GamerGate, it seems, is not going away.
In fact, it’s now getting mainstream press coverage and celebrity shoutouts. Deadspin calls it “The Future of The Culture Wars.”
And on Thursday, we heard two first-hand accounts of the phenomenon from opposite sides of this growing war — one from the jilted ex whose angry blog post sparked the whole movement, and the other from the latest game developer to be harassed and threatened to the point she had to flee her home.
By now you’ve probably read something about the #GamerGate a.k.a. The Quinnspiracy a.k.a. facepalm.gif. If not, this explainer from The Mary Sue should catch you up.
In short, Zoe Quinn, the indie developer behind Depression Quest, found herself at the heart of a brutal mob attack (or gamer revolution, depending who you ask) after her ex-boyfriend posted a lengthy diatribe about her alleged infidelity.
Quinn, who has since been bombarded with some of the vilest threats and insults I’ve ever had the displeasure of seeing, has refused to respond to questions or allegations about her sex life.
But, “now that things have begun to calm down,” she has responded to some of the other charges levied against her.
Anita Sarkeesian, the controversial creator of the Women Vs. Tropes In Video Games series, says she had to leave her home after one of her many naysayers threatened to kill her, her boyfriend and her family in a series of tweets that appears to have included her address.
Sarkeesian posted a screenshot of the threats, which you can see after the cut. Be warned: The content is extremely graphic.
Anita Sarkeesian concludes her latest installment of the feather-ruffling Tropes Vs. Women In Video Games series with a pertinent question: Why do we think depictions of brutalized women are necessary to make a game feel real?
After a thoughtful and lengthy dissection of how video games use violence against women as background decoration or lazy character development, singling out games like Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Bioshock, Watch Dogs, God of War and Hitman, Sarkeesian explains:
It’s so normalized that when these elements are critiqued, the knee-jerk response I hear most often is that if these stories did not include the exploitation of women, then the game world would feel too unrealistic or not historically accurate.
What does it say about our culture when games routinely bend and break the laws of physics and no one bats an eye? When dragons, ogres and magic are inserted into historically influenced settings without objection? We’re perfectly willing to suspend our disbelief when it comes to multiple lives, superpowers, health regeneration and the ability to carry dozens of weapons in a massive invisible backpack, but somehow the idea of a world without sexual violence and exploitation is deemed too strange and too bizarre to be believable.
Nintendo has announced two massive DLC packs for Mario Kart 8 that bring in characters and vehicles from outside the Mario universe.
Combined, the packs contain six new characters, eight new vehicles and four new cups comprised of 16 new courses.
The first pack, available in November, includes Tanooki Mario, Cat Peach, and The Legend of Zelda‘s Link, while the second pack, available in May, features Dry Bowser and Animal Crossing‘s Isabelle and the Villager.
They about $12 each, and if you buy them together, you also get eight differently coloured Yoshis and Shy Guys.
You can read our review of Mario Kart 9 here.