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Vox Day: Actually, it's about keeping women out of gaming

Vox Day: Defending video gaming against icky girls
Vox Day: Defending video gaming against icky girls

Leave it to Vox Day, the proudly reactionary sci-fi author and game developer, to say what most of his #GamerGate comrades spend so much energy denying: that their little movement is at least in part a backlash against women in gaming. At least against real women, with their own opinions.

As Vox writes in a post on his Alpha Game blog,

Games have long been an escape from women and social pressure for many young men, so it should surprise no one that they aren’t particularly keen on seeing their retreat invaded by the very things from which they are escaping.

So why exactly do guys want an escape from women? Well, as Vox once explained in an interview with “Dr. Helen” for her book Men On Stike,

Women can be entertaining, but they’re expensive, inaccessible for most men, and from the male perspective, shockingly unreliable.

What makes it worse, Vox suggests on his blog, is that the kind of guys who play a lot of video games aren’t exactly the guys scoring the top quality women.

When people ask a gamma or an omega if he wouldn’t rather be out and about “with a real girl” instead of playing games, they should first keep in mind what sort of “real girl” is probably on offer for him. And considering the alternatives, who can truly blame him if he looks at his choices and decides that games and porn are genuinely the better option.

Huh. Aren’t you a game developer, Vox? I thought the first rule of GamerGate is that journalists and developers shouldn’t insult their customers.

But GamerGaters were quick to pardon Mytheos Holt for calling them all a bunch of dateless losers, and I suspect they’ll do the same with Vox, because no matter how pathetic he thinks most gamers are, it’s clear he thinks women are worse.

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Michelle C Young
7 years ago

But, if “most gamers” are these dateless gammas and omegas, who are choosing vidya over “real women,” what about the fact that the statistical majority (slight margin, but still, more than 50%) are actually FEEEEEMAAAAAALE?

Oh, that’s right. We females, who have gamed for longer than many of these “gamers” have even BEEN ALIVE are simply figments of Anita Sarkeesian’s fevered imagination.

While the animated woman in the striped shirt is “real.”

Uh huh.

Michelle C Young
7 years ago

@grumpyoldnurse

I’ve known lots of guys who think they’re ‘owed’ something if they pay for a date.

Funny thing, I’ve had even more hostile responses from that sort when I tried to pay for the date!

I believe that is because when you try to pay for the date, you are taking away their “right” to have sex with you, thus making it so that the most they can rightfully expect from you is merely pleasant company. And they don’t actually care about the pleasure of your company. They just want to get laid.

It’s as if a hooker said, “No charge, but we’ll just chat, instead of getting down and dirty.”
John – “But, if I just wanted to chat, I’d hang out with a dude! Just take my money and my liquid effin’ gold, will ya?”
Hooker – “Sorry, no pay no play.”
John – “But, I’m willing to paaaay!”
Hooker – “But I don’t want to plllaaaaaayyy!”
John – “That’s FRAUD! How dare you not sell your merchandise to me?”
Hooker – “Because I’m off duty, now. Anyway, I reserve the right to refuse service to anyone. It’s perfectly legal not to sell to you.”
John – “MISANDRY!!!!”

And, of course, ALL females are whores, dontchaknow. If we’re not taking their money and their liquid gold, then we are evil.

And if we do take their money and their liquid gold, we are evil.

And if we take their liquid gold, but not their money, we are evil and cheap sluts.

As opposed to gold-digging sluts.

And if we actually maintain our virginity, we are effin’ whores. Because reasons.

kittehserf - MOD
7 years ago

Just take my money and my liquid effin’ gold, will ya?

::dies::

diana6815
7 years ago

@KathleenB

problems and all, I loved Arcanum 🙂

fruitloopsie
fruitloopsie
7 years ago

Chun-li can take on Vox or Wolverine any day

Michelle C Young
7 years ago

I was determined to read all the comments, and comment replies and all that conversating stuff, but frankly, all this talk of games makes me want to go play games, so…

Now, I just have to decide which one to play right now. I’m torn between Sims, RuneScape, Baldur’s Gate, Civilization, SimCity, Tropico, or Township, or the Wii bowling.

