I had to stop reading when the author cited the infamously poor wikipedia article for ‘Gamergate’ which has been the subject of an editing war by activists for nearly a decade.
Should we be surprised that a journalist skims over a story that was actually about journalistic corruption; that the journalists involved manipulated into a story of gamer misogyny, and conveniently ignored the fact that many female gamers supported the men in the community? On the back of all this, feminism has ruined great titles like Assassins creed and Dragon Age, just as Kathleen Kennedy and Disney have ruined Star Wars!
The fact is, Hollywood has lost it magic because it sold out its integrity long ago. Game adaptations are only good when they remain true to the game. The Witcher series lost its leading man by not being able to follow the path of either the game or the books! And the spin off was rubbish too.
Quite. Had Mr. Bateman spent ten minutes on YouTube he’d have found several articulate, amusing and entirely reasonable critics of the progressive left disassembling Gamer culture Because It Can. But, like his ‘Libs of TikTok’ piece, Bateman’s bias bleeds through.
Of course, the internet has no shortage of shouty morons click-harvesting when it comes to such issues. OTOH YouTubers like Gary (Nerdrotic) and the evil Overlord guy are genuinely well-informed (not to mention funny) when it comes to the sledge-hammer subtle ‘Message’ being forced on everyone by the big studios and legacy media.
Also going to add that Henry Cavill is neither NEET or incel and is a huge gamer which was why he wanted the role of Geralt in the first place! Just because Mr Bateman played some games when he was a kid doesn’t make him a gamer and able to speak with any authority about the community. I’d also question his journalistic credentials as he seems incapable of researching a topic thoroughly.
I mentioned his piece on Libs of TikTok where he either deliberately misrepresented the account, or didn’t bother understanding it in the first place.
His article, Anime: the new conservative battleground, was impressively inaccurate.
I agree it’s bad, but not all bad, if we remember the old saw, “90% of everything is sh*t.” Elden Ring is art of the highest caliber. Seriously. I’m also cautiously optimistic for Starfield. But, yes, sadly, some studios are dead to me now. I don’t think I’ll ever give another dime to Bioware.
What makes video games great are really not the same as what would necessarily make other art forms great.
One of my favourite ever games is an old RPG called Planescape: Torment. It had a unique plot and characters within a very interesting setting. The artwork and sound track were perfect for the story and setting. Someone made a novelisation of the game, and it was awful.
One point on Elden Ring: it is so influenced by Berserk, it’s about as close to an adaptation without being one.
No element of white western culture is sacred or respected.
White, western, male culture* invented and developed computers and all the programs, including video games, that they run. It is so strange that it should be so reviled when it is the wellspring from which the whole bleeding shooting-match originated.
*and, a little later, Japanese and Indian male culture
Interesting essay but several points seem overstated. While the blackpill perspective here is indeed shared by many depressed incels, an at least equally valid perspective might be to see events of the last decade as gaming’s triumphant capture of the mainstream.
It’s true some elements of that triumph are likely non repeatable – the gaming subculture that contributed to Trumps 2016 victory is gone & cant be re-created in the same form. But the ‘reserve army’ of non integrated young men is still there, and will continue to affect the mainstream is all sorts of subtle but powerful ways, as history and even animal experiments (‘rat utopia’) suggests they always do.
The gamification of work is something gamers & gamer sympathetic activists have long argued for. At it’s best it makes work a much more fulfilling & pleasurable experience. E.g. see chpt3 ‘Reality is Broken’ (2011) by Jane McGonigal. Just because some of the less skilful implementations of gamification are annoying, doesnt mean it’s not a good thing overall.
Looking at current video games, while many have became bland or even vehicles for woke values, others are now more incel friendly than ever. Games let geeks extend their empires to the “limits of the known world” do they? Think bigger Bateman! Theres games that let them extend their empires to whole multiverses, some of them even with fetish elements that cater to incels unfulfilled longings – e.g. look up ‘subverse’. Some games now come with VR & support integration with physical props, doing an ever better job at compensating incels for what they’re missing out on. The great stream of capitalism not as hostile to disaffected young men as the article suggests.
