On February 11, 2015, legislation & Order SVU aired an episode “ripped through the headlines” of GamerGate, centered on the harassment of feminists in video video video gaming and featuring a character that is central transparently drawn from aspects of Anita Sarkeesian, Zoe Quinn, and Brianna Wu. This is certainly its tale.
I do want to start by stating that in university I became a die-hard fan of legislation & Order, both the old series that is original SVU, and viewed each and every day. Brand New episodes, re-runs on TNT, you label it. It had been a ritual for my freshman-year roomie and I after dinner. I’ve hot fuzzy emotions about legislation & Order. Or at the very least i did so.
The episode starts with a discussion between Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) along with her specialist by which Olivia covers the gender-typical behavior that is“boy” of newly used son, Noah. Noah apparently is just a breaker-of-toys-and-teapots, destroyer of bookshelves, and generally an all-around “boy, ” something about which both Olivia as well as the therapist laugh.
And my hackles already are up. This “boys are going to be boys” sort of attitude – although the episode will not really condone such excuses – is highly problematic, and providing it as a good ghost of reason for outlandish and improper behavior just exacerbates the flagrant problems our society currently has with harmful sex stereotypes (against males, females, and other-gendered people).
Needless to say, for the episode, we must keep finding its way back to Noah and exactly how Olivia is concerned that “this is their future. ” Yes, because nobody would ever desire their kid to develop around be a dirty gamer.
The video video gaming meeting attended by Fin Tutuola (Ice-T) just isn’t too much from the mark into the grand scheme of things, at the very least with regards to of set dressing and basic sound degree (I only saw the one gold-garbed cosplayer) although I did not see nearly enough gamer t-shirts or cosplay –. It absolutely was a bit that is little of relief to note that the gamers depicted were all clean and didn’t cater to the 1990s caricature associated with the “gamer nerd. ” They did miss out the mark only a little using the community sea that is anti-feminist, though…
Within the episode, two guys approach a lady at a booth by having a video that is sarkeesian-esque her, and straight away start speaing frankly about “feminazis. ” The woman’s reaction, bracketed by recommendations to “Get away from right here, ” is just a weird that is little. She asks “What, will you kiss me personally? Are we planning to kiss? ” with apparent sarcasm. The question rubs me personally the way that is wrong as it presumes an amount of intimate engagement that seems extremely away from spot, provided just just just how utterly terrified nearly all women will be inside her place. But that fear doesn’t actually show up to the next scene, where she’s assaulted in a plywood restroom by the two guys.
I’m additionally off-put because of the juxtaposition of this attack because of the crowd cheering during the shooter competition. Yes, the sound covers the sound of this attack (helping to make feeling), however the quick cuts between your two scenes makes an explicit connection between the electronic violence associated with the game plus the genuine physical physical violence occurring in the restroom. That’s where a problem is had by me. To connect the 2 together is always to inherently blacken all gamers – or at the least all gamers whom perform violent games – as possible assailants, chanting savages whom just require the right trigger (as they say) to cause them to tip on the edge that is proverbial.
I’ve written elsewhere regarding how here simply is not a justifiable instance for violent games causing real-world physical violence, and you can find a variety of studies done by other people more qualified than We making the case that is same. The episode, although it might naked peruvian brides have a noble goal that is central curtailing GamerGate and similar motions, does not do any gamers, feminist or perhaps, any favors by dredging that back up.
Nor does the discussion between Fin and Amanda Rollins (Kelli Giddish) by which she asks if he’s “so addicted” to games that he “has to try out appropriate this second, ” after remarking that she does not know how they can go homeward during the night and play those “shoot-em-up games. ” ok, thus I recognize that the common demographic for SVU includes individuals like my mom, would you maybe perhaps not play games, however the amount of pandering to negative stereotypes in this episode passed saturation point at about a quarter-hour in. A lot of people who enjoy winning contests get house and – gasp – play games. Exactly like you, dear audience of SVU, are sitting in the home and viewing television for the exact same period of time. As a symptom of some sort of horrible anti-social tendency, despite the fact that you are even more passively staring at a screen than I – the gamer – am while you might admit that you’re addicted to tv, relatively few people are going to point to it.
In addition it does not assist that SVU is getting back together acronyms. FALs – Failures-At-Life – are perhaps perhaps not an internet thing. It’s a precious effort by the authors in order to make up acronyms to mimic gamer culture dialect – LoL, GTFO, DIAF, AFK, FPS, RPG, RTS, the friendly GG (“good game”) – however it’s one which simply sounds idiotic to anybody acquainted with gaming or internet culture. Also “troll behind their computers”? Perhaps Not exactly right, but near, i suppose. At the very least they know what doxing and SWATting are. (I’m not likely to deal with RedChanIt. )
Sarah (the victim that is first additionally describes her assailants as immature white guys without any life, whom plainly don’t move out to see the sun’s rays (she emphasizes their extreme pallor). It’s a comforting label, considering the fact that you can find a number of gamers hostile to ladies in gaming who’re otherwise apparently well-adjusted males in their 30s with jobs, spouses, young ones, etc. To perpetuate the theory that just 20-something, socially-awkward uber-nerds are responsible for harassment is always to blindly disregard the truth ( while they’ve been typically white, and obviously lack some amount of readiness).
Raina Punjabi (Mouzam Makkar), a fictionalized but fusion that is obvious of, could be the main target regarding the episode and it is the lead designer (perform some article writers even understand just exactly what that means? We question it) of a business called Amazonian Warriors (uh huh). We ended up beingn’t pleased with the caricature that is episode’s of, and I’m also unhappy about its caricature of feminist gamers.
Additionally, i really could have inked with no fiance’s insistence that “ she was told by me this will take place. She’dn’t listen. ”
Because plainly some guy has to understand much better than she does. In addition didn’t appreciate – at all – the forced “confession, ” which, although made to create pathos for the target, actually just served to reiterate the type or form of misogynist crap being promoted by real individuals. Specially when, in the end, she says, “Women in video video gaming. Exactly just What did we expect? ” and then quits, stating that “they already won. ” It reifies the image that ladies like Sarkeesian “have this that is coming them, regardless of if they’re finally rescued as well as the perpetrators taken to justice. And that’s horrifying and deeply, profoundly saddening.
Overall, the understanding that is generaland consequently depiction) of internet and gamer tradition is a bit pathetic. Fulfilling in straight straight straight back alley? No hacker would do this. They meet on line. Hence… internet culture. But I suppose that does not lead to good tv.
Neither does the everyday truth of exactly what it’s actually like to be a feminist in video video gaming. It really isn’t about big, dramatic assaults like being SWATted or getting your launch message sabotaged by crazy individuals (actually, exactly how many of us have actually offered launch speeches? I’m guessing not to many) or being kidnapped. Yes, Sarkeesian’s talks have now been targeted with bomb threats and threats of massacres, but GamerGate is not pretty much Sarkeesian, Quinn, and Wu.
GamerGate is approximately them, however it is also about any other feminist gamer (male, female, other) online and behind the keyboard and system screen. GamerGate is about silencing voices that don’t comport with a tremendously particular and ethos that is ultimately conservative up within the fictional construct of exactly exactly exactly what “gaming” and “gamer” designed within the 1990s, an uber-masculine valorization maybe not of physical physical violence, by itself, but of machismo and energy.