These days, it seems so much more difficult for women to get into the video game business.
I could say that the rampant misogyny was always there within the darkest parts of the online community.
Then the media critic Anita Sarkeesian created a Kickstarter campaign.
In 2012, Sarkeesian attempted to acquire funding for a video series titled “Tropes vs. Women in Video Games.” The thought of someone critiquing the depiction of female characters in video games suddenly opened the dam to a flood of harassment and sexist comments.
The outburst proceeded to evolve in a sense.
Enter Gamergate. The movement’s very loose mission is to discourage the promotion of video games as an art form. To those who join Gamergate, video games simply serve the function of entertainment and should not move beyond that.
In reality, the mission statement is simply an excuse to attack any kind of commentary that attempts to analyze the medium or any creator who attempts to take the medium in new directions.
It first gained widespread notoriety in the wake of the interactive fiction game Depression Quest. Ironically, the harassment against the developer, Zoe Quinn, wasn’t over the game’s content but over a failed relationship.
Quinn’s ex-boyfriend, a part of the Gamergate movement, posted a series of allegations, most notably regarding a relationship between Quinn and a journalist for the video game blog Kotaku.
What I find particularly interesting about this incident is how much it demonstrates a lack of restraint and organization on the part of members of the movement.
Similar individuals have cropped up over the course of the Gamergate controversy, using the movement to project their most dangerous and misogynistic thoughts.
In a manner similar to a mob, these members rely on the threat of violence to get their way. For instance, on Oct. 11, Brianna Wu, a mobile game developer critical of the depiction of women in video games was forced go into hiding due to the sheer number of the death threats she was receiving.
Again, it would seem that these supposed members are acting on their own under a shared banner about which they may not even be knowledgeable.
Throughout the debacle, other individuals from Gamergate tweeted statements denouncing the most hateful of these actions. Such statements reveal a complete lack of organization on the part of the organization.
What really hammers this theory in is the lack of a centralized goal within the movement. The many voices that come out of the movement don’t promote any kind of vision.
In that sense, the Gamergate is truly depressing in that it is adding absolutely nothing to society and taking a lot away.
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