Good points, but I believe the experiment you refer to was the Mouse Utopia – and yes it’s a disturbing parallel to the modern west.
Thanks for correction, and for understanding that I find these trends distrubing. Even if less so that the suggestion the dissafected young men (& some women) are now totally abandoned with out even good copes & escapeism.
Sorry but this seems to me like an article written by someone who doesn’t really know what he is talking about, an article about “gamers” and videogames by someone who only has played a handful of mainstream videogames and thinks he knows all there is to know, an article full of clichès and stereotypes from incels to neets to the corrupt gaming industry to the true meaning of “real life” and so on.
In truth videogames are a media of art, information and entertainment just like books and movies, and just like books and movies there are poorly written videogames, poorly developed videogames, cheap, recycled trash, lazy adaptations to already existent works, there are also political videogames and a quite a few of them try to retell history in a biased and subjective way.
If we take for granted that most writers, screenwriters, directors are frankly quite incompetent and terrible at their job, there should be no surprise alike when most videogames are cheap and poorly written, but at the same time when we are gladly suprised to see a visionary and well executed movie or read a creative and well written book we could think of finding those rare gems in the videogame industry, and trust me they exist!
So in conclusion i disagree that videogames have been “absorbed by pop culture” just like i disagree that “gamers” are purposeless neets that have been brainwashed by the collective ideology and milked dry by the capitalistic system; videogames when they are good just like art when it’s effective present a form of escape from the same collective ideologies and capitalistic views that are dangerous to the human soul, in other words good videogames can be healing but also they can be fun.
I’m a female gamer, and this article, like so many of Oliver Bateman’s articles reads as if it is composed more for the Guardian than for any remotely sensible purposes. There’s a massive female gaming community who roll their eyes at mentions of gamergate, because gamergate was never about female gamers and what we want, it was as per usual activists who have no real interest in gaming invading our sphere of interest and trying to dictate to us what we should and shouldn’t want.
My preferences are for MMOs, and with MMOs, all the players actually interact with each other constantly. I play alongside men, women, and trans players, I play with everyone from millionaires to those with severe disabilities, with everyone from students fresh into adulthood to retirees in their 80s. I have yet to meet a single player who is any kind of serious political activist, and the MMO I play, much like many others, has a fairly universal policy agreed amongst gamers that we don’t bring politics into gaming. That’s the only real outcome of gamergate, it ensured that actual gamers saw the mess activists tried to make and formed a consensus that politics of any hue have no place in our gaming experiences.
It never really worked in expunging their presence from the gaming press though.
I don’t know if you’ve seen the furore over Hogwars Legacy? A community manager lost her job related to that. Now the gaming press are using previews of it to give JK Rowling a metaphorical kicking.
I can’t say I particularly care for either the game or JKR (although she’s entitled to her opinion like everyone else) but the response from the gaming press is an utter disgrace. Bateman would do better covering that. Although if his anime article is anything to go by, he’ll probably start off by suggesting she’s the well known author of The Lord of the Rings or something.
Oh, I know the furore is there, but all I hear in my day to day gaming is people talking about what Hogwart’s house they got assigned, and how much fun they are having playing it (they give out plenty of early copies, and many who’ve got those copies aren’t on the woke train). In many ways, most gamers seem to be happy to have one game space that they know will be free of whining activists as they helpfully declared very noisily how they would be boycotting it prior to it coming out.
as I have neither seen, let alone played a video game in my life, this meant as much to me as the detail of the molecular construction of the planet Jupiter in Cantonese.
Perhaps I should rig up a garden spray, and a fan, put a saddle on a chair arm and have a video of following the hounds and jumping a hedge or twain?