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#gamergate a woman is always to blame antifeminism are these guys 12 years old? drama kings entitled babies evil SJWs evil women gamebros gender policing men who should not ever be with women ever misogyny MRA no games for girls no girls allowed playing the victim

Attention #GamerGaters: Gaming is not YOUR hobby

My little game collection
My little game collection. Yes, I’m a terrible photographer.

Ever since the bizarre social backlash now known as #GamerGate first erupted in August, we’ve heard a lot of alarmist, entitled nonsense from self-described gamers who are pig-biting mad that so-called Social Justice Warriors and, you know, girls, are invading what is inevitably described as “our hobby.”

Thing is, guys, it’s not your hobby. At least it’s not only yours.

I don’t call myself a “gamer” – largely because so many of those who do embrace the label are such immature assholes – but, guess what, I play games too.

Indeed, as you can see from the picture above, I own more than 100 console games, some of which I’ve devoted hundreds of hours to. Over the years I’ve owned five different consoles – seven, if you count replacement consoles bought because I wore out the originals.

I first encountered video games in high school, playing Space Invaders in the basement of the University of Illinois student union. I wasn’t very good, and gravitated more to air hockey and pinball and other purely analog games instead. Still, by the end of the 80s I’d been bitten by the electronic game bug – starting with the bootleg version of Tetris I installed on my Mac in grad school to distract me from the tedium of actually working on my dissertation.

In other words, I’ve been playing games, off and on, for longer than many #GamerGaters have been alive.

But I’m sure many of these people wouldn’t consider me a “real” gamer at all. I’m not what you’d call hardcore. I’m basically a console gamer – I don’t even have Steam installed on my laptop. And I’m always little behind the time. I haven’t shelled out for an Xbox One or a Playstation 4. I didn’t beat Destiny ten hours after it was first released; hell, I probably won’t even pick it up for at least another six months or so when the price drops a bit. And I’m not a full-time gamer either. While I regularly get obsessed with certain games and play them to death, I also take breaks from gaming for months on end.

I also play a lot of the “casual” games that hardcore “gamer” types dismiss as not “real” games – addictive little timewasters like Bejeweled and Peggle and Candy Crush – as well as decidely un-hardcore games like Super Monkey Ball (which I played mostly for its billiards minigame) and Sega Bass Fishing. (That odd device in the picture of my game collection? A Dreamcast fishing controller.)

And while I play a lot of shooters – as you’ll see if you look closely at the picture of my collection – I often play on the easy setting, and I never play multiplayer at all. My favorite games tend to be those that give me the option to goof off for hours on end. I don’t even want to imagine how much time I’ve spent in the various Grand Theft Auto game universes, driving off cliffs on “taxi missions” gone wrong and generally causing trouble. (It would be nice if these games were less blatantly sexist, but Rockstar sure as hell knows how to design compellingly immersive open worlds.)

So, yeah, I’m pretty far from hardcore. But, you know what, angry gamebros? This is my hobby as much as it is yours. I may not fit your gamer stereotype, but I play games too, and the money I spend on gaming is as green as yours.

And there are a lot of us out here – game players who look a lot different from the angry gamers now ranting about evil Social Justice Warriors trying to destroy their supposedly male preserve. Hell, the comments section of this blog if full of them, many of them aficionados of RPGs and obscure interesting indie titles I’ve never heard of.

As Misha wrote in the comments to a recent post here, addressing one of the many gamebros out there incensed that non-dudes are invading a gaming world he sees as rightfully his,

Newsflash: It is not YOUR hobby, OR the hobby of your hapless diversity-hating gamebros. The individuals who want to see games evolve beyond depictions of harmful cultural stereotypes and tired sexist tropes also, wait for it, Play. Games. I play games. I am so excited by the recent footage released for FFXV that I could puke. You do not own them, and you do not speak for me.

Me neither.

Another commenter in the same thread noted that women have been playing video games from the beginning:

What I find so ridiculous is the fact that these guys act as though women playing/creating games is a new thing. I’m 3-freaking-6 years old. I’ve been gaming since the Atari 2600. I OWNED a copy of the ET game – yeah, that same one that most of those putzes only got to read about being discovered in a landfill in whereverthehell.

