I write about video games, movies, anime, television, and anti-capitalism while hating everything except for the world's greatest performance art - professional wrestling.

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The End of Gamers

dangolding:

The last few weeks in videogame culture have seen a level of combativeness more marked and bitter than any beforehand. 

First, a developer—a woman who makes games who has had so much piled on to her that I don’t want to perpetuate things by naming her—was the target of a harassment campaign that attacked her personal life and friendships. Campaigns of personal harassment aimed at game developers are nothing new. They are dismayingly common among those who happen to be women, or not white straight men, and doubly so if they also happen to make the sort of game that in any way challenge the status quo, even if that challenge is only made through their very existence. The viciousness and ferocity with which this campaign occurred, however, was shocking, and certainly out of the ordinary. This was something more than routine misogyny (and in games, it often is routine, shockingly). It was an ugly spectacle that should haunt and shame those involved for the rest of their lives.

It’s important to note that this hate campaign took the guise of a crusade against ‘corruption’ and ‘bias’ in the games industry, with particular emphasis on the relationships between independent game developers and the press.

These fires, already burning hot, were further fuelled yesterday by the release of the latest installment in Anita Sarkeesian’s ‘Tropes vs. Women in Video Games’ video series. In this particular video, Sarkeesian outlines “largely insignificant non-playable female characters whose sexuality or victimhood is exploited as a way to infuse edgy, gritty or racy flavoring into game worlds. These sexually objectified female bodies are designed to function as environmental texture while titillating presumed straight male players.” Today, Sarkeesian has been forced to leave her home due to some serious threats made against her and her family in response to the video. It is terrifying stuff.

Taken in their simplest, most basic form, a videogame is a creative application of computer technology. For a while, perhaps, when such technology was found mostly in masculine cultures, videogames accordingly developed a limited, inwards-looking perception of the world that marked them as different from everyone else. This is the gamer, an identity based on difference and separateness. When playing games was an unusual activity, this identity was constructed in order to define and unite the group (and to help demarcate it as a targetable demographic for business). It became deeply bound up in assumptions and performances of gender and sexuality. To be a gamer was to signal a great many things, not all of which are about the actual playing of videogames. Research like this, by Adrienne Shaw, proves this point clearly.

When, over the last decade, the playing of videogames moved beyond the niche, the gamer identity remained fairly uniformly stagnant and immobile. Gamer identity was simply not fluid enough to apply to a broad spectrum of people. It could not meaningfully contain, for example, Candy Crush players, Proteus players, and Call of Duty players simultaneously. When videogames changed, the gamer identity did not stretch, and so it has been broken.

And lest you think that I’m exaggerating about the irrelevance of the traditionally male dominated gamer identity, recent news confirms this, with adult women outnumbering teenage boys in game-playing demographics in the USA. Similar numbers also often come out of Australian surveys. The predictable ‘what kind of games do they really play, though—are they really gamers?’ response says all you need to know about this ongoing demographic shift. This insinuated criteria for ‘real’ videogames is wholly contingent on identity (i.e. a real gamer shouldn’t play Candy Crush, for instance).

On the evidence of the last few weeks, what we are seeing is the end of gamers, and the viciousness that accompanies the death of an identity. Due to fundamental shifts in the videogame audience, and a move towards progressive attitudes within more traditional areas of videogame culture, the gamer identity has been broken. It has nowhere to call home, and so it reaches out inarticulately at invented problems, such as bias and corruption, which are partly just ways of expressing confusion as to why things the traditional gamer does not understand are successful (that such confusion results in abject heartlessness is an indictment on the character of the male-focussed gamer culture to begin with).

The gamer as an identity feels like it is under assault, and so it should. Though the ‘consumer king’ gamer will continue to be targeted and exploited while their profitability as a demographic outweighs their toxicity, the traditional gamer identity is now culturally irrelevant.

The battles (and I don’t use that word lightly; in some ways perhaps ‘war’ is more appropriate) to make safe spaces for videogame cultures are long and they are resisted tempestuously, but through the pain and suffering of people who have their friendships, their personal lives, and their professions on the line, things continue to improve. The result has been a palpable progressive shift.

