So somewhere in the mess that is October, I’ve lost track of this issue of GamerGate. To give you a rundown, GamerGate is a group of guys online who disrespect, offend, and threaten female gamers. (This is a VERY condensed version of the whole story.) Recently Felicia Day spoke out about the issue and addressed how she avoided some male costumers in fear of them being from GamerGate. As a costumer myself, THAT SUCKS! I don’t want people to avoid me in costume just because they fear I might say something offensive to them or worse! And let’s be honest, if I were a guy and I wore an awesome gamer costume and Felicia Day avoided talking to me because of how some other guys online had been addresses women…. that missed opportunity would suck.
But back on topic. Gamer Gate. Here is the Wikispace explaining this group. It all started with a female game designer being accused by her ex-boyfriend of having relations with a game reviewer. This brought up ethical questions about the video game industry and journalist, and started the whole gamergate controversy on Twitter. However, somewhere in there men started attacking gamer girls and their supporters. It’s all very convoluted and irrational and, honestly, stupid. I can see where this started out as a reasonable issue with two logical sides, but it quickly derailed into something mean, aggressive, and threatening.
It’s sad how quick we can take a subject previously dominated by males but is now rapidly growing a female following and turn it back on itself. It’s frustrating how easily humans fight change, ANY change! And it’s wrong how swiftly society is liable to blame anyone else for those changes; in this case women gamers and game designers.
Several journalists and game activist have made the claim that “gamer” isn’t an appropriate term anymore; that the gaming word has gotten so mashed in other forms and types that the idea of calling yourself a “gamer” doesn’t mean what it used to mean. I have to agree with that. But then, what do we call ourselves? We still game. We still meet with friends, online or off, and still have fantastical adventures in fantasy worlds. Should we start differentiating what type of gamer you are? Online, RPG, or casual gamer? Won’t that just make larger rifts? What if you cross over those rifts? (I know I do!)
But you know what really stinks? This is all coming to light JUST when I managed to get my gaming club at school to be 3/4 girls to guys. That’s right, my middle school girls outnumber my middle school boys in our weekly D&D games. As long as they don’t get roped into this whole thing I’m good. But the MINUTE one of those boys says the word “GamerGate,” it’s going to be a very rough adventure.