If you want this to make sense to you, you’ll have to go and read this first.
While I’m distancing from the general rough and tumble of Gamergate, there’s more to it than the arguments on Twitter and there’s more to it than the fight in computer gaming. While this is to do with games, it’s also to do with so many other subjects from personal freedom to free-expression, access to a free internet, censorship and a hell of a lot more. So I’m putting this here on this blog, rather than the gaming blog as politics/skepticism are more applicable here.
She’s bisexual, a gamer, a ‘muse’, describes herself as a feminist and is a sufferer from Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (a condition that causes hypermobility in joints and a host of other issues too long to go into here). I don’t mention this last to elicit sympathy for her but rather to underline the fact that she would not seem to be the typical target for the kind of wrath to which she – and her friends – are subjected.
Oh yeah, she’s also an alt-porn star, but I’m sure that has nothing whatsoever to do with it.
I’m a fan. I’m a fan of her, Zak (despite his abrasiveness and apparent, current distaste for me) and their whole crew and ‘orbiting’ gaming personalities. I think that people like them do far more good for games and gaming by example than any amount of pronoun mangling, art quotas or cod-inclusiveness can do. They make games sexy, interesting and innovative simply by playing and approaching with different sensibilities. They embody actual diversity and nobody cares or is upset, it’s just a thing that happens and it doesn’t so much as arch an eyebrow.
So who could take exception to this? Why? On what basis?
The complaint seems to be that Mandy doesn’t agree with the assessments of ‘social justice’ luminaries in the tabletop gaming scene over what constitutes actual sexism, actual racism, actual transphobia, actual bigotry of any kind. Mandy finds the kind of heroic, sexy representations that a lot of people like to be interesting and exciting and not an affront to her delicate lady sensibilities. Furthermore, she backs up other people – primarily Zak – who also point out that such transgressions aren’t as cut and dried, obvious or true as some seem to think they are.
If you look at the people who attack and harass Mandy and her friends, you’ll see familiar names. Familiar names of the kinds of people who will claim just about anything and everything is harassment – except their own actions. The kind of people who will play up the transgressions of anonymous sockpuppets and burner accounts, anonymous trolling etc, but minimise or justify the actions of identifiable people doing awful things to people, while simultaneously condemning the same things in others.
- Paul Ettin.
- Andri Erlingsson.
- Jussi Marttila.
- Alex Norris.
- Kai Tave.
- Tom Hatfield.
- Tracy Hurley.
- Fred Hurley.
- Fred Hicks.
- David A Hill Jr.
- Ryan Macklin.
- Bruce Baugh.
- Elizabeth Sampat.
- Geeky Lyndsey.
- Christopher Allen.
- Shannon Appelcline.
Any of these sound familiar? They should. They’re other complicit or active in this harassment, or demonstrating hypocrisy by not moving against it, when they’ll condemn people who disagree with them over far less.
I’m sure the porn has nothing to do with it.