[ Blog ] Oppression in Gaming: The Cold, Hard Truth

I’ve had it up to my eyes with this shit; I’m done with tolerating it and being nice about it and tip-toeing around it like a good little blogger does. I’m really going to tear into this one because I’ve been biting my tongue for far too long regarding the issue of entitlement and actual oppression in the gaming community. There are far too many people who got into this community without knowing anything about what it’s about and what it’s been doing for decades and suddenly demanding change. Just because you’ve been gaming for years and you suddenly became adults doesn’t entitle you to demanding change from something that has, for all intents and purposes, been just fine without your bitching and moaning about it.

However, since this latest entry from the self-entitled whining middle-class was the straw that broke the camel’s back, I will address this post first and foremost before I jump into anything else, as this will set up a good majority of the points I would address anyway:

  • First off, the implied emote “*puts on rantypants, complete with Corellian bloodstripes*” is a cheap way to earn geek cred. I would have just as summarily shook my head at a man who used an emote like “*set phasers to stun*” because, with exception to The Next Generation and maybe Deep Space Nine, I think Star Trek is incredibly lame. Using a term like “rantypants” also keeps me from taking you very seriously, just as my constant swearing will probably keep you from taking me seriously. Neither of which have anything to do with gender.
  • This whole “gegging” thing implies that everyone that challenges your geek cred or value as a person wants to sleep with you or date you. With an attitude like that, don’t flatter yourself. This is not because of awkward social graces, this is because of a preconception you’ve created in your mind in response to people being degrading to you. This makes you seem extremely shallow and, yet again, has nothing to do with your gender, to me.
  • Let me be clear about the whole situation in Best Buy, for you, child: first off, Apple is shit; also, half of the people who are really into Star Wars are spending more money on merchandise and not on overpriced, shitty computers manufactured by the cheapest labor possible. Wearing a cute skintight t-shirt that looks like a print that came from Abercrombie and Fitch along with buying some overpriced dipshit “buying this for the name” technology is going to earn you some disdain, regardless of your gender, because you look like a trend whore. It would be the same, for me, if I were still working retail and you came in wearing a Guardians of the Galaxy and bought a pair of Beats by Dre, brand new, and happened to be a forty year old man. It has nothing to do with your gender, it has everything to do with making choices like a retarded sheep. Don’t even get me started on why you purchased a Macbook in the first place, you sniveling shit. There are way too many people just like you for me to tolerate on both sides of the gender line, there.
  • This line of bullshit right here:1. I get yelled at for not being nice.Guy: So what kind of geek are you?

    Me: The kind who’s sick of answering this question.

    Guy: FUCK YOU, YOU BITCH. I BET YOU DON’T EVEN LIKE ARCHER.

    You will get ridiculed anywhere for not being nice, you dumb bitch! This bit is biased because of gender, I will admit, but only because it is such a stereotypical thing for some women to take things in a discussion completely out of context because of some stupid preconception that doesn’t have anything to do with reality. You copped an attitude, you got an attitude back. That’s life for you and that part of things has nothing to do with gender.

  • I love how this entire post reeks of assuming that everyone wants to sleep with geek girls and that the major oppression is that geeks think geek girls are “fake” because they don’t like a certain thing or they don’t know certain things about the things they like. If you didn’t seem so goddamned self-centered I’d be more inclined to take you seriously. You mention “being a dick” and “bedding” geek girls in some way or fashion at least five times in the article, each. However, we males are the only ones who are allowed to be sexist pigs, apparently!

 

And since dismantling this dumb shit’s entire post isn’t enough for me, why just take my word for it? Here’s some excellent counter points from a couple people on Facebook and her own blog – identities of the posters are kept anonymous and editing was done to protect the posters:

 

“The geek gatekeeping isn’t about gender it’s about protecting ourselves from the mockery that we grew up with and even as adults still face. It eventually became a way for us to engage with each other on shared fandoms and also for minor ribbing about things we did not share in common. If you see this as a gender thing it’s likely because you look through everything with gender colored glasses.”

 

“Being challenged to a debate about something in Geek culture isn’t something to cry about. Why not answer the question or defend your stance on a certain matter or type of fiction. Geek guys have been doing this since day one. I don’t think that Geek girls should get a pass, and just accepted into the pack because they say I’m one of you.
And of course like any other sub culture, evolution will occur. Changing power balances will appear and elitism will show it’s ugly head with anything that becomes popular and mainstream.

So what I’m saying is move with the times, stop complaining, suck it up. The world isn’t rainbows and kittens, whether it’s in school, in public or the workplace. The world consists of Ying and Yang. Saying you want to get rid of all the bad is just futile.

