Last night, I got really upset. Upset about games, the Indie scene specifically. To the point that I threw my hands up and said “fuck this” and told the internet at large that I was done, that I was quitting game development (after the release of Moonlit Corpse).
I’ve since reconsidered that decision, but I should probably talk about how and why I flipped the fuck out and made such a rash decision in the heat of the moment.
The straw that broke the camels back for me was the Indie scene’s total and absolute refusal to do anything about, or even simply acknowledge, if not outright defend, Soha Kareem and her followers repeatedly harassing and abusing marginalized people on Twitter, particularly trans people. This goes back as far as April, if not earlier, and continues all the way to roughly three hours ago, if the time stamps in my Twitter mentions are correct. No condemnation, no disavowing, not even a half assed “damn that sucks” apology from anyone. Which would be one thing, if these weren’t the same people riding hard on guys like John Bain, Mark Kern, or Milo Yiannopoulos, all of whom are guilty of doing the exact same shit. Basically, I’m being told that harassment is bad and unacceptable, unless Leigh Alexander and Cara Ellison like you, then you can dump on all the trannies you want.
And dump they have, as I got to spend a whole night of Soha’s Friends (not Soha herself, as she has left Twitter, blaming us Godforsaken shemales for her departure) constantly letting me know that I wasn’t a real woman and that I was a worthless racist who deserves to have “his” life ruined. You see, because Soha is a woman of color, any and all criticism, even if it’s “stop misgendering me and sending your followers to dogpile me,” is a broad condemnation of ALL people of color. Apologies to all of my Friends of Color, I guess I hated all of you all along.
And I’m sure this a complete and total coincidence, certainly, undoubtedly, 100%, but I’ve also found myself getting swarmed by whatever Gamergaters have wormed their way around the Autoblocker. Funny how I go from dealing with ~1 per month, to a sudden deluge. Now, I’m not going to throw out any accusations, but it’s something I’ll keep in mind for the future.
What I’m starting to slowly, but surely figure out is that nobody in this sub-culture actually cares about us. And by us I mean trans women, although that descriptor could also be used to describe the disabled, and/or PoCs that don’t have the “right” connections. Oh, they’ll tell you that they care, and that they love you, and you’re so important, but they don’t mean that shit. I threw myself headfirst into this Gamergate meat grinder almost one year ago, and I have seen nothing but more and more alleged, self-appointed progressive leaders throw me and “My Kind” under the bus if it meant that it would benefit them in some capacity. The continued lionization of Brianna “Trans Is A Medical Condition” Wu, who has proven time and time again that she is only in this for her own benefit, as she has frequently attacked us for not liking her constantly speaking over us, comparing us to the hate group that wants to murder her over video games. Anita Sarkeesian linking to essays written by TERFs, while her smug dickhead of a co-writer, Johnathan McIntosh, condescends and mansplains to women on a routine basis. Randi Harper’s weird blow up a few months ago, that suddenly and mysteriously saw Gamergate’s most notable, violent transphobes disappear from her blocklist, and suddenly reappear in our Twitter mentions. Leigh Alexander getting a wild hair up her ass a few weeks back and literally telling us to shut up about Gamergate because she was sick of hearing about it, as though the danger we’re still in is all over. All this, in addition to abusers like Soha constantly being given a platform to promote herself and put herself over as this amazing activist, while she and her friends harass my friends off Twitter when nobody is looking.
You look at all that shit, and it’s hard not to feel as though you aren’t welcome. Why would I continue to waste my time in a space that clearly does not want me? What’s the point? So I said I quit. They won. They beat me. They could have their three page Twine games and their circle jerk hashtags, I wanted nothing to do with it.
Twenty four hours later, I’m back to drawing maps for a game (look forward to that in an upcoming post). I logged back onto Twitter, dug through my 100+ notifications, and saw Indie developers and Gamergaters alike quoting my tweets about leaving, and celebrating. They were glad I was gone! So I got mad again, and told them that were wrong. I’m back, and I’m not leaving. I refuse to be another woman in Zoe Quinn’s “The Ones We Lost” folder. I’ll quit on my own terms, and not those of a hate group and a bunch of shitty assholes.
Like I said last time, I can’t crash through their gates alone. But I’ll certainly try.