On February 11, 2015, legislation & Order SVU aired an episode “ripped through the headlines” of GamerGate, centered on the harassment of feminists in gaming and featuring a character that is central transparently drawn from components of Anita Sarkeesian, Zoe Quinn, and Brianna Wu. This really is its story.
I do want to start by stating that in university I happened to be a die-hard fan of legislation & Order, both the old series that is original SVU, and viewed every single day. New episodes, re-runs on TNT, you label it. It had been a ritual for my roommate that is freshman-year and after supper. I’ve hot feelings that are fuzzy legislation & Order. Or at the least i did so.
The episode starts with a discussion between Olivia Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and her specialist by which Olivia covers the gender-typical “boy” behavior of her newly used son, Noah. Noah apparently is just a breaker-of-toys-and-teapots, destroyer of bookshelves, and usually an all-around “boy, ” something about which both Olivia as well as the therapist laugh.
And my hackles are usually up. This “boys will soon be boys” style of attitude – although the episode doesn’t 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 culture currently has with harmful gender stereotypes (against males, females, and other-gendered people).
Needless to say, through the episode, we must back keep coming to Noah and exactly how Olivia is concerned that “this is their future. ” Yes, because no-one would ever wish their kid to cultivate around be a gamer that is dirty.
The video gaming meeting attended by Fin Tutuola (Ice-T) just isn’t past an acceptable limit from the mark when you look at the grand scheme of things, at the very least in terms of set dressing and basic sound degree (although I didn’t see almost sufficient gamer tees or cosplay – we only saw usually the one gold-garbed cosplayer). It absolutely was a little little bit of a relief to note that the gamers depicted were all neat and didn’t cater to the 1990s caricature regarding the “gamer nerd. ” They did miss out the mark just a little aided by the community anti-feminist ocean lions, though…
Into the episode, two males approach a female at a booth by having A sarkeesian-esque video clip behind her, and instantly start dealing with “feminazis. ” The woman’s reaction, bracketed by recommendations to “Get away from right here, ” is a small weird. She asks “What, will you kiss me? Are we likely to kiss? ” with apparent sarcasm. Issue rubs me personally the incorrect means, as it presumes an even of intimate engagement that seems extremely away from spot, offered exactly just how utterly terrified nearly all women will be in her own place. But that fear doesn’t actually show up to the scene that is next where she’s assaulted in a plywood restroom by the two males.
I’m additionally off-put by the juxtaposition associated with attack because of the crowd cheering during the shooter competition. Yes, the sound covers the sound for the attack (helping to make feeling), however the fast cuts between your two scenes makes an explicit connection between the electronic physical violence regarding the game in addition to genuine physical physical physical violence happening within the restroom. That’s where We have a challenge. To connect the 2 together would be to inherently blacken all gamers – or at the very least all gamers whom perform violent games – as prospective assailants, chanting savages who just require the right trigger (as they say) resulting in them to tip within the edge that is proverbial.
I’ve written elsewhere about how exactly here simply is not a justifiable instance for violent games causing real-world physical physical violence, and you will find any number of tests by other people more qualified than We making the case that is same. The episode, though it might have a noble main objective in curtailing GamerGate and similar movements, does not do any gamers, feminist or elsewhere, any favors by dredging that straight 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 she does not know the way he can go back home during the night and play those “shoot-em-up games. That he“has to try out right this second, ” after remarking” ok, thus I recognize that philippines brides the common demographic for SVU includes individuals like my mom, would you perhaps maybe not play games, nevertheless the amount of pandering to negative stereotypes in this episode passed saturation point at about 15 minutes in. Many people whom enjoy winning contests get house and – gasp – play games. Like everyone else, dear viewer of SVU, are sitting in the home and tv that is watching exactly the 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.
It does not assist that SVU is getting back together acronyms. FALs – Failures-At-Life – are maybe maybe maybe not a thing that is internet. The friendly GG (“good game”) – but it’s one that just sounds idiotic to anyone familiar with gaming or internet culture it’s a cute attempt by the writers to make up acronyms to mimic gamer culture dialect – LoL, GTFO, DIAF, AFK, FPS, RPG, RTS. Also “troll behind their computers”? Not exactly right, but near, i assume. At the very least they know what doxing and SWATting are. (I’m not really likely to deal with RedChanIt. )
Sarah (the very first target) additionally describes her assailants as immature white males without any life, whom plainly don’t move out to see the sun’s rays (she emphasizes their extreme pallor). It’s a reassuring label, considering the fact that you can find a number of gamers hostile to ladies in video video gaming who will be otherwise apparently well-adjusted males in their 30s with jobs, spouses, kids, etc. To perpetuate the concept that just 20-something, socially-awkward uber-nerds have the effect of harassment would be to blindly overlook the truth ( while these are typically typically white, and obviously lack some standard of readiness).
Raina Punjabi (Mouzam Makkar), a fictionalized but fusion that is obvious of, may be the main target regarding the episode and it is the lead developer (perform some article article writers even comprehend exactly just what this means? We question it) of a business called Amazonian Warriors (uh huh). We ended up beingn’t pleased with the episode’s caricature of gamers, and I’m additionally unhappy about its caricature of feminist gamers.
Additionally, i really could did with no fiance’s insistence that “ she was told by me this will take place. She wouldn’t listen. ”
Because plainly some guy has to understand much better than she does. In addition didn’t appreciate – after all – the forced “confession, ” which, although built to create pathos for the target, actually only served to reiterate the type or types of misogynist crap being promoted by real individuals. Specially when, in the final end, she says, “Women in 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 coming” to them, even when they’re finally rescued plus the perpetrators taken to justice. And that is horrifying and deeply, profoundly saddening.
Overall, the general understanding (and consequently depiction) of internet and gamer tradition is really a bit pathetic. Fulfilling in a relative back alley? No hacker would do this. They meet on line. Hence… internet culture. But i guess that does not alllow for good television.
Neither does the reality that is everyday of it’s actually love to become a feminist in video video video gaming. It really isn’t about large, dramatic assaults like being SWATted or getting your launch message sabotaged by crazy individuals (actually, just how many of us have actually offered launch speeches? I’m guessing not to many) or being kidnapped. Yes, Sarkeesian’s speaks have now been targeted with bomb threats and threats of massacres, but GamerGate is not pretty much Sarkeesian, Quinn, and Wu.
GamerGate is all about them, however it is additionally about almost every other feminist gamer (male, female, other) online and behind the keyboard and console screen. GamerGate is mostly about silencing voices that don’t comport with a really certain and ethos that is ultimately conservative up within the fictional construct of just what “gaming” and “gamer” implied within the 1990s, an uber-masculine valorization perhaps maybe not of physical physical violence, by itself, but of machismo and power.