I’ve been a part of gaming allllll this time. Just because they didn’t want to recognize that or acknowledge my existence or the fact that I was right there, the entire time, playing in the WoW beta, playing in the Guild Wars beta, playing in the City of Heroes beta — that’s not my damn problem. They were the ones living in their own happy little penis-centric, he-man girl-gamer-haters club while I was over here, doing my own thing and having fun.

Their obliviousness is nobody’s fault but their own.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants added:

I’ve been gaming since the days of Pong, ELIZA, Merlin, Space Invaders, and Pac Man. Back then it was something both boys and girls did after school. It wasn’t seen as nerdy – in fact, the arcades were where the delinquent kids hung out.

It seems like today’s crop of misogynist gamers have their core identity way too wrapped up in being the coveted marketing demographic. They want to be pandered to and flattered with hypermasculine characters and alpha storylines.

It’s kind of hilarious that they’re treating this whole thing like it’s a RL video game, complete with black ops, sockpuppeting “missions”, evil shadowy enemies, rallying cries of threats to individual liberty, and an anything-goes mentality of inflicting maximum damage on opponents. Except the consequences of stalking and harassment are real, and permanent. In their imaginations they’re a group of beleaguered rebels taking a brave stand for freedom, but they’re actually the bad guys. They’re fighting against social justice and ruining a lot of people’s lives in the process.

It’s just a hobby, fercrissakes. I can’t imagine, say, model railroad enthusiasts getting all bent out of shape about more people taking up their hobby, and embarking on a hate campaign to define it as for old people ONLY. These guys really need to grow up and get some perspective.

Amen.

Elsewhere in the thread, M. the Social Justice Ranger described her experience,

I haven’t been gaming for quite as long as some of the other women here, but I first picked up a keyboard in 1989 and a controller in 1990, so it’s certainly been a while. Sure, I prefer single-player to multiplayer, Nintendo to PlayStation or Xbox and platformers, RPGs, pet sims and puzzle games to shooters, but I do consider my hobby to be a large part of my identity, so other gamers are usually (not always, but usually) willing to count me as one of their own…

… Until they discover that not only have I committed the cardinal sin of being born with a vagina, but I’m only interested in others who’ve committed the same sin. Then all of that flies out the window for rape threat after rape threat after rape threat.

Sigh.

I don’t want to destroy their hobby, I just want to enjoy our shared hobby…

#GamerGaters, is this really that hard to understand?

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Falconer
6 years ago

@Antonio: We splurged on a 3DS specifically to play Fire Emblem Awakening, but since then Beloved has put hours and hours into Bravely Default. We got that around July 4, and she’s played it for a few minutes practically every day since then, and she still hasn’t beaten it.

Meanwhile I’ve been playing the old Gold Box SSI Dungeons & Dragons games on my PC, and Baldur’s Gate 2.

While the babies are asleep or occupied, that is. Usually though they want to get their wee fingers into whatever we’re doing. I have to fight to keep my laser mouse away from my girl, so it’s easier not to use my computer while they’re up.

maistrechat
6 years ago

I stopped identifying as a gamer after a short-lived stint working at Gamestop. Customers aside, being forced to work off the clock every shift, having my hours based on my ability sell “warrantees” to customers who didn’t speak enough English to understand they were being scammed, and making minimum wage while also being expected to spend all of my paycheck and more in the store really soured me on the whole gamer identity.

I appear to be the only person on the planet that liked Skyward sword better than Twilight princess. I found Twilight princess really difficult to get in to, and once I actually did so and made progress my wii died.

The 3DS was by far the best gaming-related purchase I’ve made recently. I have never been able to get into the Fire Emblem games (Much like The last of us, I appreciate the design but they just don’t grab me), but the 3DS library is chockablock full of amazing games.

Unfortunately my computer self-destructed last week so at the moment I’m strictly a console player.

A Wolverine
A Wolverine
6 years ago

Jack Thompson DREAMED of doing the kind of damage to gaming that the GobemoucheGaters have done (ha ha finally found a good use for that part of my vocabulary, Gobemouche is a term for a particularly gullible person and it fits GGs whole THIS PERSON AGREES WITH MY VIEWS THEREFORE THEY ARE GREAT AND COULDN’T POSSIBLY HAVE ULTERIOR MOTIVES TO USE US TO HELP THE CONSERVATIVE MOVEMENT thing)

Falconer
6 years ago

Aw man, maistrechat, that sounds like a horrible work environment. I’m glad you got out of there.

