Perhaps the most surprising thing about "GamerGate" is that the cultural war that continues to rage in the video game world is the game that triggers it.
The discovery of depression created by developers Zoe Quinn, Patrick Lindsay and Isaac sankler is not at all video games that most people think.
First of all, it's not very interesting.
Its true value is as an educational tool, or as an exercise of empathy.
In addition to the occasional blurry Polaroid photos that appear at the top of the screen, the depression task is purely text-
Based on the game, from the screen to the screen through simple hyperlinks, players are invited to enter the shoes of people with clinical depression.
After reading a brief episode about the protagonist struggling --
At home, at work, in relationships
You try to make a choice to get your character out of this downward spiral.
The most important choice is that the game prevents you from making non-clickable choices through the red line, such as "get rid of fear ".
"As your character gets into deeper depression, more choices are left out.
You can't sleep.
You can't call the therapist.
You can't explain how you feel to the person you love.
In the depths of depression, everything is impossible.
While Quinn is expected to have a negative reaction to the game, things got horrible this summer after she released the game via Steam, which is a famous (and mainstream)
Game platform. A jilted ex-
Her boyfriend sent one. 10,000-
It was reported that she had sex with a journalist for positive comments.
This claim, while wrong, sparked a wave of anger that eventually escalated into a campaign against all designers and critics who advocated making the game culture more inclusive.
At the time of their best expression, the GamerGate crusader condemned the sound of progress in the game (
They call it "S" with ridicule. J. W.
"Warrior of social justice ")
They claim they unnecessarily politicize what should be just entertainment.
At least in their articulate circumstances, they have continued and vicious harassment of critics, prompting at least three women to flee their homes after being threatened with rape and death.
In Quinn's view, the real motivation is obvious.
This is not only a battle about entertainment, but also a battle about identity: who is called a player, what is called a game, who decides.
Quinn has previously created graphic-oriented games, including the ironic ghost hunt.
But she decided to explore depression through an increasingly popular project called Twine.
While images and music can be added to the winding game, they are essentially just words and hyperlinks;
Imagine a digital "Choose Your Own Adventure" book with some retro text adventures like Zork.
Twine is a free program that you can learn at once and it also allows you to post your game immediately so that anyone with a web browser can access it.
The equal convenience of winding makes it particularly popular among people who have never written a line of code --
People who don't even think they're videos.
Not to mention developers.
Chris Klimas is a web developer who creates Twine as open-
In 2009, source tool pointed out that the game based on it "provides an experience that graphics games can't describe, just as books can provide a completely different experience from movies.
It's easy to tell personal stories in words.
"The look and feel of winding the game is very different from other games, not only because they are made with different tools, but also because they are made by different people --
Include people who don't have any vague concepts about what video games should be or how they should work.
And about 75% of the developers of traditional video
The game company is male and many of the most famous Twine developers are women, and the purpose of making the game is to explore the personal views and identity, sex and trauma issues rarely involved in mainstream games.
Although mainstream games are afraid to get involved in a large number of indie games, Twine represents something more radical: turning video games into something that is consumed by the public and created for the public.
The result is one of the most fascinating and diverse scenes in the game.
The nature of the rope raises a simple but controversial question: why can't more people be part of the game?
Why shouldn't everyone?
One of the most prominent and well-received rope games whells dogs, an unforgettable meditation of trauma and escapism born in 2012 by a name called Porpentine.
The game begins with a claustrophobic metal room bathed in fluorescence.
Although you can't leave, you can put on a pair of virtual clothes and "escape" once a day
Every time you enter a new world of strangeness and luxury where you play a different role: a young Queen destined to die, learning the art of death;
A scribe trying to capture the beauty of the garden in words; a Joan of Arc-
Like a figure waiting to burn on a fire.
Every time you go back to the metal room it's a little dirty and a little worn out --
When you try to disappear into the virtual world, the world around you will slowly break down.
Porpentine said: "Everything shrinks to this dark little room when you have trauma.
While the immersive glow of the digital screen can provide temporary lip balm, "You can't stay on helping you deal with trauma when it happens.
You must move on.
You have to leave the dark room or you will become dizzy.
"When I first met Pauline outside a coffee shop in Oakland, California
She was wearing a skirt and patterned knee-length socks, and her strawberry blonde hair was pulled back by a small plastic hairpin.
We decided to go to a nearby park and she turned to 1 feet as we crossed the grass
Moments, unconscious gestures
A quick spin in the sun.
When we came to the bench in the park, the first thing we talked about was garbage, because her hemp rope game was garbage, slime and sludge. Gather and infiltrate in the dystopian landscape inhabited by semi-robots, insect corpses, and deadly angels.
