A Female Gamer’s Perspective on GamerGate
When it comes to my taste in entertainment, I am not what one would consider a “girly-girl.” I thoroughly enjoy watching sports like football, and boxing, and of course, turning on games like Battlefield 4 on my PS4. Since the age of ten, I have begged, scrapped, and saved towards owning my own consoles and systems, even in the face of parents who clearly did not understand or appreciate my interests. One time I asked for a PS2 for Christmas, only to receive cash from my parents instead and an instruction to “buy something else with it.” Well, I didn’t buy something else with it; I saved that money and the rest of my Christmas and bought my PS2 and a selection of games. I even sold my Halloween candy to get money for a game one year, all in the name of being entertained. We all want to be entertained and that is universal throughout cultures, racial identifications, sexual preferences, and of course, both genders. Some of the ways we entertain ourselves are different, but there is nothing inherently wrong with any of them as long as we aren’t harming others when finding our glimmer of “entertainment” in this world. Unlike this group of militant anti-gaming feminists, I don’t believe that gamer culture is harming women or preventing them from successfully integrating with that culture.
Though I am not a person that is normally immersed in the gamer culture, beyond buying games and enjoying them, I was shocked and appalled to learn that there is a group of so-called “feminists” taking personal pleasure out of destroying a culture by denying it’s very relevancy and existence, smearing it any chance they get. The way they attempt to degrade the culture of gaming to build up themselves and their ideas is absolutely sick and is not representative of the female gamer whatsoever.
After studying up on these types of women, and following their conduct during GamerGate, I couldn’t believe how they had obtained so much influence. When I read Leigh Alexander hurl her nasty insults and dismissive stereotypes towards gamers, it makes me sick to my stomach. It was as if Ms. Alexander and others like her are trying to make me feel ashamed because I am woman and accept gaming culture as it is. It’s a male dominated culture that I happen to enjoy because it’s entertaining, and I see absolutely no problems with it or its progression. Look at games like The Last of Us, or the recently re-launched Tomb Raider. Both had strong female protagonists, and were loved by gamers. This notion that somehow gamers hate women is ridiculous.
Have I met men in male-dominated cultures that are skeptical of me? Yes, but I have also ALWAYS met MORE men who are not only happy to include me once they believe in my genuine interest, but they are also often fascinated by it. The truth is, in my experience as a female gamer and a female that enjoys many male-dominated cultures, the majority of men actually enjoy a female perspective. Oftentimes, they do express their wish that their own girlfriends/wives took an interest in those cultures they enjoy. But, you can also say this about any atypical presence in any industry or culture though.
Suggesting that gamer culture is deeply sexist is not only absurd, it’s also reckless. It only increases the skepticism of the male gamer when it comes to women being a part of this culture, and justifiably so. Their end goal is video games becoming a vehicle for cultural crusades, full of political correctness rather than entertainment. The explicit goal is to either change the industry beyond recognition, or kill it trying. They try to kill games, careers, and the culture itself. We haven’t even talked about the damage they do to actual feminism. These anti-gaming rants by these pseudo-feminists harm the progress of true feminism, which is about equality and inclusion, not hacking away at what you perceive to be the “male opposition.”
Instead of being happy to be included as simply a different perspective in gaming, they’ve decided to blame sexism for their views not being adopted by mainstream developers and gamers. So, they try to destroy the industry from within, rather than accept that gaming is male dominated. Thus, games that are meant to be entertaining will often look to appeal to the male gamer. That alone proves to me that they are actually not attempting to speak for women as they claim, they’re simply using the cause of feminism for their own gain and/or their own selfish wrath against male domination in any category. Genuine female gamers like myself would like to enhance the industry with our perspective, not destroy it and everything it stands for in order to build something else entirely different in its place. Real gamers, male and female, care about entertainment, not political or cultural statements. Every gamer should ignore the propaganda spewing from the mouths of these ladies and their supporters. Continue to be united in the name of genuine creative entertainment and true equality, which, sadly, are both rarities these days.
TheRalph: If you enjoyed Kat’s editorial, show her some love and spread that shit on Twitter.
— Ethan Ralph (@TheRalphRetort) September 17, 2014
UPDATE: Our industry source has proposed a guest editorial on journalistic ethics and integrity, and we have gratefully accepted. It will be posted here tomorrow morning. So check back for that if you’re interested.
— Ethan Ralph (@TheRalphRetort) September 17, 2014