I'm not a gamer.
Never have been. Not likely to ever be one.
Not really all that interested in becoming one. They can be interesting to watch other people play. But video games are just not something that is in my wheelhouse.
(The only thing I have in my wheelhouse is an actual wheel. I am quite literal that way).
So when I say I had no idea who Zoe Quinn was before a couple days ago, you can just nod and smile. Some of you will be "I don't know either" and others will be "HOW CAN YOU NOT KNOW!!!". I'm sure there will be some who will run to their search engine of choice to find out who the hell I'm talking about. Which is good. Because you should be reading about her, and more importantly, about her game Depression Quest.
Is it a good game? I have no idea. Let's assume that it is.
There has been a bit of a firestorm around her over the last week or so (or at least that's when it reached me) because of something that came out of her personal life and spilled over into the bowels of Gamerdom.
Do I have more than bits and pieces of the story? No. Is that going to stop me from talking about it? *checks to make sure this is still the internet*
Women get harassed all the time. Pretty much just for breathing. The higher they go, the more they do, the greater the harassment becomes.
So Zoe Quinn wasn't exactly well loved in some circles to begin with. (Again, from what I understand)
I'm not sure of the time table - but fairly recently, her ex-boyfriend wrote about her in his blog. He wrote about how she cheated on him with 5 different guys, including her boss and other people in the gaming industry.
There are a couple things to this - because there are plenty of people quite upset with him for writing this. BUT some of the people I've seen upset are folks that I personally know write about what a horrible person their ex is in their blogs all the time. It's part of having a blog. You talk about what's going on with your life, from your viewpoint.
I've never been in that exact position and I've never had an ex who was so much in the public eye within a certain industry - but anyone who has ever been on the "receiving end" of a bad breakup knows that "Fuck 'em" part of your lizard brain that is just feeling pain and doesn't really care what happens when you let it out.
I went through a very public divorce on my own LJ. We both had them, and friends in common, and it pretty much spilled all over the place. Looking back, I think we both would have handled things very differently. At some point, I think that ex is probably going to be kicking himself for doing something he shouldn't have done.
That corner of the internet exploded.
Like I said, there's a lot of information I just don't have. Could I mine the depths of the internet to get it? Sure. Would that be more than 99.9% of people who are already commenting on the issue have done? Yep.
To some people it's a matter of "the problems with the industry" to others it's the extremely sexist response from people going after Zoe Quinn.
Assuming that what her ex said is actually true. It's a leap of faith, but let's go ahead and make it for the sake of discussion.
She doesn't exactly sound like the best person. I doubt that I would want to have any close relationships with her. Some people might hear that sort of thing, shrug and move on. It pushes way too many of my personal buttons.
If there was anything improper with her job due to those relationships - the people in charge of looking into such things should be looking into them, if for no other reason, to cover their own bottom lines.
Here's the thing though - there's nothing in there that warrants people she's never met going off her online. There's definitely nothing that warrants death threats.
If she were the spokesperson for Fidelity, Inc I would say that she would be a bigger target for internet rage. But she designed a game that reflects what it is like to live with depression. I think it's safe to say that she already has a lot on her emotional plate already! She probably doesn't need more - much less people unloading their buffet of rage into her face.
Pam Bondi is the Attorney General of Florida. Personally, I think she's done a horrible job. I've been guilty of making "dog kidnapping" jokes about her (due to her adopting a dog after Katrina, and then fighting the family when they got back on their feet and wanting their dog back).
She's currently trying to "uphold Florida's ban on same sex marriage". She's not my favorite person.
She's gotten a lot of comments about how she's talking about the sanctity of marriage, and has three divorces. Is that fair? Not really. But it at least relates to what people are talking about.
The rest of the comments about her that I've read from detractors make me wish that I wasn't on "their side" of the issue. They are looking for an excuse to say these things about a woman, and she is their designated target.
It's like the people who used Ferguson as an excuse to vent their racism.
I'm sure the gaming industry has issues. I'm sure that there are times when the relationships between the game designers and the people who review the games is compromised. Why can I be so sure? Because it's true in other industries, why should I think that a generally more laid back area (in comparison to say, the oil industry) would be different?
That's something that people should be talking about. Not in terms of what happened in Zoe Quinn's personal life - but in terms of what that kind of thing does to the integrity of an industry itself.
BUT, and here's the rub - that stopped being the story pretty quickly. It became about how women are treated by their fellow gamers. It didn't have to become that story. But the internet is too stupid, too sexist, and too in love with the sound of their own misogyny to stop.
It's OK to not like her. It's OK to want the industry to do a better job of policing itself, or have someone else do it. What is NOT OK is to be an asshat.
Once you do that, like it or not, the story stops being about whatever you *want* it to be about and starts being about the crappy way women are treated. Which, men of the internet, is never going to end well for you.
Something else that will never end well for you, is this week's poll: http://therealljidol.livejournal.com/774480.html
*takes a bow as the Master of awkward transitions*