Yeah, my brain’s off to game-land, so I might as well follow it.

th1stle
7 years ago

“Women can be entertaining, but they’re expensive, inaccessible for most men, and from the male perspective, shockingly unreliable.”

…And every single mother with an absent baby daddy, struggling to make ends meets, keeping a home, and assuring the survival of her children’s, spat her coffee all over the desk and keyboard.

Where does one begin?

a) Women are entertainment, apparently. I think in his mind, all women equal strippers (has he ever encountered any other kind of woman? One can speculate that, no, he has not), which is why…

b) Women are expensive. Well, the women he pays to take their clothes off for him, anyway (but let’s be honest, she’s not just dancing for him, but also the 4 other guys who found themselves at the ‘Juicy Lucy’ at 2 o’clock in the afternoon on a Wednesday.)

c) Women are inaccessible for most men. If you only venture out of the dank of your computer room to obtain taquitos and a Big Gulp from 7-11 at midnight, yes, women will be inaccessible to you. Why? Because it is unlikely to encounter a single woman during the 5 minutes in which you leave your hovel in the middle of the night. These men are working against the probability that a female of the human species will not only appear at that location, at that time of day, but will ALSO take an interest in a man who likely decided that the short trek did not require pants, a clean shirt or a hairbrush taken to his rat’s nest of greasy hair. I know, I know — women and their UNREALISTIC expectations of men, amiright, dude bros?!

d) Women are unreliable. Ok… Let’s throw in some statistics here: ‘According to U.S. Census Bureau, out of 12 million single parent families in 2013, more than 80% were headed by single mothers*; [t]oday 1 in 4 children under the age of 18 — a total of about 17.5 million — are being raised without a father.**’ So for those of you counting at home, that’s a whole lot of women, with a whole lot of children, making it work in spite of the absence of men. Now, some of those women have their children taken away due to neglect or abuse, but I don’t see a quarter of all mothers in the USA losing their children to foster care. We can therefor assume that women are, for the most part, being reliable towards their children, and the men, who left them with no forwarding address, are being unreliable.

*http://www.census.gov/hhes/families/data/cps2013FG.html [Table FG10]
**http://www.census.gov/hhes/families/data/cps2013C.html [Table C2]

Mewens
Mewens
7 years ago

So-tangential-it’s-totally-OT: I indulge in long-winded comments on Polygon now and again because, even in that woman-ordered utopia in which all the writers are in on the Feminispiracy ™, I’m _constantly_ running into dudebros who think pointing out sexism is some kind of sexism.

Today I gut sucked into a back-and-forth over the Barbie-as-an-engineer book, and I’m pretty sure I didn’t make my point well, convince anyone or, at the very least, make the cretin pause and think about himself for a second. 0-for-3, bad show all around.

So, while I’m not terribly interested in converting the True Gender Believers, anyone have tips on at least deconstructing their arguments? I feel like showing the ugly assumptions behind “getting mad over Brian and Steve is a kind of sexism” and “you can’t prove who sent Anita a death threat … assuming she actually got them” talk would do far more than bickering with assholes, but I’m not really that good at it.

(In Polygon news, anyone else miss Shuma Radio? Totally MIA, and I fear permabanned.)

alaisvex
alaisvex
7 years ago

@ Mewens

I think that you can explain why getting mad over Brian and Steve isn’t sexism against men. Explain that the fact that Brian and Steve have to program the game that Barbie’s designing and that they have to fix the computer virus that she starts supports the idea that women can’t do computer programming at all and that all female engineers are being propped up by male engineers. Brian and Steve’s role in the book supports the idea that only men can STEM. If Barbie did everything in the book by herself, that wouldn’t change anyone’s perceptions about men’s STEM abilities, nor would it would it imply that men aren’t good at STEM. Furthermore, people getting mad at their bailing Barbie out has nothing to do with people thinking that men aren’t good at STEM.

As for Anita, point out that the FBI took it seriously. Point out the sheer number of threats that she’s gotten that are on public record on twitter, youtube, kickstarter, etc. to show that it’s impossible for all of them to be false flags.

vaiyt
7 years ago

Also, reading through the comments, they also think that he’s getting accused of rape because liberals want to punish him for being a black conservative.

