Gaming Culture is Fine; Stop trying to Co-opt it
In recent days, gamers and their culture have not been getting a particularly good treatment from the press. Whether it’s from a bunch of a moral guardians complaining about stuff like Hatred and implying the gaming world is ‘immoral’ for liking or a press willing to declare them ‘dead’ to try and suck up to their favoured audience of ‘holier than thou’ lunatics, the gaming world has been getting it from all sides in the last few years. Indeed, to some degree it feels like Jack Thompson’s quotes about ‘gaming culture’ never quite left the media’s mind…
But we’re gonna buck the trend a bit here. Basically, we at Gaming Reinvented thinking gaming culture is perfectly fine. We believe gamers are not ‘dead’. And most of all, we’d like the tech industry and media to lay off the gaming community for good. Gaming culture isn’t dead, and we’re not gonna let a corrupt bunch of sociopaths try and tell people it is. Let’s defend gaming culture!
So let’s start with something no one seems to ever realise. Why are gamers so bitter about this whole GamerGate/gaming culture/whatever thing? And outsiders supposedly destroying their culture?
Well how about this?
Gamers are annoyed at the actions of these so called ‘social justice warriors’ because they genuinely are invading gamer culture. They generally are a group of outsiders trying to force the industry and community to change against their will.
And the fact gamers gamers are not a ‘privileged’ group just makes this worse.
Yes, I said that word. And I mean it. Gamers are not ‘privileged’ compared to feminists or gaming journalists or any other such group. In fact for years, the stigma against the hobby was arguably much, much worse than that against the groups trying to claim the opposite. You admit to being a hardcore gamer (even worse a fan of something unpopular in certain countries like Nintendo in the UK), and that was it. Your popularity was as good as shot dead.
Above: Double so if you were a Gamecube fan in the UK
Gamers were often the type who were… somewhat like outsiders to the mainstream. The types who had it pretty hard in life due to not like the popularly backed sports and TV shows and films and whatever else that the man (or woman) on the street liked and often had various other psychological issues to overcome.
It was from this that gaming culture developed. For many a person whom the real world threw under the bus, gaming was an escape. The world of gaming magazines, sites and forums was a place to discuss video games with other passionate individuals who felt equally marginalised in a world that glorifed certain forms of entertainment (TV, movies, sports) and look down on many others( video games, anime, professional wrestling…). Communities were built, friendships were forged, great fan works were made on scales that were never thought possible… and it was good. Gaming was a relief from the stresses of real life. Games were a place to unwind in fictional realities that did not have to conform to the staid, conservative ethics and morals of the times. Games were often fun because ‘serious’ issues weren’t taking over the medium. Games like Ocarina of Time were fun, escapist experiences that didn’t need some attempt at real world politics or social discussion to become successful:
And what’s more, the community eventually got good at one other thing: stopping censorship before it could take hold.
Because over time, gaming has been attacked for being ‘immoral’ by pretty much everyone imaginable. We had gaming slammed for ‘inappropriate’ content in the days of Mortal Kombat and its fatalities. We had gaming attacked and criticised over the content in series like Grand Theft Auto. And it was all the same.
Above: Some depressing examples of this mentality in the past… As well as a debunking of Doom as responsible for Colombine by Snopes
Whether it was Manhunt, Madworld, Acclaim’s games before their shut down or pretty much anything else you can think of, we fought hard to stop it being censored or banned. To stop gaming being heavily restricted in the same way as comics under the Comics Code or film under the Hays Code. Heck, back then, even the media seemed to agree and help us battle against outside censorship of our favourite hobby! People like Jack Thompson didn’t become a laughing stock for nothing you know.
Above: Beating up Thompson? Fine. Beating up a feminist? Evil!
You can probably see why gamers are so opposed to these outside groups attacking gamers and their culture. Or trying to change it from within via press infiltration and sabotage.
These groups represent everything that gaming culture has fought so hard to avoid. They represent the popular kids coming into an unpopular hobby and trying to force their beliefs on it, damned be anyone already there. They represent a potential wave of censorship where gaming gets restricted to whatever doesn’t ‘offend’ some group or another (this is lunacy in any form of art)
And what’s worse, is that the media’s portrayal of the situation is as far from accurate as could possibly be. Are gamers bigoted or misogynistic? No, not really. Some people on the internet might be, but they’re no more common in gaming than they are in communities about TV or films. Or sports. Or even just random other hobbies like gardening or cooking or sewing or whatever else might be out there. Gaming is being attacked purely because it’s seen as an easy target by a group that wants to force their views on it. They already did this to skepticism, and they’re trying to do the same thing to gaming. The idea of gaming being misogynistic hellhole is a case of damned statistics based on extreme cherrypicking.
There’s also the incredibly misleading portrayal of gamers as the aggressors and the feminists and whoever else as the poor victims. Except, there are plenty of cases where otherwise newsworthy events are being ignored to bolster their false narrative. Remember those bomb threats a GamerGate meetup got?
Funny how that didn’t make the big gaming sites, isn’t it? The same ones who just loved to report on the threats received by the likes of Anita Sarkeesian just happened to ignore a clearly criminal action because it was presumably caused by someone on their ‘side’…
Oh, did we mention how a significant portion of gaming journalists actually mocked said threats and pretty much said they hoped they were real? Yeah, that happened. Including involvement from trade organisations representing the video game industry.
Or how about the fact many people against the gamers support doxxing… despite it being seen as horrible and evil whenever it’s used against them:
Revealing someone’s identity and trying to destroy the reputation? Apparently that’s fine if they’ve got an opinion you disagree with.
You know what? Just read some of this:
You’ll soon realise that many of the people leading the charge in this anti gamer stuff are far, far worse than the people they are attacking for being bigoted or evil or whatever else. When the people claiming games are immoral or should be made more ‘diverse’ or that Hatred should be banned or whatever else have actually tried to kill people or covered up actual real world crimes, then it’s pretty obvious that a significant part of the mainstream media’s narrative just does not add up.
But that’s merely why gamers are against outside attempts at trying to take over or destroy their world. What about the press? Why are the press so hated?
Well, look at this way. Why do so many college students in the UK now hate the Liberal Democrats? Why does pretty much everyone on the left of the political spectrum hate New Labour?
Above: Wonder when we’ll get the gaming press version?
Because they turned against their claimed principles to become popular with a crowd they shouldn’t be supporting. Because the gaming press, is the internet equivalent of that kid who was a great friend… outside of school, when his popularity and street cred wasn’t on the line (and who pretty much went and backed your enemies on most other occasions because he’d rather be popular with the ‘in crowd’ than a decent person).
People in general hate traitors. They hate quislings. Pretty much nothing is less popular than someone who backstabs their friends or family or fanbase or whoever else in order to save their own skin.
And that’s exactly what the gaming media did. When the pressure was there, they went with the popular crowd to avoid having to stand up or believe in anything for themselves.
Is it really any wonder why they got the backlash that they did?
Gamers are not ‘dead’. Gaming culture is not ‘evil’ or ‘dead’. You are a bunch of self serving, near sociopathic scumbags who brought this hatred on yourselves by backstabbing the group that has supported you for the last two or three decades. The problem isn’t with gamers, a bunch of average Joes who were enjoying their hobby and liked talking about games online. It’s about a cowardly and selfish media that turned out to be all too willing to turn on their audience in a pathetic attempt to earn ‘respect’ from gaming’s critics.
And for gamers? Time to reject these people and support a new type of gaming journalism. Like our site.