Last week I wrote an article on a couple of pre-gamergate incidents regarding ethics. But as many of you know there is also a history of SJW attacks on the video game industry. Once again I’m talking about before the five guys incident.
Video games have been under scrutiny for violent content for a long time. While many of the detractors don’t necessarily seem like SJWs, it is however important to discuss considering the recent GTA ban in Australia was encouraged by individuals like Anita Sarkeesian. In fact, SJWs are hardly the first group of people to call for censorship.
The earliest outcry against violence in video games was over a game called Death Race in 1976. The game put players behind the wheel of a car with the goal of mowing down as many “gremlins” as possible. The game had gained notoriety instantly because of the sound effect made by the “gremlins” as you ran them over. This actually lead to an investigation by 60 Minutes into the psychological effects of video games.
Subsequently the game was pulled from the market with only a hand full of copies exist (500 according to rumor and internet legend). The game came out in 1976 and its dated graphics people would hardly bat an eye if it were to come out today. Still, it was enough of a prelude to lead into the witch hunts video games faced in the 1990’s and onward.
Of course as time rolled on and games became more realistic and violent, a number of politicians on both sides of the aisle would take a stab at linking games to incidents such as Columbine. While many liberals would gladly blame Republicans for an outcry against violent video games, it’s rather curious that it was mostly Democrats who seem to be push legislation such as the Family Entertainment Protection Act (FEPA).
FEPA was introduced by Hilary Clinton (D-NY), Joseph Lieberman (formerly Democrat, I-CT), Tim Johnson (D-SD) and Evan Bayh (D-IN) in November of 2005. Needles to say the bill never saw the light of day. However several states including state California managed to pass a similar bill, AB 1179.The bill in question was sponsored by none other than disgraced politician and former child psychologist Leland Yee. Luckily, AB 1179 was shot down in the supreme court case Brown v. EMA.
Despite the victory for gamers it didn’t stop Yee telling gamers to keep quite and that they have no credibility in the matter. On a separate note, Yee now faces a variety of criminal charges including weapons trafficking, corruption and racketeering. Yee is suspected of taking bribes and supporting an Islamic terrorist organization based out of the Philippines. Yee was arrested by the FBI on March 26, 2014 and is currently out on bail. The trial is set to begin June 1, 2015. Hopefully this mad man gets convicted. I’m sure gamers will rest easy once he’s behind bars.
Penny Arcade and The Dickwolves Controversy
In August 2010, Penny Arcade published a web comic that was poking fun at the morality of certain mmorpg quests. In the web comic (pictured above) a player is on quest to free slaves being held captive and “raped to sleep” by dickwolves. The player decides not to save the other slave because the quest only requires 5 slaves to be saved. This single comic strip had received a lot of flack and was held up as an example of rape culture in the video game community, sparking a debate between SJWs and Penny Arcade’s supporters.
Eventually Penny Arcade had created merchandise such as the “Team Dickwolves” t-shirts. These items were eventually removed from the Penny Arcade web store. Of course that wasn’t the end of the controversy. Moving forward to 2013 on the last day of PAX, Mike Krahulik had stated that he regretted removing the merchandise from the web store. This announcement of was met with both applause and more backlash and followed with a clarification notice that was posted on the Penny Arcade website. Everyone from Kotaku to XOJane had their say on the matter, and even Wired went as publishing an article about the incident.
I’m not going to tell you whether or not the comic was in poor taste or not. Instead I think there was a bigger consequence going on here: Penny Arcade was neutered. One of the great things about Penny Arcade is that their comics often poke fun and provide commentary for video games and the industry. So naturally when something like #gamergate comes up you can see why there is a bit of hesitation from Penny Arcade.
A blog post was made recently related to Hatred being removed from Steam. While its made clear that they don’t necessarily care for the type of game Hatred is, Penny Arcade doesn’t seem think it was wise of Steam remove the game in the first place. Based on what was written you can tell that they are being cautious.
The Feminist Critique
I don’t think a living soul in Gamergate isn’t at least somewhat familiar with Anita Sarkeesian and Feminist Frequency. Anita has been at this well before Zoe Quinn gained notoriety. Before, Feminist Frequency was nothing but background noise, but rage against it increased because nobody likes being told that their hobby is sexist and no man likes being told that his masculinity is toxic. A backlash was inevitable.
There are quite a few people who have been critical of Anita Sarkeesian but none stick out as much as Marcus Beer the Annoyed Gamer. There are two in particular that everyone should check out. The first was a video where Marcus Beer calls out Kotaku for click-bait journalism. Marcus drew attention to a couple articles written on Kotaku that were only created to cause drama and push the SJW agenda. The other video, found on YouTube, was where Marcus calls out Anita Sarkeesian for creating drama around issues that don’t exist in games like Mario and Zelda. Marcus states what is on every rationale human being’s mind—if it offends you then don’t play it.
Tying Everything Together
Gamers have been always scrutinized by various groups. If SJWs thought they could come in and scrutinize gamers then they have picked the wrong group to fight against, something they don’t seem to understand. In 2014 we’ve seen more and more people speak out against SJWs, even including women.
Gamergate would have been over by now if Five Guys had only been about five girls. We’d have all have laughed this off as just a bizzare incident. The ethical issues would have been dealt with and no one would really care what people like Anita Sarkeesian or Johnathan McIntosh have to say about anything. Heck, I’m sure even Brianna Wu would have to find some other way to get attention, but instead, we have seen the rise of a new movement where two sides have been fighting each other for months. If the past is any indication of the future, this war end anytime soon.