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GTFO: Should it Stay or Should it Go?

GTFO logo

If there’s any truth to the Iron Man movies I just got a bunch of cool guy points for my classic rock reference. A while ago I was watching Main Event TV on Youtube cover news of a new Kickstarter project. It’s called GTFO: A Film About Women in Gaming. The film is set to be a documentary detailing the treatment of women in video games, both in the industry and consumer level (i.e. gamers). At first glance this seems like it could be an idea. After all, women are a demographic of gamers that gets a lot of grief. I know it’s not all of us, or even most of us, but there are a lot of male gamers who are just outright terrible towards any girl with the audacity to join an Xbox Live lobby or wear a Zelda t-shirt. It’s a problem worth discussing. So why am I wary about this film?

The bulk of the video I linked earlier is questioning the motives behind the film. And you know what? That’s a completely valid thing to do. Let me give you some background on the project. The project is spearheaded by Shannon Sun-Higginson, a flimmaker who both describes herself as a “casual gamer” and an “outsider” in gaming culture. She was inspired to make this film after hearing from her friend how bad women were treated in both games and the industry. This is what makes little lights flash in my head.

Shannon Sun-Higginson

Someone getting involved in an issue that really doesn’t involve them isn’t too surprising a thing. But what is strange to me is that she chose this. If you’re going to spend time, money and energy to work on a problem that doesn’t necessarily affect you, why not do something more worthwhile? Not to say that this isn’t an important issue, but why not let someone who is part of the gaming scene handle it? Even if she’s limiting herself to women’s issues, there’s still a lot of different projects (many of which could have been much more successful than this) she could have undertaken instead. She’s got every right to choose to work on sexism in video games, but it just doesn’t seem likely to me that she’s doing it out of the goodness of her heart. Gaming culture is hot lately. It seems like more and more people who aren’t involved in video games are looking to make a quick buck off of it. I’m not going to accuse her of this, but this is just what seems likely to me.

Another thing that worries me is that she wants to share the sexism problem with more people like herself who are outsiders to gaming. In case you haven’t noticed, the media doesn’t like us. Every time a mass shooting happens, the first thing the news does (after interviewing the 6 year-old murder witnesses) is to find out if the perpetrator played video games. Katie Couric just did a whole TV special blaming video games for ruining the lives of  two young people, while only giving passing mention of their obvious mental health issues. Yes, we need to expose these people to the real story of video games. But, opening with “Tits or GTFO” messages is going to do more harm than good for everyone.

Get back in the kitchen

The film hasn’t come out yet, so I can’t make a fair judgement of it, and I advise that you reserve your judgement on it. I’m merely raising my concerns toward the project. Discussion is welcome. Now if you excuse me, I’m making my own darn sandwich.

 


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"American writer and hopeless Galaga addict. For more ramblings visit TheLateNightGamer.com "
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