Saturday, 6 June 2015
(SATIRE) Videogame characters bemoan the lack of racial and gender diversity in games journalism
Ethical disclosure: MODE 5 is written by a cisgendered white male shitlord who could not locate his privilege with both hands.
Characters in videogames have called for better racial and gender diversity in gaming journalism.
The outcry comes hard on the heels of figures revealing that many popular videogaming websites are staffed predominantly by white male hipsters who list their interests as “eating canapés and discussing foreign politics in the rooftop gardens of pricey hotels” and who describe their turn-offs as “videogames, gamers and fun.”
Clyde - an orange ghost, who inhabits a perplexing alternate universe consisting entirely of two-dimensional mazes said:
“The workforce at my current place of employment is extremely diverse. All my colleagues are ghosts of various different colours and creeds.
“What brings us together as a team is the common goal of deterring an invasive species of Pac-man from irresponsibly stripping our habitat of its natural resources. If we want to ensure that there are enough yellow pac-dots and windfall fruit for our children, their children and their children's children, then we need to take action now.
“Although we have disagreements from time to time, the important thing to remember is that, despite our varied skin tones, when a Pac-man ingests a power pill we all turn the same deep shade of blue.
“If only online gaming sites could learn from our example, the industry might be a more diverse place.”
Asked whether he had ever considered a career in website game journalism, the tangerine-hued spectre replied:
“The chances of someone like myself being employed by a site like Polygon, which is staffed mostly by white men, and has no orange ghosts on the payroll, are minimal.”
Clyde's experience reflects mounting evidence that points to online game journalism having fallen behind gaming when it comes to promoting racial and gender diversity in the workplace.
Dr. Eli Vance, a former employee of the top secret Black Mesa Facility, told MODE 5:
“The occupation of our world by The Combine – an alien gestalt intent on sublimating the human race as obedient foot soldiers and worker drones - has done nothing to prevent of an increasing number of women entering STEM fields.
“My daughter Alyx, for example, is a gifted student of robotics and teleportation. As we speak she is on the roof of one of City 17's numerous residential blocks, rocking out to Guitar Hero 4, with Dog – the autonomous robot bodyguard that she helped to build – accompanying her on drums.
“It saddens me that Alyx who, under the tyranny of alien occupation, has flourished as a scientist, a soldier and an engineer, would struggle to find a job in online videogame journalism which remains a profession dominated by white males.
“Furthermore, in City 17 a black man like myself can play an integral role in developing teleportation technology or a device that can manipulate gravity. However if one takes into consideration the poor racial diversity reflected in the workforce of websites such as Polygon, the chances of this technology being reviewed by a black man are low.”
Indicating a sealed bulkhead in the Earth resistance's secret underground bunker, Dr Vance said:
“That's the passage to Ravenholm where Kotaku and Gamasutra have offices. We don't go there anymore.”
Enemies and would-be enslavers of the human race have also joined in criticising the regressive stance taken by popular online gaming sites towards employee diversity. A joint statement issued by The Combine and The Covenant read:
“We realised that the conquest of the galaxies and parallel dimensions necessary to fulfil our respective manifest destinies would only be achievable through different races and cultures working together in partnership to defeat a common enemy, either as a collective brought together by a wrong-headed holy crusade, or through enforced hybridisation: In one case this enemy takes the form of a lumbering armoured cyborg. In the other instance the thorn in our side resembles a geography teacher in a hazard suit with a crap built-in torch, whose weak telekinetic abilities allow him to pick up objects and steer vehicles without using his hands.”
On contemporary earth, opportunities for racial minorities to gain a career foothold on established videogaming websites remain limited. San Andreas businessman, Carl Johnson said:
“Where I grew up on Grove Street, a career as a journalist on an online gaming site like Polygon or Gamasutra was always just a pipe dream. I made my stack the same way we've always made it in the hood: By driving cars, bikes, and hovercraft in a manner liable to endanger public safety; by being taught how to fly a variety of aircraft by an agent from a top secret government agency; by infiltrating Area 51, and by bringing down a corrupt police officer in a dramatic fire-engine chase. Even now the profession of online videogames journalist seems like a closed door to me.”
Johnson's experience is echoed by that of Balrog - a street fighter whose bone-breaking victories in the world of extreme mixed martial arts are used to fund his medical school tuition fees. He told MODE 5:
“The brutal combinations of head butts and uppercuts that I routinely deploy in a bid to dispatch challengers in the arena will one day be put to better use in the operating theatre, where I will attempt to undo the heinous effects of the blunt force trauma that I have unleashed upon my opponents.
“My father, Avery Johnson, was a talented writer and gamer who found himself unable to secure work as an online gaming journalist. He eventually joined the UNSC Marine Corps where he rose to the rank of Sergeant Major, earning numerous commendations that included the Colonial Cross, and taking part in the defence of the Cairo Orbital Station against Covenant forces. Were he still alive, I would like to tell him that things have changed – that were I of a mind to pursue a career in online gaming journalism, the doors that were closed to him had now been opened. However that would not to be true.”
Asked whether he thought that writers and advocates of social justice such as Ben Kuchera and Leigh Alexander might inspire minorities who were hoping to make it as gaming website journalists, Balrog responded in the negative:
“These people are less role models than they are prototypes for a new range of human douchebag.”
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