Growing Up Gamer
Today's my birthday.
Without a doubt I'll wind up spending it, for the most part, like any other day: working, having lunch with people I love, occasionally flipping through Twitter to see what awful thing is going on for the rest of the world today. And, like any other day, those awful things include the harassment of anyone not simultaneously white, male, and cisgendered for simply existing and having an opinion. This is even worse in the industry I miss to this day being involved in, as female employees of Nintendo in specific and game development in general become the target of harassment for bringing diversity into this "sacred", white-boy-serving medium.
This got me thinking about the following dynamic:
- I grew up a gamer.
- My parents thought I'd "grow out of it", but that never happened.
- I grew up.
- I got a job, and can afford, for the most part, to buy any game I want whenever I want—one of many privileges I've been afforded, I guess.
- I have less time and patience for games, so I buy fewer of them, not more.
- I start to choose game purchases because of the people responsible for them as much as for the content of the game itself.
- I had two children.
- I only buy games I want to be proud of playing today, prouder still to someday share with my kids.
And that leads me back to the present day:
- I don't buy games that objectify anyone, especially those already oppressed due to their gender, race, ethnicity, etc. (It's not satire, it's not art, it's active oppression.)
- I don't buy games from Nintendo.
- I don't buy games.
I'm 100% sure GamerGate and its ilk don't care. Good.
I'm 100% sure Nintendo doesn't care. Fine.
I'm 100% sure nobody cares about this but me, but I'm 100% sure I'm not alone in my conclusions.
As such, game companies need to adjust if they want our money: more and more gamers are growing up, and we just don't have the time or the patience to deal with their childish, insecure shenanigans anymore. You stand up for what's right, or I spend this money on the other million-and-one things demanding my time and attention. I lose no sleep over missing out on the latest over-sexualized garbage from You-Name-It Studios. On the contrary, not wasting my time with the latest oppressive tire fire means I get specifically to spend more time in bed with my wife instead of on the couch, controller in hand.
So if you'll excuse me, I'll be in the yard chasing my kids. Call me if the industry grows up, too.
P.S. This is purposefully hyperbolic, but less than you'd want or imagine. That said, I know that against all odds, those who don't look like the cast of Indie Game: The Movie have managed to bring to market wonderful, diverse, important art and I love and appreciate every one of them for it more than they'll ever know.