Tuesday, 7 October 2014


I've pretty much stayed out of this whole gamergate thing, I think I've talked about it with maybe two other people and it was like a five minute "yeah, it's pretty bullshit, can understand both sides, blah blah blah" thing but yeah, my ire has slowly been rising...the first photo linked is from the xoxo festival of last year, the second is of this year. We'll get back to that in just a tick.
Brief notes for those who don't know anything about gamergate, it started when the ex-boyfriend of a female indie game developer accused her of sleeping with a games journalist to get her product a better rating. This might not be entirely true (or at the least is unprovable, though it is a fact that the two accused started dating the day after the review came out which is fairly suspicious in itself though not at all any indication of guilt).This accusation of (note well) of falsifying journalistic endeavour led to a massive backlash against gamers by a group of people who said that such wild claims were examples of the rampant misogyny and lack of diversity in gaming as a whole, the general view being that the male gamer was upset that his hobby was being usurped by emergent female gamers, whilst female gamers in support of such males were falling victim to institutional gender bias (somehow).
Gamers argue it's not about misogyny or being upset about more/less diversity in games (which is a contestable point anyway), but rather that it's about the lack of oversight these games journalists have, that, in effect, these journalists are free to write whatever they want, however they want and receive whatever they want in the forms of free games, merch, etc. and never be held to account for it and that leads to unmitigated corruption with the medium itself.
That is a very, very brief summation of what has transpired thus far in the whole sorry saga. Why I linked those two pictures though is because they are pictures of the XoXo festival, a festival that claims to highlight and support diversity and independence in art and technology. It's all about diversity, right? That's what it claims? Now count how many of the people there that are NOT white, 20ish, males. If you cannot count without using your fingers, don't worry, you won't run out of fingers, hell, if i say take away the white women from that NOT list, you'd probably only need the one hand to count the rest. That's not a diverse crowd. That's a group of people, a very large group of people, who want to sound as though they support diversity because it's the "moral" thing to say. Oh aren't we good because we say good things.
Now compare that audience of people made up of those bemoaning the lack of diversity in gaming with:
There's still an overabundance of males in both pictures, yes, but compared to the ones at the diversity symposium? The second picture was from League of Legends, a game with a reputation for a terrifying toxic environment, so toxic in fact, its developers had to implement ways to curtail player interaction because it was damaging the title...and yet still, there's asians, there's africans/african-americans, there's white folk, male, female, all there having a good time, but it's gamers who have the inability to diversify/cope with diversity? And yet, instead of looking at the quote/unquote journalists attacking people who were attacking them (not as people, but as journalists), other media picked up on it and were heavily sympathetic to the plight of the poor women so traumatised by this event. Which is why women like Zoe Quinn (which I should've mentioned at the start was the woman who started this whole furore) and Anita Sarkeesian are getting articles in places such as cracked.com, polygon.com, even british tabloids like the guardian (oh sorry, it's a broadsheet, snicker snicker) where they talk about their plight and what they've had to suffer through, because they have suffered, that is without question, they've been attacked, time and again. Not because they are women but because what they purport as truth is anything but. Anita Sarkeesian in particular has made a living out of being a victim, it's actually quite masterful, because there'll always be a pack of moral activists willing to jump on the lance pointed at her lies when she screams "misogyny!"
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that gaming is this great, all inclusive thing, because it patently isn't, but as hobbies go it's definitely got a fair leg up on most of its competitors, and for it to be attacked and slandered in such a way is sad, most of all. Not because I like gaming (though I do, a whole freaking lot), but because of what attacking it without thought shows our society to be. The observation I take from it (and other things like this) is that there are far too many people who are far too interested in looking and appearing correct and moral than actually being correct and moral.
Anyway, I've bored you all long enough now, go have an ice cream and/or carbonated beverage of your choosing.