It happens every day. In fact, it is pretty hard to avoid it. There are some things that can only be understood with a slap on the forehead. Things so mind-boggling that one wonders how humans managed to evolve thumbs while being this mentally inept. Case in point:
I tend to ignore feminist critiques about the gaming community because they are so nonsensical that rings popping out of robots seems more logical. However, I quite enjoyed David Futrelle’s “rebuttal” to #GamerGate. Instead of actually addressing any of the complaints gamers made in the past weeks, Futrelle seeks to prove that gamers have no claim on the community they built.
He begins with a wonderfully moronic statement:
Thing is, guys, it’s not your hobby. At least it’s not only yours.
I don’t call myself a “gamer” – largely because so many of those who do embrace the label are such immature assholes – but, guess what, I play games too.
Indeed, as you can see from the picture above, I own more than 100 console games, some of which I’ve devoted hundreds of hours to. Over the years I’ve owned five different consoles – seven, if you count replacement consoles bought because I wore out the originals.
Two points. One, it is usually a bad idea to begin a persuasive argument by insulting the intended audience. One typically ingratiates oneself with the intended audience, not make them hate you. It is also a bad idea to play semantics in way that makes it appear you do not understand basic English. The word to describe a person who plays video games is “gamer”.
Two, what in the world was Futrelle doing to his consoles that he “wore out the originals” to the point that he had to buy new ones? I know many people who played games for decades on their systems and never had to replace them. Most of my gamer friends still have their original NES, Genesis, Neo Geo, and Atari systems. Short of having a fan burn out or getting one of the lights of death, you should get plenty of mileage out of your consoles, especially the older ones.
Futrelle then lists his gaming “credentials”. This is inexplicable since such a list would only matter to gamers, who he already dismissed as “immature assholes”. No one else cares about how many games Futrelle owns or played. Indeed, most non-gamers would find such a list a sign of the person’s utter loserdom.
He wraps up his list with:
So, yeah, I’m pretty far from hardcore. But, you know what, angry gamebros? This is my hobby as much as it is yours. I may not fit your gamer stereotype, but I play games too, and the money I spend on gaming is as green as yours.
To the contrary, Futrelle fits the gamer stereotype quite well. Overweight? Check. Poorly kept appearance? Check. Spending hours with online rather than with real people? Check. Overly snarky? Check. Obsessed with things most people lose interest in when they reach puberty? Check. A total lack of basic social skills, including the ability to converse with people you do not like without insulting them and everyone else? Check. A bizarre desire to protect women who have absolutely no interest in you? Check. And last, but not least, the uncanny ability to attract people also afflicted with such poor character? Check.
Yes, that was quite mean. However, it is was necessary in order to show that the only difference between Futrelle and the stereotypical gamer is that feminists like him.
And there are a lot of us out here – game players who look a lot different from the angry gamers now ranting about evil Social Justice Warriors trying to destroy their supposedly male preserve. Hell, the comments section of this blog if full of them, many of them aficionados of RPGs and obscure interesting indie titles I’ve never heard of.
Many of the “angry gamers now ranting about evil Social Justice Warriors” are not straight white men. Futrelle might know that if he bothered to converse with gamers rather than mock them. Here is a fine example disproving his argument:
Those are real gamers who are very much not just straight white men complaining about “teh wimminz” invading their space.
Futrelle goes on to list readers’ comments stating how they were rejected by the gaming community. All four of the readers attack male gamers for simply being male. They use terms like “hapless diversity-hating gamebros”, ” penis-centric, he-man girl-gamer-haters club”, and “misogynist gamers”.
Here is a thought: has it ever occurred to any of these women that perhaps the reason gamers do not like them is not because they are female but because of the antipathy they appear to have towards gamers?
Here is another thought: is not curious that women who seem to face rejection tend to share the same political attitude? Is it also not curious that they tend to wear this political attitude on their sleeves?
I am a gamer (more casual than hardcore). Most of my friends are gamers. Most of the people I know are gamers. None of them would want to hang out with above the women. They would rather sit through the atrociously acted cut scenes from Resident Evil than subject themselves to that level of hate.
It takes a grand amount of stupidity, narcissism, and general douchiness to regard people as beneath you, tell them this to their faces, and then act incredulous when they want nothing to do with you.
However, it is downright inexplicable why anyone who thinks an entire community is against them would want to be a part of that community. As one of the commenter’s notes, she was “doing my own thing and having fun” while gamers were “living in their own happy little penis-centric, he-man girl-gamer-haters club”. If she was that content having nothing to do with male gamers and capable of enjoying games without interacting with male gamers, why the negative reaction to gamers who want nothing to do with her? Why the desire to be a part of a community that it appears this woman, along with many other feminists, believes hates her?
This would be akin to me attempting to join the feminist movement. I do not think feminists like me. Rather, I am certain of it. I am certain that my status as a man, a male survivor of abuse, and a critic of feminism makes me quite unlikable to most feminists. While I have similar concerns as some feminists, such as wanting to prevent violence against children, given that I know feminists despise men, male survivors, and anyone critical of their movement, I have no reason to join their community. I may converse with them. I may participate in their spaces from time to time. But I have absolutely no desire to join a community I think hates me.
That is what I find most baffling about this situation. In most instances, it is clear what feminists want. In this instance, it is unclear. There is the obvious push to gain power, yet there is no reason why. What is the point of this? Feminists can and have created their own spaces to discuss things related to “geek” culture (Comic Alliance, Mary Sue, Geek Feminism, etc.). They can have to discussions without the participation of the hated male gamers. So what is the point of going after the broader culture, one that feminists appear to think is hell bent on oppressing women.
Is this simply another example of feminists pitching a fit when someone will not let them have their way with someone else’s toys?