* For the record, I don’t plan on writing long posts like these often. Also for the record, I know that there are plenty of heavy issues going on in the world right now; this, however, I feel I need to address.
I wouldn’t call myself a gamer, but I am one who enjoys playing video games. I say this because I feel that the word “gamer” leaves a disgusting feeling that carries images of hateful, misogynistic, socially awkward men constantly taking part in unnecessary flame wars (console wars, console v. gaming PCs, video resolution, corruption in gaming journalism, etc.). I find this behavior disgusting. So when I heard stories this past week about Phil Fish getting doxxed over information regarding one’s personal life & Anita Sarkeesian being driven out of her home because of death threats on her & her family, I was not very happy.
Phil Fish, to fill some of you in, is a former indie video game designer, prominently known for creating Fez, a fantastic puzzle-platform game. I say he’s a former indie designer because he quit making video games twice know, especially now with this story of these hackers who supposedly doxxed him; basically, Fish’s personal information was made public with the worst of intentions (I’ll let you figure out what bad would come from that). In my opinion, while Fish has a very strong, volatile personality that has gotten him into trouble many times in the past, no one deserves this. It shouldn’t matter if this story is true or not, no one deserves to be put on a public chopping block like this. I don’t have anything else to say in this particular story because while I know there are plenty of other angles to cover here (possible false information, the hackers falsely taking the name of Anonymous to cover their asses, corruption in “game journalism,” etc.), this was the larger topic on my mind.
Anita Sarkeesian is a feminist, a media critic, & the author of video blog Feminist Frequency as well as video series’ Tropes vs. Women & Tropes vs. Women in Video Games. I love that she’s a voice criticizing whats wrong in today’s society. Sarkeesian is drawing awareness to social issues in a manner that forces discussion & hopefully leads to positive change. I only have one issue with her work (and it’s a small criticism); after exceeding her goal on Kickstarter for Tropes vs. Women in Video Games by over $100,000, her videos in this series have used gameplay footage from other YouTube video game channels without referencing the people behind those channels or asking for their permission. While Sarkeesian does address this with the argument of fair use (“The multimedia clips included in this video constitute a ‘fair use’ of any copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of U.S. Copyright law which allows for criticism, comment and scholarship.”) (which I totally understand), at the same time some of these Youtube channels use their content to make a living or at least try to make some extra money. While I’m sure a lot of the money she received from KIckstarter was distributed well (hiring a staff, video production software & equipment, etc. *I’m seriously not being sarcastic about this), at the same time a used game console, a video capture card & some games doesn’t really cost that much. Hell, with that much money I’d say Sarkeesian could’ve even paid minimal amounts of money to hire someone else to play these games to get the footage she needs. Again, small criticism; the above statement was not an attack on her views regarding feminism. I cannot emphasize that enough.
Anywho, Anita Sarkeesian released a new set of videos for Tropes vs. Women in Video Games recently. Thats nothing new except for when she received explicit death threats online. Let me just say this as clearly as I can: It doesn’t matter what kind of person Sarkeesian is; when you are forced to leave the comforts of your home because someone is threatening you, it’s not okay.
*Sheesh, it’s almost 2 am & I feel like I’ve been writing an essay. Look, I need to get some sleep, but the point I’m trying to make here is that the people behind these attacks in gaming have no excuse that validates their actions. I enjoy gaming, but this shit is wrong. For those of you who read this far, if you want a nice conclusion to tie things together, think of stuff like how misogyny is bad, equal rights for everyone, hatefulness sucks & anything else positive that came out of this rant because I’m super tired and my brain has now turned to poop.
G o o d n i g h t !