I see it’s time for our semiannual “make videogaming look as childish as possible” story.
For those who have missed it, a shitstorm is currently exploding in videogaming. The epicentre of this particular storm is especially pathetic & childish.
But now it’s spiralled off into an argument between a group who object to the increasing focus on things like ‘equality’ and ‘inclusion’ in videogaming and videogame culture, and those who have been championing this increasing focus.
For simplicity, some are splitting this into ‘gamers’ and ‘game critics’ – but that’s clearly not where the line is drawn.
No – the line here is drawn between a group who want to gaming to stagnate and those who want to keep it evolving.
We’ve been talking about properly including women and ethnic minorities in games for a while now – and some progress is starting to be made in this direction. I emphasise the word ‘some’ in this area, because – particularly in AAA games, it’s rare for a protagonist (or even a major NPC) to be anything other than a white, straight, man.
They’re the spiritual descendants (or possibly the actual descendants) of those who opposed this sort of thing in other entertainment media, like action & horror films. Which themselves still primarily feature straight white men hanging out with other straight white men.
But films aren’t quite as bad as videogaming.
Partly because there are simply more films. Partly because the movie industry has existed for a lot longer, and so it’s further along its evolutionary path (we started asking “hey, why aren’t the women in lead roles?” 30 years ago. We only started seriously asking that ten years ago in the videogame industry.
The derogatory term “social justice warrior” is getting thrown around a lot. It’s about as derogatory as being ‘politically correct’.
(“Fighting for social justice” isn’t actually bad thing – unless you don’t want a world (or in this case an industry) that enables equality.)
Along similar lines, many of those opposing this cultural shift are being labelled bigots, misogynists or racists.