On the roaring dog, the garbage is piled up and sticky and slow;
In other games, as I wanted, all of my friends became exceptionally strong, and the tar suddenly flooded the room from a vague source.
Forget the beautiful things, the valuable things: Porpentine's game is more interested in the worthless things that society throws away.
"Garbage has a very positive meaning in my world," she says, as the winds of nearby lakes keep bringing them to life, she tries to smooth the Wild ends of her hair.
"A lot of my work is recycling things that have been destroyed.
A trans-gender woman who faced harassment for most of her life called herself "garbage-
We talked a few times.
"My friends and I, we are hiding in the trash can," she explained.
We are called rubbish, but we are glorified in it.
At the age of 14, she was kicked out of the house.
This is not an unusual story.
It is estimated that 20-40% of homeless adolescents are gay, bisexual or transgender.
When I asked her what she was doing before doing the rope game, she said, "just survived.
"I 've never been on the street or in a shelter, but I 've been trying to live," she said . ".
After leaving home, she found herself "in a fragile position of relying on others"
Sometimes abuse people, sometimes good people.
I don't have much control over what happened to me, and I'm always one step away from being homeless.
"She made a roaring dog shortly after she started hormones --
In 2012, I lived in an alternative therapy in a friend's converted barn.
It took only seven days for her to succeed, but soon, even mainstream game critics began praising the game, which Boston Phoenix listed as the five most important indie games of the year.
When developer Richard hoffier won the Shopping Cart Life Award at the indie games festival that year, he celebrated his victory by spraying "Howling Dog" at the booth, replace his game with her and tell people to play it.
"I don't want to say it's funny and I don't want to say I like it --
"It instilled in me what I call 'divine fear'," hoffmel said in an interview after the festival '. ".
"This is a very special area.
Mechanical games do not touch that pragmatic field.
At the same time, like most women who have a public figure on the Internet, Porpentine has also received her hostile feedback: emails and tweets that want her to die, there is at least one detractor who calls the existence of a growling dog a "crime.
In the 2012 interactive novel contest, it won the "Golden Banana of discord", an award with the highest standard deviation --
The most loved and hated game.
One naysayer called it "as interesting as clicking on a link on Wikipedia at random.
"I got a very polarized response," Porpentine said in Auckland . ".
"I was dealing with something very violent, but I also got something very loving and passionate.
It touched me deeply.
"She believes that strong opposition to her work is partly due to the fact that few voices like her are heard: a transgender woman plays challenging games on topics many prefer to avoid
"A lot of my work involves these abuse topics, and I feel that they are very common in any woman's life," she said . ".
"But it feels like this big secret.
Life is painful.
It's weird for me because if you're hurt, why don't you want to come up with the best way to deal with it?
"Many people describe a kind of catharsis they have when playing the Porpentine game.
Suddenly there is a feeling of relief, in a game, some important but taboo is finally recognized, maybe they feel less lonely in the process.
So many mainstream games are power fantasies designed to provide the happiness of unlimited violence.
Porpentine's game is often a poetic meditation on the scars left by violence, and the beautiful but claustrophobic landscape pushes players to a position where they can't do anything and challenges them out of the woods.
In her game, begin scape, you become a homeless person, wandering from town to town in a fantasy world, trying to collect enough coins to eat, and
This is an experience of constant danger, the cruelty of a stranger --
Or a series of cold strangers.
Push you to everything you need on the thin line between poverty and death.
It's also a very unfair game, which is of course the key and a game you can't win.
"I am very concerned about the pain and how we survive," she said . ".
"Because sometimes we survive by touching the heart of the pain and revealing it as something naked that the world can see.
Say, no, you can't refuse this.
"Contrary to the stereotype of gamers, according to the Entertainment Software Association, nearly 50% of people playing games now are women.
What is even more surprising is that there are more adult women playing compared to boys under the age of 18.
However, the population statistics created by the game are obviously lagging behind.
The developers are still dominated by men, and most mainstream games cater to the interests and expectations of the young middle class --class men.
Finding a programmer's job in a traditional game publisher often requires a degree in proficient in multiple programming languages, as well as in game development or computer science --
Areas where women have long been under-represented.
Unlike the hemp line game, which is usually made by one person for free, the "AAA" game from the main studio can have hundreds of development teams that cost tens of millions of dollars and take a few years to complete.
At present, the electronic game industry is about $100 billion.
According to some estimates)
Global influence of the United StatesS. film industry.
"The number of people getting Engineering education needed for programming is very, very small," said Anna Anthropy, who helped put the hemp rope on the map in 2012, a game developer's book, the rise of video games Zinesters.
