Thursday, July 19, 2012

Hypocrisy in Writing

I’ve noticed something for a while now, a hypocrisy that at the same time amuses me and rather irritates me . I’ve said before how the game media loves to beat the drum about one issue or another. One issue that is coming up again and again lately is sex in video games, by which is meant the sexualization of women in video games. Whether or not I believe that video game writers even have a true concept of what is wrong in the industry in terms of that issue I am struck by the complete lack of recognition of the irony of the argument.

Video game writers love to get on the high horse and talk about the sexualization of women is killing the industry both as it regards to games and those who make games. Let me say again that I believe that this is a very real issue facing the game industry, there is a need for more women in game development and publishing from the top to the bottom. However, for all of the reality of the issue every year the same hypocrisy happens. Every time there is a big convention, E3 or Comic Con, or any number of the other big conventions we see pictures of scantily clad females. When we see images of video games, fighting games, action games, first person shooters, what do we see then but scantily clad females. While I disagree with the idea that clothing is the main issue in regards to the sexualization of women in the industry, the idocy of with one hand crying foul about the issue and then the other hand using imagery of women as nothing more than sex objects is not only arrogant but speaks to a complete lack of will power. Any way you cut it, the message is clear, we care about the issue except when it hits the wallets of ourselves or our companies. Consider the idea of a politician decrying another politician of having an affair while himself having one too; we’d burn them at the stake… figuratively at least. Somehow we have let video game writers get away with a complete lack of the fundamental skills of journalism because ‘its only video games’. Until we hold them to a higher standard any real discourse of the issues facing the industry of which there are many will be impossible for them to moderate with any authority.

We all lose. There are serious issues facing the industry, women and minorities in gaming, the death and closure of many mid-level gaming studios, the advent of mobile gaming, legislation and censorship of video games; the industry faces real growing pains in the next decade. As we step forward then we need clear lines of communication with the least possible amount of chaff; we need video game writers to be the center of the web that connects us all and we cannot have them be that if they cannot be trusted. We need change people and we need it now more than ever.

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