Dragon Age: Inquisition Lead Writer Defends Anita Sarkeesian’s Right to Criticize Games

Dragon Age: Origins was one of the many games criticized by feminist critic Anita Sarkeesian in her recent “Tropes vs Women in Video Games” YouTube video series. 

After BioWare developer John Epler took to Twitter to defend her criticism, one fan, “wakeupelena” took issue with what he wrote, stating, “john epler, you either haven’t watched the videos or played the video games :(

It’s amusing, of course, for a BioWare developer to be accused of not having played a game he played a part in creating. Since then, John’s tweets went somewhat viral on Tumblr, where fans of the game discussed the merits of what he was saying. 

What’s even more interesting is the fact that the lead writer of the Dragon Age series and the upcoming Dragon Age: Inquisition, David Gaider, used the situation as an opportunity to weigh in on games criticism. Here’s what he wrote:

Sorry to pick on this one comment and single you out—normally I don’t read the comments to posts, and for good reason, but here I am waiting for my plane with nothing better to do…and I come across a comment like this that just rankles me.

Because I can assure you that John has, in fact, watched the videos. And he has, in fact, played the games. All the games. John’s as hardcore a gamer as they come. He’s also a game developer, and a damned good one, and I’m quite confident he’ll be around in the industry for many years to come…so he’s hardly talking out of his ass when he says these things.

I’ve seen the @femfreq videos as well, and I’ve commented on them previously. When I did so, I got a deluge of exactly this type of response: “But she’s cherry-picking her evidence!” “Her views are biased!” “Everything about those videos is garbage, and she needs to be stopped!”

Okay. Let’s pretend for a moment that, for those of you who feel this way, you’re absolutely right. My question is this:

Why the fuck do you even care?

Is there such a profound shortage of shitty opinions on YouTube or elsewhere on the Internet that the appearance of this one constitutes a crime in the making? Have you asked yourself why it’s this particular opinion that drives you up the goddamned wall? What do you tell yourself, if and when you stop for that moment of introspection?

I was recently talking to a colleague who suggested a notion that’s stuck with me. It’s the idea that many of these people don’t think of feminism as a thing. Or, if it is a thing, it certainly has no bearing on them or on the game industry. It’s not real. A made-up problem.

Since it’s not a real issue, so is the idea of women being subject to any kind of systemic abuse or oppression. “Hey, I’m a gamer—I’ve been ridiculed and marginalized as well. Why does nobody care about my problems? Everyone has issues, so why do I suddenly have to be the bad guy? You guys are oppressing me!”

In the light of that kind of opinion, a woman talking about feminism or a queer person talking about sexuality isn’t them speaking from a place of disadvantage— they are, in fact, using an unfair advantage, one that not everyone has, to influence the game industry.

And, OH GOD, the industry is listening. 0.5% of game site articles are actually talking about this shit. It’s everywhere! Game developers are swallowing this stuff up. Not because it’s true, of course, but because that unfair advantage makes them feel guilty, and they’ll act on it to score points because Political Correctness! If we don’t stem the tide now, every game will soon become something between an After School Special and a United Benneton ad! I’ll have this shoved down my throat in every. single. game!

Yes. This is exactly the sort of thing that get’s said to me, such as on Twitter. Constantly.

Look, you don’t want to be lumped in with the bad guys? Then don’t be a bad guy. Don’t be the dick who makes everything about you.

And don’t, for the love of God, act like nobody in the game industry is capable of a single discerning thought…that unless someone comes along and stomps that shit down right now, we’ll all just mindlessly nod our heads and follow along.

As John said, the industry needs to be able to listen to critique—yes, of any kind, from all parts of its audience—and form our own opinions regarding what can or can’t be done about it. We’re grown ups. I think we can take it. I think we can and should look on the stuff we’ve done and will do, and if not change everything, at least stop and consider for a moment what kind of effect our games have on our audience—intentional or not.

That is the purpose of critique. To make you think. That’s it.

Try it.


Gameranx

Weekend PC download deals: Extra Life edition

It’s an Extra Life kind of weekend. If you’re one of the many folks looking to play for 24 hours straight in the name of charity, you’ll probably need some games to start out with. Or maybe you just want some new games, period. So why not take a look at the Civilization games from Amazon, the Deep Silver catalog from Steam, the Sega catalog from the Humble Store, or even South Park: The Stick of Truth from Get Games. Check out the full list of deals below.

But first, a word from Shacknews Deals.

  • 3-Month Loot Crate Subscription [free shipping] – $ 47.99
  • Pay what you want for four online game design courses.
  • Retro iPhone 6 cases designed line Game Boys and NES controllers - $ 14 (30% off)

Here’s our selection of this weekend’s PC deals:

Amazon

  • Sid Meier’s Civilization V: The Complete Edition [Steam] – $ 16.67 (67% off)
  • Grand Theft Auto IV: The Complete Edition [Steam] – $ 6.00 (80% off)
  • Sid Meier’s Civilization IV: The Complete Edition [Steam] – $ 7.50 (75% off)
  • Sid Meier’s Civilization III: Complete – $ 1.25 (75% off)
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City [Steam] – $ 2.00 (80% off)

Bundle Stars

Pay $ 9.99 for LEGO The Hobbit, LEGO The Hobbit Complete DLC Pack, Lord of the Rings: War in the North, Guardians of Middle-earth, Guardians of Middle-earth: Smaug’s Treasure, and LEGO The Lord of the Rings. These activate on Steam.

Or pay $ 2.49 for Rhiannon: Curse of the Four Branches, Haunted, Shadows: Price for Our Sins, Small Town Terrors Pilgrim’s Hook CE, House of 1,000 Doors: Family Secrets, Doorways: Chapters 1 & 2, and Them – The Summoning. These activate on Steam.

