At E3, Nintendo showed off one of their new software titles, Paper Mario: Color Splash. There was an in-game event which depicted five mushroom men who were called the “Five Fun Guys”, and another character chimed in with the punchline, “Shufflegate: Exposed!”
Zoe Quinn took notice, and believed it to reference Five Guys Burgers and Fries and the Gamergate movement that she herself inadvertently set into motion, and she posted the following to her Twitter feed:
To be fair, she did eventually recognize it as a coincidence, and stated so in a Twitter post in an attempt to defuse the situation (short of apologizing to Nintendo, her Twitter followers, and of course Gamergate). However, it was her eagerness to be triggered by this “coincidence” that’s problematic.
Here’s the thing: it wasn’t a coincidence. The routine did reference a real-life event. It’s called the “Watergate” scandal. In the events surrounding the scandal, five men were implicated on suspicion of burglary. Because it was so prominent as a scandal, the “-gate” suffix appends the names of many scandals.
Zoe Quinn and many people who identify as feminists have an apparent inability to recognize an actual coincidence. They actually believe that there is some huge, concerted conspiracy to keep them down. It’s gotten to the point that some of them have criticized the Voyager 1 plaque for depicting the woman as standing behind the man, while the man’s hand is raised in a show of strength. As opposed to, say, offering a friendly greeting?
From here, it looks more like the woman is standing side by side with the man. If anything, the only disservice done to the woman is a refusal to draw her vulva. If aliens find the thing, they’re going to wonder how we reproduce. It’s not like drawing a vertical line on a woman’s groin is going to cause extraterrestrials to dismiss the plaque as pornographic. Notice how the woman’s left toes reach slightly lower than the mans? From the front-on perspective, that would indicate that she’s standing slightly in front of him.
Zoe Quinn, like many feminists, has a reduced ability to recognize something as a coincidence, or at least as a reference to someone or something besides her. Neo-feminists get angry over things because they want to be angry, and they like being angry, because they want to feel justifiably indignant over anything that they can. They may get indignant, but they don’t get to enjoy legitimate justification, because they seldom know what’s actually going on. When they make knee-jerk reactions over every perceived slight, they make themselves look silly. They look silly because they think everything is about them. And yet, they don’t ask why. And that’s a question that neo-feminists need to hear:
Why does everything have to be about you?
And while we’re asking questions, here’s another one: Why not use your head? If there were a random chance that you’d have been born as any organism, you’d have been far more likely to have been born as an ant, because there are approximately one million ants for every human being alive today. There are far more animals besides them. My point is, think about what a privilege it is to be a human being, which has the most capable brain out of any animal we know about. We possess the magnificent potential to do things like send plaques depicting naked people into space, and in spite of this, we have knuckle-draggers treating stupid behavior as an indulgence and delegating their thinking to advertisers. You have the potential to do better, so why don’t you?
At one point, Zoe Quinn wanted to be known as a game developer. That’s a pretty meaningful thing to do for a living. However, she gave up any respect she would have gotten for her endeavors when she turned her back on her fellow gamers and turned the already-corrupt trade of games journalism against the very people they were supposed to inform. That comes with a lot of guilt for just one person to deal with, but Zoe Quinn brought it upon herself, and she made matters worse for her refusal to confront it.
That’s really how the Gamergate movement got started to begin with. Zoe Quinn so insisted on playing the victim, that she betrayed the very people she so strongly wanted to be accepted by. Having to deal with that can drive a person crazy, and when it gets to that point, a person can easily mistake a joke in a Mario game as being directed against them.