The ruckus that is Gamergate continues to rumble on as an argument, an exercise in sexism and misogyny, and a festival of clickbait generation. The whole area is quite heated enough: some moderate and reasoned discussion is in order. Thankfully, Anita Sarkeesian of Feminist Frequency has tried to do just that in an op-ed for the New York Times on the female perspective on gaming (read it HERE).
(c) Doc Hackenbush 2014
She concludes “The time for invisible boundaries that guard the ‘purity’ of gaming as a niche subculture is over. The violent macho power fantasy will no longer define what gaming is all about. Those who police the borders of our hobby, the ones who try to shame and threaten women like me into silence, have already lost. The new reality is that video games are maturing, evolving and becoming more diverse”.
But Louise Mensch, as with all other subjects, knows more than Ms Sarkeesian, and, indeed, more than everyone else put together. “Interestingly rubbish article by Anita Sarkeesian on Gamergate in the NYT. Facts are against her ... Sarkeesian says ‘I know games can tell more inclusive stories’ and ‘gamers have already lost’ but actually, nothing will change” she declared loftily. And there was more.
“Video games appeal mostly to boys and men, make tons of money, and will continue to do so without being ‘inclusive’ ... So therefore, Sarkeesian has the free speech right to whine away and the free market will ignore her”. Hmm, I wonder what Helen Lewis might make of that, other than a significantly-sized bonfire. And Ms Mensch ignores the “shame and threaten” part.
She continues not to get the point of Ms Sarkeesian’s article, telling “It’s intellectually bankrupt to complain that products made for men appeal to men”, which will most likely engender many head-desk interface scenarios. And then she goes off on an unexplained tangent: “totally tempted to post World of Warcraft comedy video forced me to watch last night from Wowcrendor”. Wait, what?
She’s not sure what: “not sure what it was called but it was a lot of bosses sitting around in a therapy circle thinking ‘happy thoughts’ ... come on Gamergate types give me a link to the Wowcrendor bosses therapy meeting thing”. I’m sorry, but this is totally irrelevant to Gamergate, isn’t it?
But soon she snaps out of it and returns to attacking Ms Sarkeesian: “that is [Feminist Frequency] vs Gamergate in a nutshell. Attempted censorship by association”. Not sure about that one, Ms M. But do go on (as if she needs prompting). She asks us to “look over there” at films: “Macho films appeal to both sexes without ‘inclusive’ marketing or stories”.
Louise Mensch is at least consistent: she hasn’t got a clue about Gamergate, just as she hasn’t got a clue about most things. And she was allowed to become an MP.