"Even at this point, there are a lot of ways people are filtered out by culture.
Anthropy started teaching everyone hemp thread workshop from 9 years oldyear-olds to 70-
Some retirees have never played video games in their lives, and she says they have learned it as easily.
"If you're someone who hasn't played a lot of video games and you get this tool, you just have to write, maybe you just want to write something about you, she says.
"Maybe you will write something about your pet.
You have no reason to create something about the Space Marines.
"The beauty of winding is that you can do almost anything.
It has also been used in the past few years to commemorate a dead brother, a cannibal dating simulator, a 50,000-
Interactive horror story about words trapped in a deadly alien spacecraft.
One of humanity's most touching twist-line games, the love Québec at the end of the world, lasts only 10 seconds.
The moment it begins, a timer begins to count down to an unspecified revelation;
You must say goodbye to your lover before the world disappears.
In a short experience, there is a sharp despair that touches the heart of sorrow --
It feels like you don't have enough time to be with the people you love at all.
The game does not offer to close, but rather makes you feel empty and miserable by design.
Although many hemp rope games focus on the personal experience of the creator, Lydia Neon's player 2 by asking the player to describe the painful experience, personal experiences that directly transform into players are not resolved in their own lives and try to provide them with a unique form of catharsis.
While the last few words were variable, the text initially wrote: "This is a time when someone has let me down;
Click on them and you can loop through the list of other options until they describe your own special experience: "Hurt Me", "despise me", "reject me ", even "attacked me.
"Then, it asks you to enter the name of the person who did it, because this is the real second player in the game: the person who hurt you.
"In a sense, you 've been playing with them since this happened, haven't you? Asked the game.
"You haven't dealt with it yet, so they are there in your mind.
"After giving you a choice of words to tell what's going on and how you feel, it asks if you want to do something about it.
After all, the other person is just player 2 now, "You have controllers, not them.
Finally, it encourages you to either take action or accept how you feel.
Player 2 is exactly the kind of experience that many reviewers reject for various reasons because it does not give the player enough power or control;
Because you can't win or lose.
Because it's not a test of skill,
Or just because it's not "fun ".
"Especially when a game is focused on narrative, how many choices and interactions are needed to create a game rather than just a story?
These arguments are more than just tedious, and the question of authenticity surrounding the winding game is the same as the one that bothers many people who make these games: Who do they really belong? When video-
Game enthusiasts insist on drawing tough lines around smooth definitions in a way that tends to align with cultural bias, maybe it's time for them to start questioning if what they're protecting is really more important than what they're hiding.
Twine particularly encourages the development of game mechanics that capture personal and emotional experiences.
Game critic Carla Ellison has also made a hemp line game called "blasphemy"
It is said to be a rare innovation in mainstream games.
"All the tools that make video games are basically centered on the system of violence and violence, not on developing what she calls" intimate mechanisms, "she said ", the way the game expresses emotional experience and relationships.
"When I look at why video games don't treat sex, love, or dating in a very consistent or interesting way, I come across this," Ellison said . ".
"Led video games seem to involve only this one theme.
I find it offensive for those who want to explore more interesting topics that do not involve violence.
Word games are the perfect place to explore these issues.
"Even if they do involve violence, hemp rope games tend to be played in a much more intimate and complex way.
Last year, Merritt Copas released a hemp line game called "voluntary torture simulator" that allows you to stand in the position of the dominant partner of B. . D. S. M. encounter.
Although you have done violent things to another person, they are all negotiated in advance;
Another person may seem powerless, but a clear insistence on consent and safe words actually gives power to a submissive partner and unfolds around his or her desires.
Looking at violence from this personal perspective also allows us to rethink the role of violence in mainstream action games.
Not only is it usually a clear point of these games to brutally deprive the enemy of power, but the person you shoot, the sting and killing are usually so dehumanizing, so that the idea of thinking about what they want and how they feel --
Treat them as people.
Either ridiculous or horrible.
After all, these games are not the real purpose.
When dusk fell in Auckland, Porpentine and I walked around until we found a Japanese restaurant that Yelp praised for its low price and large portions.
She was hesitant at first.
She explained that she had a budget.
She makes her life
Less than $1,000 per month)
From her game, through the crowdfunding site Patreon.
But when I offered to cover, she relaxed a bit and we ordered a bunch of fine sushi rolls with names like Titanic and Lion King on it
Small spots of colored sauce and tempura.
"It's hard," she admitted . "
"I'm working on more ways to benefit from what I do and make money in a way that's not annoying.
