The Japanese affiliate of French news outlet, AFP BB News, recently published a piece on April 26th, 2018 by Jung Hawon titled “Misogyny Rampant In South Korean Game Industry As Women Developers Are Targets Of ‘Witch Hunting’”.
The article attacks South Korean gamers, pointing out that the men are sexist and misogynistic. It goes on to state that 42% of the South Korean gaming industry consists of female gamers, but that they only make up less than 25% of the work force in the electronic entertainment industry. The explanation in the article is that South Korea’s “patriarchal” societal structure prevents women from advancing in the field of gaming, and that the harassment, sexism, and misogyny keeps a lot of women out of gaming in South Korea.
The article cites various examples of said misogyny, including the one about gamers mounting polemics toward the anti-male, radical feminist group known as Megalia. One of its female members happened to be a voice actress for a Nexon game, courting controversy by sporting a shirt of the misandrist group and posting it on social media. The article washes over the controversy associated with the Megalians, and attempts to paint a picture of them being innocent while stating that those critical of the voice actress were simply “witch hunting”.
There’s a video by Moreno James that breaks down exactly what the Megalians are about.
The article also quotes from various anonymous females within the South Korean gaming industry who claim that if studios don’t dismiss women’s rights issues or denounce Megalia, sales for games will fall. An anonymous female executive from one of the South Korean online gaming companies told the outlet…
”These gamers attack a woman’s rights issue every time anyone mentions it, regardless of who it is, and attack them as if they’re a supporter of Megalia. I will stay on the look out for such comments and insist that they should be removed immediately. There is a risk that sales of a game will decrease greatly as a consequence, if those comments [about women’s rights issues] continue to persist.”
The narrative by the outlet is that the gaming industry in South Korea has been affected by Western trends, despite the fact that the South Korean gaming industry has been crippled by the heavy-handed censorship administered by its own government. The AFP article also points to the 2014 consumer revolt known as #GamerGate, stating that..
“The world’s gaming industry has been severely criticized for how it’s dealt with women’s issues within virtual gaming communities, as well as the issues taking place in the real world. This event was known as the Gamergate controversy in the U.S., back in 2014. Women who criticized depictions of violence and rape against women in games were on the receiving end of death and rape threats, especially critics who called for reform of the sexist culture within the gaming industry.”
In reality, #GamerGate was a consumer revolt criticizing corrupt game journalists who took payola without disclosure. They wanted honest journalism without political bias tainting and misrepresenting the industry, games, and game developers. There were some partial wins in various media outlets updating their ethics policies, as well as the FTC enforcing disclosures for game reviewers and YouTube content creators, as highlighted by the accomplishments page on the This Is Video Games web page.
Additionally, both the WAM!, peer reviewed report and the FBI investigation couldn’t find evidence of #GamerGate being a harassment campaign. These unmistakably important facts were flouted by the AFP News piece.
Even still, after the harassment angle fell apart by media outlets in the West, many feminists have opted to change the narrative and state that #GamerGate was responsible for the rise of the Incel [Involuntarily Celibate] movement, despite the fact that Incels have been an established group since 2007, according to an entry on Urban Dictionary.
what did you think gamergate was?? it boggles my mind that it took you til 2018 to notice that men express inhuman loathing for women online. it has already led to 2 mass murders!
— Talia Lavin (@chick_in_kiev) April 28, 2018
Liberals and feminists have also attempted to blame #GamerGate for voting Donald Trump into office as President of the United States, despite the fact that Trump – just a year after getting into office – targeted violent video games as a cause for school shootings, and has always been an enemy of the gaming industry, since 2012.
Nevertheless, it appears outlets like AFP are trying to continue the narrative about sexism in gaming in order to convince Japanese gamers and South Koreans that every peccadillo involving a woman is an act of harassment or misogyny. This is likely going to be the new prepensive routine after the United Nations failed to convince Japan to censor depictions of sexy females in their video games and anime, as reported by Niche Gamer.
(Main image courtesy of Tasha Cosplay)