They don’t actually think that, they’re just cargo-culting an excuse to try and make people feel guilty for condemning his asshattery. Because social justice is all about guilt.

Boogerghost
Boogerghost
7 years ago

So many of these Gaters seem to be under the impression that all the people who have always been feminists are suddenly becoming gamers, when really a bunch of people who have always been gamers are gradually becoming feminists. Not that there’d be anything wrong with the former, but “get out cuz we were here first” is a batshit argument.

The thing I find really telling about sexual objectification or socio-sexual dominance fantasies in games or anywhere else is that on the rare occasions when I’m given the opportunity to have them about men, I tend to get uncomfortable or bored quickly. I’ve been raised respecting men as people, so using them as things (without their explicit and enthusiastic human consent) feels wrong to me. Whatever we’re doing sexually, I want the man to have free will. It’s only sexy for me if he’s chosen this, if he likes this.

Even feminazi women like me have internalized “men are people, women are objects.” I think that’s why even as a straight woman I felt comfortable enough in Japanese Maid Cafes (a service fantasy) but was too embarrassed to go into a Butler Cafe. And why nobody proudly wears shirts decorated with men’s bodies. And why cishet male celebrities don’t do a lot of nude photoshoots. There is a major gap in fundamental human respect.

@Shiraz – Obviously the place for you to escape to is the kitchen, and the “escaping” involves making your man a sandwich. That’s what chicks do to unwind, right?

@Chie – so true.

@alaisvex – Right, they think that for women all instances of getting laid are equal, and that we only ever refuse sex with someone to be petty golddigging bitches or for entertainment or to demonstrate power or something. Not because we, you know, might only enjoy sex with people we actually want. Like they do. That would be insane.

@Tracy – Yes! I love Many A True Nerd!! The number of objectionable comments Jon has made is close to zero. Jokes about brutally murdering people are gender-neutral! 😀

alaisvex
alaisvex
7 years ago

Fair point, vaiyt. On the one hand, I could believe that they’re firmly convinced that they’re being persecuted for their conservatism and that they like Bill Cosby for being what they would consider a good black person because he seems to support white racists’ talking points. On other hand, we know that they don’t actually care about racism against black people, and we know that they don’t think that women being raped is all that bad.

Another Holocene Human
Another Holocene Human
7 years ago

Great posts lately, David.

Theo Beale calls women “unreliable” but men can be pretty unreliable as well. Witness how quick some of them are to abandon their families when the going gets tough. Why if you’re just looking for a little love in your life would you think of a woman like a car or a set of work tools? A woman is supposed to get with you and take care of you and never leave you no matter how you treat her?

Robert
Robert
7 years ago

Holocene Human – “Had a wife and kids in Baltimore, Jack / Went out for a drive and I never went back,” comes to mind. Given that I grew up believing that I’d never be able to marry and raise children, my perspective may be a little different.

My biggest relief in this whole mishegass is that I don’t have to explain it to my kids. They have no *idea* who Bill Cosby *is*. I’d have them watch “Leonard Part 6”, but I love them too much.

Dumpster Jedi
Dumpster Jedi
7 years ago

Wait, so as a woman, what have I been trying to escape from with videogames? And when did games become about escape, and not just having some fun or blowing off steam?

Vidyagames: NOT FOR FUN. OR WOMEN.

wordsp1nner
wordsp1nner
7 years ago

Of course video games aren’t for fun. The only proper gamers are serious gamers, not namby-pamby female casual gamers. *Shudder*

kittehserf - MOD
7 years ago

These guys are like an even worse version of the Lost Boys in Peter Pan – just as amoral, just as cruel, just as loveless, but lacking even the pleasure of being so fucking awful and never growing up. Add their constant rageboners and voila, you have the perfect storm of failed human beings.

Puddleglum
7 years ago

I’m sure the rest of GG will handwave this away, as per normal, but I’m enjoying the obvious misogyny. Oh, the poor GGators, having to deal with THINGS like women.

