Games industry figures highlighted the inextricable link between culture and reality at GDC last night as they condemned last week’s horrific terror attacks on mosques in New Zealand. One contribution, from veteran designer Tim Schafer, was unequivocal: “fuck white supremacists.”
The topic was broached by narrative designer and host of the Independent Games Festival Awards Meg Jayanth (via GamesIndustry.biz). Referencing her award at the same show in 2015 for her work on 80 Days – an explicitly progressive and inclusive game – she spoke of the jarring contrast between what that moment and the contemporaneous GamerGate movement each represented:
“It felt at that time as though we rejected that campaign of hatred. But it’s actually never felt closer to me right now. A mutated strain of that poison that made video games its testing ground has bubbled up in Christchurch, New Zealand. It fueled a monster who went to a mosque with murder in his heart, and if we don’t utterly, and vocally, and wholly reject these people – these Nazis, and fascists, and white supremacists – then we are inviting them in. If we make room for them, then there is no room for anyone else.”
At the Game Developers’ Choice Awards later that evening, Schafer endorsed Jayanth’s sentiments, and sent his love to Muslims worldwide. He added:
“I hope this isn’t controversial, but fuck white supremacists. I think it’s sad that racists and other hate peddlers feel safe in any space that’s remotely connected to videogames, and I think we all have an opportunity in our work, in our daily lives, and in our platforms big and small, to make it absolutely clear that we do not tolerate any of that crap.”
Just in case you haven't seen it yourself or didn't want to retweet it from some shitty nazi defender, here's Tim Schafer saying "Fuck white supremacists" at GDC pic.twitter.com/wYJpFRVq45
— *Blasts you with Forearm Laser* (@valzongburnt) March 21, 2019
PCGamesN wholeheartedly agrees. There is nothing controversial about this sentiment. Let it be universally endorsed.