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The gaming community is not a wretched hive of sexism and misogyny.

Over the course of the past decade, video games begun to receive criticism for reasons pertaining to race and sexuality. Games have been criticized for having an abundance of white protagonists, a lack of homosexual characters, and a sexist depiction of women. There now exists a crowd of people who call for more racial diversity among video game characters, more representatives of alternative sexualities, and more respectful treatment of women.

Zoe Quinn
Zoe Quinn

These critics, who call for more progressiveness, tolerance, and inclusiveness in video games, have come to be known by the term "Social Justice Warrior", or SJW for short. It is worth noting that this term is often used in a pejorative fashion. Some wear the title proudly as a sign of their progressive attitudes, while others see the term as an insult that only serves to create partisanship and an "you're either with us or you're against us" attitude.

In recent years, gaming journalism websites have begun to publish a multitude of articles about social justice, feminism, and racism. Many of these articles condemn the gaming community as being homophobic and bigoted. Many of these articles accuse game developers of being sexist and/or misogynistic for the content in their games. Many of these articles describe the game industry as being immature, and in need of drastic changes for the good of society.

Such articles are often met with a negative reception. Nobody likes being called immature, or sexist, or misogynistic, or bigoted. Nobody likes being told that their favorite game is bad because it's racist. Many gamers have no interest in SJW opinion articles, and just want to read about exciting games. Many gamers are offended by the idea of SJW agendas infecting their favorite websites and influencing the developers of their favorite video games.

When gamers speak out against SJW articles, they are accused of being bigots who don't want their racist world to go away. When gamers ask journalists to review a game based on its game mechanics rather than its depiction of women, they are accused of being sexists who don't want their misogynistic world to go away. When gamers express that they don't like Gone Home because it barely qualifies as a video game, they are accused of being homophobic.

This has been happening for years, but has only begun to receive the attention it deserves as a result of the Zoe Quinn scandal.

Zoe Quinn is an indie game developer. On August 16th, Quinn's ex-boyfriend accused her of cheating on him with five different men, and uploaded screenshots of her chat logs as evidence. Several of the men that Zoe allegedly slept with were gaming journalists, which painted a picture of nepotism and depicted Quinn as a woman who traded sex for positive publicity from journalists. Many denizens of the Internet criticized Quinn harshly for her actions.

The SJW crowd interpreted all criticism aimed at Quinn as misogynistic attacks from a male-dominated community that wants to keep females away from their "boys only" club. Websites began to publish articles like "The sexist crusade to destroy game developer Zoe Quinn" and "Why we need more developers like Zoe Quinn", describing Quinn as a victim of Internet bullies while portraying the gaming community as a vile den of cruel sexists.

The focus then shifted away from Quinn herself and to the state of gaming journalism, which has become over-saturated with articles about social justice. Prominent figures in the gaming community commented on the controversy through Twitter and YouTube; everyone from Tim Schafer to TotalBiscuit to JonTron had an opinion to share. The Internet has finally begun to talk about SJWs and their influence on the gaming community.

Gaming websites are currently posting articles with titles such as "The End of Gamers" "Gamers are Over" and "The Death of an Identity", painting a picture of a racist, sexist, misogynistic, homophobic, bigoted community that is wailing with despair as it collapses. But the journalists posting these articles don't understand the situation correctly. Gamers don't oppose the SJW agenda because they are bigots; they oppose it because it's annoying.

It's annoying to hear someone tell you that you must be politically correct at all times. It's annoying to hear someone tell developers what kind of content should and should not be allowed in video games. It's annoying to hear someone give a low score to a game because something in it offended them. It's annoying to hear someone complain about the content in a game, when the game was clearly designed for a different target demographic.

Game developers should be able to develop whatever games they want. If a game developer wants their protagonist to be a white, straight, cis male, that should be okay. If a game developer wants their protagonist to be a black, lesbian, transgendered female, that should be okay, too. If a game developer wants their protagonist to be a busty girl wearing nothing more than dental floss, that should also be okay.

Game developers should be free to develop any kind of game they want, with whatever content they want, with whatever protagonist they want - and that includes straight, white, cis males. No game developer should feel obligated to please every possible minority. No game developer should feel obligated to be 100% politically correct at all times. And no game journalist should feel entitled to slander game developers for developing content that isn't aimed towards them.

Presently, the gaming community has focused its attention on the subject of SJW game journalism; now is the time for gamers to speak out about what kind of content they do and do not appreciate seeing on gaming websites. One can only hope that the editors and moderators of such websites will not misinterpret gamers as bigots when they voice their opposition to the abundance of SJW articles that have been flooding the Internet in recent years.

On a side note, this does not mean that it's ever okay to harass someone else over the Internet.

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