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July 22nd

…that games are not places where we let ourselves run wild so we can write about it later. Is the value of a game really only in what we, as individuals, get out of it? Or is there something to be said about the game itself, the way it operates, the way it plays itself?

I would be remiss in addressing some of the higher-profile pieces of the week, starting with Leigh Alexander’s opinion piece for Gamasutra in which she speculates we’re finally seeing a positive, rising trend in the discussion of sexism and misogyny in the industry…

August 12th

…flippant depiction of gender and sex in a medium I want to see grow, see mature. I should be repulsed.


I don’t. She’s the woman I’ve desperately wanted to look like all these years.

M is for More, as Yannick LeJacq takes on the same:

The problem with Lollipop Chainsaw, Richard Clark explains, is that Juliet has been coerced by some force greater than herself to “accept and revel in her reality.” But while it may be a reality to her, it’s a fantasy for us. And there’s a real difference…

September 23rd

…(The next section bears a trigger warning for discussion of rape, sexual assault and objectification.)

1UP’s Jeremy Parish takes aim at Western media’s coverage of “weird Japan” and a so-called fixation adult games:

Make no mistake, the fact that Rapelay entered the American conscious right around the time that gaming blogs began to supplement their 24-hour news cycle with “scandalous” content is no coincidence. What might have been a minor blip a few years prior became a widely reported new story as bloggers licked their lips at the prospect of the traffic a sex scandal could bring.

Abstract image evoking bird silhouette

October 21st

…that I have a symptom of some larger, mysterious disorder.”

PopMatters’ G. Christopher Williams surveys the role of the prostitute in games versus in other media.

Katie Williams observes that the gaming scene is changing, and for the better:

The gaming community has seemed noisy lately, there’s no denying it. Every week we pick through the debris of a new controversy. There’s already a fatigue in relation to issues of sex and gender, but women have felt fatigued far longer by the prevalence of skimpily-dressed female characters and sexualised violence in our hobby. We’re noisy…

October 28th

…actions since, supported by people who know better, have made her a focal point for a piece that was never about her. She has faced the ugly side of these internet dramas, where people dig into your past and highlight all your mistakes. She’s faced nasty comments based on her sex and her looks, because that’s what some corners of the internet do to women.

And it has to stop.

Because here’s the thing. This story – my column, Lauren’s reaction, Eurogamer’s edit, my stepping down, the whole aftermath – is not about writers. It’s about PR. It’s…

January 13th

…does similar passion about digital avatars create such a hue and cry? If you say you are tired of the slate of straight white men, you are a whiner. You do not understand that “sex sells.” You are a troublemaker. You are a “feminist bitch” and worse.


Problem Machine lays down the issue of the sorts of physical proficiency that games privilege, to such a degree that they become impenetrable for a great number of prospective users:

Basically, by pseudo-Darwinistic processes, we’ve created a development culture that a) has, as common perspective/capability, above…

January 20th

…every single level of participation, women are feeling the effects of sexism. Female gamers are sexualised, demeaned and assumed to be fakes by their male counterparts; those who go into STEM fields despite this abuse frequently find themselves stifled by the sexist assumptions of professors and fellow students alike; they must then enter an industry whose creative output is overwhelmingly populated with hypersexualised depictions of women and male-dominant narratives, and where the entrenched popularity of these tropes means their own efforts to counteract the prevailing culture will likely put them at odds with not only their colleagues, but also the…

March 10th

…a pair of Tomb Raider reviews. At the Gameological Society, John Teti muses that Lara’s promising story is unfortunately constrained by its narrow-minded game design; at the Mary Sue, meanwhile, the wonderful Becky Chambers praises the evolution of Lara Croft, videogame sex goddess, to Lara Croft, someone we can actually relate to:

Forget everything you’ve read about Lara needing your protection. Forget about her needing to be “broken down.” It’s nonsense, all of it, the remnants of some truly misguided remarks about a character who is, without a doubt, one of the best action heroes I’ve ever seen.

June 23rd

…new letter series on the sexual and personal space politics of Hugatron, which showcased recently at UK-based counter-E3 conference EToo.

Speaking of UK conferences, John Brindle recently attended London-based game design conference Bit of Alright, and wants to show us inside.

Via our German Correspondent Johannes Köller, we come upon Marcus Dittmar at 99Leben with a cynical look back on E3. Over on Kotaku, Tina Amini covers five tales of harassment and discomfort from this year’s show floor, and on Gamasutra, GDC community director Patrick Miller gives us five more. (Full disclosure: I am one of the women…

September 22nd

…Pigs is primarily an aesthetic experience, living on its own intensity.

This is Why We Video Gaming


It can’t be avoided any longer. Let’s get to the Grand Theft Auto V responses. I’ll be avoiding the review format and sticking to critiques and other essays.

First up, on the International Business Times, Edward Smith argues that when it comes to depictions of sexual harassment at least, GTA V is not satirizing, it’s straight-up promoting (content warning: descriptions of sexual harassment):

Before you ask (or before you head to the comment section to…