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

RE: A. Noyd

You might try the manga Koe no Katachi (English title: A Silent Voice). Although, be warned, it’s got some pretty graphic bullying.

I’ve heard of that! Not sure I’m up to bullying at this time; maybe when my brain is a little steadier.

Antonio Pe Yang III
6 years ago

@Anarchonist

I begrudgingly accept the welcome package that explicitly contains no ponies (Yes, I am an FiM fan. A “brony”, to be exact). XD

As for the Dreamcast, how is it broken, exactly? If it’s an optical drive, I’ve heard there are mods for swapping it out so you can hard-wire the thing a hard-drive. It sounded promising… except for the part about how much rewiring it’d require 😛

@Falconer

How far along is the missus in the game? And does she need any suggestions for builds? 🙂

You guys might also want to try Azure Striker Gunvolt. it released to the eShop a couple of weeks ago, and it is a lovely sidescrolling shooter from Keiji Inafune, the dude who created the Megaman series. Well worth the 14 USD the shop’s charging for it.

Then there’s Monster Hunter 4 and Mighty Number 9 (also by Inafune-san) which come out next year, and the new 3DS with Xenoblade… Ohh, now you have me blabbering :3

Seriously, thank you for the warm welcomes.

I’ve actually been lurking here for a while, and citing David’s stuff for this skeptic’s FB group I help moderate. We’ve been getting a lot of MRA-types ever since GamerGate.

gilshalos
6 years ago

@Falconer Oh, I never much liked tetris, but I loved that video since I first saw it 🙂

@Antonio Pe Yang III Sory about the lack of ponies, but last time I checked there was a whole herd of teal dears and i think aunicorn. Also the adorable lavender seal of approval.

And Bootsy. Hail Bootsy!

Macha
Macha
6 years ago

I have gamed since 1986. I owned a C64, played on an Atari, had every Nintendo console except the Atari, played many PC games when they came out (such as Ultima Underworld, still one of my favorite games).

I’m hardcore. I own two 3DS, one Japanese, one US – and I live in Europe. I play obscure indie titles, have dabbled in making games and have worked in translating SNES RPGsas a fan project.

I don’t identify as a gamer. I stopped doing so ten years ago, due to the constant barrage of veiled threats, sexism and homophobia that I as a gay female get constantly by many male gamers, to the point I stopped online gaming altogether. Just not worth it.

Women like me were in this hobby early on. I know more women that game, including hardcore game, than I know women that don’t (and yet male gamers will keep saying that somehow, women don’t count for reasons and dismiss every statistic that proves em wrong).

If I like something, I am *happy* other people like it. When a friend joined our Das Schwarze Auge group (think D&D, just a bit less dudebro), he preferred slightly different settings than we normally played.
None of us thought he was trying to ruin the group. Overall, he just brought some variety.

Gamergaters can’t handle it like this, sadly. Listening to them, it seems that wanting games to also have female characters sometimes is somehow tainting, as if vagina not as object = inherently EVOL.

The true irony is that in reality, gaming regressed in that regard. In Ultima Underworld, it was natural that my Avatar could be female. In one of the Ultimas, you could do the unthinkable SJW SJW SJW thing of setting gender as other, not just male and female.

Gaming didn’t implode. But since then, we took steps backwards. (to stay within Ultima: The last two Ultimas had no selectable gender anymore. Also the worst two Ultimas. Coincidence? :D). And somehow, gamergaters seem to think that this is how gaming always was and forever should be…

…makes one wonder who really is clueless about gaming.

Raven Raven
6 years ago

Sorry, but you *completely* missed the point of GamerGate. It has absolutely nothing to do with your gender, and everything to do with gaming websites colluding to censor information that puts gaming journalism in a very bad light. Sites like Cracked, Polygon and Kotaku have tried very hard not to report on the Zoe Quinn debacle, deleting thousands of comments in order to suppress commentary on the matter, even collaborating in an effort to distract from the real issue at hand: their corruption.

That’s the problem with all of this: Too many people on both sides are all too happy to turn this into an argument about gender and sexism, rather than focus on the real issue of journalism ethics and professionalism.

