So, while the gamerbros are doing a bang up job of proving just how awful they can get (for serious guys, we have Joss Whedon and Will Wheaton on our side, you have the guy who played the guy more famous for a knitted hat.*), I had a thought.
If the guys who aren’t going along with this, guys who stand up against harassment and abuse of women in gaming, are snidely called “White Knights”, what does that make the gamerBros?
And it came to me…they’re wanna-be anti-heroes.
You know the anti-heros, gritty, tough guys who don’t give a shit about silly things like morals or property damage, but are going to save the day. The Duke Nukems, the Kratos’, the Renegade Commander Shepards, the Agent 47s, the “I-can-go-on-but-here’s-the-TV-Tropes-link”. (Hell, if I wanted to take an example from TV, the Jayne Cobbs) You’ll note that some of those heroes I listed are some of the same heroes that are noted in some of the games Anita Sarkessian’s Tropes Vs. Woman series. They can lie, cheat, steal, kill, treat everyone around them disrespect, and get away with it because they are the heroes. The games are designed with that in mind. As long as the world gets saved, who gives a shit if you took time out of your mission to kick a puppy or two, sell off some slaves, desecrate a holy site, unnecessarily kill a dozen NPCs, was a massive tool to even your allies, right?
Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve played the asshole too. I love RPGs with morality choices. I’ve played the xenophobic jerkass Shepard, the ruthless Warden, the complete shitty Hawke. Hell, I remember have such a low reputation in Baldur’s Gate 2 that after saving the day, the elves were like “Thank you, now leave.” It’s an interesting way to play.
But in this current ‘fight’, video games are in apparent danger. People are talking about them in a critical way! What if designers listen to them and ruin gaming forever! What if evil feminist armies raid houses and put everyone who stared a second too long at Miranda’s ass against the wall for execution? Time to fight! No holds barred! Everything is permitted! Nothing is true!
The problem, of course, if that this isn’t a video game. The anti-hero exists only in fiction. Most of these boys are either too chickenshit to do anything remotely like their on-screen avatars, or they actually understand that this is reality and taking cues from those guys will get you fucking arrested, so they do what they believe is the next best thing. Harass, intimidate, abuse. It doesn’t matter how low they go, as long as Our Games are safe from terrible awful OPINIONS!
Which is both sad and hilarious. Sorry, boys, you’re not the anti-hero here. You’re not even the hordes of cannon fodder.
If anything, you’re monkeys, shrieking and throwing poop at anyone who dares look hard at your cage for longer than a few seconds.
This isn’t a fucking war to be fought. As I said in my previous post, either games are art, and subject to criticism, or they’re toys. Either way, shrieking and throwing poop isn’t going to phase the rest of us who want our chosen favorite hobby to mature. Like or hate the criticism, but literally showing your ass isn’t making you the bad ass rebel you think you are.
(here’s a hint, rebels want to CHANGE the status quo)
*And for ruining a certain recruitment mission for Mass Effect 2 for me. Jerk.