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“Gentlemen. You can’t fight in here. This is the Game Room!”

Who’d believe that GamerGate is almost a year old? Or indeed that the cacophony of misogyny, death and rape threats and general harassment would still be continuing to this day, expanding to cover more and more of aspects of “geek” culture?  Yet GamerGate isn’t the be-all-and-end-all of the problem. Entitlement, especially within geeky, typically male dominated realms of pop culture, is a problem that’s become increasingly highlighted as it diversifies. And not just in terms of attracting people from minority backgrounds, women, the LGBTQ community etc, but also in terms of content and the way in which that content is received.

Surprisingly not that bad.

Surprisingly, not that bad.

Today, Vice posted an article about PewDiePie which encapsulates just that point. The article quotes many comments about PewDiePie which criticise him and his content. In itself, that’s fair enough. Everything can’t be for everyone. Yet in a culture that’s only recently started to open itself up to a wider audience, not having stuff catered to you is jarring for some people. A time was when a guy who made millions of dollars playing video games would be heralded by these people as a hero. Yet PewDiePie doesn’t market himself at the hardcore gamers, the ones who feel increasingly marginalised by the way the industry is progressing.

It’s important to note that PewDiePie is no saint. In the past he’s made rape jokes in his videos. Crucially though he recognised that these offended and upset people and after receiving complaints he said he’d never make them again. To my knowledge, he’s kept his word. This ability to recognise such behaviour as wrong and to admit that is something that eludes Gamergaters and their ilk.

Fed up with your shit.

Fed up with your shit.

This phenomenon isn’t limited to gaming. Hell the term GamerGate was first coined by the actor Adam Baldwin, a man whose Twitter feed is a smorgasbord of right-wing rambling that would fit right in at a Rick Santorum dinner party. Then there’s this years Hugo Awards, which has managed to be hijacked by a group right-wing authors and their supporters calling themselves ‘The Sad Puppies’, even managing to raise the ire of George R.R. Martin. Whilst they’ve been around for a couple of years with very little effect, their sudden rise in influence has coincided with the emergence of GamerGate. And then there’s the YouTube channels that have jumped on the crazy train. I remember watching Thunderf00t videos to do with astronomy years ago. Imagine my surprise when swathes of his channel is now dedicated to bashing feminists.

It’s become a lightning rod for those who had their niche, a thing that they could call their own. Now that it’s become more inclusive they’re rallying against feminists, “Social Justice Warriors” and those who think that maybe, just maybe, having more equality is a good thing. Because everything in geek culture in the past was aimed at a smaller market to which they belonged, their sense of entitlement is so that they feel that should continue.

Do I think that the likes of Adam Baldwin gives a toss about video games, aside from being paid to occasionally be in them? No. But it helps to further their agenda and people who see themselves as victims get swept up in it.

Is there a solution to this? Can those of us who, through our fandom, hobbies and interests are inextricably linked to these people, do or say anything to turn people away from such hate? I would like to think yes. We need to support those game developers, film makers and creative types who are helping to diversify geek culture. It’s important to not be afraid to provide constructive criticism when they drop the ball from time to time.

It’s my hope that, given time, opportunists like Baldwin, the misogynists GameGate, the Sad Puppies and countless YouTubers will become increasingly marginalised. With the widespread critical acclaim of the likes of Mad Max: Fury Road and Her Story and the increasing condemnation of shows like Game of Thrones for its treatment of women, I’d like to think that perception is starting to change. Sadly, I feel that for the time being those that shout the loudest will continue to impinge on geek culture.


One Comment

  1. It’s so funny to watch you and the gamergate/puppies types rage at each other. “They want us out” “They think they control the genre” “They should be marginalised”

    Who am I quoting? Both of you. You’re more alike than either of you could possibly imagine and it’s hillarious.

    No one is pushing SJWs/feminists out of the market, they’re just raging at you. No one is pushing misogynists/edgy folk out of the market, they’re just raging at you.

3 Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. By To Your Scattered Kennels Go 7/6 | File 770 on 07 Jul 2015 at 1:18 am

    […] “Nerd Entitlement or: How to stop hating and accept diversity” – July 6 […]

  2. […] Nerd Entitlement or: How to stop hating and accept diversity. […]

  3. […] We need to support those game developers, film makers and creative types who are helping to diversif… […]

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