As you might have heard by now last night an episode of Law & Order SUV aired entitled “Intimidation Game“. And predictably the writers and producers get it totally wrong. Seems that any time a subculture gets portrayed in media, be it the geek or gamer culture or any other niche movement it tends to be the most slanted view you could possibly have. This episode is a great affirmation for gamers like myself that the mainstream media is woefully out of touch with the gaming industry, and what really goes on inside it. And that is where I have a problem with this episode, not the fact that they touched on GamersGate as a subject but their portrayal of gamers as a whole.
Every once in a while when the writers of Law & Order run dry on ideas, they will dip into whatever scandals made headlines in the news recently. They have done everything from that obscure case of the hermaphrodite twin to blatantly mocking Michael Jackson. In almost all these cases these episodes are always the worst. This being one of them. Law & Order is basically heavily stereotyped, formulaic “torture porn” for people who aren’t getting enough satisfaction from the actual horrible stuff current happening out in the real world. TV shows in general are terrible at portraying gamers. Hint: It is just a normal person who happens to play videogames, nothing more.
What bothered me most about the episode and its presentation was the confusion between the very real issues of rampant sexism in gaming, with the imagined issue that video games inevitably lead to violence when someone cannot tell where the game ends and the real world begins. But instead resorted to the clichéd and tired presumption that all media make these days, that violence on screens translates to violence in the real world. Not to mention the gross exaggerations they make of one of the largest sectors in the entertainment industry and its consumers. The sheer stupidity and closed mindedness of Law & Order’s writers just boggles the mind.