lots of men” is a really copout way of giving up. Don’t make excuses. Stop blaming others. 

- fraudulentfeminist

anonymous asked:

Do you watch the Feminist Frequency videos? I think they are something to think about, and I think it is such a shame that the hate for Sarkeesian blows out any chance for an actual intelligent discussion for the videos. I'm also sad that I feel I need to use the Anonymous function here in case anyone decides to attack me for liking them, too.

You seem really sincere about your question so I’ll discuss my thoughts on it a little bit. I also watch all of the Feminist Frequency videos (pertaining to video games), I actually just watched the Women Are Background Objects Part 2 yesterday. Everything she says is not inherently wrong, though she goes to extremes to pull things that are sometimes way out of context (like using parody games to prove her point, which is particularly disheartening when the games shown are exaggerating social issues or pop culture references) which just highlights a personal ignorance of video game culture, she also provides no criticism or elaborates on how she might fix this problem on a case by case basis aside from one that I recall (Watch Dogs) where she says there should be an option to save the women in danger, instead of just chasing after the murderer, which I agree with because I think it’s a great idea and adds another gameplay layer to the entire system. Instead though, most of the time she opts to disparage the industry by way of pointing her finger and calling sexism. I find her videos to be intellectually compelling, she uses a lot of big words, often too big for the audience she is most likely catering to, I myself find it hard to follow sometimes. She also says things pretty rapidly with such verbosity in some instances that it can be hard to catch what she is really implying without multiple viewings of certain segments.

Her newest video as I have stated is not inherently wrong, there is a lot of violence in video games, there is a lot of violence against women in video games as she showed, and game worlds do use women sexually in their game worlds. But does that make gamers and the game industry sexists? Should games now be censored even though they are pulling ideas from real life and culture? Can no women be sexualized in video games at all? I don’t think that game developers should limit themselves when they are trying to tell a story, especially a story that is darker in tone, which is where she grabs most of her examples. Take for example, Bioshock. In it there are many instances of women being abused, the example used in the video is one where there is a ghostly image of a girl who was an exoctic dancer I believe, and eventually her small story arc leads to a bedroom where she is dead on the bed, mutilated. The trope is used to compel players to feel for this woman, and paint the bad guy with a harsher brush. Is that bad? Is it bad to feel drawn into a world because you feel for a character you don’t even know and want to exact revenge/justice/vengeance? I don’t really think so? In fact I think that’s good storytelling if you become invested in a character in that short of time. I think, because of this that some of the examples she used are actually bad examples. Don’t however mistake this as me disagreeing with her completely, some of the examples she used were, when taken out of their context, actually pretty bad (In terms of their nature), and definitely help her prove the point she is trying to present, especially the ones pertaining to Watch Dogs, and potentially God of War 3’s example with Poseidon’s Princess, and her sexual appeal and gruesome death. Though she did forget to mention the lore of the letter in her chambers, which reads verbatum

Dearest beloved, I ask your forgiveness for making you the subject of my rage. It is not you who angered me so, but my brother and his refusal to harness the great power he hides within the labyrinth. A storm is brewing and Zeus provides Olympus with no harbour. Only the comforts found in your arms give me rest.

-Your Lord, Poseidon ”

Which adds another layer to the discussion, indicating that the character is loved by Poseidon, and that yes, Kratos is an Anti-Hero and an Asshole - which is known from the start of the game. It’s kind of the whole point. Also yes, the character is sexualized, but this also takes place in ancient roman/greek times and with less than 5 minutes a research you can find out that women’s clothing looked like THIS , often exposing their breasts in a non sexualized manner. So is God of War’s portrayal too real for you? Should they censor it? It’s perhaps a case of someone projecting their personal beliefs on to someone else, in this case, hundreds of thousands - and manipulating the perspective towards their personal beliefs. Almost anything can be taken out of context to prove a point, just say it enough and loud enough, sometimes it doesn’t even have to make sense. I’m not saying that FF’s video does not bring up a very compelling argument and point. I’m just mind dumping a little bit (or a lot) and when I personally think about it more and more I feel like this situation won’t exist years from now. It’s culturally relevant now, and I don’t think it will be 10 years from now. It’s almost like a case of someone wanting change, “WE WANT CHANGE!” “ WE WANT IT NOW!” Though change comes over time, I have no doubt in my mind that video games as a medium will progress in the right direction, just as culture progresses in real life, slowly but surely.

