What’s gone on with GamerGate in the last few weeks has been a microcosm of greater culture, and it’s fascinating because it moves so far and so fast.
Despite (or rather because of) all of the pontificating by left-leaning social justice types in the game industry about oppression, the easiest way for talentless hacks to break into the indie gaming industry is to associate with the sort of hipster liberal types that are getting all the publicity for their oppression. And worse yet, they get in over people with actual skills. …
Let’s be completely honest: most women don’t play Quake III. Most of those few women like me who actually like first person shooters, grand strategy, space sims, and all those other genres that make up “core” gaming don’t care if they can play as a female protagonist, or if the girls are wearing skimpy outfits, or if you have to rescue the princess. They like the exact same things as men who like those games, and they just want good games, nothing more nothing less. And most of them feel that all this rambling on about representation is distracting from the real issue: big developers and publishers are making shitty games for mass appeal instead of the kind of awesome games we played growing up. When you distract from that to rant about what is literally imaginary misogyny you’re hurting women like me who just want good games.
Now, onto Chivalry, and not that archaic concept of men having different authorities and responsibilities than women, but the game Chivalry: Medieval Warfare.
The GamerGate story has parallels to something that happened a couple years ago to Torn Banner Studios, the small independent company that makes a cathartically violent Chivalry.
There was a very interesting response to Chivalry, and one of the few things I read about it in video game media/reporting (though that’s mostly because I care more if the game’s fun than what some reporter says – and Chivalry is a fun game, though obviously people have different tastes).
A forum member asked for female characters to be included in the game, and the developer said no, because he thought that an already violent game with the addition of female characters would lead to a horrible reaction in the fan community – basically that there would be verbal abuse by hyped-up male players playing a violent game. He was pretty sure he knew the audience for his kind of game, and saw that as potential trouble. As written by one of the devs:
This is a tough one, I actually think that adding female characters to a game like this would make it appeal less to females. Which at first sounds strange, but from my experience of the general maturity level of the internet and the unfortunately male dominated FPS market… I don’t think that it would add to the experience for women or men given the actions that would likely occur.
Hopefully that helps you understand why we decided not to go that route… I am totally fine with women fighting, but its the fact that it would probably overall harm the way the community would play the game that has me concerned.
And of course it was picked up by Kotaku as an example of sexism. Yes, the same horribly biased, social-justice demanding Kotaku that’s been central to GamerGate. Their article, while short, existed to tell Torn Banner that they were wrong, because sexism or something. It’s a very short article from two years ago, but one that exists solely to say that a developer is wrong because he won’t put women characters in his game.
Just for reference, this is gameplay from Chivalry (don’t click play if you don’t want to see knights dismembered):
Now, in a game where one teamplay mode has one team literally killing off a village full of defenseless screaming peasants:
Would it really be a good idea to have screaming women involved in that, too?
If women were included, wouldn’t the response be that Chivalry is a game that hates women and literally rends them limb from limb?
Frankly, the developer made a hyperviolent game – one that is wonderfully cathartically fun – and made a decision not to include women in the game because he thought few women would be playing it anyway, and that it would only make things worse for those women who would. Like the female indie dev said – most women don’t play this kind of “core” game – and if they do, they don’t care about having a female character model, or need to hear a female voice choking on her own blood or watching her head roll down a hill.
We’ve seen in the last few weeks that the point of a lot of video game “journalism” isn’t to rate or review games, it’s to allow smug jackasses to benefit themselves financially and to lord their own moral superiority over the very people they profess to be writing for. It’s self-congratulatory social justice leftism on a holier-than-thou crusade to tell you, the gamer, that you suck – the same thing we see on a larger scale in society, but less rapid and less visible.
And it’s been going on for a while now.