Follow the ramblings, jokes and opinions of a 19 year old games industry enthusiast.
Jokes, anecdotes, game reviews and even my opinions on certain matters... not that they do matter, just saying is all...
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Hey all hope you’re all doing fine!
I’ll be following up on yesterdays post later on. The post will be about the competitive gaming scene, it will cover the difference between offline and online and why it relates to the post I made last night.
If you are at all interested in why competitive gaming is such a ‘big deal’ when it comes to internet bullying and human nature then be sure to read it.
Hope you find it interesting and have a great day.
BUCKLE UP THIS IS GOING TO BE ONE HELL OF A POST.
I’m writing this as it comes out my brain so if it seems a tad disjointed in places its my brain moving from point to point.
So where to begin? Ah yes. The current turmoil in gaming between Men and Women, well certain women that is. Not all have experienced sexism, not all have voiced their experience of sexism and perhaps not all seem all that phased or perhaps even remotely care but fact of the matter is, sexism exists, unfortunately it has done for a long time and really hasn’t dissipated.
Why is this? Well I could go into writing about the history of women’s rights and ascension into their rightful equality amongst men but I’m here to talk about the problems in the CURRENT video game industry.
Lets take a good example of internet bullying to begin with, a relatively famous example involving Anita Sarkeesian. (http://www.feministfrequency.com/ learn more about her here)
Anita is currently developing a web series based around the common tropes in the industry. I.E itemisation of women, male empowerment, lack of female protagonists, damsel in distress feature, etc. Although I do not agree 100% with her views (and ill explain why later) her videos may be eye opening for you.
Anita was subject to internet bullying and abuse on a mass scale when she was discovered by a 4chan user who proceeded to post about her on the both famous and infamous site. Naturally a female ‘attacking’ the game genres, creators and series that the users of 4chan held so dear provoked an onslaught of sexist remarks on her videos (article here http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2012-07-09-anita-sarkeesian)
LEWIS WHEN ARE YOU GONNA TALK ABOUT VIDEO GAMES!?
I’m getting there, don’t get your jimmies all rustled.
So why did this happen and what were the implications of this?
Well this was very much a sticks and stones scenario. The bullies and trolls were obviously not going to do anything to her in real life, so the next best thing in their mind was to try and intimidate her away from what she was trying to bring to light.
This was a chance for Anita to bolster her evidence of the way women are treated online and in video games. She would have been stupid not to use what they did to her advantage and alas, Anita is far from stupid.
This is where my opinion and insight creeps in. What this has inherently done is sparked a snowball effect hate from both opposing parties adding to this snowball gaining momentum and thus more media attention. OHH DRAAAAMAAAAA.
What some people fail to realise is that when you are on-line, people with the same ideals, values, outlook on life and personalities group together, its how social groups are formed on-line. The people who are more alike will find each other. Saturating the diverse opinion pool that we get in real life social groups.
Hang on a tic Lewis, what’s this got to do with sexism and video games?
Everything. You see. When that video was posted to 4chan the rally of hatred came from people with the same values, a concentrated group of people who shared the same opinion forced themselves upon Anita like animals to scare her off, the fact is, it is a well known site for people like that. Can we expect less?
This is when the MINORITY seem like THE MAJORITY. The people who didn’t or don’t care/ agree with to some extent what Anita had to say didn’t bother leaving hate or simply quietly moved on, no need to get involved with the people who want to waste their time with posting hate. I know because i was interested with what she had to say, watched it, then quietly moved on. I know plenty others who would have done the same.
So then… where does the problem lie?
Well, whilst Anita and other feminists who share her views tackle the video game industry by outlining the common tropes. I believe the problem lies within communities. And yes i mean that in general but i’ll hit three here for you.
The gaming community. Not much that those of you who have bothered reading this far don’t already know about different gaming communities but hell. Lets go for it eh? Different games, different communities. You will rarely find the same loud-mouth rude incompetent little kid who’s parents let him/her play CoD at the age of 12 be part of a Minecraft community server. Different goals different premise, different exposure. Needless to say we all love Minecraft for the ability to bring us all together in co-operation and imagination. Equality is strong here.
I don’t think i need to go into XBL on-line chat in games such as CoD but ill outline something for you. Competitive games. People always strive for control, power and supremacy, ESPECIALLY MEN. This couldn’t be more true its the same in ALL aspects of life you could argue that Democracy works on this principle in respect to people chasing power and striving to succeed. (THERE IS A HELL OF A LOT MORE TOO IT THAN THAT DON’T QUOTE ME ITS AN EXAMPLE)
Humans in general like to be in control of things. We don’t want our freedom impeded; ‘Hey Chris from across the road got that scooter i wanted, WELL FUCK HIM ILL GET THE NEXT MODEL UP’ Competition is in our blood and nature. Its in me, its in you, learn to accept that. We all fucking hate it when we lose to someone or feel that they are better than us.
LEWIS GET BACK TO VIDEO GAMES!!!
Shit, sorry. So this links into gaming, control. It is a lot easier to control a game and claim dominance over someone when you are a faceless voice over a microphone, why? ITS EMPOWERING! that’s why.
Human nature ladies and gentlemen.
I could go on about the gaming community and empowerment to explain it more but ill move onto…
Well then. The way you are brought up by your parents, your home, friends and surrounding all impact your personality and ultimately will influence the path you take in life. Where you live and who you know will form your opinion on everything. we grow from others this way.
If you become a rude loud mouth raving lunatic here chances are you’ll stay that way and influence others around you in gaming communities. Or perhaps go on-line, find people like you, stay on that social group site and end up being the idiot who adds to the snowball effect i was talking about earlier. I digress, but you get the picture.
Last and by very means least.
BOO HISS! no seriously the media is great we owe a lot to them… after all… they influence our opinion on everything… but they are also to blame for the rise in this nasty ‘sexism in gaming’ business. Just today I read an article from the lovely Helen Lewis (Twitter here: https://twitter.com/helenlewis) Which was posted on the telegraphs website (Article here if you are interested: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/10086627/Are-computer-games-being-taken-over-by-women.html)
What is it that bothers me here. Well, the title being ‘Are computer games being taken over by women’ That title was carefully chosen, not by Helen herself, no, but by someone who gave the go ahead for it to be put up. According to Helen she titled it ‘The games women play’ which is a more apt and less provocative article title, no?
What do you mean by provocative Lewis?
Referring to what i said earlier about annoying the minority who will give an abrupt response to something they feel impedes on their ‘territory’ or ‘freedom’ The final editor is poking the wild bear with a stick to get a reaction. One that AGAIN further bolsters feminist views on gaming.
I mean why wouldn’t they? more chance for a follow up article and more site traffic if some controversial shit goes down.
Bottom line is that the gaming community is the root of a lot of the problems the games industry is getting stick for. Although some games don’t do themselves any favours with how they develop they aren’t the real problem, after all. Sex sells, they want to earn money from kick ass games that EMPOWER the player and they will continue to do so. Because the majority consumer are males. And its what most people want, they wouldn’t be doing their job if they didn’t deliver to the masses.
Things haven’t really changed in that respect but I send my condolences and wish best of luck to women who have been abused within our gaming communities simply for laughs and or other prejudices.
I don’t see things changing much any time soon. In the games industry in general and especially in on-line communities.
Thanks for reading my insight and thoughts, if you’d like me to do a follow up article going into more detail about anything i have touched on here let me know on twitter or here and ill actually plan it out and write it before hand next time.
Much love and warmest regards,