Browsing the blog archives for February, 2012

Sexism? Or Just Not PC?

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Culture, Games, Politics

So Shamus just posted over at his site discussing a video that showcases a so-called reality show called Game Boss, presumably about some group of game-developer rejects. For reference, here’s the video.

Now the brunt of the reaction to the video seems to be about the second proposal showcased, which seems to be making an ineffectual, tongue-in-cheek jab at feminism. The backstory of the game proposal being that by 2021 the European Union is taken over by feminists and their main villain is an angry, childless woman in menopause.

This, of course, is being used to demonstrate that these guys are SEXIST and MISOGYNIST!

But are they really? Lets put this proposal into context. The previous contestants proposed a boss fight that involved launching the plague-ridden corpses of dead princesses at the player, and then later following up with the idea that the player would have to dodge a literal stream of excrement. This isn’t exactly highbrow stuff the other guys are producing, all of them are rolling around in the gutters. So the idea of making a game that is also social commentary seems fine to me. It may be inept social commentary, but then I don’t expect games, game designers, game journalism, or reality TV to produce good social commentary.

Being that I’m not the type of person to fly off the handle at some socially awkward guys presenting a poor satire, I decided to do a little research.

Where did this video montage come from? It turns out the Game Boss show aired sometime in early-mid 2011. Very old news in our 24/7 hype-and-outrage driven media culture.
It was posted to YouTube by a user named OffalAl. This guy also posted a second montage clip containing many of the same video clips although slightly different. In the comments to that video, he posted a link to the website Gamers are Embarassing.

If you take a look at the Gamers are Embarassing site you’ll notice that it essentially takes offense to the entire idea that people play and enjoy videogames. I’ll be the first to admit that “gamer culture” is a ghetto that I’m eager to step away from. But the guy thinks that this unabashedly cute video is somehow deeply embarrassing. He’s also quite persistent in trying to argue that gamer culture is “rape culture” or somehow celebrates rape. Also included in the typical topics are:

  • can’t deal with gender
  • can’t deal with homosexuality
  • can’t deal with race
  • can’t deal with relationships
  • can’t deal with women

That’s right, If you enjoy videogames, you’re a racist, homophobic misogynist virgin. You obviously don’t have the “correct” views if you’re a gamer. If you have a sense of humor and are able to see the fun in a character like Duke Nukem, you’re a sexist rape-promoting bigot. As far as I’m concerned, while gamers might be somewhat embarrassing, they’re certainly more intelligent and better company than somewhat deranged leftist blog authors with an axe to grind. The only cringe-worthy thing I found is that games journalism continues to cater to the increasing unhinged views of people like the Gamers are Embarassing blog author.