Welcome to the first installment of “what the hell is wrong with people, I mean really,what the hell Saturday.”
Today we’re going to look at a couple of recent controversies in the world of gaming. And by “controversies” I mean “women daring to get involved in the gaming industry and getting harassed by misogynistic assholes.”
First up, let’s look at the tale of a woman who’s now facing an angry internet mob because she drew a picture of the video game character Mega Man … as a woman.
A little backstory: The video game makers Comcept recently raised roughly a million bucks on Kickstarter to fund a game intended as a sort of sequel, at least in spirit, to the old Mega Man games. And they hired a woman named Dina Abou Kara as a community manager to handle their forums and other social media.
There was just one little problem: when the folks at Comcept announced her hiring, they also posted a picture she’d drawn of Mega Man, imagined as a woman. Aghast at the very notion of such a gender switch — though Dina wasn’t even involved in the actual making of the new game — the “community” collectively lost its shit.
As Ian Miles Cheong notes on Gameran,
Finding fault with her presentation, these persons decided to pry into Dina’s personal life by combing through her Twitter account for other transgressions against the human race, and found that she had written tweets supportive of feminism and linked to one of Anita Sarkeesian’s videos. …
These vocal individuals went so far as to produce a video “calling out” Dina’s past with “dirt” on her—because sympathising with the feminist cause is indeed enough to demonize someone according to these people. The vocal, well informed fans have since been calling for her resignation from the developer. At this point, these individuals have flooded the game’s development forums, and are trying to hold the game hostage by asking for refunds.
One user, a Mr. Nicholas Day, wrote: “This is a bad idea guys. I don’t want any anita sarkeesian feminism all up in my megaman reboot. I don’t want a sjw [social justice warrior] monitoring the forum, deciding who has good opinions and who has bad ones.”
And while we’re speaking of douchey gamer assholery, there’s a whole other tale of harassment developing. An indie game developer named Zoë Quinn made a game called Depression Quest, and, a couple of days ago, she posted it to Valve’s Greenlight service, hoping that Valve would pick it up and sell it.
Instead, angry dudes attacked her as a “cunt” and an “attention whore” who could never truly understand depression because “all females are sluts and have no right to be depressed.” And then, she says, some dude or dudes started making obscene phone calls to her.
Here’s her eloquent response:
I'm not going anywhere, assholes. I hope my games about love & empathy & vulnerability piss you off.
— zoë “yennifer of vengaboys” quinn (@UnburntWitch) December 12, 2013
Check her Twitter for updates and more examples of the shit she’s been dealing with. FOR MAKING A GAME ABOUT DEPRESSION WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY BEING A WOMAN.
The Mary Sue has more about both stories.