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This crap again? Yup.

November 29, 2012

Ever read one of the many articles in the online videogame journalism community about plots in games? One that tells us we need more “diverse” narratives and “diverse” gameplay outside of violence? One that demands something other than a bald, stubbly, middle-aged white guy as the main protagonist of the story? One that would somehow make the queers and the women not feel offended by anything?

Let me tell you right now – we don’t deserve that as much as we think we do. Cliches are all the rage, in case you haven’t heard. The crisis of the week, like every week, is your weekly rehash of a bunch of tired tropes*.

“Women have been talked down to at conventions! By men! Therefore, all men are guilty by association!”

“Men have it so easy in games. Everything caters to them (even when it doesn’t).”

“People talk to me like I’m a visible woman with a body. Why don’t men have to deal with that?”

Look, I’m not going to make threats of rape and death for any woman that hopped on the #1reasonwhy twitter trend. However, I’m also not going to be tricked into taking responsibility for what another person totally unrelated to me did to offend your sensibilities. This isn’t even about the hurdles women face in the industry anyway. Anyone paying attention knows gender parity is nowhere near being achieved, but it is being worked on. The problem is that these situations always turn into the internet equivalent of a game of “Yes, dear”. No one cares about the women that have supportive colleagues. No one cares about the straight males that are sick of clumsy attempts at pandering to their assumed fetishes, only to create controversy instead. No one cares about the men not saying “I’m responsible, and I’m sorry” or “Go get raped you whore”. No one cares about any of those things more than they do about women laying on the guilt trips and scared men falling for it. Therefore, fuck it, I’m not wringing my hands and crying crocodile tears.

You want to talk about teenagers on Xbox Live flinging slurs like poo? Not until we talk about how many of them are raised by permissive parents who fail at their job. You want to talk about trade show staff questioning your talent and interest in games? I hope you got that staffer’s name and reported him to his boss, because I can’t do a thing about him. You want to know why men don’t have sexual comments made towards them? Because most men aren’t gay, and women aren’t going to view men as sexual beings that often, pervasive myths of sexual liberation be damned. Men are supposed to be scary and dangerous, and our society has plenty of real-world ways to reinforce that supposition.

*Compare to last week’s woman crisis of the “Fake Nerd Girl”, spawned from big media trend-makers in order to rile women up. Go for the grating video, stay for the unfunny webcomic.

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