Enough is enough

Not satisfied with driving women in the video games industry, and their families, from their homes with their repeated threats, the “GamerGate” movement sank to a new low this week when they forced Anita Sarkeesian to cancel a talk at Utah State by threat of shooting spree this week. I won’t attempt to give a summary of the ongoing shitstorm, instead here’s Gawker’s take.

My take? Maybe there’s a problem with journalistic ethics in video games, but it has far more to do with the possibility of AAA game reviews being largely bought by publishers rather than hypothetical scenarios of women using their sexuality to secure promotion for their indie games. And the rampant sexism, misogyny, racism, etc. in the field need to be dealt with before we deal with reviews. We can’t even have a civil discourse right now because of the shrieking mass of hate that is the vocal minority.

Guess what, gamers? Video games become more and more mainstream every day. Enjoying video games is now socially acceptable. Women play video games. Real, flesh and blood women, not the pinup caricatures of them overwhelmingly featured in games. In my mind, this is a good thing. Most women, like most men, are decent people and not out to manipulate others for their own gain. I think it’s great that more and more of them are sharing my hobbies. Just because more women are playing video games now, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them yourself.

Furthermore, show me one good reason why discussion on the representation of women (or any other group that is not white men) in video games is a bad thing. Nobody’s going to come and take away your Dead or Alive. Those kinds of games will probably always be made so long as there’s a market. Critiquing games, discussing areas where they can improve, is critical for the industry to grow as an art form. Yes, an art form.

Having more variety of content, and even content with better representations of not-white-dudes, isn’t going to hurt you. You don’t have to play it if you don’t want to. You can stay in your cave with your jiggle physics.

Gamer culture should be a culture of inclusion. I know I’m not the only person who was bullied as a kid for being a nerd/gamer/geek/etc, and I for one cherish my friendships, both with men and women. Why can’t we welcome newcomers to our hobby with open arms? Why all the “fake geek girl” bullshit? The stereotypical nerd, despite what we might wish to believe, is not so desirable a mate that women will go out of their way to fake being nerdy just to draw our attention. We need to get off our collective high horse about this. If a woman is participating in nerdy hobbies, more likely than not she’s doing it because she wants to, not because it’s advantageous for her to do so.

What really boggles me, though, is how these people think they’re going to get away with their hate crimes. Just because some social websites have a poor track record of responding to abuse reports doesn’t mean they won’t comply when law enforcement shows up with a subpoena for the IP addresses that sent rape threats, bomb threats, shooting spree threats, etc. And it’s going to happen soon. The FBI are already involved.

Free speech does not mean you are protected from the consequences of your actions. You’re not as anonymous on the Internet as you think you are. People who make these threats should be identified, tried, hopefully convicted, and punished. Ideally treated for whatever deficiency they have that causes them to behave like this.

Maybe after that, we can get back to calling shenanigans on blue shells, or saving the world from aliens, or exploring new planets. Video games are supposed to be fun after all.

TL;DR: The hate in the video games community needs to stop. Yesterday.

The Box Marked “Games – Sell”

This came about as a result of Angelina commenting on Persona 3. I looked for it on the shelf, and didn’t see it. “Oh, it must be in the games to sell box,” I said. An amusing few minutes later, Angelina now has FF12 Collector’s Edition, Persona 3, and Scribblenauts. Apparently this is Christmas morning/shortly after moving in all over again. I have been encouraged to post the contents of the Games – Sell box, so, here it is.

Brain Age
Kirby: Canvas Curse
Metroid Prime Pinball (rumble pak not included)
SimCity DS

Gamecube (Wii-compatible)
Soulcalibur 2

Army Men
ATF: Advanced Tactical Fighters
The Bard’s Tale (2005)
Battlefield 2
Battlefield 2: Special Forces
Battlefield 2142
Battle Realms
Civilization 4
Command and Conquer 3
Command and Conquer: Generals
Dune 2000
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (two copies)
FIFA 2004
IL 2 Sturmovik
The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth
Medal of Honour: Allied Assault
Need for Speed: Porsche Unleashed
Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor
The Sims Double Deluxe
The Sims Hot Date
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six: Rogue Spear: Black Thorn
Unreal Tournament 2004
Who Wants to be a Millionaire
Worms Blast

Medal of Honour

Playstation 2
Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

EA Playground
The Godfather: Blackhand Edition
Goldeneye: Rogue Agent
The Lord of the Rings: The Third Age
Medal of Honour: Heroes 2

Xbox (360-compatible)
Halo 2

Xbox 360
Army of Two
Blue Dragon
Forza Motorsport 2
Kameo: Elements of Power
Lost Odyssey
Tony Hawk Project 8

Some of these are pack-ins from motherboards and graphics cards, some of them are free games from undergrad co-op jobs, and some are just games I either just could not get into, or aren’t good enough to keep a spot on my shelf.

If you’re reading this and have an interest in anything on the list, drop me a note and we shall see what can be worked out. Due to the account registration policies of yesteryear, I make no assurances regarding the online playability of the PC games.

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