Negativity breeds positivity in order to challenge it and bring balance, and vice versa.

Being a geek is all about the mind, and not your brawn. Use it.”


 

I’m gonna tell you a little story about how I was picked on when I was younger. I wasn’t picked on for any visible handicaps, I wasn’t picked on for being a girl, I wasn’t picked on for having money or for being poor: I was picked on for being smart, for not having the greatest social graces, and for liking things most other people didn’t like. I was still a nail that stuck out and, therefore, got hammered down. Like any other kids, though, we just wanted to belong. We found others who were like us because we wanted to belong, we wanted to feel joy in doing the things we did, and we wanted the chance to share it all. In also sharing our negatives, the bond was strong for just being there. In my small gaming community, we would sit at home and play 2 player games and share tips on how to beat the single player ones. Mega Man and Super Mario were always popular because we’d always be finding new ways to beat them. It also grew awfully competitive, especially since most of the people we hung out with were boys, even though there was a couple girls; especially as the local community began to grew as more and more people had access to video games.

Things at school and in the social crowd at large, though, never changed. I had to live with ridicule and oppression from a good deal of people for what I liked and what I did. Being called a geek or a nerd – especially a nerd, that one always dug deep for some reason – was always a point of shame. Not because I didn’t like what I did or didn’t have pride in my hobbies but because everyone seemed to look down upon me for it.

Let me be clear, here: I didn’t get to be completely okay with being a geek or a gamer and by the time I was okay with it, it still wasn’t widely accepted in the global community at large and it wasn’t popular culture until long after I came to terms with it. I was more than okay and I already had an established network of geeky friends that I was in good with by the time everyone was okay with gaming and, later, geek culture in general. I had to build my pride in my geek culture on my own and with no one’s help. It had to be forged and a lot of times that pride came in spite of hate that was not based on my age, standing, race, or gender.

I  still deal with this shit from time to time and exclusivity isn’t just something that happens in “boys’ clubs” like gaming or in sports, for example; no, no, have you ever been a single male trying to comment on feminism and parenting? You can’t. You get ridiculed, you get ostracized, you get singled out and harassed simply because “you would never understand.” Extreme examples, sure, but it’s not like this kind of thing is strictly a male territory. Ever tried to debate whether or not mothers should cover up while breastfeeding in public? You can’t. Even if you’re female, you can’t. If you disagree with them, you’re the enemy and should be stamped out. This isn’t just in gaming, folks.


 

Now, a moment for all of those who would choose to insist, in spite of all of this, I will take a moment to address you directly: grow the fuck up. Seriously. The same guy who would yell and ridicule you for doing dumb shit would likely be the same guy who would ridicule me for doing dumb shit: not because of class or because of gender but rather because he’s kind of an elitist dickhead. If you’re old enough to pick up a controller and play a video game you’re just as able to put it down, say “fuck this, I can’t take this” and walk away from it and embrace something that’s a little more convenient for you. That’s what embracing a hobby is all about: finding what you enjoy and being able to share it with others who also enjoy your hobby.

Also, on a separate note, here: just because you’re into something a lot doesn’t make you a geek. “Geek” is kind of an outdated term, now, because it used to be a slang term for people to single out the smart kids, the strange kids, the kids who didn’t fit in. In a lot of cases, “geek” doesn’t really apply and it’s used more as a flag that gets shoved in everyone’s faces than a badge of accomplishment. It’s now used as a term to single out all the people who aren’t in geek culture, shoving in people’s faces what they’re missing and why they should love it too. That’s never been what it’s been all about and I think the definition has been washed out over the years.

Lastly, a personal message to Mrs. Delilah S. Dawson who, in a picture to the referred to blog post, adopted the all too popular “ugly face” to address her readers… get off the cross, man. Enjoy what you do or shut the hell up and do something else you enjoy. If someone’s competing with you and you don’t quite match up, that’s called losing. What you’re doing is the equivalent of blaming lag for your lack of skill. It comes across as childish and it wins you no points, either in-game or with the people you’re playing with. This isn’t about sexism, people wanting to have sex with you, or about anything like that. This has nothing to do with privilege. This has nothing to do with oppression. You’re just acting like a baby, throwing a tantrum, and people don’t like babies when it comes to video games, especially in an adult setting.

FFAgitoXIIICharacters

By the by, for the rest of the people out there who think that this comes from an all-the-time drive for sexualization and desensitization of people in gaming culture, I beg you look at the above characters from the newly released Final Fantasy Type-0 HD, whereas an entire class of main characters get to strut their stuff without being overly sexualized. Skirts are there for school uniforms and, honestly, if you’re going to take an issue with that you should take an issue with skirts as a school uniform thing across the world.

 

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