Fuck GamerGate

I was sitting in a restaurant with my nine year-old daughter, waiting for our food to arrive. We’d talked about her day, her week, and I told her what I did all day. We played a couple 2-player games on my phone across the table and then she asked if she could play Subway Surfers, a popular Temple Run-type game.

I handed her the phone, and wondered how long it’d be before our food arrived as I watched some Monday night football on TV in the restaurant. I looked over a couple minutes later and she wasn’t playing the game yet, but using the character settings screens. I asked why she wasn’t playing the game since our food would arrive shortly, and she said she was picking out a female avatar because “I’m tired of all the games having a boy as the default character”.

I told her to take her time and play with whatever character she wanted.

That moment crystalized the sheer stupidity of anyone rallying against the work that Anita Sarkeesian is doing. Sarkeesian’s end-goal appears to be asking game developers to write better characters for women, portray them well in games, and not go to the well with lazy female story tropes we’ve seen hundreds of times before. My daughter just wants to play games with a character that looks like her.

How on earth is there remotely any chance of “killing” the video game industry by simply asking game writers and developers to do a better job?