It wasn’t enough that gamers are labeled as “misogynists” and “rape-apologists”, now these broadly defamatory terms are being associated with movements that legitimately want to help bridge the growing gap being created by toxic individuals slinging the worst kind of vitriol at each other. In this case, Vivian James, a fictional character from a pro-feminist group and the 4chan community, is now being used as an effigy for media at large to continue their crusade to demonize gamers the world around.
So the supposed fight for equality surrounds the idea that there should be better representation of females in games media; there should be more inclusionary efforts made to get female designers, artists and creators in the field; violence and tropes against women in games media should be reduced. Enter The Fine Young Capitalists and their campaign called “Women making games for charity”. They want to boost representation, inclusion and reach for female game designers and creative minds alike. So why are they being ridiculed, blackballed and made a public mockery of by the media at large?
I’ve already written at length surrounding the very difficult and hard road the group has endured trying to get their project up and off the ground, including gaining support and help from The Last Ship’s Adam Baldwin. I’m not going to retread through all of that all over again. You can click the link if you want a rundown of that situation or read about their efforts to bury the hatchet with the toxic group that pulled them into this mess in the first place.
Anyway, media website Vice (don’t worry, I used archive.today so you won’t be feeding them hits) decided to do a write-up on Vivian James and The Fine Young Capitalists. It’s the first major media publication to write about TFYC. Can you believe that? It’s a win, right? Wrong.
The article from author Allegra Ringo is used to attack and belittle the movement from The Fine Young Capitalists and 4chan – using strong language such as…
“Vivian James is a character masquerading as a feminist icon for the express purpose of spiting feminists—yes, that’s feminists, plural. It’s not just Zoe Quinn that /v/ wants to take down—it’s the entirety of what they derogatorily call “SJWs,” or “social justice warriors.”
And this gem right here…
“To add fuel (irrelevant fuel, but fuel nonetheless) to the fire, a Reddit user claimed that Quinn purposely sabotaged a female-centric “game jam,” sponsored by feminist group the Fine Young Capitalists, in order to promote her own female-centric game jam, Rebel Jam. Needless to say, this is not the kind of event that 4chan’s gaming community would get excited about. But they’d developed a taste for blood, and they saw an opportunity to make Quinn look bad in the eyes of the feminists she usually called allies.”
Let’s just stop for a second and examine this: If you try to support a cause to do something good and come from a place labeled as “misogynistic” it’s still bad because of where it came from? Would this not have been an opportunity to meet olive branches together and have a little kiss and then say “all can be well with the world”?
I mean look, I’ve never been one of 4chan’s biggest fans and they’re never been one of mine (and thanks to /pol/ it’s one of the reasons why this little outlet exists in the outer ridges of the internet), but even I can see that if someone is trying to do a good thing, why stop them if the ends means a better place for everyone?
If the goal is inclusion and acceptance, why on Earth would you try to sabotage that?
The Fine Young Capitalists did take offense to the article that’s basically spreading negative reactions against their campaign and Vivian (the exact sort of character that the so-called justice warriors have been saying they need to see more of in games), writing in a blog post that…
“This article has been shared, retweeted, and liked over a thousand of times. And like urine in a swimming pool it’s message penetrates deep into the internet never to be removed. I have contacted the author and received no reply and so I must tell you now I will not be silent.”
The media are now taking the route of making scandalous remarks about the opposition; if you’re not with them then you must be tarnished and slandered in the public eye, because that’s obviously not what the trolls who are making threats and misogynistic remarks are doing.
Adam Baldwin was on the receiving end of such treatment when an article on MarySue (archived.today so they get no hits).
MarySue eventually updated their article (more than likely after Baldwin got his lawyers involved for slander, no doubt) and removed some of the strong language used against the actor.
The message is being twisted and deformed into a narrative that never should have existed in the first place. This isn’t about what a woman did, it’s what games media did and it’s how media responded. Nathan Grayson should be suspended effective immediately. Stephen Totilo should resign for participating in a blackout regarding impropriety from his outlet.
The Fine Young Capitalists concur that this has nothing whatsoever to do with misogyny (or the trolls who keep throwing fuel on the fire to give the other side a reason to keep diverting and derailing the narrative), writing…
“The controversy that surrounds the Online Journalism World was never about misogyny. It was the lack of accountability. It was the manipulation of stories to attract traffic and the backroom deals around coverage. The sacrifice of innocent people’s character to attract fleeting views to sell products. And now each and every Anon has felt its sting in the slander of their daughter. I am sick of this flagrant disregard of decency, that allows woman to be used as political tools for the benefit of author. This is not journalistic integrity. It is manipulation of facts for the simple goal of making the author rich. And I will not stand for it.
“The true goal of equality is a woman be judged on her action and not her appearance, her family, or her hobbies. What kind of feminism is it, that would sacrifice one of it’s own for the advantages of another.”
These sentiments were echoed recently by Stardock Entertainment’s CEO, Brad Wardell, who wrote in a blog post that games media has basically turned into a playground of toxicity. The worst of the trolls? Kotaku.
Vice even did a follow-up article (not even worth linking) basically trying to steer the narrative away from the corruption in media. Mike Pearl writes that…
“While there are these issues, corruption with journalism, and all that, there’s this huge mountain of misogyny,” … “So, when we non-gamers look at gaming culture, we have a tendency to point at the huge mountain.”
The mountain exists because you, Mike, formed it out of misinformation, lack of research and an unwillingness to take accountability.
Here at this site there’s no mention about a certain individual or their private life in the written body of the articles. Why? It’s not about that and it never has been. Of course, blind fascism has no room for for sound reason.
Media will likely continue to steer away from their own failings and lack of accountability to cover their hides. But don’t worry, you can help make your voice heard, no matter what your gender, race, creed, orientation or belief is. If you tire of being demonized by games media simply for enjoying a hobby, take a stand and join the efforts to get their advertising suspended.
Join the Corruption in Games Journalism movement to help become part of the change you want to see take place.
You can also support The Fine Young Capitalists and their pro-gamer, pro-feminist IndieGoGo campaign if you want help a real organization create positive change in the gaming industry.
(Main image courtesy of DLN-005 “Ice Man” Light)