I mean, it’s not like this information is particularly hard to find:

http://i.imgur.com/euCC9sK.png

cloudiah
6 years ago

Ravenx2, This has already been covered extensively here and elsewhere, but I feel like someone should tell you that (a) arguing by jpg* is pretty weaksauce, and (b) your jpg is full of inaccuracies and lies. For just one example, the reason Gaters are called misogynists is because they’re full of hatred and resentment towards women, which they freely express online, pretending that somehow gaming “belongs” to boys and girls had better learn to fit in if they want to be tolerated.

Now go away, and stop pooping in our comments. It’s gross.

*See also: arguing by YouTube video.

ryeash
6 years ago

It’s so cute how they keep trying to pretend this is a real movement. And by “cute”, I of course mean “tiring”, “predictable”, “transparent”, etc.

We’ve already seen enough of the inner workings of your “movement” to refute your claim of it being anything but a misogynistic witch hunt. Hell, Zoe Quinn and her alleged actions are discussed in three different sections of that explanation alone, followed by a lovely showcase of a failed sockpuppet Twitter campaign.

If you really love gaming so much, here’s an idea: grab a pc/controller, figure out for yourself which fucking games you like (by the way, gaming journalism has been corrupt for much longer than the “Zoe Quinn debacle” and in many more ways than “censoring” your displeasure over a woman’s sex life), and GAME. If you really want to take on corruption in gaming journalism, you’re doing it wrong. Maybe next time don’t base your “noble cause” on harassing a woman for the private details of a relationship that a pissed off ex aired to those he knew would cause her distress over it. Oddly enough, a love of video games has absolutely zero to do with a random indie developer’s sex life.

And allow me to reiterate:

ryeash
6 years ago

…wait for it, I’m on a mobile and the comment went wonky on me…

ryeash
6 years ago

Dear Kindle: thank you for sucking.

Corruption in gaming journalism isn’t some new phenomenon started by an indie developer doing the horizontal bop with a journalist who never even covered her game. Here are some accounts of ACTUAL REAL LIVE CORRUPTION NOT MISOGYNISTIC BULLSHIT LIKE YOUR THING:

http://botherer.org/2012/10/24/games-journalists-and-the-perception-of-corruption/

http://www.gogaminggiant.com/2011/03/10/gaming-journalism-is-corrupt/

http://theglobalmarketeer.com/the-corruption-of-gaming-journalism/

emilygoddess - MOD
emilygoddess - MOD
6 years ago

Wait, GamerGate isn’t about sexism and is all about journalistic integrity? Why haven’t I heard this before?! Thank god someone posted a colorful, illustrated rebuttal, or I would have been forced to wallow in my own interpretation of the facts forever!!!1!

vaiyt
6 years ago

@RavenRaven
Come on, are you gamerd00ds so lacking in memory that you forgot how this whole thing started? I’ll refresh you: an ex-boyfriend with an axe to grind conjured a phony cause and recruited 4chan to be his personal harassment army. A gaggle of idiots like you were co-opted so they could try driving certain women out of the business. #NotYourShield? 4channers and Redditors were caught on live chat planning to impersonate bad stereotypes to prop it up.

Some people have taken to call this whole debacle #GamerGhazi.

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Raven,*

It’s really hypocritical for you to complain about “journalistic integrity” when your giant meme contained a link to just about everything except the 4chan logs that actually started the whole thing. You know, the logs that proved it was all about starting a misogynistic harassment campaign against Zoe Quinn? The logs that proved you guys intended to sock as women and POC to gain credibility with “SJWs?” By the way, you’re several days and dollars short because the logs have already been posted here so you can’t actually fool us.

Why should we listen to you about the subject of integrity in reporting when you’re being dishonest and biased yourself?

Also, Cracked is not a gaming website. It’s a comedy website. They talk about gaming sometimes but they talk about other things too! I know it’s killing you that some of their writers have been speaking out against misogyny lately. You just couldn’t help exposing your true motives could you?

weirwoodtreehugger
6 years ago

Oh, and I forgot to add this

* Ravens are one of the smartest and coolest animals on the planet. It’s an insult to them to choose that for a name.

ryeash
6 years ago

Apparently none of my three tries at a comment posted. Oh well, it’s not like dumbass came back to argue anyway. I need a real computer.

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