Mainstream “geek culture” media have been frothing at the mouth this month because Supanova, an Australian convention for sci-fi, comic, anime and gaming fans, has refused to rescind actor Adam Baldwin’s invitation to appear, after a petition claimed that, as a supporter of GamerGate, his attendance will make women “feel unsafe”.
Internet petitions demanding speakers’ invitations be withdrawn have become more and more common, and realising that by simply being upfront about their motives for wanting to disallow their target a platform will unmask them for the intolerant, authoritarian drones they are, campaigners have learned to up the stakes, claiming that the presence of speakers they don’t like “threatens the safety of attendees”, when the true reason is that they are banning any speakers with right-wing or even libertarian sympathies.
Baldwin wasn’t even going to be talking about anything pertaining to GamerGate or women. As the expo was celebrating the ten-year anniversary of television show Serenity, Baldwin would be appearing in his capacity as a cast member. Albert Santos, the petition’s architect, who since the announcement Baldwin would still be appearing at Supanova has announced his commitment to “fight to the end”, quite clearly articulated that Baldwin’s political stance was the problem.
“Some have argued that a person’s political views need to be separate to their professional duties, and I understand that train of thought. I’m not going after Kevin Sorbo or Dean Cain or Michael Rooker, for example, despite not agreeing with their views, because for the most part they keep it to themselves and are professionals about their work… But Baldwin chose, and continues to choose to be active in his bigotry and hatred. It’s this proactive nature that sets off alarm bells, for me.”
Translation? If you’re not left-wing, keep your mouth shut. What’s becoming clear is that under the false premise of making spaces “safe” for minorities, the only people whose safety is really becoming at risk is right-wingers and basically anyone who doesn’t wholly subscribe to the doctrine of political correctness.
I stopped reading gaming websites long before GamerGate, because I was confused as to why they were so heavily pushing a hard-left world view in all their articles. I wasn’t interested in high school-level sociology essays about the representation of women and ethnic minorities, and didn’t think politics belonged in video game reviews.
Feminist Frequency, fronted by Anita Sarkeesian and purportedly an enterprise to “make gaming more inclusive” has its scripts written by Jonathan McIntosh, a far-left lunatic who wouldn’t condemn the death of Osama bin Laden, but had time to tweet his delight at the death of Christopher Hitchens. One doesn’t have to look too hard on his Twitter to find that the “inclusivity” claims mask a far more sinister desire to push his extreme views on video games.
He has tweeted: “It’s never ‘just a video game'”, then approvingly retweeted a user calling themselves “social justice mage” replying to him, writing: “It’s never “just” anything, really. Stories matter.” Well, yes. Stories do matter and this is why it’s of so much concern that radical leftists want control of this medium. McIntosh tweeted that: “There are a very limited number of stories that involve killing stuff for 20 hours in a row. We need different mechanics.”
If one were to make a pie chart of games for which the “story” was killing stuff for 20 hours in a row, it would show that these games are actually in a minority. Just looking at the “new release” page of a major videogame store in the UK we can see how diverse the range of titles is. In the last month I’ve been playing Hatoful Boyfriend, LA Noire and One Way Heroics, none of which could be described as “non-stop killing.” So what is it McIntosh wants?
Games being pushed by games journalists and the likes of McIntosh tend to be ones given awards by the Games for Change festival, which “shines a spotlight on video games and developers pushing the medium not just as quality entertainment or educational tools but as venues for social justice.” As Joystiq notes of Papers Please, it “highlights the dangers faced by migrants crossing the US-Mexico border.” Playing as a border guard who has the power to turn away or let in would-be migrants with harrowing personal stories about why they should be let in, you must balance your sympathy against the fact if you make too many mistakes, you won’t have enough money to feed your family.
Doing this creates the impression that the “bad guy” is your employer, and that everyone would be happy if only your character were allowed to let everyone into the country. It’s a simplistic narrative of “poor asylum seekers” that ignores the fact that granting asylum from third-world countries is a fool’s errand that does absolutely nothing to alleviate poverty and in fact causes problems not just for the country receiving the immigrants but also for developing countries themselves.
What’s worrying is that the mainstream media’s blind reporting of GamerGate as a “misogynist” movement shows how successful the left has been in branding any opposition to its terrifying grab for dominance of the cultural hegemony as “bigotry”.
The people McCarthyism was attempting to stop are using McCarthy’s own tactics in their bid to wrest creative control over the video game industry and silence opposition, shouting “bigot” or “hate speech”, instead of “Red” and “Communism”. Sadly, this tactic is replicated in universities up and down the country, under the facade of ensuring students aren’t made to feel “unsafe”.
This means censorship, as Brendan O’Neill put it, of any views which lie outside the ever-expanding liberal left orthodoxy. So abortion debates are banned, universities are banning UKIP members from campus all so that students “feel safe”. Underneath such petitions there are often comments calling for anyone at all who has “hateful views” to be banned from campus.
Who is it that is more likely to actually feel “unsafe”? Is it students who enjoy full cultural backing of their views by the union establishment, who might have to hear a couple of viewpoints they don’t like, or is it right wing students who, if they opened their mouths, would likely be run off campus by vile left-wing mobs?
Unless petitions demanding right-wingers are No Platformed, and those who brand groups like GamerGate that seek to challenge the poisonous censoriousness of the left as “hate groups” and “misogynist” are recognised as the vile, McCarthyist tactic-wielding authoritarians that they are, the left will gain total control over the limits of debate, and diversity of opinion will be lost forever.
Some of the mainstream media who have parroted the crude slander of GamerGate as a hate group really should really know better. To present it that way, rather than doing research into what it’s really about, just furthers untruthful, extremist propaganda.