So when Anita Sarkeesian tweeted that “gamergate is the new name for a group that has been harassing me for 2 years,” she was factually correct. Many of the most consistent users of #GamerGate are inextricably linked to harassment of Ms. Sarkeesian and other women. I’ve just shown you 20 of them, all of whom are happily welcomed into the GamerGate movement and not censured in any way for their actions. I’m sure this list will grow as more people share their experiences.

These people have spent the last two years harassing and demeaning women in and out of the games industry. You know what they haven’t spent the last two years doing? Talking about ethics in journalism.

There may be ethical, honest people involved in #GamerGate. But a few good apples won’t magically make a rotten barrel edible. And #GamerGate is rotten to the core.
— 

The Bad Apples Of #GamerGate — Medium

Unsurprisingly, it’s not just sexism. It’s racism, homophobia, anti-Semitism, and ableism too.

#175 Because of Ubisoft.

According to the Entertainment Software Association women make up 48% of all gamers. So, you would think that creating more female characters is a logical step forward within the gaming industry. Not for Ubisoft, creator of Assasin’s Creed, that decided to cut the female characters they had planned to add in the new Assasin’s Creed game.

Why?

“It was really a lot of extra production work.”

This attitude has been highly criticised on social networks by gamers and other game developers. 

youtube

This is Anita Sarkeesian’s Ms. Male Character video from her Women vs Tropes video series that analyzes sexist tropes in video game industry.

A few things:

Note the MUCH MUCH higher quality in editing, logo use, footage use, video/image quality, etc. And the much greater length and attention to detail. The video is also very thorough and clearly explained.

I don’t get where people get off acting like this is no more high quality or detailed than her older videos. It obviously is.

Also note all the references she makes. Some are quite obscure and definitely show a thorough and extensive knowledge of gaming tropes and characters. So people claiming she doesn’t know her shit are obviously full of it. I’d be willing to bet there are examples here many male gamers who regularly call Sarkeesian and other women fake nerd girls have never heard of. She uses well-known examples, too, and a variety of examples from different genres and articulates her points clearly and persuasively.

I also appreciate that sarkeesian used the term “all genders,” brought up the gender binary and erasure of nonbinary people, and also briefly addressed how the trope at hand has also been used to perpetuate transphobia in gaming.

The video is a good introduction to this particular trope in the gaming world that is also applicable to all media, and does make some good and interesting connections. I don’t think it’s super advanced, but I wish all gaming designers and people new to feminism, gaming, or analyzing sexism in gaming would watch these videos because they do a good job introducing vocabulary to talk about feminist issues in the gaming industry.

A couple minor criticisms I have are gendering kirby as male (Kirby’s gender has remained unspecified), and keeping the section on good examples of female characters too short. I think she could have included more positive examples of female representation, and a few more well-known ones–as well as a bit more commentary on what makes those examples good female representation.

I was thinking about the “why don’t you make your own game/comic/movie instead of complaining” derail tactic we see so much, and thinking about my own RL job.

My job IRL is giving presentations about trans inclusion to agencies, shelters, workplaces, schools, etc, as well as working with people in charge to create trans inclusive policies for their agency.  Now, the same complaints could apply.  Instead of complaining about how incomplete their policies are/how trans exclusive their staff are, why don’t you make your own shelter!?

