I have good friends on both sides of this irritating issue, friends who are intelligent and fair-minded when it comes to sharing their points of view. We all understand that there is good and bad on both sides. There will always be people who steal missions to fuel their own selfish vendettas, and this situation is nothing different. As someone who loves video games, as a woman, and as a woman who writes about video games, I’ve been asked numerous times about my stance on the issues circulating the web.
My response? Who gives a fuck.
It sounds like an ignorant response, and in a way it probably is. I’m comfortable enough in my own shell to admit that, however, it doesn’t mean that I haven’t soaked up the relentless amount of animosity and desperation that has spread online. The issues at hand can truly change the way a writer thinks and feels. There is a sense of hesitation that wasn’t present before. There is a lingering fear.
And then there is my inner obnoxious side that sees all of this as another challenge. Because that’s what this entire industry has been: A stupid challenge. The bottom line is: This industry is still young, and compared to other traditional forms of entertainment, it will probably always be young. Eventually that excuse will lose its relevancy, at least to most critics and bystanders, but for now everyone should anticipate growing pains. There will be many growing pains, and several of these issues will be morphed into self-satisfying missions of hate.
Eventually we’re just going to have to learn to ignore the hate and turn the spotlight on the amazing achievements we’ve made.
I get it… there is a major requirement for journalistic integrity in this community. This is one of the reasons why I enjoy subscribing to individual bloggers versus relying purely on major money-earning hubs. There is a massive chance to support the passionate writers and thinkers in this community who aren’t earning a stable paycheck through their articles (there are many who should), and instead of spending our energy on something positive, we spend it arguing and pointing fingers or trying to convince one side that the other isn’t all that bad.
It’s a vicious circle, and it’s never ending.
Of course on the other hand, I would hate to have my work ridiculed and dismissed based on the fact that I’m a woman. It’s happened often and it still happens. I’ve learned to accept that in all aspects of my life, and I’ve used it as motivation. It would be incredibly easy to curl up in a ball and scream at all of the people and companies who have underestimated me –or even worse– hired me because of my sex. The idea of death threats is also absolutely petrifying, but I refuse to be overwhelmed by the chance of anything threatening reaching me. I refuse to censor myself because of fear.
I’ve also honed my skills and started to make a name for myself in a way that I can be proud of. You don’t have to succumb to controversy. You don’t have to succumb to the idea of money. You don’t have to trim away your integrity in order to build yourself. Let your sincerity build your presence and surround yourself with people who positively support you. When you do this, you’ll learn that the trolls and the unfair criticism just doesn’t carry weight anymore. It doesn’t matter. It has never mattered.
Because we all became united in this industry and this community because we just love video games. And that’s the bottom line that everyone seems to forget.