Former Skepchick contributor Tracy King requested permission to take the stage once again to righteously rage about a truly shitty video just posted by gaming site IGN. Rage on, Tracy!
There aren’t many words more denigrating to women than ‘whore’. It’s the one that summons mental images of domestic violence, of the worst sort of reduction to a sexual object. That Deadwood smack of ‘disposable, beatable hole’ makes me physically cringe. When I see ‘attention whore’, I grit my teeth, but plain old whore? You can’t call a woman much worse.
So when is it appropriate to use it? I know! As a punchline in a parody video to replace a horse! You know that Old Spice commercial from a few years back that everyone had forgotten about by now? Ends with “I’m on a horse”. Ripe for parody! It works out beautifully because not only does ‘whore’ sound exactly like ‘horse’, but women and horses are roughly equal! Especially funny is getting the woman on all fours in a supplicant position and sitting on her like she’s your sex worker. Sorry, whore.
But of course no-one is ignorant enough to make a parody like that because it’s 2012, not 1912!
Except this guy. Andrew Eisen is a YouTuber and gamer who thinks he’s funny. He made this video in response to Nintendo’s falling profits. He thinks that Nintendo, who have always attracted a larger female demographic than anyone else and position themselves firmly as a family company, will somehow be swayed by his childish rant about them not delivering games he personally really wants to play, and how that’s the entire cause of their financial woes. Oh, and Nintendo? I’m on a WHORE! LMAO!
Fine, some guy can make his video reflecting his opinion all he wants, but when one of the biggest entertainment websites in world, IGN, posts the video to its Youtube channel, endorsing it on behalf of “fans everywhere”, we’re in a different territory entirely.
Check out this Nintendo-related take on the Old Spice commercials by Andrew Eisen. It’s not only funny but it offers a pro-fan message to Nintendo on behalf of fans everywhere who would gladly pay for certain games if they were just given a North American release. Like the video and show Andrew some support if you agree!
I don’t agree, IGN! I don’t agree that women are whores or that sex workers are whores or that you should in any way be endorsing, promoting, or posting content suggesting otherwise! How’s that for not “liking the video”?
I write a column in print magazine Custom PC on bad science and the media perception of gamers and gaming culture. The April issue was about whether women suck at games, and why the perception exists that they do. I talk about the misogyny in gaming communities and what a huge barrier to entry that is to some women. When I filed it I had some vaguely optimistic notion that things were improving. But today I see the massively influential IGN happily calling women whores and I despair.
IGN is on Twitter: @IGN, and there are comments to be left on the video itself, which remember is on IGN’s own channel, deliberately endorsed and promoted to their users, the gaming community.
Andrew Eisen can say what he wants. IGN, however, has a responsibility to the gamers it claims to represent, who fund its existence. Let’s all just be grateful that the original Old Spice commercial didn’t end with “I’m on a DIGGER”.[ED: The video has been removed as of 20:00 ET. Success??]
Tracy King is the London-based producer of Tim Minchin’s Storm movie. She runs an animation and game development company, consults on marketing, and writes on a host of topics including game culture. Her personal blog is http://www.tkingdoll.com and she’s @tkingdoll on Twitter.