Okay, so let’s look at that.  What if I did that instead of my current job?  First, I would need to be paid a lot more, or I’d need to find a source of funding somehow to do this.  I’d have to have extensive knowledge about how to start my own shelter, how to get government approval, and where to place it, what needs need to be met, having to get a building, hire staff, write grants, etc etc etc… and that’s assuming I’d be able to get it off the ground at all, that I’d have enough demand initially to justify funding, and that I’m able to juggle all these things myself to make it work.

On my job I’ve helped so many different places become more trans inclusive, and/or create policies that would protect trans clients.  That’s many agencies all across Ontario, not just in Toronto.  That’s a lot of different trans people that can access services (hopefully) that they might not have been able to do before.  If I didn’t do this, if none of us did this, and we all just sat around trying to start our own shelter, the broader larger change wouldn’t happen.  Even if we got it off the ground, it’d be a small shelter that only served a small area.

This isn’t to say people shouldn’t start their own agencies or shelters or services.  This is that there are many different ways to affect change in the world, and they’re all important, and that includes the critics, and the consultants, and people who increase the awareness of certain causes.  A lot of issues are systemic, and the problems are because of what’s already entrenched in the system and how it operates.  You need to change the overall way of thinking, and to lobby/criticize/etc the institutions already there, as well as create new things.  It’s ALL important. 

And this goes back to “why don’t you make your own game/comic/movie”, well because not everybody can, and not everybody’s best use of their abilities, talents, knowledge is to do that.  Criticism of the industry and trends and norms is important too, not just to bring awareness, but to talk about specifically what the issues are, and what needs to be changed.  As is trying to change overall perceptions and acceptance of women, PoC, and other marginalized groups, because this affects people everywhere, many of which will grow up to work in the industry or consume the product.  If everybody just dropped doing all of this and just tried to make their own games, chances are they wouldn’t even get off the ground, because not everybody has the ability, knowledge, finances, or life situation to do that.  You’d be taking away tons of valuable voices and contributions, and throwing them down the drain, just to get a handful of games that would have very little chance of competing against the entrenched forces in the industry.

Which is, of course, what the trolls want.  They want us all to shut up and go away, and give up changing things.  They want us to struggle and bankrupt ourselves, knowing that even if a few games did end up being made that they don’t like, the industry and gaming/comic/movie culture itself would keep on rolling, and they’d continue to get everything they want and not have to hear or deal with any criticism at all, or worry that that criticism/activism might actually change things.

mothballmilkshake  asked:

How do you feel about sexism in the gaming industry? From the comments I glean in your videos, it doesn't seem as though you think it's an actual issue, which is very disheartening for the rest of us who'd like to see it change

I’d love to know which videos you’ve gleaned this from.

I’ve commented many times on sexism on Tumblr, and in a variety of videos, feel free to go and look them up in my posting history if you want to find more. In no way do I feel that sexism is non-existent in the industry, and any comments you’ve heard in videos are likely sarcastic and/or ironic, and you should listen again.

It is an issue, but overlaying it in all my videos isn’t a positive way to create change. Sometimes, the best way is to be mature about it and set a good example, instead of waving a flag in everyone’s faces and making them sick to death of you - especially on the internet.

vinbhass  asked:

So you've been on the Internet a long time. Is "internet feminism" growing or is it stagnant or is it on the outs?

I think it’s on the way out, honestly.  It’s only relatively recently that it has become such an issue, but as it has gone on, the behavior has gotten more and more extreme, to the point where they’re more often mocked then applauded.  The whole “feminist jazz hands” episode had a lot of people wondering whether or not the movement was really empowering women, or just weakening them.  Campaigns like “Ban Bossy” gain exposure for the requisite 15 minutes, only to disappear into the ether once people realize how pointless and misguided they are.  Most of all, I think a lot of people are finally recognizing that the logic being used to justify such extreme reactions is the same logic that women have been trying to work against for centuries.  Modern “feminism” is the worst of all when it comes to perpetuating the idea of women being weak, helpless damsels in distress that need others to protect them.

