So today is National Video Games Day. This would normally just be a fun little piece of trivia, yet this year it brings with it a whole host of weird feelings.
Video games are still cool. I don’t get to play as many as I’d want due to lack of time, money, and current consoles, but I’m always excited for the Humble Indie Bundle with its Mac-compatible downloads and a friend’s been getting me into League of Legends. If anyone on campus gets a WiiU with the new Smash Bros, expect me to be spending quite a bit of time in their dorm.
But what’s been going on in the “gamer” community in the past month: not cool.
Let this be clear: #GamerGate was started in misogyny. Is everyone involved in the hashtag misogynist? No, I’m sure there are people who are actually concerned about “corruption in game journalism” and genuinely think it’s about that. There HAVE been cases of corruption in game journalism in the past, generally with AAA developers paying sites for good reviews and at least one case of a writer for a major site being fired for giving one such game a mediocre review. But the supposed “corruption” incident that started #GamerGate doesn’t exist. Yes, Depression Quest developer Zoe Quinn has gone out with a journalist, but that journalist NEVER REVIEWED HER GAME, so there’s no corruption in journalism in this case! Even if there was, why continually harass Zoe if it’s the “journalism” that’s supposedly the problem? Women game developers and journalists have been ridiculously and disproportionately harassed during this, and no amount of deflection can hide that this hashtag comes from a toxic place.
This has been talked about plenty in more detail by others (I recommend Andrew Todd’s article and Isometic’s episode about it). I don’t know what I could really add to the discussion except to lend my voice against the misogyny among too many “gamers.” Gaming and fandom shouldn’t be about bullying.
Now who wants to play video games?