GamerGate : Rise of the Undead Trolls

Before I begin, I’m gonna be straight up and say, publicly for the first time on my blog (outside of poetry or spoken word)

I am gender fluid:

“Gender Fluid is a gender identity best described as a dynamic mix of boy and girl. A person who is Gender Fluid may always feel like a mix of the two traditional genders, but may feel more boy some days, and more girl other days.
Being Gender Fluid has nothing to do with which set of genitalia one has, nor their sexual orientation.
‘No, I’m not a boy, and I’m not a girl either. I am gender fluid’.” (Urban Dictionary)

Now, there has been a TON of articles on GamerGate, so I want to avoid covering old ground as much as possible and just keep this down to my recent experience on Left4Dead2 on Steam.

 As a huge fan of Feminist Frequency , GamerGate has been on my radar for some time .As an on-line gamer I am well aware of just how bad sexism in on-line gaming can be .I play under the user name EmmaDark, a homage to an old Nintendo 64 game I used to love called Perfect Dark. I have been playing for many months and I have experienced some stupid and hurtful comments whilst playing. In order to try to avoid this in the future I put up an ad on the Steam L4D2 community asking for feminist friendly players who would like to play the game minus the offensive comments and general sexism.
Man hater seeks...
 This opened up a landslide. I was accused of all kinds of stuff , which I’ll let you read for yourself in the screen shots. When someone would try to defend my post they were accused of being ‘white knights’ . This apparently means: A Gamma male performing for others attention to be the ‘hero’ who saves the ‘damsel’ in distress in threads. The speed with which this simple request spiraled into women hating comments was astounding and horrifying.

Screenshot from 2014-11-26 18:25:03

Feminism seems to be so misunderstood (deliberately ?) as to be in the realm of conspiracy theory by the time they are done explaining it. Examples range from ‘Feminazi, go back to 1942.’ ( I’m at a loss to even begin to try to explain that one) to feminism equals communism/Illuminati control aiming towards a non-hetro world. ( The horror. The humanity. We’ve been rumbled !)  “Feminism fits the elite’s depopulation agenda.” (IlluminatiNews.co.uk) So , yeah, we are dealing with some crazy types here for sure. Many of us just try to ignore and avoid these troll types but all that seems to do is let these mindsets spread and fester online. Land mines of misogyny strewn across the world wide web.

femenazi

Feminism = equality.Plain and simple.

  • Belief in the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.
  • n.
    The movement organized around this belief.

It’s not a big concept to grasp. It’s just about equality in a world dominated by patriarchy.  Pretty straight forward and easy to see if you wake up and pay attention to the world around you. ( The sad irony of these conspiracy types who keep telling us all to Wake up sheeple!!)

 

WE HAVE A BIG PROBLEM IN GAMING.

splainin

This will not end with GamerGate, this has been here for a long time and doesn’t seem to be going away. If you choose a ‘gender neutral’ handle or a ‘male’ one, your gaming experience will be free of much of this stuff, by and large. In fact , in one of the threads this is made quiet clear. As soon as you identify otherwise, you cannot be a ‘Pro-Gamer’ or much of a gamer for that matter it seems. You will be accused of the same old tropes,  women talk too much, aren’t very good at fighting, aren’t capable of leading teams, they complain all the time. ( As though  in the middle of a horde attack female identifying players just drop their joy-pads and start discussing fashion or some such shit )

femaletropes

havboobslookingforjoystick

For many people like myself, gaming has always been a way to escape the big bad world outside my door. A chance to explore and cooperate with people all around the world. A venue to share or a platform to speak and be heard.  It was some where to go to get away from the battles we fight in the world daily. It seems these conflicts have spread to the digital world with a fierce and venomous temerity, largely unchecked and unchallenged.

Until recently that is.

What Feminist Frequency, along with many others, has done here is to begin a talk that is long over due, about how women are treated and portrayed in the gaming world. It’s bad enough that for many of us, stepping out into the real world, carries  fear of attack or abuse ,without having to have that in on-line gaming too? When women/LGBTQ/minorities are routinely portrayed as background victims in gaming, we have a problem that needs to be addressed. That behavior is abundant in the real world, for example,  the threat of a gun shooting at the school Anita Sarkeesian was going to talk at. Not to mention the threats on her life for being vocal on these issues. We live in a world where 1 in 4 women will be sexually assaulted, this is unacceptable in any way shape or form. It is equally unacceptable that so many suffer sexual harassment, threats and abuse when gaming on-line. Much like in the real world, it will be a long and hard battle but one I hope will result in a safer on-line gaming environment for everyone eventually.

 

 

 

 

 

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9 thoughts on “GamerGate : Rise of the Undead Trolls

  1. Thank you for this article, it is always nice reading stuff feminist-related written by men; it gives me hope in a period in which we do not seem to be allowed to complain about patriarchy because we can wear trousers and vote. Anyway, “Feminazi, go back to 1942” is so surreal that I kind of like it. It is so stupid in so many ways…

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  2. Just had a similar experience. Wrote about it and gave a presentation to my postgrad class. I was also recently invited to speak at a local film and computer graphics college about my experience working in the film industry. The instructor who invited me suggested I cover this topic, as well, particularly when speaking to their computer game design class. Going right to the source! You’re not alone and things WILL change.

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    • I’m at 139 replies, mostly hateful, on YouTube because I expressed disappointment that a recent trailer for EveOnline was lacking in female gamer representation. Post, with links to the video, is here: http://questionsandtea.wordpress.com/2014/11/23/gaming-initiative-challenge/

      Still, it’s all good. Gave me the opportunity to educate my MA class as well as a couple of other classes at the aforementioned film college. Most of my classmates had not heard much about Gamergate, if anything, and probably not too many of them had considered the idea of privilege. Teachable moments, teachable moments… 🙂

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