The last few weeks in videogame culture have seen a level of combativeness more marked and bitter than any beforehand.
First, a developer—a woman who makes games who has had so much piled on to her that I don’t want to perpetuate things by naming her—was the target of a harassment campaign that…
This is really strong.
OK, I am getting super annoyed with men talking about this framing the discussion as being in a history where women only recently started playing games or contributing to the industry.
WOMEN HAVE ALWAYS GAMED. THE FIRST COMPUTER PROGRAMMER WAS A WOMAN. GET THIS THROUGH YOUR SKULL.
It’s like figures forcing you to concede that adult women make up roughly half of gamers have just made you move it back ‘Oh, well, they didn’t used to’ or ‘They only used to play girly games/casual games’. STOP. NO. I KNOW YOU THINK YOU’RE HELPING, BUT YOU’RE NOT.
We have always been here and we have always experienced shitty levels of sexism and exclusion when we have tried to do so.
The difference is that the Intenert has made the fact that we game and talk about gaming and critique gaming and write games impossible to ignore. That is why the backlash has become so vicious. Erasure by simply acting as though we aren’t there isn’t possible anymore, so the tactics have become more direct.
Look, guys, I appreciate that you care and that you want to show your outrage (and pat each other on the back for being so powerfully outraged) but you really need to be aware of how you can still be and are perpetuating the culture that begets this.
Stop painting us as new. Stop painting us as taking someone else’s toys. Stop pretending that the sexism of the ‘old days’ was OK, because only boys played. No. Girls played. Women played. Women have always played. The sexism was there not as some kind of natural consequence of only supplying to boys, but as a consequence of the massively sexist culture in which we still exist and in which you partake.