Of Course There Was A Rape Joke At E3 Because The Gaming Industry Is A Misogynistic Rathole
When I saw a few comments on my Twitter feed about the rape joke during the demo for Killer Instinct during Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) I personally wasn’t shocked at all. Yeah, I was totally grossed out and annoyed by it, but this is nothing new to any of us who purchase video games, or play video games or are familiar with the video game industry. It’s a boy’s club. And not just any boy’s club, it’s a boys club where rampant sexism, violence against women, gender stereotypes, rape jokes, and female objectification are the norm. But don’t ask me, ask Anita Sarkeesian who has been exploring this issue for a few years now and receiving piles and piles of hate for doing so. On her Feminist Frequency blog, Anita posts examples of what happened after she expressed annoyance that there were no games featuring female protagonists at E3. Her opinion was met with comments like:
And this is a “nice” comment, compared to the “shut the fuck up, cunt” and “damn, this bitch makes my dick soft.”
So not only do we have the totally not-funny rape joke made by a game developer:
We also have comments like the ones Anita receives after she makes an observation about the lack of female heroes in video games.
I love video games. I pretty much own every gaming system on the market. I play video games with my kids, and I purchase Apps that we play on our iPads. I want and need more games for my young daughter to play that don’t feature females characters that are just waiting around for a male character to rescue them. We need more female game developers creating games for women and girls that feature strong female characters and story lines created by women and games that girls want to play. And I don’t mean cooking games or taking care of babies games. And we need our sons who game to see strong female protagonists as well, especially if we want them to grow up to be the type of men who don’t find rape jokes hiiii-larious. I’m just not sure how the gaming industry will ever change when a huge developer can get up on stage and make a rape joke and be rewarded with applause and laughter. Even though Microsoft issued an apology:
Yesterday, during the Xbox E3 briefing, one of our employees made an off the cuff and inappropriate comment while demoing ‘Killer Instinct’ with another employee. This comment was offensive and we apologize. At Microsoft, being open and respectful with others is central to our code of conduct and our values. Bullying and harassment of any kind is not condoned and is taken very seriously. We remain committed to make gaming fun for everyone, and in that effort, we must lead by example.
I don’t see their statement making a lick of difference in the gaming industry, and until more female game developers are supported in the industry things will never improve. But how can anyone feel really welcome in an industry where you are hated and threatened simply because of your gender.
(Image: feminist frequency tumblr)