Catstronaut hates hate

catstronauthateshate

Videogames are a rapidly maturing medium — but you’ll never learn that from hate-filled players

The latest in videogame violence: Tropes vs Women in Videogames’ Anita Sarkeesian was forced from her home by death threats against her and her family, while Depression Quest creator Zoe Quinn suffered similar harassment at the center of a scandal called “GamerGate,” wherein she’s been accused of having sex with games journalists who gave Depression Quest positive press and favorable reviews.

It’s all so tiring, this constant bickering and infighting from a vocal fandom that explodes when, in lieu of anything better to talk about, Mass Effect 3’s ending fails to meet their expectations. I’ll include myself here, because I’ve been known to bicker: Mario Kart 64 just isn’t that great in the overall scope of the series, and I need everyone to know that.

But when outrage spills over into organized harrassment and threats of physical (and sexual) violence, sometimes I wonder what the point is in trying to talk to anybody about why videogames are cool, or good, or fun. Suddenly videogame reviews, reviews of a consumer entertainment product, are worth ruining people’s lives over. Forget that noise.

anitazoe

Pictured: actual human beings (!) who likely have real lives and feel real human emotions (!!!)

Disclaimer: I have not watched a single episode of Anita Sarkeesian’s Tropes vs Women in Videogames. I honestly don’t care, and I’m embarrassed by the whole conversation surrounding her videos. Part of the reason I don’t care is because it’s so blatantly obvious that videogames and videogame fandom have an inclusion problem. It’s obvious from the backlash to Sarkeesian’s videos that videogames still have a stupidly vocal minority that’s refused to grow up with the rest of us. I don’t need to hear it from her, because it’s right in my face.

Disclaimer: I have not played Zoe Quinn’s Depression Quest, nor have I slept with her, nor do I really care very much about her personal life. Maybe everything that’s been said about her is true, and Kotaku and others are really involved in a massive scandal, and she really is a very scummy person. Even assuming that’s all true, the proper response is not to form a howling lynch mob (it never is) but rather to stop reading journalism from biased websites and stop giving your attention to Zoe Quinn. That’s it. That’s what you do. Shout about unethical journalism; make people aware; make noise. But do not gang up, do not threaten, do not bully, do not destroy — no matter which side you’re on.

I don’t know that there’s even a point to this post. How many people read this blog, after all? And of those, how many were involved in attacking Sarkeesian, Quinn, Phil Fish, or anyone else, and who of them would really listen to me anyways?

But if I have a point, it’s this: There is a rainbow banner at the top of this blog. I drew it there firstly because it looks kinda (really ultra) awesome, but also with the tacit knowledge that it represents inclusion. If you’re here, you’re welcome here.

Unless, of course, you’re one of the harassers. You don’t represent me. You don’t speak for me. I don’t like you, and my hit count won’t miss you. You’re garbage. Be gone.

To everyone else: Keep playing the games you love, and keep talking about why you love them. There’s too much negativity going around all the time, in every corner of the internet.

So love hard. You gotta shout loud to keep the positive vibe alive.

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