Note: I have no qualms with people having strong moral convictions, opinions, and viewpoints, and sticking with them. And I’m more than likely digging myself in a hole for this post, at least I’m willing to do anything once.
In a recent bid to get more page clicks and say, “HEY GUYZ! WE HAVE VALUEZ!” Rock Paper Shotgun “boldly” declared they’d no longer attend PAX. The reason? Not for a comic that is years old where both parties handled the situation poorly, nope. It was all because of people that were agreeing with Penny Arcade’s host for regretting removing merchandise and people taking the situation out of complete context, cheering ensued. And the social justice warriors and game journalists lost their minds. And I’m sick to death of this.
Let’s take a look at PAX’s panels this year alone:
Extra Credits: Diversity – a film viewing and Q&A Session
Top Women Game Characters of All Time
Gays in Love (With Their RPG’s)
Hey Vasquez, you ever been mistaken for a man? A discussion of military servicewomen in Video Games
Everything We Know Is Sexist. Now What?
Creating & Building Inclusive Communities in Tabletop/Board Gaming
Achieving Gender Diversity in Gaming: OK, Now What?
Press XY Presents: Right Before Your Eyes: Transitioning Within a Game Community
Political Correctness in Gaming: Let’s Talk
Queers in Gaming: Gamer vs Gaymer
Gender Diversity in Games: Where Are All The Believable Female Characters?
Does that look like an environment that’s hateful? Doesn’t look like it. Sure, PA often has put it’s foot in it’s mouth, but that’s because they’re imperfect, EVERYONE is. Surprise people, when everyone told you that you were a pretty pretty snowflake with no imperfections, they were wrong. YOU WILL SAY SOMETHING YOU WILL REGRET, YOU WILL SCREW SOMETHING UP, NO ONE IS PERFECT. What do you do? APOLOGIZE, which is what PA did. Whether that apology was whole hear-ted is debatable to some. But nobody pays attention to an apology on the internet anymore.
Game journalists must be thanking their respective God for Anita Sarkeesian’s Tropes VS. Women series, because it’s given them new purpose other than to write about video games. Game journalists for years were running around trying to get everyone who didn’t care to realize all that time they and other gamers haven’t wasted their lives playing video games all day, they’re “art connoisseurs”. That constant beating of the drum that “games are art! TAKE US SERIOUSLY!” burnt out like the Hindenburg. Here came Tropes VS. Women to save the day.
Sarkeesian’s series initially rubbed me the wrong way, but after watching it a few times, I see the potential in it (there’s still plenty in it should it keep going), but the discussion has gone off a cliff. It’s no longer about discussing the gender roles in games, and how to improve them, no, now a ton of sites are going full Social Justice Warrior and going on a good ‘ol fashioned witch hunt. It doesn’t take much to find any gaming site talk about misogyny in some game in the past two months. I’ve seen a page say Spyro (a child’s game) is sexist because it has no female dragons to rescue, yeah, we’ve gone full stupid now.
This is an unfortunate turn of events. The Social Justice Warrior trend is a money maker for web pages. I don’t think for a second that a number of these sites actually care about progressive change, but would rather court SJWs in an attempt to get those clicks to their page. This current trend is a gold mine, all one has to do is look for any sort of “sexy” imagery in a game and label it sexist and BOOM!!! The page clicks flow in. SJWs give the journalists a pat on the head for being a good servant and the naive gamer who doesn’t agree with them comes to the game’s (or in some cases the game maker’s) defense and the stories comments gets flooded with everyone biting each other’s head off.
But in all this discussion, it’s funny I barely hear any large backlash against the recently released GTA V. Here’s a series that’s got everything for a social justice warrior to get mad at. But the game is given a free pass because of it’s immediately obvious social commentary, all the sexism and misogyny is given a simple wave of the hand. But if you dare show someone being sexy in a game for fun, you’re crossing the line and you’re then labeled as some sort of pig.
The SJW trend in game journalism has me in complete and utter contempt for the gaming press as a whole. I feel no need for going to gaming new sites anymore. Reddit’s r/games is rife with this stuff as well. And here’s where it really comes crumbling down, by constantly trying to tell people they’re “rape apologists” or they’re “sexist” for disagreeing with a sometimes piss poor straw-man argument, you turn off all attempts at a level headed discussion and lose the war. Some will say good riddance to someone not willing to listen to why they’re not a good person, but then they miss the point.
Now this doesn’t mean that I don’t think that women shouldn’t be represented better in the industry or in games themselves, they absolutely should. And this also doesn’t mean that I think all journalists are just doing this for click bait. People should be given fair treatment no matter their race, sex, or belief. I may not agree with some progressive viewpoints, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to go into a rage over those views that differ mine. I don’t think some SJWs understand that. There’s a whole big world full of people beyond the internet, and there are people that are not going to agree with other’s views, some completely unwilling to listen to them, and they’re going to have to accept that and move on.
Want all genders to be given fair treatment? Present the message in a clear, non-antagonistic manner and as the saying goes, kill it with kindness, that actually works. Don’t insult game developers and call them a bunch of man children for putting in something they think is sexy, you’re not winning them over. You’re ultimately WASTING YOUR TIME trying to fight with immature people over XBOX Live for sending you messages calling you a faggot or telling the 13 year old who constantly shouts in his mic because “you made him lose”. Those people are a lost cause. The same goes for the people who’ve been sending death threats on Twitter over slight tweaks to multiplayer, they don’t care about what it does to those people recieving the bitter end of it. Constantly giving attention to these people is not helping the problem, it only gives them a spotlight.