Thursday, June 13, 2013
Women and girls should not need to play games to play games. But we do. The following post is about sexism in gaming. You do not need to have a press pass to E3 or be into MLG to understand what happened or anything, just know that it is a gaming industry conference and that this industry is particularly hot spot for sexism and gender essentialism (along with dis/ableism, racism, and most social ills that come to the mind of rage quitting troglodytes).
Earlier this week, a cheap ass rape joke was made at a Microsoft press event.
Feminist Frequency, no stranger to sexism and frequent target of the fetid MRA crowd, was given a reminder of their tantrum tactics when she mentioned Microsoft/Xbox's lack of female protagonists. The next day FF posted some offerings that do appear to offer women out in front. I like to think that she posted it just because it was news and an interesting juxtaposition. However, the bellowing boys of the web demand (you can see it for yourself in some of the offerings in the first FF link) that should any right, proper, human behavior happen anywhere near a sexist foul up, that it be reported on as well or nay, you are only telling an unfair part of a story to forward your misandrist agenda!
Microsoft issues an apology - so those would-be non-apologists attempting to downplay this or act like it was not wrong, can have a goddamn seat.
The trouble is not just the rape joke itself. The trouble is not just that it was issued by a superiorly experienced and equipped male player to a less experienced and equipped female player. The trouble is not just that it was made in a professional environment. The trouble is not just that it was made in a public environment. The trouble is not that behavior like this but far more terrible is ubiquitous in not just gaming but in a lot of places in US culture - so much so that complaining about this one incident is seen as hair-splitting, nit-picking, and mountain-of-molehill making. The trouble is not just the message this sends to young gamers of all/any genders.
The trouble is all of the above.