There is kind of a discussion about the “Female Protagonist” tag on Steam. Some perceive it as intentionally or potentially divisive, others claim that it’s simply a help for people who are looking for that kind of games.
I tend to think: If they really feel they need that, at least it doesn’t harm anyone.
But the problem with this feminism-pushed notion is that it serves the divisive agenda of the political fanatics and self-victimizers. (And if you need an example of what a political agenda of self-victimization can lead to, just look at the Israeli government.)
So now Humble Bundle has a new games bundle, and it is titled “Leading Ladies” and advertised with “Long live the female protagonist.”. This is pretty much the equivalent to a statement like “Men rule!” It is very close to being sexist, and I’d say it can be called gender chauvinism. Using this in a marketing campaign is kind of questionable, even for a business like Humble Bundle that donates a part of their income to various charities. But in this context, what really shoots the bird here is that money made from this package will be donated to a charity that
“is a series of international summer camps, workshops and game jams designed to encourage girls to explore the world of video games. We’re on a mission to teach 1 million girls around the world how to make games by the year 2020.”
This is really said victimization campaign by implying that women need special support if they want to make computer games, which is an absurd notion. It is simply a political agenda of ‘great equalizing’, of getting ‘equal representation’ in the business sector, which means very little. Anybody, regardless of their gender, can learn to make computer games if they are interested in doing that, especially in the era of the indie game boom. Acting as if women need charity support for this as opposed to men is kind of ridiculous and might have a bad influence on receivers of such charity activity by giving them a feeling of entitlement. It is sending a message to male game devs like “We deserve this more than you.” It is perpetuating and spreading the basic mindset of the bitterness-filled and arrogance-driven perpetrators of the political agenda that does not have the wisdom to understand that when you get closer to your target, you have to slow down, or you will crash and burn, or at least overshoot the target and pave the way for a more aggressive counter-reaction. It’s one more example of a common problem in politics, business and pretty much anywhere where influence, power and money is involved, of turning pain into an agenda and then fighting for self-preservation of that source for relevance, never seeing an end to your efforts.
Instead of making an effort to promote unity, this agenda is seeing differences where there are none and thus creating them.
And this Humble Bundle offer is even more problematic since it is timed to coincide with the heated #GamerGate debate that is kind of entangled in the feminism topic, too. This is pouring gas on the fire.
Any other charity that Humble Bundle is working with I can more or less see a valuable service to society in – some kind of need that is to be met, but this is just absurd. Had they made it a support fund for game devs in general, I’d still raise an eyebrow, but maybe assume it’s a kind of special solidarity because they are selling games after all. But making this gender-divisive is like in the old days where boys and girls went to separate schools.
P.S.: I still think “feminism” is a misleading term and its sincere and socially useful form should be called “women’s rights movement/activism”, while the unhealthy political agenda is actually “femalism”. It has very little feminine about it. It’s all confrontation, struggle, fighting. Very masculine tendencies, focus on destruction instead of creation, on fear instead of love. (I’m looking at this from a Taoist perspective.)