Recommended Reading: Goodbye, “Gamers”
This has been a tremendously awful week for women in the video game industry, characterized by harassment, stalking, and threats of violence. But even through this maelstrom of hate, there are voices speaking up, from the marginalized to the mainstream - all exploring how we got to this point, what this violence signifies, and how we can address it for what it is.
"Game websites with huge community hubs […] say things like ‘we delete the really bad stuff, what else can we do’ and ‘those people don’t represent our community’ — but actually, those people do represent your community. That’s what your community is known for, whether you like it or not. When you decline to create or to curate a culture in your spaces, you’re responsible for what spawns in the vacuum.”
“'Gamers' don't have to be your audience. 'Gamers' are over.” (Leigh Alexander, Gamasutra) You can support this artist by buying Clipping Through: One Mad Week In Video Games on Gumroad!
"they struggle to understand and adjust to a rapidly shifting cultural landscape, in and out of games, that’s moving away from traditionally catering to them and their empathy-deficient values into something more culturally sensitive and aware. and so they find simple explanations for these complex phenomena that fit within their bigoted worldviews - boogeymans of evil, manipulative and misleading women."
"This incident demonstrates what happens to men and what happens to women, when they antagonise the black hairball of hatred that is geek fandom. Women who write criticism get rape and death threats; men who are involved in creating the products geeks purchase and devote themselves too—TV shows, games, films—are also hated but with little to no threat of sexual violence."
“Fanboys, White Knights, and the Hairball of Online Misogyny.” (Tauriq Moosa, The Daily Beast)
"Due to fundamental shifts in the videogame audience, and a move towards progressive attitudes within more traditional areas of videogame culture, the gamer identity has been broken. It has nowhere to call home, and so it reaches out inarticulately at invented problems, such as bias and corruption, which are partly just ways of expressing confusion as to why things the traditional gamer does not understand are successful."
“The End of Gamers.” (Dan Golding)
"What Sarkeesian is doing is standard pop culture criticism, of the kind that films and books have been subjected to for decades - and TvsWVG is pretty good. It’s thorough and accessible, and it’s both a good introduction to the concept of feminist cultural criticism and an example of the increasing respect that games receive as an artform. […] Yet for pointing out obvious, incontrovertible evidence of sexist and misogynist parts of popular games, Sarkeesian gets vitriol. To be clear, this is still going on, two years later, every time a new video is released.”
“Tropes vs Anita Sarkeesian: on passing off anti-feminist nonsense as critique.” (Ian Steadman, New Statesman)
"What this actually about is the entitlement and disdain shown to game creators, and some longtime gamers feeling threatened by more people moving into what they consider their space. Frustration that had been building amongst them–annoyed by the rise in discussions centered on gender, race and diversity in video games–has now burst forth. This group is so incensed that they’re using petty gossip about someone’s personal life to fuel a movement aimed at ‘taking back’ video games from evil feminists who dare to make/support non-traditional games, or criticize AAA titles, under the guise of ‘integrity.’"
“Don’t believe the ‘conspiracy,’ gaming has bigger problems than ‘corruption’.” (Emma M. Wooley, The Globe and Mail)
"Games culture needs to change at a grassroots level, and each of us have a part to play in that revolution if we want it to happen. It’s not only the worst of us who need to change. None of us are outside of this system. None of us are completely above its effects. None of us are entirely innocent. We all need to work to make our role in games culture more positive (which absolutely does not mean ‘less critical’)."
“A Guide to Ending ‘Gamers’.” (Devin Wilson, Gamasutra)
"There’s no ‘hearing both sides.’ If you’re not speaking out with us or fighting for us, then you’re not some reasoned logician who is letting cooler heads prevail - the truth is you don’t give a shit about the women in the industry. You don’t care about the casualties. And you are part of the problem."
“The Truth About Zoe Quinn.” (Elizabeth Sampat)