You know, my biggest response to #GG has been to actually buy more video games? I prefer creepy hidden mystery games in general, but I bought 4 video games off of one of my coworkers (he was selling all of his PS3 games because his system died) for my daughters. They’ve always loved games, and are now working their way through the Assassin’s Creed series.

vaiyt
7 years ago

I’m definitely going to buy some games this month. Yay for extra cash.

gilshalos
7 years ago

Yeah Puddleglum. it’s led to me playing games a lot more as well.
Latest Dragon Age, I’m a little disappointed. They’ve cut back on rp for strategy, and I’m lousy at strategy games.

AltoFronto
AltoFronto
7 years ago

I don’t see how women as consumers of video games threatens the making or development of games in any way. We are funding at least 50% of this bloody industry already, despite the fact that most game genres are not directly marketed at us. All we want is to be acknowledged as equal participants in something that is fun, without being condescended to.

“We play games to escape teh feeeeemales, so they can’t play” – What? I can’t boot up my games console in the privacy of my own home, and play offline single-player?

“Girls don’t even like games” – What? I’ve spent countless hours playing them without deriving any kind of pleasure from them?

“SJWs will ruin games with their liberal feminazi agenda” or some nonsense. – Oh, wait, I get it now. They play games to escape any kind of reality in which women, LGBTQ, or PoC folk exist and are represented as fully-rounded characters, because their favourite escapist fantasy involves being a big ole white macho-man. They think any narrative influences from people who are not straight white men will somehow cause them to confront their masculinity or something. And that gives them Sad Feels.

Surely diverse narratives and a wider dev talent pool would make for a lot of interesting new titles, rather than the same triple-A franchise re-hashes that every gamer complains about? And yet they constantly attack indie developers who keep the industry alive with fresh ideas.

They can’t chase us out of this sector. We are part of its backbone. If women (and other poorly-represented people who are sick of this bull) staged an industry boycott, I wonder how long it would be before the developers all begged us to come back?

Chun-I
Chun-I
7 years ago

Hello,

This site looks excellent and well-researched. I have been bullied my whole life for not conforming to the image of the muscular man by MRAs. Am I welcome here?

Buttercup Q. Skullpants

There’s a big difference between wanting to take a break from everyday life and blow off steam for a bit, and wanting to retreat fully into a fantasy world where straight white males are king, women are objects, and every boner is catered to instantly. People who use games for the former tend to have actual responsibilities and worries. For GGers demanding the latter, gaming *is* their real life. They’ve given up on the world and the very idea of becoming an adult, and they’re trying to frame their lazy, resentful failure to launch as a victorious “fuck you”.

Yeah, the world isn’t going to mourn too much if a bunch of emotionally stunted misogynists decide to opt out of relationships just because all the women around them aren’t hot DDs and don’t dispense blow jobs on demand. The human species will continue on happily without them.

I don’t understand why they think the best response to the consciousness-raising that’s gone on among women for the past several decades is for men to retreat into a perma-pout. Why not engage in some equal consciousness-raising? Why not take a close look at the harm the patriarchy causes to men as well?

Chun-I
Chun-I
7 years ago

Also, I am a nice guy, not a Nice Guy (TM) I like fedoras, but will gladly boycott them in the name of Tumblr feminism.

AltoFronto
AltoFronto
7 years ago

@ Buttercup – the consciousness-raising against the harm the patriarchy causes to men, more or less led to the Men’s Rights Movement. It’s because they can’t look at anything beyond their sense of entitlement and the “threat” to their masculine self-perceptions that is apparently posed by even basic thinking skills.
In terms of the social Darwinism they love to talk about so much, their poutiness puts them at an evolutionary dead-end.

pallygirl
pallygirl
7 years ago

Does anyone else here get the vibe that GG is very similar to the awful l33t* gamer vs. casual gamer divide that sprung up a few years ago, perpetrated by “l33t” gamers? I know it was** prevalent in World of Warcraft, and it was basically people (guys) who played WoW for something like 30+ hours a week telling people who played in single digit hours that they shouldn’t expect to have good gear, or be involved in raids, and to quit whining about how the content focus shifted to people who were in the more difficult raids (that the casuals couldn’t do because basically their gear wasn’t good enough) – because WoW should only be for l33t players and casuals should just shut the fuck up about the crumbs they were thrown?

