I am a fan of Law and Order, recently I have been watching the series again from season 1. When I heard this episode was coming out I decided to watch it hoping they would do justice to gamers… They didn’t. Excuse the spelling errors and typos this was written in a rush, also these are my opinions, you do not have to agree with them.
Let me start this post off with saying I am not a fan of Anita Sarkeesian, the inspiration behind the female developer in the episode Raina Punjabi. Anita Sarkeesian is a hypocrite that does not show gaming in the most glamorous light. She refers to herself as a feminist, I myself in my college class surrounded by 65 women who claim to be feminists do not refer to issues involving male/ female gender roles the way she does. Note, this does not make me an expert on Feminism, I just believe that feminism operates in the way she talks of it, like making a controller simpler and easier for women to use. I remember watching one of Anita Sarkeesian’s videos where she talks about killing strippers in Hitman, saying things like they are rewarded for doing this (I am sorry if I phrased this wrong that fact is from memory). In the game you loose points for killing the strippers, which makes that a poor choice for a fact for your argument. Either way choosing to kill the stripper or not is a choice, like in real life I could walk up to someone on the street and kill them, but I don’t because I think that is wrong. It is your choice in the game to commit the crime or not like it is in real life. Games like Call of Duty actively make you kill other people, where the point is to relieve stress or build up your skill. I am not a fan of Call of Duty, making me not the greatest person to argue on it’s behalf, but games that are overly violent are your choice to play. It is also your choice to react to others depending on your beliefs, that does not make them the right choice in some cases. WOW this is a long intro… on to my thoughts on the episode.
I knew going into this episode that it was not going to be an accurate representation on the gaming community. I do not consider myself much of a gamer, I enjoy games and gaming news, however I am more of a movie and television buff myself. I felt this episode poked fun at the exaggeration of gamers that some people and the media have. The episode revolves around the cast being at a gaming expo, where we see a booth for Amazonian Warriors, where a group of obnoxious gamers start to insult the woman for being a female gamer and working for Raina Punjabi. The employee is later attacked in the bathroom by the obnoxious gamers. SVU later catches the attackers by using the redchan board. A group of people online threaten Raina and they kidnap her after sending her several threats. SVU later finds Raina and saves her killing one of the kidnappers in the process, with Raina ending the episode saying she quits.
Let me start with things I liked about the episode. I enjoyed the character Finn being a fan of video games showing not all people who are fans of video games to be sex-depraved monsters, with it interesting that in real life Ice-T is a fan of video games. I enjoyed the regular proceedings of them solving the case, finding leads and actively doing their job… Is that all? Really? Um… Okay on to the negative.
I felt it to be unnatural for them to cram all on these gamin acronyms and terms into the episode. It did not match the show, the theme of the episode itself did not match the show. I understand that doing an episode about Gamergate is going to get some extra views that you would normally not get, but it was not done right. They made other gamers seem like assholes, especially with the main antagonists of the episode. I understand that there are people out there that are like them, that do not want women gaming, but the majority of people could give two shits. People do not care who is gaming or who is developing as long as the product produced is good or the other person isn’t an asshole.
The character of Raina as well rubbed me the wrong way. Some people may think that is because she is a victimized portrait of Anita Sarkeesian, but I could give two shits about who she is representing, she is a character that is all she is. The character of Raina was not the greatest person when we meet her, she asks if her employee is okay, afterwards she basically does not care and says that they would give her a week off after being attacked, but since they are close to their deadline they can’t give that to her right now. What kind of asshole does not give a person time off for being maliciously assaulted for being attacked for your product. What kind of terrible publicity would it have been if she went to the media, “Raina Punjabi’s employee was attacked yesterday at a convention for promoting Raina’s game. When asked for time off she was refused because they were close to the deadline, proving the male asshole who attacked her that Raina Punjabi is a terrible person.” That is not to say what the gamers in the episode did was just, I am just saying the character before the events of the kidnapping could have been a bit nicer.
I felt that the episode could have done a better job representing gaming as a whole. I know that there are always radicals out there, but everyone who plays a game isn’t what they represented and I do not like that. Law and Order Special Victims Unit is a good show and is interesting to watch. I felt this was a rushed script and a rushed episode in general.