"She's compiling all of her winding games for independent sales, and when I asked her if she wanted her games to be sold on a bigger platform like Steam --
There is a large audience in the exploration of depression, but there is also a large amount of harassment
She seems interested.
When I talk to a female hemp rope developer, this tension often arises: between doing big and keeping small, between art and business, between pushing and pulling between relative security (and poverty)
The smaller space and mainstream visibility allowed Zoe Quinn's game to reach so many people, although it made her a target.
While Porpentine is a little cautious about detail, she describes her childhood as a survival experience: an isolated, culturally-filled process of growth in which she often
"I'll read it all the time just to ignore what's going on around me and ignore yelling," she said . ".
"I watch nutrition labels every meal.
"Language became her only form of escape;
They began to feel like they were part of her body, and in some ways it was her only strength.
"It made me think of bargaining," she said . ".
"It reminds me of despair.
If you used to have to bargain for your own being and beg to stop, if you were physically weak, like I was when I was a kid, you were thinking, can I say anything to stop it all?
You get smart when you talk.
"Super Business Tycoon III" is another game of Porpentine, starting with 1990 s-it is an imitation of "entertaining" games
Complete with your own outdated shared software code.
As an "outstanding business replicator in the money industry", your task is to accumulate millions of dollars.
But between stealing money from your job and escaping the skeleton warriors, the obstacles between the game and real life begin to disappear.
Just after you robbed and removed the skyscrapers of your rival company, the game inexplicably mentioned that you passed the parents' bedroom on the way out of the wreckage.
It recalls the way the sun was in their room and you used to feel safe there.
"You don't know why they started hitting you.
The narrator added: "It just happened and nothing happened and then took you back to your capitalist adventure.
At the end of the game, the fourth wall slipped away completely. suddenly, you are a little girl, sitting in front of the computer and playing Super Business Tycoon III. your sister climbed into the room, say a strange permanent goodbye.
After she left, you
There is only one option: "Go back to the game.
Porpentine dedicated it to "the person I left behind" and left the text for the time being, showing two images: the drawings that Porpentine received from her sister years after she left home.
This year, Porpentine has released everything you swallow and will one day appear like a stone, a game about suicide.
This is one of her most touching games and one of her most obscure games.
It's largely because she only distributed it for one day.
"The game will last 24 hours and then I will delete it forever," she wrote in a brief release . ".
"Suicide is a social problem.
Suicide is a social failure.
This game will only live by social means.
This game will not exist forever, because the people you fail will not exist forever.
The concept of the game is very simple.
The number counter is set to zero with the plus and minus buttons below to make the number larger or smaller.
"I counted so high," it started, and then the game started like this: counting up, although the purpose of doing so was not clear at first.
I have played four or five times now and have never survived without crying.
Sometimes, nothing happens when you click on the next number;
Other times, words are like wandering ideas.
"Who would you miss if they had gone for a day?
It asks at some point.
Continue to click, the word "day" is replaced by "month", then replaced by "year" and finally replaced by "forever.
Sometimes it asks you some questions.
Sometimes it tells you stories.
At some point it quotes a suicide note from a Czech student who committed suicide
Later, according to a news report, a woman committed suicide after being raped.
"This is the game," it said . "
The numbers start to feel like days, the rhythm of clicks feels like the passage of time, just like looking at the rest days on the calendar.
It is not always "interesting" in itself;
Sometimes, when you click 10 to 15 times in a row, nothing can be seen except for an empty screen, a small part of you will think about when it will end.
But you keep clicking.
After all, what choice do you have?
It feels like it survived.
But somewhere around 300, the game decided to let you loop.
Click on the error link-
Or right? —
It suddenly turned you into tens of millions of people.
When you see it, your courage will be distorted by panic;
The space between where you are and where you are becomes a huge digital desert, and the idea of millions of hits to return seems impossible.
You can't do it after thinking for a while --
You just quit the game.
You remember you were playing suicide.
"That's how it feels to wake up crazy or suffer trauma," Porpentine said . ".
"Like, oh, God, how can I get back there?
It feels like it takes hundreds of thousands of days and millions of steps to come back.
This is the crisis.
Will I do this again? You won't.
"A few days after our interview, I met a famous quote from John Hull, a theologist who reminded me of Bolt's work --
After being blind, he said something about the strength and clarity to accept with great loss.
"I began to think that being blind was like a sword," Hull said . ".
"It is as sharp as a sword, but it has no handle.
You have to hold it at the sharp end.
"I emailed Porpentine to ask if it resonated.
"It may be better to hold a sword without a handle than a sword without a handle," she replied . ".