@Buttercup: your first paragraph reminded me of this.

* elite, their spelling, not mine.

** I only read the WoW forums when I played from 2004/5-2011, it may have changed.

deniseeliza
deniseeliza
7 years ago

@pallygirl Yeah I think it’s part of the same mentality. I remember when they finally did start making raiding more accessible to “casuals” — suddenly WoW became “too easy” and not a “real game”.

@Chun-I You don’t have to make any sacrifices to Tumblr feminism to be welcome here. But the tone of your posts seems to suggest you aren’t here in good faith. If you’ve got something to say that you think is going to make us all irrationally angry at you, why don’t you just come out with it and we’ll see? 🙂

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
7 years ago

“I am a person. I have arms, legs, and a mouth. Am I welcome here?”

My question is about as meaningful as Chun-I’s at this point. You’re not exactly giving people a lot of useful information to go on there, dude.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
7 years ago

in the name of Tumblr feminism.

wtf

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
7 years ago

Its name is Susan, in case anyone was wondering.

(Tumblr feminism, I mean.)

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
7 years ago

i can’t remember anyone here asking anyone to give up fedoras, or do anything in the name of tumblr feminism.

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
7 years ago

By the power of Tumblr feminism, I demand that you crush that fedora!

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
7 years ago

fedoras are magic. if you put one on, it makes you a pretentious misogynist even if you totally weren’t one before, and once you banish it forever you are cured.

sunnysombrera
7 years ago

Policy of Madness: reminds me of this.

Macha
Macha
7 years ago

@Chun-I:
I doubt anyone here cares if you are masculine or not, if you wear a fedora or not, or about “tumblr feminism” or whatever it is. It’s up to you and your choices.

Just be a decent person, and you’ll do fine. A good start is to stop thinking that tumblr feminism is a thing. You’ll look a lot less like a generic 8chan user then, which also helps with the decent person bit 🙂

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
7 years ago

Also, if someone had been bullied their whole life by MRAs that would make them, what, 10 years old? Maybe 15, tops? MRAs as a presence significant enough to notice are pretty much an internet phenomenon.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
7 years ago

@sunnysombrera

that was funny for 40 seconds then wasn’t anymore 🙁

weirwoodtreehugger
7 years ago

We should start performing tumblr feminist exorcisms on people.

“The power of Tumblr compels you! The power of Tumblr compels you! Get thee behind me fedora!”

cassandrakitty
cassandrakitty
7 years ago

And then their head starts spinning and they puke kitten gifs and Dr Who jokes.

deniseeliza
deniseeliza
7 years ago

@Policy of Madness UGH right? As soon as he turned into a fat guy I turned it off. So over fat being a synonym for pathetic.

Policy of Madness
Policy of Madness
7 years ago

@deniseeliza

also: a fat guy thinking he is sexually worthwhile = shorthand for hilarious?

no.

alaisvex
alaisvex
7 years ago

fedoras are magic. if you put one on, it makes you a pretentious misogynist even if you totally weren’t one before, and once you banish it forever you are cured.

Oh shit! I own a fedora! My roommate gave it to me for Christmas four years ago. What should I do? Help me, We Hunted the Mammoth! You’re my only hope.

Anarchonist
Anarchonist
7 years ago

@Chun-I:

Yeah, as others have pointed out, talking about “Tumblr feminism” is not exactly convincing anyone that you’re here in good faith. AFAIK, it’s mostly used as a derogatory phrase by anti-feminists. I can only see actual feminists calling themselves that in an ironic sense (see weirwoodtreehugger’s and cassandrakitty’s hilarious posts).

Re: masculinity: As long as the type of masculinity you embrace isn’t of the toxic variety (you know, thinking of women as inferior to men, thinking that attention from women, sexual or otherwise, is something you are entitled to, thinking violence is an acceptable solution in your dealings with people, etc.), being or not being masculine is not really that relevant here. That said, it’s good that you see that gender expectations cause problems in our society. It’s a start.

About being nice: Actions speak louder than words. If you’re a nice person, it will shine through. If you’re not, it will also shine through. Part of the problem with Nice Guys (TM) is that they’re quick to proclaim their niceness without actually being nice. Saying something doesn’t make it so.

