Ladies and germs, it is I, the video game player that you have heard so much about. I am writing this op-ed piece today for a couple of reasons. First, I have some things that, as a gamer (if I may don that term) I would like to discuss with the industry. Second, I really just want everyone to know that I am a cool person that plays video games like the rest of the world and I think that is very sexy of me, so forgive me for this small indulgence. Third and finally, I have beef with game developers and there is a simple reason why: they simply don’t plan for someone like me and now, you’re going to have to hear about it.
What do I mean by this? What I am I talking about when I say they did not (and some may argue could not) plan for someone like me? I think it’s simple, they just don’t take the time to try and predict how I will interact with their game. And I understand that game developers don’t get paid what they deserve, that it’s a thankless profession in desperate need of unionizing, but come on, is it really that hard to consider my feelings?
If you’re not getting it yet, let me give you an example. Recently, Rockstar games released Red Dead Redemption 2 to much applause and stellar critical reception. Per usual, they created the perfect sandbox game where you can do anything from killing bears to picking flowers. “A visual and cerebral masterpiece,” some have undoubtedly called it. And yet, the first time I played, I tried to ride my horse directly at an oncoming train, hoping to get launched directly into space, only to end up getting flattened and having to start over from my last save. This is not my fault, this is the fault of the designer.
We need to start talking about how video games are made and why they are not catering to people like me. This is the discussion that needs to be had in the video game community. We have come so far in such a short period in regards to the capabilities of our entertainment, so why do we continue to limit ourselves? If I’m in a video game, I want to live without limits, isn’t that the whole idea of escapism?
Lastly, and I wasn’t going to bring this up, but it’s worth saying. As a woman, do you really think the video game industry gives a shit about what I think? Well, they should, because unless things change soon, we’ll have to just start making our own games and y’all will not be invited.
This was written by Nathan Ellwood, the person that feminism was made for. Follow him @NPEllwood for more scenes like this.