Something happened in the video game world yesterday. A bad thing. I made my feelings known on Twitter. Hell, I more than made them known. I was not, and am still not, happy with Nintendo’s decision in obviously, transparently giving in to a hate group and firing an otherwise innocent woman targeted for something she didn’t do, and had no control over. I’ve made my own decision, and will not support Nintendo as a result.
But I’m not here to talk about that. One, I already did. Two, other people elsewhere have done a better job pointing out why everything is bullshit.
Rather, I want to talk about the amazing, mind-shattering hypocrisy by my peers that was put on display today. See, Nintendo, fresh off telling the world that women (among other marginalized groups) are not welcome in “their” industry, released Miitomo, a new app. Oh hell yeah, this was it: the perfect opportunity to show these assholes what-for! No, fuck you, we’re not going to be placated by your shiny new toys after this horrible thing you’ve done! Except, of course, that didn’t happen. The very same people who sent strongly worded tweets and e-mails and made a massive to-do about refusing to support a company that rewards abuse and throwing vulnerable employees to the wolves were suddenly glued to their smartphones, as though time and space had altered, and we were suddenly trapped inside a terrible Banksy piece. The justified anger and outrage dissipated almost as quickly as it came.
Now, I’m not surprised; I made a prediction that any anti-Nintendo sentiments would be gone by the time of the next Nintendo Direct. Gamers are incredibly weak-willed, as we saw years ago with the massive boycott of Modern Warfare 2. Reggie Fils-Amie is a charismatic man. A single funny sketch is all it will take to earn forgiveness and people will get hyped up for some more DLC for Rusty’s Real Deal Baseball or some shit, and forget all about that nasty business with firing someone because Gamergate didn’t like her. That was my cynical expectation.
I WAS NOT EXPECTING THIS SUDDEN SHIFT TO OCCUR IN LESS THAN TWENTY-FOUR GODDAMN HOURS!
What the hell!? What kind of “support” is this? I shudder to think of what kind of support network someone like Zoe Quinn would have if she were part of a major company, and not slugging it out in the indies. Would there have even been a response to Gamergate? Or would it have been some muffled anger until Dragon Age: Inquisition hit the shelves? This is incredibly fucking telling, and a disgusting show of a hand. I’m not here to shame the random marks who downloaded the app because “oh cool Nintendo” or whatever. You know, the people who don’t really follow the news and are completely in the dark and don’t know better. But I am definitely going to shame every “progressive” who could not even bother to keep up the facade of giving a shit for a single day. This is not how change in the industry happens, by flip-flopping on your stances on a complete whim. We laugh when weirdos on YouTube and 8chan say it, but I’m starting to seriously wonder how many of you actually think that games will get better after Anita Sarkeesian has a meeting with the Feminist Illuminati and makes an iron-clad decree. That’s not going to happen. Change occurs with the little people. You, me, anyone who is currently paying attention and knows that shit is fucked up, and doesn’t want shit to be fucked up anymore. Yelling at people that you’re tired about hearing about Gamergate all the time won’t help. Burying your head in the sand won’t help. Re-prioritizing support of harassment targets to a conditional basis won’t help. And immediately disregarding your own concept of activism because of new baubles and trinkets won’t help, either.
I know full well that I’m a total jerk with a pessimistic outlook on life. But deep down, I know that some of you are better than this. Please, grow up. We can’t shed this idea that games are for children so long as some of our biggest names act like kids.