Arrr Gamergate. I might as well weigh in here as it seems as good a topic to have my first opinion piece on. So let’s go to the beginning and see what it is all about?
To simplify GamerGate, it seems that some Douchebag got offended that his girlfriend dumped him. He, like a total douchebag, wrote a blog about her, where he made a series of unfounded allegations, and acted like a spoilt child.
Douchebags on the internet took this as an attack on “their culture”, and thus a shit storm was born.
In all of this, something was lost about Douchebags original post. He made some allegations that Developers/Pushishers, and the “Press” were too close. And you know what?
Reviewers are too close to publishers.
Magazines like Nintendo Power were criticised for being too close to the games, and as a result of this independent companies started publishing their own magazines.This was supposed to make it independent, impartial and fair.
But the independent/impartial/fair, never happened. Instead we got magazines that give ridiculous scores to games, we got these independant companies jumping into bed with the game developers in the hope of higher profits.
Destiny got 100% off “Official PlayStation Magazine”, what so this is a perfect game that will be played for all eternity? Well, the user reviews are giving it 6.4 as a score. And scores of players are leaving it after a few weeks.
Diablo 3 scores consistently in the high 90%, but has a 3.9 user rating. I played Diable 3 for a few months, and would give it a high 70’s, as it was never anywhere near as good as Diablo 2.
Dead Island scores 80 from critics, while the users score it 6.8.
Call of Duty 4.2 got 94 overall from “official” magazines, which includes several 100%s. This is absolute bullshit, COD4.2 had alright multiplayer, but it is not a 100% game. It is an 80% at best. It gets a user score of 6.1!
All scores correct at time of writing. I selected these games because they are next to me in a pile.Except FIFA. Because FUCK FIFA.
Now I know reviews are based on opinion, so a score will vary. But what I find is AAA games ALWAYS score high 80s to low 90s. This isn’t because the game is good, it is due to larger magazines relying on publishers/developers for exclusives. Very rarely do magazines criticise games, except this…
I have spoken to reviewer friends in the UK, and they confirmed (anecdotally) that they have given positive reviews to games, because if they didn’t [INSERT PUBLISHER] wouldn’t work with them anymore. FOR FAIRNESS AND BALANCE, THIS ALSO HAPPENS IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY.
So, on the charge of developers and reviews being too close. I agree. Maybe GamerGate exposed an actual problem!
Feminism/Feminazi/ and Sexism rolled into one
This is where GamerGate becomes a despicable mess of hatred.
And, I hate almost everyone who got involved. This is a perfect example of why the internet isn’t allowed nice things. Here are people abusing Dara O’Briain on Twatter for supporting women developers. In case you didn’t know, Dara has basically spent the last 10 years as a darling of the U.K game community because he is witty/insightful, and makes very good, intelligent comments on gaming culture. Luckily for Dara though, he is a he. So the vitriol against him wasn’t as bad as say Anita Sarkeesian/Brianna Wu/Emma Watson
Now let’s be clear. I am a feminist. I am male, I am 30, I am straight. But none of that matters. I believe we are ALL equal, I believe that woman should be treated the same as men, I believe woman should be paid an equal wage for an equal job, that they should have the same access to the opportunities I am. I even made a video about it for work.
So do I believe equality has been achieved? Not really. There is a pay gap, this is a fact. We are still not equal. This is also a fact.
REFERENCE 4 http://www.equalpayportal.co.uk/statistics/
My 4 sources are, a RIGHT-WING newspaper, a LIBERAL newspaper, a Union (so LEFT-WING), and a governmental report (claims impartiality). I could link to more, but I don’t need to. This is based on INDEPENDANT, IMPARTIAL statistics in the United Kingdom.
Now, people will point out the outdated figures, so…
This report is once a year , and takes place at the END of the year. So the figures for 2014 will come out in December.
In 2013, the gap grew for the first time in 5 years. According to the 4 sources (all rivals with differing agendas) the gap is about £5000. So, in the U.K there IS a pay gap.
If you can provided and facts/figures that prove otherwise I will recant this. Individuals being paid more, doesn’t prove it.
