A Word About “Gamergate”, Please!

Oh well, recently, all this talk about “Gamergate” has become more and more annoying, especially since there are many things interwoven together … Let’s have a look at key issues without going into details about who is right, wrong etc.

1. Death threats are everywhere. Let’s face this simple fact: There’s an unhealthy minority of brainfucked idiots who utter death threats to people. Footballers, politicians, ordinary people who lobbied for a Jane Austen 10 pound note, name it. Everyone who stands out is a target. Everywhere. Simple truth: Earth is full of idiots, and those idiots are everywhere. Of course, this isn’t an excuse to troll around and threaten people, but let’s put it all into perspective. It’s the internet.

2. The “gamers” these days are a silent majority. Gamers in 2014 are more than just the blatantly stupid, twitter-abusing minority of the outspoken and opinionated minority of gamers (the ones who comment in magazines and are on gamefaqs). After all, let’s say 90% of people who buy FIFA and GTA and COD don’t ever buy something else. 10% left. Now, how many of those 10% care so much about games they even bother to comment about games? Maybe 10%! And not even 10% of those are the ones who verbally abuse people on social networks,mostly on infamous ones such as Reddit and 4chan (again, the majority of users there aren’t complete numbskulls), of course – so referring to this minority of less than one percent of all gamers simply as entitled, spoiled “gamers” is plain and simple – wrong.

3. The gaming press joins forces with the industry – again. We have established we are talking about an outspoken and idiotic minority abusing prominent figures in the gaming industry, yet the gaming press jumps to the industry’s help, condemning – once more – the “entitled” gamers. Mind you, “GamerGate” somehow is primarily perceived to revolve around the (often indeed misogynistic) criticism one person trying to point out misogyny in games faces, but somehow, it also revolves around (sometimes also physical) relationships between gaming journalists and developers/publishers. How and why those two topics are mixed together – fuck knows.

4. Games are as sexist as movies. Look at AAA Hollywood blockbusters, look at AAA games. Most revolve around action, explosions, and alpha-males saving the world (and the scantily-clad damsel in distress, of course). Look beyond AAA, and you will find more diversity in both movies and games. Speaking of steroid-buffed, weapon-wielding alpha-males … how on earth is that depiction not sexist, too? After all, male gamers should be pissed about that – remember the time wasted in the gym when you could have played GTA?

5. Satire is simply not understood by some … critics. Look at GTA V. Of course, GTA V is misogynistic at face level. But let’s face it, GTA V is a satire about the US, western culture and all the shit going on in our lives. And yes, GTA treats men and women all alike – as garbage. Why? Because everyone in the game behaves like a fucking asshole!

6. Nintendo is the biggest culprit. What? Family-friendly Nintendo? Yes. While everyone criticises the likes of GTA and Assassin’s Creed for portraying women as either wanking material or weak souls crying for help or sometimes both, Nintendo gets away with picturing the most traditional image of women to be found within all of gaming: Nintendo aims at little girls to behave like little Barbie dolls. Look at their games – roles are allocated like back in the 50s, girls are always asked to like and wear their pink dresses, complimenting each other how pretty they are. Pink dresses, make-up and ponies, that’s Nintendo’s vision of women. Plus, remember Tomodachi Life where Nintendo took little flak for saying no to gay characters in the game? To put it into perspective, it was a breeze compared to the shitstorm hurricane Ubisoft found themselves in after announcing there wouldn’t be female playable characters in Unity (to be fair, their reasoning was stupid, too). So, why does Nintendo get away with being sexist as fuck?

7. Games are inclusive … kind of. Have you ever been to the Eurogamer Expo or GamesCom? Have you talked to women around you? Chances are many of your friends – be they men or women – play games. If you happen to actually work somewhere in the gaming industry, everyone plays games. Gender doesn’t matter. Sure, you get another idea when you listen to voice chats in COD, but then again, AAA Hollywood testosterone sausage fest argument sticks again. But then again, if 15-year olds make fun of a woman because she is a woman, well, clearly it’s backwards and dumb. However, that doesn’t necessary tells us something about games, but it sure as hell tells us something about society …

Rabidgames would like to clarify: Yes, Gamergate is blown out of proportions and mixes up completely different things. The just eludes everyone … To push an agenda? Which one? To silence the gamers who demand proper separation between gaming journalists and the industry? Fuck knows and it doesn’t really matter. But there is one thing we should have learned: Someone criticising our hobby is by no means and never justification for idiotic knee-jerk reactions or even death threats – unless we want the world to think we’re all stupid ultra-violent morons staring at screens drooling all over ourselves …


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