Thursday, August 28, 2014

What I'm Trying to Say: A response to Anita Sarkeesian, Zoe Quinn and all the Crazy happening out there

I wrote this for a post in a Facebook group I was a part of.  We were having a discussion about the recent events in the gaming world, and admittedly I was getting a little flustered in my discussion.  the comments were coming at a mile a minute, and it was hard to keep up, plus I am absolutely livid about the subject.  Eventually, a member of the group told me to stop, take a deep breath and told me to type out what I wanted to say.  This is my response.

I'm saying that none of this should be happening.

I'm saying that Anita should be allowed to express her poorly researched opinion without fearing to sleep in her own house.

I'm saying that despite the poorly researched videos, there is rampart sexism in the gaming industry.  I'm saying that even with her poorly researched points, she makes me want to see video games do better.  I watch her videos and I wanna see games that refuse to rely on the tired tropes that she brings up (poorly researched or not, these tropes exist).  And I'm saying that even if I found absolutely NOTHING of value in Anita's criticism, she should be able to exist in the same world as ANY shitty gaming critic without idiots harassing her on a nigh constant basis.

I'm saying that I'm angry that this whole thing is making the video game community look like a bunch of immature brats who are acting like they're being forced to let a girl into their clubhouse.  I'm angry that people constantly bring up how Sarkeesian's videos suck, that's supposed to be some sort of magical excuse that suddenly makes all this abuse seem fine.  I'm angry that an indie dev's slut shaming is being exposed as 'corruption' when actual corruption is happening in the game industry at a corporate level.  I'm angry that Phil Fish can take up a stance in defense of someone like Zoe Quinn, and then gets his entire website hacked in response.  I'm angry that Phil Fish (a developer I really enjoy despite his questionable antics) is not only completely giving up on video games, but is telling people who WANT to get into video games to completely give up because it's not worth the legions of neckbeards spewing constant bile.  A talented, successful indie developer has gotten to the point where he said that despite all his game's success, it's NOT WORTH IT.  That is absolutely heartbreaking.

But most of all, I'm angry about people like me.  People who WANT to try their hands at video games, but are scared because of the vocal minority scaring them off.  Can you imagine how many Phil Fish's, Tim Schafers, or hell, Shigeru Miyamotos we've lost because they, like Fish, think that it's not worth all the hate?  I firmly believe that video games are an art, and every person has their own artistic vision no matter what the medium.  Because of this awful awful ordeal, there could be dozens (maybe hundreds) of artistic visions we will never see.  Because a bunch of assholes didn't like someone criticizing their hobby.

Sarkeesian may have issues with her web series, but I'd rather stand up for a sub-par video about feminism than ANYWHERE NEAR the assholes standing against her.  Because if the trolls/neckbeards/MRAs win, then more talented people will think like Phil Fish and decide "It's not worth it".  And we could lose the next generation of great game devs and artists, both male and female.

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