More broadly, it’s problematic to identify too strongly with niceness as a quality, as you’re then less likely to listen when people point out that you’re doing or saying something not-nice, and will instead get defensive because you’ve invested so much in the idea that you’re nice and get all “how dare you imply I’m not being nice you big mean meanie-pants.”

When others say that you’re saying something bad, they’re not attacking you as a person, they’re criticizing the ideas you’ve most likely picked up somewhere in our culture. If you really are a nice person, you’ll work towards eliminating the fucked-up beliefs you may have about how the world works. Being nice is something you do, not something you are.

We all make mistakes. We all mess up sometimes, privileged people (especially white cishet men, myself included) more easily than less privileged people, because that’s how privilege works. The important thing is to listen and learn when others explain to you why something you say or do is problematic, apologize, and do your best not to engage in said behavior anymore.

Part of being a decent person is realizing that not everything is about you personally. Understand that and you should be fine here.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants

@AltoFronto – They’ve really shot themselves in the foot by retreating into a doubled-down version of the He-Man Woman-Haters Club, haven’t they? Anything that smacks of self-improvement or decent human behavior gets rejected as part of the feminazi PC conspiracy. Politeness, love, relationships, tolerance, equality, courtesy, critical thinking – those are all for “lesser” beings, They don’t want to do what Mom tells them, but guess what? Mom is right about a lot of things.

I’m curious to see how long they plan to sit around in their underwear, surrounded by pools of flyblown bacon grease, playing Call of Duty, sulking about women, and refusing to be even minimally civil. What is that going to accomplish? I mean, it just sounds like a punishment Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle would think up.

in the name of Tumblr feminism.

Oh, great. Now I have U2 stuck in my head.

Anarchonist
Anarchonist
7 years ago

Well, that was a pointlessly long rant.

Re: the video: I watched the whole video about the fedora guy, and I am not really sure what the point is.

SPOILERS: They do make fun of his fatness and voice, but then towards the end, a woman is reading the guy’s OKCupid profile, looking at his picture and thinking aloud how he is just her type – if not for the fedora. So… fedoras are bad, I guess? Hmm. Also, the fedora is an alien entity.

Cannot brain today. Curse hangover days.

Anarchonist
Anarchonist
7 years ago

By “pointlessly long rant” I was referring to my earlier post, not Buttercup Q. Skullpants’s. I should really try to refresh every so often.

alaisvex
alaisvex
7 years ago

They do make fun of his fatness and voice, but then towards the end, a woman is reading the guy’s OKCupid profile, looking at his picture and thinking aloud how he is just her type – if not for the fedora. So… fedoras are bad, I guess? Hmm. Also, the fedora is an alien entity.

So, what’s the message? Being fat is okay unless you have a fedora (but we’ll still make fun of you for being fat)? Body acceptance but not fashion acceptance? I’m so confused.

Binjabreel
7 years ago

“… they puke kitten gifs and Doctor Who jokes.”

Dammit! Now everyone is going to stare at me when I come out of the bathroom because I just hooted with incredibly loud laughter.

ParadoxicalIntention
ParadoxicalIntention
7 years ago

Puddleglum

You know, my biggest response to #GG has been to actually buy more video games?

YES! Mine too! (Though, let’s be honest, I was gonna buy those games anyway. Gators just give me a good reason to keep buying them. Like a petulant child who gets told I can’t have candy, I WILL EAT ALL THE CANDY IN UTTER DEFIANCE.)

I figure if more people buy video games who aren’t for #GG, maybe devs will notice and realize that they’re a really gross minority that shouldn’t be catered to. Money talks, ya know.

Orion
7 years ago

AltoFronto,

We are funding at least 50% of this bloody industry already

Do you have a source for that? I’m aware that slightly over half of frequent gamers are women, but that isn’t exactly the same thing. It may be that the GamerGators individually spend a lot more money on video games than you or I do. Or it might not; I have no idea.

Of course, even if that’s true, the publishers who cater to gators are neglecting the opportunity to develop new markets, which will probably bite them in the long run, but at least there would be some internal logic.