Posted on | September 10, 2014 | 103 Comments
— compiled by Wombat-socho
“Politics is downstream from culture.”
I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that with regard to entertainment, conservatives and libertarians find science fiction and videogaming to be the most attractive options offered by pop culture these days, mainly because there’s a lot of SF that doesn’t try and stuff political correctness and half-baked socialist egalitarianism up our snouts. The same goes for videogames, which are mostly about killing bad guys and/or solving puzzles.
This is, of course, intolerable to the Social Justice Warriors who insist that everything has to have a “teachable moment” or six about how horrible straight white males are and how heroic GLBTWTFBBQ persons are and what a utopia we could have if those wreckers and kulaks would quit trying to undermine kindly old Uncle Joe…oh wait, that was the 1930s pravda. Well, it hasn’t changed much over the last eighty years, as we can see in the pages of DKos and other online asylums for those afflicted with Hopeychangium overdoses. So it’s not too surprising that the SJWs have wound up running most of the legacy publishing houses and turning thumbs down on authors who don’t toe the line of correct thought and correct characterizations; as I have previously remarked in various book columns, the main holdout against this sort of tripe is Baen Books, whose interest has always been in telling a good story and only incidentally in whether the protagonist is gay, straight, or involved in a long-standing passionate affair with her slide rule, IYKWIMAITYD.
Unfortunately for gamers, there is no publisher comparable to Baen, but for the most part companies like EA, Bungie and Ubisoft are still more interested in the bottom line: what are gamers buying, and how can we sell them more of it? Questions of binary gender and other nonessential BS just don’t have much of an impact on the bottom line, and so while the publishers may pay lip service to the SJWs in the industry press, they don’t actually DO anything. Which just stokes the anger of the SJWs, who have been increasingly filling the pages of the gaming press with rants about what a misogynistic bunch of violent bigots the gaming community is made up of. Unfortunately, they’re messing with the wrong guys. For the most part, these are people who don’t take smack talk and harassment lying down – they’ll serve it right back with a side order of butthurt and rage, and they will move mountains to stick it to people who are getting up their noses. Which is how we arrive at GamerGate, the sad tale of how hypocritical “feminist” game developer Zoe Quinn literally slept her way into getting a crappy game nobody wanted to play featured on Steam, and further, got lots of positive reviews and supportive essays from game site reviewers who she also happened to be boning. Which is unfortunately a matter of public record, since her now ex-boyfriend went public with her faithlessness and hypocrisy; even more unfortunately, the game sites which should have been covering this doubled down and censored all discussion of the flap.
Much of this is going to sound familiar to conservatives and libertarians; discussion of political topics hostile to the liberal narrative has been verboten on places like Digg, Reddit, and other supposedly “neutral” online fora for quite some time, which is why there’s a thriving blog culture on the Right even without the bucks poured into the lefty blogs by people like George Soros and various foundations.I suspect that part of the fallout from GamerGate is going to be a bunch of new game review sites that have nothing to do with Kotaku, Rock Paper Shotgun, and all the other sites that have taken to telling gamers what horrible people they are instead of telling them about games and mods and related topics of interest. Gamers may even start casting a jaundiced eye on the rest of the media; as culture critic Maddox remarked, game media are now suffering a high-speed version of the credibility collapse that the mainstream media took decades to suffer through. Or, as the eponymous boss of TheMittani.com said in a recent column, people will blow this off since the idea of “objective” game journalism is nonsense anyway.
I don’t agree; the rage of gamers at being called a bunch of racist sexist bigots for being upset with this is precisely why Ed Morrissey and Breitbart ran pieces on GamerGate. (Ace linked to Cranky T-Rex.) One of the worst features about the contemporary left is their conviction that the personal is political, and everything is personal with them. Everything, be it football, basketball, science fiction, videogames, movies or whatever, has to be relentlessly politicized and examples made of people who say Bad Things. Offensive Things That Make Somebody Feel Bad. Most conservatives don’t give a damn about any of that, and we resent the hell out of some dipshit like Bob Costas giving us a lecture on gun control when we’re trying to watch a damn football game. Conservatives and libertarians may not agree on a lot, but we can all agree that obnoxious leftist actors, authors and singers need to shut up and sing, and quit trying to force their half-baked political notions up our snouts, because that’s not what we’re paying them for.
This is also why Larry Correia, Sarah Hoyt, Vox Day and John C. Wright (to name but a few) have been up in arms against John Scalzi and the wretched Stockholm Syndrome crew at the SFWA. Scalzi, the academic leftists who have come to dominate SFWA, and their SJW allies on Tumblr are quick to take offense at any SF or fantasy that doesn’t meet their politically correct templates, and have not scrupled to lie or misquote authors who don’t toe the line. So far the Glittery Hoo-Has are “winning” in the sense that they and their allies still dominate Hugo voting – but in a time when DragonCon and GenCon attendance exceeds Worldcon’s by an order of magnitude, what worth does a Hugo actually have? In times past, when geek culture and science fiction fandom were the same thing, the Hugo was worth serious money, but that was decades ago. Geek culture now includes anime fans, gamers, podcasters, webcomic creators, bloggers, cosplayers, comic book fans, and endless combinations of the preceding, and I’d bet money that if you went to DragonCon and asked people if they knew anything about Worldcon or the Hugos, most of the people would have (at best) a vague idea of what you were talking about.
This is not the tempest in a teapot some Hot Air commenters think it is. This is a battle for the last pieces of pop culture still friendly to conservatives and libertarians, a battle to keep some parts of society free of the Social Justice Warriors and their craziness. It’s a battle we can win. All we have to do is pitch in with a little mockery, some pointing and laughing, and buying the occasional book or videogame to support the authors and creators we like and respect. Capitalism, what a concept!