Only a handful of mainstream video games feature gay characters. Bob talks with Samantha Leigh Allen, a transgender writer and academic, about some of the commercially successful games to include LBGT identities.
I appreciate the way that OnTheMedia often enlarges the context and offers unpopular, or at least under-reported, perspectives on stories ... and he way that comments on stories further enlarge context and bring in additional perspectives.
With respect to enlarging the context of the main content of this story (vs. the person interviewed for the story), OnTheMedia aired a segment on Personal Video Games (http://www.onthemedia.org/story/196814-personal-video-games/) two years ago that profiled Anna Anthropy's dys4ia and other games that targeted under-represented themes, lifestyles and perspectives.
@Tom from CaliforniaTom, I can accept and respect that your reaction to the referenced Samantha Allen blog (https://archive.today/3TjZb) differs from my own, but as a thought experient I invite you to imagine such writing being directed toward a different group or identity, and to consider whether your reaction would then change.
"i'm a misogynist. that means i hate women. my loathing for women cannot be contained.""i'm an anti-semite. i hate jews but it doesn't mean i hate you. it means i hate your position in this world.""i'm a racist. i am friends with some blacks, yes. usually these are blacks who have gone through the self-interrogation and relational deprogramming necessary to build meaningful community with whites."
Maybe you'd still think that the opinion of the writer could be nuanced and subtle, but I suspect most would immediately see it as hateful, intolerant, and possibly even dangerous. Certainly one would not likely consider the writer as a positive voice for equality and inclusion.
I have to agree with the first commentator. Ms Allen's blog post that was linked is disturbing. The utter contempt Ms. Allen has for men is disturbing, and some of her other comments are disheartening as well. It's not just hatred for men that shines through, it's hatred for seemingly herself and the world around her. There is nothing justifiable about that kind of hate, especially someone who has as much formal education as she does.
I would also encourage everyone to read the blog referenced. It's much more nuanced than just "misandry", and if you read it with an open mind you should come away with at least some understanding of why she feels that way and the terms she used (even if you don't agree with her attitude in response).
I can understand that OTM staff is not likely intimately familiar with gaming media personas and politics, and so might not know Samantha Leigh Allen's more sordid history, but it's still disappointing to see a show I respect give her a platform. Back in March, Samantha posted the rant "what misandry means to me" on her Unpitchable blog (http://unpitchable.tumblr.com/). Her opening to the piece sets the stage: "i’m a misandrist. that means i hate men. i’m not a cute misandrist. i don’t have a fridge magnet that says, “boys are stupid, throw rocks at them.” my loathing cannot be contained by a fridge magnet." (Image mirror: https://i.imgur.com/MNOCQYB.png) (Web archive mirror: https://archive.today/3TjZb)
She deleted that post from her blog on July 2rd, 2014--just a few weeks ago--after participating in a recent gaming media identity-politics-related controversy, wherein knowledge of this essay started to more broadly spread and began to discredit her supposedly inclusive position (and no; to many people, the pseudo back-pedal of the last paragraph does not excuse the Elliot Rodger-esque hate that preceeded it).
There are better and less-bigoted advocates for broader representation in gaming than she.
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