A millennial working for Cracked.com did a video chastising gamers for liking video games and violent video games. He cites Jonathan McIntosh, running to his defense (something even Anita Sarkeesian stopped doing) and decided to stop calling himself a gamer because Google links “gamer” with #GamerGate, and according to him #GamerGate is a harassment campaign tied to white supremacy groups.
#GamerGate is actually about ethics in journalism, and based on the Federal Trade Commission’s own investigation – and a 1,700 page Freedom of Information Act request – the FTC used more than 50 pages worth of #GamerGate material during the ongoing investigation into Gawker Media. The hashtag was also used to out other websites and journalists violating FTC trade standards and even helped compel them to update their guidelines for video game reviews and YouTuber endorsements. There has never been any cited evidence that #GamerGate is a harassment campaign.
Nevertheless, the Cracked video is eight minutes of disinformation and what most people would consider to be Social Justice Warrior propaganda. It doesn’t use any facts or relay any kind of citations, with the millennial relying mostly just on talking points put forward by cultural agitators like Jonathan McIntosh. You can check out the video below.
Four minutes into the video, the millennial claims that if you mention that “this movie is sexist” it’ll receive far less backlash and outrage than if a gaming website mentions “this game is sexist”. He doesn’t provide any evidence for this, nor any citations.
However, the main issue with his argument isn’t that he’s right or wrong, but that many mainstream media websites have either closed down, banned, or deleted many of the comments on articles pertaining to sexism, gender politics or movies like the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot. Sites peddling propaganda about gender politics and misappropriating the issues have many of their discussion threads closed off. So it’s a disingenuous comparison, really.
I found a few articles with their comment sections still open; Screen Rant had an article from back in July that has 128 comments relating to Ghostbusters, and the comment section isn’t closed. I also found an article from the Washington Post talking about Ghostbusters and sexism/misogyny, with 419 comments… the article was published back on July 14th, 2016.
On the gaming side of things… just recently there was a Rock, Paper, Shotgun article calling Rimworld sexist… it received 691 comments to date. The Kotaku article discussing Rimworld and sexism received 619 comments. Both comment sections remain open.
It’s a tough comparison to make between movies and games given that hot button topics on many major mainstream media websites shutdown their comment sections for movies, where-as games are just heavily moderated but keep them open.
In some fringe cases like Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 not coming to America due to Koei Tecmo wanting to avoid SJWs, the Gamespot article from December, 2015 received a total of 836 comments with a lot of gamers pissed at SJWs for keeping a game out of the Western region. But then again… there isn’t really an equivalent scenario to Dead or Alive Xtreme 3 when it comes to movies. It’s not like American Pie was denied release in America for being too sexy. It’s tough to think of any prominently well known movie franchises that were barred from coming West due to potential media backlash.
The millennial in the Cracked video goes on to make a lot of other false equivalencies, poorly structured arguments and simply wrong conclusions about various topics that a lot of people didn’t like.
1 – A lot of people consider games like Journey, Unravel, Two Brothers and Shadow of the Colossus to be art. Feel free to make arguments saying that they aren’t or explaining how they aren’t art.
2 – People hated the Mass Effect 3 ending not because it was trying to be art (because it wasn’t) they hated it because it was inconclusive and left a lot of loose strings dangling open like Randy Orton’s forehead at the end of Summerslam. Based on the dozens of hours gamers invested into the game, they felt BioWare should have given a conclusive ending to a journey that spanned three titles.
3 – He says games aren’t relaxing, completely ignoring zen games like flOW, Pure Chess, Flower, Cloud and Abzu. These games are designed as stress relievers and are oftentimes classified in the “zen” sub-genre. And while he’s correct that various types of games have been measured to increase stress levels (notably racing games, according to research from years ago performed by Dr Simon Goodson and Sarah Pearson from Huddersfield University for the British Psychological Society) either he doesn’t play enough games to know that zen games exist… or he’s trolling.
And that brings us to the final point: this Cracked video is filled with misinformation, thus it’s easy to assume that no one could proclaim to play video games and be that daft and uninformed about the industry. Cracked likely put the list together to get rage clicks.
Even still, it was enough to foment strong responses, including a video response from Brad Glasgow over on GameObjective.com.
Cracked has been promoting people like Zoe Quinn (and in the video above, Jonathan McIntosh) so they obviously don’t have honesty or legitimacy in mind with their content (especially given that Quinn spearheads Crash Override Network, who was outed for doxing and harassing people). They’re likely using their platform for fresh clicks and to get gamers riled up to make ad revenue on it.