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CaimDark avatar 9:35 AM on 09.11.2013  (server time)
Inclusivity and "Isms": I'm Done

Who wants inclusivity in games? You'd think most people, particularly those loudly advocating for it. When this started to become a prominent part of online game communities, I welcomed it, and happily engaged in the debate. But soon, not only was the whole thing hijacked by opportunists from all corners, it started to become clear too many of those advocating inclusivity aren't really that much more inclusive or less hateful than, say,†the famous straight male†who believes Bioware romances should be catered solely to him, and to him alone. Yesterday, I decided I'm done. Finding honest, interesting conversations with people who are truly more interested in the issues themselves rather than in destroying their enemies is just too much trouble, feels increasingly pointless, and I want no part of this anymore.

While casually surfing the ethernet waves yesterday, I stumbled upon†Leigh Alexander's website. I recognized the name from Gamasutra, so I stuck around for a bit. Guess what the top post was about? You get a dickwolf shirt if you guess it right.

The little I knew of Lee's work had already given me the impression her idea of inclusivity, like many others', was really about getting rid of the types of people she disapproves, but I had no idea how right I was. Here's a passage from a FAQ on her webpage:

"The fact you got a Game Boy for Christmas and liked it so much you stopped doing anything else doesnít entitle you to a revolution. Your fandom is not your identity. Your fandom is not a race.

If you think it is, then youíre in our way, and the work I do specifically exists to dispossess you of your sense of relevance. If you donít like it, good. Iím much louder than you. And we have an army.

Hmm, thatís a lot of stuff, there. And not all of it applies to me. And Iím not sure if I agree with you. Can we discuss?

No. Be quiet and listen for once.

Donít you think being friendly is better than being sharp?

Ah, yes. The many revolutions that were won by smiling and not being negative.

In her own words: her work exists specifically to dispossess people she despises from their sense of relevance and to get them "out of the way". They are not entitled to a revolution, whatever that means, but she is. This is what passes for "advocating for inclusivity" these days.

Part of her army is†Elizabeth Sampat, to whom she links in her piece about never going PAX. If you guess what is the top post on Elizabeth's site, you get an exclusive dickwolves miniskirt. The title alone, "Quit Fucking Going To PAX Already, What Is Wrong With You", already gives you an idea of what to expect.

Read the whole piece if you feel like it, it's interesting in its own way. If you don't feel like it, here are some choice highlights from this inclusion activist:

"And today, on stage at PAX, Mike publicly stated the one fucking thing that PA ever did rightó removing the Dickwolves merchandiseó was a mistake".

"A place where the owners can say ďWe should have continued to profit off of the suffering of othersĒ.

"But sometimes the consequence (of going to PAX) is that people will think less of you. People who would otherwise care about you and think that youíre an okay person will look at you in a different way because of the choices that you make in your life, and thatís okay. And if you choose to continue to go to PAX, that will happen."

"The money still puts food on the table of someone who apologized for voicing his opinion that trans women arenít women without ever acknowledging their gender identities. The pass you purchased helps a rape apologist sleep a little better at night."

Guys, Mike Krahulik is not just a jerk/asshole/idiot/insensitive/impulsive, or whatever it is you think of him or his handling of the Dickwolves fallout. He's a freaking†rape apologist. He†profits off of the suffering of others.†It doesn't matter that his company raises millions for charity, removing the Dickwolves merchandise is†the one fucking thing PA ever did right. He must be destroyed, shattered to pieces, food stripped from his table and withheld until he starves to death, and you better not have any association whatsoever with him or anything he touches. Or else.†

This is what passes for inclusivity these days.

I've had enough. I'm glad self-proclaimed critics with the loudest voices such as these two have such an inflated sense of their actual power and influence. PAX is bigger than ever, and their first international debut was a smashing success. All the rivers of words have done very little to alter gaming besides token PR gestures, like removing the torture scene from Splinter Cell or the implied sexual assault in Hotline Miami 2 (off-topic: what the hell are developers expecting to achieve when they add such scenes to out of context demos months before release? Back on topic...) or Bungie inviting Sarkeesian (remember her?) to teach them about women.

Leigh and Elizabeth are by no means the only two who behave that way, I just used them as examples because they are the ones I stumbled upon last night, and they are so transparent about their venom. There are inclusion and -isms issues with games and the community, but this isn't about inclusion or equality. It's about replacing and destroying. Like a Destructoid commenter I don't recall the name put it, "how can such a large group of people be so fundamentally right and yet be so awful about it". Enough is enough. I'm done enabling this game. The enthusiasm I once felt for such a potentially rich and interesting conversation is all but gone. And that's a shame.

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