Or pay $ 7.99 for F.E.A.R. (w/Extraction Point and Perseus Mandate DLC), F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin (w/Reborn DLC), and F.E.A.R. 3. These activate on Steam.

  • Speedrunners [Steam Early Access] $ 3.39 (66% off)
  • Rush Bros [Steam] – $ 1.00 (90% off)
  • The Samaritan Paradox [Steam] – $ 2.49 (75% off)
  • Pineview Drive [Steam] – $ 9.99 (50% off)

GameFly Digital

Use the code OCT15OFF to get 15% off your purchase. For those across the pond, use the code UKOCT15OFF.

  • Wolfenstein: The New Order [Steam] – $ 29.99 (50% off)
  • Doom 3 BFG Edition [Steam] – $ 4.99 (75% off)
  • Other games in GameFly Digital’s Horror Sale can be found here.

GamersGate

  • Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons [Steam] – $ 3.75 (75% off)
  • How To Survive [Steam] – $ 3.75 (75% off)
  • Other games in GamersGate’s 505 Games sale can be found here.
  • Fallout New Vegas Ultimate Edition [Steam] – $ 6.80 (66% off) (Other Fallout games also on sale here.)

GameStop

  • Murdered: Soul Suspect [Steam] – $ 24.99 (50% off)
  • Outlast [Steam] – $ 6.79 (66% off)
  • Fallout 2 [Steam] – $ 4.99 (50% off)
  • Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light [Steam] – $ 3.99 (60% off)
  • Typing of the Dead: Overkill [Steam] – $ 3.39 (66% off)
  • Dead Space 3 [Origin] – $ 4.99 (75% off)
  • BioShock Infinite [Steam] – $ 7.99 (67% off)
  • Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare [Origin] – $ 14.99 (50% off)

Get Games

  • South Park: The Stick of Truth [Steam] – $ 19.99 (50% off) (DLC also on sale here)
  • All Train Simulator 2015 DLC is on sale here.

GOG

  • Wargame: European Escalation – $ 2.99 (70% off)
  • Anomaly Warzone Earth – $ 2.99 (70% off)
  • Other games in GOG’s Strategy Supreme promo, including Worms and Conquest games, can be found here.

Green Man Gaming

Enter the code SPOOKY-TREATS-GMG20X to get 20% off your purchase. Restrictions apply.

  • Portal Bundle [Steam] – $ 6.24 (75% off) (Today Only)
  • The Typing of the Dead Complete Collection [Steam] – $ 10.52 (66% off) (Other Typing of the Dead content also on sale here.)
  • Batman: Arkham Origins [Steam] – $ 4.99 (75% off)
  • Darksiders II [Steam] – $ 4.49 (80% off)
  • How To Survive [Steam] – $ 3.74 (75% off)
  • Necrovision [Steam] – $ 1.99 (80% off)
  • Left 4 Dead 2 [Steam] – $ 4.99 (75% off)
  • State of Decay [Steam] – $ 6.79 (66% off)

Humble Bundle

Pay what you want for Super Hexagon, Aaaaa! for the Awesome, Osmos, Zen Bound 2, and Dustforce DX. Pay more than the average $ 5.63 to also receive Voxatron, FTL: Advanced Edition, and Jack Lumber. Pay $ 8 or more to also get Democracy 3. Select soundtracks included. All games work on Steam and are Steam keys are available with a $ 1 minimum.

Or pay what you want for Type:Rider, Ludwig, and Crazy Plant Shop. Pay more than the average $ 5.83 to also receive Sokobond and Influent (w/Language Pack). Pay $ 9 or more to also get Contraption Maker and The Counting Kingdom. Select soundtracks included. All games work on Steam and Steam keys are available with a $ 1 minimum.

  • Company of Heroes 2 [Steam] – $ 13.33 (66% off)
  • Sonic and SEGA All-Stars Racing Transformed [Steam] – $ 4.99 (75% off)
  • Space Marine [Steam] – $ 9.99 (75% off)
  • Other games in the Humble Store’s Sega sale, including Castle of Illusion and Total War games, can be found here.
  • 7 Days to Die [Steam Early Access] – $ 16.24 (33% off)

Newegg

  • Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light [Steam] – $ 2.99 (70% off)
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director’s Cut [Steam] – $ 6.99 (65% off)
  • Deus Ex: Invisible War [Steam] – $ 2.45 (65% off)
  • Other games in Newegg’s Square Enix Sale can be found here.

Steam

As well as regular discounts, Steam has a couple of additional weekend deals.

  • Steam is celebrating all things Deep Silver by offering discounts across the entire publisher’s catalog, including Dead Island, Metro, Risen, and Saints Row games. To see all the deals, go here.
  • Arma 3 – $ 29.99 (50% off) (FREE WEEKEND until Sunday at 1PM PDT.)
  • The Forest [Steam Early Access] – $ 10.04 (33% off)
  • Payday 2 – $ 7.49 (75% off)
  • The Eidos Anthology (Hitman, Tomb Raider, Deus Ex, etc.) – $ 51.99 (75% off)
  • Killing Floor – $ 4.99 (50% off)
  • Rock of Ages – $ 1.99 (80% off)

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Project Cars de retour en vidéo nocturne

Estampillée Halloween et se frayant donc un chemin dans les ténèbres d’une nuit pluvieuse, cette nouvelle vidéo de Project Cars arrive pour étancher un peu la déception du sévère report récemment concédé par Slightly Mad Studios. C’est le 20 mars 2015 que la simulation automobile est maintenant attendue sur PC, PS4 et Xbox One, la Wii U devant encore se contenter d’un vague 2015 pour le moment. Cette vidéo a aussi le mérite de rappeler que la prise en charge des conditions météorologiques sera effective dès le lancement du jeu.
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