Having lived through the “political correctness” hysteria of the 90′s, modern “feminism” is showing all the signs of a dying fad.  More and more eyes are turning critical, and it is becoming highly satirized.  As I’ve said before with other things:

“The more we can laugh at it, the more we strip it of the power it holds over us.”

Not only are more people willing to point out the absurdity taking place, but without the distraction of a “feminism” that concerns itself more with petty inconveniences than actual strife, others have made genuine progress towards equality.  With GamerGate, for example, it is apparent that it is the gamers who will continue to come out on top, especially when a large number of the women alleging “sexism” and “misogyny” in the industry clearly–CLEARLY–do not play video games themselves, and continue to lose support.  Zoe Quinn practically dropped off the face of the Earth.  Brianna Wu lost nearly all of her funding after the half-ass quality of her “game” was revealed to the public.  Anita Sarkeesian was heavily criticized for her complaints regarding the games showcased at E3, especially given the fact that a publicity photo exists of her posing with a stack of games that include, as its majority, many extremely violent games.

As a woman who used to consider herself a feminist, I once held many of the same faulty beliefs as these young, modern “feminists”.  As I grew older, I became more aware of what was fact, and what was fiction.  It should absolutely be noted here how many of these are women in their teens and early 20′s–a prime time for drama and emotional histrionics.  This is not simply some unfair generalization:  It is scientific fact that puberty (which occurs earlier in girls than in boys) is a time of emotional instability, and now more than ever, more girls are showing signs of emotional issues as opposed to boys, who tend to externalize their emotions via disruptive behavior.

With the advent of social media, it is now easier than ever for isolated, socially-awkward teens to find other like-minded peers.  While this may sound like a positive, it can have plenty of negative effects, including enabling, and emotionally manipulative behavior.  Instead of having tangible friends that can properly judge their entire character, they have online friends that are only given/shown what the poster deems to be a satisfactory representation of themselves.  Rather than learn from life experience, we have many teens that keep to themselves around others, and then retreat to the online world where they can be reassured that everything they think, say, or do is perfectly acceptable behavior, and that they never have to change or improve themselves.  This also branches from the unfortunate trend of parents of the past three decades becoming more and more over-protective when faced with new potential “influences” on their offspring (or at least scapegoats that they can blame their child’s behavior on when they don’t live up to mommy’s expectations).  What we’re left with are many sheltered children that aren’t quite sure where the boundaries are, because no one ever allowed them to see those boundaries during the most crucial periods of their development.  They’ve been raised to believe that if they don’t like something, it should just magically “go away” the same way mommy and daddy would swoop in to do away with any toy or movie that they deemed “inappropriate” for their child.  We’ve also taken positivity to such an unhealthy level that we’re imbuing children with the notion that nothing they do or say can ever be “wrong”, and we’ve gone so far with trying to encourage girls in this country, we treat them like princesses, and actually suggest that the best role models for them are fictional princesses (i.e., women born into privilege, or who marry into privilege).  This has always been a recipe for disaster.

As I said before, when I grew older, I was better capable of seeing the world without a veil of hormonally-induced anxiety.  Within the past four years, I watched a label I had once held with pride be tarnished by mass hysteria and knee-jerk reaction to meaningless trivialities.  The thing that disturbed me most was the fact that unbiased truth is something many of these people eagerly ignore in favor of perpetuating an obsolete and harmful mentality.  Personally, when I discovered the real statistics regarding rape in this country, I was surprised, but absolutely relievedI did not become indignant when faced with the reality that I am safer now as a woman than women have been in decades.  I was reassured knowing that there was no epidemic to live in constant fear of, the same way a child may be reassured when they’re told that no child has ever been eaten by a monster hiding under their bed.  With truth, there is greater peace of mind.  With ignorance, there is fear.

