I'm not usually one who is big into blogging, or talking on the internet much. Not that it has anything to do with you fine folks, it's just that I prefer to keep to myself, and not pester anyone unduly.
But this is a topic which has seemed to seep into all forms of gaming "journalism" and I would like to address it finally from my point of view. And what better place than here, N4G. Home of some of the most informed gamers I know.
Well, let's get this show on the road. Anita Sarkeesian. She has been called many things by the people of the internet, from scum bag, to gaming messiah. See, her story is basically as follows-
Anita is a feminist, and good thing too! Women are indeed, under represented in gaming, Anita herself describes gaming as "An exclusionary boy's club" where women are not wanted or are mere objects of lust. For the most part, I agree with her. But we will get to that later. See, Anita had a Youtube page dedicated to picking apart various forms of media to point out the tropes that paint women in a negative light, or otherwise, try to keep women as second class citizens. This is surely a noble pursuit, and good on her for pursuing this... Pursuit.
But now, Anita is taking on video games. That is all fine and good. The image of women in games is usually as a sex object or a princess in distress, so that could stand to change. But it is the way she is approaching this that doesn't sit right with me. I don't know this woman. I don't know if she even plays games. But she comes around on the Kickstarters and starts demanding money for making Youtube videos.
Here is my problem with Ms. Sarkeesian:
1- Youtube is a free platform, it is simple as that
2- If Anita was in fact a "gamer" she would already have games
3- If Anita has no games of her own to analyze, why is she doing this in the first place?
So why all the fanfare? Why raise thousands of dollars if you are already doing Youtube videos to begin with? I don't know, but since her Kickstarter got funded, with I don't know how many dollars, she seems to have done nothing but be the center of attention in the gaming media. Not a single video has come out, yet Anita finds the time to take trips to do workshops with game devs, and to give TED talks. It seems like if you were going to be this impassioned about a subject, an important social disease like misogyny, and you went out of your way to fund this project with thousands of your fan's hard earned dollars, that you would at least make a video or two.
That is my two cents on Anita. Great gal. I wish her all the luck in the world, but she needs to get on the fucking ball.
Next, I would like to talk about a second group claiming that games are in fact "elitist boys clubs" I am talking of course, about so called "fake gamers"
There has been a lot of discussion lately as to who is and who isn't a "real gamer" Now let me say this as simply as possible... Gaming, historically, has been a niche hobby. People who play games religiously, have always been seen as social outcasts, for lack of a better word. So with the recent rise of social gaming, and the casualizing of the medium, we have seen nothing less of a full blown cultural shift. Games are now in, and all the popular kids are claiming to be OG original gamers, but the thing is, a lot of these people are the same guys that were giving gamers wedgies in high school. These people that used to ostracize gamers, and even make fun of gaming and gamers, are now claiming to be gamers themselves. This is a cultural trend that is very strange indeed.
Whats more, these guys and gals that used to be some how above gaming, are claiming that we who have been long time gamers, are acting like elitists for being skeptical of these newcomers. All I have to say to them is "too bad." This is a technology culture. We have put in hours, months, and years into these games, and when someone just shows up one day, and expects to be part of the gang, they get laughed out. I'm not a motorhead, so if I went out one day, bought a muscle car, and started showing up to conventions and shit, I would be laughed out too. Because I would not be a genuine car collector, mechanic, or what have you. You can't just go out and buy a Gameboy and claim to be a true die hard gamer. You have to earn your keep here. It is the same with any other niche culture. You just have to deal with that. Expecting anything else is juvenile and childish. That is just the way it is.
All that aside, nobody in the world, whether soccer mom, jock, or preppy, should be scared away from gaming. Just don't insult us by trying to force your way in to the culture. Start gaming, if you wish. Learn your shit. Actually play games instead of using them as fashion accessories. That is all I have to say about that.
So there you have it. My first attempt at blogging. Maybe I will keep this up, it was fun to write, and I hope you had fun reading. Please, leave any comments, hateful, sympathetic, or otherwise. I would love to start a dialog here. Talking is the key to understanding.
Till next time?