To the outside observer, the last few months do not appear to have changed the gaming industry in any particularly significant fashion. Blockbuster titles are still being produced at a frenetic pace. The same old ideas are being recycled over and over and over (and bloody over) again to produce generic FPS games that end up looking pretty much the same. The industry, hungry to recoup massive investments in such games, cuts corners on important things like quality control and functional beta testing, and concentrates instead on lucrative DLC packages that insult the intelligence and spending power of the average gamer.
Game developers continue to self-censor and pander to a select clique of self-appointed moral arbiters who spew vast quantities of manufactured outrage every time a white woman with D-cups and a great arse is featured in a game. And developers keep promising to revolutionize the way we play games with eye-popping new features by such-and-such deadline, yet when that deadline actually rolls around, the much-anticipated surprise turns out to be a massive disappointment. Games are more about whiz-bang graphics than they are about actual gameplay, story, or—Heaven forbid—fun.
This is the way the gaming industry has been for the past few years, and we’ve all more or less kind of sort of gotten used to it. Everything remains as it was: the gaming industry appears to be heading straight down the tubes, as one would expect of any area of entertainment infected by the insidious rot of social justice thought-control.
Yet, beneath the surface, the industry is changing. Gamers are coming to realize that they have a voice and real economic power. And beneath their bluster, their wide eyes and frothing mouths, and their incandescent rage, the SJWs are terrified, because they can see what is happening just as well as we can.
Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes?
Of all of the many positive consequences of GamerGate, perhaps the best was the fact that ordinary gamers realized, en masse, that they were being duped and lied to by the gaming industry and by its supposed watchdogs, the gaming journalists who were meant to keep game developers honest. The net result was a hugely embarrassing loss of face for both game developers who had let political correctness and social justice creep into their games—Ubisoft is by far one of the worst offenders, but others like Microsoft Game Studios and Electronic Arts are hot on their heels—and their enablers in the gaming journalism community.
The result has been that now game developers—the very people who put forth their creative energies, talents, and experience to craft the worlds of wonder and magic that we as gamers pay good money to experience—are abandoning the monolithic ideology of the social justice gatekeepers and speaking up.
How will this end? Well, the future is ever changing and I don’t pretend to be any sort of clairvoyant (though I did predict that Anita Sarkeesian would more or less run from the chance that I gave her to put her ugly face in harm’s way for the cause that she supposedly feels so passionate about). But there are recent examples that can show us what could, and probably will, happen as SJW control over the industry tightens.
Baiting the Foxtrap
Some of you may remember a little controversy known as “the Eich Affair” from about a year ago. Basically, Brandon Eich, former CEO and co-founder of Mozilla, was forced to step down because he made a charitable contribution to a group that supported Proposition 8 in California, a 2008 ballot measure meant to make gay “marriage” illegal in that state. (The proposition passed with 52% of the popular vote, which is a remarkable result considering what a tofu-eater state California is these days.)
Within a week, Mozilla saw a gigantic spike in negative feedback. And within a single year, Mozilla’s Firefox web browser went from being the most dominant in that market to staring down the barrel of being featured on the endangered species list for browsers. Mozilla’s response has been to deny that anything is wrong with the browser. Firefox’s supporters have been quick to point out that the decline appears to have set in long before Mr. Eich’s firing. What they unfortunately ignore is that by firing Mr. Eich and alienating their user base, the very diversity of ideas and opinions that might well have saved Firefox from a humiliating decline into irrelevance will never be heard within Mozilla’s development teams.
That little fracas provides us with a very good predictive model for what will happen to gaming over the next three to five years.
As the social justice set continues to attempt to tighten the noose around mainstream game developers and thereby turn the products of that industry into an insipid, uninspired pile of mush, gamers will abandon the big-name publishers and developers in droves, as they are already doing. Independent game developers that put product before message and consumer before social consciousness will thrive. Game developers tired of being silenced and intimidated by gaming journalists and the industry alike will flee the rank hypocrisy of their current occupations and start up revolutionary new studios dedicated to giving gamers exactly what we want: great games with great stories and great characters.
We are already seeing this in other fields, such as science fiction writing. For years now, the most prestigious awards in sci-fi and fantasy, the Hugo and Nebula Awards, have been controlled by a small clique of progressive-minded individuals who basically all get off on the same sort of garbage that those of us with functioning brains find unreadable. Science fiction and fantasy stories featuring interesting, heroic characters doing amazing things in far-flung universes of wonder and mystery written in the tradition of bygone masters of the genre are ignored; in their stead, dinosaur-rape fantasies are given pride of place, and anyone who is brave enough to call out this idiocy for what it is, is purged from the writers’ guilds and organisations that control these awards.
Last year, a group of enterprising individuals led by none other than Vox Day—the very same internet superintelligence, polymath, and Supreme Dark Overlord of the Evil Legion of Evil that scared the SFWA so badly that they had no other choice than to expel him on the most ridiculously spurious grounds—decided that they had had enough of the cancerous rot that was eating away at the SF/F genres, and set up their own publishing house. The results have been impressive, to say the least; an independent publishing house based in Finland is now producing high-quality works on a regular basis that can, and regularly do, out-sell their SJW competitors.
Look for the exact same thing to happen in gaming. It is already happening, in fact. Alpenwolf, a gaming studio set up by the same Vox Day, is producing games that will be tied directly in to the Selenoth fantasy universe that Vox created, in part as a direct response to the ever more unbearable tedium of mainstream fantasy writing. Gaijin Entertainment’s latest WWII simulator is looking quite impressive. The space sim game Entropy, created by a Norwegian studio that no one has ever heard of, not only looks amazing but hearkens back to the glory days of wonderful space sims like Descent: Freespace and Wing Commander.
Technology is making it possible for us to bypass SJW strong-points and hit them right where it hurts: in their wallets. They have stronger defenses and better resources, to be sure—but they also rely on vulnerable supply lines and they are badly outnumbered by the rest of us. Crowdfunding platforms like Patreon and indie game development showcases like Steam’s Greenlight allow gamers to cut out the corporate bureaucracy of the big gaming companies and their cronies in the gaming journalism business and talk directly to developers. Developers will see their games rise or fall based solely on their merits, not based on politics or perverted sexual preferences.
The end result will probably be a fragmenting of the industry. When blockbuster titles start failing to sell among previously loyal hardcore fans because of the severe damage inflicted upon those franchises by the sheer stupidity of SJW ideology, the largest game developers will be forced to repeatedly play it safe, sticking to the genres that will earn them the most money in the shortest time possible. This will, by definition, mean excising the cancer that is even now metastasizing in the bowels of the industry and spreading further to its vital organs. At that point, it will simply become a question of survival. The stupidest among the big game developers—I’m looking at you, Ubisoft—will probably die out if they fail to adapt.
Meanwhile, indie game developers will be able to fill in the niche markets. This is no bad thing, because oddly enough, it gives SJWs the opportunity to prove their points about the need for “diversity” and “realism” in gaming. It will give them the chance to prove that they can sell games like Depression Quest and That Dragon, Cancer with their Big Important Messages, and it will force them to show that games with flat-chested BADASS GIRRRRRLS emoting about their feeeeeelings while smooching with their alien antagonists can make money. (Hint: they can’t, and they won’t.)
The revolution started by GamerGate is still only in its developing stages. But if developments in the other fronts of this ongoing culture war are any indication, things are going to get very interesting over the next few years. Keep your eyes open, it’s going to be a fun ride.
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