THEY EXIST! It is true, I am not going to defend somebody who hates men, and want men to be punished for being men. But what I do want is for men and woman to be treated equally. I hate feminazis as much as I hate trolls, and the LAD Bible.
They are a separate entity, and not relevant to the argument.
The vitriol that ensued as a result of Douchebags blog post, led to rape threats, death threats, and bomb threats. All because a woman had an opinion/made a game.
So wait… “Woman are equal, we don’t need feminism? “ well it seems to me from the backlash that ensued, that we really do NEED
I am not especially a fan of Anita Sarkeesian, but she makes very good points in the Tropes vs Woman in Video Games series. Female characters ARE underrepresented, or badly portrayed.
On a side note, I hate GTA and have done since after San Andreas, but I don’t consider GTA to be sexist, or particularly misogynistic. I also think these themes HAVE a place in gaming,
The usual counter argument to this is “But Lara Croft/Female Sheppard/Faith from Mirror’s Edge” are good example, and THEY ARE. They are well written, balanced characters. However, having a few decent characters doesn’t makes it better? It is like arguing Micheal Bay isn’t a terrible director because he made a good film once.
Exceptions to the rule DO NOT DISPROVE THE RULE. They are exceptions, and in those games, the developers should be celebrated.
Ok, so I sort of agreed on this for about 5 minutes. The misogynistic elements of the debate did detract from the original claims of Douchebag. Once this was pointed out though, NotYourShield became sinister.
The fact that woman received death threats for speaking out about sexism in games PROVES the case, and why people need to speak out. Calling in a bomb threat to prevent somebody talking about sexism proves this, sending a girl into hiding because Douchebag wrote a rambly blog proves this, the comments on Dara O’Briain’s twitter prove this.
The problem with #NotYourShield is that it was the same racist/homophobic/sexist ass clowns that were posting abuse about GamerGate, they were using NotYourShield as THEIR SHIELD. That again, proves that we need feminism/equality, and that sexism and misogyny exist in gaming. Again, this means people need to speak out.
On a side note:
Why was the original game developer the target of abuse? Why didn’t the bloke she slept with have a hate campaign? After all, he “wrote” the favourable reviews. Technically HE is the one that wrong our precious community?
Now we have all been in a game lobby with a girl, and the second they talk, the chat room fills with “tits or GTFO”, “rape threats”, “sex talk”, “Girls should play Candy Crush Saga”, well to that last comment, here is a quote from Charlie Brooker.
I wouldn’t blame women for voluntarily choosing to play something soothing and non-threatening in their free time, since they spend so much of the rest of their time being forced to play a terrifying survival horror MMORPG colloquially known as “The Internet”. Women are the hardest hardcore gamers there are, by miles.
I loved my days in a WoW guild that was run by TWO WOMAN, I love that chats I have with my FEMALE friends about Final Fantasy, particularly the fights we get into which is best FFVI or FFVII. Your sex, or sexuality makes no difference to your gaming ability, or knowledge, or ability to talk about a subject, or even WORK in that area.
Yes, more woman play Candy Crush, than men, that’s irrelevant. It is a pointless, non-argument. If that is your argument, please leave your opinion in my inbox. (It isn’t really an inbox, it’s a shredder.
Coming full circle
The fact is, women make up around 48-50% of the gamerbase (Wikipedia). Why is it that the people can’t accept that maybe woman should be allowed to make games? Maybe if the developers percentage split was closer to 50% we wouldn’t have to put up with Call of Duty 19, GTA 12, FIFA39. Maybe the AAA games would be better?
Maybe the issue of game journalists giving favourable reviews to terrible games would solve itself, because MAYBE involving different people in the game making process would actually IMPROVE games? It couldn’t hurt right? I mean a WOMAN made the first decent Tomb Raider game in about nearly 20 years, so anything is possible.
Overall. It isn’t Banter, you’re just a prick
The internet is a wonderful place, games are a wonderful thing. But a select vocal few are intent on ruining it for us all. That is why we need feminism, that is why we need equality, that is why we need more woman in gaming in developer or publishing roles. And this is especially why, we need people to speak out about it.
Oh, and I don’t hate real gamers. Just those that lurk in chat rooms, or those on League of Legends.