By Lazyaza 0 Comments
I've personally tried to not comment on this entire thing too much myself as I just think its too much of a giant mess with too many people saying and thinking just the worst things no matter where they stand on whatever subject one is specifically discussing around all this. And that's ultimately the worst aspect is that its so rarely even a civil mature discussion, its an endless shit flinging contest and no-one has "won" or is "winning" everyone is losing.
All I know is whenever I read "gamersgate" now I definitely do not think of defending transparency and fairness in games media, all that comes to mind is misery, anger and hate being encouraged or forced upon others by a certain sub sect of the general gaming community and a lot of it being very specifically targeted at women in either the coverage or development industries, but seemingly most of the time its aimed at just about anyone daring to critique or analyze video games in general now. Their has always been a bit of a kneejerk reaction to this kind of thing form some people, like the ones who do react this way truly believe the world wants to take away the kinds of games they love or some nonsense when that has never ever been a possibility. Dead or Alive XBV and Mortal Kombat aren't going to cease being what they are just because some random person said they'd like to see less games of that nature.
I don't know why these people decided this had to be something they needed to do, I don't know why some people think that Anita Sark is the devil (she really isn't that huge a deal, her detractors just turned her in to one ironically) or why anyone who would think saying video games aren't perfect and change is needed is some kind of crazy-talk "SJW" (I despise that label so much) spewing pile of lies.
I've been one of those people saying for many years now that video games have grown tiresome and samey at a very rapid rate, that I'm sick of the "big triple A budget" studios focusing so intensely on the same old perceived market, the same old ideas, the same old sensibilities and creativity being at an all time low outside of indi development.
So when people say we need diversity, we need new ideas, we need better more balanced representations of different kinds of people and things in games I don't interpret it as "censorship is needed" or "this sick filth needs to not exist" (which seems to be exclusively what GG supporters think is being said) I interpret it exactly as what it is; acknowledging that the industry is still very flawed, still in need of a lot of growth, change and maturity and all of that is inevitable and impossible to stop no matter what any gg'er might claim. It doesn't matter how many GGers their are, how loudly they yell, how aggressively they act in the end the market decides what it wants. And the market already has as far as I can tell.
The simple fact of the matter is, their are more girl and women gamers now than ever before, their are more non-straight, non-white, non-male (or male identifying anyway) people who love games than ever before. More so than a lot of game players out there will ever realize, especially those running publishing companies. And if anyone has the right to criticize this industry the most it is people like them - the ones not being treated as fairly as people like myself. And I'd say even to some degree their mistreatment harms me too in a roundabout way, though I'd certainly never claim to be in the same position. I'm not a feminist nor do I spend much time passionately asking for "social justice" in any form but I completely respect the desires of people who do fight passionately for these kinds of things because lets face it, the world is fucked, its cruel, its unfair, at times so grossly uneven it makes me a little depressed, and the only way we humans will ever fix this is by having the passion, courage and motivation to do so.
I'm a straight white male gamer, I love boobs, I love gore, I love explosions, I love all the same stupid shit anyone like me most likely would. I never take offense to pandering content, I never think lesser of any person or group of people for making whatever they want to make no matter how creepy, sleazy or otherwise depraved and awful it might be in taste or content. All forms of media have a right to exist and I think all forms will continue to exist. But like anyone with healthy interests in entertainment I like diversity, I like having all kinds of stuff to choose from based on whatever mood or mind set I happen to be in. When I was a teenager sure I probably only ever wanted to see boobs and blood 24/7 but as I'm getting very close to the big three O my interests in the kinds of media I consume have only gotten more and more non-specific. I can pretty much enjoy just about anything now. No matter how childish and "safe" it is or how horrific and "wrong" it may seem (provided its within the safety of fictional content of course) and anything in between those two extremes.
Video games are still a young art form, their are still countless concepts and ideas that have not been explored much if at all and even on a very basic level their hasn't really been that much in the way of unique stories with unique original characters.
I am still waiting patiently for a studio to make an action adventure game with the production values and execution quality of an Uncharted 2 or a God of War 3 (two of my all time favorite games) that not only stars a female character but stars one that is objectively cool and likable without seeming like she were some cliche pandering cardboard cut out of a character.
Bayonetta is an amazing character staring in a set of amazing games, the new Tomb Raider was freaking awesome but the former revolves around the games winking at the player (presumed to be male and straight) 24/7 and the latter turned the suffering of a woman in to a marketing gimmick that didn't really benefit the character or its story in the way I think the developers thought it would so much as it kinda just came off feeling creepy and excessive. I would never ask a developer like Platinum to not make Bayonetta the way they do; after all a big part of the charm of that series is how self aware it is that the protagonist deliberately panders to the player as part of her character. But I can't help but wonder what if a developer made a game that plays as well as the Bayo games do that stars a female lead and she isn't used for any kind of pandering, that she simply were a cool lady doing cool shit and the same old baggage of "well if our lead is female she needs to fill requirements X, Y an Z solely so we can market this" weren't adhered to. Just food for thought that I personally spend a lot of time thinking about. I don't need such a game to exist, but I just think it would be super nice and kind of awesome, and it still hasn't happened and that kinda bums me out.
And that's why what people like Anita are fighting for matters to me, why I just can't stand by anyone who supports GamersGate, in the end I just want more games that aren't the same tired old thing and if achieving that also happens to allow people who aren't just white straight doods like me get more in to games then I don't see any downside to this at all.
Thankfully it seems like things are headed this way regardless of what anyone says. The market always decides what is and what is not and if the market continues to want change then change will happen and that'll be that. Harassing women in the industry just makes everyone look bad, it benefits no one and nothing and only serves to paint the picture that we are all still sad basement dwelling social outcasts. And that is what makes ME angry because that's not what we are.
And even though I doubt any would ever read this, I ask GG supporters; what are you really fighting for? Because just like Jeff as far as I can tell its for a world that hates, despises, mocks and belittles video games even more so than it once did. You're fighting for games to go back to being little more than a childs past time and deep down I don't think anyone, anywhere, ever, truly wants them to only ever be that. This is a medium that deserves to be so very much more than just that and we aren't going to reach that goal by continuing to tell a large percentage of the community surrounding games we don't want them here or that harsh critique and analysis and all kinds of opinion are not allowed.
Anyone who truly loves video games should absolutely not support GamersGate at all as I sure as hell do not.