Disgraced Video Game Criminal

So this is just a quick post to explain why my blog is called “Video Game Criminal”, another intro of sorts.

I actually got the idea from Alison Rapp, a former Nintendo employee who was fired by the company earlier this year in a flurry of slut-shaming/possible GamerGate/idek what else cos it was that insane, and honestly I’m wary about going into the details of it all due to my lack of understanding and the personal nature of the claims made against Rapp.

Rapp refers to herself at times as a ‘Disgraced Video Game Criminal’, which can be seen on her Patreon, and for some reason that really stuck with me.
At times, it feels like women really do get criminalised for actively enjoying video games, or participating in the culture – GamerGate being a prime example, though it’s worth pointing out there is some disagreement about whether GamerGate was wholly behind the event that spawned my blog title.

Gamergate is the 2014 movement which threw the gaming community into a frenzy. […] the movement is known largely for its attacks on female gamers, game developers, and journalists.

Originally based upon the attack of an ex-boyfriend on female game developer, Zoe Quinn (and her supposed sexual relations with a gaming journalist), it quickly snowballed into a vitriolic movement, using death threats, rape threats, and bomb threats against women who dared to speak out against the issue of representation of women in games, and in gaming culture.

(Munday, 2016)

That’s definitely not a quote from my dissertation…

The reason I actively took my inspiration from Rapp was because not only do I admire her openness about sexuality and mental health (even if I don’t always agree with her views), her experiences earlier this year that lead to her getting fired was something a lot of women in gaming actually face, just at different levels, I suppose.

It’s also worth noting that whilst writing the research project I quoted above, I came across a few men who simply couldn’t stand the idea that female representation in video games was flawed – they were of the tits or gtfo variety (and that is a whole other can of worms for another post, trust me). To them, I really was a criminal, some bad guy who wanted to take away their spank bank material (okay, I shouldn’t make assumptions).

For context:
The issues arose when Nintendo, in the process of localising Japanese games, altered the content somewhat, usually in an attempt to reduce the sexualisation of young women/girls in the games (I think this is a good thing, but hey, what do I know).


Note the bust slider in the gif above from Xenoblade Chronicles X – Kotaku

Rapp provided an interesting scapegoat, though having nothing to do with the process of censorship or localisation, due to her openness about sexuality, and her previous arguments on censorship. One of her college essays about child porn laws, entitled Speech We Hate, was an interesting read, but seemingly the factor that dropped her in some hot water. People cried “paedophile” and decided that Rapp was unfit to work for the child-friendly Nintendo.
You can work out how the rest goes.

Admittedly, I have digressed somewhat, though I promise it’s all related.

I always found it interesting how sexuality, gender, and video games intertwined.
Women who like video games are denounced as fake gamers and sluts, and yet some people start an actual manhunt when games are altered slightly to reduce the sexualisation of female characters…
It’s kind of funny when you think that GamerGate was all about the “ethics”.
In their eyes I probably am a video game criminal – I’m doing something naughty by being a female in a supposedly male-dominated space, and for basically saying “hey look, I like this thing but it is really quite flawed, you know.”

Good thing I’m gonna be spending a lot of time researching this topic from now on.


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