This shift is precisely the root of such increasingly violent hostility. The hysterical fits of those inculcated at the heart of gamer culture might on the surface be claimed as crusades for journalistic integrity, or a defense against falsehoods, but—along with a mix of the hatred of women and an expansive bigotry thrown in for good measure—what is actually going on is an attempt to retain hegemony. Make no mistake: this is the exertion of power in the name of (male) gamer orthodoxy—an orthodoxy that has already begun to disappear.

The last few weeks therefore represent the moment that gamers realised their own irrelevance. This is a cold wind that has been a long time coming, and which has framed these increasingly malicious incidents along the way. Videogames have now achieved a purchase on popular culture that is only possible without gamers.

Today, videogames are for everyone. I mean this in an almost destructive way. Videogames, to read the other side of the same statement, are not for you. You do not get to own videogames. No one gets to own videogames when they are for everyone. They add up to more than any one group.

On some level, the grim individuals who are self-centred and myopic enough to be upset at the prospect of having their medium taken away from them are absolutely right. They have astutely, and correctly identified what is going on here. Their toys are being taken away, and their treehouses are being boarded up. Videogames now live in the world and there is no going back.

I am convinced that this marks the end. We are finished here. From now on, there are no more gamers—only players.

Smash gamertalism.

ungaming:

This is the story of a music journalist. He was a pretty successful music journalist. He had an ostensibly full-time gig at a pretty mainstream outlet. The pay wasn’t great but it was enough to live on, and he was pretty thrilled he got to write about music for a living. He worked from home, mostly. No real point to an office in this day and age when your outlet’s writers are all over the country. Each day the big recording studios would mail out new and upcoming albums and singles to him. Sometimes he’d get tickets to concerts that he had to review. Sometimes he’d write more what he’d call “culture” stories that weren’t about a particular album or concert but maybe some artist had done something in the public eye or said something on twitter. He really loved pop music in all its guises and the cultures surrounding it so the whole thing was pretty sweet.

Every morning he’d go to his local cafe for breakfast. It was good to have a routine where you left the house when you work from home. One day, there was this women busking with a guitar. She had the most chilling voice he’d ever heard and her fingers moved across the guitar strings like a spider’s legs move across a web (he liked that line, he wrote it in the Notes app on his phone). He had no change on him, but he did stop and listen for a while. When he got home, the new Kanye West album was in his letterbox.

The next day, she was there again. She was playing a different song, but it was no less beautiful. It was also unlike anything he’d ever heard. This day, he’d broken a $10 note at the cafe so he threw in a $2 coin to her guitar case and went on his way. When he got home, he started his review of the Coldplay concert he’d been sent to last Saturday.

She was outside the cafe everyday from then on.The music journalist started leaving home a little bit earlier just so he could stop and listen for a time. Every day he made sure he had $2 to give her. Sometimes they made eye contact and smiled in that way you smile at someone when you recognise them as part of your daily routine.

Three months passed. He’d given her about $180 in total by this stage (not that he was counting). One day, he happened to be walking by as she was replacing a guitar string. He was saddened he wouldn’t hear her unique brand of music today, but threw in his $2 all the same. She thanked him, and said he was too kind. He said it was the least he could do. He paused, then, and told her what a unique voice she had, and asked why she was out here busking. She shrugged and said she’d gone to the big record companies and no one seemed  interested in her. It was too weird. There wasn’t really a market for it. She did have these CDs she’d burnt, but never really bothered to market them. He insisted she sell one to him (she said $3, he insisted on $5). 

He listened to it at home while he wrote about the upcoming Taylor Swift album. The production was rough, and it had clearly been recorded directly into a laptop’s mic, but the strength of her voice and her nimble control of the guitar was still clear. It was unlike anything the big record companies were sending him.

He decided to write a story about her. He wrote about how great her voice and guitar sounds were, how unique and utterly unlike anything he was reviewing was like. He wrote about how excited it made him. He said, explicitly, that anyone in the area should go down and listen to her and buy her CD. He didn’t see any need to mention he’d been throwing $2 her way every day for the past three months. It seemed irrelevant

Over the next few days, comments started appearing on his story. Some people agreed that she was great and they were glad they bought the CD. Others said she was alright but didn’t see what the big deal was.

