It’s PLEDGE DRIVE time again! If you’re a fan of this blog, please help fund its continued existence by clicking the button below. THANKS!
By David Futrelle
Over on the right-wing culture war blog One AngryGamer, the highly excitable Billy D is absolutely losing it over a lesbian kiss in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Because apparently it doesn’t correctly represent the demographic realities of Dagobah or Tatooine or wherever the movie is set (I really haven’t been paying much attention).
So the gamebros are up in arms about the fifth installment in the Battlefield series, Battlefield V, because the game, set in World War II, has LADIES in it, which makes it TOTALLY UNREALISTIC because there were NO LADIES in WWII, well ok maybe there were actually a bunch of ladies in WWII, some of them serving in combat even but goddammit WHY CAN’T OUR MALE SPACE BE SACRED ah bloo bloo bloo.
Say what you will about the meme-makers at the Going GHOST – MGTOW Facebook page, but you have to give them credit for one thing: their laser-like focus on the issues that truly matter to men.
And I don’t mean silly frivolous fluff like prison rape or workplace safety or prostate cancer. No, I mean the issues that REALLY matter. Like ladies night. And hot chicks playing video games in their underwear.
Yesterday, I wrote about Vox Day’s extravagantly evasive — yet highly revealing — interview with David Pakman. But the interview also featured a few striking moments of candor. One of these came when Day — a sometime gave developer as well as the biggest asshole in Sci Fi — offered his answer to the question: “What is Gamergate really about?”
Suggesting that the issue of “corruption in game journalism” was little more than “the spark that set the whole thing off,” Day declared that
what Gamergate is fundamentally about is the right of people to design, develop and play games that they want to design, develop and play without being criticized for it.
Which is an. er, interesting perspective, as there is in fact no “right” to be immune from criticism.
Over on Roosh V’s endearingly clueless gaming site Reaxxion, a self-described Red Piller named Mike Caputo is still mad at writer and experimental game developer Devin Wilson for suggesting, in a Gamasutra blog post last August, that video games aspire to be more than just “fun.”
This wouldn’t seem to be a particularly radical notion. I mean, “fun” is not the only thing that we humans expect to get out of art. Not every book I read is “fun.” Not every movie I watch is “fun.” Art is often challenging and even unpleasant. And aren’t #GamerGaters always telling us that video games are art? That they’re more meaningful than a game of Skee-ball?
Well, apparently not to Caputo, who thinks that trying to make video games anything other than fun is the equivalent of trying to bring back the Soviet Union.
Over the past few days I’ve been catching up with the small flood of Youtube videos that have come out that deal with l’affaire Sarkeesian Effect Breakup. The result is that I’ve spent so much time listening to Davis Aurini explain his terrible side of the story that he’s invaded my dreams.
And I mean that literally: the night before last, I dreamt I ran across a grouchy and dispirited Aurini sitting alone at a table in McDonald’s. When he saw me he declared “don’t even think about trying to sit with me!” As if, dude!
Later in the same dream I was performing improv theater dressed as a hippie, but I doubt you’re interested in hearing more about that, so I’ll keep it confined to my dream diary.
Anyhoo, so I thought I would share a few of the more watchable Sarkeesian Effect videos.
I am aware that not all of you will have the time or inclination to watch all or even any of these videos, so I’m interspersing them with videos of tiny puppies trying to navigate stairs that are bigger than they are. Enjoy!
I admit it: I enjoy schadenfreude so much that I can usually spell the word correctly on the first try. And there’s a lot of schadenfreude in the air these days.
Indeed, I’ve been reading through the YouTube comments of the Sarkeesian Effect breakupvideos I posted earlier and chuckling quietly to myself, not just at the assorted skull jokes but at the unintentional comedy, including all the bizarre contortions some Sarkeesian Effect supporters are going through in order to pretend that this ridiculous breakup is somehow less ridiculous than it actually is.
As I can’t in good conscience ever recommend that anyone actually go read the comments on YouTube, I’ve collected together some of my favorite ones. Here are the Top 11 Most Unintentionally Hilarious YouTube Comments About the Sarkeesian Effect Breakup.
That gun-loving gamebro who flipped his car while on his way, he said, to “race” video game developer and GamerGate critic Brianna Wu? It turns out he’s not the delusional and potentially dangerous asshole he seemed to be in the countless videos he’s put online.
No, he’s actually an aspiring comedian in an “extreme” comedy troupe known for trolling everyone from anime fans to TED talk attendees, and “Jace Connors” is just a character he’s been playing, a sort of parody of a basement-dwelling, monster-drink-guzzling gamebro douchebag who can’t tell the difference between real life and video games. His harassment of Wu — what he called “OperationWupocalypse” — was all part of an elaborate comedy bit that he’s been doing for years.
How did anyone ever come to think that the gaming world is hostile to women? This GameStop training video from 2009 shows just how welcoming the video game retailer has been to “one of the world’s most fascinating creatures.” Yes, we’re talking about the enigma that is the human female.
In the video, an expert in “womanly studies” attempts to explain to GameStop staffers how to understand “a segment of the species that remains a mystery to over fifty percent of the population today,” analyzing staged interactions between male staffers and some of these mysterious females.
In addition to the weird sexism of the video, which manages to be patronizing to women and men alike, the video features some amazing graphics (relying heavily on stock photos of these mysterious “women”), brilliant acting, and extras who are supposed to be standing frozen in the background but can’t help compulsively blinking.
The worst part of this video is that despite its cringeworthiness it probably did help some male GameStop staffers deal with women in a slightly less patronizing way.
This is the final day of the We Hunted the Mammoth Pledge Drive! If you haven’t already, please consider sending some bucks my way. (And don’t worry that the PayPal page says Man Boobz.) Thanks!
Every time you think they can’t go any lower, they go lower. This morning game designer and #GamerGate target Zoe Quinn discovered that someone was selling, er, “erotic fiction” about her on Amazon. Which is to say: a Kindle eBook apparently filled with explicit descriptions of her being gang-raped by five “upset” gamers trying to “teach her a lesson.”