The problem we’ve been seeing overall with today’s “feminism” is that fear is (unfortunately) highly profitable when exploited.  It’s astoundingly easy to make people believe they need something in order to be safe and healthy.  Modern “feminism” is the snake oil salesman trying to convince us that only they have the remedy for what purportedly ails us.  They use exaggeration and false statistics to persuade us that we face “oppression” that–in modern, first-world nations–just isn’t there.  Then they use manipulation to imply that not conforming to their practices automatically classifies us as being against their basic ideals.  Not only is the fear present to keep us blind, ignorant, and malleable, it’s also there to make us too afraid of being labeled a “sexist” or “misogynist” to question their methods.

And so, we see that even highly-educated women who have been applauded for their work by reputable feminist organizations are being ignored, harassed, ostracized, and denied to be part of a movement they’ve supported for decades, simply because they’re willing to admit when an issue is more imagination than reality.  The disparaging reality (especially in this nation) is that truth doesn’t turn a buck as easily as scandal.  The public isn’t interested in reading about how safe they are.  They want to read something shocking and lurid, and thus we continue to allow hoaxes, mass panics, and sensationalism to make the front page.

Fortunately, as with anything that enjoys a sudden surge of popularity, modern “feminism” is fading, mainly because it has just gone too far.  Instead of confronting issues head-on, modern “feminists” are too preoccupied with passive-aggressively attacking them online.  Saying “Excuse me sir, could you move your leg a bit?” to a man on a bus just isn’t as fun and socially profitable as taking pictures of strangers without their permission, then posting them online and insisting that all men deliberately sit with their knees apart as a display of “dominance” (and not, you know, because they have external genitalia and hip bones that are structured differently than a woman’s).  And it’s no fun to talk about issues that don’t personally affect them (such as, say, the myth of “virgin cleansing” that’s such a problem in South Africa, you even find murals pleading with HIV-positive men to not rape children), because they can’t claim to be a “victim” of it, and thus pretend to be a “hero” for “overcoming” it (basically using it as leverage for sympathy).  If it’s someone else’s problem, they could care less. 

This selfish attitude towards an ideal will always come back to bite a person in the end, even if it takes longer than the rest of us would prefer.  The remedy to this ignorance is truth, time, and above all, patience.  When a movement is little more than a fad, it’s only a matter of time before everyone finds something new and more interesting to play with.

julzjulzjulzjulz replied to your post:I’m looking at Jontron’s twitter. Why are you saying he is anti gamergate?

Wtf is gamer gate can u explain

normally i would but i genuinely dont want to but actually fuck it ill give a quick run down

  • there was a female game developer named zoe quinn and her ex boyfriend went online and posted about how zoe was in a relationship with a game journalist and he was giving her game positive reviews
  • everyone freaked out and it sparked a whole thing about ‘corruption in game journalism’ and trying to get more unbiased reviews not swayed by friendships/relationsips i guess from journalists
  • adam baldwin of all fucking people hears about this and talks about it, coins the term 'gamergate’ to refer to the 'movement’ aiming to get rid of corruption in games
  • adam baldwin by the way is massively homophobic, pro gun, and anti feminism
  • the relationship zoe quinn had with a journalist did turn out to be real, but the review the journalist wrote about her game doesnt exist
  • he at no point actually wrote a review of the game (depression quest), and has only mentioned it once when he wrote an article about a show zoe quinn was on (which was written before their relationship even happened)
  • so the whole thing was sparked from literally nothing. nothing. there was no review. but apparently its still about 'corruption in games journalism' 
  • the three people targeted the most by gamergate (anita sarkeesian, brianna wu, and zoe quin) have 2 things in common
  • theyre all women
  • they arent journalists
  • anita sarkeesian is a relatively well known feminist critic in the game world (i guess? shes done other stuff but started talking  about games and then everyone saw her more)
  • she was going to do a university talk about sexism at utah or somewhere but it had to be cancelled due to multiple death threats sent to the university targeting her and feminists some of which even state theyre related to gamergate and the gamergate 'movement’
  • basically gamergates movement is more focused on harassing women and scaring women out of their homes and the video game industry than anything else
  • its essentially those people who are all anti-SJW and use their anti-SJW as a veil for the fact that they hate women and minorities