By YukoAsho 16 Comments
Well, women in gaming talked to Klepek about that stupid Dead Island Riptide statue, and the response in the comments section were mostly as expected.
It's disheartening that so many gamers have such a vitriolic, hateful view of anyone who speaks out against disgusting shows of blatant sexism in this industry.
It shows three undeniable truths about the industry.
1) No matter what the ESA wants to tell us, it seems pretty obvious that the overwhelming majority of gamers, once you get outside the mobile space, are male. If it was anywhere near parity, you wouldn't see this tribal reaction by gamers.
2) Most gamers, at least those who go on websites like this, would rather push us women out of "their man-cave" than have a serious discussion. It's rather like the sports fandom, really.
3) Men working in the gaming industry mostly don't care about this issue until the non-gaming media uses it to make the industry look bad and the government comes knocking.
With this in mind, it shouldn't shock anyone that there are scads of gamers trying to downplay or even defend the shameful display by Deep Silver and Techland here. However, while the mostly male gaming audience's reaction surprises me not one iota, the lack of industry men standing up and saying "WTF are we doing?"
Not to say there aren't male gaming voices out standing up against this nonsense, otherwise we wouldn't have Klepek writing the article in the first fucking place. However, it seems that when sexism-related articles featuring gaming personalities' views are published, 99% of the time it's from women, and at least one of them in every other article has one woman staying anonymous because she fears backlash.
Is it really that difficult to find men in this industry who give enough of a fuck to say that maybe it's not okay for sexism to run rampant in this industry? Is it so one-dimensional?
This whole blog post might seem strange coming from a Valis fangirl, but that series was never as condescending as most games seem to women today, at least the few that deign to have female characters at all. It is possible to be sexy without resorting to tired objectification, it is possible to make women that are both empowering and alluring in this medium, indeed, this medium is capable of so much more, even within its established genre, if the gaming industry made even the slightest efforts to appeal beyond the base.
Now, let's not get it twisted here. I'm no advocate for making women in games sexless, lest the setting calls for it. To strip a woman completely of her sexuality solely in the name of inoffensiveness is a form of sexism in and of itself. And no one will ever convince me that there aren't sexualized male characters in gaming as well. However, male characters aren't anywhere near as pigeonholed as women into stereotypical archetypes. The reason The Boss was such an amazing character was that, despite her being clearly female was that she was never reduced to being a "game woman." She was devious, conniving, motherly, introspective and ruthless in equal measure. However, if MGS3 were helmed by anyone other than Hideo Kojima, The Boss would have almost certainly been made a guy at some point in development, because 90% of decision makers in this blighted industry can't wrap their minds around the idea that a woman can be something other than T&A fanservice.
I'm probably going to get ripped a new one by anyone who sees this, but you know what? I don't fucking care at this point. I just felt angry and needed a place to vent. I'll get back out of your man-cave now.