A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius — on Sexism in the Video Games Industry

"Speaking the unspoken truth about gender inequality in videogames."

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Quarter to Three

There’s a fascinating, insightful and important piece on sexism in the games industry at Quarter to Three that everyone needs to read. I realize when it comes to sexism in video games, you’ve read it all before, but trust me: not this time.

I don’t want to get in the writer’s way by dashing off a reductive summary, because the piece speaks for itself. I’ll say this: the fellow who wrote it is one of my favorite critics — not just in games but any medium (he’s a film guy, too), someone who’s occasionally misunderstood and unthinkingly dismissed by passerby who notice a review score or a position that doesn’t conform with their worldview, or who mistake worldviews for objective truth, or who mistake conformity for rightness and outlier views as contrarianism (these being the comfortable lies people looking for comfortable words tell themselves).

The piece grapples with two issues, really. One it claims to be about, as well as one it doesn’t mention, but that it’s laser-locked on by implication: how we talk about touchy topics in public spaces, and how we tolerate ideas that don’t jibe with conventional wisdom if the ideas themselves are presented in earnest and rendered intelligently.

The whole thing reminds me of a recent piece games critic Ian Bogost pointed me to the other day at Patrol. I recommend taking the time to read and reflect on both.