#GamerGate Opinion - How STALKER proves people are full of crap.
Let’s talk about STALKER. I fucking love that series. It also highlights i think how some of the unreasonable demands we seen from the more shrill voices for forced inclusion are dead wrong.
There are no women in the zone. Not one. Nada. If this was a release from Ubisoft the usual suspects would do NUTS. This game would be "misogynistic" or be derided and mocked for being too lazy and bigoted to be 'inclusive'. But let’s break down some of these claims shall we and at the same time broaden our horizons of what inclusive and diverse games can be:
STALKER is a game not from the same breed as we usually see. It is fully 3d and ambitious but nowhere near what we would call "AAA". It's rough, ready and different. It is also uniquely Ukrainian. I would pose you a question. How is a completely American-Centric games industry 'inclusive'?
There are no women in STALKER because, beneath the different armour types, everyone pretty much THE SAME character model. There Ukrainian heroes stitched the game and it's engine together over the course of about six years, it's a miracle it exists at all and they never had the budget to test and polish it to anywhere near the degree of man games. How can you ask a team of people without the resources to even finish their game to put the significant resources required to fit your coastal American sensibilities of 'inclusion'? Would you rather the game not exist?
Here's a list of things STALKER didn't include due to time and budget restraints we know they wanted to do in the 1st game
-A repair system
-An upgrade system
-At least 2 full levels cut
-A vehicle system
-Three separate enemy types.
All cut for budget and time. But they did manage to keep the core of the game intact.
STALKER is not about gender. It is not about character. It is about atmosphere and about its creators showing the disaster zone they grew up with on their doorstep. It creates an environment rare to even post-apocalyptic games: a living world based on a sad reality. A game does not have women? So fucking what. There are other factors to diversity. As I've said how often do you get to be immersed in non American culture in a game? How highly do you prioritise game devs still trying to be ambitious without a AAA budget? Games exist in a world of finite resources, yes even AAA games. You can criticize but to DEMAND is being... what's the word you like to use... ENTITLED. The level of projection on display from those in the gaming press with a platform is staggering. You abuse your voice to be petty and try and make people's visions fit your whim. Broaden your minds.
Imagine if the game released today and the twitter and blog brigade tore it a new one as "Just another male power fantasy" or as "Deeply sexist and uninclusive". Suddenly the press would be filled with "Women are too hard to model" whilst many developers can barely keep the lights on, never mind none US based ones. When you focus on one aspect of a games you miss the wonder of the rest of it. Development teams want to tell a specific story and make a specific game with their own feel. For you to come in and demand it fits your sensibilities is an attempt to homogenize and kill artistic expression. If you pull a studio in ten different directions they will end up making nothing of note, a brown inoffensive sludge no one could object to but on one really likes. If you applied your warped version of 'progressive' thinking to STALKER you would kill what made it work and what's worse you would have snuffed out a unique voice from a part of the world that rarely gets to make games, never mind games that reflect them.
I see it countless times with Japanese games, European games and others. You don't care about 'diversity'. You are about politics. You are about your own narrow little world view and then apply it to gaming. Then you wonder why we hate your guts. You're Xenophobic to anything even vaguely outside of your politics.
As the good folks at Penny Arcade said "They don't want to censor you, they want to make sure you censor yourself”. And I don't know about you, but i think developers should be free to make whatever they want.