Time for another EarlyGame Talk. Get a snack, sip on that coffee, kick back and relax. It’s time for our EarlyGame Talk.
Important edit: At the end of this column we are addressing the sexual allegations that have flooded the gaming industry since this column was scheduled for publishing.
rant /rant/: speak, write or shout at length in an angry, impassioned way.
Oh 2020. You started off with wildfires in Australia. That was not cool. Then you went ahead and let Trump almost start a war with Iran. I mean... this was supposed to be the year when that guy leaves the White House not screws things up even more. Next thing you know, you take Kobe Bryant and his daughter away from their loved ones, as if to set the tone for the following loss of so many loved ones at the hands of a virus you unleashed slowly and steadily across the world. One would think you were done at that point but, no, next thing we know you bring the pot of racism that’s been stirring in America beyond its boiling point. Now we’ve got rioting in masses during a pandemic that requires isolation, and, all the while, the disaster in Australia and its culprit, climate change, have been completely and utterly forgotten. What’s next? A meteor?
But, hey, that was just the intro, let’s get to the real news: Ninja gets 30 million $$$ from Mixer, to then turn down $60 million and Twitch is sued for $25 million over some butts and boobs!
Holy keywords, Batman! My head is spinning. Now how do I package this superficial nonsense in a way that does the seriousness of 2020 and our current causes justice? Let’s try:
We’re funny things, us humans, aren’t we? We panic easily. We get distracted easily. We exaggerate easily. We pick up causes in a split second and drop them just as fast. We post #blackout images next to selfies of our abs. We story-quote human rights activists next to us twerking. So it is no surprise that, while the world is facing a pandemic and money is needed everywhere, a Twitch viewer from California finds it necessary to sue Twitch for $25 Million because they allow their streamers to bombard him with bootys and boobies alike. How dare they? This poor man had a 20/20 vision for 2020’s dramas and was about to change the world, but they just go ahead and do all of that distracting.
To this Californian, sue-happy fellow:
Hey. My man. If this is some big, epic plan to raise money in order to donate it afterwards… cool. I applaud you. But, if this is your quarantine-stricken ass feeling sorry for the amount of lotion and paper towels you went through. Get a life. This isn’t what we hoarded toilet paper for.
I don’t think any further comment on this joke of a lawsuit and waste of resources is necessary. But it does lead to a bigger issue that deserves focus:
Are we not currently proclaiming equality? Yes. Yes, we are. Equality for all humans. Now, about half of these humans happen to be women. Quite convenient, as, without them, the other half would go extinct. Together though, we create life. For this act of procreation to be possible, attraction is necessary. See: When the man is attracted to a woman and a woman is attracted to the man, they can do things that you can google with safe search off at your own leisure. The interesting thing here is that, for such life to be created, a woman has to go through quite the expansive labor. 9 whole months. The man, on the other hand, comes with quite the mass production tool equipped.
Ok, where am I going with this?
Men are horny. Call it the biological need and ability to recreate constantly or call it thirsty. I don’t care. Semantics don’t matter here. What matters is that this horniness is the underlying theme to a lot of problems. Or, to put it more pointedly: It’s the reason behind objectification.
Oh, boy I’m testing controversial waters here.
Gaming is predominantly a male hobby. This has historic reasons of environment, nature, nurture and all kinds of stuff that people - like me - studied sociology for. Boring stuff. Not here for that. What’s interesting is that, this male hobby is now seeing an increased influx of female fans. The gamer club is growing. The sausage party is adding new… food metaphors.
However, anyone that’s ever joined an exclusive fraternity club knows this: It’s tough getting in and being the new one. Particularly, joining a fraternity as a girl is tough. You have problems like everybody knowing each other, sharing stories, sharing the same anatomy, being privileged, being overpaid and getting 30 million dollars just to leave Mixer and turning down 60-90 million dollars from YouTube because streaming on Twitch is more profitable.
Yes, that’s you, Ninja. I’m done with my clever metaphors, let’s set things straight:
Gaming is a boys club. Now girls have entered. They struggle to get the same respect for mere gaming, because boys wanna see boys game. Their fraternity mates. As for the girls, boys kinda want to see them play, but they also… please refer back to my paragraph on biology and reproduction to fill in the blanks here.
So what’s a girl to do? Some have realized that one of the things to do is to capitalize on the status quo that we, as a society, have established: Sex sells. You know where sex sells the most? In exclusive boys clubs that hardly have any contact points with girls.
It doesn’t get more exclusive boys-club-y than Twitch.
- EarlyGame Talk: Game more, love more, hate less
- EarlyGame Talk: Video games are turning kids into killers
- EarlyGame Talk: Having fun is not a waste of time
Now, how can we punish these Twitch streamettes for capitalizing on their assets? Isn’t that the definition of capitalism? Capitalizing on your assets? I mean, if you don’t want to watch a woman game and you don’t want her in charge of your companies, you don’t want her as head surgeon of your hospitals, you don’t want her running universities, you don’t want her piloting your planes, but you crave her to satisfy the simplistic, objectifying mindset rooted in cavemen reproductive needs… then how can you punish her for capitalizing on that?
It kind of feels like the game is fixed. Time to stop throwing stones in the glasshouse we built.
Important add-on due to the current sexual allegations
Usually, the column would have ended with the last paragraph, but these are trying times. It seems 2020 still has many more tragedies in store for us:
At the time of the writing and scheduled release of this column, the number of sexual allegations in the gaming industry have sky-rocketed and I felt that this has to be addressed. However, there isn’t much to say on sexual abuse for me other than calling it what it is: Atrocious and disgusting.
So first, to support all those brave enough to come forward, here are their names and their stories:
I, and all of EarlyGame… we support your cause wholeheartedly.
To those accused: If you did what you did, you are scum. This has no place in the world of gaming, nor anywhere. These cases each deserve fair justice.
And to anyone who automatically assumes the victims are liars or clout chasers: You’re the soil on which injustice thrives.
The abuse of power is despicable. Sadly, within our system of capitalism, power flows top to bottom and is all to easily abused by those on top at the expanse of those trying to get there. This combined with the fraternization of power often leaves women in less favorable positions.
Everything is about sex. Except sex. That is about power.
This sentiment further drives home, how truly disgusting sexual abuse is. I’m once again disappointed in humanity. My hope are all those brave enough to come forward and speak up in the name of justice. It is crucial that whenever we witness abuse, discrimination or injustice of any kind - we speak up.
Anyone that is not a part of the solution, is a part of the problem.