Nobody ever demanded to know if he had ever given her money.

Nobody claimed this coverage of an unknown artist beyond the record label paradigm was a sure sign of a music journalism conspiracy. 

His editor didn’t have to write a clarification that stated the outlet’s writers would no longer give spare change to buskers playing music on the street

The end.

plumhead:

anglosaxonactivity:

State and county Police are accompanying and marching WITH protesters in Ferguson. THESE are good cops.
Source

They’re not good cops. They realized that upping the ante only worked in the protestors’ favor and led to large protests around the country. Now they’re pacifying the protestors in hopes that they’ll eventually stop protesting and go home.
It’s no different than when the army was called into Ludlow to break up the fighting between the Colorado National Guard and the coal miners during the early 20th century. The National Guard was shooting strikers, burning their children alive and all kinds of horrible things. The Governor and President let it continue until the miners armed themselves and launched a violent campaign in retaliation, which endangered big capital. At that point the President sent in the army to “bring peace” to the region. Things went back to normal, workers continued being exploited, and justice was never found for most of the human rights violations that occurred. The soldiers who ended the conflict weren’t good, they were conniving backstabbers.
This is the exact same thing, just a repeat of history. The establishment doesn’t want things to escalate in Ferguson and elsewhere, becoming a threat to its stability or existence. The establishment doesn’t care about Michael Brown or any other Black person who’s been killed without justification. They just want the dissidence to cease and Black victims of police brutality to be forgotten
If Capt. Johnson cared about police brutality he would defect and inform the world of the corruption and abuse that goes in in the police force. Instead he panders to the system and actively works to preserve a white supremacist power structure every day of his life.

plumhead:

anglosaxonactivity:

State and county Police are accompanying and marching WITH protesters in Ferguson. THESE are good cops.

Source

They’re not good cops. They realized that upping the ante only worked in the protestors’ favor and led to large protests around the country. Now they’re pacifying the protestors in hopes that they’ll eventually stop protesting and go home.

It’s no different than when the army was called into Ludlow to break up the fighting between the Colorado National Guard and the coal miners during the early 20th century. The National Guard was shooting strikers, burning their children alive and all kinds of horrible things. The Governor and President let it continue until the miners armed themselves and launched a violent campaign in retaliation, which endangered big capital. At that point the President sent in the army to “bring peace” to the region. Things went back to normal, workers continued being exploited, and justice was never found for most of the human rights violations that occurred. The soldiers who ended the conflict weren’t good, they were conniving backstabbers.

This is the exact same thing, just a repeat of history. The establishment doesn’t want things to escalate in Ferguson and elsewhere, becoming a threat to its stability or existence. The establishment doesn’t care about Michael Brown or any other Black person who’s been killed without justification. They just want the dissidence to cease and Black victims of police brutality to be forgotten

If Capt. Johnson cared about police brutality he would defect and inform the world of the corruption and abuse that goes in in the police force. Instead he panders to the system and actively works to preserve a white supremacist power structure every day of his life.

(via coolyourbears)

(via boyharem)

nctryzob:

修羅雪姫(1973)

nctryzob:

修羅雪姫(1973)

my-film-world:

Lady Snowblood II (1974)

fohk:

Lady Snowblood (1973)Toshiya Fujita

fohk:

Lady Snowblood (1973)
Toshiya Fujita

samuraicinema:

Lady Snowblood - Toshiya Fujita

samuraicinema:

Lady Snowblood - Toshiya Fujita

nctryzob:

修羅雪姫(1973)

nctryzob:

修羅雪姫(1973)

kansassire:

Shurayukihime aka Lady Snowblood, 1973, Toshiya Fujita

kansassire:

Shurayukihime aka Lady Snowblood, 1973, Toshiya Fujita

kansassire:

Shurayukihime aka Lady Snowblood, 1973, Toshiya Fujita

(via braintrash83)

perfectframes:

MEIKO KAJI

SHURAYUKIHIME / LADY SNOWBLOOD / 1973 / TOSHIYA FUJITA