By Rockdalf 7 Comments
I know that we've had enough articles and opinions on what's been going on last month running to last us all a lifetime, but I feel like I've reached some sort of closure on the matter I would like to share with everyone who may be interested.
Before I begin, I feel I should provide a little background. I pride myself an informed gamer. I like to read the reviews, the previews, the upcoming games, the framerates, etc. etc. The only thing I probably spend more money on than Video Games, is digital hats for Dota 2 and as a consumer of both video games and digital hats, I like to keep myself informed. I've been involved in video games strictly as a consumer, for 20 years thus far (my first console was an old NES) and most of my friends I still hang out with I've met through gaming. Despite having families of our own, almost every event we plan is somehow centered around video games or a game of DnD.
Last week was such an event. All of us got together to play DnD 5e for the first time (So much fun!) and curiosity got the better of me. I decided to gauge their opinion on the events of last month.
"So what did you think of that whole Jenn Frank thing?" I asked, as I thumbed through the new list of wizard spells.
"Who's that?" one of my friends asked.
"Uh, she's some reporter that quit because she was being harassed on Twitter because of this whole GamerGate thing."
"What's that?" the other one asked looking at me like I was stupid.
I didn't know how to respond. Three of my closest gaming friends were literally oblivious to every thing that had occurred the month prior. Justin, the WoW-fiend of the group, knew all about the new graphical overhaul that was coming to WoW on the PTR. Dustin, the JRPG player amongst us, later brought up Tales of Xillia 2, and how he probably wasn't going to pick it up because he doesn't like Tales game sequels. Micheal, my friend and Halo partner asked my opinion on Destiny and whether I thought it was worth buying a new console for. They were living their happy little lives completely unaware of the social war currently targeted on their beloved media. After bringing it up, and seeing their confusion, I was all too happy to move on to another subject.
Going home that night, I came to a realization. They're the real gamers. While all the 140 character fury is flung back and forth, the blissfully ignore it and buy the games that interest them. They don't know how many women work on their games. They probably don't care if a women rights the reviews they read. They just play video games, not because it's a culture to them, or because games represent something akin to art, but because they only like playing them.
I have lots of opinions on GamerGate and gaming journalism, and Anita Sarkeesian. I think both sides have good points and bad points and if they'd see past the current blowups, they'd realize their goals don't really conflict with each other at all. We can embrace women as journalists, developers, characters and most importantly players. At the same time, we can define what games journalism means, who they market to and whose interests they have in mind. These are BOTH longstanding issues and I don't expect them to go away tomorrow.
I think we all need to have a discussion on these issues. Not have a listen, not a twitter debate, but genuine back and forth, two way street discussion. Because we're gamers, we don't learn from being told, we learn from being involved.
And I think we'd all be a lot happier if we'd just go back to playing video games.