Seriously, this ongoing trend of bashing video games for unethical or unmoral tendencies has to stop somewhere. This kind of social bullshit doesn’t belong in videogames, it has no real basis other than bias or at the most, extreme sexism. Both genders are victims of “casual cruelty” in videogames because on average, there are at least 1000 times more men being killed in videogames than there are women, and that’s not even an exaggeration if anything, it could be an understatement…Why is it that casual violence against woman in videogames has now all of a sudden become a problem? Why is no one losing their shit over the fact that men are disproportionately more likely to be victims in videogames than women?
Is it because we have gotten so used to men basically being cannon fodder in 99.9% of videogames we play for the past 20 years? I really don’t get why people are suddenly outraged about women being victims in videogames a lot more now. In the remake of Tomb Raider you slaughtered hundreds of men, without even blinking an eye, but everyone loses their minds when Assassin’s Creed rather historically accurately omits female soldiers from the French Revolution. Which is one of many historical settings where women were not allowed to take up arms or fight in the army. And gamers despite playing and enjoying these horribly filthy and objectifying games manage to go on and treat each other with love and respect in real life.
My problem with this debate is that Anita Sarkeesian feminist theories tends to take things like these and then brutally twist them into some sort of psycho-societal phenomena so it fits her narrative for her videos. And because of that it is hard to take her seriously. Women want equality but the true definition of that means being willing to accept the possibility of all the types of situations that happen to men, not just the ones they want to deal with. Instead of turning this discussion into another train smash, how about we fight it as a unisex problem? Men also get similar if not same treatments in a lot of works of fiction and even in real life situation, so why causally ignore that and not look at the bigger picture?
Violence against women is a problem, but not allowing it to be accurately portrait in videogames would set back the gaming industry many years. As long as violence against women happens in real life, it needs to be presented in all forms of media including videogames. Showing violence against women is not only about reflecting the reality of any given situation, but also realistically reflecting human behaviour. Just casually sweeping it under the carpet, would be misleading and ruin any credibility of a story. Not to mention being a great injustice to those who have had violence perpetrated against them. I do believe that it would be good if games handled the topic better, but I also believe videos like this harm a healthy discourse in the discussion.
But having said that, a lot of people (a minority of the gaming community) are reacting out of anger to Anita’s latest video. And is threatening her with physical harm including her family members, I cannot condone such vile anger and hatred currently aimed at her. And it cannot in no way be justified in any form or manner even if her videos and opinions are terribly skewed. This not only makes the gaming community look bad but it re-enforces everything the media and people like Anita Sarkeesian is saying about our favourite past time. So let’s just stop the knuckle dragging mentality that seems to prevail whenever the subject is being touched on.